Margaret Louise Gorman, 1846-1932

Margaret Louise Gorman (October 14, 1846-March 11, 1932) was the wife of Hugh McCorriston (1836-1927). She was an Irish-born woman who lived in the Hawaiian Islands through the transition from sovereign kingdom to American territory.

Margaret Louise Gorman was born in County Clare, Ireland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, on October 14, 1846, to Francis F. Gorman and Elizabeth Curry. [1] [2]

In about 1848, Margaret emigrated from Ireland during the Irish Potato Famine. After living in New York for some time, Margaret and her family traveled by covered wagon to Davenport, Iowa, where the family settled. [2]

On October 13, 1863, Margaret married Samuel Hudson Foster (1842-1872), the son of Thomas and Ellen Foster. [2] They had three children:

  1. Daughter Lydy Elizabeth Foster (1864-1943) was born in Davenport, Iowa, on December 26, 1864, married John Lucas (1859-1930) in 1885, and died in Honolulu, Oʻahu, on October 6, 1943

  2. Daughter Ella Foster (1867-1955) was born in Honolulu, Oʻahu, on October 25, 1867, married Walter Andrews Hardy (1860-1946) in Kamalō, Molokai, on January 21, 1891, married Ezra Anderson Watson in Kaʻalawai, Oʻahu, on October 3, 1917, married Louis M. Whitehouse (1874-1942) on April 25, 1930, and died in Honolulu, Oʻahu, on April 7, 1955

  3. Son Frank Hudson Foster (1869-1955) was born in Honolulu, Oʻahu, on September 5, 1869, married Elizabeth McCorriston (1874-1931) in 1900, and died in Honolulu, Oʻahu, on February 15, 1955

On June 17, 1866, at the age of 19, Margaret departed for Honolulu, Oʻahu, Kingdom of Hawaii, from San Francisco, California, with her husband Samuel and daughter Lydy aboard the American barque Cambridge. They arrived in Honolulu on July 1, 1866. [1] [3] [4]

After Samuel died on August 25, 1874, Margaret supported herself and her children by opening a millinery and dry goods shop, in which she also made dresses for the ladies of Honolulu. Her sister Hannah joined her in 1876 as a milliner, moving from Chicago, Illinois. [5] [6] [7]

On August 19, 1877, Margaret married Hugh McCorriston (1836-1927) in Halawa, Molokai; the Reverend Father Damien—now known as Saint Damien—married them. [8] Together, Margaret and Hugh had six children:

  1. Daughter Margaret Theresa McCorriston, known as “Kinnie,” was born on January 5, 1879, in Honolulu, Oʻahu, married William Elderkin Kerr (1883-1947) on August 7, 1907, and died on December 2, 1964, in Honolulu, Oʻahu

  2. Daughter Hannah Sarah McCorriston, known as “Dove,” was born on December 7, 1881, in Kamalō, Molokai, and died on July 26, 1969, in Honolulu, Oʻahu

  3. Daughter Gertrude Annie McCorriston, known as “Gertie,” was born on February 19, 1883, in Kamalō, Molokai, and died on August 28, 1972, in Kailua, Oʻahu

  4. Son George Edward McCorriston was born on December 14, 1884, in Kamalō, Molokai, married Martha Barbara Marie Schweickert (1898-1994) on November 12, 1925, and died on March 6, 1973, in Honolulu, Oʻahu

  5. Daughter Eva Mary McCorriston was born on February 6, 1887, in Kamalō, Molokai, married Mervyn Thomas Prindiville, Sr. (1891-1966), and died on February 18, 1966, in Honolulu, Oʻahu

  6. Son Oscar Hugh McCorriston was born on June 10, 1888, and died on January 18, 1973, in Honolulu, Oʻahu

Margaret had two additional children that died before 1900. It is unknown whether they were the children of Samuel Foster or Hugh McCorriston. [9]

Along with Ann Nelson (c. 1851-1907), Margaret ran the McCorriston homestead as a “stronghold of Hawaiian hospitality” on Molokai. The McCorristons were known for hosting dignitaries and visitors such as King David Kalākaua, Saint Damien, and Robert Louis Stevenson, among others. [2]

In an account of his travels in Hawaii, Robert Louis Stevenson writes about the McCorristons:

… [the McCorristons are] all of that class of Irish whom I cannot tell, save for a trifling variance of brogue, from my own folk of Scotland; persons of thoughtful, careful speech, observant subhumorously, and with those fine, plain manners which turn the laugh on class distinctions. [10]

Margaret died at 4:45am on March 11, 1932, in Honolulu, Oʻahu, Territory of Hawaii. Her funeral was held at 10:00am on March 12, 1932, at the Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace on Fort Street, Honolulu. She is buried in the Oʻahu Cemetery, formerly known as the Nuʻuanu Cemetery. [1] [2]

Updated March 5, 2019.


  1. Death claims Oahu kamaaina (1932, March 11), Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved from

  2. Mrs. M’Corriston funeral today at cathedral (1932, March 12), The Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved from

  3. Port of Honolulu, H.I.: Arrivals., (1866, July 7), The Pacific Commercial Advertiser. Retrieved from

  4. “Hawaii, Passenger Lists, 1843-1898,” database and digital images, ( : accessed 24 January 2019), search for Foster, and arrival 1 July 2019; Hawaii State Archives; Kekauluohi Building, Iolani Palace Grounds, 364 S. King Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813; Series: Series 82

  5. Died., (1874, August 29), The Pacific Commercial Advertiser. Retrieved from

  6. The Hawaiian Gazette (1876, May 31). Retrieved from

  7. The Pacific Commercial Advertiser (1876, December 23). Retrieved from

  8. Married., (1877, September 1), The Pacific Commercial Advertiser. Retrieved from

  9. “1900 United States Federal Census,” database and digital images, ( : accessed 24 January 2019), search for Margaret McCorriston, born in Ireland in October 1848 and residing in Honolulu; Year: 1900; Census Place: Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii Territory; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0009

  10. Stevenson, R. L. (1991). Travels in Hawaii. Illustrated edition, reprint. Manoa, HI: University of Hawaii Press