IRISH-IN-CHICAGO-L ArchivesArchiver > IRISH-IN-CHICAGO > 2006-05 > 1148013097
From: dan hogan <>
Subject: Re: Ireland to Chicago
Date: Thu, 18 May 2006 21:31:37 -0700 (PDT)
Excellent thread here on a research method and all
excellent answers. This method is referred to as the
Cluster Method, which worked for me in tumbling my
The main idea is to assume that Irish, and for that
matter many others, immigrated to certain places
because they knew people there, mostly relatives from
the old home, so to speak.
So when you find an ancestor, say in a census, assume
that those also in the same home are related. Also
look at the neighbors, many will also be related. As I
said prior, these assumptions worked for me as many
others I have corresponded over the years. This also
works in cemetery plots where different surnames are
Now this only works for later waves of immigrants,
after the Famine. Pre-Famine Irish did not, as a rule,
immigrate to places where relatives were. So why did
they seem to choose places like Chicago, St. Louis,
NY, Boston, Eastern Canada, etc ? The answer has been
mentioned in this thread over the last couple of days
about where immigrant ports were located, but there is
one more aspect to this.
Irish, unlike other European immigrants, faced
religious descrimination in many places in the new
world. Catholics were not welcome in many "Protestant"
cities and areas so they went where Catholics were
tollerated. Many of these places are in today's
Midwest and Canada because they were once owned by
Spain and/or France, both Catholic countries,
therefore, tollerance and acceptance of Catholics go
all the way back to the very foundation of those
Midwest and Canadian cities. For example St. Louis,
MO, founded by the French, had a Catholic cathedral
and therefore an in-place Catholic institution as
early as the 1820's.
> Good question! I have Michael and Mary McDermott.
> Very common Irish names, along with Thomas and Alice
> Kerr, John J. O'Toole, my McEvoy (McAvoy) line.
> Then, there is the
> Hennessey/Morrissey/Ledwell/Kearney line which came
> from Newfoundland.
> I have yet to find my relatives on any ship's
> manifest. There are many Michael and Mary
> McDermotts, but not together. The same goes for the
> rest of my relatives.
> I have wondered also how they arrived in Chicago.
> Not only how they arrived, but why did they choose
> Chicago over Dubuque, St. Louis, or Philadelphia or
> any other city? Did they have relations in Chicago?
> Who were those relations?
> Of course, these are the questions we all ask, but
> it doesn't hurt to verbalize them. Again, a good
> question, Cece.
> Bill Karr in Peoria, IL., USA
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Cece
> Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2006 1:40 pm
> Subject: [Irish in Chicago] Ireland to Chicago?
> > If a person came to America (specifically Chicago)
> from Ireland
> > in 1880,
> > which city would have been the most likely
> arriving destination?
> > Would they
> > have traversed by train or horse and buggy to
> > MY GG Grandmother had such a common name (Bridget
> Breen), that
> > even if I
> > found a Bridget Breen on a ships manifest, what
> criteria is
> > available to
> > make sure it is the right Bridget?
> > TY------------Cece