Tag Archives: Cronin

Timothy Stephen and Dorothy B. Steele Cronin

Timothy Stephen Cronin was born 25 Oct 1903 (in Cambridge, Middlesex, MA), and he was the son of John Joseph and Sarah “Sally” Louise Green Cronin.

Timothy was called “Steve” and he married Dorothy B. Steele. They had 16 children.

Dorothy’s obituary (Published in the Lowell Sun from Apr. 5 to Apr. 6, 2008)

Dorothy B. (Steele) Cronin Mother of sixteen children CHELMSFORD Mrs. Dorothy B. (Steele) Cronin, 95, of Chelmsford, formerly of Medford, MA, died Thursday, April 3, 2008, at the Fairhaven Nursing Home in Lowell.

She was the wife of the late Timothy Cronin who died Jan. 21, 1975.

Born in Malden, MA, on March 2, 1913, she was the daughter of the late Daniel and Augusta (Mahoney) Steele. She was raised in Medford, and graduated from Medford High School with the Class of 1931.

She graduated from Lawrence Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1933, as a Registered Nurse. She worked as a Registered Nurse at the Middlesex County Training School in North Chelmsford.

She retired in 1998 from Lowell Elder Care Services.

Mrs. Cronin was an avid reader and writer, who enjoyed storytelling. She also enjoyed gardening. She was a communicant of St. John the Evangelist Church.

She is survived by seven sons and four daughters-in-law:

  • Francis and Irene Cronin of Nova Scotia, Jean Cronin of Watertown, MA
  • George Cronin of Revere, MA,
  • Donald Cronin of Somerville, MA
  • Robert and Brenda Cronin of Lowell, MA, Timothy Cronin Jr. of Chelmsford, MA
  • James Cronin of Westford,
  • Gerald and Alicia Cronin of Westford, MA

Six daughters and two sons-in-law:

  • Louise Gilbert of Somerville, June Pendergrass of Revere, MA
  • Patricia and Robert McMurray of Florida,
  • Mary Harvey of Lowell, MA,
  • Paula and John Kydd of Chelmsford, MA,
  • and Joann Cronin of Seattle, WA

… many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews; and dear friend, Father Paul Ritt of N. Chelmsford.

She was predeceased by three children:

  • Dr. Stephen Cronin of Nashua, NH (was this Stephen Gregory Cronin, b. 18 Feb 1937, Cambridge, MA?)
  • David Cronin of Watertown, MA
  • and Dorothy Cronin.

CRONIN Dorothy (Steele) Cronin of Chelmsford, formerly of Medford, MA, died April 3, 2008. Funeral Monday at 8:00 A.M. from the DOLAN FUNERAL HOME, 106 MIDDLESEX ST., N. CHELMSFORD, with a funeral Mass at 9 A.M. at St. John the Evangelist Church, N. Chelmsford.

Burial Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden.

Memorials may be made in her name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Their son Donald Cronin’s obituary (Lowell Sun, 27 – 28 Sep 2008)

Donald E. “Donnie” Cronin, of Somerville, passed away suddenly September 22, 2008 while vacationing in Italy.

Beloved husband of the late Nancy (Perry) Cronin.

Brother of…

  • Francis of Nova Scotia,
  • George of Revere,
  • Robert of Lowell,
  • Timothy Jr. of Chelmsford,
  • James, and Gerald Cronin, both of Westford,
  • Louise Gilbert of Somerville,
  • June Pendergrass of Revere,
  • Patricia McMurray of FL,
  • Mary Harvey of Lowell,
  • Paula Kydd of Chelmsford,
  • Joanne Cronin of Seattle,
  • the late Dr. Stephen Cronin, David Cronin, and Dorothy Cronin.

Dear companion, Sue. Also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, and pet dog, Sarah.

John Joseph and Sarah L. Green Cronin

Trying to assemble a complete record of each immigrant Cronin family — descendants of Michael and Ellen Roche Cronin, of Kilmallock, Co. Limerick, Ireland — I’m copying US and Massachusetts records.

John Joseph Cronin was the Irish-born son of Michael Cronin. “Uncle John,” as he’s called in my immediate family, was the brother of my great-grandmother, Margaret Cronin Tormey.

