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Belle_91
01-02-2014, 01:51 AM
So my story is about a young immigrant girl from Ireland who goes to America (to be specific, Boston) in the 1860s.

I've never been to Ireland, but as some of the scenes take place there I want to be sure I get the atmosphere right. I was also curious about things all you native Irelanders notice about American (mainly New England) culture. What did you find most striking? Modern things like the way we drive, our fashion-sense now, ect. won't be helpful because, as I said earlier, the story takes place in Victorian times.

Thank you so much, and have a happy New Year!

mirandashell
01-02-2014, 02:23 AM
Where in Ireland is she from?

I'm assuming you know all about the Great Famine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_(Ireland))

Belle_91
01-02-2014, 02:39 AM
I haven't pinpointed it just yet, but I'm thinking along the coast near Cork or Dublin. Also, I have been doing research on the Great Famine, but it would have been almost over when my story opens in 1851. I'm going to read Charles Dickens Notes on America, but he was British and of a completely social set than my characters. I'm still going to read it, but I was curious of what people of Ireland today expiranced in America.

Cath
01-02-2014, 03:24 AM
I was also curious about things all you native Irelanders notice about American (mainly New England) culture. What did you find most striking? Modern things like the way we drive, our fashion-sense now, ect. won't be helpful because, as I said earlier, the story takes place in Victorian times.

Given that you are looking for evidence from Victorian times, I doubt asking people for their perspective now will help you much.

Can you give us some more information about your immigrants? Social class, gender, etc, would be particularly beneficial.

waylander
01-02-2014, 03:58 AM
Chances are very high she would know people in Boston, either relatives or people from her area, who had gone out before her who would help her find a job and lodgings.

Where is she sailing from?

Belle_91
01-02-2014, 04:02 AM
Chances are very high she would know people in Boston, either relatives or people from her area, who had gone out before her who would help her find a job and lodgings.

That's exactly what happens.

I'm thinking either Cork or Dublin and would go through Liverpool.

She is from the countryside and comes over with her brother in the 1860s, and he tragically dies on board the ship. So she arrives in Boston alone, but she meets up with a boy from her village that works for an up-and-coming Boston family. This family is by no means noble, but they like to "put on airs" (I think that's a very Southern phrase, but I digress). Anyways, she works for them as a house maid with the boy from the village. He is either going to work in the stables or as a footman. She's either going to be just a regular house maid, or I may be terribly cruel and make her a scullery maid. So she's on the lower rung of both the social ladder and the one that existed among the servants.

jclarkdawe
01-02-2014, 04:05 AM
She'd probably go to South Boston, or as it more commonly called, Southie. That is and was the Irish-American area of Boston.

Nanny, house cleaner, and that sort of labor would be available to her. Not well paid, and the residual effect of the anti-Irish would still be felt.

There's plenty of stuff on the Irish-American experience in the US, and I'd suggest reading some of those books.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

waylander
01-02-2014, 04:05 AM
Makes no sense for her to go via Liverpool, there were plenty of ships going direct from places like Queenstown or Galway

Alitriona
01-02-2014, 04:27 AM
Cork and Dublin would be very different so you might be best to decide on one or the other before researching. The effects of the famine were felt many decades later than 1851. Certainly they were still in the throws of the famine repercussions in 51, what with mass immigration to the US and Britain, death, mass evictions, and extremely poor living conditions even around cities. People were still dying of starvation. 51 was the year of the census. Half the people in Ontario were Irish, that gives some idea of the amount of people separated from family.

There would have been political rumblings with a rise in republicanism. Many Irish being unhappy with the extent of English landlords, blamed the famine on the English for the state of the country. The native language was massively on the decline. Lots of new laws, increased military presence. People didn't want to leave Ireland, they were forced out knowing they might not make the journey or ever see their family again. There was smallpox, cholera, influenza, desentery, a shocking gap in the classes.

I don't know if any of that gives you something to compare to. I was recently at the famine museum in Strokestown where I saw a list of 3,000 people evicted from their homes in one go(including my family)in 1847. If you are writing about 1851, you will certainly be relying on the history surrounding the famine.

The Dublin city council Libraries(heritage and history) site has extensive information on the time you're looking at. Maps, census, land records, books and newspapers both local and national (some of which are on line).

jaksen
01-02-2014, 06:38 AM
That's exactly what happens.

I'm thinking either Cork or Dublin and would go through Liverpool.

