“How Blacks have Irish Last Names”

Ever wonder how a lot of African Americans have Irish last names? Is not because of Irish slave owners, no erase that foolishness……don’t think Gone With The Wind and the O’Hara plantation. What a lot of people don’t know is that Irish were slaves too, hundreds of thousands were sent to work in the West Indies and they blended with the black slaves thus we have Irish names like McFadden, McDonalds, etc. white-slave65a

Irish descendants

They came as slaves; vast human cargo transported on tall British ships bound for the Americas. They were shipped by the hundreds of thousands and included men, women, and even the youngest of children.
Whenever they rebelled or even disobeyed an order, they were punished in the harshest ways. Slave owners would hang their human property by their hands and set their hands or feet on fire as one form of punishment. They were burned alive and had their heads placed on pikes in the marketplace as a warning to other captives.
We don’t really need to go through all of the gory details, do we? We know all too well the atrocities of the African slave trade.
But, are we talking about African slavery? King James II and Charles I also led a continued effort to enslave the Irish. Britain’s famed Oliver Cromwell furthered this practice of dehumanizing one’s next door neighbor.
The Irish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.
Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white.
From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade. Families were ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish dads to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well.
During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.
Many people today will avoid calling the Irish slaves what they truly were: Slaves. They’ll come up with terms like “Indentured Servants” to describe what occurred to the Irish. However, in most cases from the 17th and 18th centuries, Irish slaves were nothing more than human cattle.
As an example, the African slave trade was just beginning during this same period. It is well recorded that African slaves, not tainted with the stain of the hated Catholic theology and more expensive to purchase, were often treated far better than their Irish counterparts.
African slaves were very expensive during the late 1600s (50 Sterling). Irish slaves came cheap (no more than 5 Sterling). If a planter whipped or branded or beat an Irish slave to death, it was never a crime. A death was a monetary setback, but far cheaper than killing a more expensive African. The English masters quickly began breeding the Irish women for both their own personal pleasure and for greater profit. Children of slaves were themselves slaves, which increased the size of the master’s free workforce. Even if an Irish woman somehow obtained her freedom, her kids would remain slaves of her master. Thus, Irish moms, even with this new found emancipation, would seldom abandon their kids and would remain in servitude.
In time, the English thought of a better way to use these women (in many cases, girls as young as 12) to increase their market share: The settlers began to breed Irish women and girls with African men to produce slaves with a distinct complexion. These new “mulatto” slaves brought a higher price than Irish livestock and, likewise, enabled the settlers to save money rather than purchase new African slaves. This practice of interbreeding Irish females with African men went on for several decades and was so widespread that, in 1681, legislation was passed “forbidding the practice of mating Irish slave women to African slave men for the purpose of producing slaves for sale.” In short, it was stopped only because it interfered with the profits of a large slave transport company.
England continued to ship tens of thousands of Irish slaves for more than a century. Records state that, after the 1798 Irish Rebellion, thousands of Irish slaves were sold to both America and Australia. There were horrible abuses of both African and Irish captives. One British ship even dumped 1,302 slaves into the Atlantic Ocean so that the crew would have plenty of food to eat.
There is little question that the Irish experienced the horrors of slavery as much (if not more in the 17th Century) as the Africans did. There is, also, very little question that those brown, tanned faces you witness in your travels to the West Indies are very likely a combination of African and Irish ancestry. In 1839, Britain finally decided on it’s own to end it’s participation in Satan’s highway to hell and stopped transporting slaves. While their decision did not stop pirates from doing what they desired, the new law slowly concluded THIS chapter of nightmarish Irish misery.

Irish descendants

But, if anyone, black or white, believes that slavery was only an African experience, then they’ve got it completely wrong.
Irish slavery is a subject worth remembering, not erasing from our memories.

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192 thoughts on ““How Blacks have Irish Last Names”

      • I don’t know why you are so proud because they don’t claim you!!! At least they were able to join the white establishment due to their color. And when the draft riots kicked off in New York city a lot of those Irish and Italians turned their hatred and attention on the African Americans!!! They didn’t want to go to war on behalf of the African American, well that’s what they thought it was about,, even though we all know that the civil war wasn’t about the liberation of the black slaves. I have some European and native American ancestry, but I claim African American only!!!

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      • I understand what you’re saying ny brother. However, let me respond.

        Africa was named after a so-called white man by the name of Scipio Africanus.

        America was named after another so-called white man by the name of Amerigo Vespuci.

        By calling yourself African-American you are still claiming to come from two so-called white men. The byword “African-American” was just adopted by our ppl in the 1980s due to the counsel of our so-called black “leaders” a Jesse Jackson. On December 21, 1988 Jesse Jackson and a group of other black “leaders” officialy declared their support for the term ‘African American’.

        The truth is African-American is not your true nationality. Africans (Hamites) did not sell their own ppl. Africans sold Israelites. Our ppl fled into west and central Africa (Khem aka Ham) after Jerusalem was destroyed by Rome in 70 CE. We were dwelling in Africa before being sold to the so-called white man (Edomites) by the hands of Africans (Hamites, specifically Tyre and Sidon) and Arabs (Palestine). This is what we know today as the Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Saharan slave trades.

        The truth is, you are an Israelite. It was prophesied that our people would go into slavery on ships because we broke God’s commandments.

        Read Deuteronomy Chapter 28 and visit http://www.israelunite.org to learn more.

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    • The Healy familiar is a wonderful exemplar. Father indentured from Ireland mother African slave. Not allowed to marry in Geirgia. Children sent north. Sons James Catholic bishop of Pirtland Maine Patrick Jesuit priest who made Georgetown University. Healy Hall. Tim the first Commodore of the Ciast Gusrd. Sisters founded orders if nuns. Amazing people

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    • Slavery in any format is wrong. So if Irish slavery and African slavery the same why aren’t the Irish suffering the same fate as blacks today. My theory contrary to the hypotheses here is America has made any skin color not light or white a lower lifeforms hence Irish are white I’m I wrong.

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    • Bullshidt!!!! Louisiana is one hundred apologetically AFRICAN roots. One in every eight so called white person in the state of Louisiana has negro ancestry that can be traced back to the past 11 generations. What have the IRISH contributed to Louisisana’s unique and amalgamated cultural heritage like the Cajuns, Creoles and blacks have?!!!!! I am tired of the Irish and their historical lies!!!!! They resented having to serve in the civil war and dis honored black soldiers but they fly Confederate flags proudly. They always had a love-hate relationship with blacks and were quick to terrorize backs to prove their “whitness”. I read “How the Irish Became White”. Take their bone head, broad cranium, drunken, red neck selves and lie to somebody else. They are the dregs of the white race. I’d gladly accept a Cajun than a damn IRISH redneck!!!!!!!

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    • Where did you find this information? I am a history teacher and I’d like to provide my students with good primary and secondary sources. Please advise.

      X

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      • That’s a very open minded attitude. Apparently it’s perfectly OK to disparage the Irish but don’t make any bigoted remarks that could be interpreted as racist. How hypocritical but typical of the current climate in this country.

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    • 1) It wasn’t hundreds of thousands of them that were put to work.
      2) Even if it were 100,000 of them (which it wasn’t) , it is already documented that many of them were indentured servant’s-not slaves and there’s a huge difference! Had you read the history on it you know this but even without a history lesson you should’ve been able to logically reason this out abecause in order for us to have their last names it would HAVE TO MEAN THAT THEY WEREN’T SLAVES AT THE TIME because slaves aren’t allowed to have their name live on – only free people did
      and;
      3) even if they were 100,000 Irish slaves (which there were not) how dare you attempt to chastise us for talking about the African holocaust? How dare you compare 100,000 indentured servants and criminals to the kidnapping of 12.5 million people? People who were no longer allowed to speak their own language, practice their own religion, marry who they want to marry, raped, murdered, separated and had absolutely no control over their lives for over 250 years? Why would you even mention those in the same breath?
      You should be ashamed of yourself and I suspect that this is a troll site rather than a site ran by a person of African descent. An African would know better.

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    • The Irish were never slaves, they were indentured servants. There is a very large difference between the two terms and are often conflated. Indentured servitude was a poular way of dealing with criminals theoughout the entirety of the British Isles. They entered into an indentured agreement, which was recorded (and can be viewed on many online resources) for a fixed period of time and were subject to the same laws as all subjects of the King. Slaves were never considered to be humans, but rather, chattel, and were subject to the whoms of their masters.

      We must stop perpetuating that the Irish were slaves, it is a fallacy.

      To answer the question that is proposed in the headline, it was primarily due to Irish slave masters and testing the Y chromosome provides evidence of this. In many cases freed slaves took the surname of people who were also kind to them.

      This type if reporting saddens me and is quite irresponsible.

