The blight that struck the Irish potato crop in the winter of 1845-46 brought ruin to tens of thousands of tenant farmers and laborers, reducing almost all of Ireland to poverty. Making matters worse, very few farmers owned their own land or even held title to their humble dwellings, so when the crop failed they had scarcely any resources to call on. As a result, countless people faced the choice of leaving Ireland or perishing. In fact, between 1846 and 1851, more than a million men, women, and children emigrated to the United States and Canada, mostly through the port of New York.
The information on these people exists in an invaluable series of port arrival records, the Customs Passenger Lists. Until recently, however, these passenger lists were unpublished and only partially indexed and lay well out of the reach of the average researcher, the more so since they are not classified by nationality. To bring those records dealing with Irish immigrants within the range of the researcher, The Famine Immigrants series was conceived for the purpose of enumerating all Irish passengers who entered the port of New York between 1846 and 1851. There are seven volumes in this series.
The passenger lists found in The Famine Immigrants are arranged by ship and date of arrival in New York, and each person is identified with respect to age, sex, occupation, and family relationships where such was indicated in the original manifests. Additionally, every volume boasts of an extensive index containing all of the passenger names in the text.
In the six-month period covered in this volume, April 1849-September 1849, over 80,000 Irish men, women, and children arrived in New York, twice as many as in the previous six months, and all of the data located on them is provided, and their names are all indexed.