2013 Irish Palatines in Ontario Tour

In September 2013, the IP-SIG ran a successful bus tour through parts of Ontario for 35 people from Canada, the United States, England, Ireland, Germany and Australia. Below is the description of the itinerary and call for interest.

The 2013 Irish Palatine Ontario Tour will provide an experience from which every IP descendent will benefit and have life-long memories.   The Tour will take place from September 5 to 15, 2013.

The planning committee has included as much IP information and as many IP experiences as possible while making the trip both fun and informative.  Unlike the Palatine settlements in Ireland that were concentrated in small geographical areas, the Palatines in Ontario settled across the province, so the tour will have four accommodation hubs … Hamilton, Stoney Lake, Ottawa and Kingston.

Over the eleven-day trip, there will be banquets, tours, musical events, guest speakers and lots of time to connect with other IP descendants from North America, Europe and beyond, to learn about our ancestors’ collective experience in Ontario.

Travelling in a comfortable, well-equipped coach, we will make a large circle from southwestern Ontario to Eastern Ontario and back again.  We will visit key IP settlements in and around St. Marys, Brock Township, Appleton (formerly Teskeyville), Prescott and Switzerville.

Probably one of the most memorable parts of the tour will be meeting with local IP descendents who will be able to share stories of their family roots in Ontario.  There are many living IP descendants in these locations who will be able to provide rich experiences for the participants.  In fact, we have planned five lunches with IP descendants as part of the tour.  At several points during the tour we will be joined by guides of IP ancestry.

As well as visiting the places where our IP ancestors settled, we plan to spend a day of leisure in cottage country and tour other places of importance in Canada’s history, some of which have an IP connection such as the:

  • Historic Ontario plaque honouring George Lawrence at Virgil (formerly Lawrenceville)
  • Centenary Church in Hamilton (built 1868 commemorating the 100 years of Methodism to North America and the building of the Wesley Chapel on John St, NYC, in 1768)
  • Switzer / Corneille Cairn located near Kirkton
  • War Memorial in Ottawa where we will remember those Irish Palatine descendants who lost their lives while serving their countries
  • Battle of the Windmill at Prescott 1838
  • Blue Church Cemetery and the Barbara Heck Monument
  • Site of the Switzerville Chapel (where Canadian Methodism separated from American Methodism 1828)
  • Hay Bay Church (the oldest Methodist structure in Ontario built 1792)

To add to the overall experience, we will visit several popular tourist attractions including Niagara Falls, historic Kingston, Upper Canada Village and the Canadian Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.

There are still slots available.  Let us know if you are interested and we will use “First Come – First Served” basis if we get over filled.