Surname Origins

      Most hereditary surnames in Ireland only came into use in the tenth century by command of the illustrious King Brian Boru. Historians believe Irish pedigrees are fairly accurate back to the 6th and possibly to the 5th century. Most Irish are descended from one of the three sons of Milesius who had issue, named Ir, Heremon, and Heber. Their father Milesius of Spain (Gaul) was a valiant warrior and contemporary with Solomon. He planned to invade Ireland to avenge the death of his brother Ithe and also to fulfill a prophesy. After his death his eight sons took on the charge and five of the eight were killed in the landing upon the treacherous coast of Ireland including the son named Ir.
      The other two Heber and younger brother Heremon were jointly the first Milesian monarchs of Ireland. They began to reign over 3700 years ago in 1699 B.C., the first of one hundred eighty three Kings or sole Monarchs of the Gaelic,  Milesian, or Scottish race who governed Ireland successively for two thousand eight hundred and eighty five years, from the first year of their reign to submission to the Crown of England - to King Henry II. Heber was slain by Heremon in a quarrel. From the Heber came the afore mentioned King Brian Boru and from him also came the O’Haras'.
      The O’Haras' were of the Clan Cian. Cian was a son of Heber line descendant Olioll Olum, the King of Muster in the 3rd century. Olioll Olum’s father Owen Mor had battled continually with "Conn of The Hundred Battles" - the 110th Monarch of Ireland. Finally they divided the Kingdom into equal parts. Owen Mor was eventually slain by Conn and his son Olioll Olum married a widowed daughter of Conn. Seven of Olioll Olum’s sons were subsequently killed in waging war against his son-in-law Maccon, whom Olioll Olum had banished from Ireland but who raised an army in Scotland and returned. Olioll had only two sons left, Cormac Cas and Cian. From Cormac Cas came King Brian Boru and from Cian came the O’Haras'.
       In Irish the name is OhEaghra of which the anglicized form O’Hara is a phonetic rendering. The O’ indicates the ancient Irish name origin and descent from the three sons of Milesius who had issue. According to O'Cleary, who compiled The Annals of The Four Masters in 1632, in ancient days the O’ was reserved for the Milesian Irish families of high or noble rank. The "O’" prefix can reasonably be taken as meaning something akin to "of", in the sense of "of the bloodline of . . ."
      Eaghra (pronounced Ara),  was chief of Leyney  (or Lughne) in County Sligo, now the barony of Lieney,  Co. Sligo. It previously included parts of Costello and Gallen in Mayo. The O’Haras had castles in Castlelough, Memlough, and others in parts of Leyney.   About 1350 the O’Hara Clan  formed two divisions:-

 (1)   Chief was O’Hara Boy  (i.e. buide, the tawny). O’Hara Boy was seated at Collooney in Co. Sligo.
 (2)   Chief was O’Hara Reagh (i.e. riabhach, grizzled). O’Hara  Reagh was seated at  Ballyharry, which is a contemporary  English attempt at writing Baile ui Eaghra or Ballyhara  (Bally meaning town).

       In the reign of Queen Anne and King George I the O’Haras were created Barons of Tirawley and Kilmain, Mayo. That is until Cromwell came along. The famous manuscript known as The Book of O’Hara contains a very full record of chiefs of the name. 1

Killinkere Parish - County Cavan

The Garden of Eden has vanished, they say,
But I know the lie of it still.
Just turn to the left at the Bridge of Finnea
And stop when halfway to Cootehill. 2

