The ship, Glen

The family of John and Jane Black

The family of Mary and James Black

Glen ship roster, with Black family children

Mary Black and her daughter, Jane

On April 6, 1849, the ship Glen arrived in New York harbor from Sligo, Ireland, carrying my third great grandparents John (1786-1867) and Jane (Mitchell) Black (1795-1881) and five of their children, Robert, 22, John, 20, Jane, 18, Thomas, 14, and Gustavus, 7.  James Black, my second great grandfather, had arrived earlier through Canada. John Black was born in Larkhill, Ballysodare Parish, County Sligo, Ireland. He may have raised trotting horses, and his father may have come from Scotland.  Outbreaks of cholera and famine in Sligo had most likely forced the Black family to emigrate. In 1845, there was a partial failure of the potato crop and 2,400 persons were unemployed. In 1846, there were food riots. Violent thunderstorms and scanty produce in 1846 led to the specter of starvation.  In Dec. 1846, the county committee said that “deaths from starvation have already occurred…” and many were wasting to “mere skeletons.” Soup kitchens were set up. One rector in the county wrote to the committee in Dublin asking for relief. “We are thinking…” they wrote back. To which he replied, “While you are thinking, we are starving.”

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