Emigrants to Canada

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Channel Islanders, and particularly Jerseymen, emigrated in large numbers to Canada in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Most were attracted by well-paid, secure jobs with the companies established in Newfoundland and New Brunswick, on the Canadian Atlantic Coast, to trade in cod, which abounded in offshore waters.

Robin employees

Most were employed by Charles Robin and Co, either on the company's ships or at their headquarters in Gaspé.

There was a constant flow of Jerseymen to and from Canada every year, and many of them settled in Canada, married and raised families there. Thanks to the research of George Francis Le Feuvre, of Jersey, and Marcel R Garnier of Gaspé, the lives and families of hundreds of these emigrants have been researched.

George Le Feuvre

George Le Feuvre paid many visits to Gaspésie in the 20th century, visiting those Jerseymen and their families living there. The notes made during his final visits in the 1960s are of historical importance and were assembled in his book Jèrri Dadis published by Le Don Balleine, in Jersey. It contains the names of Jerseymen who died in Quebec and who lie in Anglican and Catholic cemeteries there, as well as notes on the Jerseymen of Gaspé villages and life in the area at that time.

Although the Gaspé fishing industry would eventually attract large numbers of people from other areas, particularly Scotland, it was started by Charles Robin, and the Jersey influence in this corner of Canada was enormous. Even today a drive along the south coast of the Gaspé peninsular takes visitors through village after village whose post boxes virtually all bear the recognisable names of Jersey families.

Marcel Garnier

The research of amateur genealogist Marcel Garnier, who died in December 2006, resulted in the assembly of over 1,500 family trees of the Channel Island pioneers who crossed the Atlantic to settle in Quebec and New Brunswick between 1765 and 1940.

Le Sauteur website

The website of French Canadian Jersey originaire Tony Le Sauteur contains a list of over 1,000 men and women from the Channel Islands who emigrated to Canada and the links below are to an index of those known to originate in Jersey.

A story of an emigrant's life in Canada

Jerseymen on the Quebec North Shore

GenWeb de la Basse Côte-Nord provides evidence of the presence of Channel Islanders on the Quebec Lower North Shore. Refer in particular to the census records.

For more background on the history and settlement of the Quebec North Shore, see The Forgotten Labrador by Cleophas Belvin.

Emigrant index

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