Irish immigration to North America can be said to have commenced in earnest in the early eighteenth century, with the Scots-Irish in 1718. There had been some Irish settlement–some involuntary–in the English colonies along the Atlantic coast in the late seventeenth century; at that time, however, much more significant numbers of Irish people could already be found in the English colonies in the West Indies and, to a limited degree, in the Dutch colonies there. For example, the island of Montserrat was almost entirely an Irish settlement. Oliver Cromwell dispatched shiploads of Irish prisoners of war to the Caribbean. There was significant trade between Ireland and the West Indies during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, which led to settlement there, especially by indentured servants or by felons banished to the colonies. Some Irish men and women also immigrated to America and the West Indies via English ports such as Bristol, Liverpool, and London. By the eighteenth century the Irish comprised the largest group of immigrants from Britain to settle in the Thirteen Colonies.
The information in this book is based on information from sources–primarily located in Ireland, the United States, Canada, Scotland, and the West Indies–concerning individuals who vacated Ireland for the promise of the New World between roughly 1670 and 1830. Sources include manuscripts, newspapers and journals, monumental inscriptions, and government records. For each person identified we are given the full name, whereabouts, a date, and the source. In many cases the entries also provide the ship traveled on, occupation, name(s) of parents and/or spouse, where buried, etc.
As with some of the other volumes in this series, researchers will discover that a number of the 1,300 immigrants named here left Ireland prior to 1775.