      The earliest record placing an O’Hara in Killinkere Parish (pronounced Cillin Ciar) in the highlands of eastern County Cavan County Cavan is a list of persons known as the 1796 Flax Grower’s List or Spinning Wheels Entitlements List. It is a list of about 58,000 farmers who grew a ¼ acre or more crop of flax in Ireland that year. The only person listed for County Cavan with the O’Hara surname was John O’Hara who grew a ¼ acre crop in Killinkere thus earning him an entitlement to a free spinning wheel 3.  Suggesting this John O’Hara may have been the progenitor of the O’Hara family of this parish, whose descendants mostly emigrated to Australia from the 1850s to the 1880s, is that the name of "John" as an eldest son is subsequently found in the parish in the line of Samuel O’Hara of Greaghadossan townland. From early in the 2nd millenium Country Sligo was the seat of the O’Hara clan in Ireland so it is likely John O’Hara of Killinkere or an ancestor of his initially migrated about thirty miles from County Sligo to Killingah parish in western County Cavan and then further east to settle in Killinkere parish and at some point the native Irish Catholic denomination changed to that of the Protestant established Church of Ireland.
      The only other and earliest known O'Hara in Co. Cavan is a listing in the 1897 published Index to the prerogative wills of Ireland, 1536-1810 of the 1729 probated will of Cormick O'Hara of Drumully in Co. Cavan. None of the 19th century census records have survived for Killinkere parish so it is necessary to determine O'Hara townland locations in the parish from other records. After the 1796 Flax Growers List the next available record of land occupation is the 1833 Tithe Applotment Valuation. This valuation was made for the purpose of arriving at a basis for assessment of an annual tithe payable by occupiers of land to the established Church of Ireland for its use to maintain the church establishments catering for the needs of the aged, poor etc. The name of John O'Hara is not present in the Killinkere parish listing indicating by then he was deceased or in a townland whose valuations record has not survived.
       Killinkere parish baptism and burial registers from 1761 to 1877 and marriage registers from 1761 to 1845 were destroyed in the explosion at the Irish Record Office at Four Courts in Dublin on 29 June 1922. Some years before almost 100 extracts of entries in the baptism, marriage and burial registers were taken and published in a journal in 1923 and 1924 37. They are the only available pre-1845 Killinkere parish register records. A third of the entries were for the Kellett surname with the first of that name extracted being a baptism in 1761. The O'Hara name does not appear in the extractions although Joseph O'Hara did marry a Margaret Kellett. The nearest church town was Bailieborough. Its Church of Ireland parish registers are said to begin in 1744 and are held in local custody. They have not been consulted and are likely very limited with gaps and in Latin. Registers and transcripts of the Bailieborough Church of Ireland registers held by the Representative Church Body Library in Dublin commence from 1824 for baptisms and 1809 for marriages and burials. To establish that 1796 flax grower John O'Hara was the progenitor of this O'Hara family baptisms for children with him as the father would need to be identified which is prima facie impossible as the commencement dates of the surviving baptism registers are far too late. It cannot be excluded that the family progenitor may have not been John O'Hara but another O'Hara who who did not grow a crop of flax in Killinkere parish 1796 so was not listed in the Flax Growers Spinning Wheel Entitlement list.
       At the 1833 tithes valuation there were three named O’Hara listed in different townlands in Killinkere parish. The two known to be relevant relevant to this particular O’Hara family were Samuel O’Hara in adjoining each other Greaghadossan and Lismagiril townlands, and Thomas O’Hara in Coolnacola townland 4. In addition to the two there was also a known brother of Samuel O'Hara named Joseph who in 1833 was likely on a farm in Lissannymore townland where the parish record of the birth of his daughter Martha had him residing in 1840. Lissannymore is one of a number of Killinkere townlands whose 1833 Tithes Applotment Valuation record has not survived. No evidence is available to link this family to a third O'Hara named Ambrose listed in the Tithes Valuation for Killinkere on a small farm in Carricknamaddoo townland bordering Lavey parish.
       The next general valuation of Ireland was the Griffith Valuation done for County Cavan in 1856/57. It listed 43 farm occupiers with the O’Hara surname of which half were situated in the three most westerly parishes of Killingah, Kinawley and Templeport. The O’Haras' listed in eastern Co. Cavan occupying farms in Killinkere parish townlands who were likely related to one another were:- Samuel in Greaghadossan and his eldest son John in Lismagiril, Joseph in Drumfomina, and Thomas in Coolnacola. Australian immigration arrival records of their children establish Samuel and Joseph were brothers 5. It is possible the Thomas O'Hara in Coolnacola listed at the earlier 1833 valuation was the father of the Thomas who was there in 1856. Under this scenario speculated Killinkere family progenitor John O'Hara had three sons - Thomas, Samuel and Joseph of whom Thomas was deceased by 1856. There was also a possible close relative of the Thomas listed at the Griffith named William O'Hara who was listed at this 1856 valuation occupying a farm in Seefin townland in adjoining Knockbride Parish. There is an indication he was possibly Thomas's younger brother. It is possible the Thomas farming in Coolnacola at the 1856 valuation was a brother of Samuel and Joseph O'Hara. However because he was considerably younger than either it is thought he was more likely their nephew. The eldest known son of this Thomas named Adam arrived in Australia in 1863 in company with John eldest son of Samuel of Greaghadossan. This suggests a close family relationship. However as John O'Hara’s wife and Adam’s mother were Loughheads the relationship of John to Adam could have been on either their O'Hara or Loughhead side or on both. Thus the precise basis of the relationship of Thomas of Coolnacola to the other two known brothers Samuel Sr. and Joseph remains uncertain. It seems to this compiler Thomas of Coolnacola and William of Seefin were likely brothers and thus nephews of Samuel Sr. and Joseph.

