Assisted emigration from the Shirley estate 1843-54
Duffy, Patrick J. (1992) Assisted emigration from the Shirley estate 1843-54. Clogher Record, XIV (2). pp. 7-62. ISSN 0 949012 09 2
The following essay is designed as a short introduction to a collection of papers relating to assisted emigration from the Shirley estate in Farney in Co. Monaghan in the years before and during the Famine, 1843-54. The papers are in the care of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. The aim of this essay is to outline the background to the subsidized emigration of at least 1,300 people to America, Canada, England and Australia in the most populous years of the mid-nineteenth century. The documents record the wish of many to leave Monaghan, the names of the people who left and the manner in which they were despatched overseas. The material is useful for a number of reasons - as a detailed record of probably most of the assisted emigration from the Shirley estate, as a genealogical source for local research into a small group of significant emigrants from this area and for providing important new insights into the running of affairs on an estate in south Monaghan which has left a sometimes sour memory among local communities. The archival material has been assembled into a number of distinct sections: Lists of names and family details; correspondence and other documents relating to the administration of the emigration and petitions to the Estate Office in Carrickmacross seeking assistance to emigrate. In addition, there is material relating specifically to the emigration of two parties from the estate to Australia in August and December 1849. A previously unpublished report on the condition of Shirley's estate in 1843, undertaken by William Steuart Trench exists. This is important because it was Trench who proposed that the estate should assist poor tenants to emigrate. It is also significant because of the light which it throws on the personality of this controversial land agent. It is hoped to reproduce this report in a future issue of the journal.
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