Monday, May 4, 2015

U.S. Census Series: Ward 1, Boston 1860

One of the recurring features of this website is the U.S. Census Series, where I highlight the rare instances of Irish place of birth/origin recorded on census documents (access other examples in the Census Series section of the website). This example is probably the most well known: Boston, Ward 1 in the 1860 federal census.

Boston 1865 (Ward 1/North End dark pink color) [1]

The population of Boston at the time of the 1860 census was 177,840.[2] Irish-born people accounted for a large proportion of that count at almost 26%.[3] Ward 1 was the electoral district for the famous North End. Today, this area is known as an Italian American community, but the area was dominated by the Irish from the time of the Famine to about 1880.[4] 

Approximately 3,200 Irish born people in Ward 1 had their county of birth recorded. More than one third of these people were born in Cork, with other significant populations from Galway, Derry/Londonderry, Sligo, and Dublin.

County
Approx. No. of Entries*
Cork
1,376
Galway
496
Derry/Londonderry
251
Sligo
264
Dublin
180
Roscommon
101
Waterford
82
Limerick
77
Clare
66
Laois (indexed as Queens)
57
Longford
46
Wexford
39
Kildare
30
Tipperary
25
Down
19
Offaly (indexed as Kings)
19
Kerry (some indexed as Carey)
14
Carlow
10
Westmeath (indexed as West Made)
11
Monaghan (some indexed as Monahan)
7
Fermanagh (indexed as Fermanna/Fammana)
4
Leitrim
2
Armagh
1
Donegal
1
Mayo
1
Wexford
1
Tyrone (indexed as Terone) - see comment
1
Cavan
0
Louth
0
Meath
0
Antrim
0
Wicklow
0
County not listed, place is
10 approx
TOTAL
3191

The 1860 federal census can be accessed on websites such as Familysearch (index only), Ancestry, Findmypast, and Fold3.

*Note: numbers are very close approximates as it is difficult to count every single example.

EDIT (5/16/15): The ward boundaries in Boston changed a number of times in the 19th century. The ward boundaries in operation during the 1860 federal census were enacted in 1850. This map is from an 1865 publication and they were changed during that year. However, the map has a date of 1855 in the lower right corner (see link in footnote to view) and the boundaries on this map seem to be congruent with the description of the 1850 boundaries. For more information, read here.


[1] Colton, G.W. 1865. Colton's Map of Boston and Adjacent Cities. New York, NY:  J. H. Colton, No. 172 William St. New York. p.31. Available online http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~208629~5003410:Boston-and-Adjacent-Cities-?qvq=w4s:/where/Boston+(Mass.);lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=6&trs=221# :accessed 25 April 2015
[2] United States Census Bureau. 1860 Fast Facts, 10 Largest Urban Places. 2014. https://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/fast_facts/1860_fast_facts.html: accessed 25 April 2015.
[3] The Familysearch.org index gives a figure of 46,026 for the Irish born population.
[4] Goldfeld, Alex R.  The North End: A Brief History of Boston's Oldest Neighborhood. Charleston, SC: History Press. 2009.



3 comments:

  1. Great information! There's also one person there from Terone (Tyrone) , James Mcpike on Thacher Court , my great grandfather's brother in law

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kat,

    Many thanks, I have updated the table.

    Cheers,

    Joe

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks, Joe. This is a great article! My ancestors Patrick & Catherine (Kennedy) Tierney and their children lived in Boston's North End from the 1870s to the 1890s. They worshipped at St. Stephen's Catholic Church on Hanover Street along with many other Irish immigrant families. You can read about Patrick's naturalization as a U.S. citizen at http://tierneyhistory.blogspot.com/2010/01/tierney-family-treasure-patricks.html. I've also written an article about St. Stephen's Church and its history here: http://tierneyhistory.blogspot.com/2012/09/an-american-treasure-st-stephens.html. Thanks again for helping to share the stories of the American Irish!

    ReplyDelete