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    • Not really, because it’s obvious, in which sickins me, I grew up born and raised in San Francisco CA. And I didn’t look at the color of the skin of my brothers nor sisters. I was raised a Catholic.. however one day in cadycissim the nuns instructions were to draw Jesus as we seen him in our eyes, Simple one would think , were talking 4th grade ! So I picked up those big fat ugly crayons .. Wants take a guess on my choice of colors ; Brown, White, Blue, and Black …. I was slapped on the hands with a ruler as she demanded, screaming , and hitting me,!! You changed that right now!!!! I was crying, but I wouldn’t changed the colors of how I seen Jesus. She was so angry, that’s not what Jesus looks like, so I said how do you know,? Have you met Jesus . She RIP up my pictures and took me by the gaur to the principal office where he took his turn and that’s just one example. There were school busses, city busses in which I stood my ground my grandmother let me be she was not of color ,but she wasn’t white nor racist.. I have been enjoying ancestry. 8 years now however something’s were very apolling, sad, disgusted me.shamed me. For I come from many origins but the one of royalty is bmy great grandfather’s, Mother’s, Aunts , Uncle’s whom colonized , partaken in this horrible, horiffic , cruel in human act of the wealthiest plantations and plantation owners.My heart aches for what you’ve been put through and each and every descendants and ancestors.. I know for some sorry isn’t enough and I agree .However I’m more concerned with my family that was shackled, bound, branded raped, sold. I would love to know who you are to me , I want to know my roots from the mother of all mother’s Africa .The Carroll’s missing abd forgotten children..

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      • Hi, Black O’Hara,

        I don’t expect people to spot the difference between the Scottish Planters who shared Gaelic names and were approved to move into Ireland and take the land to quell the natives. Nor do I expect people will understand who the English landlords (a.k.a. “Anglo-Irish”) were in Ireland.

        There are points of contention with this article don’t get me wrong, I’m debating the “who suffered” which is not really a secret except it seems in the white-washed Protestant nation that is the United States to which many Blacks seem to be connected with. Let’s recall the words of Dr. King:

        ” ….Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last!” ”

        The predominant slave owners were not “Irish”. Irish was not even a nationality at the time… Catholic hovel living tenant farmers who couldn’t vote, couldn’t hold office, were taxed for their religious beliefs, couldn’t pass the land to their children, couldn’t learn in Catholic schools, had their language officially prohibited, subsisted on the potato, and were largely ignored when they were starving to death by their ruling government (Britain), evicted from their homes, sent off to die in the workhouses of Ireland, women shipped out in the scheme of assisted emigration, did I forget something? Probably.

        So ledgers are a great place to start, but the the ending point.

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    • There have always been slaves, everywhere, all over the world, just as there has always been war and violence. It’s my understanding that there are still people enslaved, although it is done secretly, and/or the laws are manipulated to accommodate it…but it’s still happening, yet today. And of course, if you’re starving, and there are no jobs anywhere, and there’s no healthcare…well, what difference does it make if you’re not “enslaved”? If you’re essentially dying a slow death, it might as well be slavery. There are still people living under those conditions, especially in Africa…Sierra Leone, for example. People don’t make it to age 40 there.

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    • The powers that be, have kept a lot of the truth where history covered up because, its all so ugly as well as in humane!!!!!!!!

      Hell is running over, with the evilness of man’s inhumanity to their fellow men, women and children.

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    • Please stop, bad mouthing people, that sacrifice their time to look through many books to put stories together in order to bring us something new. if you don’t believe it, then so be it, I want to believe it because I know the lady very well, that shared another ladies work for us, be kind to one another, because the good book says we are all related, because of Adam and Eve. Jesus was born in the mid east, why do people believe that his hair is blond and straight, and have white skin, even hanging on the walls of black people, along with Martin Luther King, Malcolm x, John Kennedy. My maiden name is Mc Knight

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      • You are so wrong common sense should tell you how did all colors come from 2 people. It didn’t GOD made all the races and it was good. Adam and Eves bloodline was where JESUS came through, if people only knew this all this hatred for each other skin color would not exist. But you will find out the truth when JESUS comes back to reign for a thousand years to teach his people the truth, because they have been believing a lie about a rapture theory.

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  1. Wow! I guess that’s why they call it history. I never heard of this before, yes, of course, I’ve heard of the indentured servant history, but not the actual brutal enslavement of the Irish people. This reveals another cruel and inhumane treatment of the human family towards each other. The strong over the weak. Sad!

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  2. Slavery is age old and always horrific. I’m just now learning the depth of how horrible Irish slavery was. We should remember this and not let one injustice isn’t used to counter the other.

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  3. I enjoy being educated, there is so much to learn that I wish our young people were taught, so they would love instead of hating each other.

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  4. Thank you for this information. My grandparent on my mother’s side has an Irish maiden name and said her mother married twice, both times to Murphies. Her first husband was White and her second husband was Black. I never learned the whole story of how though unrelated, both husbands had the same Irish surname. Do you have any references from which I can further research this? Very interesting.

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  5. Perhaps I missed something in the text. I’m curious to know how/why the Irish slaves were able to keep their Irish last names?Traditionally slaves had to take on their owner’s last name.

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    • Really good point. This is further evidence that despite the evil of Irish slavery, Irish slaves were strangely still seen as human. Well, human enough to retain their own name. Whereas black African slaves were COMPLETELY stripped of their identity and had to assume the surname of their master. Thus leaving no question that they were property and not human in the eyes of planters

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      • The Irish already had last names in English, most Irish names are now written in English. The Irish language was systematically eliminated in Ireland until the resurgence in the 1920’s. Africans had names that made no sense to the English speaking enslavers, so they gave them English names. For example, I am irish and my name in Irish is Aine Maire O’Fallanhaim, but it was Anglicized to Ann Marie Fallon by the British. So, no, Irish did not get to keep their names, they got to keep their anglicized names, just like African slaves

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      • Good question.

        I mean,….

        Yes, why were the Less valued Irish allowed to keep their last names, But Blacks were completely stripped of everything, even their identity.

        But we still must take into consideration that the Irish were hated for being Catholics, and that this was the main reason behind making them into slaves.

        Is what happend to the Irish also a fulfillment of prophecy?

        Or was it an indirect outcome of the permition of owning slaves?

        I’m other words,….
        Did the heathen of the earth not only enslave the physical Israelites, (those being blacks and Native Americans),
        But even also his own people as a mere result of the kind of things that happen when the wicked are in rule?

        Or was the heaten allowed to do this in a kind of prophetic way?

        Could the Irish in specific have something to do with what the most High is doing in (“phisical”) (black) Israel?

        Or,… Is what happened to the Irish just a mere part of what happens to all, and to any of the different nations of men who are affected by the wicked works of the heathen?

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      • From what I understand, the African slaves didn’t have or use last names during that time period. When they came to America they where made to take the last name of the slave owner. I assume many of the ones the worked side by side with the Irish slaves used their last name in hopes of not being made to take the slave owners name. I could be totally wrong on this but it’s what I’ve read when I did my research.

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      • Unlike the African slaves, the Irish were physically indistinguishable from the English. Keeping their Irish surnames would help to differentiate the two groups.

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    • ^ this. everyone in my family has Irish last names and when looking at my family tree, the ones who are listed as mulattoes in my family have no father listed, but have their mother listed as “negro”. in addition, when i go back as far as i could to the 1800s, i have relatives still with Irish and Scot last names so that’s why I don’t think this article is entirely accurate about the last names. I think the more realistic story of how many Blacks got Irish last names is that there were rich Irish who owned slaves too. Maybe wealthy Irish weren’t common, but they they did exist.

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      • I totally agree with you that all Irish were not slaves.
        My Great great great grandmother was the daughter of an Irish Slave Owner.

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      • Wealthy “irish” were Protestants who were placed there by England to control and rule the Native population. True Irish (native non-protestants) were not even allowed to own property in Ireland until the early 1800’s. Even then these were primarily “yes men” and traitors, easily disposed of and replaced. Although there were Irish Pirates who participated in the slave trade on behalf of France, they did not discriminate and would take Irish or African slaves to sell. Native’s did not participate in the slave trade.

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      • Paddyboy, and a lot (not all, obviously) of the Irish coming to the colonies weren’t Irish either, but came from UK families who spent a few generations in Ireland, then moved on. That’s what the bulk of my “Irish” ancestors really were: Scottish, English, Cornish, etc.

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      • I can trace my Ancestry on my Maternal Grandmother’s (Father’s) side of the Family Tree back to Ireland. The Surname is MAY and the earliest records indicate……1704 in the US. GG Father, May , a wealthy man owned African/Native American Slaves in parts of Georgia and sired two sets of children. The Anglo-Saxon offspring he openly acknowledged. The latter he did not.

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      • The Irish landowners where Protestant and therefore considered British. They owned the land in Ireland too where Catholic Irish worked on their lands. No Irish Catholic had the right to own land in Ireland. Read up on the potato famine. Interesting read on the landowners and the British rule in Ireland

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    • If they were able to keep their names and their identities, there is no way that Irish people were treated as poorly as African people. I am sure that the Irish were treated as “less than” other white settlers, but to say their treatment was equal to or worse than the treatment of African slaves is not probable. And I would love to see references that prove that White Irish people were less expensive to “purchase” than African slaves.

