Descendants of Myles Cunningham

CUNNINGHAM Frank Thornton of Chicago crropped

 

Frank Thornton (a first cousin of Mamie Thonton in the previous photo) was born in in 1908 in Kilbaha, Newtownsandes to James Thornton and Margaret Hanrahan. James was a son of Jim Thornton and Norrie Cunningham of Kilbaha.

Frank emigrated to the United States in 1929 and settled in Chicago. In 1939 joined the Chicago Police Department where he served until his retirement in 1965. His career as a police officer was interrupted during World War II when he served with the U.S. Army in Italy and Africa.

A talented flute and tin whistle player, Frank immersed himself in the promotion of Irish music in Chicago, forming the Thornton Drum and Fife Band, giving tin whistle lessons, composing songs and leading several major concert tours to Ireland. He was one of the founders of the United States branch of Comhaltas (an organisation that promotes traditional Irish music, song, dance and language).

Frank was married to Marge O’Connor from Causeway, Co. Kerry and they had three children. Frank died in 1997 in Chicago.

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