Irish Canadian Famine Research

Irish Canadian Famine Research

Tag: Famine Irish

Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers pays tribute to Grey Nuns of Montreal and Canadian Famine Irish at launch of Digital Irish Famine Archive

Digital Irish Famine Archive Launch 2

From right to left: Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin Vickers; Director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute, Professor Christine Kinealy; Curator of Digital Irish Famine Archive (NUIG), Dr. Jason King.

Statement for launch of Digital Irish Famine Archive from Ambassador Kevin Vickers:

It gives me great pleasure to launch the Digital Irish Famine Archive and “Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger” exhibit.  Both the digital archive and the exhibit commemorate and pay tribute to the Grey Nuns of Montreal and people of French and English Canada, like Bishop Michael Power in Toronto and Dr. John Vondy in Chatham, now Miramichi, New Brunswick, who gave their lives caring for Irish emigrants during the Famine exodus of 1847.  It is especially fitting that we launch the digital archive on this day, after Montreal’s Irish community has just made its annual pilgrimage to the Black Stone monument, which marks the site of the city’s fever sheds and mass graves for six thousand Irish dead, and before the Irish Famine Summer School begins at the Irish National Famine Museum in Strokestown, County Roscommon.  The stories contained within the digital archive attest to the selfless devotion of the Grey Nuns in tending to typhus-stricken emigrants and providing homes for Irish orphans.  In an age of increasingly desperate acts of migration, their compassion provides a lesson for us all.

The Digital Irish Famine Archive can be found at (http://faminearchive.nuigalway.ie/).

Grey Nuns at “Women and the Great Hunger in Ireland” Conference, Quinnpiac University, June 5, 2015

Grey Nuns at Quinnipiac

From Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute, Quinnipiac University:

Among our more than 50 guests at our “Women and the Great Hunger in Ireland” conference are Sister Marlene Butler GNSH, left, of Yardley, Penn., and Sister Anne Marie Beirne GNSH, of Queens, N.Y. The Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart visited our year-long “Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger” exhibit in the Arnold Bernhard Library. “It’s absolutely wonderful,” Sister Butler said. “We try to create a more compassionate world — and it’s really inspiring to see what the Grey Nuns accomplished in Montreal.” Sister Beirne said the exhibit demonstrates how much we can all help each other. “Just hearing the stories is so emotional.” She is continuing the work of her predecessors by volunteering her time at Marguerite’s Pantry in New York. “It’s living a life of compassion,” she said. “That’s what they called us to do.” Read more: http://bit.ly/1G0s2Ab

Grey Nuns exhibit setup 2

GreyNunGarb

During their visit Dr. Jason King delivered a keynote address entitled “Sacred and Sacrilegious Women’s Testimonials: The Grey Nuns and Maria Monk, Famine Irish Migrants, and the Montreal Fever Sheds in 1847-1848″.

He suggested that the sacred images and religious iconography of French-Canadian and Irish female religious caring for Montreal’s Famine emigrants in the “Saving the Famine Irish” exhibit were directly influenced and shaped by the sinister impressions of Maria Monk a decade earlier, which they sought to repudiate and replace.  In the decade before the Irish Famine influx into Montreal in 1847, the very same orders of priests and nuns who cared for Irish emigrants and rescued Famine orphans had become figures of infamy following the publication of The Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk, or, the Hidden Secrets of a Nun’s Life in a Convent Exposed (1836).  Her purported autobiographical account of her experiences within and escape from the Hôtel Dieu convent was a staple of American nativism and a best-seller, with over three hundred thousand copies purchased by 1860 – second only to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin in the antebellum United States.  In her Awful Disclosures, Maria Monk claimed to have been incarcerated in Montreal’s Hôtel Dieu convent in which she alleged that acts of sexual abuse and infanticide routinely occurred, although her allegations were comprehensively discredited in the years that followed.

