I have searched and searched to find out where my 3rd great-grandmother Ann Meenan Rowan was born in Ireland. (See post-A lot More Questions Than Answers-The Life of Ann Rowan.) I knew that Ann reported she was born in Ireland but I didn’t know where or who her parents were. I was discouraged after all the searching with no answers. I am unable to even find a death certificate for Ann that might contain her parents’ names. I decided to try the Emigrant Savings Bank. I had heard of this bank for Irish immigrants but really didn’t know much about it. All researchers will tell you to find out about the record collection you are searching and don’t just ‘report’ the information you may find.
So what was the Emigrant Savings Bank and can it help me?
After some research I learned that the Emigrant Savings Bank records are said to be some of the best records of Irish immigration anywhere. They contain records of depositors and borrowers. The Emigrant Savings Bank was established in 1850 by Officers of the Irish Immigrant Society to help protect the Irish immigrants and to allow them a way to send money home to destitute relatives in Ireland. This time period follows the mass migration of Irish to America following the potato famine in Ireland.
The Emigrant Savings Bank records are a series of 59 volumes arranged in to seven series:
- I. Irish Emigrant Society-
- II. Deposit Accounts-
- III. Real Estate-
- IV. Real Estate Finances-
- V. Main Branch-
- VI. Bank Buildings-
- VII. Investments-
A 4th volume –Transfer, Signature, and Test Books (contained changes in information such as addresses, account holder and information such as year born, place of birth, etc.).
1) First I looked on Ancestry in the Index Book for your family Surname. There are 3 books covering 1850-1880. All last names are grouped together under the same letter but are not alphabetized.
In the Emigrant Savings Bank Index Book records I found:
In the Emigrant Savings Bank Test Book records I found:
Enjoy the journey,