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Here we look at Irish Emigration and how to research your Irish ancestors depending on where they emigrated to. Read on, for a summary of the webinar and to see our recommendations for conducting your own Irish family history research.

Creating Connections Irish Emigration Resource List

"From Ireland’s Shores" was delivered by IrelandXO Volunteer Coordinator, Jane Halloran Ryan.

The webinar touched on the following subjects:

  • Emigration is a process that affects almost every family in Ireland

  • As a result, there is an Irish diaspora of 70+ million all over the world.

  • Step Migration – emigrate to one area for a period of time and then to another area

  • Chain Migration – where groups of individuals, families, neighbours emigrate to another area together or one after another.

Where can we find out where our ancestors went?

  • Ship’s Lists

  • Passenger Lists

  • Bounty Lists/Convict Lists

  • Assisted Emigration Schemes

Following this, sources were introduced that might be useful when researching Irish immigrants, depending on where they went to. Below is a list of resources that were mentioned during the webinar session

Free Online Resources

The Ships List

This website is a volunteer transcription site of ship lists, passenger lists, and shipwrecks which is continuously being updated with new material.

The Ships List

Dunbrody Famine Experience

This site is the Dunbrody Famine Museum in County Wexford.  They have created a database of Irish emigrants as part of their exhibit and it is available online.

Dunbrody Emigration Database

Family Search

The FamilySearch website is a free site that contains a large collection of records from all over the world.  Using the Map will assist with narrowing down a search to a specific location.


Use the Map to search by location

Steve Morse Genealogy

This website is a free site that contains a large number of emigration records from various ports in Ireland and Canada.  It does not contain Australian links, but its special search form is worth using for research.

Steve Morse

Ellis Island Passenger Lists

This is the official Ellis Island website which contains lists of the passenger ships which arrived into Ellis Island from 1892-1955.  

Liberty Ellis Foundation

Castle Garden (Battery Park)

This is the official Castle Garden website which was the port for New York emigration prior to Ellis Island.  The records listed are from 1820-1890. 

Castle Garden

Emigration to Canada

Library and Archives Canada

The links below contain information about emigration into Canada which is available to view online through the Library and Archives Canada website.  This website contains a large collection of records and data sets and is another site that is being updated regularly.

Passenger Lists 1865-1922

Lists of emigrants between 1865-1922 to Canada. 

Passenger Lists 1865-1922

Passenger Lists for Grosse-Ile 1832-1837

Lists of emigrants to Gross-Ile between 1832-1937

Passenger Lists Grosse Ile

Passenger Lists pre-1865

This link contains lists of emigrants before 1865 when emigration records were not as strictly noted. 

Passenger Lists Grosse Ile pre-1865

Emigration to the UK

Census Returns

The Census Returns for the UK are one of the best ways to try to find emigrants who left Ireland and may have stayed temporarily in the UK before emigrating further.  

This site is a free to view site for the UK Census returns that are available online.  There is a cost to download.

UK Census Online 

This is a free to view site for the UK Census returns but it is also free to download however, not all returns may be available. 


Repatriation Lists/Vagrant Passes

The notion of Vagrant passes and Repatriation lists is dealt with below in Claire Santry’s excellent genealogy blog.  These lists are available through Ancestry. 

Claire Santry's Blog

Emigration to Australia

State Archives & Records Australia

The Australian State Archives is an excellent resource for many records and is another site that adds new material frequently.

Assisted Emigrants

This link deals with the assisted emigrants who came to Australia from 1839-1896

Assisted Immigrants Index

Bounty Emigrants

This link deals with bounty emigrants who came to Australia from 1828-1842.

Bounty Immigrants Index


This link deals with convicts who came to Australia from 1791-1873.

Convicts Indexes

Ireland-Australia Transportation Database (available through the National Archives)

This link is the Irish link through the National Archives in Dublin and it covers convict transportation from 1788 – 1868.

