Thursday, 2 June 2016

I Would Be..

Coming From Ireland:
Being Among the First Settlers of Mono

A map of the journey my family took.

When I first asked where my family migrated from, my Mom knew her background includes Irish, Scottish and English.  She didn’t know much about my Dad’s family history. As we got looking, we found that my father’s ancestors came from England.  My Great Grandfather immigrated with his parents in the early 1900’s.

 When I asked my Papa for more information he said he didn’t know much because his own father passed away when he was only eleven.

With little information on my Dad’s ancestors, I turned my focus to my mother’s paternal family. I asked my cousin Wayne if he could help..Luckily there are many files on the Allen families at the Dufferin County Museum and Archives.

It seems that my Great Great Great Great Grandparents, William Allen and Margaret Buchanan were both born and raised in Scotland.  Their journey to Canada seems interesting to me. After marrying and having  children in Scotland, they travelled through Ireland, where they had at least 2 more children on route to England, where they made their way to Canada.

My Great-Great-Great Grandfather's census he filled out in 1881.

William and Margaret had a son, Richard Allen. Richard was my Great Great Great Grandfather. He was born in Ireland in 1810. Richard would have been a young boy when he came to Canada
With his parents and siblings about 1820. The Allen’s were among the first settlers in Mono.  Seven generations we are still in the area.

Newspaper article my cousin e-mailed me, about the death of my Great-Great Grandfather.

Although it is difficult to research Ireland’s public records, as most were destroyed by fire during the Irish Civil War, there are many factors of the time that would be valid reasons why the Allen’s immigrated from Ireland.

1816 Ireland was called the “Year without a summer” or the Poverty Year,  Ireland was hit with heavy rains and freezing temperatures that ruined wheat, oat and potato crops.  This resulted in a terrible famine that led to disease. There was a major typhus epidemic between 1816 -1819. It is estimated that 100,000 died in Ireland during this period.

Many Irish immigrants left for America and Canada to build a better life in a new land free from disease and natural disasters. Irish immigrants looked to the prospects of employment, wealth and a better standard of living. Many found employment in construction, coal mining and the railroads. My ancestors were farmers both in Ireland and in Canada. It is my conclusion that they too wanted a better, healthier life and to prosper in farming in a better, new land.The Allen’s farmed mostly on the 4th line of Mono for 4/7 generations in Canada.  Many records I found show that many Allen’s lived well into their 80’s and 90’s  I’m not sure they would have had the same longevity if they stayed in Ireland. Ireland suffered another potato famine (1845-1849), also known  as the “Great Hunger”, which claimed the lives of 2 million due to starvation and disease. If my ancestor’s had stayed in Ireland it is most likely they would not have survived another potato famine and my grandfather’s generation would not have been born, I am grateful that they came to Canada so I could have a life.

When comparing Canada to Ireland now, I’ve found the cost of living overall in Ireland is higher than in Canada, but wages are also higher in Ireland. According to Find the Data, Canada ranks 11th in the world with a population of 35.5 million and Ireland ranks 44th with a population of 4.62 million.  However, when comparing the size of the countries Ireland is more densely populated.  Also Ireland has a higher population of younger people. According to Trading Economics,April 2016, the unemployment rate in Ireland is 15.3 %.  Whereas, Canada’s unemployment rate is 13,1 %.  So, based on these statistics I would likely be an unemployed, younger person in Ireland. My status would be the same.  In Ireland they go to school approximately 2 years longer than Canada. I would be ok with that since I like school. Europe-Cities, states there are cities with medical card holders or cities without medical cards, Medical Card-holder cities are entitled to free health care.  Similar to Canada, except,  for the most part, we all get free health care.

I am glad I live in Canada, but someday I would love to visit Ireland.

Here  is my work cited page.

1 comment:

  1. So interesting to read about someone with a similar background to mine! You're very lucky to be able to trace your family line back as far as the 1800s. Ireland is absolutely beautiful. It would be worthwhile to compare our family dynamics, seeing as my family is from the North of Ireland and yours I'm presuming the South/Republic of Ireland? Well done :)