Callen, Bonnie - M.A
The Irish in Arthur Township, Wellington County: A Study in Farming Success 1861-1871 - Dr. Terry Crowley, advisor
Canadian historiography has traditionally painted a portrait of the Irish immigrant as a failed farmer or poor urban-dweller, incapable of adapting to changing agricultural practices in the New World. This paper focused on an examination of the 1861 and 1871 nominal and agricultural census returns for the Township of Arthur, Wellington County. Arthur Township represented a closed rural community in southern Ontario with a significant population of Irish-born farmers of Catholic and Protestant denominations. Census variables documenting agricultural output were averaged for both ethno/religious groups to determine their relative farming success over a decade which witnessed advances in agricultural practices throughout the province. An examination of the census indicated that both the Irish-born Protestants and Catholics achieved visible signs of farming success confirming the revisionist findings. This thesis also concluded that the Irish-born Protestants farmers achieved more significant improvements in more areas over the decade by exhibiting favourable differences of 10 per cent or more in crop and livestock production.