Benevolent Irish Society - Oral History Interviews Collection

SEPTEMBER 2020 UPDATE: CATALOGUING INFORMATION FOR THE RECORDINGS IS CURRENTLY BEING EDITED AND ENHANCED IN PREPARATION FOR A PUBLIC LAUNCH ON OCTOBER 4, 2020. *
* The launch is a free public event, but attendance will be limited, due to COVID-19 precautions: please RSVP to the BIS online, using "RSVP October launch" as the subject line, or call Paula Kenny (902-629-0340).

The collection is comprised of field recordings of oral history interviews conducted by BIS student researchers in 1982 and 1983 with elderly Irish residents of PEI.

Project Background
These recordings were digitized and provided with metadata records at the UPEI Robertson Library during the Spring and Summer of 2018, with further editing and enhancement of metadata in 2020. Financial support for this project, facilitated by the Benevolent Irish Society, was generously provided through the Government of Ireland's Emigrant Support Programme. Special acknowledgment is also due to the late Mr. George O'Connor, Past-President of the Benevolent Irish Society, whose patient-but-persistent advocacy helped bring this project to fruition. Go raibh maith agat!


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Berrigan, Artie (James Arthur)  [Interview 1]
Berrigan, Artie (James Arthur) [Interview 1]
This is David MacKenzie interviewing Artie Berrigan at Sacred Heart Home in Charlottetown, where they discuss his family leaving Ireland, their occupations, Scottish-Irish relations, religion, entertainment, graves, and marriages.
Berrigan, Artie (James Arthur) [Interview 2]
Berrigan, Artie (James Arthur) [Interview 2]
This is Stella Wallace and Karen Doyle interviewing Artie Berrigan at Sacred Heart Home in Charlottetown, where they discuss customs and Christmas dinners, religions, entertainment, relations with other groups, and celebrations.
Bryan, Alvin
Bryan, Alvin
Geoff LePage interviews Alvin Bryan. Mr. Bryan talks about the fire that destroyed their belongings which his father bought when he visited Ireland. He mentioned how the Bryant’s who left Ireland were wealthy and the discusses the Bryant’s in families marriages and how many met through tea parties or buying baskets. Mr. Bryan also talks about many of his superstitions which he and his father believed along with telling two ghost stories that were passed down.
Cairns, Edward
Cairns, Edward
This is David MacKenzie interviewing Edward Cairns at Sacred Heart Home in Charlottetown, where they discuss Cairns’ family and family land, land surveying, entertainment during his childhood, and religion. Edward also discusses his family’s lifestyle, Kansas, relationships, traditions and Irish wakes, fiddlers, Irish celebrations, and other memories from Cairns’ life on the island.
Callaghan, Benedict
Callaghan, Benedict
This is Stella Wallace interviewing Benedict Callaghan in Parkdale, where they discuss wills and identitures, family history, occupations, religions, music and songs. Benedict also talks about social history, more about family members, entertainment and social gatherings, and other details of his life and history.
Callahan, James
Callahan, James
Stella Wallace and Karen Doyle interviews James Callahan. He talks about the best farming lands to be found on the island, how the English, Scots and French had good land will the Irish was given the not so good land. He also speaks about how the Pope was a landlord and how the many people began selling their lands. Mr. Callahan also talked about the meaning of big/small houses and unfair taxing methods.
Carragher, Lena and Joe Carragher
Carragher, Lena and Joe Carragher
Paul Stordy interviews Joe and Lena Carragher. They both start of by speaking about their family tree and Irish connections. They talked about where their families resided. Joe talks about joining the army and his experiences and the Germany's involvement in the war. He also talks about coming home from the war, marrying Lena, their neighbours and farming. He speaks about thunderstorms and how a barn was burnt. They speak about wakes, dances and weddings - entertainment in the early days.
Carragher, Thomas
Carragher, Thomas
This is Debbie Carragher interviewing her grandfather, Thomas Carragher at Sacred Heart Home, where they discuss Thomas’ original family home, farming, typical daily routines and dress. They also talk about interiors of homes, schooling, religion, community figures, entertainment, the first world war, Thomas’ marriage and children, and other memories from Thomas’ life.
Court, Hazel Norton
Court, Hazel Norton
This is Geoff LePage interviewing Hazel Norton Court in Charlottetown, PEI, where they discuss her young life, customs and superstitions, entertainment, and shares stories of her young life and relatives. Hazel also talks about Lady Fane and her land donations, as well as Hazel’s father’s jobs as an undertaker and carriage builder.
Cousins, John
Cousins, John
Geoff LePage Interviews John cousins in Tape one Side One. Cousins speaks about the Early Settlers that came and settled in Lot 7 and the O’Hallows. He also takes about Tom Dunn his stories and adventures. Tape one side two and Tape two, Cousins gives a lecture in which he speaks and sings about the stories of Tom Dunn and Uncle Dan.
Coyle, Maurice
Coyle, Maurice
Maurice Coyle is interviewed by Stella Wallace. Mr. Coyle share’s with her how the Early Irish had to stump the land with hand as there were no oxens and lived comfortably. He talks about there being no tensions between the Irish and Scots and how they both would mix during parties. He discusses the epidemic of Diphtheria, leather boots, people bringing their belongings from Ireland and the appearance of the early settlers. Mr. Coyle also mentions the Acadians and their homes, the early settlers diet, wake traditions and Gaelic speaking settlers.
Cullen, Ellen Mary [Interview 1]
Cullen, Ellen Mary [Interview 1]
This is Stella Wallace and Karen Doyle interviewing Sister Ellen Mary Cullen at Mount St. Mary’s, where they discuss the Sister’s family’s immigration, Scottish-Irish relations, family farming, education, and religion. She shares stories from her childhood, items found in a church in the 1950s, and other details of her childhood and family life.

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