She is from the countryside and comes over with her brother in the 1860s, and he tragically dies on board the ship. So she arrives in Boston alone, but she meets up with a boy from her village that works for an up-and-coming Boston family. This family is by no means noble, but they like to "put on airs" (I think that's a very Southern phrase, but I digress). Anyways, she works for them as a house maid with the boy from the village. He is either going to work in the stables or as a footman. She's either going to be just a regular house maid, or I may be terribly cruel and make her a scullery maid. So she's on the lower rung of both the social ladder and the one that existed among the servants.


Just so you know, there is no 'nobility' in Boston at this time. There are wealthy families, however, but they would be referred to as upper class, or maybe the social elite. (That's a more modern term, though.) It would be worth researching the moneyed class in Boston at this time to see where their wealth came from. Many of those with money started out as working-class men (and some women.) A lot of their wealth came from whaling and trade overseas. As you move farther south, the upper class were into tobacco, farming, and trade in general. Shipping and whaling, however, were huge in New England.

One more thing, the truly wealthy would be less likely to 'put on airs' than a middle-class family or tradesman who suddenly came into a lot of money. Those born into money (at this time) usually only associated with others who also have money so there's no point in 'putting on airs.' Wealthy New Englanders were often huge proponents of abolishing slavery, too, another point worth considering, depending on how you go with your book.

My husband's family, on both sides, were Irish immigrants, and the jobs they took were in service or factory work. (They came over in the mid-1800's.)

And one more - I keep thinking of things! The Irish were almost an underclass at this time. Adds for jobs often stated: Irish Need Not Apply. They were stereotyped as hard-drinking and often lazy. (I learned some of this from my husband's parents, who remembered stories told by their grandparents.)

Belle_91
01-02-2014, 06:49 AM
Just so you know, there is no 'nobility' in Boston at this time. There are wealthy families, however, but they would be referred to as upper class, or maybe the social elite. (That's a more modern term, though.) It would be worth researching the moneyed class in Boston at this time to see where their wealth came from. Many of those with money started out as working-class men (and some women.) A lot of their wealth at this time came from whaling and trade overseas. As you move farther south, the upper class were into tobacco, farming, and trade in general. Shipping and whaling, however, were huge in New England.

One more thing, the truly wealthy would be less likely to 'put on airs' than a middle-class or tradesman who suddenly came into a lot of money. Those born into money (at this time) usually only associated with others who also have money so there's no point in 'putting on airs.' Wealthy New Englanders were often huge proponents of abolishing slavery, too, another point worth considering, depending on how you go with your book.

My husband's family, on both sides, were Irish immigrants, and the jobs they took were in service or factory work. (They came over in the mid=1800's.)

Yes, I understand. There was no nobility in America, but there were people at this time who lived in incredible luxury. They didn't have titles, but they had a lot of money and a lot of power. I'm sorry if it wasn't clear, but my main character was going to be a maid to the wealthy Bostonian family.

I am researching the famine in Ireland, but what I wanted to get from this board was more of the Irish perspective on America.

mirandashell
01-02-2014, 03:33 PM
Could you explain a bit more what you mean by 'Irish perspective'?

buz
01-02-2014, 05:03 PM
.

I am researching the famine in Ireland, but what I wanted to get from this board was more of the Irish perspective on America.

What specifically do you want to know? :) I think the "Irish perspective" of today is probably much different than it was then, but if you could narrow down what you're looking for...

(Some of the Irish perspective I heard when I was there: "You don't have chicken-flavored crisps? What the hell flavors do you have like? Plain? Euuugghh" which probably doesn't help)

A random shot in the dark: Consider religion. If she's Catholic (maybe even if not), she may be aware of some clashes--American Nativists (not Native Americans ;) )--I think Nativism was big back then, maybe--anti-Catholics, anti-"popery" and whatnot. (Though I'm not sure how big all that would have been in Boston specifically.)

It might also depend a lot on who she was at home--her station, I mean--maybe family members are in prison or have been transported--maybe she has experience with workhouses--maybe her family was evicted--maybe she is struggling with a sense of being uprooted before she comes to Boston...

Then again maybe not :D I don't know her life...

But the greater legacy of the Famine was uprooting, I believe. People were put in prison, workhouses, transported abroad to Britain's colonies, or they immigrated; many were evicted, so even if they stayed in the country they were made to move elsewhere and create new lives; the language took a hit, as people in Irish-speaking-only areas were slammed particularly hard; the population declined--it was not only a blow to the Irish people but to the broader Irish identity. So, even if she hasn't suffered direct effects, she might be feeling some of that...

