Available online with The Ships List is 3,500 totally free access web-pages with new databases. As you scroll down the list on the homepage you will have numerous topics and subjects to select from.
The categories you might most be interested in would be ‘Passenger Lists‘ and Irish immigrants to America. Also review the topic taps at the top, such as Fleet Lists, Ship Arrivals and Ship Pictures. There is nothing more exciting in learning which ship your ancestors traveled on and what that ship looked like. One of the major ship lines was Cunard Line which carried many ancestors to USA and Canada over the decades.
The steamboats were the transportation vessels and many of them are listed that traveled the major rivers.
The Passenger List runs from the 1700s to the mid-1800s for the United States. There are ship list of passengers also for other countries (Canada, Australia, South Africa). For Canada there is information into the early 1900s. Remember there were people on passenger list coming from Australia to United States.
A major group of immigrants were the Irish to America and Canada during the 1840s. Scrolling down you will find Emigration To North America In 1847 database. This section also includes some transcripts from newspaper articles of the 1840s about the Irish immigrates, the conditions that existed for them on their voyages. Here is one example:
May 19, 1847 Cork Examiner Newspaper
SUFFERINGS OF EMIGRANTS IN NEW YORK—The paupers who have recently arrived from Europe give a most melancholy account of their sufferings. Upwards of eighty individuals, almost dead with the ship fever, were landed from one ship alone, while twenty-seven of the cargo died on the passage, and were thrown into the sea. They were one hundred days tossing to and fro upon the ocean, and for the last twenty days their only food consisted of a few ounces of meal per day, and their only water was obtained from the clouds.
The miseries which these people suffer are brought upon themselves, for they have no business to leave their country without at least a sufficient quantity of food to feed them while making the passage. —New York Sun
Quite a variety of information, worth researching, all related to the vessels used by our ancestors.
Photos: Friesland of the Red Star Line and Ivernia in 1900 of the Cunard Line and a passenger list from Australia to California in 1849.
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