Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood has played host to waves of different immigrants, including the Irish

The history of Irish immigrants in Boston could be unearthed as a massive archaeological dig has kicked off in the Chinatown area of the city.

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Joe Bagley, the official archaeologist for the city of Boston, tweeted on July 8 that the dig at 6 Hudson Street, now a vacant lot, in Boston’s Chinatown had officially begun:

Day 1 of digs are incredible. A year of work has gone into getting here. It’s 100% potential and everything is possible. Going to be an amazing day in Chinatown⛩ #archaeology#boston

— Joe Bagley (@idigboston) July 8, 2019

Despite the neighborhood’s name, Chinatown has played host a number of different cultural enclaves, including the Irish. 

Boston-Chinatown writes: “Residential properties in the area became less desirable because of railway developments, and this allowed Syrian, Jewish, Irish, Italian, and finally Chinese immigrants to settle in the area due to the low living costs for the area in the 1840s."

"Each culture replaced the last to take advantage of the low costs of housing and many job opportunities.”

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On July 1, The City of Boston Archaeology Program shared on Facebook a list of the surnames who have previously resided at 6 Hudson Street. Included in the list are a number of Irish surnames, such as Breen, Driscoll, Lynch, Mallen, and Toomey:

Ancestry alert! Here is a list of the known family names, in order of year, living at 6 Hudson Street from 1845-1972:...

Publiée par City of Boston Archaeology Program sur Lundi 1 juillet 2019

Of the goals of the dig, Bagley told CBS News: “When you research this property most of the documentation, we found was adult men, that’s all.”

“So there was other people in this house so what were their stories? What was going on in the backyard? What are people eating? What were there home lives like?”

Bagley expects the dig to continue through August and told WBUR: "Ultimately, we will have a searchable database where you can see every artifact that we found [and] an archeological report which will summarize all of the new information that we have and interpret all the artifacts that we found."

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Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh, himself an Irish American, said: "We're excited to conduct the first archaeological dig in Boston's historic Chinatown.”

“Boston is a city of immigrants, and this is an important piece of Boston's history."

You can follow the progress of Boston's Chinatown dig on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or with the hashtags #digbos and #digchinatown.

Did your relatives settle in Chinatown in Boston? Let us know in the comments!