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      • If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say familiarity. “I can say MacIntyre, I don’t know what a Mwanajna is, I’ll call you Mo.” Similar to many of the “Americanized” name changes coming through Ellis Island.
        Again, just a guess.

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      • Why because only blacks get to claim such horrible treatment of their people? The Irish were treated as less of a person than blacks, maybe not worthy of the slave owner’s name! Maybe blacks were named because they didn’t speak english! To doubt that the Irish could be treated worse and be so adamant about it because of what you have been told your whole life makes you a bigot!

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      • We’ll never know for sure. Maybe in a generalized way, but can never say for each individual. A less cruel owner with black slaves who do not forget we’re more valuable, would treat them better than a meaner person with Irish, and visa versa. But animals of higher value are often treated better than less. It would be the same with people. The whole thing is rotten no matter who. White people can treat their own quite horribly, history tells. English treated Irish deplorably. But this should not turn into a contest of who had it worst. Since the black slavery prevailed, likely it was worse. As far as the name changes it was probably due to pronunciations not so much of stripping the names, doubt the traders/owners cared either way, whatever would be easiest.

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      • The fact that you refer to them as “settlers” is disturbing. Also, what is the point if making a caste system of victims. I am quite sure that being held against you will is inhumane regardless of your color or religion. Should we question if being enslaved was not as horrific for those who were lighter skinned because the may not have has as harsh living conditions? Why can’t we acknowledge all the suffering that occurred without saying whose may have been more painful. Why do we continue to ignore the pain of others?

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    • Okay, good cuz I was like, “huh??” Irish slaves suffered as much as black people did… so they married each other?? Like, I’m confused.

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      • Not really. The native Irish spoke Gaelic. The English settlers (the masters in Ireland, supported by the English/British army) spoke English. Gaelic would not have been understood any more than African languages in the new world.

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    • Erm, just a thought, but most Irish of the day would have had some knowledge of English, or been fluent. Their names would have been familiar enough to any English masters. Communicating with an African would have been a completely different matter, and names would have been unpronounceable and incomprehensible to any white slave owner. i.e. it made things a whole lot easier to change their names.

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  6. …the Irish along with other white Europeans were considered ‘Indentured Servants’…Indentured Servants were those people who owed money..or inherited family debts..and could work off the debts..some of these people were brought over to do just that..after they earned their way out of debt they were free from obligation…furthermore their day to day lives while being indentured were less stringent than that of the African slave….this articles conflates the status of slave and indentured servant as being similar when they were absolutely not…indentured servants actually had rights..yes they were treated miserably..but their status was far higher than that of a black man or woman…furthermore the statement that there were no Irish slave owners in the Americas is absolutely inaccurate…so to infer that every black person with an Irish last name is the result of the mixing of these indenture servants who lovingly gave their last names to offspring is simply off base…and perpetuates serious misinformation…

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  7. THE MYTH OF ‘IRISH SLAVERY’ is A LIE “…The tale of the Irish slaves is rooted in a false conflation of indentured servitude and chattel slavery. These are not the same. Indentured servitude was a form of bonded labour, whereby a migrant agreed to work for a set period of time (between two and seven years) and in return the cost of the voyage across the Atlantic was covered. Indentured servitude was a colonial innovation that enabled many to emigrate to the New World while providing a cheap and white labour force for planters and merchants to exploit. Those who completed their term of service were awarded ‘freedom dues’ and were free. The vast majority of labourers who agreed to this system did so voluntarily, but there were many who were forcibly transplanted from the British Isles to the colonies and sold into indentured service against their will. While these forced deportees would have included political prisoners and serious felons, it is believed that the majority came from the poor and vulnerable. This forced labour was in essence an extension of the English Poor Laws, e.g. in 1697 John Locke recommended the whipping of those who ‘refused to work’ and the herding of beggars into workhouses. Indeed this criminalisation of the poor continues into the 21st century. In any case, all bar the serious felons were freed once the term of their contract expired.

    “White indentured servitude was so very different from black slavery as to be from another galaxy of human experience,” as Donald Harman Akenson put it in If the Irish Ran the World: Montserrat, 1630-1730. How so? Chattel slavery was perpetual, a slave was only free once they they were no longer alive; it was hereditary, the children of slaves were the property of their owner; the status of chattel slave was designated by ‘race’, there was no escaping your bloodline; a chattel slave was treated like livestock, you could kill your slaves while applying “moderate correction” and the homicide law would not apply; the execution of ‘insolent’ slaves was encouraged in these slavocracies to deter insurrections and disobedience, and their owners were paid generous compensation for their ‘loss’; an indentured servant could appeal to a court of law if they were mistreated, a slave had no recourse for justice. And so on..”

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  8. Interesting. But you lost me where you said ‘Irish slaves were treated worse than African slaves’. There is far too much historical EVIDENCE of the inhuman way Africans were treated. Example, the habitual practice of African slaves being thrown off ships in transit and subsequently drowned/murdered , so slave owners could claim insurance. You were right that African slaves were an expensive commodity, doesn’t mean they were valued by being treated well in any capacity.

    Remember the sexual abuse of African slaves was the key to keeping the slave population going. And so white planters were secured in their thinking that slaves were disposable because they could easily be created. You also haven’t delved into how racism could have played into how African and Irish slaves were treated. Irish slaves were still white. Since their skin looked like their masters skin did they benefit from any type privilege- no matter how small? Bear in mind black African slaves had the stigma of being likened to animals, mentally backwards and being treated as savage- Which was part of the propaganda system to justify black Africans being enslaved.

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    • You all talking rubbish, Under 800 years of English rule millions of irish died at the hand of the British. Dont think for one second that Irish were liked by their british landlords. They were dispised, were not allowed practice thier own religion, keep their own gaelic name, Own any kind of property, and denied the use of thier own language. This is not about which was treated worse, seems like a game your all going on about, This is about the systematic destruction of nations by the British in these times, i hear noone talking about how ruteless and horrific the British were, they make the Nazi’s look like Saints. The article highlights the horrors that happened, The extent of which is nightmarish. Condem slavery not the people trying to highlight history.

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      • It appears that everyone, including you, completely ignored my comment where I pointed out that the British would hire pirates, specifically Barbary Pirates from North Africa and the Middle eatern areas, to raid entire Irish villages with the intent of wiping out said village so the British could take over the land and do with it as they wish. And they did this systemically and repeatedly.

        Des Ekin’s The Stolen Village is about the village of Baltimore where this in particular happened.

        It does not, however, change the fact that the *numbers* of Irish taken and sold into indenturehood or outright slavery in this article are not born out by any factual evidence.

        Very few are disputing that the British were horrific to the Irish, and to some extent, the Scottish as well. We are, however, disputing the numerical ‘facts’ posited in this article. And the extremely vague, tenuous claims as to how blacks may have acquired Irish or Scottish surnames.

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      • @wolfsilveroak I suggest you re-read the book. Baltimore was an english town, the pirates were directed to it by an Irishman (Hackett), and the english inhabitants were shipped off to North Africa. The pirates let the Irish Gaels go free.

        There’s no question that the Irish weren’t treated very well. But this example is of the opposite. Hackett was later hung for what he did.

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  9. Only problem – how did the irish slaves keep their names. Africans were renamed, what about the irish? After they were freed, when their slave trade ended, they were made overseers, given african slaves, made to believe they were part of the white establishment.

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  10. I was born in Jamaica & was told a little about this by an Irish funeral director. The bad words Jamaicans curse originated from Ireland. I watch an old Irish movie years ago and when the old lady washing her clothes in a pan was cursing someone saying “what the rass cloth,”

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  11. So when the Irish were sold off in the West Indies, Jamaica, America, Australia and these other countries. They were allowed to keep their last names? McDonald, McFadden, and not take the last names of the slave owners, of Smith, Washington, Jefferson, like the black slaves did. And this is how blacks ended up with Irish last names.

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    • Irish version of McFadden = MacPáidín, Irish version of McDonald = MacDhòmhnaill. All Irish were given English translated names and forced to use them. Today there are lots of Irish people reverting to their original names and not the English versions.

