Emigrants from County Wexford and County Carlow, Ireland
(c. 1,000 families) to Upper Canada (British North America), 1817
the Elly List of 1817
(These families settled mostly in the Richmond / Brockville / Kingston /Boyd Settlement area)




New January 8, 2014:
We now have a local (Eastern Ontario) web page for the 1798 Rebellion in Ireland.

February 7, 2012: (added map)
Map Source below: This map is a portion of a widely-distributed black and white map of Ireland in 1848. It appears in, for example, The Great Hunger, Ireland, 1845-1849, by Cecil Woodham-Smith, page 13 Map of South-East Ireland, in 1848
Note: The purple shaded area in south-west County Wicklow, on the map above, represents the Fitzwilliam Estate. Anne Burgess has documented many emigrants who came from there to Eastern Ontario between 1846 and 1854.
IRISH EMIGRATION by Bill Tufts (reproduced with permission of the late Mr. Bill Tufts)
When researching our family background we readily acknowledge that our ancestors did move from place to place, but we seldom stop to wonder why. Beginning on the following page is a list of Irish families who intended to move to British North America. Even today it is a major decision to pull up stakes and move thousands of miles to another country, but our ancestors ventured forth in vessels that a harbor master would not allow to clear port by today's safety standards. Travel in this period could be perilous, to say the least. Historians have discovered that there were "push factors" at home that made them decide to leave and "pull factors" to draw them to where they settled. In the case of the Carlow and Wexford inhabitants named in the following lists, there were two-tiers of push and pull. A post war recession and failing crops were a decided push factor. The British government was offering assistance to many who wished to start anew in British North America where they would have new land -and lots of it by Irish standards. This was a motivating pull, but the British government, for all its humanity, had ulterior motives when they made the offer. Soldiers returning from the Napoleonic wars on the continent had flooded the labour market. Simultaneously from 1812-1814, there had been another war in North America. In order to stave off the cost of transporting Canadian based troops home to deteriorating conditions, government offered free land to soldiers as well, if they settled in British North America. Realizing that it now had a shared AND UNPROTECTED 1,000 mile border with the United States, Britain wished the colonies to become self-sustaining and be able to protect themselves against the Americans should another war erupt. The disbanded soldiers could make up the officer corps of a home militia, offer military exper-tise and provide proper training to the general rank and file. Military settlements were established in the second tier of counties inland from the border (the St. Lawrence River,) at Richmond, Franktown and Perth. In the accompanying lists, the compiler noted that upwards of 1,100 men were capable of carrying arms. Some had shown their loyalty in the '98 uprising and by their actions, attachment to the Crown. This responsibility to defend Canada was the "pull" factor the Crown had to assist emigrants to settle in eastern Ontario. Further, there was a "push" factor by the Crown to remove people from the responsibility it had to care for those living in the British Isles. If people left Ireland, government would not be required to feed, clothe and house them. A more detailed article on this list and the people in it was written by Dr. Bruce Elliott and was published in: Donald H. Akenson, ed., "Canadian Papers in Rural History", V. VIII (1992), pp. 277/305, including detailed footnotes and information on some specific families. EMIGRATION: PART II: CARLOW and WEXFORD EMIGRATION, 1817/8 In the following lists of Protestants and Catholics preparing to emigrate to British North America, there appears to be some duplication. While several men of the same name may all have had families of heir own, and in some cases, the same number in the family, a James Downey with 18 members in his family on both lists leaves this reader "a mite suspicious". Whether this was done in error, or whether Downey and others wished to "cover all bets" to receive assistance to emigrate may only be conjectured. Virtually all were listed as "farmer" and a few also as "mechanic". In all, the first list represents 4,087 people intending to emigrate and the second list a (further?) 1,475 people. In the original documents, the names in the second list were numbered beginning with number one. The numbers have been deleted and the surnames alphabetically indexed in each list (p. 176). -(C.O. 384/1, reel B-876, pp. 178-191, NAC) The accompanying remarks imply that some of these people had relatives who had been awarded land grants [in Canada] in the previous two years. The numbers following the names represent the number in the family. Source: Ottawa Branch News Ontario Genealogical Society, Vol. XXIX, No. 5 (September-October, 1996), pp. 162/78. (Note: See posting dated April 30, 2008 on this page)
June 27, 2003: The list is also reproduced by Professor Bruce Elliott in his article entitled "Emigration from South Leinster to Eastern Upper Canada" in Kevin Whelan, ed. Wexford: History and Society (Dublin: Geography Publications, 1987) pp. 422-446 (Carleton University Library DA990.W5W49 - 5th Floor)

