Catholic Parishes in Prince Edward Island
by Father Alfred E. Burke, ca. 1885

During the mid-1880's, Father Alfred E. Burke wrote histories for most of the Catholic parishes of that time on Prince Edward Island. The reasons for doing so are mentioned in the Introduction, below. These histories, copied and typed by Professor J-Henri Blanchard, most likely during the 1950's, have survived and are available on microfilm (Microfilm number F-1045) at the Centre d'études acadiennes in Moncton. The originals are held by the Diocesan Archives in Charlottetown. Copies may also be viewed at the PEI Public Archives and Records Office.

These histories, as originally intended [see the Introduction], were never published. There is no mention of either the Magdalen Island parishes or the biographies of the priests in the transcript I have seen. Likewise, it is doubtful that the histories were ever formally published.

Although his sources are not listed, the material was probably derived from popular accounts and the memories of elder parishioners, with some data from church records interspersed among it. Even though it is, to some extent, second or third-hand information it is useful nonetheless. At the time Father Burke set these histories to paper, most of the people residing within these parishes were only a generation or two removed from the original founders. In some cases the oldest members of a parish may have been the founders themselves, or their children, and thus were witnesses to what Father Burke recorded.

I am presenting Father Burke's history as it appears in Prof. Blanchard's typed transcriptions with one exception - the formatting of paragraphs. These I have broken down into smaller, more logical, units to make reading easier. However, I have not touched the original sentence structure, punctuation, spelling or grammar.

The individual parish histories, as well as the introduction written by Father Burke, can be viewed using the links below in the table of contents. This is a copy of the same table of contents that appears in Prof. Blanchard's transcription.

Unfortunately, I did not have time to copy all of Prof. Blanchard's transcripts. Therefore, a handful of the histories are not included below. These can be identified by the lack of hyperlink to the actual parish history (but are not marked as "lost" or "missing.")

Readers should note that the files marked as "lost" or "missing" were just that when Prof. Blanchard created his transcript. Years afterwards - and after I completed my own transcriptions - copies of Father's Burke's original handwritten notes were located at the Centre d'études acadiennes in Moncton, NB. The missing parishes were included amongst the originals.

The complete history is now available online and for download in PDF format at

I want to thank Claudia Boorman for having brought the online file to my attention.


Introduction - 1 page

Alberton (Mission of the Sacred Heart) - 3 pages

Baldwin's Road (Mission of St. Theresa) - 7 pages

Bear River (Mission of St. Margaret) - 8 pages

Bloomfield - Lost

Brae (Mission of St. Mary) - 2 pages

Cardigan Bridge (Mission of All Saints) - 4 pages

Corran Bann (Mission of St. Michael) - 2 pages

Cove Head (Mission of St. Eugene's) - 1 page

Charlottetown (The Cathedral Parish of St. Dunstan's) - 37 pages

De Sable (Mission of St. Joseph's) - 6 pages

East Point (Mission of St. Columba) - 9 pages

Egmont Bay - Missing

Fort Augustus (Mission of St. Patrick) - 5 pages

Freetown (Mission of the Holy Magi) - 2 pages

Georgetown (Mission of St. James) - 6 pages

Grand River West (Mission of St. Patrick) - 6 pages

Hope River (Mission of St. Anne) - 4 pages

Indian River (Mission of St. Mary) - 5 pages

Kincora (Mission of St. Malachy) - 8 pages

Little Pond (Mission of St. Francis) - 2 pages

Miscouche - Missing

Montague Bridge (Mission of St. Mary) - 3 pages

Montague West (Mission of St. Michael) - 5 pages

Mont-Carmel - Lost

Morell (Mission of St. Lawrence) - 5 pages

Palmer Road (Mission of St. Thomas) - 3 pages

Rollo Bay (Mission of St. Alexis) - 8 pages

Rustico - Lost

St. Andrew's (Mission of St. Andrew's) - 9 pages

St. George - Missing

St. Peter's Bay (St. Peter's Mission) - 6 pages

Seven Mile Bay (Mission of St. Peter) - 3 pages

Souris (Mission of St. Mary) - 5 pages

South Shore (Mission of St. Martin on the South Shore) - 3 pages

Sturgeon (Mission of St. Paul) - 4 pages

Summerside (Mission of SS. Peter and Paul) - 6 pages

Tignish - Missing

Township Seven (Mission of St. Mark) - 3 pages

Township Eleven (Mission of St. Bridget) - 3 pages

Township Sixty-Five (Mission of St. Anne) - 6 pages

Tracadie (Mission of St. Bonaventure) - 5 pages

Vernon River (Mission of St. Joachim) - 6 pages

Wellington (Mission of the Immaculate Conception) - 2 pages

NOTE: The number of pages referred to in the Table of Contents is in regard to the length of the typed copies by Prof. Blanchard, and is his notation, not mine. His transcripts were type-written, double spaced, on regular 8.5 x 11 inch sheets.