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The AJHS Manuscript Catalog

Industrial Removal Office

Type / Call #INSTITUTIONAL / I-091
(Finding Aid Available)
Size123 boxes
ScopeIndustrial Removal Office. The IRO was a US organization largely funded by the Baron de Hirsch Fund that sought to encourage new immigrants in the US to leave the large population centers on the East Coast and settle in the interior of the country. It received funds from several other sources, notably the Jewish Colonization Association.

A finding aid to the IRO collection was organized by Robert Rockaway, recently of Tel Aviv University. This 100+ box collection, under call number I-91, includes almost 44,000 "records of removal" from 1899 to 1922 in box numbers 6-12, as well as correspondence from immigrants and local agents.

Anyone who has ever wondered, "How is it that Jews ended up in Sheboygan, WI, or Wilkes-Barre, PA, or the like," might find the answer in the IRO records.

In the records of 1904-1914, Jews were "removed" to the following locations:

Birmingham AL
Demopolis AL
Mobile AL
Montgomery AL
New Decatur AL
Ft. Smith AR
Little Rock AR
Pine Bluff AR
Los Angeles CA
San Francisco CA
Boulder CO
Colorado SpringsCO
Cripple Creek CO
Greeley CO
Pueblo CO
Uncasville CT
Wilmington DE
Jacksonville FL
Pennsacola FL
Ybor City FL
Atlanta GA
Augusta GA
Columbus GA
Macon GA
Savannah GA
Burlington IA
Cedar Rapids IA
Chariton IA
Clinton IA
Council Bluffs IA
Des Moines IA
Dubuque IA
Keokuk IA
Marshalltown IA
Mason City IA
Muscatine IA
Oskaloosa IA
Ottumwa IA
Perry IA
Shreveport IA
Sioux City IA
Waterloo IA
Champaign IL
Danville IL
Decatur IL
Rock Island IL
Rockford IL
Springfield IL
Streator IL
Evansville IN
Ft. Wayne IN
Gary IN
Indianapolis IN
Lafayette IN
Logansfront IN
Logansport IN
Muncie IN
Shelbyville IN
South Bend IN
Terre Haute IN
Great Bend KS
Hutchinson KS
Lawrence KS
Leavenworth KS
Topeka KS
Wichita KS
Louisville KY
Paducah KY
Lake Charles LA
New Orleans LA
Boston MA
Fall River MA
North Adams MA
Portland ME
Bay City MI
Detroit MI
Grand Rapids MI
Jackson MI
Kalamazoo MI
Traverse City MI
Minneapolis MN
St. Paul MN
Winona MN
Aurora MO
Boonville MO
Clinton MO
Hannibal MO
Joplin MO
Kansas City MO
Lexington MO
Louisiana MO
Mexico MO
Moberly MO
Sedalia MO
St. Joseph MO
St. Charles MO
St. Louis MO
Natchez MS
Vicksburg MS
Starkweather ND
Beatrice NE
Grand Island NE
Hastings NE
Lincoln NE
Nebraska City NE
North Platte NE
Omaha NE
Woodbine NJ
Albany NY
Buffalo NY
Elmira NY
Rochester NY
Syracuse NY
Akron OH
Alliance OH
Bellaire OH
Canton OH
Chickasha OH
Cincinnati OH
Cleveland OH
Columbus OH
Dayton OH
Kent OH
Lima OH
Lorain OH
Marietta OH
Marion OH
Murray City OH
Sandusky OH
Springfield OH
Toledo OH
Youngstown OH
Zanesville OH
Portland OR
Allentown PA
Altoona PA
Erie PA
Harrisburg PA
Lancaster PA
Pittsburgh PA
Reading PA
Scranton PA
Unionstown? PA
Warren PA
Wilkes-Barre PA
Charleston SC
Columbia SC
St. Stephens SC
Sioux Falls SD
Chattanooga TN
Knoxville TN
Memphis TN
Nashville TN
Austin TX
Beaumont TX
Dallas TX
Ft. Worth TX
Gainsville TX
Houston TX
Marshall TX
Palestine TX
San Antonio TX
Sherman TX
Tyler TX
Waco TX
Lynchburg VA
Newport News VA
Richmond VA
Seattle WA
Spokane WA
Beloit WI
LaCrosse WI
Milwaukee WI
Racine WI
Sheboygan WI
Wheeling WV
Cheyenne WY

The IRO materials contain administrative records and correspondence pertaining to all aspects of the organization. Of special importance to genealogical researchers: correspondence with local agents regarding immigrants sent to specific cities and towns listed above, records listing all persons relocated from New York (with all pertinent details), follow-up records on these individuals, and letters from the relocated immigrants to the IRO on various matters. The collection is arranged geographically, and not indexed. Where information is available, there is often very detailed data.

All AJHS manuscript collections must be accessed in person on-site at the American Jewish Historical Society. For information on how to research the AJHS archival collections, essential information about their Reading Room and Regulations can be found at

The AJHS collections themselves are not available in any electronic form, on this website or elsewhere. The AJHS has been collecting this material for over 100 years, and preserves it in its archives in the original format, be it handwritten, typewritten, or printed. For more information on the AJHS' genealogical holdings see the article "Genealogical Resources at the American Jewish Historical Society".

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