View Full Version : Irish migration

Louis the fly
8th January 2015, 12:31 PM
In the years of famine in Ireland thousands of men, women & children opted for a new life in the U.S.
Patrick & Catherine McCarty lived for a time in the slums of New York where their son Henry was born. Patrick died shorty after and Catherine took Henry on the long journey to the new lands of the west. They eventually settled in New Mexico hoping the dry desert air would cure her of consumption, she also remarried. When Henry was 15 his mother died, the step father who had never showed any interest in the boy kicked him out. Henry survived by hustling and card playing in the saloons until a local bully picked on the small, skinny boy. He lay on the floor being beaten up then reached for the man's gun and shot him in the stomach, the man died the following day. Henry escaped and changed his name to William Bonny and so began the legend of Billy the Kid.

8th January 2015, 01:20 PM
also aussie was filled with a irish dissidents ...also other brits for various crimes as we know.....there is a book called the fatal shore about these folks .....it is a big thick book and the reading is .....as the best i have ever read....it is heart rending and magnificent.......a true from records list of happenings .....cannibalism and true hardship .....leading to the birth of this great country....cappy

Louis the fly
8th January 2015, 03:43 PM
For the past few weeks I have been researching my family history. I never met my grandparents and didn't ask questions of the past from my mother or father. Searching through old records I found my mothers family were Irish. Many Irishmen found themselves fighting and killing each other as they took sides in the American Civil War.
Looking at the U.K. census records shows what a hard life our ancestors had, six or more children plus lodgers all living in tiny two up and two down houses, no bathroom and perhaps sharing an outside toilet with neighbours. Children being shipped off to Canada, America and Australia. Some may have prospered for others it must have been hell depending on which house or institution they ended up in.

Captain Kong
8th January 2015, 03:59 PM
The Fatal Shore is a book to read. The suffering of the convicts was appalling.
I think after one ship load, about six hundred , after six months only one was still alive.

9th January 2015, 12:49 AM
#3 Louis, The clip below is of a brilliant place to visit to give you a real flavour of how your ancestors may have experienced life before leaving Ireland for America. Purpose built village around 22 buildings to visit before voyage, then moke up of the ship itself and conditions aboard. The sights, sounds [different accents] and smells of the dockside on arrival and all that entailed.Took my mum and her sister there a few years ago and hoping to return soon. Tremendous day out, wear comfortable shoes:) Pity Liverpool, Glasgow etc do not have similar.

Ulster American Folk Park - National Museums Northern ...
Ulster American Folk Park - National Museums Northern Ireland (http://www.nmni.com/uafp)

Jim Brady
9th January 2015, 09:18 AM
About 20 years ago Merseyside Maritime Museum had a great exhibition titled The New World.It opened up with a display of an Irish farm,you then walked into a Liverpool cobbled street with lodging houses,full size model of a man with cart for luggage.All the way through the exhibition it told the story.you then walk aboard a ship people are laying in bunks moaning,you have the noise of the boat etc.You then walk through a door and you are faced with what would've been the New York Skyline all brightly lit like a summers day and in big letters The New World.You can just imagine how these poor people must have felt.

Jim Brady
9th January 2015, 11:54 AM
Here's another story,worth a read.
The History Place - Irish Potato Famine: Coffin Ships (http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/famine/coffin.htm)

Captain Kong
9th January 2015, 12:12 PM
A few years ago my brother and I were sat at a table on that emigrant deck near those bunks, we sat motionless in the dim lights, not moving, and then some women walked in, One said ` the dummies in here are so life like` and as they got close we jumped up and the women ran out screaming. They had a laugh after.
Very good exhibition.

Jim Brady
9th January 2015, 12:19 PM
Yes Brian that happened quite a lot,I thought a guy that did that was part of the exhibition.

