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BOOK - Erin's Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada 1761-1863 - Four Volumes
By Terrence M. Punch, FRSAI
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. During this time, large numbers of Irish and Scots-Irish immigrants passed through the Atlantic Canada ports of St. John and Halifax and a score of lesser ports, though a great many of these immigrants soon relocated to New England.
Despite the flow of Irish through Atlantic Canada, the early records of these immigrants are fewer and less informative than those of New England and New York from the same period. Erin’s Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada series of books goes a long way toward rectifying this problem.
Erin’s Sons not only sheds light on many of the Irish immigrants who resided in Atlantic Canada between 1761 and 1853 but also provides an invaluable tool for U.S. researchers, since many New England Irish families can trace their ancestry through Atlantic Canada.
For easy reference, a Surname Index and Ship Index are included.
Pages: 208 pp.; Size: 8½" x 11"; Softcover - perfectbound; Index - Surnames; Index - Ships; Bibliogaphy; Lists; Published: 2008.
Volume Two covers the same time period as Volume One (1761-1853, and also covers the same areas. Vol 2 lists 7000 additional Irish arrivals prior to 1853. Vol. Include information from hard to find resources such as church records of marriage and burial, cemetery records, headstone inscriptions, military description books, newspapers, poor house records, passenger lists run-aways, deserters, transported convicts, and indentured servants. There are also lists of runaways and deserters, transported convicts, and indentured servants, which offer a vivid if sometimes bleak picture of Irish immigration to Canada.
Pages: 191 pp.; Size: 8½" x 11"; Softcover - perfectbound; Index - Surnames; Index - Ships; Bibliogaphy; Lists; Published: 2009.
Volume III of Erin’s Sons extends the period of coverage to 1858 and lists approximately 7,000 additional Irish-born residents of Atlantic Canada. Like the other volumes in the series, it is based on a wide variety of genealogical sources, including church records, cemetery inscriptions, marriage and burial records, newspapers, census records, and ships’ passenger lists. Scattered throughout the volume there are out-of-the-way records pertaining to rescued and quarantined passengers, deserters, and runaways; and equally obscure records of individuals who suffered from anti-Irish prejudice during the 1840s. Many entries date from the 1850s, with earlier years showing up in land records, passenger lists, and military records. The largest groups of records included here are based on newspaper notices of marriages and deaths, regimental records, and land records. The single largest collection-- newspaper notices of marriages and deaths, 1854-1858, extracted from newspapers published in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland--also contains the greatest amount of genealogical detail—place and date of birth and death, date of emigration from Ireland, date of marriage, and names of family members. The regimental records, in particular the 97th Regiment, 1827-1853, show the dispersal of the soldiers at the end of their service and include date and place of birth, with date, place, and reason for discharge; while the land records, including some 900 petitions for grants of land in Nova Scotia, give the name of the petitioner, the date of the petition, sometimes the place of origin in Ireland, and the area of settlement in Nova Scotia. Also included in the book are maps showing the areas of peak migration from Ireland to Atlantic Canada, an index of surnames, and an index of ships.
Pages: 192 pp.; Size: 8½" x 11"; Softcover - perfectbound; Index - Surnames; Index - Ships; Bibliogaphy; Lists; Published: 2009.
Citing an additional 7,000 Irish-born residents of Atlantic Canada, Volume IV of Erin’s Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada brings the coverage of this ground-breaking work forward to 1863, the mid-point of the American Civil War. By that year, Irish immigration into Atlantic Canada had diminished almost to a trickle, as ever bigger and faster steam ships allowed immigrants to set out for the more distant factory towns of New England and various points in the American West. The Irish-born population of Atlantic Canada peaked in the early 1860s; after that the combination of out-migration to the United States and “upper Canada,” the reduction in Irish immigration, and the influx of non-Irish elements began the proportionate decline of the Irish in the population. Volume IV, therefore, rounds off the series at the turning point in the decline of the Irish-born population. Like the other volumes in the series, Volume IV contains extracts of data from a wide range of sources, chiefly public records, newspapers, and cemetery records. Probably as much or even more than the other volumes, records of marriages and deaths and census records predominate, while there are the usual out-of-the-way records of ships’ passengers, runaways, deserters, and old soldiers. Once again, the fourth volume of Erin’s Sons offers a wealth of data that is generally inaccessible to the average researcher, identifying Irish-born individuals in every kind of record in which immigrants to Atlantic Canada are named.
Pages: 180 pp.; Size: 8½" x 11"; Softcover - perfectbound; Index - Surnames; Index - Ships; Bibliogaphy; Lists; Published: 2010.
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