We describe a new dataset created from the first 18,000 savings accounts opened (from 1850 to 1858) at the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank in New York City. The bank was founded by Irish Americans and most of its depositors in its first decade of operations were recent Irish immigrants. The data offer a unique window on both savings behavior by the poor and not-so-poor in antebellum New York and on how emigrants who came primarily from rural parts of Ireland adapted to urban life. They also contain much that is new on the regional origins of mid-nineteenth century Irish immigrants and on their settlement patterns in New York.
savings behavior Irish immigration social mobility New York