Irish American Heritage Month
In March, the National Archives celebrates the contributions of Irish Americans in our nation’s history during Irish American Heritage Month.
Arguably, the most famous Irish American in our holdings is President John F. Kennedy. Learn more about Kennedy and his life from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. The library houses about 24 million pages of documents and over 15,000 sound recordings.
Read President Kennedy’s address to the Irish Parliament in 1963.
Articles and Blog Posts
AOTUS: The Forgotten Irish: Irish Emigrant Experiences in America
National Archives News: National Archives Digital Records Help Irish Author Write History Books
NARAtions: Stories From Our Holdings: Irish Researchers Study Civil War Records from the NARA/Fold3 Collaboration
Pieces of History: Historic Staff Spotlight: Kathryn M. Murphy
Pieces of History: Exploring Irish History Through the Famine Files and Other Arrival Records
Pieces of History: Celebrating Irish Americans: The Fenian Brotherhood
Pieces of History: Taking it to the Stars: Eileen Collins, Space Shuttle Commander
Pieces of History: Facial Hair Friday: When Irish Mustaches Are Smiling
Prologue: Ireland’s Famine Children “Born at Sea”
Text Message: Decisions of the Board of Special Inquiry: The Story of Irish Immigrant Bridget Donaghy
Text Message: Irish American Heroes
The Unwritten Record: This Week in Universal News: NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade, 1967
The History Hub, a crowdsourced history research platform where experts can answer your questions, has many posts on Irish American history. The History Hub is an online support community for researchers, citizen historians, archival professionals, and open government advocates.
President Ronald Reagan speaks to citizens of Ballyporeen, Ireland, 1984. View in National Archives Catalog
President John F. Kennedy's notorcade through Cork, Ireland, 1963. View in National Archives Catalog
The 165th infantry leaving New York for Camp Mills, August 1917. The Fighting Irish 69th leaving Armory on way to camp. View in National Archives Catalog
The Irish population of New York turned out to greet Sons of Erin in their annual St. Patrick's Day parade, 1919. View in National Archives Catalog
Irish clam diggers on a wharf in Boston, 1882. View in National Archives Catalog
Manifest of merchandise shipped by the Irish Relief Committee of Philadelphia to Londonderry, Ireland. View in National Archives Catalog
Arrival of the Irish-American delegates at Kingston, Ireland, before going to the Peace Conference at Paris to present Ireland's claim for home rule. View in National Archives Catalog
Ambassador of Ireland, Thomas J. Kiernan, Presenting President Kennedy with an Arrangement of Shamrocks. View in National Archives Catalog
First Lady Pat Nixon with her Irish cousins near Ballinrobe, County Mayo, Ireland, October 4, 1970. View in National Archives Catalog
Classroom Activities from DocsTech
Letter from Union Major General John Palmer to Adjutant General Concerning Irish Independence group called Fenians
Address by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Lackawanna County, Scranton, Pennsylvania March 17, 1964
From the Presidential Libraries
John F. Kennedy Library
Immigration Records: The National Archives has immigration records for arrivals to the United States from foreign ports between approximately 1820 and 1982. The records are arranged by port of arrival.
Access to Archival Databases (AAD)
- Famine Irish Passenger Record Data File (FIPAS), January 12, 1846–December 31, 1851
- List of Ships that Arrived at the Port of New York During the Irish Famine, January 12, 1846–December 31, 1851
Naturalization Records: Naturalization records can provide a researcher with information such as a person's birth date and location, occupation, immigration year, marital status and spouse information, witnesses' names and addresses, and more.
Military Records: The National Archives holds federal military service records from the Revolutionary War to 1912 in Washington, DC. Military records from World War I to the present are held in the National Military Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO.
Historian and archaeologist Damian Shiels researched Civil War pension records to craft the stories of 35 Irish families whose lives were emblematic of the nature of the Irish emigrant experience.