Potato bed remnants in Mayo, Ireland from 1845–52

Land holdings were so small and of such poor quality that families could support themselves only through the planting of potatoes. To know why so many Irish families subsisted on such small plots of land, one must re-examine the ‘Penal Laws’ which were introduced in 1690 after the Catholic supporters of James II were defeated […]

Read More

Ireland 1847

Asenath Nicholson “My bedroom overlooks the burying ground. I often arose to look into it, that some haggard father was bringing a dead child, latched to his back, and laying him on some tombstone, as had been done, and leaving it to the mercy of whoever might find it a grave.” Taken from The Truth […]

Read More

An Irish Labourer on the Public Works in 1845–52 by Danny Howes

Accounts describe workers spending their final moments crawling along the roadside in the direction of their homes. Far from having their wants relieved, thousands of labourers had been effectively worked to death and the health of tens of thousands gravely affected. Taken from the book The Truth Behind The Irish Famine:72 paintings, 472 eyewitness quotes […]

Read More

Ireland 1845–52

Opthalmia, an eye disease caused by lack of vitamin A, became prevalent causing blindness due to ulceration and keratomalacia, generally in one eye. It became common in workhouses and among children: 13,000 cases were recorded in 1849 and 27,000 in 1850. Taken from The Truth Behind The Irish Famine. 72 Paintings, 472 eyewitness quotes. http://www.jerrymulvihill.com

Read More

#OTD in 1849 – The brig Hannah transported emigrants to Canada during An Gorta Mór.

The brig Hannah transported emigrants to Canada during An Gorta Mór. She is known for the terrible circumstances of her 1849 shipwreck, in which the captain and two officers left the sinking ship aboard the only lifeboat, leaving passengers and the rest of the crew to fend for themselves. Hannah was built at Norton, New […]

Read More

Ireland 1845–52

The public works consisted of building roads, walls and bridges for a salary of 8 pence per day. This strenuous work program was introduced at a time when the people were starving and weak. The salary was not sufficient for the people to regain their health or feed their families. To make matters worse the […]

Read More

An old and very rare 19th century soup pot

“In 1847, with the world’s eyes now watching, the government made money available for loans to establish soup kitchens which fed 3 million people. This showed that Britain had the means and the power to exercise successful relief in Ireland, but the soup kitchens closed after 3 months. After the closure of the soup kitchens […]

Read More

#OTD in 1847 – The American relief ship, USS Jamestown, landed supplies in Cork for An Gorta Mór victims.

More than a century ago, James Coleman published a short article, ‘Voyage of the “Jamestown”’, in the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, in which he recounted the arrival of the US warship Jamestown in Cork Harbour on Monday 12 April 1847. The vessel had departed from the Charlestown Navy Yard, Massachusetts, two […]

Read More

Ireland 1845–52

A.Nicholson : “A cabin was seen closed one day outside the town, when a man opened it, in a dark corner he found a family of the father, mother, and two children, lying together. The father was considerably decomposed, the mother, it appeared, had died last, and probably fastened the door, which was always the […]

Read More

#OTD in 1947 – Death of Henry Ford, automobile production pioneer and son of Irish immigrants.

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” –Henry Ford Henry Ford’s father, William Ford, was born in Co Cork and was one of many to emigrate from Ireland due to poverty and hunger (An Gorta Mór). Ford visited Ireland in 1912, 65 […]

Read More