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Clare Past Forum Emigration List Project 1892-1924

Search Tips

Searching for Clare Emigrants passing through Ellis Island from 1892 - 1924:

The Ellis Island website (www.ellisislandrecords.org), is a great resource for information on immigration to America. The web site offers a photographic archive of the ships that immigrants arrived on from a number of countries. The most valuable part of the website is a searchable database of more than 22 million passengers, immigrants and crew members who came through Ellis Island and New York from 1892 to 1924.

Ship Manifests were kept by the Shipping Companies and these have been transcribed by volunteers into a huge electronic archive which is freely available on the Internet.

The Ellis Island site can be searched by Surname providing that at least 2 letters of the Surname are entered. Once this initial search is completed, a refined search is possible by approximate year of birth, gender, ethnicity, year of arrival, name of town or village and name of passenger ship.

However using another website (www.jewishgen.org/databases/EIDB/ellisgold.html), it is possible to search the Ellis Island records by Last Place of Residence.

For researchers of emigrants from Clare parishes, this is a far more efficient way of finding records of our emigrant ancestors from a particular area of the county.

Searches can be conducted for immigrants by last residence without being required to enter even a portion of the surname. However as the immigrants are listed on the Ellis Island database by last residence, it should be realised that this may not always be the immigrant’s place of birth. On later manifests the immigrant’s last residence and place of birth are recorded. Unfortunately it is not at present possible with either database to conduct a search using Place of Birth alone.

Transcription errors
With such a huge amount of data to be transcribed it is inevitable that errors creep in, particularly with unfamiliar Christian names, surnames and place names. (Tulla recorded as Yulla, Tobin as Yobin and Tuohy as Yuohy).

Names with a Mc or a Mac are also recorded in a number of ways.
e.g. McDowell can be recorded as McDowell or Mc Dowell.

There is a facility on the Ellis Island site of sending in your suggestions for amendments to the information on the database.

When the page of Matching Passenger Records is displayed, select Passenger Record.
Then look for the part which mentions reporting Transcription errors. Select Send us.
An email form will then load onto your computer. Add the required correction after the incorrect version and send. You will receive an acknowledgement via email.

Example of a suggested method of searching for Immigrant information on the Jewishgen website:

Searching for Immigrants from FEAKLE

Input www.jewishgen.org/databases/EIDB/ellisgold.html

In the space marked Town Name enter FEAKLE
Lower down the same page is the following:
Check off those items that you would like to see on the results page.
Check off:
Name
Town
Ship
Port
Full date of arrival
Year of birth
Marital status
Gender

Now select search
The list of immigrants will now be displayed.
The first on the list is as follows:

Name
Residence
Age
Born
Gender
Marital status
Arrived
Ship
Port
Baine,
Anthony
Feakle
26
1875
M
S
April 17th,
1901
Oceanic
Queenstown

I would suggest that these details are added to your database before going any further, as the same details may be harder to read from the Manifest.

Next find the Scanned Manifest opposite Anthony Baine’s name. Select view.

You will now be transferred to the Ellis Island Website where you will need to register. (No charge).

Once you sign in, you will transfer immediately to the Scanned Manifest page for Anthony Baine.

Select Click to enlarge the manifest.

On this page of the manifest, Anthony is not to be found. However he is present 2 pages further on. (Find the light blue box marked Page. Select next. After the page loads, select next again).

If he has been travelling to join a relative, their relation to him, name and address can be recorded.

Name
Residence
Age
Born
Gender
Marital status
Arrived
Ship
Port
Relative name and address
Baine,
Anthony
Feakle
26
1875
M
S
April 17th,
1901
Oceanic
Queenstown
Cousin, F. Dillon, 743, East Noster? Street, New York


On records from about 1908 onwards, more details are available. However these are spread over 2 separate Manifest pages, which will involve checking out the pages before and after the first page displayed. Usually the first page displayed is the 2nd page of the Ship’s manifest, which does not give the name of your immigrant. You need to locate the 1st page which is usually either the page before or after the one that is currently displayed.

Once you find the page which displays the name of the person you are looking for, make a note of the entry number they are given in the Manifest.

Number on list
Name
Age
Born
Gender
Marital status
Last
Permanent
Residence
Name and
Address of
nearest relative
or friend in
country where
alien came from
Arrived
Ship
Port
6
Brady, Michael
24
1900
M
S
Feakle,
Co Clare,
Ireland
Father,
Thomas Brady, Flagmount,
Feakle, Clare
October 6th, 1924
Baltic
COBH, Queenstown

When you move back to the Manifest page that was displayed at the start, you can now search for the entry opposite the same number on the list which relates to the person you are looking for.

Number on list
Whether going to join a relative or friend;
and if so, what relative or friend, and his
name and complete address
Place of Birth
6
Cousin, Mrs Mary Farrell, 251, Warwick
Street, Brooklyn, New York.
Feakle, Co. Clare

When searches for places with exact place names have been completed, the search can be widened to include places that sound like. Searches can also be widened to include townlands within the target parish.

Tips

Some emigrants are listed on the Manifest, but a line has been drawn across their entry. These are where a passage was booked but the passenger failed to board the ship for some reason. I would suggest these are recorded as Crossed Out in a Notes column on our Immigrant database.

After you find the person you are looking for on the Ship’s Manifest, scan the Residence column on the rest of that page as often people from the same area would travel together.

With Manifests after 1908, check the last column from top to bottom (Place of birth) for anyone else born in your area. You may find some residents of places outside Ireland, e.g. New York, whose Place of Birth is an area in Clare. (It is therefore possible to find people paying a visit to their family in Clare after their initial emigration).

We obviously need to be certain that the immigrants we find are from County Clare. Unless you are certain, don’t record the individual.
e.g. There are a number of places called Tulla across Ireland.
If the Manifest states Place of Residence or Place of Birth as Tulla, Clare, I can presume I’m on fairly sure ground.
With other locations, e.g. Lisdoonvarna, it’s fairly safe to presume that this is a place name unique to County Clare. (If in any doubt, use Google to check).

Acknowledgement
I first came across the Jewishgen website in an article in the Sliabh Aughty Magazine (Journal number 13, 2007 edition, Published by East Clare Heritage, Tuamgraney, Clare). The article was submitted by a Michael J. Coffey, now a resident of Wallasey, Merseyside whose roots are in the Tuamgraney area. Michael’s article in the above edition concerned research he had done on all the emigrants from Bodyke passing through Ellis Island between 1892 - 1924. I have been as yet been unable to contact Michael Coffey to pass on my thanks, but would at least like to acknowledge his contribution without which this project would not have been possible.

Tom McDowell, Clare Past Forum, 14 February 2011


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