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  12. This may have some truth but how does this compare with Jim Crow and the continued racism experienced by Blacks in 2015? There has been slavery of some form for as long as humans have been homosapiens. My last name is Dingle. The slave owners of my ancestors were Dingles. Dingle is English but common in Ireland.
    How did Blacks end up with Irish names? The article failed to explain that.
    Also, there is one difference between White Indentured servants or slaves and Black slaves in a country where Blacks are legally considered property. When a White indentured servant or slave walked away or escaped his master or owner, he or she could go just about any place they choose and live their lives as free White people. Simply put, they could blend in and have a life. However, Black slaves were oppressed intellectually, religiously and physically if they attempted to escape or did anything wrong. Blacks could not blend in to normal society because most Blacks where slaves and most were not educated and they were not accepted in major segments of the country as entirely human.
    I think it is dishonest to compare slavery based on race with indentured servitude or slavery based on economic status or country of origin. But, the tone of the article seemed to suggest that Blacks should not feel like they have been singled out bullied because the Irish was also subjected to indentured servitude or slavery. It is a shallow attempt and more nonsense than anything. There were no Jim Crow laws restricting Irish. If they existed they were unenforceable because Irish did not have to change their race to blend in and be accepted. Also, this foolish comparison fails to acknowledge the differences between indentured servitude and real slavery.
    The main difference is that 600,000 people died in a civil war to end Black slavery, not Irish indentured service. The South seceded from the Union because they wanted to keep their slaves that provided them with human field animals, human sex toys and the freedom to do anything they wanted with their human property. Often, female Blacks slaves were impregnated by their masters to create more slaves. Impregnating Black slaves was a way to increase the wealth of the slave owners.
    African Americans where emancipated because they needed it. Irish indentured servants were not emancipated. Jim Crow laws where formulated to keep Blacks in their place, not the Irish.
    When Blacks succeeded in creating wealth and communities that allowed Blacks to have good lives, they were systematically destroyed by angry envious bigoted white people of every background including Irish. Personally, I am offended not by the story and the facts, but by the dishonest comparison. You could have provided the information minus the dishonest comparison if the facts of the story are accurate.
    Slavery was a terrible condition to place on any people. Slavery is a terrible condition to place on people. Slavery of some form exists now. However, most Blacks in the USA don’t have to deal with slavery. Slavery is not the problem we have to endure. Black people don’t think or worry about slavery. Though we don’t want that ugly past to be forgotten, rewritten or soften to make Whites feel better about them-selves, the issues we worry about are those we have to deal with currently. Those issues are the racism, the bigotry and the discrimination we face daily.

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    • good reply. there is another book to read; which indicates that the so-called American Revolution was spurred on by slave revolts in the west indies. “The Counter-Revolution of 1776: slave resistance and the origins of the United States of America.” And yes, it is as long as its title….I’m still trying to wade through it

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    • I agree. This article tries to make it seem as if black slaves had it far better than Irish slaves or indentured servants. No need to compare the two as slavery in any form or fashion is wrong…no matter to what extent it was practiced.

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      • I would ask when was the last time a police-person STOPED you just because you looked the part of something bad O or you go to a nice store and your treated as if your a thief

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    • Omg. So incredibly well said and so true. You cannot ‘water down’ the mistreament of black slaves and the CONTINUED systematic/institutional oppression of black people. There really is no comparison! Smh.

      Thank you Gary Dingle…loved reading your response.

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    • There is truth in what you say. My only counter comment would be that slavery still exists in 21st century US through its prison industrial complex ….. According to Antonio Moore in his Huffington Post article, “there are more African American men incarcerated in the U.S. than the total prison populations in India, Argentina, Canada, Lebanon, Japan, Germany, Finland, Israel and England combined.” There are only 19 million African American males in the United States, collectively these countries represent over 1.6 billion people.[8]The Black Male Incarceration Problem is Real and Catastrophic – Huffington Post. How do prisoners spend their time? fulfilling government and community contracts for various agencies varying from state to state….

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      • If they committed a crime that warranted jail time, they deserved the sentence. No one forced them to commit a crime. As far as Slavery in jail(BS) They can do their time sitting in their cells doing nothing or they can work to earn money for the commissary or to help pay money they owe to the people or places on which they committed their crimes. Hardly slavery, it’s a choice. I don’t care what race you are, if you want to commit crime be ready to do the time and stop crying that you got caught and the other criminals got away.

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      • If These men are in jail serving time for committing a crime, I have no sympathy for them or anyone else serving time. As far as calling them slaves for working while serving their sentence (BS). Working is a choice and they get paid for their work. It’s usually done to earn money for the commissary or to pay back a debt to the person they committed the crime on.

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    • I cannot speak for what may have happened in America and it is true that we Irish don’t suffer from racism in this day and age. But during the times of slavery in America the Irish people (in Ireland) were subjected to the penal laws, which I suspect were similar the the Jim Crow laws. http://library.law.umn.edu/irishlaw/subjectlist.html

      And this documentary shows the conditions of life for Irish catholics during that time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDVhUQXElTE

      I will never make any claim of who was better off or who had it worse. Such things only serve to bring further division among human beings. I will just say that both existed and as such proves that anyone who is racist and thinks they are justified in being racist is wrong because even with differences of culture, tradition and society all people are the same and we should all treat each other equally and with equal respect. Racism is one of many mechanisms designed to keep people divided and oppressed, and it only serves to further the interest of evil people.

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  13. There were three waves of Irish immigration to America, the 17th century Irish slaves described above, the 18th century Irish immigrants who settled along the Appalachian frontier and were shepherded by Presbyterian ministers because Catholic priests had a 5 pound bounty on their heads, and the mostly Catholic 19th century immigrants who settled in cities and took over the Democrat Party.

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  14. If they were able to keep their names and their identities, there is no way that Irish people were treated as poorly as African people. I am sure that the Irish were treated as “less than” other white settlers, but to say their treatment was equal to or worse than the treatment of African slaves is not probable. And I would love to see references that prove that White Irish people were less expensive to “purchase” than African slaves.

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  15. a male black slave cannot transfer an Irish last name….so it would have had to be a male Irish slave mating with an African slave women who would not have been the owner of the slave child , it would have to have the name of the white owner, so riddle us that??

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  16. As I said an Irish female slave mating with an African slave could not transfer his last name because it was the name of a white owner, if an Irish male slave mated with an African slave she would not get his slave name, it would be the property of the white owner, riddle us this…???

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  17. I have heard of some of the stories of the Irish slave trade; however, the black slaves in American took their last names from their ‘masters’; who usually had Scottish, Irish, or English last names. The Irish in this group would be the ones who were protestant (sometimes referred to as Scot-Irish) and were pro-England. The Irish Catholics did not not migrate voluntarily to the America’s until the 1850’s when the Irish Potato Famine hit their country.

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  18. I think there is lots of information here that people should know about. The history of the Irish enslavement should not be swept under the rug. The Irish were treated HORRIBLY, often just as horribly as Africans—but not always.
    The way you glossed over this with comments like “The settlers began to breed Irish women and girls with African men,” as if the African men (and women and children) weren’t also being raped, and bred with each other and Irish people and slave owners.
    Saying that the Irish were treated worse because they were Catholic might be so on the occasional individual basis, but as a group, they didn’t have their history, their names, and even the memories of their religions and homelands stripped from them. They can still go back to Ireland and see where they came from and even meet distant cousins.
    They were abused and belittled for being Irish and Catholic; they were considered worthless and heathen—but they were seen as worthless and heathen *humans*, at a time when being heathen was a much bigger deal than it is now, even while being traded as property.
    Africans were *things*. The Africans were considered less than apes, incapable of learning, and the forced inter-breeding with the Irish women was eventually made illegal because it was considered an abomination to force even the “least among White women” to copulate with an animal. And the traditional double-standard was upheld even there, because as long as it was circumspect and everyone turned a blind eye, it was still common, un-punished behavior for White males to rape or copulate with African females, but a blasphemous abomination for a white woman to voluntarily “have relations” with an African man, and could result in death for both.
    When did the Irish get declared “human”? When did the law stop saying that “one drop” of Irish blood could give people the legal right to kill, segregate, or abuse you? At what point did marrying an Irish person stop being illegal and considered bestiality? There are no dates for these events, because these were not, and are not, issues faces by Irish slaves and Irish indentured servants.
    (And, yes, it is a fact that that term, “indentured servitude,” was mostly just used as a polite term for “*slightly* less brutal slavery from which there was actually hope of escape”.)

    I think it was disingenuous to tell their story by minimizing the horrors experienced by African slaves. There wasn’t even a need for comparison, let along doing so while ignoring all the other colors of people who were enslaved and abused.

    This entire article reads like those oh-so-learned-sounding pieces that explain why women are simply not suited to traditionally male jobs, or why Black Americans by design and selection are simply not suitable for the sciences or for generic “corporate America,” and should stick to sports and physical labor. It could easily be claimed by any of those writers who like to push their political agendas by denying facts in evidence and making up effects and results that sound plausible, but simply did not happen, or do not have the meanings that those writers freely attach to them.

    A few known facts and a few overstated kernels of truth give a false, gleaming varnish of Truth Exposed when twisted around implications and presumptions based on false logic, when they’re confidently stated as reality, and lead the non-critical reader to unquestioningly believe exactly what the writer has skewed their words to lead them to believe. Politicians and ad writers do it daily.

    You don’t have to deny the history of one people’s suffering to expose that of the other.

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  19. I’ve often had arguments on the very same topic, because blacks have claimed slavery as our own. But there are many others who have suffered under slavery, the Irish as you mentioned here, also the Scottish, Jews (black, German, French…..).

