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New research guide: Forestry History and Archives

One of our collection’s areas of strength is the history of the forestry industry in B.C. We’re therefore happy to present a new research guide on Forestry History and Archives. Here you will find links to archival collections at Rare Books and Special Collections and University Archives about foresters and the forestry industry, information on […]

Featured photograph: McKenna Family on the S.S. Montclare

In honour of St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, this month’s featured photograph is of an Irish family immigrating to Canada on the CPR steamship S.S. Montclare:

The photograph is captioned, “McKenna Family Coalisland S.S. Montclare,” which leads to the assumption that the family was probably from Coalisland in Northern Ireland. This photograph makes up part of the Clandonald material in the Chung Collection. This archival material tells the story of the settlement of Clandonald Colony in Alberta, which was a colony of immigrants from Scotland and Northern Ireland in 1926-27. This was just one community in the prairies settled under the auspices of the CPR Department of Colonization and Development (search for more records related to this department.)

Supposing you wanted to figure out the names of these passengers, the source you would want to consult is the passenger list for the voyage. While the Chung Collection does have some passenger lists (for example, search for Montclare passenger lists) the most thorough source is microfilmed passenger lists, typically available at public libraries. You can also search immigration records through this database at Library and Archives Canada. Since this photograph is dated 1927, search for the surname McKenna, in 1927, on the ship Montclare, a number of possible McKenna family members are listed.