NEW BOOK CELEBRATES LONG-BURIED STORIES OF BRAVE IRISH FAMILIES WHO LEFT IRELAND FOR CANADIAN SHORES, CONNECTING GENERATIONS ACROSS THE ATLANTIC
ANNOUNCING CANADIAN MEDIA TOUR FOR SHOEBOXES: FROM IRISH ROOTS TO CANADIAN BRANCHES
Book Celebrates Long-Buried Stories of Brave Irish Families Who Left Ireland for Canadian Shores 200 years ago, Connecting Generations Across the Atlantic
February 16, 2023 (Toronto, Ontario). For immediate release—Kevin Lee and Tom Jenkins, authors of Shoeboxes: From Irish Roots to Canadian Branches are pleased to announce their Canadian media tour, from March 9 to March 22, 2023, at select locations across Southwestern Ontario.
The tour includes stops at Smiths Falls, Bytown/Ottawa, Kingston, Belleville, Grey County, Hamilton, and Toronto—locales steeped in Irish history and populated by descendants of the emigrants from the Coollattin Estate in County Wicklow. Sponsored by the Coollattin Canadian Connection, the tour kicks off in Toronto on March 9 with a book signing at the Canada Ireland Foundation evening concert, “Bound For Canada” at the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre. Proceeds from the tour will be donated to support the work of the Canada Ireland Foundation, an organization formed to celebrate the connections between Canada and Ireland. Highlights of the tour include presentations, interviews, and book signings throughout Southern Ontario—following the same roads that the original Irish families journeyed down—with a closing event in Belleville on March 22.
Set against the history of Coollattin Estate in County Wicklow, Ireland, Shoeboxes: From Irish Roots to Canadian Branches tells the stories of 50 Irish families who emigrated to Canada during Ireland’s darkest hours, the Great Potato Famine. Sailing on “coffin ships,” men, women and children, many exhausted and sick from Typhus, made the weeks-long journey across the Atlantic to settle in parts of Southwestern Ontario.
The authors believe that there may be hundreds of thousands of Canadians that are direct descendants of Coollattin immigrants. If you have Irish roots that can be traced to County Wicklow or your family name matches one of the family names listed at the end of this release, the authors invite you to join them at select locations on their tour. This could be your chance to connect to your past. To register for the Shoeboxes Media Tour, or to sign up for updates, visit www.shoeboxesbook.com. You can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
As a metaphor for family history, “shoeboxes” refers to the boxes used to store precious documents like records of baptisms, first communions and weddings, mass cards, letters of condolence, photographs, and other memorabilia. The shoeboxes in the book were traced by current family members, connecting them with Irish roots dating back to the 1800s.
"Shoeboxes: From Irish Roots to Canadian Branches covers the impressive journey of Irish immigrants from famine-ridden Ireland to Southwestern Ontario in the 1850s. This journalistic collection of over 50 families who came to Canada from Coollattin Estate in County Wicklow depicts their stories in historical detail but also authentically captures the character and motivation of the time. Their fascinating legacies are uncovered using documented facts, estate records, and first-person interviews with the descendants, depicted in living colour and juxtaposed against preserved daguerreotypes of their relations—those who bravely crossed the Atlantic to set down roots and built Canada into the nation it is today." — Kevin Newman, Network Anchor/Journalist for ABC/CTV/Global/CBC News (ret'd).
“The book, Shoeboxes: From Irish Roots to Canadian Branches is a magnificently illustrated coffee table book with detailed maps, records, and original artwork. Each ‘shoebox’ contains images of many of the emigrants who left Ireland with little material possessions but with great hope in their hearts.” – Dr. Mark McGowan, Professor of History and Celtic Studies, University of Toronto.
Approximately 495,000 Irish men, women, and children set out for Canada between the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815 and the onset of the Potato Famine in 1845. In 1847 alone, some 98,000 Irish Famine emigrants set sail for Canada. Typhus and other diseases took the lives of about 20 percent of those who left Ireland for Canada. Toronto’s population in the summer of 1847 was close to 20,000 when 38,560 Irish migrants landed at Toronto’s Waterfront. The Irish arrived at an early stage of Canada’s development, contributing significantly to its music, art, literature, politics, and building bridges and constructing the Rideau Canal.
About Coollattin Canadian Connection: The gathering of likeminded people from both sides of the Atlantic facilitated by Coollattin Canadian Connection is a great opportunity to rediscover relationships and to re-establish them for future generations. Coollattin Canadian Connection is an initiative that is growing as the awareness of these connections between Ireland and Canada increase. www.coollattincanadianconnection.com.