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New York Emigrant Savings Bank

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New York was a major port of destination for many Irish emigrants, especially in the famine years with many searching for a better life. There was an Irish Emigrant Society which in 1850 established the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank. This was to allow newly arrived Irish emigrants to save their money. The Bank even had an office on Dublin to allow poor relatives back home access to money earned.

As many of the early account holders where illiterate, the bank established 'Test Books' containing detailed personal information about each Customer; such as birth location (sometimes in Ireland), and if applicable the Ship on which the sailed to America

These books are a good source of information if you are trying to find a location from which a relative holding an account may have come.

Details included in the Test Book;
Name of Account Holder
Account Number
Place of Birth (can sometime give town/village and county in
Ireland)
Occupation (may be of use, as same occupation may have been held
while living in Ireland)
Relatives
Date account was opened


Below we've provided a sample of some Accounts held by people who sailed from Ireland in the mid 1800's. One interesting entry is Catherine Austin who is recorded as having sailed on the George Washington in 1842. The is the same ship on which John F. Kennedy's grandfather sailed!

Account Information
Name Maria Adams
Account Number 43111
Date Account Opened 10/08/1864
Personal Details
Place of Birth 1824 County Westmeath, Ireland
Occupation Housekeeper
Residence 163 East 26th Street, Manhattan NY
Next of kin Theodore (deceased) - Husband
Immigration Information
Date of arrival 1840
Name of Ship America
Additional
3 children.
Account Information
Name Patrick Anderson
Account Number 29140
Date Account Opened 01/06/1862
Personal Details
Place of Birth 1836 Ballyporeen, Co. Tipperary, Ireland
Residence 136 Hammond Street, Manhattan NY
Occupation Liquor Dealer
Next of kin Margaret Angela McGrath - Wife

Emily - Daughter

Immigration Information
Date of arrival 1858
Name of Ship Kangeroo
Additional
 
Account Information
Name Catherine Austin
Account Number 6708
Date Account Opened 04/01/1854
Personal Details
Place of Birth Ardagh, near Loughal, Co. Cork, Ireland
Occupation None
Residence Holdridge Hotel Cor 18th Street & Bowrey, Manhattan NY
Next of kin Thomas Lyons (deceased) - Father
Immigration Information
Date of arrival 08/00/1842
Name of Ship George Washington
Additional
Arrived in NY from Liverpool. Married to G.W. Austin, no children.
Account Information
Name Thomas Bogan
Account Number 36788
Date Account Opened 10/06/1863
Personal Details
Place of Birth 1833 County Antrim, Ireland
Occupation Stevedore
Residence 72 Carmine Street, Manhattan NY
Next of kin Ann Fitzgerald - Wife
Immigration Information
Date of arrival 1846
Name of Ship Burlington
Additional
They have no children. The captain of his arrival ship was Captain Cook.
Account Information
Name Philip Caffrey
Account Number 16102
Date Account Opened 1858
Personal Details
Place of Birth Saggerreal, County Cavan, Ireland
Occupation Cartman
Residence Clifton, Staten Island NY
Next of kin Philip (deceased) - Father

Mary Finelly (deceased) - Mother

Immigration Information
Date of arrival 05/00/1843
Name of Ship Powhattan
Additional
Married to Bridget Cullen, 5 children.
Account Information
Name Mary Kelly
Account Number 39239
Date Account Opened 03/08/1864
Personal Details
Place of Birth 1829 County Limerick, Ireland
Occupation Housekeeper
Residence 212 Avenue C, Manhattan NY
Next of kin David Johnson - Husband
Immigration Information
Date of arrival 1855
Name of Ship Cornelius
Additional
No Children
Account Information
Name Alice Lacy
Account Number 4544
Date Account Opened 06/13/1853
Personal Details
Place of Birth Farnstown, County Limerick, Ireland
Occupation  
Residence 9 Mulberry Street, Manhattan NY
Next of kin John Walsh (in Ireland) - Father

Margaret Flynn (in Ireland) - Mother

Immigration Information
Date of arrival 06/10/1850
Name of Ship Emma Fields
Additional
Arrived in NY from Liverpool. 4 Brothers in Ireland: John, Michael, David and James. 3 Sisters: Hannah, Mary, and Catherine. This account is shared with her husband.

 

Searches on accounts and more information on the Emigrant Savings Bank in New York can be found at http://www.genexchange.org/esb/   at the Genealogy Exchange and Surname Registry.

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