Catharine Wilson, F.R.S.C. | College of Arts

Catharine Wilson, F.R.S.C.

Catharine Wilson photo
Francis and Ruth Redelmeier Professor of Rural History, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and Fellow of the Agricultural History Society.
Phone number: 
(519) 824-4120 ex. 53204
2015 MacKinnon Extension


Ph.D. Queen's University, 1989
M.A. Queen's University, 1984
B.A. University of Guelph, 1982


University of Guelph, 1988-


What's the Buzz about the Rural Past videoCanadian rural history, especially:
pioneer family and community life
rural masculinity
local history

Areas of research for graduate supervision
Canadian rural history
Irish immigration to Canada
early settlement
local history

Other Ongoing Projects

Founder and Director of the Rural Diary Archive website:


Tenants in Time book cover    Books

Bee-ing Neighbours: Cooperative Work and Neighbourhood in Southern Ontario, 1830-1960 (forthcoming, McGill-Queen's University Press 2022).

Tenants in Time: Family Strategies, Land, and Liberalism in Upper Canada 1799-1871 (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2009).
> winner of the 2008 Floyd S. Chalmers Award in Ontario History awarded by the Champlain Society
> winner of the Canadian Historical Association’s CLIO Award for Regional History
> winner of the Ontario Historical Society’s tri-annual J.J. Talman Award

A New Lease on Life: Landlords, Tenants and Immigrants in Ireland and Canada (McGill-Queen's University Press, 1994).
> nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction
> winner of the Ontario Historical Society's Fred Landon Award for Regional History

    Articles and Book Chapters

"The Farm Diary: An Intimate and Ongoing Relationship between Artifact and Keeper," Agricultural History, 92:2 (Spring 2018).

“A Manly Art: Plowing, Plowing Matches, and Rural Masculinity,” Canadian Historical Review, 95: 2 (June 2014).
> winner of the 2014 Canadian Historical Review Article Award from the Canadian Historical Association

"Reciprocal Work Bees and the Meaning of Neighbourhood," Canadian Historical Review 82, no. 3 (September 2001): 431-464.

"Tenancy as a Family Strategy in Mid-Nineteenth Century Ontario," Journal of Social History 31, no. 4 (Summer 1998): 875-896

"The Scotch-Irish and Immigrant Culture on Amherst Island, Ontario," in Ulster and North America: Transatlantic Perspectives on the Scotch-Irish, edited by H. Tyler Blethen & Curtis Wood, Jr. (Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 1997).

"Demographic and Attitudinal Trends on the Irish Islands, 1891-1946," in Canadian Papers in Rural History 5 (1986): 235-261.

with A. Brookes "Working Away from the Farm: The Young Women of North Huron 1910-1930," Ontario History 77, no. 4 (1985): 281-300.

The University of Guelph resides on the land of the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. This land is part of the Dish with One Spoon, a covenant between Indigenous nations to live peaceably on the territories of the Great Lakes region. We recognize that today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and acknowledging them reminds us of our collective responsibility to the land where we learn, live and work.