A Cornish Colony In Mexico

                       Author - Michael T. Kiernan. Redruth. 2020  ISBN 978-1-71666-302-4. Cornwall, Redruth. 2020.                         Pages 326. Illustrations 43. Paperback. A5 (5.83” x 8.27”).

See below for the books Introduction, Contents & List of Illustrations. See Index of all those individuals who are mentioned in the book (with page Ref).


                                                                 From Cornwall’s clime his parents came to lay                                                                                                                                   Their darling offspring in a strangers clay.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    (Memorial, Panteon de los Ingleses)
The connection between the two countries of Mexico and Cornwall is remarkable. In numerical terms, Mexico is not a destination which involved great numbers of the Cornish diaspora, the USA and Australia and, to a lesser extent, South Africa have a far more expansive story to tell. Mexico is a complex country with a different language, society and religion and, importantly, with no connections with the Colonies and Empire of Britain yet the bonds between the two countries have endured for almost 200 years.
My first objective is to provide a record of the ‘footsteps’ of the Cornish in Mexico, some of which are slowly disapearing. This will be found partly in those chapters of this book that record Cornish/Mexican burial grounds that are, or have been lost, especially those in Mexico City.
A second objective was to seek out activities of the Cornish that have not been recorded before. For instance, the findings set out in Chapter 2 illustrate how I believe the Cornish Methodists achieved a unique first in Mexico. I also found it necessary to try and search out the Cornish who were present in Mexico but not based in the towns of Pachuca and Real del Monte in Hidalgo State. Mexico is a vast country and I know there are still histories to be unearthed.
Many of Cornish descent (in both countries) are reconstructing their family histories. My third objective was therefore to provide family information gleaned from both Cornish and Mexican archives. It is not possible to set out in a work of this nature all the information available, but perhaps some of my findings may advance those researches. Sadly, I am sure that I have made mistakes and so all my conclusions should be verified.
In the final chapter I do try to include a general picture of the affect upon Cornwall of the Mexican connection, and the Cornish diaspora in general. In particular the affect upon those ‘left behind’ and family life.
Large parts of this work consist of extracts from writings of the era. I have a desire to try to understand how our ancestors reacted and fathom their own thoughts about their new community and home, warts and all. I have therefore freely transcribed sources from their time. Many of these originate from Cornish newspapers, journals, travel books and a few from migrant letters. Not all of these are in accord with how we would express our thoughts today, but I prefer our ancestors to talk for themselves. There are extensive archives of the mining companies extant and so, where practical, these have also been consulted but my focus has been on the people and not the technicalities of the mining operations.
I am very conscious that these researches and narrative are from a North European aspect. My friends in Mexico are too polite (so far) to comment, they generously say ‘mi casa es su casa’ and wonder why I do not understand Spanish.

Contents Cornish Colony in Mexico