Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Review: "North America's Maritime Funnel: The Ships That Brought the Irish, 1749-1852" by Terrence M. Punch

How did your Irish ancestors come to North America?  Did they emigrate from Ireland to the Maritime provinces of Canada in the period of 1749-1852?  If so, you probably need to have this book:

Terrence M. Punch, North America's Maritime Funnel; The Ships that Brought the Irish, 1749-1852 (Baltimore, Md. : Genealogical Publishing Company, 2012).  171 pages, $33.00 (soft cover), ISBN: 9780806319650, Item #: GPC4716

The publicity for this book describes it well:

"The Maritime Provinces of Canada--New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island--were a convenient destination for tens of thousands of Irish immigrants between 1749 and 1852. Functioning as the narrow end of a funnel through which thousands dispersed widely across the North American continent, the Maritimes offered easy access and cheap fares, beckoning emigrants from Ireland’s catchment areas along the waterways of Dublin, Londonderry, and Cork.

"In all, there is documentation on about 1,050 voyages between Ireland and the Maritimes, and in this book Mr. Punch provides a chronological list of the voyages, gives the names of the vessels, their port and date of departure as well as their port of arrival, indicates the number of passengers and sometimes their names and destination, and adds a great variety of information concerning passengers and crew and the voyages themselves.

"Supported by a history of Irish emigration, with an account of the economic and social causes of this historic upheaval, the book is built around a year-by-year listing of known voyages between an Irish port and a harbor in the Maritimes, with maps showing the movement of population from specific areas in Ireland to the Maritimes, and tables providing port-by-port statistics. But this is not just a list of the 1,050 voyages from Ireland to Maritime Canada. Scattered throughout the list of voyages are the names of passengers--some gleaned directly from passenger lists, others from related sources such as land records and newspaper accounts that by chance connect passengers to the ships, while in other cases references are given to previously published passenger lists. Only 123 passenger lists of the 1,050 voyages survive, but by dint of groundbreaking research, Mr. Punch has managed to fill in many of the gaps.

"To add to the layers of detail, the book further contains several useful appendixes, including: (1) Irish among the Founders of Halifax; (2) Ulster Irish Arrivals before 1773; (3) Irish Emigrant Petitioners for Land in Nova Scotia; and (4) Emigrants in the Ordnance Survey Memoirs, 1830s. These four appendixes alone contain the names of 1,523 people, and the book concludes with a ship index and an index of surnames.

"Accolades are due the author of this reference work, Terrence M. Punch, who in 2011 was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada for his outstanding work in genealogy."

The Table of Contents includes:

*  Section 1 - Introduction
*  Section II - Ireland's Mounting Demographic Crisis
*  Section III - The Concept of Catchment Areas
*  Section IV - The Irish Ports in 1837
*  Section V - Ships from Ireland to the Maritimes, 1749-1852

*  Section VI - Annual Number of Voyages from Ireland to the Maritimes
*  Section VII - The Number of Irish Emigrants to the Maritimes
*  Section VIII - Maritime Ports of Arrival
*  Section IX - Tonnage and the Passenger Acts
*  Section X - Confusion in the Passenger Lists

*  Appendix I - Irish among the Founders of Halifax, 1749
*  Appendix II - Ulster Irish Arrivals before 1773
*  Appendix III - Irish Emigrant Petitioners for Land in Nova Scotia
*  appendix IV - Emigrants in the Ordnance Survey Memoirs, 1830
*  Appendix V - A Coffin Ship: The Aldebaran, 1847

*  Ship Index
*  Index of Surnames
*  Topical Index

This book costs $33.00 plus shipping costs from Genealogical Publishing.  You can order it here.

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Disclosure: contacted me recently and asked me to provide a review of this book. They mailed me a review copy for my personal use as remuneration for this review. 

1 comment:

T said...

I am thinking one of my brick wall families was from Ireland and came to PEI, Halifax and Mass. in there somewhere. I also suspect they were Loyalists. Unfortunately their name never shows up anywhere. My spaceship family. Everybody has one.