The Emigrant Savings Bank was established in New York City in 1850 by the Irish Emigrant Society which was founded in 1841 for the protection of immigrants from Ireland. The bank offered a safe place to keep the immigrants' money and a way to send money home to destitute relatives. The society's officers also served as officers of the bank, and the society sent remittances overseas through the agency of the bank. The official business of the society, still extant although inactive, is conducted by the bank. Collection consists of selected records of the Emigrant Savings Bank, particularly records pertaining to the Irish Emigrant Society and data about the bank's depositors and borrowers. Irish Emigrant Society records, 1841-1933, include minutes of the board of trustees and finance committee, and an account ledger. Bank records contain information about deposit accounts, real estate, buildings, and investments. Society and bank records document the social history of Irish immigrants on either side of the Atlantic, with occasional references to German and French immigrants. Deposit accounts often contain detailed personal and genealogical information about individual depositors.
Biographical/historical: The Emigrant Savings Bank was founded by officers of the Irish Emigrant Society as an outgrowth of the society's concern for the welfare of Irish immigrants. The bank's opening in 1850 coincided with the waves of immigration that followed in the wake of the Irish Famine. The President of the Society, Gregory Dillon, was also the Bank's first president, and for decades there were members of the society's Board of Trustees serving on the bank's Board of Directors. From the start the bank's business was very closely related to the work of the Society. As a result many of the volumes in the collection are personal and family chronicles as well as records of banking transactions. Collectively these volumes rank with the richest sources to be found on either side of the Atlantic for the study of Irish emigration.
Additional physical form: 16.2 linear feet (2 boxes, 58 v.)