I grew up thinking I’m an eighth Irish, through my great-grandmother Mary Norris. But my genealogy research has since revealed that I’m only 1/16th Irish—Mary’s father was from Ireland, but her mother was German.
And this little guy is 1/32nd Irish:
So this St. Patrick’s Day, Leo and I will have to make the most of our respective slivers of Irishness.
Whether you’re a lot or a little Irish, you share heritage with the second-largest heritage group in the United States. Here are some more stats:
50,000 to 100,000 Irish came to America in the 1600s, and 100,000 more in the 1700s. Eight signatures on the Declaration of Independence belonged to men of Irish descent.
In the American colonies, up to 90 percent of indentured servants were Irish.
About 250,000 Scots-Irish settlers from Ulster province arrived in the United States during the Colonial era. They were descended from Scottish and English tenant farmers settled in Ireland during the Plantation of Ulster.
In the century after 1820, about 5 million Irish arrived on US shores. Irish made up almost half of all US immigrants in the 1840s and one-third in the 1850s, the decades of the Great Potato Famine.
Today, Massachusetts is the most Irish state, with about a quarter of the population claiming Irish roots.
FamilyTreeMagazine.com has some great advice for tracing your Irish roots:
- Tracing Irish immigrants through Canada
- Where to search the 1901 and 1911 Irish censuses free online
- 10 Best websites for tracing UK and Irish Roots
- Tips on discovering your ancestor’s place of origin in Ireland
For in-depth help researching your Irish ancestors, take a look at our Irish Ancestry Value Pack, with:
- how-to guides
- the Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Irish Ancestors book download
- the Irish Research 101 Family Tree University Independent Study course
The Irish Ancestry Value Pack is just $49.99 this month.