Millions of people emigrated from Ireland over the centuries, mainly via the port of Cobh. This harbour was the main port for transatlantic passengers throughout the nineteenth century. Assisted passage by landlords was used to clear their estates of tillage labourers in early 1800’s and transport them to Canada and USA via the Peter Robinson Passenger Ships. Many families from Mitchelstown, Ballygiblin, Kilworth, Fermoy, Ballylanders and Ballyporeen made this journey to Peterborough in Canada to make a new life. A number have come back to seek and meet living cousins. A great place to start searching for your relatives boarding a ship in Queenstown is the passenger lists. Families would make their way to Cobh from all over the southern half of Ireland to get the ship that they hoped would transform their lives in the new world.
When migrants arrived in US ports, immigration officials would be required to ask “where are you from”. Now many, and sometimes most, of the Irish immigrants would have been Irish speakers. The Irish language is very literal, so this question would be understood as “where have you just come from now”, to which they would answer Cork, or more particularly Queenstown. So just because Ellis Island or Castle Garden records for New York, or even a ship’s passenger list, state that a person is from Cork. They might just have travelled from there.
There are hundreds of civil parishes, and over 100 functioning Catholic parishes in Cork. So finding the right place of origin is not going to be easy, even if you know the county. Thankfully a lot of work has been done to publish these registers. www.nli.ie provides access to detailed transcripts linked to scanned images for most of Cork.
Dog licences were granted by Petty courts from 1866 onwards. It can be a good source of seeking ancestral residential places or change of addresses.
Where do I start?
Clan Search invite to workshop “ How to Trace your family tree for beginners” at Mitchelstown Library. Book 087 358 9734, Clan Search offers family trees, lectures, guided tours & places of historic / heritage interest, old homesteads, graveyards, churches etc. locate living relatives of relatives who died without making a will home or abroad.