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  20. The writer of this article conflates two different things – geographical/national origin and skin colour/illusionary race category. At the time the Irish were indentured or enslaved or some similar term, the Irish were not yet categorized as “white” but as just “Irish.” Read “How the Irish became white.” Then also read “The Invention of the White Race.”

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  21. This is absolutely fascinating. I have never heard of these Irish. I do know my last name Orr is Scottish Irish but I don’t know much else. All of the people I have ever met with the last name Orr have been white, I’m a brown girl. I would love to know more, this has opened a window in my life. Thank you❤️

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  22. Instead of using the word slaves, they were paid $per head and this made their enslavement different from that of blacks,so they became Indentured servants so were..the Asians mostly Indians..all the Mcdonald McCain McCoy all the Mc are Scottish ..to increased the whites population they send debtors ,who couldn’t pay what they owe, and repeat criminals , the later date up to 1918 children were removed from orphanages from all across England. .Ireland Scotland Wales ..even babies. .were…not left out..some of those babies are in their 80ts 90ths now..but the whites in this categories are ashamed and don’t talk about it..the kkk originated from the fear of free slaves coming to take their jobs..as some black slaves were doing better than the indentured servants. .and the slaves owners trusted their long time slaves than the white indentured servants who could killed the plantation owner and pass for his newly arrived cousin .

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  23. Interesting read. In response to the comment that the Irish did not lose their culture, language etc is inaccurate. The english continued to try to extinguish the Irish through starvation, oppression etc in Ireland. Enter the time of the Irish Famine or genocide. The Irish language was nearly extinct and was only spoken in very remote parts of the country for a long period of time. Today the language is making a comeback. My ancestors were lucky to survive this part of history. I am in no way minimizing the African slave part of history, it is through this history of the Irish to say we can relate and understand an awful part of human history. It is not a contest it is a reminder that many people suffered under the ruling monarchies of England. Perhaps this is were we can find common ground and open the conversation of race relations.

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  24. Read Des Ekins’ The Stolen Village.

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-stolen-village-des-ekin/1113681635?ean=9781847174314#productInfoTabs

    English landowners would literally pay pirates to come and raid entire villages on the Irish land they owned, to get rid of the renters so the landowner could do as he wished with the land. Whole towns disappeared into the MIddle East and North Africa as a result.

    Yes, the Irish were treated horribly by the English, but they were not ‘sold’ as slaves, per se, to the West Indies. An indentured servant is not a slave. An indentured servant has the chance to earn their freedom, a slave does not.

    So while many where likely shipped to the new colonies and the West Indies, it was likely as indentured servants, not slaves. And most defintely not at the numbers cited in this article. Otherwise, there would not have been near as many who immigrated, as well as died of starvation and disease, during the Great Potato Famine as there simply wouldn’t have been that many left!

    And it is entirely possible that they formed families with the native peoples there, or when the slaves were finally freed by England in the English colonies of the West Indies, in the 1830s, with them and that could be how so many African Americans have Irish surnames.

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  25. I think that this article is an insult to the horrors that blacks had to go through during slavery. There is a new drive by whites all over Europe and the UK, stating that they are the real “Jews” or “lost tribes”. This article is merely an attempt to connect whites to Deuteronomy within the KJV Bible.

    The numbers and the periods have also been exaggerated to make the act look gross and longer. I am a Jamaican and I do know, based on teaching, that whites were experimented as slaves for a short period; however they failed to be productive in the climate and harsh conditions.

    Black slaves were the alternatives because they could bear these conditions, and also knew farming techniques which they carried with them to the “New World”.

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  26. Both explanations for why blacks have Irish last names are only partially true. Most blacks who lived on plantations did not have last names. If you look at census lists or the property lists of white planters, you will see that their human property were only given first names. No last names are listed as none were given. Since enslaved blacks did not have last names at the time the Civil War ended, many were catalogued on freedmen’s lists and forced to adopt last names. These last names chosen were often those of Union soldiers whom were primarily Irish. Only a few took on the last names of their former owners, some took names from the Bible. The notion that plantation owners fathered most mixed children is also false. While plantation owners certainly did rape and father children by enslaved women, many were absentee owners who only visited their plantations seversl times a year, this is especially true in the Caribbean. The fact is that any white male could sexually assault a black woman with impunity. The master, overseer, slave driver and all of their male relatives or any white male visiting a plantation for business purposes could access any black woman and rape her. Also, many black women were impregnated on the slave ships and were pregnant by the time they reached the Americas. Many of our foremothers were raped by the ships captains and the dozens if not hundreds of white crew members. They were also raped by their white captors and dealers while in the holding cells that lined the coasts of Africa. So no, they weren’t only raped by the master but any children born of these rapes became the property of the plantation owners. As far as Irish slaves being treated worse than African slaves, not true. The mortality rate of enslaved Africans during the slave trade was so high that white planters had to replace entire popoulations of 30,000 plus people every 5-7 years. The turnover would not be that high if whites treated enslaved blacks with even a modicum of kindness. Most planters were multimilionaires by today’s standards so purchasing thousands of enslaved blacks every 5 years to replaced the thousands who died from starvation, dehydration, disease, exposure, infection, brutality, suicide and mutilation was a minor expense. Slavers were greed driven sadists.

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  27. Oliver Cromwell lived in Henry Tudor’s time around 1536 when Anne Boleyn was beheaded. So what’s this about 16 something and king James?

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  28. I wish the writer had included some references. As a lay person, it’s hard to know who to believe. Here is an article written by 3 people: Liam Hogan, an independent scholar and librarian, Laura McAtackney, an associate professor in sustainable heritage management (archaeology) at Århus University, Denmark, and Matthew Connor Reilly, a postdoctoral fellow in archaeology and the ancient world at Brown University. http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/irish-slaves-myth-2369653-Oct2015/

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  29. I want to thank everyone for reading my post……it was a topic I’ve been pondering for a while…..I was tired of being asked the same questions over and over…..”your last name is Irish but you are black”. I Will keep the research going and will write another post that you will love.

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  30. Extract from the book, “A Journey from Bridgetown to Belfast”
    “……….History appeared to have been a bit unfair to the Irish, in terms of slavery. Unlike African slavery ,the Irish’s story was not widely publicised. Even to this day many still believe that Irish slavery only affected a few thousands. Sometime in the 17th century after the battle of Kinsale in County Cork, in Ireland which took place between 1601 -1602, the English was faced with the huge problem of looking after 30,000 men taken as Prisoners-of War. Their solution to this problem was to start a system of banishment,not unlike what Stalin had done later in the 1930’s ,banishing peasants , kulaks, political opponents and others deemed as undesirables and enemies of the state to prison camps and salt mines in the desolate Siberia.
    Banishment did not solve the problem completely, so King James , the second gave his blessing and encouragement to the selling off of Irish men and women as slaves to the English planters who at this time were becoming entrenched and very rich. The 1625 Proclamation gave the order for Irish political prisoners to be shipped off and sold to the plantation owners in the West Indies. This proclamation lasted 200 years ,ending some 9-13 years before Black Slavery Emancipation.
    The African slave “adapted” readily to the tropical conditions of the West Indies,but they had to be purchased, whereas the Irish were hunted down like rabbits in their homeland, and were free of charge for the taking.

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  31. It seems some people are trying to argue as if only black people were ever slaves?? Ever heard of Spartacus? How about the Hellenic slaves in Sparta who were not only slaves but hunted and killed by Spartans in training. The Romans were very efficient slave masters and after brutally conquering most of Europe and enslaved people to build roads and cities – where did gladiators come from?

    By the time we reach the 1600s the non roman Europeans have been assimilated into a romanic style world where most are commonly white (although this seemed to exclude the irish who were treated very badly and if they weren’t forced into servitude died of starvation or spent their lives as serfs). At this point eyes are cast around for new slaves, from somewhere that isn’t yet a taboo source.

    African tribes were happy to take slaves during wars, and more than happy to sell them on to arab and european traders. This then started a huge trade as the US opened up as a new world demanding labour.

    In the 1940s what were the Jews in Germany? What happened to 6 million of them? Where they not slaves in labour camps? Where they not forced to build railroads and gassed and burned in ovens?

    What do we see here? That Slavery is colour blind but profit centred. Today black people are assimilated into western culture, et slavery hasn’t ended. In the middle east a milder form of it still exists. In parts of India the caste system locks some segments of society into servitude.

    We need to move past focusing on just one point in history to see the big picture. And to recognise that slowly humanity is discovering the idea of liberty, equality, human rights. Spreading these values will end modern slavery, and help us make the entire history of slavery a thing of the past.