Louis the fly
9th January 2015, 01:42 PM
Hi Jim you will remember this, when we were kids the living room of a house was called the kitchen and the kitchen was the back kitchen.
If you had a parlour it was always kept for best and never used.
In the winter the first up lit the coal fire, the only form of heating for the whole house. It all seems strange now but back then was normal.
For our parents this must have been luxury compared to what they had grown up in.

Jim Brady
9th January 2015, 02:09 PM
Yes Louis the old coal fire (that's when you could get coal to put on it) my father and older sisters would be up and out to work us three younger lads would still be in bed.My mother didn't like getting us up for school until she had the fire going unfortunately, God rest her soul,she was hopeless at lighting the fire consequently we were late for school every day and had to stick our hands out for "six of the best" which didn't half hurt in the winter.The front parlour was always kept for the best,we thought we were realy posh but there wasn't anybody around in those days to tell us that we weren't.Nobody ever got their head around that we were freezing because of the draught,about a half inch gap under all of the doors never mind what came through the window frames.Outside toilet lead pipe burst every winter and had to be flattened with the hammer,then wait for the landlords man to come around and repair it.Did'nt people know about a simple thing like lagging a pipe in those days.Hard times but happy times we knew no better.

Captain Kong
9th January 2015, 03:39 PM
We were the same Jim,
We didn't know we were poor, everyone was the same, had nowt. so no one to compare with.
Candle Alley where I was born in 1935. It was a condemned slum in the 30s, 2 up 2 down, no bathroom and a toilet, a plank with a hole cut out, over the midden at the bottom of the yard. The Night soil men came around during the night once a week to shovel it out. Candle Alley has all gone. Demolished. In its place, just an empty patch of ground with a large fence around and a sign, “Proposed site for the Al Makkah Mosque”
Just a big iron grate for the fire with an oven at the side that we cooked on, one cold water tap in the back kitchen, Stone floors that were bleddy cold, and a peg rug we made ourselves to sit on. We only had two chairs. the Man from the Parish made dad sell them, kids can stand at the table. said the Man. no electricity, just one gas mantle in the front kitchen, candles in the back and the two bedrooms. No wireless, Very cold with Jack Frost painting ferns in the ice on the windows upstairs. Don't see that these days.
A house brick wrapped in cloth in the fireside oven and take it to bed to keep us warm under the WW1 Army overcoat on the bed,
Had to go to the local bathhouse for the weekly bath old three pennies, five inches of water, a piece of soap and a towel, so three of us in the bath together and using the one towel.
We had no keys to lock the doors, there was nothing to steal, a burglar might have felt sorry for us and left a donation.
No food banks or any kind of benefit at all then. Even a doctor had to be paid if we took sick, Usually a grandma would act as a doctor. A spoon of Brimstone and treacle, a spoon of syrup of figs and you would be OK.
Bad Chest ? a hand full of goose grease slapped on the chest would cure it.
We would scramble over the tip collecting clinker from the furnaces from the mills to put on the fire.
A good taty ash, [similar to blind scouse.] for the evening meal, porridge in the morning. No free school meals then.

The don't know they are born today , I say , they don't know they are born.

Jim Brady
9th January 2015, 07:28 PM
Brian,nothing to burgle,the saying around where I was brought up was if the house was being left unattended "someone might break in and scrub out"!!!

Lou Barron
10th January 2015, 01:03 AM
Yes Jim we was to poor to have anything to steal

Des Taff Jenkins
10th January 2015, 02:43 AM
Hi Lou.
When we came over here in 1972 we stayed in a hotel up Kings cross, couldn't stay there long as it was dear, so we rented a house out in a place called Winston hills, but our furniture was stuck on the wharf in Sydney due to a strike. so we bought a couple of mattresses and just used to stand up at the kitchen bench to eat.
Anyway two days after we moved in the neighbors who both worked; came and asked us if we had seen anyone hanging around during the day as they had been burgled, I said no but come in the kids might have seen someone, when they came in they gasped my god they cleaned you out, as the place was bare. We had a good laugh thinking that if they had burgled us they would have left us something maybe.
Cheers Des