Irish immigration to North America can be said to have commenced in earnest with the “Scotch-Irish” in 1718. By comparison, 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 West Indies. By the early 18th century, however, the Irish were the largest immigrant group to settle in the thirteen American colonies. During this period most immigrants to America were Presbyterians from the north of Ireland, though this would change dramatically in the 19th century. The greatest Irish exodus to America occurred between the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 and the conclusion of the potato famine in 1851. During that span around one million left Ireland, mainly for North America but also in smaller numbers for Australia, as well as for the industrializing towns of Britain. Most of those bound for North America sailed from Irish ports, though others went via Liverpool or Glasgow.
This volume is based on primary sources located in Ireland, the United States, Canada, Scotland, England, and the West Indies. Such primary sources include manuscripts, newspapers and journals, monumental inscriptions, and government records. The author has arranged the list of roughly 1,000 new persons in this volume alphabetically by the emigrant’s surname and, in the majority of cases, provides most of the following particulars: date of birth, name of ship, occupation in Ireland, reason for emigration, sometimes place of origin in Ireland, place of disembarkation in the New World, date of arrival, number of persons in the household, and the source of the information.