   In the 1857 Griffith Valuation Joseph O’Hara was listed as one of the twenty-nine land occupiers in Drumfomina townland where he leased a 15 acre farm designated number "23 a & b" from the landowner "Elliott & Others" who owned much of the 267 acre townland. His farm was located just off the main Dublin Road, between New Inn and Billis, and had two dwellings of which one was sublet to a Margaret Brayson. The baptism records for daughter Martha and next born child Susan indicate the family would have moved to the Drumfomina farm between 1841 and 1843 as they record Joseph was in Lissannymore townland in December 1840 and in Drumfomina by December 1843.
       The Billis Church of Ireland burial book recorded Joseph O’Hara of Drumfomina died on 18 April 1879 aged 85 years, so born ca. 1794, and his wife Margaret née Kellett on 12 April 1888 aged 88 years 7.  Joseph’s civil death registration also gave his age at death as 85 years 9. However Margaret’s civil record had 94 years - six years older than the age given in the parish burial record! 10  No tombstone marks their graves in the Billis Church of Ireland graveyard or that of similarly interned youngest son James who died in 1882 aged 32. In the words of an unknown poet:-

They sleep in secret, but their sod,
Unknown to man, is marked by God.

Billis Church of Ireland 34

       Listed below are the seven known children of  Joseph O’Hara and Margaret Kellett ascertained from records of Ireland marriages 1845-1882, Billis Church of Ireland baptisms from 1840, Billis C of I burials from 1851, and the Ireland civil deaths indexes 1864-1912 :-

(1)  Thomas O’Hara b. 17 May 1831, Co. Cavan, Ireland - a farmer of Drumfomina, Killinkere Parish when he married on 7 Jul 1852 in Killinkere Church of Ireland,  Sarah O’Hara b. ca. 1831 of Greaghadossan, Killinkere, his cousin and daughter of Samuel O’Hara and Elizabeth Jordan, (witnesses James Clisdell and Samuel O’Hara). Thomas and his wife emigrated to Australia, arriving at Moreton Bay, Queensland on 25 Apr 1853 on the Florentia.  A pioneer settler from abt. 1858 at Glen Innes on the New England tablelands in northern NSW, where he was a farmer and grazier, a member of the first Municipal Council and the area's Guardian of Minors. They had 11 children and at least 81 grandchildren - see History & Family Tree

(2)  Jane O’Hara  b. ca. 1835, Co. Cavan, Ireland - of Drumfomina townland, Killinkere Parish, when she married on 1 Mar 1855 in Billis Church of Ireland, William Sheils (or Shiels) b. ca. 1832, a farmer, of Coolnacola, Killinkere Parish, son of John Sheils, a farmer.  (by Rev. Walter C. Peyton rector of Billis C of I church from 1848-1896, witnesses John Wilson & Henry Elliott). The couple emigrated to Australia, arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, on 28 Jul 1855 on the Mangerton. They settled initially that same year at Manning River, NSW. After her first husband's death in 1859 Jane remarried New York born blacksmith John Thomas Williams and in 1866 they moved north to Bellinger River where he was that district's first blacksmith. From the early 1880s they had a hotel in Surry Hills in Sydney where Jane died in 1886 aged 51 years. From her two marriages there were a total of 16 children and at least 56 grandchildren - see History that has a link to her family tree.

