Irish Emigration Records

North America Emigration

For those of Irish descent wishing to find their Irish ancestors by trying to locate emigration records in Irelands, will soon discover that no centralised records of emigration exist. For most counties of the world where the Irish emigrated to, and in particular North America, passenger lists were left at the port of arrival. In general, the authorities were more concerned with recording those entering a country than those leaving. Records of Irish passengers arriving at the numerous ports in North America date from 1820. These records do not contain much information, that is, until the 'Immigration Passenger Lists' were required from each arrival since 1883.

Australia and New Zealand Emigration

For those who arrived in Australia and New Zealand, there is a lot more information. Because of the vast distance, very few could afford the journey and whether assisted free settlers or transported convicts, their particulars are well documented. The punishment of transportation to Australia and New Zealand by Irish Assizes lasted from 1791 to 1853. The only transportation after 1853 concerning Irish natives took place in 1868, when sixty-three Fenians were sent from from England to Western Australia, aboard the last convict ship sent from English shores. Not all records have survived especially of those before 1836, but was does exist can provide a wealth of information. Many of the transportation records are kept at the National Archives in Dublin. The principal classes of relevant records are as follows:

Prisoners Petitions and Cases. 1788-1836.

These consist of petitions to the Lord Lieutenant for communication or remission of sentence, and record the crime, trial, sentence, place of origin and family circumstances.

State Prisoners' Petitions 1798

These specifically concern those arrested for participation in the 1798 rebellion, and record the same information as the main series of petitions.

Convict Reference Files, from 1836

These continue the earlier petitions series and include a wide range of information

Transportation Registers from 1836

These record all the names of those sentenced to death or transportation, giving the name, age, date and county of trial, crime and sentence. Other details, including the name of the transport ship or the place of detention, are sometimes also given.

Male Convict Register 1842-47

In addition to the information supplied to the Transportation Registers, this volume also records physical description.

Register of Convicts on Convict Ships 1851-1853

This gives the names, dates and counties of trial of those transported to Van Dieman's Land and Western Australia for the period covered.

Free Settlers' Papers 1828-52

After serving a minimum of four years, male convicts had the right to request a free passage for their wife and family. The papers contain lists of those making such a request, along with transportation details and the name and address of the wife. A number of petitions from husbands and wives, and prisoners' letters are also included.

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Major Sources of Irish Ancestry

Church Records Land Records Directories
Registry of Deeds Wills Emigration Records
Newspapers

Genealogy Sources for each Irish County

Antrim Armagh Carlow Cavan
Clare Cork Derry (Londonderry) Donegal
Down Dublin Fermanagh Galway
Kerry Kildare Kilkenny Laois
Leitrim Limerick Longford Louth
Mayo Meath Monaghan Offaly
Roscommon Sligo Tipperary Tyrone
Waterford Westmeath Wexford Wicklow

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OUR PRELIMINARY RESEARCH IS NOW REDUCED

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