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Emigration Records (Ireland)

Nature of Source

Records of those who emigrated from Ireland, numbering nearly 4 million between 1820 and 1900.

The first wave of mass emigration from Ireland began with the forcible transportation of around 100,000 Irish to North America and the West Indies under Oliver Cromwell's rule. In the 17th and 18th centuries many Irish emigrated as indentured servants to the American colonies together with many Scots-Irish Presbyterian farmers. The rebellions in Ireland during the Napoleonic Wars and the victory of the British led to high numbers of Irish Protestants being transported to Australia. Australia also became a favoured destination for the transportation of convicts. Emigration continued well into the 19th century with some 200,000 people up to 1840 seeking a better life in America from the poverty and poor potato crops. The greatest movement of the Irish out of the country occurred during the devastating Irish potato famine between the years 1845 to 1851. The Great Famine resulted in massive emigration from Ireland with some two million people settling in America by 1854. It was common for would be emigrants to first sail to Liverpool for their outward bound voyage to America. However, many stayed in Liverpool or dispersed to other parts of England.

After the British gained full control of Ireland during the reign of Henry VIII, the country was effectively ruled and administered from London until independence was re-established in 1922. Therefore, many records relating to Irish genealogy can be found in English repositories, particularly The National Archives. Due to the popularity of England as a place of migration for Irish people, many English records such as census returns and probate records contain relevant information on Irish ancestors.

The Irish Emigration Database
is a computerised collection of primary source documents on Irish emigration to North America (USA and Canada) in the 18th and 19th centuries. Names have been extracted from a variety of sources including emigrant letters, newspaper articles, shipping advertisements, shipping news, passenger lists, official government reports, family papers, births deaths and marriages and extracts from books and periodicals. The database is available at the Centre for Migration Studies, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and other specialist libraries. as well as online at www.dunbrody.com.

Also see
Emigration Records (Including Scotland)
Passenger Lists
Surname Origins and Distribution
Transported Convicts

Where Found

The National Archives (Including Series CO, Records of the Colonial Office, Commonwealth and Foreign and Commonwealth Offices. The files, amongst other things, hold records concerning convicts and settlers in Australia)
Centre for Migration Studies (The centre studies human migration focusing on the peoples of Ireland world-wide. The centre houses a library which contains The Irish Emigration Database, periodicals, maps, including Griffiths Valuation Maps, and documents relating to Irish-American emigration and the Irish diaspora worldwide. They also houses files on family names, Griffiths Valuation lists and Tithe Applotment Lists covering Ulster)
National Archives of Ireland
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) (Emigration Passenger Lists including the The Irish Emigration Database)

Period Covered

1650 - Onwards

Further References

Emigration Specific  
Buggy, Joseph. Finding Your Irish Ancestors in New York City: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2014 Buy Now on Amazon
Davis, Graham. In Search of a Better Life: British and Irish Migration: The History Press, 2011 Buy Now on Amazon
Glazier, Ira A & Tepper, Michael. The Famine Immigrants: Lists of Irish Immigrants Arriving at the Port of New York, 1846-1851: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2014 Buy Now on Amazon
MacKay, Donald. Flight from Famine: Coming of the Irish to Canada: Dundurn Press, 2009 Buy Now on Amazon
Mitchell, Brian. Irish Emigration Lists, 1833 to 1839: Clearfield, 2009 Buy Now on Amazon
Mitchell, Brian. Irish Passenger Lists 1847-1871: Lists of Passengers Sailing from Londonderry to America: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2010 Buy Now on Amazon
Mitchell, Brian. Irish Passenger Lists 1803-1806: Lists of Passengers Sailing from Ireland to America: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2010 Buy Now on Amazon
Mitchell, Brian. Derry-Londonderry: Gateway to a New World. The Story of Emigration from the Foyle by Sail and Steam: Clearfield Company, 2014 Buy Now on Amazon
Punch, Terrence. Erin's Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada 1761-1863: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2009 Buy Now on Amazon
Quillen, Daniel. Mastering Immigration & Naturalization Records: Cold Spring Press, 2012 Buy Now on Amazon
Richards, Eric. Britannia's Children: Emigration from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland since 1600: Hambledon & London, 2004 Buy Now on Amazon
Family History Guides  

Adolph, Anthony. Collins Tracing Your Irish Family History: HarperCollins, 2007

Buy Now on Amazon
Caball, Kay. Finding your Ancestors in Kerry: Flyleaf Press, 2015 Buy Now on Amazon