(3)  Margaret O’Hara b. 1837 6, Co. Cavan, Ireland. She arrived in Australia on 28 July 1855 on the Mangerton in company with her sister Jane, Jane's husband William Sheils, and three female cousins. She was a resident of Manly, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia when she married Robert Mildwater on 19 May 1870. Prior to the 1870 marriage Margaret had an apparent marriage, of which no record has been located, to William Smith from which there was one issue 16. From the two relationships Margaret had a total of six known children and at least 24 grandchildren - - see History & Family Tree.

(4)  Martha O’Hara b. 10 Dec 1840 17,  Lissannymore, Killinkere, Co. Cavan, Ireland - a dressmaker of Billis, Killinkere Parish. She married on 15 Jan 1866 18 in Billis Church of Ireland, John Shiels (Sheils) b. ca.1841, a baker of Coolnacola townland, son of John Shiels (Sheils) and brother of William who married her older sister Jane, by Rev. Walter C. Peyton - witnesses Joseph O’Hara & Jane Jackson. They emigrated to New Zealand. They departed London, England, on 10 March 1866 on the John Temperley and arrived in Lyttleton in the South Island on 21 June 1866. They had eight children - all born in New Zealand - see History & Family Tree.

(5)  Susan O’Hara b.10 Dec 1843 17, Dumfomina, Killinkere, Co. Cavan, Ireland. No marriage record to 1880, or Billis C of I church death post 1851, or civil death registration post 1864 noted. It is assumed she likely died 1846, the worst year in Co. Cavan of an Gorta Mor (the great hunger), or emigrated.

(6)  Joseph O’Hara b. June 1845 17, Dumfomina, Killinkere, Co. Cavan. Ireland; d. 12 Mar 1911 in Massie, Holland township, Grey County, Ontario, Canada. At age 22 he emigrated to Canada where he settled in Holland township in Grey County becoming a shoe and boot maker with from 1877 his own shop. On 20 July 1877 he married at Owen Sound in Ontario, Mary Rebecca Burchill, born 16 Jul 1852 Ontario, Canada; died 16 Oct 1922 in Aurora, Kane County, Illinois, USA, daughter of Cork, Ireland born John Hornibrook Burchill (1821-1903) and Ireland born Anne Rebecca Howey (1825-1891). They had eight children of whom only the 1897 last born James Henry, who served in WWI and died in 1989 aged 91, survived to marry with the other seven succumbing to tuberculosis in Holland township and Alberta Province between 1902 and 1909 when aged from 12 to 31 years. See his History & Family Tree.

(7)  James O’Hara  b. 21 Jul 1849 17, Drumfomina, Killinkere, Co. Cavan, Ireland; died aged 32 on 2 Feb 1882 7,8, buried Billis C of  I graveyard. Likewise to his parents no tombstone marks his grave. There is no record of a marriage prior to his death. His civil death record gave an incorrect age of 35 years. His Billis C of I parish burial book age of 32 is confirmed by his same church 1849 baptism book record.

    It seems Samuel O’Hara of Geaghadossan townland was likely born in the late 1780s making him the elder of the two known Killinkere Parish O’Hara brothers. It is likely he was the Samuel O’Hara listed in the 1833 Tithe Applotment Valuations occupying a 10 acre farm in Geaghadossan plus 6 acres in adjoining Lismagiril townland. It is known from Australian immigration records Samuel was deceased before 1863 when his son John and family emigrated to Australia. There is no record of his death as civil death registration did not commence in Ireland until 1864 and surviving Killinkere C of I church burial records only commence from 1877. There is no surviving census covering the period of his life, so baring the unlikely mention of his age appearing on a registered lease in unconsulted deed records or in a record such as that of Killinkere residents holding firearms, it will never be known when Samuel was born. Same applies to his date of death unless there is an inscribed stone marker in the Killinkere Church of Ireland graveyard. All that can be inferred from the available records is that he died between 1857 and 1863. His wife Elizabeth Jordan died in 1873 at the age of 82 years which gives her a circa 1791 birth year 13. As no index of inscriptions is available for Killinkere C of I graveyard it is not known if there is a stone marking either of their graves. After his father's death their last born son William apparently continued on as the tenant of the Greaghadossan farms until he and his family emigrated to Australia in 1880.
     The Griffith Valuation of Ireland, done for Killinkere parish in 1856/57, listed Samuel O’Hara in Geaghadossan townland on a 33 acre farm comprised of two portions each with a dwelling designated 7 & 8 as a tenant of Maxwell family member Lord Farnham who owned the whole of the townland. The below photograph is purported to be of Samuel O'Hara's stone walled cabin on what was once farm portion #8. It was taken in 1995 when in use as a cattle shelter on land said to then form part of a farm owned by a George Thompson 35. Whether this cabin was in fact located on what in 1856/57 was farm portion #8 could be established from aerial survey photographs. To have been the Samuel O'Hara cabin it would need to have been located about one mile after the Greaghadossan townland access lane crosses a creek marking the SE boundary of the townland with that of adjoining Cleefin townland. For the route from the Virginia to Bailieborough road to the approximate location of where the Samuel O'Hara cabin would have been on farm portion #8 in 1857 see the one inch to mile scale Hill Map.

