Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Yellow Belly Cowboys

New York and Boston are often the focal point when it comes to Irish immigration to the U.S. However, there have been a number of very interesting  migrations from specific parts of Ireland. Radharc (pronunciation RYE-urk), an Irish production company specializing in documentaries, made The Irish Texans in 1995. It tells the story of a planned settlement of Wexford farmers who came to Texas in 1834. You can find more information about the documentary here.

One of those emigrants was Thomas O'Connor (you can read more about him here). He recruited many families from the Ballygarret area of Wexford, where he was from.[1] The Texas Connection: the Story of the Wexford Colony in Refugio contains lists of people who traveled with O'Connor and were granted land in 1834. Some of these names can also be found in evidence from a court case in the 1890s.[2]

[1] Roche, Richard. 1989. The Texas Connection: the Story of the Wexford Colony in Refugio. Wexford: Wexford Heritage Committee.
[2] McKeehan, Wallace L. "Deposition of William St. John, one of the colonists of the Power-Hewitson Colony, taken during Welder-Lambert Lawsuit, No. 449 in District Court of Refugio County, Texas, 1891" on The Irish Colonies Index; online available at accessed 28 July 2013.

1 comment:

  1. O'Connor didn't recruit the colonists. He was only 16 at the time. It was his uncle, James Power, who came back to Wexford from Texas to recruit people to return with him under a contract he had with the Mexican government. Thomas was one of those who returned with him.