Look around you. What would it be like if half of the people living in your state disappeared? That’s what happened in Ireland in the middle of the 1800’s. In Ireland before the famine of the late 1840’s, over eight million people called Ireland home. Then over a million people died of starvation and disease and over another million emigrated to find a better life.
As I stood looking at the graves of my great-great-grandparents who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1848, I felt like I had to write their story and the stories of the millions of other people who left their homelands to come here for a better life, a life of freedom and hope.
So Leaving Ireland is that story, and maybe you can relate if you have ancestors who left Ireland or Wales or England or Europe like John and Johannah did.
Remember, I wasn’t there back when all this happened. This story is built on a skeleton of historical facts, research about the history of the time and the history of my family. But it is fleshed out the best I could, imagining what their journey might have looked like and told as the storyteller or Seanchie of 1848 might have told it.