Known children of Samuel O’Hara and Elizabeth Jordan were as follows:-

(1)   Margaret O’Hara  b.ca.1815, d.26 Jul 1891; m. Charles Kellett d. bef. Apr 1855 - she came to Australia as a widow. All her known issue also came to Australia.

(2)   Mary O’Hara b.1822, d.1903; she married in Sydney, Australia in 1852 widower Hugh Wauhop b.1807, d. 2 Oct 1877, who arrived in Sydney from Knockbride, Co. Cavan on 30 Nov 1841 on the Albatross with two brothers, his first wife Jane Edmondson, and an infant son Joshua. He was a dairy farmer (and probably a milk vendor), and from at least 1848 also a landowner in Surry Hills where he acquired several properties and from 1856 had a licenced hotel signed the - True Irishman 36. There were no issue of the marriage.

(3)   John O’Hara b.ca.1827, m. 1847, Elizabeth Loughhead b. ca.1827 - he arrived Australia on the John Vanner in 23 Nov. 1863 with his wife and five children and four other relatives. He later sponsored the emigration of his brother William and family in 1880.

(4)   Samuel O’Hara b. ca. 1828; m. 2 Mar 1854 in Bailborough, Co. Cavan, Martha McAuley b. ca. 1830 - he arrived Australia with his wife on the Truro in 1855. By 1857 he was at Woolongong and by the early 1860s had joined his first cousin Thomas O'Hara in the Glen Innes district on the New England tablelands in northern NSW, where he had a farming and grazing property named "Strawberry Hills" no doubt after the locality of that name in the Sydney suburb of Surry Hills.

(5)   Eliza O’Hara  b. ca. 1827; married 22 Mar 1859 in Sydney English born Thomas Wilkinson - she arrived in Sydney with a group of six cousins on the Mangerton in 1855 sponsored by her brother-in-law Hugh Wauhop.

(6)   William O’Hara bapt. 29 May 1831, d. 25 Dec 1911, m. 2 Dec 1857 in Seefin Presb. Meeting House, Gola townland, Killinkere, Co. Cavan, Isabella Watson, bapt. 22 May 1836 in Presb. Church, Ballyjamesduff, dau. of Samuel Watson and Nancy Lockhead - he arrived with his wife and family in Sydney, Australia on the Peterborough in 1880.

(7)   Sarah O’Hara b. ca.1831, d. 4 Jun 1881; married 7 Jul 1852 her first cousin Thomas O’Hara b.1831; d. 9 Sep 1896 - they arrived in Brisbane, Australia on the Florentia in 1853. Pioneer settlers at Glen Innes on the New England tablelands in northern NSW.

(8)   Matilda O’Hara b. ca. 1834, d. 1914; she married on 9 Aug 1854 in Sydney, Australia Andrew Love b. ca. 1831, d.5 July 1906 - also a native of County Cavan who when aged 19 yrs. arrived in Sydney on 29 Jun 1850 on the Lloyds. They had 13 children.