Grey Nuns launch 3

Hotel Dieu convent

It is profoundly ironic that the very same priests and nuns who were vilified by Maria Monk in 1836 for plotting to murder helpless Irish infants became iconic figures and venerated in popular memory a decade later for their salvation of Famine orphans. In fact, this tension between sacred and sacrilegious, or iconic and idolatrous images of women and children was embodied in the figures of the uncloistered nun with the Irish infant, which provided a focal point for the popular memory of Maria Monk as well as the fever sheds. Ultimately, it was only by forgetting the sacrilegious figure of Maria Monk that the sacred memory of the clergy and female religious who cared for Irish emigrants in Montreal’s fever sheds could be preserved and transmitted.

Maria Monk with child

Nuns rescuing orphans in fever sheds of Montreal

Irish America: The Grey Nuns at Quinnipiac

From Irish America:

The Grey Nuns at Quinnipiac

GreyNunGarb

Sarah Churchill, Assistant to Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute examines a photo of a Grey Nuns. Images by Johnathon Henninger.

By Matthew Skwiat, Contributing Editor
June / July 2015

Anew exhibit on the Grey Nuns hosted by Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University opened April 1. A private event launching the exhibit took place on March 31 with the Canadian Consul General, Quebec Delegate to New England, and the Irish Consul General of New York all in attendance.

The long overdue exhibit shines a light on the untold number of English and French Canadians who provided charity and support for the thousands of immigrants who fled Ireland during the Famine. Foremost among them were the Sisters of Charity, who were more commonly referred to as the Grey Nuns. Theirs is a story of compassion and resolve during a time of great suffering and one which has been largely overlooked.

Quinnipiac launch 4

Barbara Jones, left, Consul General of Ireland, Marie-Claude Francoeur, Quebec Delegate to New England,Christine Kinealy, John F. Prato, Consul General of Canada, and Jason King toured the exhibit “Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger” on display at the Arnold Bernhard Library on the Mount Carmel campus of Quinnipiac University. The exhibit opened to the public April 1, 2015. (Photograph by Johnathon Henninger / for Quinnipiac University)

The exhibition, “Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger,” was a joint collaboration between Christine Kinealy, founding director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute and professor of history, and Jason King, Irish Research Council postdoctoral fellow at Moore Institute at Galway University, and the Arnold Bernhard Library. Kinealy said of the exhibit, “The story of the Grey Nuns, and of the other religious orders who helped the dying Irish immigrants, is one of kindness, compassion and true charity” adding “this is a remarkable story that deserves to be better known.” ♦

_______________

The exhibition runs through March 18, 2016.

Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University to open exhibition, ‘Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger,’ on April 1

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Hartford Courant article on “Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger” exhibit

Famine-Exhibition-MI

Walk for Tragic Ship

Sligo Champion

Paul Deering 07/03/2015

Commemorating the Carricks

On 4th April, Rose Marie Stanley with her husband Terry will lead a Famine Trail Commemoration Walk from Cross, Keash to Sligo Port.  Rose Marie is a fifth generation descendent of Patrick and Sarah Kaveney, who with their six children did this same walk on the 4th April 1847, when as famine victims they left Ireland in the hope of a better life in Canada.

Mullaghmore and Cliffoney Historical Society in conjunction with descendents of different branches of the Kaveney family and other walking groups are undertaking this walk in memory of Patrick and Sarah and their six children, and all those who sailed with them to Canada on the ill fated Carricks in April 1847. The walk is 21 miles long and will start at the old Kaveney homestead in Cross at 9am and will proceed through Ballymote, Colloney, Ballysodare, and on to Sligo Port where they will arrive about 4pm. A short ceremony will take place at the pontoon beside the Custom and Ballast Quays, from where the Carricks set sail on its final journey.

Patrick and Sarah Kaveney were tenants of Lord Palmerston and became the first batch of his Assisted Emigrants to leave Sligo in 1847 for Quebec. Patrick and Sarah left on the 5th April 1847. At Sligo Port they were joined by 28 other families, a total of 173 emigrants, all former Palmerston tenants.

Some 17 of the families came from the Ballymote estate, 5 more came from Ennismurray, and 6 came from Ahamlish. Just over three weeks after leaving Sligo these emigrants entered the Gulf of St. Lawrence and were in sight of the Canadian coast when the Carricks was caught in a snow storm and crashed into the notorious Cap des Rosiers. Only 48 passengers survived. Patrick and Sarah with their son Martin survived; their five daughters were drowned.

