The Irish in Canada

by E.B. Lapointe

One of the best websites for Irish resources is the Marjorie Kohli website entitled, "Emigration Information of the Nineteenth Century and the Ships They Came On," in which there are lists of ships to Canada from Ireland.

The website, located at <http://www.dcs.uwaterloo.ca/~marj/genealogy/thevoyage.html>, has among other resources, the Irish Ancestral Research Association website, on which there are names listed for the counties in Ireland.

The Canadian Genealogy Centre's excellent website at <http://www.genealogy.gc.ca/01/010202_e.html> is one to check for information on Grosse Île.

The database of 33,026 names listed includes some of the  immigrants who came to Canada from Ireland from 1832 to 1937, and who stayed at the Grosse-Île Quarantine Station on the island. By 1830, Quebec City was the main port of entry for immigrants to Canada, two-thirds of which were Irish.

Information on the database includes, for example, the name of the person, the name of the ship they sailed on to Canada, the port of departure, the date they died, as well as the reference and microfilm numbers. Information provided does vary per person, although they may also have other data, such as if the person was buried at sea, and so forth.

On the Parks Canada website at <http://www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/qc/grosseile/natcul/natcul3a_E.asp> is a virtual tour of Grosse Île and a photo of the Irish Cross on the island (which, at 45 feet tall, is impressive). Along with the other monuments and buildings on the island, it is officially known as "Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site of Canada."

And yet another website to check is the one for "Peter Robinson Immigrants: Irish Immigration to Canada, 1823-1825," especially from County Kerry. There is a surname list on the website at <http://www.kawartha.net/~jleonard/robinson.htm>.

The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa <http://www.bifhsgo.ca> focuses on immigrants from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales who settled along the Ottawa, Gatineau and Rideau Rivers 200 years ago.

They are a very robust organization and have member's interests on the site, including a very extensive resource of United Kingdom and Irish sources.

There are articles on the "The Quebec Family History Society" at  <http://www.cam.org/~qfhs> which also has very extensive Irish resources in its publications. Many Irish came to Quebec, and that Irish feeling is still present in Montreal today, with its annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, one of the biggest in North America.

Be sure to read The Irishman in Canada, written by Nicholas Flood Davin on "Our Roots," a Canadian website. This website, <http://www.ourroots.ca/e/home.asp>, not only displays Canada's local histories, but one can read the many books they now have online.

The Irish Society of the National Capital Region in Ottawa has articles on their website at <http://www.irishsocietyncr.com/history.htm> of the Irish "navvies" who came there to build the Rideau Canada, the longest canal in continuous operation in North America, as well as an article on the Irish Pioneer Families in the Ottawa area.

There were a great number of Irish immigrants to the province of New Brunswick during the Irish Famine of the 1840s. To this end, tons of links to information on them can be found at 
<http://new-brunswick.net>. As there is no direct URL for this information, you will have to start by clicking on the map of New Brunswick to go to the main page. Click on "NB Genealogy", then find the heading named "Misc. Genealogy". Below it, note the sub-header "Inhabitants & Immigrants", and then click on the link marked "Irish". Once connected, you will find such records as the name of ships which came to New Brunswick, as well as lists of people, including those that came through Partridge Island—the "Ellis Island of Canada"—from 1785 to 1941.

Remember to use Canada GenWeb at <http://www.rootsweb.com/~canwgw>to find local Irish resources and references to the many Irish in Canada!

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    "A former newspaper reporter in Canada's capital, Ottawa, I became interested in writing about genealogy when researching my own ancestor, Andrew Barclay, an American Loyalist from Boston, Massachusetts, early in 1990. Quickly, my interest spread beyond my own family, and by 1994, I was editing a genealogy newsletter and by 1997, I was editing the Sourcing Canada series of books. Since then, I have gone on to write "My Ancestor Was French Canadian" and a series of booklets on Canadian genealogy. I love to travel the Canadian and American countryside looking for interesting people and places to photograph and to write about." - E.B. Lapointe

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