    The third of the Killinkere Parish O’Haras, who was likely either a much younger brother to the other two or perhaps a nephew, was Thomas O’Hara who was on farm number 6 of 22 acres in Coolnacola townland at the time of the 1857 Griffith Valuation. It is known from the Australian immigration record of his son Adam that the wife of Thomas was Mary Loughead. It is presumed she was one of the Lougheads of Seefin townland in Knockbride Parish which adjoins Killinkere to the north.  The Loughead relationship to the O’Haras also existed in the line of Samuel O’Hara of Greaghadossan, as his eldest son John who came to Australia in 1863 married Elizabeth Lougheed in 1847 who was likely the daughter of Adam Loughead of Seefin.
       The birth year of Thomas O’Hara of Coolnacola is uncertain. His civil and church parish death records differ by nine years, indicating only that he was born between the years 1808 and 1817.  According to the Killinkere C of I burial book he was aged 72 when he died on 11 May 1880 24. He was aged 63 according to his civil death record 14. It is not known if he has a headstone in Killinkere C of I Church graveyard. It seems possible his wife Mary remarried almost immediately after his death,  which if so would explain why she and daughter Margaret decided not to come to Australia with son William in 1881 to join her children Adam and Elizabeth. The marriage indexes list a Bailieborough district marriage of a Mary O’Hara in the 3rd quarter of 1880 19.
      As with any pre-1878 births in this area to Church of Ireland families establishing names and birth dates can usually only be done from a record of their marriage which often give the ages of each party.
Seven possible children of Thomas O’Hara and Mary Loughhead as identified from records other than the 1840-1878 Killinkere C of I baptisms were:

(1)   Catherine O’Hara (possible child) b.ca. 1840; d.1870 11  -  however she may have been the wife of the John O’Hara below if he married her in Lurgan in 1869.

(2)   John O’Hara d. 29 Jul 188125 "of Coolnacola" - no age or parent names were recorded.  His civil death record has his age as 27  i.e. born 1854 12. He was likely the John O’Hara who married either (1) at Coothill in 187120 which seems the most probable OR (2) at Lurgan in 1869 21.  Perhaps the father of a Lissie O’Hara, who when of  full age i.e. born before 1874,  married Henry White (or Whyte) on 22 June 1895 22,27.  The birth of Lizzie (Elizabeth) O’Hara is not recorded in the civil birth indexes for the Bailieborough district nor has a baptism been noted in Billis C of I records. However if she was in fact born in Killinkere Parish such would be expected to have been recorded in the Killinkere C of I baptisms which as the book is currently in 1999 missing at the local level is only available for the pre 1878 period on the PRONI microfilm which has not been researched by this compiler.

(3)   Margaret O’Hara b.ca.1842; d.18 Dec 1884 when "age 42 of Coolnacola". This is a church parish record of death - no civil death record was noted. Margaret was to come to Australia with her mother Mary in 1881 to join sponsor son Adam. Neither came then as the deposit money was refunded to their sponsor. Alternatively it is possible this Margaret was the wife of John O’Hara above. Such should be clarified by the marriage record of John O'Hara especially if neither the 1869 or 1871 marriage spouses were named "Margaret".

(4)   Adam O’Hara b.ca.1842 came to Australia in 1863 with uncle John O’Hara.

(5)   Elizabeth O’Hara b. 22 Dec 1842 12.  Came to Australia. Married George Leng.

(6)   Annie Jane O’Hara b. 15 May 1845 12, Coolnacola, Killinkere;  m. 19 August 1862 26 in the Kilmount Presbyterian Church,  Kildrumsherdan Parish, Co. Cavan Joseph McFadden, son of John McFadden of Leighan, Kildrumsherdan Parish. Kildrumsherdan is the parish in which Coothill is located. At the time of their marriage, Joseph was listed as 18 years of age and Anne Jane was listed as 17.  Both were a bit younger than usual for marriage at that time.

(7)  William O’Hara b.ca.1860 32. His brother Adam sponsored him to Australia. He was to come with mother Mary & sister Margaret but instead came alone.

   William O’Hara of Seefin townland, Knockbride Parish,  born ca. 1822 31; died 1912 31; buried in Seefin Graveyard in Gola townland 28,29.  He married in 1847 23 Jane Leech born ca. 1823 15; died 1 Jan 1894 15,30 ; buried in Seefin Graveyard. He was listed in the 1856/57 Griffith Valuation occupying a farm in Seefin townland in Knockbride Parish which adjoins Killinkere Parish on its northern border.

