DESERTEGNEY, a parish, in the barony of ENNISHOWEN, county of DONEGAL, andprovince of ULSTER, 13 miles (N. N. W.) from Londonderry; containing 1890 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the northern coast, amid the barren mountains of Ennishowen, and is bounded on the north by the Atlantic ocean, and on the west by Lough Swilly; it comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 7577 statute acres, of which 5834 are applotted under the tithe act; the arable land includes 1794 acres; the remainder is mountain pasture. Some of the lower lands produce good crops of oats, flax, and potatoes; and wherever the mountains afford vegetation, they are depastured by numerous herds of small cattle and sheep. There are indications of copper and lead ore within the parish; and iron ore is abundant.
The gentlemen's seats are Lensfort, the elegant residence of the Rev. W. Henry Hervey; and the glebe-house, of the Very Rev. Dean Blakeley. The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Derry, and in the patronage of the Marquess of Donegal: the tithes amount to £135; the glebe-house stands on a glebe of 166 acres, of which 88 are uncultivated. The church is a small neat edifice, with a square tower, situated close to the shore of Lough Swilly. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Upper and Lower Fahan and Desertegney; there is a small chapel, occupying the site of the old parish church. The parochial school, near the church, in which are about 30 boys and 15 girls, is a very neat edifice, erected in 1829 by the Rev.
W. H. Hervey, and supported by him and a small donation from the rector. There are also two private schools, at Leaugin and Gortlick, in which are about 50 children; and a Sunday school. The gap of Mamore is a remarkable natural curiosity on the confines of this parish, opening to the Atlantic ocean, and most extensive and magnificent views are obtained from the mountains near it. In the Erwys and other lofty mountains of this district, the eagles continue to build, and they prove very destructive to the young lambs on the mountains.
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.