Investigating Irish Immigrant Ancestors

irish immigrants

Political cartoon from 1846 depicting two Irish immigrants, courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Wow, what a jam-packed week!  I’m currently sitting at my computer, trying to hold my eyes long enough to finish my blog post.

When not on the run, I was getting started on my Irish 201 class.  We started off this week learning about Irish history and how our ancestors could have been impacted by them.  I thought I knew a little about Irish history, but I had no clue about half of the hardships, turmoil and persecution they went through.  I couldn’t imagine living in those times.  My Blake line emigrated from Ireland in the early 1830’s, so they left 5-10 years before the Potato Famine.  My Lindsay line, however, didn’t emigrate until the late 1880’s, so they would have been impacted in some way.  I also learned that there’s a chance my ancestors (and many other people) were actually Scots-Irish or English, because of invasions, foreign rule and other things.

For my Blake research, I didn’t have much time to do research, but I had enough to at least add another layer to the complexity.  Last week I talked about how Harry is potentially my Third-great-grandfather, and that he was married twice.  This week I learned that he might have been married a third time, because a 1928 city directory and FindAGrave.com referenced a Cecilia as his wife.  I’ll have to continue looking into that.

For this week, I’m excited to continue learning about Irish records & history, and am extremely psyched for the Winter Virtual Conference this coming weekend.  Once again it’ll be a busy week, but I’m looking forward to it!  Have a great weekend everyone!


Family Tree Firsts is an ongoing blog series featuring newbie genealogist Brian Parotto of Hampshire, Ill.


Here are some of the tools Brian is using to launch his genealogy education. Check them out:

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