Early emigrants to North America were mainly protestants or presbyterians. This changed dramatically after 1846; the majority were destitute and desperate Catholics, many of whom spoke only Irish or a poor english. They were mainly illiterate, unskilled and isolated, forming ghetto groups for refuge among their own kind in their adopted land North America
As the Great Hunger took hold in Ireland (late 1840’s ~ early 1850’s), Irish immigration to America came via the Atlantic to the East Coast Ports (Boston, New York, Philadelphia) and over land/sea from Canada, then known as British North America
There is one main exception to this claim where emigration was sustained over a much longer period and concentrated from a small area. Emigration occurred from the south-east of Ireland – counties, Waterford, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Wexford and to a lesser degree Carlow from as early as the late 1600’s of mostly Catholics. Initially, this was seasonal migration to work on the fishing boats and in the fish processing works on the Grand Banks and in Talamh on Éisc (Newfoundland). Permanent settlement became more the norm from the late 1700’s. View an archived video of those who made this land their permanent home.
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***The Castle Garden database also includes a sizeable collection of records dating from 1830 for other ports in America. These records are not segregated and must be verified with port of entry either by searching the microfilm of the ships manifest at NARA or through $$$ Ancestry – Available microfilm & number http://www.genesearch.com/ports.html
IRISH EMIGRANTS THROUGH NEW YORK – Dates: https://www.facebook.com/groups/IrelandGenealogyandHeritage/permalink/1480027805629462/