The American Wake

Our parishioners emigrate to the U.S.

Extract from chapter 11 in Killererin - A Parish History

R.M.S. Cedric

The American Wake

The ‘American wake’ was a common occurrence throughout the country. Many families could just manage to get together the means to send one member to America or Canada and that son or daughter, it was hoped, would quickly secure work and send money home enabling others to ‘take the boat’ too. It is easy to imagine the awful sadness felt by parents and other family members on the departure of a son or daughter to a new land, probably never to return.

Family and friends would get together for a last goodbye, almost like attending a funeral, to send their best wishes with the traveller. Some of those who departed because of the ravages of famine were sick and diseased, and confused on arriving at their new surroundings. Often, brothers and sisters and other family members became separated and never saw each other again. Some had family and friends already in their adopted country but, sadly, they had no way of contacting them.

Follow the links below to read some of the individual stories of some of those who left our parish after these ‘Wakes’




This page was added on 17/06/2021.

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