They set up home in Jersey Cove and had four more children In 1855 Patrick died in a snow storm as he attended St. Patrick Day celebrations.

Rechristened Kavanagh in Canada, Patrick and Sarah set about establishing their new lives and local families helped them out until they could fend for themselves. They set up their new home in Jersey Cove, the Gaspe, had four more children and in 1855 Patrick died in a snow storm as he attended St. Patrick Day celebrations. Now 168 years after arriving in the Gaspe, family branches have spread out across Canada, but they still retain the family base in Jersey Cove. Most family branches are French speakers although some remain English speakers. Down the generations the family retained knowledge of, and came in search of, their Sligo roots. But only in recent years were they able to re-establish those roots and reconnect with long lost relatives who will join Rose Marie and Terry on the upcoming walk.

A monument, erected by the parish of St. Patrick’s Montreal, stands in the Gaspe in memory of those who drowned with the sinking of the Carricks. In May 2011 long lost remains were found in what appears to have been a mass grave near where the tragedy occurred. Investigations are underway to determine if these remains are those of Carricks victims.

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Jacob Ellgood’s Eyewitness Testimony of Montreal’s Famine Irish Fever Sheds in 1848

 

 

Source:

The Montreal Standard

Old Home Numbers

Sept. 13-20 1909

Jacob Ellgood Sixty Years of Progress in Montreal LAC File

 

Jacob Ellegood’s Testimony about Famine Irish Fever Sheds in 1848 and Father Patrick Dowd:

Ellgood Fever Sheds Testimony

 

Montreal in the decades after the Irish Famine Migration:

Montreal of Half a century ago

 

What happened to Thomas Treacy?

Toronto Star.

Remnants of Toronto’s History

Our readers tell us about heirlooms, photos and other mementoes that evoke the city’s past.

By: LESLIE SCRIVENER STAFF REPORTER, Published on Sun Mar 11 2007

In the summer of 1847, a seven-year-old orphan, Brigit Ann Treacy, arrived in Toronto half-starved, but carrying a small treasure – a gold-painted cream jug which was her sole keepsake from her home in Ireland. Passage on the famine ship Jane Black had been perilous; there was little food or water. Brigit Ann had been so hungry she’d chewed on her leather shoelaces.

She was travelling with her aunt, Peggy Ryan Clancy. There was to have been a third passenger, her younger brother, Thomas, but he disappeared in the chaos of boarding ship on the docks at Limerick. It’s not known what became of him.

Aunt and niece settled in Whitby, where Peggy worked as a cook. Brigit Ann grew to be a beautiful young woman who one year was named the “belle of Whitby,” her great-granddaughter Terry Smith recalls. Smith, a former Ontario deputy-minister of culture, has inherited the creamer, which she keeps in her grandmother’s china cabinet. She runs a company, Philanthropic Partnerships Inc., which matches donors with charities, and is the only famine descendent on the board of the Ireland Park Foundation, which is creating a park scheduled to open at Bathurst Quay in June.

Brigit Ann was one of the 38,000 Irish immigrants who landed in Toronto in 1847, having fled the Irish potato famine, which killed one million people over six years. Many arrived at the docks sick with typhus; 1,110 died by the end of 1847.

The story of her great-grandmother’s arrival and survival, told through generations in her family, is also the story of the settlement of Canada, Smith says. Brigit Ann married Michael John McTague, another Irish immigrant, and had four children, including Norah, Smith’s grandmother, who raised nine children. Smith has traced more than 200 of Brigit Ann’s descendants in Canada and the U.S.

“This little jug reminds us all where we came from and the struggle our ancestors took to make a new life here,” she wrote in a note to the Star.

Last fall Smith and her sister Sheila Kirk found Brigit Ann’s tombstone in St. Michael’s cemetery near Yonge St. and St. Clair Ave. She died in 1924, when she was 84. Brigit Ann’s aunt, Peggy, lived to be 103.

Smith’s thoughts went back to the 1847 crossing. “It gave us a sense of peace,” Smith says, “to find the site where this woman was buried, once a frightened little girl arriving in a new land with only a gold creamer jug in her hand.’

