"'SLIEVEROE WEST:' AN IRISH NEIGHBORHOOD MOVES TO NEW JERSEY"

Thomas Callahan

Abstract


Slieveroe West: An Irish Neighborhood Moves to New Jersey

By Thomas Callahan

Abstract

This article examines the histories of several young Irish men and women who emigrated from Frenchpark, in rural County Roscommon, to northern New Jersey in the last half of the 19th century, recreating their old neighborhood and bonds of community on this side of the Atlantic. In rural Ireland the equivalent of a neighborhood is the townland. This article employs the tiny townland of Slieveroe to examine Irish migration and community development in New Jersey. A majority of the fifteen families who lived in Slieveroe and its environs sent sons and daughters to the Garden State, most to West Orange. The factors which drove or lured them out of Ireland are briefly discussed, then, more substantially, the article investigates the reasons why these young Irish men and women chose to relocate in this Newark suburb, how they maintained their personal bonds, and how they kept also in close touch with the families they had left behind. Though separated by thousands of miles, they still considered themselves to be one community, some in Ireland and some in New Jersey, sharing a common experience.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14713/njs.v1i1.11

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