The Irish in America

Interested in County Cork? Check out CCCA!


Bells of Shandon, Cork City (photo by R. McCormack)

The Cork City and County Archives (CCCA) is home to an impressive collection of manuscripts, government records, business archives, and family papers pertaining to Cork City and county. If you trace your Irish ancestry to County Cork and are interested in learning more about the place from which your family came, a visit to the CCCA website is definitely in order.

Warning: Once you begin browsing the collections you might not be able to stop!

The Online Exhibitions page is a great place to start your tour of the CCCA collections, with a sampling of images of documents spanning over four-hundred years. On the right side of the home page you will find a Document Spotlight section, click on it and a description of the document and its collection is provided.

The Collections page is well-organized, making it easy to search the collections either alphabetically or by archive category. I was interested in looking up the Hurley Family Emigrant Letters, a collection my sister had told me about. The letters were written by brothers Denis and Michael Hurley to their family in Tawnies, Cork. Michael and Denis emigrated in 1870, settling in Nevada.

I easily located a description of the letters through the alphabetical list. The descriptive list of the Hurley Letters provides all the information you would want to see – biographical history, scope and content of the collection, how it is arranged, and detailed descriptions of the 122 letters from the brothers, as well as a few other items included in the collection. (Note that the descriptive lists for each collection are PDFs which can be easily downloaded or printed by the researcher.)

Fascinating collection of letters, shedding light on the experiences of Irish immigrants in the Western United States. Too often when people think about the Irish in America, they focus only on New York City and Boston, forgetting that Irish immigrants were among the pioneer settlers of the American West during the nineteenth century.

More great items in the CCCA collections are the Poor Law Union, Board of Guardians records. You will find detailed descriptions of the records for fourteen Poor Law Unions in County Cork under the Local Government Archives section. A couple of my maternal great-great-grandfathers emigrated from Kilmichael Parish, Cork in the Dumanway Poor Law Union. A click of the mouse brings me to the descriptive list of the Board of Guardians minute books for Dumanway, allowing me a glimpse at life in my ancestor’s home place at the time they were born.

Kilmichael Parish, County Cork (photo by R. McCormack)

The Genealogy page presents guidance and resources for family historians and genealogists interested in using the archive, pointing to the Digital Archive for those unable to make the trip to Cork.

Take a look around the Cork City and County Archives – terrific website and fabulous collections. But don’t say I didn’t warn you…you might be there a while!

Cobh, County Cork (photo by R. McCormack)


Author: Aine

I live in Saint Paul, Minnesota. My heritage pretty much covers the map of Ireland: great-great-grandparents from Cork (Crowley, Foley, Regan), a great-great-grandmother from Clare (Quinn), a great-great-grandfather from Fermanagh (McMahon) and his wife's parents from Mayo (McAndrew), a great-grandmother from Connemara (Hannon) married to my great-grandfather from Laois (McCormack), great-grandparents from Sligo (Flannery), and a great-grandmother from Kildare (Hill). All of those people ended up in Minnesota, where my four grandparents were born. Three and four generations after my people left Ireland for America, I retain all Irish heritage. So much for the melting pot...

2 thoughts on “Interested in County Cork? Check out CCCA!

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  2. I can see your clear intention for this article. It’s great content with valuable information that is interesting, clear and logical. I’ve learned something here. See also family tree to trace your family heritage.

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