Or she might not :D again...that's a generalization and may not necessarily be true on an individual level.

But anyway.

I suppose you'd consider food differences, change in environment, language (when I was around Cork I noticed that people end their sentences with like and so quite often in a way that Americans might not; I heard someone from Kerry say "tip away" to mean "crack on" or "dig away at it," saying "you're grand" for "that's okay" or "you're fine there," "he's good craic" for "he's a fun guy," stuff like that--but I don't know if any of that would translate to 1860--also not sure if she'd speak Gaeilge or not), literacy, discrimination, religion...which modern views probably won't help much with :D Except maybe environment. I haven't been to Boston, but I imagine it's colder and snowier in winter than in Ireland...? Hard to compare since I've no idea of Boston I guess :p Ireland is mostly gray on top (sunnier in summer though) and green on bottom. I don't know how green the area around Boston is :) But the specific environment she's familiar with would depend on where she's from exactly and what her family is like (farmers or other, what class of housing they had and so forth--the English started classifying houses at some point; though I don't remember what the classes were--sort of ranging from "hovel" to "actual house with some property" I think)

*disclaimer: Not Irish, just lived around Cork area for a little over a month once and studied a bit of the history (emphasis on "a bit" though) :p

benbenberi
01-02-2014, 05:30 PM
For Boston society ca 1860, a good place to start your research is the Wikipedia article on Boston Brahmins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Brahmin).

"And this is good old Boston,
The home of the bean and the cod,
Where the Lowells talk only to Cabots,
And the Cabots talk only to God."

On the Irish side, there's a new museum about the Great Hunger (http://www.thegreathunger.org/Museum/) that Quinnipiac University opened recently near me that seems to have a lot of resources

Paramite Pie
01-03-2014, 01:24 AM
I would consider reading 'Under the Hawthorne Tree' and it's two sequels which were very popular books here when I was growing up about three young girls during the famine in Ireland. One of the girls emigrates to America in the second book.

It's really hard to say what I founds striking in New England as we're exposed to a lot of US media here in general these days.

-The scale and size of US cities is the main difference, especially the way these towns are laid out so carefully in blocks/grids which is really unusual.
-Red brick wasn't used much in Ireland outside of Dublin/Belfast.
-Let's not forget the height of the buildings.
-Wooden Houses instead of stone.
-Less rain, alot more snow! Our winters and summers are much milder.
-If your character comes from Dublin then culture shock would be reduced dramatically as Dublin expanded rapidly in scale during the 1860s

I guess the main differences would be different foods and the variety of food available. A peasant girl would've had a very basic diet back then and the new world had many foods that would've been 'new' to an Irish person like pumpkins, turkey, cranberries, corn etc...

Also when writing about the scenes in Ireland, here's a useful link

Slater's Commerical directory of Ireland 1846

http://www.failteromhat.com/slater.htm

It basically lists alot of the major towns and all the different stores/business listed. It's good insight into the types of stores/economy at the time.

Belle_91
01-03-2014, 06:38 AM
Thank you, Paramite Pie and Buzhido. That was more of what I was looking for. Thank you, benbenberi for the link, and thank you Altrionia and jaksen and anyone else I missed.

Hanson
01-03-2014, 07:02 AM
a lot of ships left from Cobh, called Queenstown at the time - the ship may well have originated from Liverpool - common enough.

Current thoughts on New England? The disparity 'tween rich and poor, and the general rural poverty/ low income.

back then? Little opportunity. The States was a big step, with England so close.

look up American Wake. If it was Boston, usually has to be a relative there. or job offer. def not on spec.

eta, not much on American Wake. A 'wake' was held for a dead person. those who went to the states were considered 'lost', in that they were extremely unlikely to come back, so it was a pretty huge step.
Travel during the actual famine was more urgent, and greater risks would have been taken.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobh

Belle_91
01-04-2014, 01:28 AM
I'm starting to think I'm going to have my MC come from West Ireland, which I know was heavily effected by the famine and many from there emigrated over to the US, Canada...

One thing that has puzzled me is about the accent and how to write that. I am in American, so I hear the Irish accent whenever I meet one. However, I would assume most people in Ireland don't hear the accent as I don't hear some of my friends' Southern accent (however, some people here do have a noticeable twang that even a native like me hears). I'm not sure really what to do in that instance.

King Neptune
01-04-2014, 06:28 PM
I'm starting to think I'm going to have my MC come from West Ireland, which I know was heavily effected by the famine and many from there emigrated over to the US, Canada...

