An online memorial of the Great Irish Famine has been launched to coincide with the National Famine Commemoration 2013 taking place in Kilrush, Co. Clare in May 2013.
This online assortment of records highlights the many aspects of Irish life that were affected during the Great Irish Famine (1846-1852). You can search through a number of record categories including emigration, land and newspapers and piece together your ancestor’s story during the period.
Cliona Weldon, General Manager of Find My Past Ireland, says: “The Famine was one of the most monumental times in modern Irish history and changed the landscape of this country forever. This commemorative record collection is a chance for people to remember their ancestors and reflect on what life was like for them during this harsh time in Ireland”.
The online memory bank provides the opportunity for people to delve further into their own family history by searching through record collections from the time, as well as reading fascinating stories covering different aspects of Irish life during the Famine.
One such story is that of a young, deaf Irish boy, Edward Murray, who escaped the hardship of Ireland with his family in 1849 by emigrating to the United States. Using US Census records on Find My Past Ireland, he was subsequently traced through four decades to a farm in Iowa where he had gone on to create a successful farming career, a feat which might not have been possible had his family stayed in Ireland.
Not all stories had a happy ending, however. Another, from an article carried by the Stirling Observer newspaper in April 1847 and found in Find My Past’s British Newspaper Collection, vividly recounts a police officer who saw a crippled man, John Callaghan, on crutches resting against a wall in White Street, Cork City. On approaching the man, the officer realised he was dead. In his pocket, John carried an admission slip for the local infirmary and was most likely on his way there when he died.