Slàinte Mhaith. Good health!
“Celtic” is a word used to describe the languages and cultures of the Celtic Nations: Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, and Brittany. Given that so many people from these nations immigrated to New Brunswick, it’s not surprising that Celtic culture has influenced the places, people, foods, music, and language of the province. Highland dancing, tartans, kilts and Gaelic music are everywhere.
A large number of Irish, escaping the hardships of the potato famine, made their way to New Brunswick between 1815 and 1850. By the end of the 19th century they made up a significant proportion of New Brunswick’s population. In Miramichi, Middle Island Irish Historical Park tells the story of Irish immigrants who were quarantined on the island in the 1800-1900s. Also, if you follow the virtual Irish Trail, you’ll discover monuments and landmarks in the province that remind us of the Irish journey.
According to the New Brunswick Scottish Cultural Association, about one in six New Brunswickers claims direct Scottish ancestry. Today, you can dive in to this heritage at Wilsons Point Historic Site in Miramichi. A site of early Scottish settlement circa 1765, it features a historic Scottish cemetery, church, and ferry sites. In Bartibog, MacDonald Farm Heritage Site takes you back to the 1820s as you tour the property of Scottish settler Alexander MacDonald. Don’t miss the highland games and Scottish festivals happening in Moncton, Fredericton, Miramichi and Perth-Andover.
For information on all things Celtic, visit the New Brunswick Celtic Affairs Committee and the following associations’ websites:
- Irish Canadian Cultural Association of New Brunswick
- New Brunswick Scottish-Cultural Association
- Central New Brunswick Welsh Society
You can also research local genealogy in the Provincial archives.