But there are still unknown elements in this story. Smith still wants to find out what happened to Brigit Ann’s brother, the little boy who was lost or left behind at the docks.

Toronto Ireland Park

 

INAUGURAL IRISH FAMINE SUMMER SCHOOL: Call for Papers (Deadline February 15)

Strokestown Park House Glass Memorial Wall

                   INAUGURAL IRISH FAMINE SUMMER SCHOOL  JUNE 17 – 21 

 CALL FOR PAPERS – Feb 15 Deadline

International Speakers:   17– 19  June

Papers :   20 & 21 June

‘The Local and Regional impact of the Great Irish Famine.’

We are calling for applications for 15 – 20 minute Papers on how the Great Famine impacted on your area or region – be it a local, national or international location.

Enquiries and proposals of no more than 250 words, accompanied by a short biography should be sent to Dr Ciaran Reilly – ciaran.j.reilly@nuim.ie. Decisions on proposals as decided by the organizing Committee will be communicated by the end of February.

Full exciting Programme can be viewed on http://www.irishfaminesummerschool.com

Irish Famine Summer School Programme

Call for Papers: Famine migration and diaspora (Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, 23-24 April 2015)

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Call for papers Famine migration and diaspora

Call for Papers

Famine migration and diaspora:

inaugural meeting of the

International Network of Irish Famine Studies (INIFS)

Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, 23-24 April 2015

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Piaras MacÉinrí (University College Cork)

Jason King (NUI Galway)

Mark McGowan (University of Toronto)

William Smyth (University College Cork)

Laura Izarra (University of São Paolo)

Marguérite Corporaal (Radboud University Nijmegen)

The Great Irish Famine (1845–52) was one of the most influential periods in the history of Ireland and its diaspora. While emigration had already been a common feature in Irish life before the 1840s, the Famine catalysed the process, causing far greater numbers to leave the island and changing the nature of Irish emigration and Irish communities overseas, while also greatly influencing Irish society at home.

On 23–24 April 2015, Radboud University Nijmegen in collaboration with The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) will host the first meeting of the International Network of Irish Famine Studies (INIFS). This network brings together scholars conducting groundbreaking, ongoing research on the Great Irish Famine. As such, it intends to stimulate the development of interdisciplinary dialogues and methodologies necessary to face future challenges of the field of Irish Famine Studies.

Specifically, this inaugural meeting will have Famine migration and diaspora as its theme, focusing on not just the Irish-North-American diaspora, but also Irish migration across the globe, to Latin America and across the Pacific for example. Moreover, it will investigate both the immediate and long-term effects of Famine migration, and will view these processes of migration, settlement and the establishment of transnational overseas communities through an interdisciplinary and comparative lens.

The expert meeting will consist of keynote lectures and presentations by senior scholars from various disciplines. However,  INIFS also attaches great importance to emerging scholarship in the field, and therefore we would like to encourage PhD candidates doing research in the fields of Famine studies and/or Irish migration and diaspora studies to contribute to the meeting, in the form of a paper. Topics may include but are not limited to:

·     The history and historiography of Irish Famine migration;

·     Politics and (trans)nationalism in diaspora;

·     Geographical aspects of Famine migration and diaspora;

·     New methods and methodologies to research Irish migration and diaspora;

·     Cultural memories and identities in diaspora;

·     The process of emigration as seen ‘from back home’;

·     Issues of integration, belonging, exclusion in receiving societies;

·     Literary and artistic representations of the processes of migration and of being in diaspora;

·     The various cultural encounters between the Irish diaspora and other ethnic communities in their new homelands;

·     The Irish diaspora in comparison to other diasporic communities;

·     The immediate and long-term effects of Famine migration for the Irish and the receiving countries.

If you are a PhD candidate and would like to participate in the form of a paper presentation (in English, not exceeding 20 minutes), please send a 250-300 abstract and short bio to l.janssen@let.ru.nl, before 15 February 2015. We will select a maximum of 8 PhD candidates, who will be invited to present their papers and will receive feedback from a senior respondent from the field. Accommodation for 2 nights and conference participation will be arranged and paid for by the INIFS network. We will not cover travel expenses.

