We received the following letter via e-mail recently from Ron Cronin in Boston USA concerning the efforts under taken by people while researching their family history. 

Cronin & O'Leary's in  Boston.

Dear Ballingeary and Inchigeela Historical Society,

After searching for almost twenty years for my roots in Ireland recently
I found a positive piece of proof of my grandmother's (Ellen O'Leary) birth
in Inchigeela, County Cork. I'm of 100% Irish descent, my mother being born
in Glenamaddy, Galway and my father's parents in Inchigeela, Cork. I was born
in Boston into a Boston Irish Catholic family living in Brookline (birth
place of President Kennedy). In the mid 1970's shortly after High School and
the death of my farther, but prior to the Internet and Genealogy boom I
started to research my family tree. While in the Archive office in the
basement of the Massachusetts State House in Boston I looked through the
original old archives and found that my Grandfather was buried in Boston. I
visited my Grandfather's grave, and was astonished to find a family plot with
about a dozen family members buried. They included the names Cronin, O'Leary,
and O'Riley, from Inchigeela and area. My early record keeping included
adding a small "RC" next to information I viewed. This to prevent my
duplicating my research in the future. Soon after my start the State House
archive office was shut down to photocopy all the documents and move them and
the office to a new State Archives office building being built next to the
John F. Kennedy Memorial Library and University of Massachusetts overlooking
Boston harbor. One of my extremely organized sisters, Maureen and her husband
Ed, got interested and involved with the family search. Maureen got some
enjoyment years later as she kept coming across my early record keeping
procedure, the "RC" initial while she was researching and viewing microfilm
During the 80's we pieced together much information about my mother's
family but little of my father's Cork family. In 1994 another sister from
Hollywood, California, Pauline decided to get married at St. Patrick's in
Glenamaddy. We used the wedding trip as a chance to visit Cork and look up
the Cronin name. Not knowing of our Inchigeela connection we passed within 5
miles of your parish  on our way to Cork City and then the McCarthy castle of
the Blarney Stone fame. To me it was exciting to finally be on your side of
the Pond looking up family lore. I visited  Cork City Hall and as quickly
as possible tried to find information on my Grandfather James R. Cronin
(abt.1853) or his brothers Denis (abt.1856) and Richard (abt.1872). City
Hall's record went as far back to include Richard's birth in 1872. Without a
Street address or exact birth location the clerk told me I would be there all
day. I left and went to the main Library. I planned on sending a letter to
each Cronin listed in the telephone book until I saw the number of listings.
I started to photocopy the Cronin pages and decided it would be easier to
just buy a telephone directory. After leaving the library to meet my wife
outside I spotted her about a half block away walking toward me. While
getting her attention I decided to do my own Cronin census of Cork and
hollered "Mrs. Cronin" to her and the sidewalk crowd. No less than half the
crowd for twenty feet turn to look at me, I quickly replied "The pretty one
from Boston." My wife was embarrassed, but one women came up to me whose
sister lives on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. She was on her way to the Post
Office to mail her sister a letter. After speaking for 10 minutes I wound up
bring the letter home with me and leaving it in her sister's mailbox with
"HAND DELIVERED" written across the envelope. I'm sure she was puzzled and
amused after she talked to her sister about how the letter came to her.

The first time I came across the name Inchigeela was while I was at the
Boston Catholic Archdiocese office near Boston College in Chestnut Hill. I
was looking up my Father's and Aunts' baptism records from St. James The
Great Church in Boston. My Aunt Helen's record included a marriage record
with a tiny notation off to the side stating "Married 1912-William Riley;
born Inchigeela, Ireland." A lead, I was off and running. I felt it in my
bones and made Inchigeela my main focus. I looked up Inchigeela in books, the
Internet, Casey's Black River study of 1952, wrote Father Twomey at the
Parochial House and asked everyone I knew about it. I got lucky one day when
a Mr. Peter O'Leary of Inchigeela read a note I posted on the Internet. Peter
O'Leary is involved with the  annual O'Leary Reunion held in Inchigeela
at Creedon's Hotel. Peter not only confirmed my Grandmothers birth in
Inchigeela, but that of her Father (Jeremiah O'Leary abt.1825), her Uncle, a
Nationalist, (Patrick "Pagan" O'Leary abt.1823) and her Grandfather Cornelius
(abt.1799). Peter even mailed me a copy of a Lee Valley News article from
January 1996 about Patrick. The article provided information about Patrick
joining the U.S. army at 17 in California (then a part of Mexico) and
becoming a wounded veteran of the Mexican American War (1844), a carpenter,
traveler, New Yorker, an original Fenian recruiter, and unfortunately also a
Mountjoy prisoner. I am actively searching for information about him, my
Grand Uncle Patrick now, the O'Leary and Cronin homesteads in Inchigeela.
In closing and due to Peter O'Leary, my brothers and sisters and I are
planning a trip to Inchigeela next summer/fall to attend the Cronin Family
Reunion being held at the Creedon Hotel. Needless to say, I look forward to
the day I'm back on Irish soil in Inchigeela to complete one of life's
circles, the one my Grandmother started 120 years ago.

Ron Cronin