GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 2006-03 > 1143587534
Subject: Scots-Irish to New England as early as 1634 - Massachusetts
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 18:12:14 EST
While the historians usually give all the credit to England and to
Englishmen for the early colonization of New England, whose results have been attended
with such important consequences to America and the civilized world, Ireland
and her sons can also claim a large part in the development of this
territory, as is evidenced by the town, land, church and other colonial records, and
the names of pioneers, as well as the names given to several of the early
That the Irish had been coming to New England almost from the beginning of
the English colonization is indicated by an "Order" entered in the
Massachusetts record under date of September 25, 1634, granting liberty to "the
Scottishe and Irishe gentlemen who intend to come hither, to sitt down in any place
upp Merimacke river."
Scotch and Irish - 1636
This, doubtless, referred to a Scotch and Irish company which, about that
time, had announced its intention of founding a settlement on the Merrimac. It
comprised in all 140 passengers who embarked in the Eagle Wing, from
Carrickfergus in September, 1636, bringing with them a considerable quantity of
equipment and merchandise to meet the exigencies of their settlement in the new
country. The vessel, however, never reached its destination and was obliged to
return to Ireland on account of Atlantic storms, and there is no record of a
renewed attempt. In the Massachusetts records of the year 1640 (vol I, p. 295)
is another entry relating to "the persons come from Ireland," and in the
Town Books of Boston may be seen references to Irishmen who were residents of
the town in that year.
From local histories, which in many cases are but verbatim copies of the
original entries in the Town Books, we get occasional glimpses of the Irish who
were in the colony of Massachusetts Bay between this period and the end of
the century. For example, between 1640 and 1660, such names as O'neill, Sexton,
Gibbons, Lynch, Keeney, Kelly and Hogan appear on the Town records of
Hartford, and one of the first schoolmasters who taught the children of the
Puritans in New Haven was an Irishman named William Collins, who, in the year 1640,
came there with a number of Irish refugees from Barbados Island.
Joseph Collins - Lynn, Mass. 1635
In Irishman named Joseph Collins with his wife and family came to Lynn,
Mass., in 1635.
Richard Duffy & Matthias Curran at Ipswich, 1633
Richard Duffy and Matthias Curran were at Ipswich in 1633. John Kelly came
to Newbury in 1635 with the first English settlers of the town. David O'Killia
(or O'Kelly) was a resident of Old Yarmouth in 1657, and I find on various
records of that section a great number of people named Kelley, who probably
were descended from David O'Killia.
Peter O'Kelly - Dorchester 1696.
Peter O'Kelly and his family are mentioned as of Dorchester in 1696. At
Springfield in 1656 there were families named Riley and O'Dea; and Richard Burke,
said to be of the Mayo family of that name, is mentioned prominently in
Middlesex County as early as 1670. The first legal instrument of record in
Hampden County was a deed of conveyance in the year 1683 to one Patrick Riley of
lands in Chicopee. With a number of his countrymen, Riley located in this
vicinity and gave the name of "Ireland Parish" to their settlement.
John Molooney & Daniel MacGuiness - Woburn, Mass. 1676
John Molooney and Daniel MacGuiness were at Woburn in 1676, and Michael
Bacon, "an Irishman", of Woburn, fought in King Philip's war in 1675.
John Joyce of Lynn, Mass. 1637
John Joyce was at Lynn in 1637, and I find the names of Willyam Heally,
William Reyle, William Barrett, and Roger Burke signed to a petition to the
General Court of Massachusetts on August 17, 1664.
Maccarty, Gleason, Coggan, Lawler, Kelly, Hurley, MacQuade, MaClearly -
Cambridge, Mass. 1690
Such names as Maccarty, Gleason, Coggan, Lawler, Kelly, Hurley, MackQuade,
and McCleary also appear on the Cambridge Church records down to 1690. These
are but desultory instances of the first comers among the Irish to
Massachusetts, selected from a great mass of similar data.
Source: below and much more at