When Margaret Cronin Tormey died, her three (or four) small children lived with John and Sarah for some time. I’m not sure which other relatives the children lived with, as well as living with nuns in a convent for some time.

John Cronin married Sarah Louise Green on 26 Feb 1895 in Newton, MA, USA. She was from Lancashire, England.

According to records I’ve found, so far, their children were:

  • Michael Francis Cronin, b. 24 Apr 1897
  • Elizabeth Cronin, b. 5 Dec 1898
  • John G. Cronin, b. 21 Oct 1900
  • Timothy Stephen Cronin, b. 25 Oct 1903 (married Dorothy “Dot” Steele)
  • Ellen (Helen) Cronin, b. 18 Sep 1904  (her married name was Helen Kirk)
  • James Cronin, b. 28 May 1907
  • Joseph Cronin, b. 30 Dec 1908
  • Margaret Cronin, b. 19 Dec 1913

On 10 Mar 1922, John filed papers to become a US Naturalized citizen. The family lived at 103 Beacon St, Somerville, MA, in a house that they owned.

The following are records I’ve found for John Joseph Cronin and his wife, Sarah L. Green Cronin. For records that seem small on this page, click on the image (right-click on a PC) to see it larger.

The 1920 US Census for John & Sarah Cronin and their children.

Actual 1920 US Census record for John & Sarah Cronin

Main information from that document:

1920 US Census - John and Sarah Cronin

1930 US Census for John Joseph Cronin & family:

1930 John & Sarah Cronin

Summary of John Joseph Cronin’s information, 1930 US Census:

John Joseph Cronin - 1930 US Census

Massachusetts Vital Records for John & Sarah Cronin and family:

Vital records for John & Sarah Cronin - MA/Somerville

Naturalization papers:

Naturalization papers, John and Sarah Cronin

Margaret Cronin Tormey, ca. 1898

This is the only known photo of my great-grandmother, Margaret Cronin Tormey.

Margaret Cronin Tormey

Margaret was born in Glenanare, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick, Ireland on 1 July 1866. Her parents were Michael Cronin (1830 – 1910? originally of Co. Cork) and Ellen Roche (1833 – 1901, dau. of John Roche and Hanora Conners).

Around 1894, she married John Tormey (son of James Tormey and Ann Barrett, of Co. Meath, Ireland).

According to some stories, that wasn’t his real surname, and he was on the run from the British, so he’d fled to America. That story doesn’t seem to have much credibility.

John had at least two sisters in America, Annie and Maggie, who may have lived near Boston, MA, possibly Jamaica Plain. (According to stories, at least one of them had a goiter scar on her neck and wore a little ribbon to conceal the scar.)

One or both sisters were alive in the early 1920s, but one or both may have died from coal gas, later.

Early in Margaret and John’s marriage, he had a drinking problem. His daughter, Margaret Ann Tormey Bernier, later claimed that he’d “fallen into a ditch, broke his leg, and died.” (In fact, he went to Bridgewater State Hospital where he was housed with many other indigent Irish immigrants, and died in the mid-to-late 1920s.)

They had at least three children, Margaret Ann Tormey Bernier, Mary Ellen Tormey Sullivan, and James Earnest Tormey. (Also see Tormey Mystery Child photo.)

Margaret Cronin Tormey took in laundry and worked part-time for the James family near Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA (USA). Her aunt, Hanora T Cronin (1868 – 1955) was a maid in that household.

Since Margaret Cronin Tormey often took her children to work with her, Margaret Ann Tormey Bernier (one of the children) had many stories about playing in the backyard at the James’ house. She had several happy memories about William and Henry James, as well.

After Margaret Cronin Tormey’s death, her wedding ring remained in the family. I have it, and I wear it almost every day.

