The following list of names and the counties they represent is your guide to finding where your Rhode Island Irish ancestors originated in Ireland. The information is based on naturalization records, cemetery stones, newspaper reports and bank records of Rhode Island residents.
Unless noted by a year of birth (ex. McElmeel, b.1863), I only use those records for persons born before or during the Great Hunger (1845-1852). The famine years resulted in massive migrations on within Ireland. As a result, records of those born after that time do not necessarily credit the correct county from which individuals and families originated.
This is by no means a complete list. Many who came were not naturalized and/or could not afford a bank account of a stone in a cemetery. Having said that, this list is a very strong indicator of Irish origin for those whose ancestors came to greater Providence in the 19th century.
Is there a surname/county link missing? Do you have documentation of the county of origin? If so, please let me know and I will add it to the list.
We currently have 48,000 personal records from 1844 to 1873 to view. With regards to original images, please contact me.
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The Old Stone Bank Records are a rare window into 19th century society. Go to the records, click file/download to get a copy you can then search by name, date, birthplace, occupation and so forth. The original records are located at the Rhode Island Historical Society's Robinson Research Center.
"Ray, what a service you are doing for local, Irish-American history! Every vignette and story grabs you by the throat and forces you to look deep inside yourself and your ethnicity."
Scott Molloy, PhD.
-Professor of Labor and History, University of Rhode Island, and author of "Irish Titans, Irish Toilers."
“I am in awe of Federal Hill Irish. What you are doing is extraordinary – keep it up please."
-John Grenham, Ireland’s leading genealogist.
“It is amazing how you weave this small amount of information into a beautiful short story. My hat is off to your ability to bring new life to these people and give us great pride in our ancestors’ journey.”