Biography: Patriarch of the Donnelly family, also known as the Black Donnellys, a family who participated in a notorious feud in Biddulph Township in Middlesex County, Ontario, which culminated in a massacre in which five family members were killed.
- 1857-06-27 James Donnelly becomes engaged in a drunken brawl with Patrick Farrell, who suffers a fatal blow to the head. Farrell dies two days later, which makes James Donnelly a wanted man and draws the Donnelly family into the notorious feud
- 1859-09-17 James Donnelly is sentenced to hang for murdering Patrick Farrell, but a petition for clemency reduces his sentence to 7 years in Kingston Penitentiary
- 1880-02-04 "Black Donnelly" massacre in Biddulph, Ontario, Canada: Irish immigrants James (63), Johannah (56), John (32), Thomas (25) and Bridget (21) Donnelly murdered at home by members of the Vigilance Committee