A History of the McCorriston Family: Beginnings in Hawaiʻi

Author’s Note: While researching a collateral line of the McCorriston family, I stumbled upon A Genealogy of the Beeson-Beason Family by Henry Hart Beeson. I was so impressed with Mr. Beeson’s organization of his family’s many lines that I was inspired to treat the McCorriston information in a similar manner. This is the first installment of the McCorriston history in Hawaii in the manner of the Beeson-Beason genealogy.

Most of the McCorristons now living in Hawaii are descendants of one of three men: Hugh McCorriston H-1, Daniel McCorriston D-1, or Daniel Frederick McCorriston. The McCorristons of Molokai are descended from Hugh and Daniel McCorriston, brothers who arrived in the Hawaiian Islands in the mid-1860s. They arrived from Limavady, Londonderry, Ireland, and initially settled in Waiau, Oʻahu. [1] [2] [3]

The family is of Ulster origin, and the name a corruption of Mac Orriston, which was first recorded on the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal near a 7th century church at Clonca. The words “MAGNUS MAC ORRISTON IA FO TRIAT SEO” are inscribed upon a limestone tombstone; the phrase is Scots-Gaelic and translates to “Magnus Mac Orriston of the isles under this mound.” [4]

It is believed that Magnus Mac Orriston was a Norse/Gaelic Gallowglass, or mercenary, captain from the Hebrides. His descendants settled in the bordering counties of Donegal and Leitrim, Ireland, and Londonderry, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. Given the geographic location of the counties, we can safely assume that descendants of Magnus Mac Orriston also live in Counties Fermanagh and Tyrone, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. [4]

Daniel McCorriston and his cousin Daniel Frederick McCorriston are the first of that surname to settle in the Hawaiian Islands, arriving in 1863. Hugh McCorriston and his brother Edward McCorriston followed in 1864. All known McCorristons in Hawaii, except one, descend from these four men; Hugh Lewis McCorriston, the son of Samuel McCorriston and nephew to Daniel and Hugh McCorriston, was first noted as arriving in the Territory of Hawaii in 1917. To our knowledge, he has no issue. [2] [5] [6]

The earliest known evidence of the McCorriston surname in the Hawaiian Islands—spelled as “McCarrison” and “M Corrison”—was on the ship manifest of the American barque Comet, sailing from San Francisco and arriving in Honolulu on October 27, 1863. The next mention of the McCorriston surname—spelled as “McCorrister”—was on a passenger manifest published in The Pacific Commercial Advertiser on July 29, 1871. As Hugh and Daniel McCorriston owned and operated a rice mill in Waiau from 1865, there may be records of a grant for use of the land. [3] [5] [7]

In about 1867, Daniel McCorriston married a part-Hawaiian woman named Anna McColgan, who was also known as Annie Nelson. It is not known who her biological parents were; it is commonly believed that she was fostered in the tradition of hanai and assumed the Nelson surname. [8] [9]

Hugh McCorriston married Margaret Louise (Gorman) Foster, the widow of Samuel Hudson Foster, in Kamalō, Molokai, on August 19, 1877. Margaret was the daughter of Francis and Elizabeth (Curry) Gorman of Davenport, Iowa; she immigrated to the Hawaiian Islands in 1866. Margaret and Samuel had three children—son Francis Hudson Foster and daughters Lydy Elizabeth and Ella Foster—who were absorbed into the McCorriston household upon the marriage of Hugh and Margaret. [10] [11]

The children of Hugh McCorriston H-1 and Margaret Louise Gorman were as follows:

  • H-2. Margaret Theresa “Kinnie” McCorriston, born January 5, 1879, died December 2, 1964, married Aug 7, 1907, to William Elderkin Kerr, son of Laurence B. and Matilda (Elderkin) Kerr

  • H-3. Hannah Sarah “Dove” McCorriston, born December 7, 1881, died July 26, 1969

  • H-4. Gertrude Annie “Gertie” McCorriston, born February 19, 1883, died August 28, 1972

  • H-5. George Edward McCorriston, born December 14, 1884, died March 6, 1973, married November 12, 1925, to Martha Barbara Marie Schweickert, daughter of Francis Xavier and Mary Antoinette (Weyand) Schweickert

  • H-6. Eva Mary McCorriston, born February 6, 1887, died February 18, 1966, married December 14, 1920, to Mervyn Thomas Prindiville, Sr., son of Michael and Mary E (Kelly) Prindiville

