Terry Punch, R.I.P.

Nova Scotia genealogist Terry Punch died Tuesday evening.

Born in 1937 in Halifax, Punch became a well-known teacher and historian. Since 1961, he was a passionate advocate and tireless researcher of all facets of genealogy, holding executive positions in a variety of organizations, including the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, Halifax Charitable Irish Society, Genealogical Institute of the Maritimes, and was founding president of the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia. He was a fellow of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society and the Royal Society of Antiquarians in Ireland.

He was the only Canadian to be elected a Fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society. He was also a resident genealogist on CBC Radio and editor of Genealogist’s Handbook for Atlantic Canada Research. He was also awarded the Order of Canada.

When Mr. Punch became a member of the Order of Canada, the citation sums up his contribution to the genealogy world:

“Terrence Punch has been instrumental in the development and promotion of genealogy in the Maritimes. For more than four decades, he has dedicated his time to genealogical studies and is recognized as an expert in German and Irish immigration in Nova Scotia. He has played an important role in popularizing this field through a radio phone-in show and by publishing the first comprehensive handbook on genealogical research in Atlantic Canada. His passion for, and encyclopedic knowledge of, genealogy has helped to educate Canadians on the role that family history plays in understanding the development of our country.”

Terry Punch will be missed.


A true and generous gentleman with a big welcoming smile for all who approached him for help. He believed in finding our own stories. His books listing immigrants are a wonderful resource for all, and I often find that stateside folks don t realize that Canada was a big entry point for subsequent US settlers as well. I would refer interested people to his 4 volume Erin’s Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada 1761-1853.
We here in Atlantic Canada will miss him deeply.

Liked by 1 person

Thanks to Bev for the above comments. I will be checking his books for my elusive Scots-Irish ancestors’ immigration. It seems he was well respected and will be missed. God rest his soul.


Janice Nelson Cole April 13, 2017 at 1:33 am

I also found the origins of my maternal 3xGrandparents in Ireland thanks to Terrence Punch’s Erin’s sons publications. My condolences to his family as well for their sad loss.

Liked by 1 person

In addition to the many great things that you said in your article he had a great sense of humor. My grandfather was born in Nova Scotia and a few years ago I joined the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia. About two years ago he was the speaker at their annual meeting. It was videoed and I watched it. It was one of the most enjoyable talks I have ever heard. After the talk I bought his book about the immigration of people from Montbéliard France (my second great grandmother was a descendant).


Leave a Reply

Name and email address are required. Your email address will not be published.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <pre> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: