The real name of this tidy 19th century burial ground on 26th Avenue and 21st Street is “The Graveyard of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.”
But it’s always been known by its nickname, because many of the people buried there immigrated from Ireland in the 1840s during the potato famine.
Back then, 21st Street was the heart of a small Irish enclave in Queens, populated by immigrants who worked as servants for Anglo and Dutch families and in local factories.
It’s a small cemetery wedged between residences. Peer through the iron fence and you see all Irish names on the stones: Donnelly, Kelly, Muldarry, Joyce.
Many of them list the deceased’s county of birth. And all the gravestones face East, toward Ireland.
Tags: 19th century New York, Astoria history, cemeteries in New York City, Irish immigrants in New York City, Irish Potato Famine Cemetery, New York in the 1840s, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church Queens, Queens history