Irish Passenger Lists Research Guide

Finding Ship Passenger Lists and Immigration Records - Ireland to America

A Bibliography of Books and Online Records by Joe Beine


This webpage is divided into two sections: Irish Ship Passenger Lists 1820-1950s (just below) and Irish Immigration Records to America before 1820

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 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... Smaller Ports of Arrival

For a list of finding aids for the smaller US ports by state see... Search the 5 Major Ports and Some Smaller Ports at Once
Irish Immigration Resources and Finding Aids
  • BOOK: Irish Passenger Lists, 1847-1871 - Lists of Passengers Sailing from Londonderry to America on Ships of the J. & J. Cooke Line and the McCorkell Line (Amazon link); by Brian Mitchell (Editor); Genealogical Publishing Company, 1988. This book has passenger lists kept by 2 shipping lines in Londonderry, Northern Ireland: the J&J Cooke Line (1847-1867), and the William McCorkell & Co Line (1863-1871). The listings are helpful as they give place of residence for the passengers, information which can be used to further your genealogy research in Ireland.

  • BOOK: Emigrants from Ireland, 1847-1852 - State-Aided Emigration Schemes from Crown Estates in Ireland by Eilish Ellis; Genealogical Publishing Company, 1960; reprinted 1993. This book lists Small Holders who emigrated from the Crown estates of Ballykileline in County Roscommon; Irvilloughter & Boughill in County Galway; Kilconcouse, Offaly; Kingwilliamstown in Cork; and Castlemaine in County Kerry. Includes date & place of departure and date & place of arrival in the US, plus name of ship.

  • BOOK: Irish Emigration Lists, 1833-1839 - Lists of Emigrants Extracted from the Ordnance Survey Memoirs for Counties Londonderry and Antrim by Brian Mitchell (Amazon Link); Genealogical Publishing Company, 1989; reprinted 2003. These lists identify the place of origin in Ireland of 3000 emigrants from Counties Londonderry & Antrim.
  • BOOK: List of Alien Passengers Bonded from January 1, 1847, to January 1, 1851 by J. B. Monroe; Genealogical Publishing Company, originally published in 1851; reprinted 2005. Contains the names of 5,000 mostly British and Irish bonded passengers, who arrived in Massachusetts 1847-1850; Includes age, place of birth, and name of ship the person traveled on.

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...  

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 sometimes 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-?) [multi-volume set]

These books index numerous sources of passenger arrivals, naturalizations and other immigrant resources. They are carried in some libraries. The series (including annual supplements to 2012) 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; and William Penn's Fleet
  • BOOK: Immigration of the Irish Quakers into Pennsylvania, 1682-1750, with their Early History in Ireland by Albert C. Myers (Swarthmore, PA: The author, 1902). This book is searchable online (with an Ancestry subscription): Immigration of Irish Quakers to Pennsylvania, 1682-1750 (requires payment)

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.

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.

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 (Amazon Link); GPC 1992.

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.

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.

BOOK: Ulster Emigrants to Philadelphia, 1803-1850 by Raymond D. Adams; GPC 1998.

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.

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

BOOKS: Irish Emigrants in North America series by David Dobson

These books list thousands of individuals who left Ireland for North America between 1670 and 1830. Most are for 1775-1825. About half of the immigrants landed at Canadian ports or the Caribbean. Most of the rest entered through mid-Atlantic ports.
Published by Clearfield.
  • Irish Emigrants in North America, Parts 1, 2 and 3
  • Irish Emigrants in North America, Parts 4 and 5
  • Irish Emigrants in North America, Part Six
  • Irish Emigrants in North America, Part Seven
  • Irish Emigrants in North America, Part Eight
  • Irish Emigrants in North America, Part Nine
The first six parts listed above can be searched online at Ancestry, if you have a subscription:

Irish Emigrants in North America, 1775-1825 (at Ancestry/requires payment)

BOOK: Ships from Ireland to Early America, 1623-1850 by David Dobson; Clearfield Company 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. Lists ships alphabetically by name of ship (no passengers are listed), 4 volumes.

Finding the Books

To find the books listed here, you might try your local library. Some may be available from Amazon.

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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.

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