Wednesday 27 April 2016

Coollattin project aims to connect with Irish Canadians

A project called the Coollattin Canadian Connection (CCC) has been officially launched by Kevin Vickers, the Ambassador of Canada to Ireland. Among its partners are the Genealogical Department of Wicklow County Council and Carnew Historical Society.

Its aim is to help the descendants of emigrants from the Coollattin Estate in Co. Wicklow learn about their family history and return to the land of their forefathers. Thousands of the Estate's tenants were assisted by their landlord, Earl Fitzwilliam, in emigrating between the mid-1830s and 1850s to Canada, most of them settling in the province of Ontario.

Now the CCC is facilitating the return of their descendants for the Homeward Trek, a week of history, genealogy and story-telling taking place from 20-27 August (see the full programme).

The all-in cost, including accommodation, entry to historical and interpretative centres, and tours of Coollattin House and its estate, is just 300 Canadian dollars. Extensive genealogical research is also included and will be carried out by the CCC team on behalf of those attending.

The CCC project's website offers 'how-to' genealogical advice for those just starting out on their research, a lovely album of photos of the emigrants and/or their children in Canada, as well as details of many Coollattin emigrants in the following documents:
  • Coollattin Estate Emigrant Lists 1847–1855
  • Survey of tenants living on the Coollattin Estate in 1868 (seach by surname or townland)
See the Databases section of the CCC website.

Looking ahead, the CCC hopes to stage similar Homeward Trek events in the future and also to develop a 'famine village', characteristic of the estate during the mid-nineteenth century.