O’Driscoll Family

From County Cork, Ireland to America

In the 1840s Ireland was in great chaos. Most of the land in Ireland was owned by a small percentage of landowners. These landowners felt no obligation to help those that rented out the land and paid their rent. Many of the tenants lived in windowless, one room cabins or cottages.

The food staple in Ireland was potatoes. Tenants lived on potatoes and water. In 1845 the Irish potato farmers had a bad harvest. The next spring, they planted a larger crop of potatoes hoping to make up for the year before, but the potato blight hit even harder. For the next several years the farmers had bad crops. Famine struck, people were steadily dying of starvation or disease. Tenants unable to make their rent were thrown out and left to die on the street.

By 1850 large masses of Irish families had already made it to west to America. The father of one of those emigrants was Thomas O’Driscoll.

See More on Thomas O’Driscoll.

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