Back in 2013 I was privileged to speak at the Third Annual International Famine Conference at Strokestown Park House, Co. Roscommon. The theme of the event was The Famine Irish: Emigration and New Lives, and it was an excellent couple of days. The focus of my paper was to examine the impact of the American Civil War on female Famine survivors, something I sought to achieve largely through the Widows & Dependent Pension Files. Following an invitation to work the paper up for a future publication based around the Conference, I decided to look broadly at the value of these files as a resource for those interested in the social history of 19th century Irish people. Thanks to the encouragement and hard work of leading Famine scholar Dr. Ciarán Reilly, that volume has now been published. Edited by Ciarán, it contains a number of papers that readers of Irish in the American Civil War might find of interest. A full table of contents is provided below. If you are interested in purchasing a copy you can do so here.

The Famine Irish

The Famine Irish


Edited by Dr. Ciarán Reilly (Postgraduate Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of Historic Houses & Estates, Maynooth University)

‘Shovelling out the Paupers’: The Irish Poor Law and Assisted Emigration during the Great Famine

Dr. Gerard Moran (Coordinator of History, European School, Lacken, Brussels)

The Mechanics of Assisted Emigration: From the Fitzwilliam Estate in Wicklow to Canada

Fidelma Byrne (Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholar, Maynooth University)

The Experience of Irish Women Transported to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) during the Famine

Dr. Bláthnaid Nolan (Professional Historian, Honorary Associate University of Tasmania)

Reporting the Irish Famine in America: Images of ‘Suffering Ireland’ in the American Press, 1845-1848

Professor James M. Farrell (Professor of Rhetoric and Chairperson in the Department of Communication, University of New Hampshire)

Widows’ and Dependent Parents’ American Civil War Pension Files: A New Source for the Irish Emigrant Experience

Damian Shiels

From Emigrant to Fenian: Patrick A. Collins and the Boston Irish

Professor Lawrence W. Kennedy (Professor of History, University of Scranton)

The Women of Ballykilcline, County Roscommon: Claiming New Ground

Mary Lee Dunn (Independent Scholar, Founder of the Ballykilcline Society)

Constructing an Immigrant Profile: Using Statistics to Identify Famine Immigrants in Toledo, Ohio, 1850-1900

Dr. Regina Donlon (Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellow, National University of Ireland, Galway)

‘The Chained Wolves’: Young Ireland in Exile

Professor Christine Kinealy (Director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute, Quinnipiac University)

There is No Person Starving Here’: Australia and the Great Famine

Dr. Richard Reid (Senior Curator of National Museum of Australia Exhibition on the Irish in Australia)

The Irish in Australia: Remembering and Commemorating the Great Famine

Dr. Perry McIntyre (Adjunct Lecturer, University of New South Wales)

‘Une Voix d’Irlande’: Integration, Migration, and Travelling Nationalism between Famine Ireland and Quebec

Dr. Jason King (Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellow, National University of Ireland, Galway)

Languages of Memory: Jeremiah Gallagher and the Grosse Île Famine Monument

Dr. Michael Quigley (Editor, Canadian Association for Irish Studies Newsletter, former Action Grosse Île Historian)