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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Cullen, Ellen Mary [Interview 2]
Cullen, Ellen Mary [Interview 2]
This is Stella Wallace interviewing Sister Ellen Mary Cullen at Mount St. Mary’s, discussing memories of Irish settlers, parishes on the island, and Father Fitzgerald. She also talks about old cemeteries and churches, Bishop Maceachern, sorts through and shares old family documents, and talks about various other memories of Irish tradition from her lifetime.
Deighan, Bennet
Deighan, Bennet
This is Paul Stordy interviewing Bennett Deighan in Emerald, PEI. Bennett discusses the Deighans, family history, jobs, religion and County 9 Ireland. He also talks about his family farming, entertainment, traveling on the island, customs and traditions as well as other various topics about his life and family.
Doran, John
Doran, John
Karen Doyle and Stella Wallace interview John Doran who has a lot of knowledge about the Irish from personal research. He first mentions the History of Irish and German Surnames, the Gaelic Language used by the Irish and the History of the Celts and the celtic church. He then goes on to talk about the Doran family tree and the Monaghan people. There is also discussion about the Belfast riot, Orange Lodge and ship building. Mr.Doran tells how there was fighting with bare hands during the early days, drinking being a curse, Irish mothers and hauling muscle mud.
Duffy, Annie
Duffy, Annie
This is Geoff LePage interviewing Annie Duffy in Kinkora, PEI. Annie discusses family members and careers, religions, customs, and tells of living a very normal life.
Duffy, Ethel
Duffy, Ethel
Paul Stordy interviews Mother Ethel Duffey who resides at the Sacred Heart Home. Mother Duffey talks about the famine that brought on disease, her family tree as well as marriages and occupation. Cardinal McGuigan, ships coming to Charlottetown and the structures used to keep homes warm. She also mentions the average life structure for people in the early days (Church, farming, pastimes which may have been dances etc) and families of that day. She then goes on to mention intermarriages, miscarriages, customs including wakes and courtship; and tells the story of a Thunderstorm which killed two people.
Duffy, Joseph
Duffy, Joseph
This is Stella Wallace interviewing Joe Duffy in Fort Augustus, PEI. Joe sings songs, plays the mouth organ, and shares stories of superstition from his childhood. Joe Duffy also discusses blacksmiths, community members: Peter Dunn, Jimmy Callaghan, Leo Garland, Jack Simpson, and tells other various stories.
Fitzgerald, Edward
Fitzgerald, Edward
This is Geoff LePage interviewing Edward Fitzgerald at Summerset Manor in Summerside. Edward talks about his family’s arrival to PEI, original homes in PEI, education and schoolteachers, superstitions and ghost stories, his parents and grandparents, and entertainment in his early life.
Flanagan, Doris
Flanagan, Doris
This is Stella Wallace and Karen Doyle interviewing Doris Flanagan at her home in Charlottetown. Doris talks about family history records and gravestones, her family immigrating to PEI from Dublin, and blacksmithing jobs. She talks about histories of marriages, death, mistakes on official documents, and spends time sharing old postcards with the interviewers. Doris also discusses her family’s education and jobs, and shares photos and other items with the interviewers.
Hickey, Kathy
Hickey, Kathy
Kathy Hickey is interviewed by Karen Doyle. Mrs. Hickey speaks about the Indian river parish, the early settlers who settled along the river, the Scot’s the religion being Catholicism, the entertainment in the early days and her musically inclined sons along with other musically talented family members. She also talks about her time playing the Organ in the Indian Parish church. She mentions building of the church, Irish drunken spats and indian camps.
Kelly, Loretta and Joseph Kelly
Kelly, Loretta and Joseph Kelly
This is Paul Stordy interviewing married couple Mrs. Loretta Kelly and Mr. Joseph Kelly at the Senior Citizen’s Home. Mr and Mrs Kelly discuss Joseph’s career as a fiddler, and Joseph plays fiddle tunes for the interview. They discuss processing flax and making things by hand, Father Duffy and his grave, the naming of Kelly’s Cross and Desable.
Kelly, Margaret
Kelly, Margaret
Geoff LePage interviews Mrs. Margaret Kelley. Mrs. Kelley tells of family tree from her Grandfather, the fire destroying the house and heirlooms from Ireland that she owned. She also talks about the arrival of an English landlord coming to control Lot eleven. A drowning account, murder in Alberton and the mysterious death of a boy owned by Mr. Brian are mentioned. Additionally, Mrs. Kelley speaks about the Irish and Scots relations, Grandmother’s tradition and a woman making clothes from scratch.
Kilbride, Kevin and Margaret Kilbride
Kilbride, Kevin and Margaret Kilbride
This is Geoff LePage interviewing married couple Margaret and Kevin Kilbride in Foxley River, PEI. They talk about family heirlooms, their parents, grandparents family members, and superstitions. They also discuss businesses, customs, land ownership, community events, and share stories about various other topics.

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