Catholic Parishes in Prince Edward Island
by Father Alfred E. Burke, ca. 1885
During the mid-1880's, Father Alfred E. Burke wrote histories for most of the Catholic parishes of that time on Prince Edward Island. The reasons for doing so are mentioned in the Introduction, below. These histories, copied and typed by Professor J-Henri Blanchard, most likely during the 1950's, have survived and are available on microfilm (Microfilm number F-1045) at the Centre d'études acadiennes in Moncton. The originals are held by the Diocesan Archives in Charlottetown. Copies may also be viewed at the PEI Public Archives and Records Office.
These histories, as originally intended [see the Introduction], were never published. There is no mention of either the Magdalen Island parishes or the biographies of the priests in the transcript I have seen. Likewise, it is doubtful that the histories were ever formally published.
Although his sources are not listed, the material was probably derived from popular accounts and the memories of elder parishioners, with some data from church records interspersed among it. Even though it is, to some extent, second or third-hand information it is useful nonetheless. At the time Father Burke set these histories to paper, most of the people residing within these parishes were only a generation or two removed from the original founders. In some cases the oldest members of a parish may have been the founders themselves, or their children, and thus were witnesses to what Father Burke recorded.
I am presenting Father Burke's history as it appears in Prof. Blanchard's typed transcriptions with one exception - the formatting of paragraphs. These I have broken down into smaller, more logical, units to make reading easier. However, I have not touched the original sentence structure, punctuation, spelling or grammar.
The individual parish histories, as well as the introduction written by Father Burke, can be viewed using the links below in the table of contents. This is a copy of the same table of contents that appears in Prof. Blanchard's transcription.
Unfortunately, I did not have time to copy all of Prof. Blanchard's transcripts. Therefore, a handful of the histories are not included below. These can be identified by the lack of hyperlink to the actual parish history (but are not marked as "lost" or "missing.")
Readers should note that the files marked as "lost" or "missing" were just that when Prof. Blanchard created his transcript. Years afterwards - and after I completed my own transcriptions - copies of Father's Burke's original handwritten notes were located at the Centre d'études acadiennes in Moncton, NB. The missing parishes were included amongst the originals.
The complete history is now available online and for download in PDF format at http://www.islandlives.ca/fedora/repository/ilives%3A508300/PDF/ilives%3A508300/Full%20Text.pdf
I want to thank Claudia Boorman for having brought the online file to my attention.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction - 1 page
Alberton (Mission of the Sacred Heart) - 3 pages
Baldwin's Road (Mission of St. Theresa) - 7 pages
Bear River (Mission of St. Margaret) - 8 pages
Bloomfield - Lost
Brae (Mission of St. Mary) - 2 pages
Cardigan Bridge (Mission of All Saints) - 4 pages
Corran Bann (Mission of St. Michael) - 2 pages
Cove Head (Mission of St. Eugene's) - 1 page
Charlottetown (The Cathedral Parish of St. Dunstan's) - 37 pages
De Sable (Mission of St. Joseph's) - 6 pages
East Point (Mission of St. Columba) - 9 pages
Egmont Bay - Missing
Fort Augustus (Mission of St. Patrick) - 5 pages
Freetown (Mission of the Holy Magi) - 2 pages
Georgetown (Mission of St. James) - 6 pages
Hope River (Mission of St. Anne) - 4 pages
Indian River (Mission of St. Mary) - 5 pages
Kincora (Mission of St. Malachy) - 8 pages
Little Pond (Mission of St. Francis) - 2 pages
Miscouche - Missing
Montague Bridge (Mission of St. Mary) - 3 pages
Montague West (Mission of St. Michael) - 5 pages
Mont-Carmel - Lost
Morell (Mission of St. Lawrence) - 5 pages
Palmer Road (Mission of St. Thomas) - 3 pages
Rollo Bay (Mission of St. Alexis) - 8 pages
Rustico - Lost
St. Andrew's (Mission of St. Andrew's) - 9 pages
St. George - Missing
St. Peter's Bay (St. Peter's Mission) - 6 pages
Seven Mile Bay (Mission of St. Peter) - 3 pages
Souris (Mission of St. Mary) - 5 pages
Sturgeon (Mission of St. Paul) - 4 pages
Tignish - Missing
Township Seven (Mission of St. Mark) - 3 pages
Township Eleven (Mission of St. Bridget) - 3 pages
Tracadie (Mission of St. Bonaventure) - 5 pages
Vernon River (Mission of St. Joachim) - 6 pages
NOTE: The number of pages referred to in the Table of Contents is in regard to the length of the typed copies by Prof. Blanchard, and is his notation, not mine. His transcripts were type-written, double spaced, on regular 8.5 x 11 inch sheets.