Kerry Emigration 1851 -1906

The enumeration of emigrants from Irish Ports did not start until 1st May 1851.  From that time onward to 1906, we have a list of the numbers leaving the country, unfortunately neither their names, the ports they left from nor their destinations have been included. The figures below show that 113,237 males and 113,827 females, giving a total of 227,064 people emigrated from County Kerry during this period.  These figures do not of course include those who emigrated to England/Scotland/Wales as we Irish were then regarded as citizens of the United Kingdom, the 'great' British Empire and leaving Kerry to work and/or live across the Irish sea was not regarded at the time as 'emigration'.

Source: Enhanced British Parliamentary Papers      


  1. Elizabeth Cowan Elizabeth Cowan
    September 19, 2017    

    Hello Kay, Still searching for McCarthy/Brennan family who emigrated 1847-1865 to Montreal. Think this list would not include Canada either as it was part of the British Empire at that time.

    • Kay Caball Kay Caball
      September 19, 2017    

      Elizabeth, yes the figures would include Canada. Good to hear from you but sorry that success still evades the search. Kay

    • Regina Savage Regina Savage
      November 12, 2017    

      Hi Elizabeth, My great-grandfather, Martin Brennan of Kerry, emigrated to the U.S, around the same time as your McCarthy/Brennans. We are fairly certain they lived in Holyoke, Massachusetts and possibly Lowell for awhile, before moving on to Iowa, Kansas and Illinois to work on the railroads. However, we’ve never found any definitive ships’ records, and none of them seem to have had any children born in Canada. Martin married (in Iowa) an Irish woman named Hanora Barrett, who had a brother Robert who lived in Washington, D.C. during the Civil War, but there is no indication that their parents emigrated here, or when they did. Do any of these people sound familiar to you? I feel your frustration!! :*)

  2. John Sullivan John Sullivan
    September 20, 2017    

    Minus those who had crossed to live and work across the Irish Sea distorts the question of emigration. Be that as it may, here are some rough percentages of those who left Kerry to go to Australia, Canada, United States, etc. (based on Census Numbers for Kerry: 1851-3.7%, 1861-1.06%, 1871-.83%, 1881-1.99%, 1891-2.74%, 1901-1.9%

    Census Numbers:

  3. October 16, 2017    

    PS: One trail led me to records in Tralee for Dobbins and to a prior Irish King who has exact coloring of me and my other brother. Red Haired King. Felt I was on the right trail here. A painting was done of this King. I will have to find the names on that one again in order to let you know any details.

    Martha Mattie Brown’s mother is supposed to be Esther Jones B 1805.

  4. October 16, 2017    

    Also Irish Pedigrees II, indicates that Brown was a large family in Kerry. Haven’t found a connection yet.

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