The first comprehensive account of the Irish settlers of Prince Edward Island.
Exiles and Islanders describes Irish settlement in Prince Edward Island from 1763 to 1880. By tracing the history of these early settlers, Brendan O'Grady demolishes the myth that the Island's Irish settlers were largely refugees from the Great Potato Famine. Using a wide variety of sources, including folklore, newspaper reports, personal interviews, letters, shipping records, and historical data, O'Grady goes beyond mere statistics. We learn about settlers' hometowns in Ireland, why they left, when and how they came to Prince Edward Island, where they settled, and how they adapted to living in PEI.
Over ten thousand Irish settled in PEI in the nineteenth century; by 1850 they comprised about a quarter of the Island's population. They were mainly pre-Famine immigrants and mostly Catholic. They came from all thirty-two counties of Ireland and settled in all sixty-seven townships of PEI. They took up farming, fishing, and rural occupations; raised large families; and retained their Irishness for several generations. Exiles and Islanders includes family names and places of origin that will be of particular interest to the Island's Irish descendants. An intriguing cultural history, the book provides new insight into the early settlers of Prince Edward Island.