Posts filed under: Social History (Famine Era)

Among the most intriguing stories of widows and dependents in the Atlantic World are those of the African Americans who moved into Canada having escaped the shackles of slavery. In 1883, one of them was Priscilla Atwood. She made her...
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The latest podcast explores a topic close to my heart, the final letters of Union soldiers from the American Civil War. The episode takes a geographical slant, looking at the words of Ulster men from both the Catholic and Protestant...
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In 1911 John Fitzgerald of Liscelty sat down to write a letter to America from the rural fishing village of Dunmore East. He was doing so on behalf of a local fisherman, a man named John Dunne. By then in...
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As I have discussed frequently on this site and elsewhere, the Widows and Dependent Pension Files from the American Civil War represent the greatest repository of detailed social information on ordinary nineteenth century Irish people that exists anywhere in the...
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A couple of weeks ago I began my holidays on beautiful Arranmore Island, off the coast of Co. Donegal. Aside from being a great place to visit, I was also there to meet local historians Seamus Bonner and Patrick Gallagher....
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As regular readers are aware, I am consistently pointing out that for many Irish counties the American Civil War saw more men fight and die than any other conflict in modern history, including the First World War. One county for...
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Millions of people in the modern-day United States have some degree of Irish ancestry. The surnames they bear or are connected to display a staggering array of spelling variance–some of which seem very far removed from their Transatlantic origins. While...
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My primary area of research relates to wartime letters written home by soldiers and sailors, and which widow’s and dependents parted with in order to provide the Bureau of Pensions with evidence to support their claim. However, letters were not...
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Popular perceptions of 19th century Irish emigration imagine a tearful farewell from home, as emigrants departed never to be heard from again. But in reality those who left usually maintained close ties with their home communities– ties of obligation and...
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Although proportionately very few Irish veterans of the American Civil War returned to Ireland after their service, hundreds did choose to do so. Up and down the island in the late 19th and early 20th centuries those who had served...
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