History of Irish Immigration to Kansas

Kansas' history is full of Irish roots, with many communities across the state having significant ties back to their Irish heritage. The Irish Potato Famine of the late 1840s wreaked havoc on the island and motivated numerous Irish citizens to seek new opportunities. For many Irish immigrants, Kansas was an incredibly promising place. When the area became an open territory for permanent settlement in the 1850s, many Irish immigrants saw promise in the fertile lands of Kansas.

Irish Significance in Kansas

Around 11-12% of the population in Kansas has Irish Heritage. Atchison County in Northeast Kansas and Comanche County in Southwest Kansas maintain the highest percentages of citizens with Irish origins. Interestingly, Irish mythology has had a tremendously lasting impact on Kansas and its culture. The beloved Jayhawk (if you're a KU fan) actually comes from Irish traditional folklore! Many of the Irish settlers in Kansas were proud people who have left behind descendants that still celebrate their heritage to this day.

St. Paddy's Day
Stay tuned for 2024 Events!

St. Patrick's Day is a well-celebrated holiday in Kansas! Numerous communities around the state will be hosting parades and events around the time of March 17th to celebrate Irish history and heritage! Stay tuned for the updated list to release in 2024!

Learn More About European Heritage in Kansas

European Heritage

Kansas’ reputation as the wheat state began when Russian immigrants brought hard winter wheat with them to their new home.