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    • Remember England was also enslaved by the Romans. It is safe to say that if we knew all of history everyone’s ancestry has been enslaved at sometime. Don’t forget modern recorded history versus older nonrecorded history or minutely recorded history. Adam and Eve are my ancestors as well as yours DNA has proven that we all tie to the original humans they lived in Africa. We are truly brothers and sisters let’s keep recording history and see if we can make the future better for everyone. I am a Kyle from Scotland I am scotch-Irish they were indentured servants and free men. I’m English Scandinavian Western Europe Eastern Europe, European Jew Irish my oldest ancestry comes from Africa I along with all of you are the human race we are imperfect people frail to a fault trying to make life better for each other

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  32. My entire family ancestry is from the island of Montserrat. I always wondered why a lot of families there had Irish last names (Riley, Dubbery etc.) & why St.Patrick’s day is arguably one of the most celebrated holidays on the island. Although they did suffer as the Africans, they were also afforded certain privileges not afforded to African slaves. I wonder if the Irish will be told to ‘get over it already’ the same way African Americans and Canadians are told.

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  33. There is a book called White Cargo. I got it on Amazon..there is a complete history of the Irish Slave trade. The Irish were hated because they were catholics. What is there for any of you to gain by denying the atrocity of the abuse of the Irish? In the sixteen hundreds EVERYONE came as indentured servants including Africans. The first slave owner in the colonies was Anthony Johnson, a black African. He gained his freedom in 7 years and bought land. He had several indentured servants. One of them reached his 7 year mark, and went to work on another mans farm. Johnson took him to court and the judge ruled that Anthony Johnson did not have to release this man. That is the first recorded slave in the colonies. What ya’ll ;need to figure out is why this history has been buried and who is gaining from that. If you notice, there is nothing said at all about color in the constitution concerning slaves. I have to go back and check to see if the word slave is even in it.

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  34. Here is the thing though, when they hooked up with Africans to rebel, Bacons Rebellion, they struck a deal with the English colonists to become the slave patrols and plantation overseas. Of course police departments came from the slave patrols and why in some states you got a lot of Irish cops. So they forgot where there came from, slavery and became slavers or helped them. So, f**ck the traitorous bastards.

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  35. Having the last name ‘Kelly’ seems to place me directly in the cross hairs of this discussion. Now is it Irish or Scottish. I think the Scots are the O’Mally’s and O’Conner’s and the like…..

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  36. in order to be enslaved it didn’t matter whether you were Irish, English, Welsh, Scots, Black, White. or any other colour or race, you just needed to be POOR. and that has not changed. slavery is not in the past,

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  37. it didn’t matter whether you were Irish, English,Welsh, Scottish, Black, White, or any other race or colour, you just needed to be POOR. That has not changed and the enslavement of the poor is as relevant today as it was at any other time in history. Poverty is the great enslaver.

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  38. Word of warning: My commentary rivals the original article in length.
    There is a prevailing debate amongst the commentators that leaves me with strong feelings of indignation. The argument is as follows: “…the Irish… had an advantage because of their skin color.” In this way of debate it subdivides the issue of slavery in degrees of worse and worse-er. Its effect with regard to the subject of slavery on a whole only minimizes the atrocities of slavery and bigotry. Therefore, this preposterous on-going debate only goal is to keep the Blacks monopolizing the atrocious history of slavery. What utter pointless nonsense is this!? Slavery, in any oppressive, dehumanizing form is wrong! Debating its distinctions is appalling and only has in place in academia and never in culture or politics. The only qualifying factor is; if it’s dehumanizing and/oppressive then it’s wrong! It doesn’t matter how ‘well’ you claim they were treated nor what advantage you say they had by the color of their skin. In fact, you could make the argument the latter point is a bigoted racist statement. This is not a racial issue; it is humanitarian issue!

    What is Black? What is White? There are many different races from different parts of the world, all with their own diverse history that share the same or similar skin colors. So what is it that makes all so called White skinned folks exactly like one another? Likewise, what makes all Blacks the same? Africa is a huge continent. Each induvial from different areas of the continent have unique differences. Are the Australian Aborigines to be categorized in this same way although, willingly or unwillingly, they didn’t participate in the same slave trade and share no (at least within the past several thousand years) common history with the African Blacks? Although I reject the implications of these labels, for the sake of the argument and simplicity, I’ll continue to use them. I do so only under protest.

    In America and even somewhat in Europe, Black skinned people enjoy a monopoly of the history slavery and its oppressive effects. Many people tend come to the belief that African Blacks were the only ones in the entire world to fall victim to Slavery. Although, the much to the contrary; if you’ve ever studied world history, you’d realize that slavery has happened in just about every culture at one time or another and has been happening at every point in time in mankind’s history including the present.

    This fact is recorded in ancient China, Egypt and Mesopotamia. Vikings had plenty through their bloody history and called them thralls. The Romans… anyone? The Huns and Mongols did it. Many Native American tribes would enslave other tribes that they’d conquer. Aztecs and Mayans were no exception. And, yes, African tribes did it as well!

    In fact, some African tribal leaders were profited from the slave trade by allowing and assisting slave traders in raiding their enemies land. Some would conquer their enemies to gain power, land, wealth and additional wealth by selling their slaves to slave traders. They became very wealthy and powerful at the expense of their foes and rivals. They were dictators and if they felt it to their advantage they’d sell off members of their own tribe and simply call it their right as ruler. Even today the continent is littered with tribal dictators and warlords and they oppress the people below them and still treat them as slaves.

    The only notable distinction is that the import/export of slaves reached a pinnacle during the colonization of the America’s era and Blacks were the main ‘slave stock’ being exchanged at the time. Then, for many of the world’s most powerful and influential nations of the time, this is where slavery was put to an end. This is the most recent history and this is, what I’d argue, is the reason why Blacks are accredited as being the ‘slave race’.

    In contrast, however, at this same period in history, predominately, the Portuguese and Spanish were colonizing and enslaving the indigenous population of the South America continent. Although some of the indigenous people eventually earned their way up in status and they imported slaves from the African slave trade, the overwhelming majority of the oppressed was still the South America natives. To reiterate; we’re talking about the entire South American continent. The only major distinction was that these slaves were not being exported outside of their continent likened unto cargo as they were in the African Slave trade.

    But still many commentators’, and even thought our recent political history, make topics like these into racial issues. Though bigotry definitely had its’ part to play, the root of the issue, was nevertheless mostly about making a profit at the expense and exploitation of these slaves. If it wasn’t profitable, they wouldn’t have done it. This is a human issue, not a race one. In part, bigotry came into play in order to ease the conciseness of individuals who partook of the benefits of slavery. Some aspects of racism are religious others are cultural but in most cases have nothing to do with something as simple as skin color and are definitely not limited to Blacks. Other aspects of racism and bigotry are far too complicated to touch on here.

    To pick on Chloe (Admittedly, I Enjoy picking on ignorant bigots); she mentions how Whites suppressed Blacks and sites example after example and doesn’t fail to continue to mention color over and over again. Clearly this makes it a Black vs White issue. Let’s not forget the Red vs White; Yellow vs White; and Brown vs White. It seems by your statements that Whites are the only skin color capable of being bigots, slave traders/owners, and oppressors. I reject this and say that the skin color labels are themselves, at best, a statement of a bigot.

    This is an ignorant recitation of a much more complicated history than Chloe suggest. She and many other commentators suggest and maintain that this is a racial issue, Black against White. This regard of history and overall attitude only serves to further perpetuate the divide between skin color and bigotry. This slave trade, and the bigotry in the past and now, is very complicated issues; don’t oversimplify them by making it an issue of Black vs White. Doing so further divides races and intimates that being white is bad and that you’re somehow guilty of past crimes. This is not a race issue! It’s a human one!

    “The main difference is that 600,000 people died in a civil war to end Black slavery, not Irish indentured service.” There you go again, oversimplifying a complicated issue. First of all, the reason for the Civil War was the Confederate’s secession from the Union. This was brought about by many different factors and not just slavery as most people seem to think. One issue was the Federal Government vs Individual State’s rights. Another was the prevailing feeling among the Southern States that they were not being representing and that their votes didn’t count. Indeed, they legitimately had reasons for their grievances too.

    Slavery was not only their chief concern but certainly serves as a great example. The impact of freeing the slave would be felt much more to the Confederates than the Union. In other words, the South stood more to lose. This is how many other current events were going at the time, that is, not in the favor of the south. January 1861, seven Southern slave states individually declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate. But it wasn’t until January 1, 1863 that Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. This historical issue is clearly more complicated than most people give it credit for being.

    Second, how does the Civil War, even if it were just about slavery, diminish the atrocities of slavery, war, and maltreatment of the Irish? The article is pointing the finger at the British Empire. The same empire founded the North American Colonies. The same empire, including the Spanish and French, therefore, initiated the slave trade in North America.

