Irish Americans of Cleveland

The first Irish immigrants arrived in Cleveland around 1820, many to work on the Ohio and Erie canal and the railroads, but it was not until the late 1840s and the potato famine in Ireland that their numbers rose significantly so that by 1870, the Irish comprised 10% of Cleveland's population. As of 2014, 36,727 Greater Clevelanders claim Irish ancestry, with the largest concentrations in the western suburbs.*

Irish Americans of Cleveland is one of a series of websites developed by the Michael Schwartz Library, Cleveland State University to explore the ethnic influences that helped shape the history and development of Cleveland.

Photos and documents in this collection originate from the Cleveland Press Collection and from the Cleveland Union Terminal Collection. Read more about the collection.

*Rich Exner, "Where are the most Irish cities, counties in Ohio? Or most Irish states?,, Posted: March 17, 2014.

Exhibit Features: