Book Review - Erin's Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada, 1751-1858. Volume 3, by Terrance M. Punch

Prepared by Gena Philibert-Ortega.

Genealogist and author Terrance M. Punch brings Canadian researchers a source to find their immigrant Irish ancestor's names in his book "Erin's Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada, 1751-1858," the third volume in the four-volume series.

According to Genealogical Publishing Company, the publisher of this series:

"From the time of the earliest European colonies, there were Irish settlers in the four provinces of Atlantic Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. The first Irish arrivals came to Newfoundland as seasonal fishermen; between 1785 and 1835 a sizable number settled there, traveling from Waterford, Kilkenny, Wexford, Tipperary, and east Cork to work in the fishery industry. Increased immigration of the Irish elsewhere in Atlantic Canada began in the early 1800s, peaking during and shortly after the great Irish Famine in the mid-nineteenth century."

All types of records are used in this volume as a ways to gather a "names list." Land records, passenger lists, military records and newspapers are featured here. While some researchers have a more arduous task in finding immigrants who were not typical such as runaways, deserters and quarantined passengers, this volume provides the documents that list these difficult to find ancestors. Consider just a few of the chapters in this 192-page book, "Irish Heirs, 1751-1856" (Halifax County, Nova Scotia); "Stray Soldiers' Information, 1804-1824"; "Irish Rioters at Woodstock, New Brunswick, 1847"; and "Irish-born Petitioners for Land in Nova Scotia, 1804-1840." Cemetery information focuses on Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. The volume begins with a map of high migration areas from Ireland that will benefit researchers learning more about Irish migration history.

I appreciate the short history and the reminders about the importance of newspapers and what they contained in the Introduction of this book. Although I have no Irish ancestors, I was interested in the types of records Punch searched, providing me with ideas of what types of documents are available. It also served as a good reminder that immigrant information can be found in many more resources aside from the familiar ship passenger lists.

For those who are interested in a particular ship, an index of ships mentioned in this volume is located in the back of the book. An additional index, a surname index, makes it easier for researchers to locate their ancestors within the book. This reference series is a must for those with Irish ancestors in Canada.

Previous volumes concentrated on the following time periods: Vol. 1 (1761-1853), Vol. 2 (1761-1853), and Vol. 4 (to 1863).

Erin's Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada, 1751-1858. Volume III, by Terrance M. Punch. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2009.

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