Immigration to New Brunswick

Important facts

It is estimated that 35,000 immigrants, almost all of whom were Irish, reached New-Brunswick in the years 1818 to 1826.

Between 1827 and 1835, 65,000 Irish immigrants are said to have reached this province. (William Hearne arrived in April 1832)

Ship PALLAS, built in 1800. Type of ship William Hearne sailed to North America from Ireland.


During the Famine Years the numbers increased even more. In 1846 alone, 9,765 arrived and then record numbers in 1847 when 15,279 reached N.B. ports.

Because of the new Passenger Act introduced in 1816, vessels bound for New Brunswick ports could carry ten passengers for every three carried in shps to U.S. ports. As a result, ships sailing to Canada and N.B. carried the bulk of the immigrants bound for Boston, New York, and Philadelphia and often some of these immigrants remained where they landed.

Another reason why passages to New Bruswick were attractive to Irish immigrants was because of the Head Tax. New Brunswick did not have a Head Tax in the early years and later, in 1832 when New Brunswick finally introduced a Head Tax, it was only half that charged in American ports.

In the 1871 Census, the New-Brunswick population of Irish Origin was 100,639 with 47% Catholic and 53% Protestant.