Gross Ile

This blog has been quiet for a few days because we’re on a road trip, headed to a family wedding in Maryland. We’re taking the “long way” with a route to the East Coast through Canada and New England. Today we arrived in Quebec City.

I’m disappointed because we’re too pressed for time to visit a Quebec tourist attraction, Gross Ile and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site.

Quebec City was the main port of entry to Canada for 19th century immigrants arriving from Europe. Cholera and smallpox epidemics among the immigrants prompted the establishment of a quarantine station on the island of Gross Ile, located in the middle of the St. Lawrence River. The station operated from 1832 to 1937. In 1974 the old quarantine station became a national historic site under the jurisdiction of Parks Canada.

Parks Canada worked with Library and Archives Canada to build a database from Gross Ile records. Information is available online about immigrants who stayed, were born, married or buried at the Gross Ile quarantine station between 1832 and 1937. You can search by surname or given name.

Check it out here: www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/immigration/.

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