Monday, 12 December 2016

North Tipperary Irish Emigrants to Upper Canada 1817-1819

Emigration research is fascinating and there can be pockets of information where you least expect it. Initially, I was looking for pre-1900 Ontario genealogy on Google Books when this particular book led me on a segway journey.

Google books: Preview only: Irish Migrants in the Canadas : a new approach by Bruce S. Elliott 1987 9780773569928 rev.2004

In the Forward, Donald Akenson, FRSC, Queen's University, noted that Elliott traced 775 families, and 'traced with precision the life paths of hundreds of individual migrants, pinpointing their place of origin in the Old World and tracing with equal precision their life course in the New'.

The Appendices are quite informative as they provide detail around a list of passengers from the Camperdown which arrived in Quebec in 1818.  These are represented in petitions, to noted persons associated with their passage fares or concerns upon arrival. There is also a reference to the New Swiftsure, a steamboat (owners: Molson's St. Lawrence steamboats, see p.271) which traveled to Montreal in September 1819. Some passenger names are in Appendix C - listed below. Also see note below about the Molson's database on Ancestry. Thanks to Lorine McGinnis Schulze for the reminder that The Ships List provides a comprehensive transcription of the Molson steamboats in addition to many more resources for passenger lists!

Family names CHARLES, HOWARD, PYE were highlighted, however, more family names are found later in the Appendices (noted below).  The families of John PYE (c1779-1837) and William HOWARD (c1790-1871) married Sarah GOULDING of Moneygall, probably a sister of Mary (GOULDING) PYE. The PYE and HOWARD families are buried at Cornwall, PEI. The author had a segway moment himself, as he mentioned that Lucy Maud Montgomery may have used John Pye's (c1779-1837) surname for one of her characters in Anne of Green Gables.

Although this e-book has limited view-ability, there are two distinct sections: the epilogue and the appendices.

The Epilogue, while an update to the 1987 version, this is a summary of the research that Elliott undertook and gives good examples of resources.Only 2 pages of Chapter 1 notes are available in the preview but gives a particularly rich list of resources. For example, Sarah out of Limerick which arrived in Charlottetown 25 July 1817 with 18 passengers. ref79.chp1


Appendix A: A list of the Talbot Party, 1818 [revised from a 1969 MA Thesis Daniel J. Brock "Richard Talbot, The Tipperary Irish, and the Formative Years of London Township, 1818-1826"]. Also reference to E.A. Talbot, Five Years' Residence in the Canadas (London 1824). 
National Archives (Library and Archives Canada) CO 384/3

Appendix B: Birch Petition, 1819 National Archives CO 384/4 - 73 settlers - a petition to Right Hon. Earl Bathurst. provides a list of people who desired to travel with Robert Birch to Upper Canada

Appendix C: Boyd-Baskerville Petition 1819 National Archives CO 384/4 - 60 settlers- a petition to Right Hon. Earl Bathurst, John Baskerville and Robert Boyd

Appendix D: [University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies Library, Archives & Manuscripts, Methodist Missionary Society, Mss, Box 74, 29 June 1819, published with permission of the World Church Office, formerly the Methodist Church Overseas Divison.]

Camperdown Limerick June 20th 1819

Appendix E: Camperdown Passengers aboard the New Swiftsure Steamboat for Montreal, September 1819 Molson Fonds National Archives of Canada MG 28, III,

Ancestry: St. Lawrence Steamboat Company Passenger Lists, 1819-1838
Original data: St. Lawrence Steamboat Company Passenger Lists. Molson Coors Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Originals are in Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University Library, Montreal, Quebec.
       About Canada, St. Lawrence Steamboat Company Passenger Lists, 1819-1838
Following the successful launch of his Canadian brewing company in the 1780s, John Molson and his sons expanded into the shipping industry with the St. Lawrence Steamboat Company, which transported passengers and freight along the St. Lawrence River between Montreal and Qu├ębec. This collection includes passenger and freight lists from trips between 1819 and 1835.

Other resources mentioned in the book:

Elliott: 1841-69 Huron County Returns p.383

Dan Walker published 3 vols. pre-1858 non-conformist marriages Upper Canada/Canada West distributed by Global Genealogy Supply p.272

John Molson's St. Lawrence steamboats - reference found on p. 361 : Molson Fonds at Library and Archives Canada Microfilm M8272 to M8287.

Another Reference - State Aided Emigration from Ireland to Canada in the 1880s by Gerard Moran. <accessed on JSTOR>

If an enthusiastic Irish genealogy researcher is able to find a copy of this book 
and would like to send updates or additional content, it would be great to hear from you!


  1. I own Elliott's book and I have found it to be great asset when researching my Howard, Talbot, Fitzgerald and Harding families who settled in London Twp., Middlesex.

    1. Thank you Linda - nice to know that you have found this book useful for researching your family. There are so many untapped resources out there!

  2. Sue Swiggum, of The Ships List ( has MANY of these Steamboat passenger lists online. She spent years transcribing them. See

    1. Many thanks, Lorine, it was an oversight not to mention the fabulous Passenger List resource on The Ships List pages. Many genealogists have spent hours transcribing a huge number of resources and we owe a lot to their work! Please note I have updated the article to include the Ships List website.