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A very broad rule of thumb when researching Irish ancestors is to initially establish their religion

Religion: Wealth and Poverty in Ireland

Most indigenous Irish people of the 1800’s were Roman Catholic, who were oppressed and as a result of this subjugation, were impoverished.  They either barely survived, died of starvation and disease or emigrated.  That is not to say that poverty did not exist in families of other religions but it was much less common and was not nearly as severe.  Not all Catholics were poor either, there were some exceptions, especially in the latter half of the 19th century following Catholic Emancipation

Emigrate to Survive

Irish Born: 1851 Census

Emigrants of the 1700’s and early 1800’s were mainly non-catholic – they could afford to emigrate whereas emigration of catholics did not begin until about the mid 1800’s when they were forced to emigrate or die of starvation

Those who emigrated were either shipped there by landowners who wanted to clear their land for ‘more profitable pursuits’ (Assisted Emigration) or they left of their own accord; buying tickets with money sent home by those who went before or who managed to scrape enough together to make it to the port and aboard the boat to their destination

Emigration Routes: England or America

Destinations varied according to how much they could afford for their passage.

Liverpool’s proximity to Dublin meant that many initially took this route and from there, migrated towards any and all places were employment was available to earn their passage to America. Many didn’t achieve this goal and remained in England settling mainly in London, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, industrial towns in the midlands and mining towns in south Wales

London being a main centre of population and employment attracted many.  Not all survived, of those who did, many remained impoverished, others migrated further as soon as they got the opportunity.

Links for Irish Emigration to England

As Ireland was ruled by England during this period, movement was not regarded as emigration and was not recorded – the same applies to emigration to Canada as it too was under English rule.  This makes it more difficult to trace the movement of our Irish ancestors

Here are many links to FREE records to help trace your ancestors in England including period maps and links to FREE civil registers

London Street Maps & Parish Boundaries

Street Lists
London Streets 1891
Re-named, missing streets
Parish Maps
List of Civil Parishes City of London
List of Civil Parishes County of London
Parishes & Wards of London
London Parishes on Family Search

London: Maps, Poverty, Illness & Petty Crime

Lost Hospitals of London
Charles Booths London
London Maps
Old London Street Names
Blacksheep Ancestors

Outside London

Schoolteachers and Headmasters in Lincolnshire
Historical Directories of England & Wales
Sussex Family History Group

British Civil Records & Notices

FREE Births, Marriages, Deaths
I Announce – Obits, Deaths & Family Announcements
UK Registrations – FreeREG
Clandestine Marriages
The Gazette – Notices
UK Census – FreeCEN
Electoral Register Codes

Military Service

British War Graves
WW2 Bomb Census


Scottish Genealogy Society
Scottish Indexes
Scottish Research