October 22, 2004:
William GLADNEY
Dear Mr. Lewis, I saw your note on the internet in regards to Bruce Elliott's article on Irish Emigrants to Ontario and wondered if you have access to the list that mentions ALL the immigrants who intended to leave Wexford and Carlow. I'm under the impression that the entire list has not been transcribed and posted on the internet. If you do have access, would you be willing to please look up my ancestor, (first name probably William) Gladney??? I believe he came over from Wexford to work on the canal. Please let me know. Many thanks in advance, Janet Long ___________________ Janet: I believe that the list transcribed and posted at http://www.rootsweb.com/~irish/igsi_published/wextocan.htm is the complete list. In the original article it just names heads of families and number of dependants -- no children's names are mentioned although most of the families were quite large. If you wish, I could add your e-mail and address to my web site. There may be others researching the Gladney surname. Just let me know. ... Al Lewis _________________ Al, thank you. Yes. Janet Long, Michigan, USA e-mail address rlong149@comcast.net
February 7, 2008:
GRIFFITH family to Beckwith Township
I saw your site a few years ago but a contact of mine just reminded me to have another look. You have added many new things. I collect many items surrounding my family and the group of families that came from Kilkenny - Carlow. A good number came as a group to Beckwith. Griffith - Saunders - Leach - Rathwell - Garland - Willoughby - Pielow / Peelow - Keyes to name a few. Still others - who were related to this Kilkenny group - came from around Enniscorthy, County Wexford. Would you be interested im some materials? If so - do you have any limitations? I have attached a rare but wonderful document from 1817 that lists the intact families that wanted to come to Canada. Over half of them came and settled in Lanark County. I also attached a passenger list I created from the Land records. It lists a group that came on the Brig Maria in 1819 (posted to the same web page). P.S. My maternal side - the Machan family also came from Lanark - Dalhousie. Rory Griffith

April 30, 2008: The names of the emigrants from County Wexford (and Carlow and Kilkenny) used to be posted on the rootsweb.com web site. It is called the Elly List after the man who was organizing the potential emigration. The list was compiled by a local historian named Bill Tufts who unfortunately has recently passed away. Many of the people on the 1817 list did come to south-eastern Ontario but I don't know if there was an actual group emigration in 1818. I think that the folks who came here more likely arrived in smaller family / neighbour groups over the coming decade(s).
March 28, 2009: N.B. !! Thanks to Anne Burgess, here is the new location for the Elly List: http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/passengerlists/emigrants1818p.htm ... Al
March 4, 2009: Here is another family who were on the Elly List and came to Canada: The Sutton family from County Wexford. ... Al
June 7, 2009: Hi, Al: I'm about to embark on the final draft of my new book, Leinster to Lanark, and I wonder if you'd be kind enough to place a posting on 'what's new' on Bytown or Bust, please? The book deals with the families on the Elly list, many of whom came to the Ottawa Valley in the period 1817-1830. While a majority settled in Lanark County, others came to Leeds and Carleton. In due course, some families moved on to other counties, such as Bruce, Huron, Lambton, Renfrew etc. I'd like to hear from anyone whose family is on the Elly list. Also from anyone whose kin came in that period from the counties of Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford and Wicklow. Although extensive research has been done over a period of several years, and many people have been contacted, there may still be useful data out there. Please note that my elderly computer can't open attachments. Regards Carol Bennett McCuaig Note: Carol has written many excellent historical and genealogical books. You can locate them on her web site at http://www.nrtco.net/~juniper2/ ... Al
October 28, 2009: Richard Bradley is researching his ancestors, Henry Bradley and Susan Garrett who are included on the Elly List and who came to Eastern Ontario (Prescott County) in 1820.
New April 19,2013: The book Leinster to Lanark (above) has been acquired by the Library of the Ottawa Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society, ISBN 978-0-919137-38-7.

E-mail Janet Long, Anne Burgess, Carol Bennett McQuaig and Al Lewis

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