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family emigrants

Ellis Island New York

Family Emigrants

The Journey to Ellis Island

What Happened on Ellis Island

History of Ellis Island


Between 1820 and 1880 some 2.8 million people emigrated from Ireland to the United States of America. In fact nearly all of the Irish immigrants in the 1840s and 1850 went to escape the terrible famine. Between 1880 and 1930 another 1.7 million Irish people entered the country. The total - 4.5 millionpeople - is the equivalent of the whole population of Ireland today.

From 1892 to 1924 more than 22 million people, immigrants - passengers and ships crew - entered the USA through Ellis Island and the Port of New York. The shipping companies that brought these people kept detailed passenger lists called "ships manifests". These manifests have been transcribed into a vast electronic archive which can be searched for individual passengers etc.

The Family Records

The first record I can find of emigrants with a Devlin connection is John Brady. John was a brother of Mary Brady who married Edward McKenna of Drumbee Crossmaglen and therefore was uncle to the seven McKenna girls. John may have emigrated before the Ellis Islands records began in 1892 although there is a record of a John Brady from Monaghan who landed 8 February 1892. I have not been able to find the original manifest which would provide more information and perhaps confirm or rule that person out. Indeed the original manifest is not likely to be available as a fire on 15 June 1897 destroyed all the immigration records back to 1840. John is named as their uncle in the manifest of the Teutonic, on which Susan and Sarah McKenna arrived on 6 October 1897.

The Emigrant's Page outlines the family members who emigrated to the USA up to 1923. The names are linked to information from the Ellis Island ship manifests. Not all of the details on the manifests are included. Where other people from the South Armagh area are identified these refer only to those on the same manifest list as the family member. Each ship had many lists, up to 100 or more, depending on the capacity of the ship and the number of passengers on board. My comments on the information and subsequent events are in a different colour.

More to Do

Clearly, this is a rich source of material for people to trace their relatives, from anywhere in the world. I will continue to quarry the material for other relatives.

Some additional information about the history of Ellis Island and the millions of immigrants who passed through it is available on the main menu.

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