Begley, Donal. Handbook on Irish Genealogy: How to Trace Your Ancestors and Relatives: Heraldic Artists, 1984

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Connell, Gretta. Tracing Your Westmeath Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2012 Buy Now on Amazon
Corrigan, Mario &  Durney, James & Kiely, Karel. Tracing your Kildare Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2014 Buy Now on Amazon

Davis, Bill. Irish Ancestry - A Beginner's Guide: FFHS, 2001

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Falley, Margaret Dickson. Irish and Scottish-Irish Ancestral Research: GPC, 1981 (1962)

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Franklin, Margaret. Tracing your Limerick Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2011 Buy Now on Amazon

Grenham, John. Irish Ancestors, A Pocket Guide to Your Family History: Gill & Macmillan, 2004

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Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: Gill & Macmillan, 2011

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Hamrock, John. Tracing your Roscommon Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2007 Buy Now on Amazon

Kinealy, Christine. Tracing Your Irish Roots: Appletree Press, 2009

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McCarthy, Tony. The Irish Roots Guide. Dublin: The Lilliput Press, 1991

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McCarthy, Tony & Cadogan, Tim. Tracing Your Cork Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2011 Buy Now on Amazon

Maxwell, Ian. Tracing Your Ancestors in Northern Ireland: A Guide to Ancestry Research in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland: Stationery Office, 1997

Buy Now on Amazon
Maxwell, Ian. Researching Armagh Ancestors: A Practical Guide for the Family and Local Historian: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2000 Buy Now on Amazon
Maxwell, Ian. Researching Down Ancestors: A Practical Guide for the Family and Local Historian: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2000 Buy Now on Amazon

Maxwell, Ian. How To Trace Your Irish Ancestors: How To Books, 2009

Buy Now on Amazon

Maxwell, Ian. Your Irish Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen and Sword, 2008

Maxwell, Ian. Tracing Your Northern Irish Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen and Sword, 2010

Buy Now on Amazon
Meehan, Helen & Duffy, Godfrey. Tracing Your Donegal Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2008 Buy Now on Amazon
Mitchell, Brian. A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2009 Buy Now on Amazon
Mitchell, Brian. Basic Guide to Irish Records for Family History: Clearfield Company, 2009 Buy Now on Amazon
Mitchell, Brian. Tracing Derry-Londonderry Roots: Clearfield Company, 2014 Buy Now on Amazon
O'Connor, Michael H. Tracing your Kerry Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 1994 Buy Now on Amazon
O'Dowd, Peadar. Tracing your Galway Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2010 Buy Now on Amazon

Ouimette, David. Finding Your Irish Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide: Ancestry.com, 2005

Buy Now on Amazon
Paton, Chris. Discover Irish Land Records: Unlock the Past, 2015  
Paton, Chris. Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet: A Guide For Family Historians: Pen & Sword Books, 2013

Prochaska, Alice, Irish History from 1700: A Guide to Sources in the Public Record Office: British Records Association, 1986

Buy Now on Amazon

Raymond, Stuart. Irish Family History on the Web: The Family History Partnership, 2007

Buy Now on Amazon

Roulston, William. Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors: The Essential Genealogical Guide to Early Modern Ulster, 1600-1800: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2005

Buy Now on Amazon

Ryan, James. Irish Records: Sources for Family & Local History: Flyleaf Press, 1997

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Ryan, James & Smith, Brian. Tracing Your Dublin Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2009 Buy Now on Amazon
Ryan, James. Tracing your Sligo Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2012 Buy Now on Amazon
Scott, Jonathan. Tracing Your British and Irish Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen and Sword Books, 2016
Smith, Brian. Tracing your Mayo Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2010 Buy Now on Amazon
Smith, Brian & Kennedy, Gerry. Tracing Your Clare Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2013 Buy Now on Amazon

Stewart, Alan. My Ancestor Was Irish: A Guide to Sources for Family Historians: Society of Genealogists, 2012