One thing that has puzzled me is about the accent and how to write that. I am in American, so I hear the Irish accent whenever I meet one. However, I would assume most people in Ireland don't hear the accent as I don't hear some of my friends' Southern accent (however, some people here do have a noticeable twang that even a native like me hears). I'm not sure really what to do in that instance.

It isn't usually a good idea to write in dialect. It is usually better to use a few words as markers to show that the dialect is being used. With Irish accents there are some differences in word order and in the famous custom of answering a question with a question; either or both could be used to show that dialect.

My Irish ancestors from Mayo, Sligo, Cavan, and Roscommon all went first to England and sailed to North America from there, but they mostly left Ireland before the famine; some as early as 1820 or earlier. Some settled in Canada for a few generations.

Jo Zebedee
01-05-2014, 01:51 AM
I'm starting to think I'm going to have my MC come from West Ireland, which I know was heavily effected by the famine and many from there emigrated over to the US, Canada...

One thing that has puzzled me is about the accent and how to write that. I am in American, so I hear the Irish accent whenever I meet one. However, I would assume most people in Ireland don't hear the accent as I don't hear some of my friends' Southern accent (however, some people here do have a noticeable twang that even a native like me hears). I'm not sure really what to do in that instance.

I've written two books in Irish dialect (in my case the Ulster voice.) If you don't know it well I think it is incredibly hard. It's not about the accent but the terms/slang/how words are put together.

A couple of writers to look at to get the sense of voice - for the west of Ireland Walter Macken, and Synge's Playboy of the Western World; for Dublin area Joyce, Sean O'Casey, Beckett. Actually to get the lingo go for the playwrights, and read it out loud, they are generally stronger on the dialect (I read theatre in Ireland, feel free to PM). For the far South of Ireland have a look at Frank McCourt. US voices good at American-Irish dialect include Eugene O'Neill and Farrell.

In terms of not hearing it, that's true, but your characters still speak it so if you can't hear it correctly in your mind, it's really hard.

As I say, if I can help, please PM if you want, but I'm not a Southern Irish person so my accent isn't the one you want.

In terms of famine and ports to leave - maybe drop an email to a couple of Irish tourist places for advice? The Ulster-American Folkpark is very good and I'm sure there are loads in ROI, too. Cobh is a good starting point, I'd say. But you need to tie that down, first, then research the accent for that locality. :)

Belle_91
01-05-2014, 08:59 AM
I've written two books in Irish dialect (in my case the Ulster voice.) If you don't know it well I think it is incredibly hard. It's not about the accent but the terms/slang/how words are put together.

A couple of writers to look at to get the sense of voice - for the west of Ireland Walter Macken, and Synge's Playboy of the Western World; for Dublin area Joyce, Sean O'Casey, Beckett. Actually to get the lingo go for the playwrights, and read it out loud, they are generally stronger on the dialect (I read theatre in Ireland, feel free to PM). For the far South of Ireland have a look at Frank McCourt. US voices good at American-Irish dialect include Eugene O'Neill and Farrell.

In terms of not hearing it, that's true, but your characters still speak it so if you can't hear it correctly in your mind, it's really hard.

As I say, if I can help, please PM if you want, but I'm not a Southern Irish person so my accent isn't the one you want.

In terms of famine and ports to leave - maybe drop an email to a couple of Irish tourist places for advice? The Ulster-American Folkpark is very good and I'm sure there are loads in ROI, too. Cobh is a good starting point, I'd say. But you need to tie that down, first, then research the accent for that locality. :)

THANK YOU! My mother's family is pretty much all Irish-heritage; very typically for an Irish Catholic family in Boston lol. At work, a man from Ireland came in and said I could pass for a native., and I was deeply flattered. My grandmother's maiden name was Joyce actually. I can't prove it, but I would like to think that I am related to him. Anyway, thank you again. It's been fun doing the research because my great-great...grandparents came over after the famine. They arrived in Boston either before or after the Civil War.

shaldna
01-05-2014, 05:59 PM
I haven't pinpointed it just yet, but I'm thinking along the coast near Cork or Dublin. Also, I have been doing research on the Great Famine, but it would have been almost over when my story opens in 1851. I'm going to read Charles Dickens Notes on America, but he was British and of a completely social set than my characters. I'm still going to read it, but I was curious of what people of Ireland today expiranced in America.


