Canada help both hope and hardship for many Irish immigrants

Diana
Diana Tibert
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MILFORD Its that time of year again when everyone sees green. The time when everyone is either Irish or wish to be Irish.

There is not a drop of Irish blood in my veins - that I know of. Still, Ill wear green, play an Irish Rovers CD and make cupcakes with green icing on March 17th.

When we celebrate St. Patricks Day, we remember St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. Although some accounts claim he brought Christianity to Ireland, others claim there was already a small population of Christians living there when he arrived to convert the Pagans.

Born into a wealthy British family, when he was sixteen Patrick was taken prisoner by Irish Raiders, taken to Ireland and forced into slavery. He escaped six years later.

MILFORD Its that time of year again when everyone sees green. The time when everyone is either Irish or wish to be Irish.

There is not a drop of Irish blood in my veins - that I know of. Still, Ill wear green, play an Irish Rovers CD and make cupcakes with green icing on March 17th.

When we celebrate St. Patricks Day, we remember St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. Although some accounts claim he brought Christianity to Ireland, others claim there was already a small population of Christians living there when he arrived to convert the Pagans.

Born into a wealthy British family, when he was sixteen Patrick was taken prisoner by Irish Raiders, taken to Ireland and forced into slavery. He escaped six years later.

On his return to his homeland, he began his religious studies. He returned to Ireland where he supported and spread Christianity for 30 years. He died on March 17, ca. 460 A.D.

Atlantic Canadians have been strongly influenced by the Irish. But this unique culture wasnt always looked upon favourably.

Their love for gatherings, unique language and strong religious beliefs, particularly the Catholic, was frowned upon.

The negative image is partly due to the immigration of a large number of poor and uneducated Catholic Irish shortly after the Great Potato Famine in 1845.

Because fares to the United States, Australia and New Zealand were higher, hundreds of thousand desperate Irish arrived in Canada. Many were weak from starvation and the fever that spread aboard the ships.

The first recorded arrivals from Ireland were fishermen from Cork who travelled to Newfoundland in 1536. Irish began to permanently settle in the province in the 1800s.

The first large group of Irish settlers established themselves in Nova Scotia in the 1760s. Many of them emigrated from Ulster and were Protestants of Scottish descent.

They settled mainly in Colchester County with names like Fletcher, Corbett, Henderson and McCully.

Some Catholic Irish also settled the area indicated by such surnames as OBrien and Ryan.

However, most Irish Catholics preferred to settle in Halifax and surrounding areas.

The harsh conditions of working the land in Ireland discouraged many from farming in Canada.

Also, the Irish were social people and life in the bush carving out a living on land far from others was not something they wanted.

Although Irish names are hard to find on passenger lists and land records, in 1767, there were roughly 2,000 Irish-born people living in Nova Scotia. Of these, 979 lived in Halifax.

To learn more about the Irish that settled Nova Scotia, visit The Untold Story website (http://gail25.tripod. com/untold.htm) and read Terrence M. Punchs Gentle as the Snow on a Rooftop: The Irish in Nova Scotia to 1830.



Researchers File

Seeking information on James Fraser who was born June 9, 1835 in New Glasgow, NS. James moved to St. George, Charlotte County, NB in c.1860 and first married Margaret Maxwell, second married Elizabeth Hunter. In Elizabeths fathers will, James is listed as from Truro, NS. Contact: Launa Brenchley, 225 South 500 East, Hyrum, Utah 84319 USA; email: lbrenchley@msn.com



Editors Note - Diana Lynn Tibert is a freelance writer living at Milford, NS. Submit genealogy queries by writing: RR#1 Milford, Hants County, NS B0N 1Y0; or email: tibert@ns.sympatico.ca

Geographic location: Ireland, Canada, Nova Scotia Halifax United States Australia and New Zealand Newfoundland Ulster Colchester County New Glasgow Charlotte Elizabeths South 500 East Hyrum Hants County

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