Irish Canadian Cultural Association of New Brunswick

ince St. Patrick's Day was tomorrow, I had everything all planned for a celebration at supper time. I covered the Washington pie with light green frosting and Cliff used some dark green to make the shamrocks. Carefully I made my way from the pantry to the table, carrying my beautiful cake on the pedestal plate. I was so busy admiring my masterpiece that I forgot to watch where I was walking. I did not notice the dog stretched out on the floor until I stumbled over her. The cake went sliding off the plate. That was the end of the celebration.

It would take more than the loss of a cake to put a stumbling block in the way of celebrating March 17 by the members of the Irish Canadian Cultural Association of New Brunswick. The association was founded in 1983 to revive and promote all aspects of Irish culture in New Brunswick with the mission to foster an awareness of the traditions, history and artistic expression of the Irish people. In July of 2003, they launched their website at which provides relevant information for the researcher of Irish Ancestors in New Brunswick.

Of interest to the family researcher is the Irish Families of New Brunswick. This list was extracted from a larger compilation by Robert F. Fellows, which contains information on over 4,000 of the first families to arrive in New Brunswick. Each descriptive family entry contains the name of the head of a household, the date and place of birth, the names of his parents and the date of his death. Next is listed the date and place of marriage, the name of his wife and her vital statistics. Each of the children and their vital information, including the names of their wives, is listed. The family entry concludes with the name of the file, book or collection in which information was found, approximate number of pages within the file, and bibliographic or descriptive material as required. There are over 50,000 index entries to facilitate access. To view the files listed in this guide the researcher can visit the Provincial Archives on the University of New Brunswick Campus, Monday to Friday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturdays, excepting statutory holidays.

Perhaps the most noticeable legacy of the Irish population in New Brunswick is the number of communities founded by them. As is the usual custom, the Irish immigrants often used the names of their communities to remind them of their homeland. They also used it as an opportunity to make their mark on the new landscape, of which they had become a large part, by commemorating names or events important to the new settlement.

* Ennishone was a settlement 3 miles north of Drummond and 3 miles north east of Grand Falls in Drummond Parish, Victoria County. It was probably named for Innishowen, County Donegal in Ireland and was settled in 1861. There was a Post Office there from 1887 to 1936. In 1866 Ennishone was a community with about 24 families and in 1898 had a population of 100 and included the community of Godbout. Today Ennishone is a dispersed community.

The section on Irish-New Brunswick Facts and Trivia presents a number of interesting facts of how the Irish immigration has contributed to the growth and culture of New Brunswick.

* Saint John's first "Irish Free Presbyterian Church" was founded in 1843 when the Saint John Congregation, wanting a minister from Ireland, separated from the Scottish-based St. Andrew's Congregation. Their first minister, Rev. Robert Irvine, came from Ballynahinche in 1844.
* St. George in Charlotte County was founded on February 20, 1784 by Peter Clinch, who was born in Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath. He was educated in Trinity College, Dublin.

It is the intention that the past issues of  Shamrock Leaf, the Irish Canadian Cultural Association of New Brunswick's semi-annual publication, which was first printed in the fall of 1983 will be posted on the website. Over the years many articles of great interest to Irish historians, genealogists and people with an interest in all things Irish have been printed in these publications.

It is the plan that the website will hold information not only on the Irish of the past but will provide a portal to current events taking place throughout New Brunswick.

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