Margaret Cronin Tormey’s Siblings

Margaret Cronin Tormey’s Irish-born siblings included the following, all of whom emigrated to America, as far as I know:

  • Dennis “Dinny” Cronin (Unknown-1935), was a police officer around Tewksbury, MA. No known issue.
  • Mary Cronin (1864-Unknown), no other information.
  • Hanora “Aunt Nora” T Cronin (1868-1955), never married, died without issue. Wonderfully eccentric woman.
  • John “Uncle John” Joseph Cronin (2 Oct 1870-1948) arrived in August 1889, aboard the ship Pavonia, which had sailed from Queenstown, Ireland. John married Sarah “Aunt Sarah” Louise Green (1869 – 1911), had at least 8 children including Helen Cronin Kirk of Belmont, MA, Timothy Stephen Cronin (married Dorothy Steele and had 16 children), and Michael Francis “Frank” Cronin who married Margaret Coveney.
  • Michael Cronin (1872-1932), married Katherine Hunt, had at least one child, Timothy “Big Ted” Cronin (1904-1984) who worked at Beacon Hill (Boston) for the MA State legal system, as did his attorney son, also called Ted.
  • Timothy Cronin (1876-1945), married Honor Quinn (1880-1958), had at least two children including Margaret Cronin Holden (of RI) and Mary Cronin Kelly (Arlington, MA).
  • James “Jamie” Cronin (1878-1904), never married and died without issue.

Margaret Cronin Tormey’s death record

Margaret Cronin Tormey death certificate 1909

Here’s the transcript:

Margaret Cronin Tormey - death 1909


Additional Notes


For more about the Cronin family, see Ancestry.com’s records. (However, remember that these kinds of names — including the Cronin surname — are popular in Ireland, USA, Australia, and throughout the diaspora. The names are easy to confuse with one another.)

Also, let me know if you find any errors in my records. It’s so easy to make a mistake, I’m happy to change anything that’s not right.

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.

James Cronin of Kilmallock, Co. Limerick, Ireland

This is a photo of James “Jamie” Cronin. He may have been one of the youngest of about eight children born to Ellen Roche and her husband, Michael Cronin of Glenanare (or Glenanaire), Kilmallock, Co. Limerick, Ireland. He emigrated to America with his siblings.

James Cronin of Kilmallock, Co. Limerick, IrelandJamie had been everyone’s favorite in the Cronin household. I think he worked at a hospital, but I’m not sure.

According to stories, Jamie was engaged and soon to be married. Then, he contracted spinal meningitis and died suddenly. His death was a terrible loss, especially since it was so sudden. Everyone thought he’d be one of the most successful of the Cronin children.

In one version of the story — which was not true — he and my great-grandmother had a huge fight and weren’t speaking, and then he died before they could reconcile. In that tale, my great-grandmother committed suicide.

The fact is, Margaret Cronin Tormey (my great-grandmother) contracted tuberculosis and died several years later, in a hospital in the northern part of Massachusetts. (I can’t recall the location at the moment, but I’ll update this when I think of it.) So, the suicide story is very odd and I haven’t found anyone else in the family who’d killed themselves.

Jamie’s good looks continued in the family, and a later descendant of the Cronins — Robert “Bob” Holden — had a strong resemblance to this photo, in his youth.

Tormey Mystery Child

This is a photo my grandmother (Margaret Ann Tormey Bernier) described as a family photo, showing her with her siblings. The problem is… there are four children and we only know about three of them.

Tormey family children - around 1899

When I asked my grandmother about the fourth child, she seemed puzzled. Then said it must have been her cousin, Margaret Cronin Holden. Or, maybe it was her cousin Helen Cronin Kirk, who later lived in Belmont, MA.

I suppose either is possible, but it seems unlikely. Why would they add an extra child in what’s clearly a photo of siblings? (Also, my grandmother sometimes revised history. For example, she insisted that her father died when she was a toddler. He actually survived until after my grandmother had married and my mother — Muriel Bernier [Morey] — was a child.)

My grandmother insisted that she was the youngest child in the photo. I suppose that’s possible, but since she was only two years younger than her sister, Mary Ellen Tormey Sullivan, I’m more inclined to think my grandmother was the toddler standing up.

So, I haven’t a clue who the fourth child really was.

James Earnest Tormey never married and died without issue.

Mary Ellen Tormey Sullivan (Mrs. Charles Sullivan) had children Isabel Sullivan Beagan (spelling?) and Leo Sullivan. Isabel married Jack Beagan (?) and had at least two children. Leo was a fireman (in Belmont, MA) and never married, as far as I know, but he had at least one child. I think the baby’s mother’s name was Gloria, but I never met her, though I recall it as a long-time romance for Leo.