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March 13, 2009

Death Or Canada (Irish Famine Immigration to Canada)

The History Channel is showing the film Death or Canada on Monday, March 16 at 8 PM. If your ancestors came to Canada during the time of the Irish Famine, you will want to see this production.

Death or Canada is the compelling tale of how in 1847, the British Colony of Canada gave refuge to tens of thousands of Irish famine victims, who in turn were responsible for the building of North America as we know it today.

Set in 1847, the darkest year of the Irish Famine, it follows the true life story of the protestant family, John and Mary Willis who, along with their five children, abandoned their home in the west of Ireland and gambled everything on finding new lives in North America. They flee Ireland on a coffin ship and together with over 100,000 other Irish in 1847, they make their way to Canada.

Penetanguishene's Discovery Harbour was used as background in a movie. Some of the
scenes were shot there and local people were used as extras during the filming. Look for Tim Mallon, Museum Board Chairman, in the part of "Mr Pearce", an immigration
officer. He makes his appearance in the second hour and should be easy to spot in his "train conductor" costume.


Realtor in Toronto said...

Thank you for the tip, I definitely want to see this document. I find the history of Canada very interesting and yet kind of dark. Thanks again.

Take care, Elli

Anonymous said...

This show does not show up on the History Channel for me on this date, or any other date. I have DirectTV.

Genealogy Blogger said...

Apparently Death or Canada is only airing in Canada. The producers of the show are working on getting a U.S. broadcaster at the moment and are trying to build interest.

You can log onto their blog and add a comment about how you heard about the film and your interest to see it on the air in the United States.

You can also log onto their web site later this week and go to the Store. If you live outside of Canada you can place an order for a DVD.

Julie said...

Irish Roots magazine is a genealogy and family history magazine which anyone who is interested in tracing their Irish ancestry will find really helpful. The website is

Jack O'Keefe said...

Any news about the famine means the truth is finally being told after years of being hidden. See Scally's The End of Hidden Ireland. Also my website

Anonymous said...

I ordered the DVD from the production company, Ballinrad, on-line, and the cost was processed through my MasterCard immediately.
Unfortunately, the DVD was never delivered.
Follow-up eMail messages went unanswered. Telephone calls always went to a voicemail system, and likewise went unanswered. After several months of trying to obtain what I purchased I went to MasterCard and had the purchase price reversed.