Doc Chat Forty-Eight: Exploring the Irish American Experience Through the Emigrant Savings Bank Records

By Julie Golia, Associate Director, Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books and Charles J. Liebman Curator of Manuscripts
April 6, 2022
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

On March 17, 2022, Doc Chatters marked St. Patricks Day by finding the stories of Irish Americans in surprising historical records. 

Image of two pages of an Emigrant Savings Bank bond and mortgage record book.

Emigrant Savings Bank Records, NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 5260367.

weekly series from NYPL's Center for Research in the Humanities, Doc Chat pairs an NYPL curator or specialist and a scholar to discuss evocative digitized items from the Library's collections and brainstorm innovative ways of teaching with them. In Episode Forty-Eight, NYPL's Philip Sutton and professional genealogist Meryl Schumacker analyzed selections from the Library's collection of Emigrant Savings Bank records that reveal important details about the Irish immigration experience and serve as an essential tool for researchers tracing Irish ancestry.

Episode Forty-Eight: Primary Sources

Philip and Meryl examined excerpts from the Emigrant Savings Bank Records, 1841-1945. Explore the finding aid

They focused on an 1855 record associated with Mary O'Connor from the Emigrant Savings Bank Bond and Mortgage Record Book:

Image of two pages of an Emigrant Savings Bank bond and mortgage record book.

Emigrant Savings Bank Records; NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 5260368.

They also analyzed the following (not digitized): 

Emigrant Savings Bank Test Book no. 1, nos. 1 to 12,482 (1850)

Emigrant Savings Bank Test Book no. 1, nos. 1 to 12,482, account no. 361, Catherine Edwards (1850)

Exterior black and white image of building with sign Tammany Hall over entrance

NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 721890F.

Episode Forty-Eight: Readings and Resources

Marion R. Casey, “​​Refractive History: Memory and the Founders of the Emigrant Savings Bank,” in Marion R. Casey and Joseph Lee, eds., Making the Irish American: History and Heritage of the Irish in the United States (New York University Press, 2006). 

New York, U.S., Emigrant Savings Bank Records, 1850-1883 Ancestry Library Edition (free at all branches of NYPL)

William Perris, Maps of the city of New York on NYPL Digital Collections.

Sanborn Map Company, Insurance maps of New York on NYPL Digital Collections.

Philip Sutton, “Emigrant City: Two Stories,” NYPL Blog, November 4, 2015.

Join the Doc Chat Conversation

Doc Chat episodes take place on Zoom every Thursday at 3:30 PM. Check out upcoming episodes on NYPL's calendar,  and make sure you don't miss an episode by signing up for NYPL's Research newsletter, which will include links to register. A video of each episode will be posted on the Doc Chat Channel of NYPL's blog shortly after the program. There you can also explore videos and resources for past episodes. See you at the next Doc Chat!