Becoming a Member
AOH - National
AOH SC State Board Web Site
AOH in Charleston, SC
AOH in Greenville
AOH in Myrtle Beach, SC
AOH in Beaufort
Ladies AOH - National Web site
About the Ancient
Order of Hibernian
Irish Dance Rince Na h'Eireann
Irish Children's Summer
The Origins of the AOH
All AOH division websites
Rince na h'Eireann School of Irish Dance
Irish Culture and Customs
National Archives of Ireland
What is the Ancient Order of
Hibernians In America?
The Ancient Order of Hibernians is a Catholic, Irish
American Fraternal Organization founded in New York City 4 May,1836. The Order can
trace its roots back to a parent organization, of the same name, which has existed
in Ireland for over 300 years. However, while the organizations share a common thread,
the North American A.O.H. is a separate and much larger organization.
The Order evolved from a need in the early sixteen hundreds to protect the lives
of priests who risked immediate death to keep the Catholic Faith alive in occupied
Ireland after the reign of England's King Henry VIII. When England Implemented its
dreaded Penal Laws in Ireland, various secret social societies were formed across
the country. These groups worked to aid and comfort the people by whatever means
available. Similarly, the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America was founded May
4th, 1836 at New York's St. James Church, to protect the clergy, and church Property
from the "Know Nothings" and their followers. At the same time the vast
influx of Irish Immigrants fleeing famine issues in Ireland in the late 1840's, prompted
a growth of various social societies in the USA - the largest of which was, and continues
to be, the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
Active across the United States, The Order seeks to aid the newly arrived Irish,
both socially, politically. The many Divisions and club facilities located throughout
the U.S. traditionally have been among the first to welcome new Irish Americans.
Here, the Irish culture -- art, dance, music, and sports are fostered and preserved.
The newcomers can meet some of "their own" and are introduced to the social
atmosphere of the Irish-American community. the AOH has been at the political forefront
for issues concerning the Irish, such as; Immigration Reform; economic Incentives
both here and in Ireland; the human rights issues addressed in the MacBride Legislation;
Right-To-Life; and a peaceful and just solution to the issues that divide Ireland.
The Order has also provided a continuing bridge with Ireland for those who are generations
removed from our country. The AOH sponsors many of the programs associated with promoting
our Irish Heritage such as the IRISH WAY PROGRAM.
You may further seek admittance to the FINEST Irish Catholic Organization in the
World -- all we would ask is for you to live our motto of:
Unity, and Christian Charity".
Dia's Muire dhuit! ('May God bless you')
Interested in Joining?
Membership in the Ancient Order
of Hibernians, Inc. is confined to men 16 years and older who are practical Roman
Catholics of Irish birth or descent and who are citizens of United States of America
or who have declared their intentions to become citizens of the United States of
To Request information about joining the Ancient
Order of Hibernians please follow the following Instructions:
1. If you live in the Columbia,
SC area, e-mail us HERE to receive an application form to the St. Columba Division, Richland
2. If you live in SC but
outside the Columbia area, click HERE to visit to the SC AOH State Board Web Site.
3. If you live outside of South Carolina, click HERE to visit the National AOH Web Site to check if there is a Division in your state which you may contact.
4. If there is not an AOH Division
in your state then please send us an E-mail with the following information:
- Are you Catholic?
- Are you Irish by birth or descent?
- Telephone Number
- E-Mail Address (if different than sending email address)
- Closest Major City