Samuel Ireland came from England. It would not surprise me to learn that one or more of his ancestors were Irish, but perhaps there is another reason for his name. His background, at this point, is still a mystery.
We know that he was born about 1603. Some websites are listing his place of birth as London but I haven't seen documentation to support that. We know he was born about 1603 because when he immigrated to New England, he was reported as being a carpenter, aged 32. He had a wife Marie, aged 30, and a daughter, aged one and one-half when he was permitted to set sail on the "Increase" after going through all the formalities to prove he was not a threat to the government nor to the Church of England.
We don't know where the family first landed, but they ended up in Wethersfield, Ct. Wethersfield was founded in 1634 so the family was almost in at the beginning of the settlement. He soon owned several small parcels (none larger than 10 acres) of land which indicates that most of them were probably as the result of being a founder of the settlement, and were given by the town as more or less a 'reward" for being there and doing the early hard work. As a carpenter, Samuel would have been kept quite busy building homes and businesses for those who wanted to settle there.
He is believed to have had at least one child in Connecticut. It's a little confusing but it seems the name of his first child was Martha and his second Mary. We don't know whether there were other children, but if there were, they apparently died young.
A major event during his time in Wethersfield was the Pequot War. There was an attack on the town in 1637, which resulted in the death of 6 men and 3 women, and several head of livestock, and the capture of two young girls. Undoubtedly this was a stressful time for the village, and it is likely that Samuel would have been involved in the militia that responded to the attack.
Unfortunately, Samuel also died young, sometime after September 5, 1639 and before April 2 of 1641, when his inventory was produced. We don't know whether it was an accident or an illness that took his life. His widow was to have one third and "the children" two thirds of the estate, which was valued at 70 pounds. Marie Ireland married Robert Burrows and he apparently took over the estate. She is believed to have died in 1672.
This isn't a lot to go on, but it does give us a brief glimpse of the kind of life Samuel must have led. He was a family man, a tradesman, a landowner, and likely a church member, one of the young men who helped our country get started. I'd love to know more about him, where he came from and who his parents were. But at least we know a little about his life on this side of the Atlantic.
The line of descent is:
Samuel Ireland-Marie or Mary
Mary Ireland-John Fish
Samuel Fish-Sarah Stark
Abigail Fish-Daniel Eldridge
Sarah Eldridge-Thomas Chester
Bathsheba Chester-Jonathan Havens
Elizabeth Chester Havens-John Starr
John Havens Starr-Clarissa Falley
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook