Eliza McCarthy's maternal and paternal lines can be traced to early/mid 19th century East London in the neighbourhoods of Spitalfields, Christchurch, Shoreditch and Bethnal Green during an era when British and European immigrants were arriving and settling in the borough of Tower Hamlets. The name McCarthy is of Irish descent, originally from MacCarthach. Broken down, Mac means Son of, and Carthach means Loving. (McLovin?). The timing corresponds with Ireland's 1845 potato famine when a million Irish emigrated to live in Britain or America. But now:
The Irish are the lost wave of immigrants in Spitalfields because they left the least trace. If you walk around Spitalfields, you can see some of the houses where the wealthy Huguenots lived and you can go to the synagogue that’s still there in Sandys Row, and you can visit the Bengali curry houses. But there’s almost nothing to remind you of the Irish except for the sign-writing on Donovan’s paper bag shop in Crispin Street.
Eliza's travel log from her 1949 trip to England.