Irish Imigration to Texas

By Priya Mekala

Where the Irish Settled

Peter's Colony

Peter's colony was spread through 10 counties one of them being Dallas. Dallas was founded by an Irishman named John N. Bryan in 1841. He had built a log cabin on the bay of the Trinity River.

Culture Highlights

St. Patrick's Day

This is celebration time! They tell jokes and stories and eat corned beef and cabbage (official dish). They jazz up the day with Shamrocks, clay pipes, leprechauns and green. St. Patrick's day is celebrated in commemoration of St. Patrick's death.

Wake for the Dead

This is a custom that some Irish still continue. This is when everyone stays awake all night for the dead, sits with the body, and to pass time tell stories.

Culture in Texas

When the Irish came to Texas they did not leave any of there customs at home in Ireland they brought it with them here to Texas. They still ate the same food, told stories, and continued there customs and festivities.

Significant Individuals

The Irish were very predominant in Texas. There were many Irish men actively participating in the on goings in Texas. 25 Irish men signed the Goliad Declaration of Independence, 4 signed the real Texas Declaration of Independence, 100 were in the San Jacinto Battle (1/7 of Houston). 11 Irish men died in the battle of the Alamo and 14 died at the Goliad Massacre. There were many Irishmen that made great accomplishments for Texas such as Hugo Oconor, who became the ad interim governor of Texas in 1767. Philip Nolan (a native of Ireland) was the first Anglo American to map Texas. James Hewetson, James Power, John McMullen, James McGloin were the first Irishmen to receive empresario contracts. Their land contracts were in the Refugio and San Patricio counties. Lots of men were a part of Austin's old three hundred and also there were a few in Martin De Leon's colony.

Father Michael (Miguel) Muldoon (1780-?)

Micheal Muldoon's father was an Irishman who ran away to marry a Spanish lady. Muldoon became a priest and he was assigned to New Spain. Later after Mexico got their independence he moved into Texas. There he was a Catholic priest in SFA (Stephen F. Austin)'s colony. When he was there he helped write the protests against Mexican government. When he went to Mexico and Austin was put in jail he helped in the efforts for him. He also helped another prisoner escape from a prison in Matamoras. He stayed in Texas after the revolution. A town in Fayette County was named after him.

Margaret Heffernan Borland (1824-1873)

Borland was born in Ireland and she grew up in San Patricio. She had 3 husbands and 8 children. After her third husband died she took over the family cattle business. In 1837 she owned over 10,000 livestock and was the only woman to lead a cattle drive to Kansas. After she got to Kansas she died of a trail fever.

Thomas O'Connor (1819-1887)

He came from County Wexford, Ireland with his uncle James Power in 1834. Since he was settler in Power and Hewestson Colony he was granted 4,428 acres of land. When he was 17 he fought in the battle of San Jacinto (youngest man to fight). After the battle he came back he went to back to his trade of making saddletrees. 40 years later he had land in 6 land and had 500 thousand of land fenced off and 100,000 cattle grazed on the land. At the time of his death in 1887 he was the largest individual land and cattle ranch owner (which was worth $4,500,000).

Margaret Heffernan Borland

Shamrock Hose Company

Fire-fighting Unit in Irish town in Corpus Christi

Did you know?


How have the Irish affected Texas?

The Irish have affected Texas in many ways. Their festivities and holidays have traveled with them, such as St. Patrick's day. Now in Texas St. Patrick's day is celebrated. They have also spread the Catholic religion through the churches they construct. There are many Catholic churches throughout Texas, because they have come and built them. They have brought their food with them so in Texas it is possible to get Irish food. They have also aided the Texans through the revolution by actively participating in the battles and other events (100 soldiers San Jacinto, etc.). Without the Irish Houston's army might not have won the battle so easily. The Irish stood on the side of Texans in the issue of the Revolution and helped all the way through to achieve independence. The Irish effected the Texas by bringing with then their culture, religion, and helpfulness.

What evidence of there of them today?

The Irish immigrated to Texas a long time ago, but there is still much evidence of them today. The food that they have brought over is still available today in restaurants and we eat and enjoy it frequently. The churches they have built showcase the religion that they follow. The churches are still here today. Even their celebration of St. Patrick's day is practiced throughout Texas and even the US. The participation in government positions shows they are apart of the Texas community. The Irish kids, woman, and men that we see every day in our schools, offices, shops, and parks show that there are still many Irish here today. As you can see there is much evidence that the Irish are here and all you need to do to see it is to look around and notice the many Irish in your community.

Is Texas better off because of Immigration?

Texas is so much better off because of immigration, because without immigration Texas would be a very bland place without much variety. With immigration and movement of people and ideas Texas is now very diverse. There are a lot of different types of ideas and things in Texas. Without immigration we might not have had even 75% of the different types of food we eat. Immigration helped Texas in economic ways too, the people that immigrated paid taxes which generated more money for the government. Another way immigration helped in the economy was that there was a lot more people doing their jobs generating money. Texas is so much better off with immigration in ways of diversity, economics, and ideas.


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Priya Mekala TX History Pd.4 Culture Group: Irish