Est. February 2016
The official launch of our initiative was performed jointly by His Excellency, Mr Kevin Vickers, the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland and Mr. Simon Harris T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform.
Coollattin history at a glance
Throughout the first six decades of the nineteenth century there was a constant exodus from the Coollattin estate to Canada (particularly Ontario). Emigration commenced in the years which followed the 1798 rebellion. During these dark years neighbour had fallen out with neighbour, and in cases, brother set against brother. Agents from shipping companies, such as that owned by the Ellys of New Ross, went from village to village in South Wicklow recruiting all who wished to travel and who could afford the fare.
From the mid 1830's onward, Earl Fitzwilliam, who owned the Coollattin Estate assisted many thousands of his tenants in finding a new life across the Atlantic. Initially, emigration was through the port of Dublin and the travel was organised by the shipping firm of Miley. From 1847 to 1855 the travel for the assisted emigrants was provided by the the firm of Graves of New Ross.
During these years almost 6,000 men left Coollattin in search of a fresh start in the New World. Between the mid 1830's and 1855's, tens of thousands of the tenantry on the Coollattin Estate were assisted in emigrating to Canada. Our aim is to reunite the descendants of these emigrants who left their native Irish shore almost two centuries ago.
Kevin & Eleanor Lee
Kevin & Eleanor Lee have both retired from a lifetime spent in teaching and education management.
Over the years they have developed a passionate interest in Irish history with a particular focus on the mass emigration which took place during the course of the Great Irish Potato Famine.
Kevin is the recognised authority on the history of the former Coollattin estate.
Kevin & Eleanor are passionate about sharing their knowledge with the Wicklow/Wexford diaspora now living in North America
My husband, Jim Foster, and I had the pleasure of visiting Kevin and Eleanor in Ireland about a year ago. It was a wonderful trip that we will never forget. Jim had the opportunity to visit Foster and Roach homesteads. It was amazing. - Mary Joan Cornett, Red Deer (2019)