O'Doherty Tower in Derry

History of O'Doherty's Tower in Derry

The Tower Museum in Derry, built upon the site of a historic O'Doherty Tower, is a great attraction where you can take in the history of the city and the surrounding area. Situated on the historic walls of the Derry, the Museum offers sweeping views of the city and the River Foyle. In the museum, you will find exhibits on the monastic site of Derry associated with our pre-O'Dochartaigh kinsman St. Columba, as well as their renowned exhibit, An Armada Shipwreck – La Trinidad Valencera, which explores the remains of a 1588 Spanish shipwreck, during an era where the O'Doherty's sympathized with the Spanish and many leaders were hoping to get Spanish military assistance against the English. They also offer insights to other periods of local history, from the stone age to the 1688 Siege of Derry, modern political struggles, World Wars I & II, and more. Visit their website, derrystrabane.com/towermuseum, keep up with them at facebook.com/towermuseum, and get a glimpse of the museum in the video below.


Housed in the Tower Museum is the Archive and Genealogy Services. They have some resources on their website, but are also working with RootsIreland.ie to make records available to the public (donegal.rootsireland.ie and derry.rootsireland.ie). Brian Mitchell, a knowledgeable and credentialed genealogist, mans their free genealogy advisory service, offering helpful research recommendations and general information to those with roots in the Derry / Donegal area. You may email him at genealogy@derrystrabane.com.


Nearby is also the beautiful Derry Guildhall, which includes incredible exhibits on the struggles of the Irish chieftains against the English during the 1500s and early 1600s, including the sword reputed to belong to our famed last chieftain, Sir Cahir O'Dogherty. The Guildhall also has interpretive exhibits on the Ulster Plantation, as well as a beautiful stained glass window featuring the O'Doherty arms and Burt Castle. Visit the Guildhall's website, derrystrabane.com/guildhall, and see some of the exhibits in their video, The Guildhall, on YouTube.

Click the thumbnails below to open the photos in a larger viewer!

Discover our History at the Tower Museum (by Derry City & Strabane District Council)

Explore the Guildhall and Tower Museum (by Derry City & Strabane District Council)

Other Resources to Check out

Visit The Tower!



The O'Doherty Heritage website is designed to be your place for all things Ó Dochartaigh. Whether your name or ancestry is from a Doherty, Dougherty, Daugherty, Docherty, Dogherty, if your family used another spelling of our name, or if you're from one of our related Donegal families, such as the McDevitt/McDaid, McBride, McConlogue, or others–we welcome you to the O'Doherty Heritage website!

The vision of the O'Doherty Heritage is "Telling our story, uniting us together." This was the same vision of our ancestors, the Ó Dochartaigh patriarchs, when they established our Clan motto, Ár nDúthchas–which means 'Our Heritage'. Below are the goals of O'Doherty Heritage:


  • Share our heritage with our entire Clan

  • Research, document, & bring our history to life

  • Curate a digital Clan genealogy research library


  • Encourage quality genealogical research

  • Promote clan identity and pride in our heritage

  • Facilitate communication amongst our clanfolk


This site is curated by Will Dougherty III under the direction of the Association of Ó Dochartaighs. ©2020 O'Doherty Heritage. Site Policies. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the site, answer your questions, or see you get involved! Email odohertyheritage@gmail.com.