I was told my great-grandmother was offered the opportunity to go back and visit Ireland in her later years, but she said, "What would I want to do that for?" I have to assume that at the time she left Ireland, conditions were rather desperate.
Subsequently, some family members have visited Ireland. My uncle went many years ago and searched for the town where my great-grandmother's family had a farm. My uncle looked at the land and commented, "They must have been farming rocks."
Yet, for all their hardships, the members of that family maintained a certain type of wit that I think of as their Irishness. There are many examples of this, but a good one is here. One of my favorites on that page is by Sean O'Casey, "All the world's a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed."
So true. :^)