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Other  
Bradshaw's Railway Map Great Britain and Ireland 1852: Mapseeker Publishing, 2013 Buy Now on Amazon
Connolly, S.J. The Oxford Companion to Irish History: Oxford University Press, 2007 Buy Now on Amazon
Coogan, Tim, Pat. The Famine Plot: England's Role in Ireland's Greatest Tragedy: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013 Buy Now on Amazon
Dickson, R.J. Ulster Emigration to Colonial America, 1718-1775: Ulster Historical Foundation, 1976 Buy Now on Amazon
Grenham, John. The Little Book of Irish Clans and Tartans: Book Sales, 1995 Buy Now on Amazon
Robinson, Philip. Plantation of Ulster: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2000 Buy Now on Amazon
Smith, Paul & Turner, Keith. Railway Atlas of Ireland Then & Now: Ian Allan Publishing, 2014 Buy Now on Amazon


TNA Research Guides:
Colonies and Dependencies
Colonies and Dependencies: Further Research
Empire And Commonwealth Records held in the UK and Overseas

Websites

www.movinghere.org.uk/galleries/roots/caribbean/onepeople/colonialoffice.htm (Records of the Colonial Office)
www.nationalarchives.ie/genealogy1/genealogy-records/ireland-australia-transportation-records-1791-1853 (National Archives of Ireland: Ireland-Australia Transportation Records, 1791-1853)
www.proni.gov.uk/index/exhibitions_talks_and_events/19th_century_emigration_to_the_north_america_online.htm (19th Century Emigration to North America: Online exhibition on emigration to America and Canada hosted by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the Belfast Telegraph)
www.proni.gov.uk/index/research_and_records_held/catalogues_guides_indexes_and_leaflets/information_leaflets.htm (Information leaflets Emigration Series: Emigration To U.S.A.; Emigration To Canada; Emigration To Australia)
www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAEireland.htm (Irish Immigration)
www.irishfaminememorial.org/en (Irish Famine Memorial: Memorial to the Great Irish Famine and the young women who came from the workhouses or Ireland to Australia between 1848 and 1850)
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/research-guides/irish-genealogy.htm (Irish genealogy)
www.irishgenealogy.ie/guide/index.html (Step-by-step Guide to researching Irish ancestry)
www.irishgenealogy.ie/trip/index.html (Tracing Your Ancestors in Ireland)
www.iar.ie
(Irish Archives Resource: The site contains information about archival collections open for public research in Ireland from many organisations, societies, political organisations and businesses)
https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/getting-started-in-irish-genealogy/594 (FamilySearch.org: Learning Center Online Genealogy Course: Getting Started in Irish Genealogy. Lecture designed to acquaint beginning genealogist with strategies and sources for getting started in Irish genealogy)
www.telusplanet.net/public/mtoll (Mary's Genealogy Treasures: Immigration, Naturalization, Passenger Lists and Ships)
www.iar.ie
(Irish Archives Resource: The site contains information about archival collections open for public research in Ireland from many organisations, societies, political organisations and businesses)
www.rascal.ac.uk (Research and Special Collections Available Locally. An electronic gateway to research resources in Ireland. You can use this web-site to search and browse information about the wide range of research and special collections held in libraries, museums and archives across the region)
www.histpop.org (Official reports, legislation and essays on the censuses including statistical analysis. The documents on the site include indexes to parishes, townships and places used in the official reports)
www.findmypast.co.uk (Ireland Census Reports. Learn about the community in which your ancestor lived with census reports detailing population and area statistics from the latter half of the 19th century up to the early 20th century)
www.findmypast.co.uk (Ireland Statistical Surveys. Learn about the history, customs, politics, and industries of various Irish counties. The collection is comprised of PDF images of the surveys from the following counties: Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, King's Offaly, Leitrim, Mayo, Meath, Roscommon, and Tyrone)
www.irishlivesremembered.ie (Irish Lives Remembered Genealogy Magazine. The online magazine is dedicated to tracing your Irish ancestors globally with over 70 pages of Irish genealogy news and resources. Read online or download in PDF format)