Australian O'Hara descendant Tracy Fisher & the headstone in Seefin Graveyard
in Gola erected by William O'Hara for his wife Jane née Leech - a 1995 photo 35

          It has been been said by an elderely Killinkere Parish resident that a early 1930s High Court contested will of the batchelor son of William O'Hara of Seefin named Thomas, in which Thomas bequeathed a farm in Coonacola townland to the grandson of John O'Hara of Coolnacola, indicates William of Seefin would have been related to Thomas O'Hara of Coolnacola. If it can be established, as has been presumed here, that John O'Hara who died in July 1881 was the son of Thomas of Coolnacola such undoubtably would have been the case. However a complicating factor is that unlike the three Killinkere Parish O'Haras' it seems apparent from the fact of the burial of William and his wife Jane Leech in Seefin Presbyterian Cemetery in Gola townland that William of Seefin was of that faith. Such should be confirmed by his yet unsighted 1847 marriage record. However it is possible he converted from the Church of Ireland to Prebyterianism after he married Jane Leech, perhaps during a early 1850s Presbyterian membership drive.
         William of Seefin was born ca. 1822 so was at the least 28 years younger than the known brothers Joseph and Samuel O'Hara of Killinkere Parish. Such indicates it unlikely he had been their brother. In that regard two records establish Joseph's birth year as 1794 and Samuel could well have been born in the late 1780s as it is known fron her death record his wife Elizabeth Jordan was born about 1791. The third Killinkere Parish O'Hara - Thomas of Coolncola - has an indicated birth year range from 1808-1817. So despite the religious denomination difference of Thomas of Coolnacola, who was of the Church of Ireland faith, and is still very possible he  was an older brother of 1822 born William, and that their father, who may have been also named Thomas, was deceased before the available records commenced.
        Suggesting such a relationship was likely is that it is said that William of Seefin's batchelor son Thomas, who died in the 1932, bequeathed a farm in Coolnacola townland to the son of Lizzie White (or Whyte) née O'Hara whose the birth is not recorded in the civil indexes but whose 1895 marriage record has her father's name as John O'Hara 33. Presumably her father was the John O'Hara who died in 1881 and was of the C of I faith as indicated by his Killinkere C of I burial record. However as the names of the parents of this John O'Hara are not available from either civil or parish baptism or  death records, although their names may possibly have been mentioned in the judgement handed down by the court in the 1930s case which it is said arose from the afore mentioned Thomas O'Hara farm bequest, and John's marriage record would have shown his father's name, by itself the bequest of the farm to the son of Lizzie O'Hara only establishes John O'Hara of Coolnacola had been in some way related to the Presbyterian family of William of Seefin. The mere proximity of John O'Hara's Coolnacola townland farm to the larger farm of Thomas O'Hara in the same townland, whilst it has been postulated in this article that John was most likely Thomas's son, and also was the nephew of William of Seefin and thus the first cousin of his batchelor son Thomas, does not by itself establish it as so. However the probability is that William O'Hara of Seefin and Thomas of Coolnacola were brothers. Until a father son relationship between Thomas O'Hara and John O'Hara of Coolnacola is established it will remain a possibility John O'Hara was related to William O'Hara of Seefin through other than to the Killinkere O'Haras, such as through the Coothill O'Hara families to the north or those noted in adjoining southern parishes.

The only two known children of William O’Hara and Jane Leech were:
(1) Thomas O’Hara b. ca. 1852; d.1932 28 farmed Seefin, Knockbride
(2) Margaret O’Hara


I'm sayin’ farewell to the land of my birth
And the homes that I know so well,
And the mountains grand of my own native land,
I'm biddin’ them all adieu .......

       The majority of identified family members emigrated to other lands during the 19th century. Emigration to Australia from Ireland that century is estimated to have numbered around 400,000. About ten times that number went to the United States. It was often the case that a male family member emigrated first in the role of a scout and reported back to the family on the availability of land in the new place etc.. In the case of the emigration of the Killinkere O’Haras to Australia that role seemed to have been fulfilled by women with the male family members following later. Similarly with New Zealand the first O'Hara to arrive was a woman §

