Irish Immigrant Communities and Settlements in Boston and Beyond

Irish Immigrant Communities and Settlements in Boston and Beyond
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In partnership with The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA)
Saturday, March 9, 9:30 am - 12:00 pm with optional research time until 5:00.
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
Cost: $20

Since the early eighteenth century, the Irish have been immigrating to North America and beyond. Today, the Irish-American population alone is more than seven times the population of Ireland. No matter when, where, or why your Irish ancestors may have immigrated, they often followed certain migration paths, building communities and settlements along the way. Join NEHGS and TIARA for a program that looks at some of the communities and migration routes taken by our ancestors to Boston, across North America, and beyond. Breakfast refreshments and access to NEHGS resources is included.


9:30 Check-in, refreshments
10:00 The Settlement House Movement and it's Impact on Boston-Area Irish Communities in the Early 20th Century, Eileen Pironti
Settlement houses first appeared in the United States in the late 1880s. Located in neighborhoods largely comprised of poor and immigrant populations, settlement houses quickly became a vital resource for members of these communities. The purpose of these houses was to help improve the condition of area residents, both young and old, by offering educational programs and assisting with social services. In the late 1890s and early 1900s, several settlement houses were established in Boston-area neighborhoods with large Irish populations. This lecture will provide details about the Boston settlement houses and the community they served.
11:00 Following the Irish Ancestral Trail Around the World: 5 Years and 5,000 Questions Later, Mike Collins
Through their weekly 'Letter from Ireland' email, Mike and Carina Collins reach an international audience of Irish Emigrants. After 5 years of emails and 50,000 questions and answers, they have a unique perspective on Irish genealogy and migrations around the world. Come and learn from them as they share what they have discovered.
12:00 Optional NEHGS Library Research

About Our Speakers:

Mike and Carina Collins are a husband and wife team based in County Cork, Ireland. In 2013 they noticed people were asking questions on Facebook about their Irish surnames and the homelands of their Irish Ancestors. They started to answer with their local knowledge – and the answers to these questions grew to become a weekly email called “A Letter from Ireland”. In the Letter, they share stories of counties, surnames and Irish individuals who made new lives for themselves across the world. The letter now goes out to over 30,000 people each week and they have published a number of related books and established an Irish Family History and Genealogy business and active community. They can be found at

Eileen Pironti, Genealogist of the Newbury Street Press (NEHGS), graduated with a B.A. from Saint Anselm College, and received an M.S. from American University. She wrote about her ancestors’ participation in the colonization of Nobles County, Minnesota in “‘An Invitation to the Land’: Reconstructing James and Eliza Conlon’s Migration to Minnesota,” which was published in the Summer 2011 issue of American Ancestors magazine. She has lectured about Irish genealogical research across the United States, overseas, and online. Eileen's areas of expertise include Irish, Scottish, and 19th century New England research.