Pioneer Irish in New England


Author: O'Brien, Michael J.
Publication Date: 1937
Reprint Date: 1998
Pages: 325 pp.
ISBN: 9780806347905


In this book, Dr. O’Brien extends his thesis, begun in A Hidden Phase of American History, that numerous Irishmen participated in the American Revolution, by demonstrating that the Irish were represented in the American colonies from the beginning of the colonial period. The author has combed through passenger lists, tax lists, marriage records, church records, and military records, as well as secondary sources such as James Savage’s Genealogical Dictionary of New England, to unearth a plethora of references to persons of Irish birth or descent among the colonists of New England. Thus in one instance the author has located Cormac Annis from Enniskillen, Ireland in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1666; in another it is Charles McCarthy, one of the founders of East Greenwich, Rhode Island; and in still another we find two Irishmen named Bryan prospering as merchants in Connecticut in the 17th century. Here is a list of Irish soldiers who took part in King William’s War; there is a list of Irish settlers in York County, Maine; everywhere there are references to persons of stated or inferred Irish heritage. O’Brien has even found a witch of Irish origin, one Ann Glover who was sentenced and hanged for practicing witchcraft in 1688. Appended to the body of the volume are two alphabetically arranged lists of New England’s Irish in the 17th and 18th centuries, giving the individual’s name, the town where the record may be found, and the date of the record. Finally, the complete name index to the work makes it simple to find any of the more than 2,000 New England Irish referred to throughout the volume.

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