Online Databases

www.castlegarden.org (Immigration Center: Database of information on 11 million immigrants entering New York through Castle Garden between 1820 and 1892 extracted from original ship manifests. Castle Garden, now known as the Castle Clinton National Monument, is located in Battery Park, a waterfront park at the tip of Manhattan. The park, monuments and website is operated by the educational corporation called the Battery Conservancy. Following the closure of Castle Garden in 1890, immigrants were processed at Ellis Island. Enhanced browsing and searching of the database can be carried out at Stephen Morse's ' One Step' Search Pages)
www.libertyellisfoundation.org (Ellis Island Passenger Search, 1892-1924: Free access to transcripts and original images of ship's passenger lists covering some 22 million people who entered America through Ellis Island/Port of New York. Some passengers were only visitors and some failed to settle. New legislation in the 1920s reduced immigration and Ellis Island shut in 1954. Enhanced browsing and searching of the database can be carried out at Stephen Morse's ' One Step' Search Pages)
www.nationalarchives.ie/topics/transportation/search01.html (Ireland-Australia transportation database)
www.findmypast.co.uk (Transatlantic Migration From North America To Britain & Ireland 1858-1870. The index extracts from the passenger lists details of all the ships, their voyages, and their passengers)
www.irishgenealogy.ie
(Irish Genealogy: Online search facility allowing users to search across a number of databases from different suppliers covering the following sources: 1901 and 1911 census returns; Griffiths Valuations; Tithe Applotment Records; Soldiers Wills; Military Archives; Ellis Island Records; Castle Garden Records; Ireland-Australia Transportation Database)
Familysearch.org (Migration & Naturalization: Various passenger lists including: United States, Famine Irish Passenger Index, 1846-1851; New York Book Indexes to Passenger Lists, 1906-1942; New York Passenger Arrival Lists [Ellis Island], 1892-1924; New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891; New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957; New York, New York, Index to Passenger Lists, 1820-1846)
www.ancestry.co.uk (Irish Immigrants: New York Port Arrival Records, 1846-1851; Irish Records Index, 1500-1920; Ireland, Famine Relief Commission Papers, 1844-1847; U.S. Naturalization Records Indexes, 1794-1995; New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957; New York Naturalization Records, 1897-1944; Irish Emigration to New England through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, 1841 to 1849)
www.ancestry.co.uk
(Lancashire, Vagrant Passes, 1801-1835 This collection includes lists of people being transported back to their place of settlement in Ireland. Individual records include the name of the vagrant, date shipped, description, whether accompanied by a wife and children, number of passes per family, allowances and expenses and the name of the ship. In some cases, they also listed the parish from which the vagrant was passed)
www.findmypast.co.uk (New England Petitions for Naturalization Index, 1791-1906. This is an index to photocopies of naturalization documents filed in courts in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont from 1791 to 1906)
www.findmypast.co.uk (United States, Transatlantic Migration Indexes. The collection consists of 46 assorted indexes covering ancestors who crossed the Atlantic from England, Scotland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, or France between the late 1500s and early 1900s)
www.ancestryireland.com (Ulster Historical Foundation: Emigration Records)
http://aad.archives.gov/aad/series-list.jsp?cat=GP44 (National Archives and Records Administration: Records for Passengers who arrived at the Port of New York during the Irish Famine, 1846-1851 and List of Ships that arrived at the Port of New York during the Irish Famine, 1846-1851)
www.irishfaminememorial.org/en/orphans
(Famine Orphan Girl Database: Details of young women who came to the Australian colonies during the famine years of 1848 to 1850 who were sent from the workhouses throughout all 32 counties Ireland. A separate database lists the ships that carried the orphans to Australia)
www.rootsireland.ie/index.php?id=70 (Irish Family History Foundation: Ship Passenger Lists. The lists are records mostly of passengers on ships from Irish and British ports to ports in North America, United States and Canada)
www.dunbrody.com (Irish Emigration Database: Database of emigrants who sailed from Ireland in the nineteenth century)
www.pricegen.com/immigrantservants/search/simple.php (Immigrant Servants Database: Details of individuals who travelled to colonial America between 1607 and 1820 as indentured servants, redemptioners [a person who worked as a servant to pay for the cost of the voyage] and transported convicts. About 50 per cent of the individuals listed do not appear in Filby's Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, which is considered one of the best sources of immigrant lists. Those only suspected of being servant are excluded. Slaves and poor orphans have been filtered out. Expect to find the name, date of birth, address and occupation of servant; the colony and date of servitude; the port of departure, place of arrival, year of immigration, name of ship and length of indenture)
www.irishancestors.ie/?page_id=5392 (Irish Genealogical Research Society: Index of Townlands, 1901: Searchable database of over 64,000 townlands in Ireland which are ancient land divisions measuring from just a few acres to several hundred and still in use today)

CD Roms

Genealogical Publishing Company (Immigration/Passenger Lists/Naturalizations. Various titles including The Complete Book of Emigrants by Peter Wilson Coldham and The Collected Works of David Dobson)