The populating of Historic Westmeath Township was a result of the immigration policy of the British Crown in British North America both before and after the American Revolution – the War of Independence. Then the economic instability of some European nations came into play. Peoples under pressure in their home countries were willing to take the gamble, uproot the family and make the arduous journey to Canada. For instance, the potato crop failure and the brutality of the British policies in Ireland meant that families saw no choice but to find new homes if they wanted to prosper.
Not much has changed …. Many refugees and immigrants arrive in Canada each year and still today carry the hope that Canada will offer them and their families safe haven and a prosperous future.
The first immigrants came with the expansion of colonizing nations – first France – then Britain; some wanting adventure and some in the military garrisons. This was followed by United Empire Loyalists escaping the new republicanism of the fledgling United States to the south. Hardship and destitution often caused or exasperated by Governmental Policy such as happened in the terrible famine years in Ireland or the emptying of the Scottish Highland brought thousands to the eastern ports. All these peoples washed up on the shore of the new frontier.
“Demographics are the quantifiable statistics of a given population. Demographics is also used to identify the study of Quantifiable subsets within a given population which characterize that population at a specific point in time.” From Wikipedia.
Counting the Newcomers: In this section, the emphasis is on the documented count of peoples; the census lists results, the movement of masses of populations from the Old World to the New World and its vast frontiers. The numbers who suffered and died on the Plague Ships, the voter lists of a young democracy and the thick and detailed Gazetteers helping to make sense of it all, both to the homeland readers left behind, and the newcomers themselves.
It is no wonder that the word “demographics” comes from the same root as democracy. Only when each individual matters, and counts, can a democracy thrive.