    Further, the statement, “… I am offended not by the story and the facts, but by the dishonest comparison.” this is an insult to intellect! (I feel it necessary to elaborate because of your intellectual handicap. What I’m saying is that you’re complete idiot.) It’s a circular statement! Just like her arguing the distinction between different slave treatments. It’s like saying, “I’m personally offended by you not because of your genetics but because of your race!”. Idiotic! Not only are the facts part of the story but so is the comparison. But I digress; apparently what Chloe’s real point is by this previous statement is that, when/if Whites talk about how a part of their race was oppressed and enslaved at one point in history that it somehow diminishes and lessens the Black’s slave history and only serves to “…to make Whites feel better about them-selves…”. Case and point, to her it’s all about race. FYI: ‘Themselves’ need not be hyphenated by the way… just saying.

    And at last; nowhere in the article did the author claim that the treatments to the Irish were worse. In fact he intimated that the conditions were at least just as bad when he said, “We know all too well the atrocities of the African slave trade.”. Therefore, this is a moot point and if you’ve somehow drawn that conclusion on your own, it speaks more to your intellect and character than true facts.

    So what’s my point; well it’s not to minimize the history of Black slaves. To review, my points are thus:
    1. Throughout history, all nations and races are guilty of slavery.
    2. The worst and qualifying factors for slavery are oppression and dehumanization.
    3. Blacks are/were not the only slaves.
    4. Blacks participated and also were complacent in the slave trades.
    5. Blacks are still enslaving one another and so are Whites, it needs to stop.
    6. The slave trade was/is not a race issue, it’s a humanitarian one.
    7. Regardless of the disputable facts of this particular article; Whites have been/are subjected to same level of cruel slavery as well. Blacks do not collectively own a patent on cruel slavery.
    8. Slavery is still happening today and not prevailing with just Blacks.
    9. Don’t continue to nourish the seeds of bigotry by oversimplifying complicated historical issues and happenings into Blacks and Whites or any other shade of color.
    10. Nowhere in the article did the author claim that the treatments to the Irish were worse.

    Conclusion: With regard to the article.
    Although, I recognize that the facts of this article are in dispute, with regard to the treatment of the Irish by the British Empire, knowing what I do about history, it is not entirely unlikely that much of this is true. As for how, I insist on the qualifier ‘some’, of the ‘Blacks’ got their last names, I think this may just be embellished truth.

    Thank you,
    Jared Whitefield

    P.S. Ignorant bigots need not comment.

    Like

  39. When the KKK did not get enough traction in the south in the early part of the 20th century they moved North and preyed upon the Irish and Catholic immigrant. My Uncle Lon, born in the U.S. was shot in the head by the KKK in Sudbury Massachusetts back in the twenties. The KKK was waning so they turned their hatred back to the Irish. Some of us blow it off, move on, and create a better life for our families. We fight hatred with success. One generation after another. Some people wallow in the past and stay the victim. https://sudbury.ma.us/services/news_story.asp?id=259

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  40. I’m Dutch and this is only the second time I’ve read about this in my life..
    Maybe this should spoken more of, because I’m sure I didn’t learn this in my student years. No.. this is skipped when you learn about politics and English/Irish relationships (IRA was very active at that time), but actually more understandable if only 100yrs before centuries of abuse were stopped..
    Schools should teach more about this stuff, because it’s part of a neighbouring history which may not be NOT told. Instead the only thing of Ireland you learn is that Dublin is its capital..
    So with that in mind I guess history allready was rewritten in favour of the British
    Thanks for sharing

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  41. My grandmother 👵 had told me this when I was a little girl, If you come from a family who is of mixed race, and they know the old family school 🏫 and is not afraid to tell you, cause this was known but your not suppose to talk about it..but I always knew cause of the red hair, but eyes and freckles..the freckles are a sure sign my grandma would say..I learned sp much from her said she wasn’t allowed to talk are educate anyone of it, once my grandfather died she told everything..she was a Creole borne in Baton Rouge La. Giving in exchange for a debt that was owed to my grandfather, he didn’t want anyone to know his family history, did you know there were Germans who were held in prison in N.Orleans La. because of there race ? My family history is very interesting..anyway they can’t sweep all this under the rug anymore thanks to documents of proof which are online for the world to see now!! I love it !! All this purity has got to go, and the truth come out!!! Period

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  42. Barbados has an enclave on the island, the descendants of Irish slaves who never integrated with others, they speak with a slight Irish accent but as a race they suffer from alcoholism and diabetes and inbreeding.

    They live as second class citizens and are called red-legs and red-necks etc by the rest of the population due to their fair skins getting burned by the sun.

    Fact.

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  43. Unlike Africans, Irish indentured servants could buy their way out of slavery. So not forgotten but definitely no true or meaningful comparison. There were thousands of indentured white servants in England during the same time.

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  44. Liam Hogan does a pretty good job of refuting this pseudohistory. http://www.academia.edu/9475964/The_Myth_of_Irish_Slaves_in_the_Colonie This story has been circulated amongst white supremacist sites and through social media, has found its way into mainstream conservative consciousness. It’s now being used to paint the picture of white persecution and victimization and to deny historic institution racism in the US. Disgusting lies like this are akin to Holocaust Denial, and it’s no surprise that one of the authors circulating this myth, Michael Hoffman, is in fact an outspoken Holocaust Denier. Whether you think indentured servitude and slavery are the same is a matter of semantics, but it was on no way even close to the chattel slavery faced by blacks. The Cromwell era, which saw a few thousand Irish servants brought to Barbados, is where most of this false narrative is focusing on. The large wave of Irish immigrants to the US in the 19th century has no direct lineage with the Barbados group, were granted the status of whiteness very early, and were actively involved in violent attacks on Blacks, Asians and other ethnic groups competing for jobs. There was discrimination and stereotyping of Irish, and there were many Irish supporting the abolition movement, and later solidarity with the civil rights movement. But this narrative of Irish victimization is being used by racist whites to oppose social progress
    A second article.
    http://www.irishcentral.com/news/first-lady-michelle-obamas-irish-slave-owner-roots-are-revealed-159341955-237511041.html
    A third article
    https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/liam-hogan/%E2%80%98irish-slaves%E2%80%99-convenient-myth

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Irish were indentured servants,which lasted 7 years. After which they were given the title of “white” and used as overseers on plantations.

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  46. As an African American woman with an Irish last name, i knew the Irish were slaves and figured that’s how i got my last name. I have been unsuccessful with finding all the data you have, will you please site the sources from your research? I’ll take everything you have, thank you! Such a great read!

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  47. Horrific story, and the things the Irish went through shouldn’t be forgotten. But it seems that your fellow Irish forgot both about the atrocities done to them and working side by side with African slaves. Once they were accepted as “white” around the Depression, they quickly became as racist as any other white person during that time and hurriedly left the neighborhoods they were living in with Blacks. Also:
    1) A good number of slave masters were Scotch-Irish

    2) Irishmen were used as Overseers

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  48. Reblogged this on Eccentric and Bent and commented:
    I had learned of indentured servitude among the Europeans. I never heard of Irish chattel slavery until the last few years. It started with a video of the Black Irish of Montserrat. From there I started seeing more videos and posts speaking on Irish slavery. I always thought that the Jamaican dialect sounded like a version of an Irish dialect. I assumed it had transferred from plantation owner to slave but instead it seems like it transferred from Irish slave to African slave.
    Even though our histories converged and should have caused extended cooperation between the groups, Irish Americans have become stereotyped as extreme racists. Some of that comes from atrocities visited upon African Americans during the 19th and 20th centuries such as the union riots that rocked many northern urban centers. Or the violence committed by Irish American youth against POC in places like Boston and New York.
    Whether the stereotype is based on truth or not, I have no personal knowledge. I just know that it opens a lot of questions as to how groups behave based on class status. It is also fascinating to see that American society changed its caste system from strictly class based to skin based in just a couple of centuries.

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  49. There were black slave owners as well, so to say that you doubt that they were slaves because such and such was an Irish slave owner is crazy. My ancestors great great great great great grandparents, one French, one black, moved to new Orleans together (after his wife died) and owned slaves. And i agree. They got to keep their last names because they were easy to pronounce….. Its common sense guys. People hardly wanna learn African names now and wanna say “I’ll call you _______” but anyway I have an Irish last name because of my mom’s dad but I also have a French last name that originated in Germany. Anyway, this was a great read.

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  50. My grandmother was an indentured servant who came over here from Ireland to work with an English family later on my grandfather saw her or met her and decided to purchase her freedom from that English family so she so she was actually a slave / indentured servant herself

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  51. I was under the impressionthat the Irish came to America as indenture slaves. That meant they came here and worked their debt off and paid for their freedom. Only a few blacks were able to do this. Then after a time the law change and blacks were considered chattel so therefore were unable to buy their freedom. That is really a big difference between being a black slave compare to other slaves who was really indenture slaves. One can work and but back their freedom, and the other one was considered less then an animal

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  52. If so then where’s the genetic descendantcy of white besides the colonizing unaltered British or whatever bloodline in the West Indies today? The slaves that came over from Ireland where already black. Blacks where all over the world.

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  53. Well my last name is carmickle. Family of three here by underground railroad. One man and two kids made it. Ive seen the pictures of long ago. My great great great great grandfathers name is the same as mine. To keep it going. So for me. Its about connecting the dots.

