These are a series of articles by Timothy Hayes under the name ‘Mitsegah’ and emigrated from Dunmanway to New York in 1890 among those on the trip was fellow Dunmanway man Goodhand Clarke.
In the articles he chronicles those who were pupils in the Model School in the 1880s and document their fate and ultimate foreign destination where appropriate.
You very much get the impression that America was the next parish. Countless Irish were delighted to go to Britain to escape grinding poverty but in the main they melded into the British working class. In contrast the perception was America was the land of opportunity. It is interesting the a number of priests went on American tours from the 1880s to fund church building in West Cork I have not come across such trips to England.
The illusions of American prosperity were fostered by ‘Returned Yanks’ who after years away caom home and bought drinks for all and sundry and entertained with tales of wealth.
Here Mistegah has stories of meeting in NY with those from the locality, many in middle management positions. A man who had been a young teacher in the Model School left after unhappy differences and in NY in the early 1890s was going to Law School at night hoping to qualify as a lawyer and become a US citizen.
The perception was that once people emigrated to the USA they were gone. However, not always true, various members of the Swanton family in Ballydehob were back and forward from NY from the 1790s. Many girls worked as domestics and after maybe 10 years returned with enough to buy a farm with a spouse or business. Mrs.Wiseman in Durrus nee Daly, Kilcrohane was such adn weh she went about building their house and business in Durrus recessed it from the road asn she thought in the 1930s that like America in the future the car would dominate in Ireland.
One of the Coakleys of Bantry, originally Tureen, Kilcrohane had been in the funeral business in the USA and returned to establish a funeral parlour in Bantry still in the family.