Transporation Database

Emigration To New Zealand

Family Search has a good collection to begin New Zealand research.  It covers the Port of Wellington only. 

New Zealand Passenger Lists 1839 - 1973

This is the New Zealand Archives which covers other ports. 

New Zealand Archives  

Emigration to Argentina

This database includes those Irish emigrants who came to Argentina.

Argentina Passenger Lists

Emigration to South Africa

Family Search has some very helpful guidance given with the link on Irish emigrants to South Africa.

South African records on Family Search

Northern Ireland Passenger Lists

J & J Cooke Shipping Line

This site was one of two major passenger lines from Northern Ireland to Canada and the U.S.

Olive Tree Genealogy

McCorkell Line

Brian Mitchell book:  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

This link leads to Brian Mitchell’s book about the McCorkell line and the J & J Cooke Line.  It is available on to borrow to view lists.

Irish Passenger Lists

Emigrant Schemes

Peter Robinson Scheme 1823-25

The link covers the Peter Robinson Scheme emigrants from 1823-1825 to Canada.

Peter Robinson Settlers

Talbot Emigrant Scheme 1818-1880s

The link below contains information about the Talbot Emigrant Scheme emigrants from North Tipperary to Canada.

Irish Migrants in the Canadas by Dr Bruce Elliott.  Cloughjordan Local History has also celebrated this scheme through IrelandXO.  Information is available here: 

Cloughjordan Heritage Group

James Tuke Emigrant Scheme

This blog contains information about the James Tuke Emigrants who sailed to the US from Connemara in the late 1880s.

Tuke Assisted Emigration

Another group of 28 families left from Galway in 1880 and their story can be read here

Other websites mentioned


The website is a good place to start research for Irish emigrants who went to Scotland.

Scotlands People

Placenames Database of Ireland

The links below deal with finding placenames, townlands, civil parishes in Ireland. is the official Placenames Database of Ireland with historical references to placenames and townlands. 

Logainm includes information about the location of specific townlands in Ireland including maps and position in relation to the greater local area.

British Archives (National Archives Kew)

This link is the British National Archives in Kew which has uploaded a large number of collections online during the pandemic.  This site is definitely worth looking at. Registration is free.

National Archives

NOTE:  you can download for free many of their online collections while they are closed.  They have excellent military collections as well as a variety of other collections.  Use local parish and surnames to search. 

Military Archives, Ireland

Excellent online collection for those with ancestors in Irish military or who fought in 1916 and/or Civil war.

Further IrelandXO Resources for Emigration

Epic Journeys

This exhibition was created by volunteers in conjunction with Ellis Island in 2015.  The profiles are a good template for information gathered about Irish emigrants.

Epic Journeys Exhibition

Ancestor Chronicles

Search the Ancestor Chronicles by place of migration or place of origin. Create your own Ancestor Chronicle which will be widely read by our membership.  Connect with the people living today in their Irish place of origin

Ancestor Chronicles

Message Board

If you have found information using the above sources but still need some guidance from our local volunteer network, why not ask a question on our Message Board? Choose a County of Civil Parish Board from the dropdown list or post your message in the main IrelandXO community if you are unsure of where in Ireland your ancestors are from.


These articles may help you with your 19th century emigration research

Irish Famine Resources Revealed

Your County Just before the Famine

Old Irish Names and their Aliases

If you have enjoyed this article but missed the original LIVE webinar, don't forget to register for next month's topic. 

Invites are only sent to registered IrelandXO members so make sure that you are on the list by joining today!

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We hope you have found the information we have shared helpful. While you are here, we have a small favour to ask. Ireland Reaching Out is a non-profit organisation that relies on public funding and donations to ensure a completely free family history advisory service to anyone of Irish heritage who needs help connecting with their Irish place of origin. If you would like to support our mission, please click on the donate button and make a contribution. Any amount, big or small, is appreciated and makes a difference. 

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