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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fifteen and off to America

It was April 1823. Patrick Cowhey was fifteen years old and saying his last goodbye to his native Ireland by way of Queenstown in County Cork. Accompanied by twenty-year-old Ellen Cowhey (more than likely his sister), this young man was setting off via the ship William on a course that would change his life forever.

I was thrilled to finally be able to find this ship registry from the Pennsylvania Cowhey family's immigrant ancestor's journey to the new world. It might have been the spelling of his surname that had stumped me earlier (it was listed Cowhy). Whatever the reason, I am happy to have finally found the document recording his journey to America.

Below is the actual passenger list. You can see Ellen and Patrick Cowhy listed fifth and sixth on the list.

What an incredible adventure for a young man of fifteen...

Source: Manifest, Ship William, 26 April 1823, line 5, Ellen Cowhy, 20 and line 6, Patrick Cowhy, 15; “Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897,” National Archives, Washington, D.C., Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36, National Archives Microfilm Publication M237_4, 675 rolls, list 153; digital images, Ancestry.com New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 (http://www.ancestry.com): accessed 13 February 2008).

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