Graduate Students | College of Arts

Graduate Students

Rae-Shantz, Mary - M.A

The Irish Catholics in Guelph: 1827-1861. A Study of Ethnic Group Identity - Dr. Gilbert Stelter, advisor

         Ethnicity is understood as a process whereby the characteristics of ethnicity: religion, origin and social class interact with the contextual restrictions of time and space. These "ethnic cohorts" are the strands that make up the thread of ethnicity, and the concept of ethnicity is itself the thread which may define "the hidden city."
         This case study follows the growth and development of the Irish Roman catholics of Guelph, Canada West from the founding of the town in 1827 to the census year 1861. The community is examined from the point of physical boundaries and social status as reflected in the census records and assessment rolls. It is also examined in regard to its relationship to the Roman Catholic Church, both spiritually and financially. But most importantly, this thesis deals with the perceptions of the Irish, for it is only through the realm of perceptions that we are able to witness the roots of an ethnic community in Guelph.