For further enquiries, please contact Lindsay Janssen at l.janssen@let.ru.nl. Additional information will be published on the INIFS website: www.ru.nl/irishfaminenetwork.

Best wishes,

The directors of INIFS:

Marguérite Corporaal (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Oona Frawley (NUI Maynooth)

Luke Gibbons (NUI Maynooth)

Peter Gray (Queen’s University Belfast)

Andrew Newby (University of Helsinki)

The management assistants of INIFS:

Christopher Cusack (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Lindsay Janssen (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Irish Famine Summer School 2015 at Strokestown Park House and Irish National Famine Museum (June 17-21)

Irish Famine Summer School at Strokestown Park House

Irish Famine Summer School at Strokestown Park House Programme

PROGRAMME

Wednesday 17th June

9:30am – 1:00pm

The Great Irish Famine: New Perspectives

Prof Christine Kinealy- Quinnipiac University, Connecticut, USA
Dr Ciaran Reilly – Maynooth University, Ireland
Dr Jonny Geber – University College Cork, Ireland

2:30pm

Tour of Cruchain Ai- Royal Celtic Site, Tulsk & the 18th Century Windmill, Elphin.

Bus departs – Event Tent – Bawn Street
Booking and tour fee Required

2:00pm – 3:30pm

Local Craft Display – Percy French Hotel

Free

3:30pm

Blas na Gaelige

learn a few phrases of Irish, Town Libary
Free

4:00pm

Secret Areas of Strokestown Park House Tour

Booking and tour fee Required

FREE EVENING

Thursday 18th June

9:30am – 1:00pm

The Great Irish Famine Abroad

Prof Mark McGowan – University of Toronto, Canada
Dr Patrick Fitzgerald – Mellon Centre for Migration, Omagh NI
Dr Perry McIntyre – Global Irish Studies Centre, University of New South Wales

2:30pm

Tour of Rindoon Deserted Medieval Village

Bus departs – Event Tent – Bawn Street
Booking and tour fee Required

2:30pm

Genealogy Centre Workshop

Free

4:00pm

History Walk of the Town

(Meet at the Event Tent) Free

8:00pm

Drama – The Murder of Major Mahon, 1847

Strokestown Park House, Library
Booking and tour fee Required

Friday 19th June

9:30am – 1:00pm

The Great Irish Famine Remembered

Dr Emily Mark-Fitzgerald – University College Dublin, Ireland
Dr Marguerite Corporaal – Radbound University, Nijmegen, Holland
Dr Jason King – NUI, Galway, Ireland

2:30pm – 5:30pm

Tour of Roscommon Workhouse & Quaker Meeting House

Bus departs – Event Tent – Bawn Street
Booking and tour fee Required

1:00 – 3:00pm

Secret Tour of Strokestown…

ending with “Taste of Famine Times’ Soyer soup and Maize Bread
Woodland Walk Restaurant
Booking and tour fee Required

3:30pm

Sliabh Ban Walk through the Ages

(Meet at the Event Tent)

8:00pm

History Hedge School – The Great Irish Famine: Past, Present and Future

Prof Christine Kinealy- Quinnipiac University, Connecticut, USA
Prof Mark McGowan – University of Toronto, Canada
Dr Ciaran Reilly – Maynooth University, Ireland

Percy French Ballroom – Small Entry Fee €

Saturday 20th June

9:00am – 5:00pm

The Local and Regional Impact of the Great Irish Famine

Keynote Speaker: Prof Peter Gray, Queens University Belfast, NI

8:00pm

Conference & Summer School Dinner

Strokestown Park House
Pre Dinner Drinks in the Library
Booking Required – € 50

Sunday 21st June

9:00am – 12:30pm

The Local and Regional Impact of the Great Irish Famine

Closing remarks and discussion

3:00pm

History Walk of the Town

(Meet at the Event Tent) Free

1:00pm – 5:00pm

Olde World Fayre

Bawn Street

Children’s Events – Workshops on Sat / Sun

Facepainting / Fancy Dress / Ice Cream