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Anne Maria Donaldson

Anne Maria Donaldson

Anne Donaldson nee Hogan is the youngest of twelve children. She was born and reared on a farm in Ballyfin, County Laois in Ireland in the very same house as her grandaunt Maria, Anna’s mother. She now lives near Ballincollig, in Cork, Ireland. She has been closely related to the early development of this still expanding town that has always welcomed people from all over the world. A 19c British Military town with an internationally acclaimed gunpowder mills, the town has welcomed ‘outsiders’ for more than two centuries.
Anne has researched and compiled a comprehensive list of the names of those who served in the British Military at Ballincollig. This compilation can be accessed online through the Representative Church Body’s reference library. Her research of the British Military Graveyard, Ballincollig was published in 2003. In conjunction with Jenny Webb and Nonsuch publishers, she published A Hidden History of the Ballincollig Gunpowder Mills, in 2006. She is a regular contributor to local history journals. An article she researched on the Robinson Settlers in Ontario tweaked her interest in emigration. Her lifelong interest in local heritage and history led her to attain an M. Phil on the subject of The Irish County Gaol system.
An active member of her local writing group, Litwrits Ballincollig, she has published a selection of short stories. Through membership of her local library, she is a member of their book club.
She is an experienced amateur genealogist.
Anne is now a grandmother to a selection of gloriously opinionated and kind young people. She lives with her husband, Frank, overlooking the River Lee.
She has no animals anymore, that is unless you count our neighbors’ cats who patrol daily.



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Leaving the midlands of Ireland, they crossed the Atlantic to New York before travelling up the Erie Canal and crossing the Great Lakes in the autumn of 1873. They settled in the small pioneering town of Escanaba in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.


Anna is the last lonely American survivor of a large and loving family. One day she discovers amongst her mother’s papers letters that travelled from Ireland. She recorded her family’s pioneering story for posterity, discovering family secrets along the way.

A must read for anyone of Irish descent anywhere. 

‘Extraordinary and intriguing story! Extremely well researched’            


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