Friday 28 September 2012

N. American immigration: new resource published

A new book by immigration historian and genealogist Terrence Punch FIGRS has been published.

North America’s Maritime Funnel: The Ships that brought the Irish 1749-1852 is the result of groundbreaking research into the voyages made between Ireland and the Maritime Provinces of Canada – New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. These areas were convenient destinations for Irish immigrants and functioned as the narrow end of a funnel through which tens of thousands dispersed across the North American continent.

The book provides a chronological list of the voyages (there were about 1500 in total). It gives the names of the vessels and their carrying capacity, information about the ports and their hinterland, passenger acts and the concepts of tonnage/burthen. It also provides the dates of departure and arrival, and adds a great variety of detail (including five appendices rich in names) concerning passengers and crew and the voyages themselves.

Supported by a history of Irish emigration, the book is built around a year-by-year listing of known voyages.

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 survive of the 1,500 voyages, but through extensive research, Terry Punch has managed to fill in many of the gaps.

Published this month by the Genealogical Publishing Company, the 172-pg book (with maps and index) costs $33+pp (£21.20/€24+pp via Amazon).