Rock Island County was the destination for a number of nationalities. The most notable or prominent are Belgian, Swedish, English, Hispanic, Irish and German. I hope to capture the essence of immigration in Rock Island County through appropriate links, histories, societies and recorded experience. If I have left any nationality out or if you can contibute to this subject, please contact the county coordinator to volunteer your 


Contributed by Laurie McDonald Huffman. She writes... My father recently passed on to me a copy of a book written in Ireland in 1934 by Rev. T. Kilpatrick, Reverand of the Millisle Presbyterian Church, Down Co, Ireland. It contain this choice little paragraph on page 38: "During these years [1845-1847 potato famine] of hardship and distress many members of the congregation of Millisle emigrated to America. Most of these settled in and around Rock Island, a city of western Illinois, U.S.A., on the Mississippi River. A strong colony of Irish settlers from Ballymacruise, Drumfad, Ballyhaskin, Ballywhicken, and adjoining townlands was established here, and that colony still exists. The descendants of those early emigtants differ in speech from the surrounding farmers and tradespeople and they still like to have news about Millisle from the old folks whose names are so familiar to them."

This is taken from "Millisle and Ballycopeland Presbyterian Church, A SHORT HISTORY", by Rev. T. Kilpatrick, M.A., published at Newtownards: 1934.


Center for Belgian Culture
712 18th Ave.
Moline, IL 61265