The Irish immigrated to Texas because of religious and political oppression alongside the Potato Famine of the 1840s. The early Irish colonies in Texas were along the coast followed by colonies in north-central Texas.
The Irish's desire to immigrate to Texas also stemmed partially from the natural resources Texas had to offer. Texas, compared to its resources, had a fairly low population. The early coastal Texas colonies appeared in 1828. Alt hough these Irish-helmed colonies were populated by a majority of Irish people, Mexicans and other nationalities also settled in the colonies. The Peters Colony expanded with the settlement of at least 87 Irish people in the 1840s, cementing the Irish foothold in north-central Texas.
Soldiers from Ireland who had immigrated participated in Texas' war of independence against Mexico. Notable Irish soldiers also participated in the defense of the Alamo. Approximately 100 soldiers of Irish origin participated in the Battle of San Jacinto, which amounted to one-seventh of Texas's total force in that battle.
As of 1850, the census reported that Texas included 1,403 Irish people. That number grew to 3,480 in 1860.
Even before the mass immigration, Irish born Hugh O'Connor escaped to Spain and served as the Spanish governor of Texas from 1767 to 1770. Hugh changed his name to Hugo Oconor after escaping to Spain.