The Irish people are unique in western Europe for the extent of emigration from their small island to other areas of the world over many centuries. In the seventeenth century dispossessed Gaelic nobles and soldiers left Ireland to serve in the armies of the Spanish Empire and later in those of France, Austria and Russia. In the eighteenth century there was a different type of emigration when a large element of the Ulster Scots population of the north of Ireland emigrated to the then British colony of New England to settle and farm. Many people in the original thirteen colonies of the United States including many prominent political and social figures in subsequent American history are descended from the Ulster Scots.
The Great Famine which struck Ireland in the 1840s let loose a massive migration of Catholic Irish, mostly to the USA and ports like New York and Boston, but also to Canada, Argentina and parts of the UK such as Liverpool and the city of Glasgow in Scotland. Irish emigration to these areas continued unabated right to the end of the 1980s. Many Irish were also transported to the penal colonies of Australia in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, particularly in the wake of the 1798 rebellion. As a result Irish emigrants and their descendants have played a very prominent role is such events as the Liberation wars of Chile and Argentina, the settling of Australia and New Zealand and the political life of the United States where the Irish long ran the cities of Chicago and Boston.
With the great interest in genealogy and family history which has developed over the past decades, many people all over the world are now interested in researching and finding out about their Irish ancestors. Darren McGettigan who has set up this website is a professionally trained and very accomplished historian with two major books and many journal articles to his name. His biography of the Co. Donegal chieftain, Red Hugh O’Donnell, a famous figure in Irish history in particular has been very well received. If you are interested in finding out about your Irish ancestors why not let Darren put his research skills to use in researching an interesting and very well researched account of your ancestors and family history. With the proliferation of genealogy websites offering online sources and information, Darren guarantees that his research will be different using only primary material in original archives thus providing an accurate history of your family which will not rely on other peoples’ work or online contributions, many of which are often unreliable.