Citing an additional 7,000 Irish-born residents of Atlantic Canada, Volume IV of Erin’s Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada brings the coverage of this ground-breaking work forward to 1863, the mid-point of the American Civil War. By that year, Irish immigration into Atlantic Canada had diminished almost to a trickle, as ever bigger and faster steam ships allowed immigrants to set out for the more distant factory towns of New England and various points in the American West.
The Irish-born population of Atlantic Canada peaked in the early 1860s; after that the combination of out-migration to the United States and “upper Canada,” the reduction in Irish immigration, and the influx of non-Irish elements began the proportionate decline of the Irish in the population. Volume IV, therefore, rounds off the series at the turning point in the decline of the Irish-born population.
Like the other volumes in the series, Volume IV contains extracts of data from a wide range of sources, chiefly public records, newspapers, and cemetery records. Probably as much or even more than the other volumes, records of marriages and deaths and census records predominate, while there are the usual out-of-the-way records of ships’ passengers, runaways, deserters, and old soldiers. Once again, the fourth volume of Erin’s Sons offers a wealth of data that is generally inaccessible to the average researcher, identifying Irish-born individuals in every kind of record in which immigrants to Atlantic Canada are named.