04 February, 1845
To any that may find this, this is my story for all to know my struggles and to hopefully one day pass this down to my children and their children. So they will know some of the history of their ancestors.
My name is Fiona MacMenomay, it was originally McMenomay but my grandfather, the father of my mother, did not want anyone to know that we are of Irish descent. He would rather people think that we are of Scottish descent because of the discrimination that the Irish have to endure in America. I am almost sixteen years of age. My mother has decided that it is time that we leave our native Ireland and go to America in hopes …show more content…
The living conditions for the Irish have bred sickness and early death. Most of the infants that were born to Irish immigrants in New York City had died. Grandfather still has not decided whether we are going to settle in New York City, Colony of Pennsylvania, or in Virginia. He is in favor of Virginia since the Irish population in 1710 began chiefly along the Blue Ridge. Mother is hoping to stay in New York City to be closer to my uncle and my …show more content…
It comes from the Irish word “barrog” meaning “accent” or “speech impediment.” Uncle wrote that the Irish are ridiculed for the way we speak. He also said that they are also ridiculed by the way they dress. The poverty and illiteracy provoke scorn from others.
Mother and I are hoping we will not be in an almshouse once we arrive in port. These are also known as the poorhouse. The citizens that live there are usually the immigrants who were too tired, weak, sick, and hungry when they arrive. Uncle Ryan also warned us of the “runners”, who will try and grab our bags and will try and force us to their favorite tenement house and then exact an outrageous fee for their services.
I must close my journal entry now, mother said I need to go to bed so that we can wake up at dawn to make our way to the port and board the ship. Our life in Ireland has been cruel and emigrating to America is not going to be a joyful event, but my family and I know that Ireland will never be the same since The Great Hunger and our potato crop failure, due to potato blight. There once were nearly three million people in Ireland, we have lost nearly one million to starvation and disease and at least one million have emigrated. It is time to see if we can survive our trip to America and make a better life for what is left of our