At Home and Abroad

Stories and interviews from the Irish Diaspora

Irish Roots to Canadian Branches - Kemmit Family


Irish Roots to Canadian Branches - Kemmit Family
A KEMMIT RETURNS TO KNOCKNABOLEY AFTER 172 YEARS 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. As you travel from Tinahely towards Hacketstown, take a right turn at Crossbridge and you will head towards Knockananna. You will pass through townlands with wonderful sounding names such as Mullinaskeagh, Mullans and Rathshanmore. You will also pass through Knocknaboley. It was here that in 1851, John Kemmit, his wife and for children closed the door on their old Wicklow homestead for the last time. They travelled to New Ross where they boarded the Graves-owned ship which was bound for Quebec. John was availing of assisted emigration from Earl Fitzwilliam at Coollattin. In Ontario they initially settled in the town of Newburgh before moving to Napanee. On Friday last a descendant, Mike Janiec returned to Knoclnaboley. It was the first time in 152 years that a member of his family had strode through the land of Knocknaboley. It was an emotional occasion for Mike. In the morning we guided him through manuscript material relating to the story of the his family going back to the 1700’s. At the end of the day he was more than at home as he sang and strummed his guitar in the “Dying Cow’.



Filetype: MP3 - Size: 4.13MB - Duration: 17:48 m (32 kbps 32000 Hz)

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