Irish Surnames
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The Irish Special Interest Group has compiled an extensive database of family surnames being researched by members. At present there are over 700 surname researcher combinations in the database. Information in the database includes: Soundex code, surname being researched, and information (if known) on the family including county of residence in Ireland, port of departure from the United Kingdom, immigration date, port of arrival in America, and state of first residence. The names of the researchers have been omitted for privacy. If you find a family of interest, contact the SIG leader.

Summary tables and graphs based on the database show:

  • 46% of the families whose date of immigration to the New World is known immigrated between 1841 and 1860.
  • 36% of the families whose origin in Ireland is known at least to some extent lived in the province of Munster (south), 27% in Connaught (west), 19% in Leinster (east), and 18% in Ulster (north). The most prevalent counties of origin in Ireland are Cork, Galway, Mayo, Limerick, and Tipperary.
  • 44% of families whose port of departure is known sailed from Liverpool and 15% from Queenstown.
  • 48% of families whose port of arrival is known immigrated through the port of New York and 20% through New Orleans.
  • 60% of families whose state of first residence is known first settled in the Midwest.

 

The database can provide valuable clues for those still researching a family surname, such as relationship between county of residence in Ireland and port of departure and relationship between port of arrival and state of first residence. For example, it shows that most of the families who first settled in Missouri and Illinois arrived at the port of New York or the port of New Orleans. Most of those who first settled in Pennsylvania arrived at the port of Philadelphia or the port of New York.

 

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