Online resources about the Irish in Quebec

In addition to the usual sources, such as census records, births, marriages and deaths, and city directories, there are other resources that can help us with our family research. Here are some online resources that may help you gain a better understanding of your Irish ancestors who lived in Quebec.

1. The Famine, Emigration, and Grosse-Île

Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site of Canada. Parks Canada’s website provides the history of the quarantine station at Grosse-Île and the names of about 6,000 people, many of them Irish, who died on Grosse-Île or on the boats.

In Quarantine: Life and Death on Grosse Île – 1832-1937. Through a variety of documents digitized by Library and Archives Canada, such as lists of births and deaths at sea, hospital registers, journals, letters, photos and maps, this website tells the story of the quarantine station and the individuals who experienced life on the island. There is also a database of digitized documents related to the immigrants on Grosse-Île.

Irish Famine. This website contains sections on Grosse-Île, orphans in Quebec, table of deaths, economic and social impact of the famine on Canada, videos, and lesson guides for teachers.

The Grosse-Isle Tragedy 1847. This 1909 book by J.A. Jordan is worth a look if just for the many photos and the chapter, On the Emigrant Ships, on page 35.

The Irish Emigration of 1847 and Its Canadian Consequences. Note the books and articles listed in the bibliography at the end of this article by the Rev. John A. Gallagher. Several are available online by Googling.

2. Irish in Quebec

À la carte – Mapping the Heritage of Quebec’s English-Speaking Community. The Morrin Centre has created a listing with descriptions of churches, schools, and hospitals frequented by the English-speaking community in Quebec City. Click on Complete Listings for more info.

The Establishment of St. Patrick’s Church in Sherbrooke, Quebec. This paper by Mrs. L.E. Codere describes the development and influence of St. Patrick’s Church through 57 years.

Frampton Irish. This website about the Irish who settled in Frampton in Quebec’s Eastern Townships contains an index of 12,600 names. The section, Irish Life, is a 62-page history of the Irish in Frampton by Patrick M. Redmond and it includes maps showing where families lived.

Genealogies of Val-Cartier. Patricia Balkcom has assembled an index of names, transcriptions of wills, court records, and emigration from Ireland and other countries.

Irish Heritage in Quebec. This organization was founded in 1973 by Marianna O’Gallagher and several members of Quebec City’s Irish community. They will help you with your Irish family history in the area. The website is worth a browse.

The Irish in Quebec. Rev. Brother Memorian Sheehy begins this 13-page paper with the story about the arrival of the first Irish in Quebec City in 1710. The chapter, The Immigration Era, describes the different waves of Irish immigration and where they settled.

St. Columban – Irish. This site is dedicated to all the Irish immigrants who came to Canada in the early 1820s and settled in the Village of St. Columban, northwest of Montreal.

Pioneer English Catholics in the Eastern Townships. In this paper, English means English-speaking and includes the Irish and Scottish. The Rev. T.J. Walsh makes several references to Irish settlers in communities in the Eastern Townships.

St. Patrick’s Church, Quebec City. Many Irish Catholics attended this grand church on Grande-Allée. Sadly, because of a dwindling English-speaking population, the church was demolished in 1988 and replaced by a smaller church. The parish continues to keep its Irish heritage. The website recounts the history of the original church.

3. Irish in Montreal

Community Life of Irish Montrealers in the 19th and 20th Centuries.  This is a brief article that includes a bibliography worth noting.

A Critical Period in St. Patrick’s Parish, Montreal — 1866-1974. In 1871, St. Patrick’s parish served 30,000 English-speaking Catholics. This 12-page article describes the history of the parish and its controversies, while offering insight into the population it served.

Griffintown. List of key dates in the history of this Montreal working-class neighbourhood that was home to many Irish.

Griffintown: Yesterday & Today. This working-class neighbourhood in Montreal was home to many Irish. The website provides an historical overview of the community, people, places, events, documents, as well as future plans.

The Irish in Montreal. This oft-cited 308-page Master thesis by Dorothy Susanne Cross is about the social and economic position of the Irish population in Montreal. For those pressed for time, skip to Ms. Cross’ conclusions on pages 261 – 268, beginning on digital page 285. The bibliography lists many informative resources and the appendices provide interesting statistics, including comparative statistics from elsewhere in Quebec and other provinces. On page 304, you will find the annual rents and occupations of the Irish tenants on Eleanor, Colborne, and Nazareth streets in 1867, 1881, and 1891.

St. Anne’s Ward, or the Transformation of an Irish Montreal Neighbourhood: 1792-1970.  This is a brief article about the Irish neighbourhoods, Griffintown and Point-Saint-Charles.

Thanks to Ms. O’Leery and Jacques Gagné for helping me compile this list.


About Gail Dever

Gail Dever is a Montreal-based genealogist and blogger and a webmaster for the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa.
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4 Responses to Online resources about the Irish in Quebec

  1. philipnoel9 says:

    Thank you Gail. Using the genealogies of Val Cartier, I discovered an incorrect link in my ancestry.

  2. misspimms says:

    Gail, the link for the establishment of St Patrick’s Church in Sherbrooke is bad. I found it though here: he Establishment of St. Patrick’s Church in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Judge Marcus Doherty mentioned here is my 1st cousin 3x removed. The other Dohertys mentioned here are also likely relations but that remains a research in progress. Thanks!

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