  • H-7. Oscar Hugh McCorriston, born June 10, 1888, died January 18, 1973 [10]

The children of Daniel McCorriston D-1 and Annie Nelson were as follows:

  • D-2. Margaret Ann “Maggie” McCorriston, born June 22, 1867, died October 25, 1963, married January 1, 1890, to Otto Samuel Meyer, Sr., son of Rudolph Wilhelm and High Chiefess Dorcas Kalama (Waha) Meyer

  • D-3. Sarah Theresa “Sallie” McCorriston, born September 3, 1868, died April 27, 1924, married July 23, 1894, to Edward Vincent Dunn, son of Michael B. and Mary A. J. (Doherty) Dunn

  • D-4. Edward C. “Eddie” McCorriston, born February 19, 1872, died December 26, 1945, married Mary Kawaiulani Campbell, daughter of Neil and Emalia (Haina) Campbell

  • D-5. Elizabeth “Lizzie” McCorriston, born June 9, 1874, died June 1, 1931, married 1900 Frank Hudson Foster, son of Samuel Hudson and Margaret Louise (Gorman) Foster

  • D-6. Hugh Patrick McCorriston, born February 27, 1883, died June 15, 1916

  • D-7. Daniel F. McCorriston, born April 3, 1884, died May 15, 1900

  • D-8. John Samuel McCorriston, born April 14, 1888, died September 24, 1923

  • D-9. Aileen Ann “Tutsie” McCorriston, born July 1, 1900, died August 2, 1982, married Joseph Ah Hong Ah Ping, Sr., son of Chun and Yen Shee (Wong) Ah Ping [3]

Hugh McCorriston died on October 8, 1926, in Honolulu, Oʻahu, Territory of Hawaiʻi. Daniel McCorriston died several months later, on March 13, 1927, in Kamalō, Molokai, Territory of Hawaiʻi. [2] [3]

Updated August 12, 2019.

Other Installments of A History of the McCorriston Family:

  1. Second Generations

  2. Third Generations

  3. The Prindivilles

  4. The Meyers

  5. The Dunns

  6. The Fosters

  7. The Ah Pings


  1. Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 15 December 2018), memorial page for Dan McCorriston (3 Nov 1840–13 Mar 1927), Find A Grave Memorial no. 113442571, citing Saint Joseph Church Cemetery, Kamalo, Maui County, Hawaii, USA ; Maintained by Sherry SH (contributor 48127093)

  2. H. McCorriston, Kamaaina, dies in 89th year (1926, October 9), The Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26367065/hugh_mccorriston_obituary_1926/

  3. Dan McCorriston, Molokai kamaaina; taken by death (1927, March 20), The Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26254838/daniel_mccorriston_obituary_1927/

  4. Origins of the Coristine Family Name, Browness.net. Retrieved from http://browness.net/cync/COrigins.pdf

  5. “Hawaii, Passenger Lists, 1843-1898,” database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed 15 December 2018), search for Daniel McCorriston, arrived 1863; Hawaii State Archives; Kekauluohi Building, Iolani Palace Grounds, 364 S. King Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813; Series: Series 82

  6. “Honolulu, Hawaii, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1900-1959,” database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed 18 March 2019), search for Hugh Lewis McCorriston; National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at Honolulu, Hawaii, compiled 08/1912 - 11/1954; National Archives Microfilm Publication: A3569; Roll: 011; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration

  7. Passengers. (1871, July 29), The Pacific Commercial Advertiser. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/19079890/j_mccolgan_and_mr_mccorrister/

  8. “1900 United States Federal Census,” database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed 15 December 2018), search for Daniel McCorriston, residing on Molokai and born in 1841; Year: 1900; Census Place: Molokai, Molokai, Hawaii Territory; Page: 27; Enumeration District: 0088

  9. Kaanga, R. (2015, September 17). Annie Nelson was a pure Hawaiian woman a [Note 2] Note posted to https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/collaborate/LZFQ-YC3

  10. Death claims Oahu kamaaina (1932, March 11), Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/19835623/margaret_foster_mccorriston_obituary/?xid=637

  11. Married., (1877, September 1), The Pacific Commercial Advertiser. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/27571136/hugh_mccorriston_marriage_to_margaret/