Irish Last Name

Tracing an Irish last name can to take you back to the mid-nineteenth century, when steamers and sailing ships crossed the ocean with courageous immigrants seeking a new life in a new land.

The great wave of Irish immigration to the United States, Canada, and Australia began during the Potato Famine of the late 1840s.  During those famine years, at least one million of Ireland's population of eight million died of hunger or disease.  Another million left their country to find other homes.  In the second half of the 1840s, about half of all immigrants to the United States were Irish.  Although the immigration rate slowed after 1850, it remained substantial for many more years.

Entire families crossed the Atlantic on overcrowded ships.  The ships came to the great Atlantic ports of Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York.  When Ellis Island opened in 1892, the very first immigrant to be processed had an Irish last name: Annie Moore, a 15-year-old girl from Ireland, who was accompanied by her two brothers.

Your Irish last name may be traceable through a variety of historical documents.  Ships' registries may list the profession, birthplace, age, and marital status as well as name and intended destination of your ancestor.  Church records may give dates of baptisms, marriages, and burials.  Census records list residence, profession, age, and often more.

An Irish last name may lead you back to a poet, a soldier, a farmer, a politician, but it will surely lead you to a family with the strength and courage to start fresh in a different world.  Discover the roots of your Irish last name on, the original Internet family tree.  You can rapidly add new branches to your tree.

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