Michael Cronin – Kilmallock, Co. Limerick, Ireland

This is a photo of my great-great grandfather, Michael Cronin of Kilmallock, County Limerick, Ireland.

Michael Cronin of Kilmallock, Co. Limerick, Ireland

Michael was originally from Co. Cork, possibly on the border of Co. Limerick. He married Ellen Roche of Kilmallock, and moved in with her family.

Michael and Ellen had at least eight children. Michael emigrated to America with most (or all?) of his children, leaving Ellen Roche Cronin back in Ireland. (Records show that she later died in the poorhouse. They still owned a house with 1/4 acre of land, so I’m not sure what happened.)

According to family stories, Michael landed in America, spent a few days there, and decided he didn’t like it. So, he turned around and went back to Ireland. The photo (above) was taken when he was about 100 years old, and blind.

I’ve found no death record for him — not in the US and not in Ireland — so I can’t verify that tale. And, I’ve not found him in any US census records, either. (So, since my US research has been very thorough, I’m pretty sure he went back to Ireland, as claimed.)

For me, the interesting thing is that — in that era — Irish immigrants were often packed into ships formerly used to transport slaves. The Atlantic crossing could be difficult and take over a week.

Nevertheless, Michael supposedly hated America so much, he was willing to make the trip a second time, returning to Ireland… if not to his wife, who remained in Kilmallock.

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