As others have said, the effects of the famine were still very much in evidence at this time. Not only that, but Ireland was a very troubled time in the mid 1800's. It was a time of English occupation - a decade or two before your story is set there was the forced Anglicization of Irish place names which was met with much anger by the Irish. Also, there was much forced use of the english language by the Enlgish, which caused a lot of ill feeling especially in small rural communities. It was a time of massive change. You should, if you can get a copy, have a read of Brian Friel's play 'Translations' - it's set in the 1830`s but will give you an idea of Ireland just before your story setting.

This was also a time of mass poverty - again, as others have said there were mass evictions at the time. A lot of people literally sold everything they had to get on a boat to America, or, more commonly, to send one family member to America with the hopes of making enough money to send for other family members. Fares were so expensive and the conditions so terrible that very few ever made the return journey to Ireland.

Something you simply cannot overlook is the tension at the time between the Irish and the British. In particular Catholic Irish.

Your character as a working class Irish character in the south would certainly be Catholic. Catholics at the time made up the majority of the population and for the most part lived in utter poverty. Catholic emancipation didn't come into force until 1829 - until that point Catholics were not allowed to own land and instead were tennants on land owned by Protestant landlords. By the time your story is set few Catholics would have owned land. Farms were tiny smallholdings - usually only a couple of acres which is too small to produce most crops on a large enough scale to provide for the family - this led to the increased production of potatoes which are fast growing, store well with low surface spread and a high yeild. Once the potato blight took hold there was just nothing stopping it as it was the main crop on the island. To note - this wasn't the first time there had been the same sort of blight, however by the time of the Famine the dependancy on the crop had become so high that it led to mass starvation and poverty.

To note - Ireland at this time was seeing a rise in rebellions. Organisations and movements such as the Young Irelanders and the Irish Republican Brotherhood and the Fennian Brotherhood were being formed at this time as a direct result of the tensions. Primarily these organisations were made up of young Catholic men rebelling against British rule and the consequences such as poverty and inequality and the lack of support from Britain, and wanting democracy in Ireland and freedom from British rule. Only a couple of years before your story you had the ill-fated and ill -prepared Ballingary uprising.

In America at this time there was the formation of the Emmet Monument Association which was founded by John O'Mahony and Michael Doheny. It was a secret military group training Irish to attack British forces.

Now, what you also have to consider is that the time your story is set you are in the years leading up to the Civil War - during which the Irish were given citizen ship in order to increase the Democratic vote, but weren't told that it would make them eligible for conscription - leading eventually to a riot. But that's a couple of years after the setting of your story, but it's worth taking note of.

Irish were very much classed as sub-citizens. Better class, better paid or more 'respectable' jobs and workplaces often refused to hire Irish and newspaper ads at the time often stated 'No Irish Need Apply.' On the other side of that, Irish were eagerly employed in manual occupations - such as labor - because they were cheaper to employ and often more desperate for work that they were prepared to take pitiful wages.




a lot of ships left from Cobh, called Queenstown at the time - the ship may well have originated from Liverpool - common enough.

Pronounced 'Cove' for anyone who cares.



I've written two books in Irish dialect (in my case the Ulster voice.) If you don't know it well I think it is incredibly hard. It's not about the accent but the terms/slang/how words are put together.

And that can vary from town to town. Someone in Dunmurry doesn't speak like someone in Stranmillis - despite only being a couple of miles apart.

I would suggest to look to phrases and steer clear of phonetics though.

Paramite Pie
01-06-2014, 12:12 AM
I'm starting to think I'm going to have my MC come from West Ireland, which I know was heavily effected by the famine and many from there emigrated over to the US, Canada...

I live in the West which was generally the worst affected. I grew up in Galway but all my relatives are from Mayo. If you want to know about these regions feel free to ask me. Also Joyce is a common surname here in Galway City.;)


One thing that has puzzled me is about the accent and how to write that.

Don't write the accent, just write the slang and dialogue. Irish people learned English very rapidly in this time period with little education. Our spoken grammar has many quirks because of this as we speak a dialect known as Hiberno-English, for example, an Irish person is less likely to answer questions with the words 'yes' or 'no'. Instead we repeat the verb in our answer.

Example; Is it raining?

Irish answer; 'It is' or 'It's not'.

So if you ask an Irish person 'Can you say the word "Yes"?' they will reply 'I can'.:D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiberno-English

But please don't try to write our accents phonetically, you'll hear it differently than we do. To truly understand the rhythm of how we talk try reading 'The Playboy of the Western World'. Or better yet, watch it (It's a play about rural Mayo in the West, probably the first Irish play to use colloquial phrases rather than 'proper' grammar.

One thing you can do is replace phrases like 'uh' or 'um' during pauses in speech with 'eh' or 'em'.

We do use 'yes' or 'no' when we want to be more blunt. If someone asks a question, or makes a ridiculous/incorrect statement we might respond with 'eh - no', making it sound like we're thinking it over but interrupting the 'eehhh' and just spouting 'no'. It's a bit sarcastic and may be too modern for your era though.

shaldna
01-07-2014, 01:35 AM
I live in the West which was generally the worst affected. I grew up in Galway but all my relatives are from Mayo. If you want to know about these regions feel free to ask me. Also Joyce is a common surname here in Galway City.;)



Don't write the accent, just write the slang and dialogue. Irish people learned English very rapidly in this time period with little education. Our spoken grammar has many quirks because of this as we speak a dialect known as Hiberno-English, for example, an Irish person is less likely to answer questions with the words 'yes' or 'no'. Instead we repeat the verb in our answer.

Example; Is it raining?

Irish answer; 'It is' or 'It's not'.

So if you ask an Irish person 'Can you say the word "Yes"?' they will reply 'I can'.:D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiberno-English

But please don't try to write our accents phonetically, you'll hear it differently than we do. To truly understand the rhythm of how we talk try reading 'The Playboy of the Western World'. Or better yet, watch it (It's a play about rural Mayo in the West, probably the first Irish play to use colloquial phrases rather than 'proper' grammar.

One thing you can do is replace phrases like 'uh' or 'um' during pauses in speech with 'eh' or 'em'.

We do use 'yes' or 'no' when we want to be more blunt. If someone asks a question, or makes a ridiculous/incorrect statement we might respond with 'eh - no', making it sound like we're thinking it over but interrupting the 'eehhh' and just spouting 'no'. It's a bit sarcastic and may be too modern for your era though.

As I've said a lot any time Irish accents come up - they vary so so much from town to town, never mind county to county that it's really important to actively listen to people from the area of your setting.

Speech patterns, as you've noted, are very important and identify so much about where you are from.

There are some terms and phrases that are widely used across most of Ireland - culchie (a country person - derogatory), spide (a chav - derogatory), yoke (anyone or anything, as in 'thon yoke' meaning 'that man' - also usually derogatory), the further north you go you'll get phrases like 'wee doll' (girl / woman - derogatory)

And some patterns of speech, for instance, 'get away to fuck' - can used as either a request for someone to go away, or used as incredulation. Likewise, if you were trying to wake someone up, or trying to get them to move then you might say 'get up to fuck'

'aye, will I shite' - is generally used in a semi-sarcastic way in retort to a request.

Also, one of my closest friends is from Galway, and I've picked up a lot of her phrases too - 'Grand so' is a personal bad habit that I've been trying to break, as is 'right so'.

Not sure about language of the time, but I've noticed that we tend to have a lot of unusual terms for ordinary things - cupboards are 'presses', we don't have kitchens, we have 'working kitchens', we don't wear trainers, we wear 'runners'

And then you have certain phrases, such as Ballymena where you get 'hei' at the end of sentences commonly.

Youtube is a very good resource for listening to folks speaking in regional accents - you can access a lot of regional TV channels and programmes, and local radio stations are very useful especially ones with talk shows - try googling radio stations for the town / city you want. Most towns, even small ones, have a local radio station.

autumnleaf
01-22-2014, 09:10 PM
What struck me as an Irish visitor to Mass. and New Hampshire were all the trees! Ireland actually has relatively few trees, particularly the deciduous ones, whereas New England is famous for them. However, I don't know how valid that would be in the 1860s; one of the re-enactors at Lexington said that much of the area that is now forested used to be farmland.

If she's a country girl in the big city, the pace of life and the number of people will be startling to her at first.

I'd recommend The Great Hunger by Cecil Woodham Smith as a good resource about the Famine. Not happy reading, as you might gather.

You can search Irish newspaper archives at http://www.irishnewsarchive.com/

King Neptune
01-22-2014, 10:39 PM
What struck me as an Irish visitor to Mass. and New Hampshire were all the trees! Ireland actually has relatively few trees, particularly the deciduous ones, whereas New England is famous for them. However, I don't know how valid that would be in the 1860s; one of the re-enactors at Lexington said that much of the area that is now forested used to be farmland.


There are trees in New England now, but they have grown up since agriculture has become less popular. A hundred years ago 90% of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Southern Vermont, and Southern New Hampshire were cleared agricultural land.