After the Famine: The Irish Family Farm in Eastern Ontario, 1851–1881

By Edward J. Hedican

© 2020

The Irish Famine saw hapless Irish citizens starve to death and die of disease, while the population of a neighbouring country, England, lived in relative bounty and apparent disinterest. After the Famine investigates the subsequent emigration of many surviving Irish to Eastern Ontario and tells the story of how, despite hardships, the Irish in Canada managed to survive and prosper after fleeing tragedy. The author explains how the Irish adapted to their new land, and how we might account for their triumph as farmers under somewhat less than favourable environmental conditions.

Examining their successful farming life in rural Ontario through their agricultural performance, changing family structures, and farming adaptations, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in the fate of the Irish after their greatest calamity.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 248 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 0.7in x 9.3in
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  • PUBLISHED MAR 2020

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Quick Overview

In what began as an inquiry into the migration of his Irish ancestors to Canada, Edward J. Hedican tells the sweeping story of how Irish farmers came to settle in Eastern Ontario.

After the Famine: The Irish Family Farm in Eastern Ontario, 1851–1881

By Edward J. Hedican

© 2020

The Irish Famine saw hapless Irish citizens starve to death and die of disease, while the population of a neighbouring country, England, lived in relative bounty and apparent disinterest. After the Famine investigates the subsequent emigration of many surviving Irish to Eastern Ontario and tells the story of how, despite hardships, the Irish in Canada managed to survive and prosper after fleeing tragedy. The author explains how the Irish adapted to their new land, and how we might account for their triumph as farmers under somewhat less than favourable environmental conditions.

Examining their successful farming life in rural Ontario through their agricultural performance, changing family structures, and farming adaptations, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in the fate of the Irish after their greatest calamity.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 248 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 0.7in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    "Irish social and economic responses to the Famine have been widely studied in Ireland, but not in Canada, at the other end of the emigration chain. Identifying this gap in scholarship, Edward J. Hedican draws on census data, church records, local news sources, and family records to provide a dynamic longitudinal picture of life of Irish-Canadian farmers during this transitional period."


    Regna Darnell, Department of Anthropology, Western University

    "Admaston Township, Renfrew County, Ontario, with its limited agroclimatic potential was not a Garden of Eden for the dozens of Irish immigrants who settled there in the latter years of the Famine and its immediate aftermath. But it did represent opportunity for improvement of self and family, particularly in the third quarter of the nineteenth century and before continuous cultivation of wheat had exhausted the meagre agricultural resources. Hedican investigates the experience of this settler community by means of family reconstructions and application of theoretical modelling, and his anthropological analysis provides many striking, and sometimes provocative, insights into a community in transition between subsistence and commercial agriculture. It is an in-depth study that transcends its local base and contributes significantly to the rich corpus of studies of the Irish in Canada."


    William J. Smyth, President Emeritus, Maynooth University, Ireland
  • Author Information

    Edward J. Hedican is a professor emeritus at the University of Guelph.
  • Table of contents

    List of Maps and Figures
    List of Tables
    Preface
    Acknowledgements

    1. Introduction
    2. Theoretical Perspectives on Farm and Family
    3. The Agricultural Conditions of Renfrew County
    4. Land Use and the Allocation of Resources
    5. Measuring Agricultural Performance
    6. Population and Family in Transition
    7. The Irish Family and Household
    8. Conclusions

    Notes
    References
    Index

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