This webpage is divided into two sections: Irish Immigration Records to America before 1820 (just below) and Irish Ship Passenger Lists 1820-1950s
Keep in mind that most passenger lists were handwritten. Deciphering this handwriting was sometimes difficult when the lists were later indexed. So you may need to search for alternate spellings of a surname when using indexes.
Irish Immigration Records to America before 1820
Prior to 1820 it was not required to keep passenger lists and many have not survived. However, there are often immigration related materials and other records that can help determine when an immigrant came to America. Here is a bibliography of this material focussing on Irish immigrants.
Passenger and Immigration Lists Index: a Guide to Published Arrival Records of...Passengers Who Came to the United States and Canada in the 17th, 18th & 19th Centuries; edited by P. William Filby; Gale Research Co, Detroit, MI (1981-ongoing) [multi-volume set]
These books index numerous sources (listed at the beginning of each volume) of passenger arrivals, naturalizations and other immigrant resources. The complete set presently indexes more than 4 million immigrants. They are carried in some libraries. The series (including annual supplements through 2008) is also searchable online...
ONLINE DATABASE: Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s Online Version (requires payment - part of an Ancestry subscription)
Irish Quakers to Pennsylvania 1682-1750 & William Penn's Fleet 1681-1683
BOOK: Emigrants to Pennsylvania, 1641-1819 A Consolidation of Ship Passenger Lists from the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography by Michael Tepper; GPC 1999. Also available on the Immigrants to Pennsylvania CD-Rom listed below
BOOK: Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819 transcribed by Elizabeth P. Bentley, edited by Michael H. Tepper; GPC 1986. (913 pages)
This book contains the names of about 40,000 passengers (listed alphabetically) who arrived in Philadelphia from 1800-1819. Most of the passengers were from Great Britain (especially Northern Irleand) and Germany. Also available on the Immigrants to Pennsylvania CD-Rom (see next listing).
CD-Rom: Immigrants to Pennsylvania includes the searchable text of the above 3 listed books
CD-Rom: Irish Immigrants to North America 1700s & 1803-1871
This CD-Rom indexes about 46,000 Irish passengers who arrived in the United States and Canada mostly in the 18th & 19th centuries. Click on the title for ordering information. The CD contains the searchable text of the following 10 books...
BOOK: Emigrants from Ireland to America, 1735-1743: A Transcription of the Report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced Emigration to America by Frances McDonnell; GPC 1992; This book is also available on the CD-Rom listed just above.
Lists about 2,000 felons and vagabonds who were forcibly transported from Ireland from 1735 to 1743.
BOOK: Irish Passenger Lists 1803-1806 Lists of Passengers Sailing from Ireland to America by Brian Mitchell; GPC 1995; This book is also available on the Irish Immigrants to North America CD-Rom listed above.
Taken from the Hardwicke papers, this books lists 4,500 passengers from 109 ship sailings, most listed with their place of residence. Ports of departure include Dublin, Belfast, Londonderry and Newry. New York and Philadelphia are the most common ports of arrival.
BOOK: Passengers from Ireland: Lists of Passengers Arriving at American Ports Between 1811 & 1817 (Transcribed from The Shamrock or Hibernian Chronicle) by Donald M. Schlegel; Clearfield Co, 1980; Also available on the Irish Immigrants to North America CD-Rom listed above.
BOOK: Ulster Emigrants to Philadelphia, 1803-1850 by Raymond D. Adams; GPC 1998; Also available on the Irish Immigrants to North America CD-Rom listed above.
A list of 3,200 Ulster emigrants to Philadelphia from the port of Londonderry between 1803 and 1850.
BOOK: Passenger Lists from Ireland (Excerpted from Journal of the American Irish Historical Society, Volumes 28 and 29) by J. Dominick Hackett and Charles M. Early; GPC; Also available on the Irish Immigrants to North America CD-Rom listed above.
About 5,150 passengers who sailed from Ireland to America in 1811 and 1815-16 are listed in this book. 109 total ships are listed; 89 arrived at New York, 17 at Philadelphia, 2 at Baltimore, and 1 at New London.
ONLINE LIST: List of Passenger Ships from Ireland to America 1732-1749 (partial) includes names of some passengers
ONLINE DATABASE: Ship Passenger Lists from Ireland to America: Miscellaneous Ships 1700s (requires payment - part of an Ancestry subscription) Click on the link to see a list of the ships included.
BOOK: Ships from Ireland to Early America, 1623-1850 by David Dobson; Clearfield Compay 1999
An alphabetical list of 1,500 vessels known to have embarked from Ireland to North America from 1623 to 1850. The dates and ports of embarkation and arrival, the source of the information, and often the number of passengers and the name of the ship's captain are given for each vessel.
Irish Ship Passenger Lists 1820-1950s
Five Major Ports of Arrival
The five major U.S. arrival ports in the 19th and 20th Centuries were: New York, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New Orleans. Irish passengers often used the ports of New York and Boston, but you will find Irish arrivals at other ports as well. You can use these links to find information about the available indexes for these ports...
For a list of finding aids for the smaller US ports by state see...
Using Naturalization Records
Naturalization records created prior to September 1906 usually do not list a person's port of arrival. Some do, but most do not. In Naturalization records created after September 1906 the port (as well as date) of arrival is almost always given. For details on locating Naturalization records see...
These are merely suggestions to help locate the arrival details of your ancestors in the U.S. While there is no guarantee of success, hopefully these tips will provide you with clues for locating your immigrant ancestor's passenger arrival record. See the link below for additional disclaimers.