With St. Patrick’s Day upon us and the popularity of genealogy reaching new heights, now seems like an ideal time to explore one’s Irish heritage. The Southern History Department has plenty of resources, both in print and online, to help you get started.
Learning about the history of Irish immigration to the United States is a good first step. The website the Irish Genealogy Toolkit has a good overview of Irish immigration, including a handy chart detailing the number of immigrants by county for a small period of time. While the Irish have been moving to American almost from the beginning, the most well-known wave of Irish immigration took place during the mid-nineteenth century. The infamous Potato Famine occurred from 1845-1852 causing the deaths of one million people and spurring just as many to leave Ireland for other lands. An excellent source to begin your research with is the The Famine Immigrants, a multi-volume set listing the name, age, sex, occupation, date of arrival, port of embarkation, and the name of the ship of Irish immigrants to New York from 1846-1851.
If you suspect you have an Irish ancestor, census records can often confirm this for you. Beginning in 1850, the census asks for the place of birth of every individual and several later ones ask for the place of birth of their mother and father. Don’t forget to check county histories for information about early settlers to a particular area and their origins.
The website familysearch.org and the database ancestry.com both have numerous indexes relating to Ireland. Familysearch.org is a free database and the Library maintains a subscription to ancestry.com that can be accessed in any location of the Birmingham Public Library. Our new subject guide Irish Genealogy/Ancestry has links to even more resources and web sites. Enjoy.
Submitted by M.B. Newbill
Southern History Department
Did you attend elementary school in Birmingham? Are you searching for historical information about local schools? If so, we have good ne...
Registration is now open for staff and the public for the July 2015 Classes . All classes are held in the Regional Library Computer Center...
by David Blake, Fiction Department, Central Library Leonardo da Vinci Walter Isaacson Our enduring image of Leonardo is one he created ...
Keep up-to-date with your library account on your mobile phone using the library's Shoutbomb text messaging service. Sign up using ...
Library STEM Programs Combine Fun and Creativity to Teach Critical Thinking and Tech Skills to Children and Teensby Mark Skinner, East Ensley Branch Library One of the great things about the Birmingham Public Library System is its commitment to chi...