Irish Passenger Lists
Official (outbound) passenger lists from Ireland exist from 1890 and they are held in the Board of Trade records (reference BT27) in the National Archives, Kew, Surrey, England (www.nationalarchives.gov.uk). These lists are arranged monthly by port of departure.
164,000 original passenger lists that name 24 million long-haul passengers who left from 35 ports in the British Isles (including Ireland until the partition of the country in 1921) between 1890 and 1960, are searchable online at www.ancestorsonboard.com These passenger lists (which record UK addresses from 1922) are searchable by name, port, ship and date.
As a general rule, prior to 1890, you are more likely to identify passengers at the port of arrival as opposed to the port of departure. You need to check the website of the appropriate National Archives:
National Archives and Records Administration in the USA www.archives.gov
Library and Archives Canada www.collectionscanada.gc.ca
National Archives of Australia www.naa.gov.au
Archives New Zealand www.archives.govt.nz
In the USA, official arrival records of immigrants were kept from 1820. Ancestry.com’s ‘US Immigration Collection’ (www.ancestry.com) contains indexes to passenger lists of ships arriving from foreign ports to all major ports from 1820 forward. Information contained in the index includes: given name, surname, age, gender, ethnicity, nationality or last country of permanent residence, destination, arrival date, port of arrival, port of departure and ship name. The names in the index are linked to images of the passenger lists.
The Immigration Collection also names 16.3 million passengers arriving in the UK (from foreign ports outside of Europe) between 1878 and 1960; 8.4 million ‘unassisted’ immigrants to New South Wales, Australia from 1826 to 1922; 1.6 million Assisted/Unassisted Immigrants to Victoria, Australia , 450,000 ‘assisted’ immigrants to New South Wales from 1828-1896 and various other smaller Australian collections; and 7.3 million passengers arriving at Canadian ports between 1865 and 1935.
A database of published arrival records to North America in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries has been compiled in the Passenger and Immigration Lists Index. This index to 4.5 million immigrants who arrived in ports in what are now the United States and Canadian from the 1500s can be accessed in the ‘US Immigration Collection’.
The Immigrant Ships Transcribers’ Guild has transcribed over 61,000 passenger lists on their website, with work ongoing at www.immigrantships.net
By the mid-19th century, 70% of Irish emigrants entered the US through New York. The bulk of these passengers to New York are recorded on two websites:
www.castlegarden.org for arrivals prior to 1892
www.ellisisland.org for 1892 to 1924.
www.famineships.info contains almost 400,000 records of individuals from Ireland who passed through various ports such as New York, Boston, Baltimore, New Orleans, etc. No fees apply on this website.
Passenger departure lists naming Derry emigrants have been extracted from four different sources for the years 1803-1806, 1833-1839 and 1847-1871, and published in three books by the Genealogical Publishing Company.
- Irish Passenger Lists 1847-1871: Lists of Passengers Sailing from Londonderry to America on Ships of the J & J Cooke Line and the McCorkell Line by Brian Mitchell (Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1988)
This book, with index, records the names and addresses of 22,199 emigrants who sailed on J & J Cooke ships, between 1847 and 1867, from Derry to Canada (Saint John, New Brunswick and Quebec) and USA (Philadelphia); and of 5,184 emigrants who sailed on ships of William McCorkell & Co., between 1864 and 1871, from Derry to Philadelphia and New York. On the return voyage J & J Cooke ships were usually loaded with a cargo of timber and McCorkell ships with grain.
- Irish Emigration lists 1833-1839: Lists of Emigrants Extracted from the Ordnance Survey Memoirs for Counties Londonderry and Antrim by Brian Mitchell (Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1989)
This book identifies, by townland and parish, the names and destinations of 1,922 emigrants and of 270 seasonal migrants (travelling to harvest work in England or Scotland) who departed Counties Antrim and Derry in the years 1833 to 1839.
- Irish Passenger Lists 1803-1806: Lists of Passengers Sailing from Ireland to America Extracted from the Hardwicke Papers by Brian Mitchell (Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1995)
This book identifies 4,500 emigrants in 109 sailings from Irish ports to USA between March 1803 and March 1806. The top four departure ports were Dublin, with 28 sailings, then Derry with 26, Belfast 22 and Newry 19.