Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Irish Teachers In New Brunswick

Teaching was one of the professions that people with "a bit a' money or a bit a' brains" often gravitated to before university education opened up to the general population in Ireland. This tradition continued among Irish people who emigrated, with the growing public and Catholic school systems in various countries providing many employment opportunities. As a result, occupational records from schools, education administration bodies, and teaching organizations can be quite useful.

One such example is the Teachers Petition Database on the New Brunswick Irish portal website. "Irish immigrants in New Brunswick taught in one-third of New Brunswick schools by the mid nineteenth century" and this lead to "teachers’ petitions from Irish immigrants requesting a license or payment for teaching services containing biographical information."[1] "Names, country of birth, education, teaching experience, church affiliation, samples of handwriting and certificates from local school trustees or clergymen verifying the character and abilities of the petitioner" are often included.[2]

This database contains 509 records for the 1816–1858 where the teacher's country of birth is listed as Ireland. Click here to access the database.

The website also has an article about the impact of the Irish in New Brunswick schools.

[1] Provincial Archives of New Brunswick. Teachers Petition Database. 2013. http://archives.gnb.ca/Irish/Databases/TeachersPetition/?culture=en-CA: accessed 26 November 2013.
[2] Provincial Archives of New Brunswick. 2013.

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