During the mid-1880's, Father Alfred E. Burke wrote histories for most of the contemporary Roman Catholic parishes of Prince Edward Island. The originals are held by the Diocesan Archives in Charlottetown and copies may be viewed at the PEI Public Archives and Records Office. Transcripts of the work, copied and typed by Professor J-Henri Blanchard during the 1960s, have also survived. The histories were never formally published by Father Burke.
Originally, the work was supposed to include the Magdalen Island parishes and biographies of the parish priests, but these are missing from the compilation linked to below.
Father Burke does not list his sources. 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.
Father Burke's histories have been gathered into a single compilation titled "The Burke Chronicles: the story of the beginnings of the Roman Catholic parishes on Prince Edward Island to 1885," by Ernest Macdonald and can be viewed online as part of the Island Lives collection at the University of Prince Edward Island.
The residents of several Prince Edward Island settlements send letters of support to the Lieutenant Governor. While the purpose of the petitions is interesting, it is the names attached to them, many of whom were early settlers, or the first settlers, of those areas.
Petition from the inhabitants of Cherry Valley and Vernon River.Read the Article
Petition from the inhabitants of Hillsborough River and vicinity.Read the Article
Petition from the inhabitants of Princetown.Read the Article