CANADA: Prince Edward Island

 

IEMS Operational Map No stats.jpg

A Bit of History

Prince Edward Island is Canada’s smallest province. The first European to record seeing the Island was Jacques Cartier, who landed at several spots on the north shore during his explorations of the gulf in the summer of 1534. Although there was to be no permanent settlement for almost 200 years, the harbours and bays were known to French and Basque fishermen, but no trace of their visits has survived.

French settlement of the Island (then known as as Île St-Jean) began in the 1720s. 

1803 – In the largest single colonization in Prince Island history, 800 settlers from the Scottish highlands landed at Belfast, southeastern Queens  County, PEI. They were sponsored by Thomas Douglas, Lord Selkirk, who later founds the Red River settlement in Manitoba. By the mid-1800s, Scots will represent over half of the population, making PEI the most “Scottish” province or state in North America.

During the 1800s a large group of Irish settlers from Co Monaghan moved into the island. By 1850 they formed a quarter of the Island’s population,  There is a memorial to the Irish pioneers in Charlottetown at the docks where stones from each county from Ireland form a flat circle in the ground at the memorial in their memory.

Vital Statistics:      Births    Marriages      Deaths

 

Census:

1768 -Earliest or first census of the Island of St John (whose name is later changed to Prince Edward Island) These were the first English speaking settlers as of July 31st of that year. No Gillespie, but listing the following people, with more details available for each one:

  • John Urquhart, Lot 39, family of 6
  • John Hamilton, Lot 39, family of 8
  • Joseph Moss, Lot 39, family of 7
  • unknown Ayres on Lot 39, family of 5
  • Wm Lavingston, Lot 59, family of 2
  • James Davidson, Lot 59, family of 2
  • William Creed, Lot 1, family of 2
  • Michael Molineaux, Princetown, family of 6
  • Wm Coffin, Lot No 37, family of 1
  • John Coffin, Lot No 37, family of 1
  • Dr Fergus, Lot No 53, family of 6
  • unknown, Lot 53. six men, 3 women, 7 boys, 6 girls, for a total of 22 persons.

Total on Island for all lots year 1768 = 24 men, 15 women, 14 boys, 15 girls, for a total of 68 persons.

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………

1841 census – William Gillispie, on Lot 27. No details but his lot easily identified on the map of the island.

………………………………………………………………………………………..

1851 Census – not available for Prince Edward Island

……………………………………………………………………………………..

1861 censusListing 2 counties with Gillespie families

 

………………………………………………………………………………………….

1871 Census = not available for Prince Edward Island

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

1881 Census

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

1891 census

………………………………………………………………………………………..

1901 census = 71 Gillespie individuals on Prince Edward Island

…………………………………………………………………………………

1911 census – Prince Edward County

………………………………………………………………………………

1916 Census  – elsewhere

Thames Gilisby, age 51, b 1860 Prince Edward Island, in North Battleford, Saskatchewan in 1916 with his family:

  • Wife Margret E Gillisby, 50 yrs, born Prince Edward Island
  • Son G William Gillisby, 24 yrs, born Prince Edward Island

A PEI couple who had moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba included:

John Gellespie, age 33 yrs, b 1883 PEI. Immigrated 1908. His family in 1916 included:

  • Wife: Annie Gellespie, age 23 yrs born PEI
  • Daughter Clara May Gellespie, 1 yr, born Manitoba
  • Gordon Gillispie, 6 m b Manitoba

The Island Register – Records for Prince Edward Island

 

Website for Gillespie records world-wide