Ulster-American Folk Park (2014)
The experience of Irish immigrants to America varied depending on
whether they immigrated by choice or because they were so desperate that they had no other choice.
Joseph Hughes is an example of the first group
The "coffin ships" were cargo vessels refitted so that 4 people slept in each bunk in shifts.
On some journeys 1/3 of these passengers died and were buried at sea.
The emigrant letter home could sometimes be 'economical' with the truth
as these 1873 cartoons illustrates

Immigrants of all nationalities were an easy target for exploitation

By 1900 Immigrants were processed at Ellis Island
Some immigrants became tradesmen and also journeyed west
Later immigrants still clustered in the cities of the East Coast.
Around 1880 Joe's Great Grandmother Theresa McKenna, arrived as a child
with her mother, a widow, from Dungannon (County Tyrone), a town quite near this museum.
They lived in NYC all their lives.
Her mother, Elizabeth McAllister, married twice more and had 12 sons. .