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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 2003-01 > 1041814548

From: "Linda Merle" <>
Subject: Re: [Scotch-Irish] Charitable Irish Society
Date: Sun, 5 Jan 2003 16:56:56 -0800

Hi Richard,

The MASS Historical Society has a website:

A search of its on line catalog for Charitable Irish Society
showed up several items.

Description of one:
Charitable Irish Society records, 1737-1939; bulk: 1900-1939.
Physical Description: 23 volumes and folders and 32 boxes. PRELIMINARY ARRANGEMENT ONLY.
Scope: The records of the Charitable Irish Society of Boston consist of the archives of the Society for the 200 years from its founding in 1737. Among the papers is the Society's earliest record book, 1737-1804, containing the constitution and by-laws, rules and orders, list of members, and miscellaneous financial transactions. Later volumes, 1804-1937, include minutes of monthly and annual meetings, committee reports, membership lists, memoirs of deceased members, and treasurer's accounts.
(cont.) There are 30 boxes of correspondence relating to Society functions, finances, meetings, and membership, together with printed notices, menus, transcripts of speeches, and copies of the Society's history. Other items of note include records of the Roman Catholic Youth's Society, 1831-1842; a collection of memorabilia; a manuscript Gaelic dictionary; reports and correspondence concerning the Society's interest in 19th and 20th century immigration to Massachusetts; the March 18, 1912 visit of President Taft to Boston; and information on prominent members such as Robert Auchmuty, Patrick A. Collins, James Michael Curley, Patrick Donohoe, John F. Fitzgerald, James McGee, Daniel Malcolm, Hugh O'Brien, John C. Park and Peter Pelham.

I checked the same in, website of
the NEHGS. It has the bylaws and some organizational info.
I googled it and found this:

You need to be aware that Boston is probably the origin of the
controversy over The Name. Which one? Not Scotch/Scots! Nope,
Irish/Scotch-Irish, via Michael O'Brien, a highly respected and
often published genealogist at NEHGS. His name is spoken of with
awe among the Boston Irish today. I attended (and lectured ) at
the September 2002 two Day Irish genealogy conference co authored
by TIARA and NEHGS and his name was uttered in the same tone as
the Pope's. I was a little worried I'd say something contradicting
this local saint and get tossed out on my ear!

I've read his books. He's not always right, but who is? He mistook
my CLINTONs of County Longford, so English their grandfather was
the Earl of Lincoln with an Irish family of Clintons. He covers
the early Irish in Pittsburgh very well. Pittsburgh was Irish before
it was Scotch-Irish.

This webpage has a bit of history:

It shows it was created in 1737 for Protestant Irish but by 1742
was accepting wealthy Irish Catholics into its membership.

I suspect that the names of the early members are in Michael
O'Brien's book on Pioneer Irish of New England or in one of the
other books on them. I just checked the NEGHS circulating
catalog -- 3 books on them. (
Probably cheaper to join and borrow the books than to hire
someone to go through the archives.


Linda Merle

---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
Date: Sun, 5 Jan 2003 08:19:25 EST

>Howard Black called our attention to the records of the Charitable Irish
>Society and its primarily Scotch-Irish members. The manuscript records of
>the society from 1737 through 1937 are at the Massachusetts Historical
>Society located at 1154 Boylston Street in Boston. (I haven't been there
>since 1962 but it was a wonderful place for research then.)
>Is there a printed history of the Society that might include the names of
>members? I was unable to find one using the Library of Congress on-line
>catalogue, but I'd be surprised if there isn't one. I vaguely recall seeing
>something published by the Charitable Irish Society around 1900 with names
>and short biographies.
>Could someone in the Boston area check for the title of a book about the
>Charitable Irish Society?
>If the names/biographies of early members are not available in published
>form, that would be a valuable project for a Boston-area researcher.
>All the best,

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