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Source Information

Ancestry.com. Irish Immigrants: New York Port Arrival Records, 1846-1851 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2001.
Original data: Famine Irish Entry Project, 1846-1851. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration.

About Irish Immigrants: New York Port Arrival Records, 1846-1851

The disease that struck the Irish potato crop in the winter of 1845-46 brought ruin to tens of thousands of tenant farmers and labourers, reducing almost all of Ireland to poverty. In fact, in the four years between 1845 and 1848 the potato crop failed three times, causing what became known as the Great Famine. 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. Many travelled to Britain and Australia, and 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.

This database is a collection of mainly Irish immigrants whose names were extracted from the originals of New York port arrival records (Customs Passenger Lists). Those extracting the names from the passenger arrival records did so with the purpose of enumerating all Irish passengers who entered the port of New York between 1846 and 1851. Even though the goal was to only extract the "Irish" persons from the given passenger record, there are some records that have been extracted for people of other nationalities, including: England, Wales, Scotland, France, and others. However, keep in mind that often passengers were classified as citizens of the country from which their ship embarked. Thus, an Irish emigrant may have been designated as "English" if he or she travelled from the port of Liverpool.

Information from the following categories can generally be found for each of the more than 600,000 entries: Surname, Given Name, Age, Gender, Literacy, Native Country, Residence, Destination, Transit Type, Compartment, Port of Embarkation, Ship, Number of Passengers on the ship, Arrival Date, and Occupation.