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  54. I would like to recommend ‘People’s History of the United States’ by Howard Zinn to anyone who is interested in this type of hidden history.

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  55. I get so tired of hearing about these damn Edomites (ie the Irish) and how they have suffered. The Irish have, throughout history been very cruel to African Americans so let them the many of them wear the title of red neck like it is their badge of honor. They have suffered nothing but a lack of potatoes and cabbages. They should be and “should have been” more like the Cajuns and quit they need to stop trying to corrupt the Cajuns. The Irish are ignorant beasts of the field!!!! I would claim nothing from their bloodline!!!!!

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  56. I got my answer. I was investigating the origin of my very Irish name “FRAN MCCARTHY”! Although my name has awarded me a lot of great opportunities because it looks great on paper; I’m a 6’0 tall African American from GEORGIA .I HAD TO KNOW!!!!!!!

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  57. Riddle me this, if a irish woman is bred with an african man, would the child not take the last name of the MAN?! #DoesntAddUp

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    • That’s what I was going to ask. How would the Irish name get passed down, if the Irish parent was the mother.

      I still choose not to use the Irish name my Black family still carries.

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  58. The English Welsh and Scottish peoples all suffered by the hands of the elitist British. No one in the homeland was safe. If you didn’t have money you had nothing. It’s not to different to the world we have today. The names and places may change however the game and the crimes remain the same.

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  59. This is not new information, I have always known about this since I was a small child, my family has always spoke about it, we always wondered why the Irish themselves did not voice it more, was it to securely assimilate into the other parts of white culture, they have done just that, not sure if it is secure or not, but sometimes you won’t know if someone is Irish unless you ask them. I think slavery regardless of color is disgusting and shameful, but even more is to come out of slavery and help the oppressor with the same oppression that was previously placed upon you.

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  60. I’m reading these blogs and I’m thinking to my self, what does this article have to do with irish slaves? Yet, let me put it this way, why does it seem like every black person wants to deny irish history? Remember one thing and one thing only…..irish slavery did happen in the Americas and in the West Indies! Did irish people have it worse than blacks??? It depend ends on how you look at it!!!!!!! If we were going Per capita I would 100 percent say yes!!! However, this isn’t auditing who had it better and who had it worse!!! Obviously African-Americans had it worse if you look at it in a way where most of their race went into slavery….yes, their own people were involved in the slave trade…..but again I’m just stating facts!!!! The reason why African-Americans have irish last names is literally because of the English men, they rounded up thousands upon thousands of irish enslaved woman, so they could breed more expensive slaves…..yes, there you go!!! Everyone knows a mulatto slave is more than a pure irish slave or pure African slave!!!!!! One last point, as a professor in irish studies…….here are some accredited sources on irish slavery, you shouldn’t get your sources from Wikipedia or any other non accredited website!!!!!!
    http://glc.yale.edu/master-samuel-symonds-against-irish-slaves

    https://www.ewtn.com/library/HUMANITY/SLAVES.TXT

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-irish-slave-trade-the-forgotten-white-slaves/31076

    One last thing, the only person / historian if you can really call him that ,since he is really just a flippin’ Englishman from Ireland ….really he is descended from English lords which is why he is on ten different websites promoting “irish slavery is a myth”……. His name is Liam Hogan or should I say Lord Hogan lol. Everyone google irish slavery is a myth and tell me who it’s written by or sourced by……you got it it Liam Hogan….yes he is one of the millions of English trying to deny our history!!!!!!!

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  61. Anyone using liam hogan as a source, whom is the only one, literally the only one trying to debunk irish slavery besides the hundreds of thousands of African americans (which is why irish come off as “racist”…… Imagine irish saying African slavery never happened, when you know 100 percent it did happen??). I will admit, some of this is said by a very very very small percentage of the “real irish” population worldwide, they see it as being weak !!!! Especially admitting anyone enslaved them!!!!!! Think about their rage…” The fighting irish” especially 100 years ago you wouldn’t have not one Irishman admitting they were ever slaves ( they would talk about it amongst themselves, but never with outsiders whom weren’t “real irish”…. who wants to admit that, it’s not something to be proud of……in fact irish people when they arrived as “immigrants” in the late 1800s ……..after the irish slavery of the 1600s in New England and Virginia, South Carolina,etc….they were given guns to go fight a war right after they landed, literally!!!!! Then they faced the Nina signs( no irish need apply) etc etc…..basically, the irish tried so hard to fit in, after 800 years of oppression,real oppression……they wanted to fit in bad…..they wanted to be white!! However it took a while for them to be recognized as equals, even when JFK was elected as the first ” real Irishman” to be president!!!!!….(no scotch-irish has no irish blood in them at all,they are descendants of Scotland and England whom were given land in Northern Ireland by the English crown…..they kicked out and burnt down “real irish” villages to establish their land in the north with the backing, again of the crown!!!!! Again , please don’t source liam hogan lol haha, he is a librarian….not a historian!!!!! I thought it was funny when he came out with this B.S. All the people who were desperately trying to find something or someone to debunk irish slavery never looked at his credentials lol …..Liam hogan again isn’t a irish historian, he is a self taught librarian,yet he is on 20 some odd websites and 30 some odd blogs lol hahahaha like are u guys serious????? Again get creditable sources!!!!!!!! Not Wikipedia, or self proclaimed historians with B.S. Blog where a high school dropout or even a liam hogan can go and change irish slavery to irish indentured servitude on a daily basis lol……to those who used him as your source grow up!!!!!!

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  62. This must end with the entire group of humans~~or else look forward to the re-boot of the planet~~~so if there is not change~~~I well I guess I will see all of you in the next life-time~~~lyrics from Erykah Badu~~~

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  63. This is a good example of the saying “this is a load of _______” (insert rude word or expletive).
    Irish slavery is not often talked about because it’s hard to find people who are stupid enough to believe that bullshit. Yes, Irish were often seen as lower than low, called “black Irish” or “Irish niggers”, but don’t confuse abusive language with being a slave. There are absolutely no records of this crap, only modern lore that is bandied about as long lost truths. The Irish may have been treated like shit way back when, but nobody sold even one of them. Where they were made to feel unwelcome, they headed for the hills, which is why we have the Appalachian populations, and others like them, populating those hills to this day. Ever wonder why those hillbillies talk funny? Much of their strange language is left over from the Gaelic that once was spoken widely in those hills. Moonshine? Gee, did the Irish ever make whisky? Did they live off the land, eat a lot of potatoes? If you look at it carefully enough, you will see how the Irish escaped their persecution and went into the hills to make their own way, and still do. Sure, some of their names have changed, but there are still plenty of McCoys, Buchanans and other very Irish last names out there in them thar hills.

    Irish slaves. So stupid it’s almost funny, but instead it’s depressing cuz it’s so ignorant and shows how gullible these liberal assholes are, just looking for someone else’s cause to bear cuz they gotta help those poor, downtrodden folks recover their true histories, and file a lawsuit against the government so they can assimilate into modern society and buy organic and get a job in IT or in the arts or a good non-profit…..fuck you. Get your heads out of your collective asses and out of all those others. Stick to your own life, quit looking for your next cause celeb.

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    • Hello Connor,

      While you certainly do make some points, you also seem to be confusing a few. If you want to refute the facts surrounding Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland, Irish rebel imprisonment, British penal system convictions, Barbary slave trade, and raids on mainland coastal Europe and the British Isles I’m interested to review your scholarly work.

      There’s ample others who would be willing to debate this with you. However, conflating the Scot-Irish with those who were the predominant focal point of British intolerance: Irish-Catholics (to include any and all Presbyterians and Dissenters among them however small a minority), as the focus of this article however factual is misdirected just as well. Scot-Irish synonymous with Ulster Scots of partitioned Ireland not natives of Ireland in the recent sense of this discussion.

      Let’s also not confuse slavery with meaning only chattel slavery. It did not begin that way even for Blacks/Africans. It began as indentured slavery otherwise known as servitude. Here’s a case for you to review (take your time):

      Master Samuel Symonds against Irish slaves: Law Case, Master Samuel Symonds against Irish slaves. William Downing and Philip Welch. Salem Quarterly Court. Salem, Massachusetts. June 25, 1661. Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, vol. II, 1656-1662. The Essex Institute: Salem, 1912.

      The terminology is interchangeable, while there are cetainly differences in forms of slavery to say there was none is a tad rich, unless you’ve been an indentured servant yourself perhaps you know the benefits? Your comment about liberals is also misdirected, they don’t seem to be making the argument for “Irish slavery”.

      Otherwise, I agree there needs to be some factual citations presented with the article.

      Cheers

      Like

  64. I agree with people that don’t want to be called African american, who were never born in Africa, I refuse to be called black because my skin is brown, I believe the calling of our race black is to degrade us because there is belief that whomever picked the name of the brown indigenous people from Africa named the race black because it was the most negative color

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