1   Originally extracted from :  John O’Hart’s, Irish Pedigrees, Composition Book of Connacht, The Annals of The Four Masters. The Book of O'Hara commemorating the O’Hara chiefs was compiled in the 18th century. A digital copy of a 1951 published non-English edition of the The Book of O'Hara is online in Modern Irish.
2   Percy French,  Come Back Paddy Reilly, To Ballyjamesduff (song)
3   LDS Church Microfilm - Spinning Wheel Enitlement List
4   LDS Church Microfilm  #0256641 - Tithe Applotment Books 1824-1840 (Killinkere)
5   NSW State Archives, NSW Immigration, Persons on Bountry Ships - reel #2137 & #2471  - Mangerton 28 Jul 1855 immigration record of Jane O’Hara (dau. of Joseph) states Hugh Wauhop, husband of Mary O’Hara (a dau. of Samuel Sr.) was her cousin-in-law.
6    Ibid  immigration record for Margaret O’Hara aged 18
7    Herbert W. Stewart, Billis Church Headstones and Burial Book Records  (1997) p.18
8    LDS Church Microfilms - Death Indexes  1882 1st Qtr. Vol 2, p.297
9    Ibid    1879 Vol 2, p.341
10   Ibid    2nd Qtr. 1888 Vol 2, p.287
11   Ibid    1870 Vol 2, p.350 - age 30 years.
12   Ibid    3rd Qtr. 1881 Vol. 2, p.243 - the "4" is indistinct so may be another number.
13   Ibid    1873 Vol 2, p.351 (aged 82 years)
14    Ibid    3rd Qtr.1880 Vol 2, p.271 (aged 63 years)
15   Ibid    1st Qtr 1894 Vol 2, p.327 "age 71"
16   Informant for William Sheils 1859 death registration was his "sister-in-law Mrs. M. Smith". Margaret & William Smith had a daughter named Martha Amelia Smith whose birth was registered in 1860.
17   Billis C of I Baptisms  extracted by Herbert Stewart, Termon, Virginia - letter 19 Nov 1999
18   LDS Church - Ireland Marriages microfilm #0101488, 1866 Vol. Vol.2, p.565
19   LDS Church Microfilms - Ireland Marriage Indexes 1880 3rd Qtr. Vol. 2, p. 297
20   Ibid   1871 Vol 8, p.149
21   Ibid   1869 Vol 1, p.848.
22   Ibid   2nd Qtr. 1895 Vol 2, p.367
23   Ibid   1847 Vol 1, p. 473
24   Killinkere C of I  Burials - "age 72 years" extracted by Herbert Stewart - letters of Sept 1999 & 19 Nov 1999
25   Ibid
26   Dec. 1999 email advice from Patricia Kostelnick of the USA who extracted the record from the Kilmont Church marriage records.
27   Dec 1999 email from Pat Moreau of Canada who had the marriage record.
28   Headstone in Seefin Presbyterian Graveyard in Gola townland erected by Margaret O’Hara for her father William (it does not give his 1912 death year or the date) & her brother Thomas  d. 1932 aged 80 years.
29   Eugene Markey, Knockbride a History -  has names/details from the headstones in Seefin Graveyard in Gola.
30   Headstone Seefin Graveyard in Gola townland - death date & age, erected by husband William O’Hara.
31   Ireland Death Indexes: 1912 Bailieborough Poor Law Union, Vol. 2 page 289 "aged 90 yrs."
32   NSW State Archives, Immigration Deposit Journals, 1853-1900
33   1999 letters to the compiler from Gwenda Andersen (ca. 1929-2009) of QLD. passing on information contained in corro from John Lynch - President of the Killinkere Parish Heritage Society.
34   From the cover of: Billis Church Headstones and Burial Book Records, (to Oct. 1998) by Herbert W. Stewart.
35   Photographs of Gola headstone and purported Samuel O'Hara cabin courtesy of Gwenda Andersen, QLD.
36   Hugh Wauhop addesses and occupation listings from 1844 in Sydney directories, Surry Hills land ownership and 1856 hotel license, researched by Sherie McEvoy of Hunter River, NSW at the Sydney Council Archives - copies of records provided courtesy of same.
37   The Breifny Antiqarian Society's Journal, 1923 Vol. II, No. 1, (Cavan, The Anglo-Celt Ltd), p. 95-98 & ditto 1924 Vol II, No. II, p. 227-229.
Special acknowledgement to Hebert W. Stewart of Co. Cavan, Ireland, for extractions from the parish records of the Killinkere and Billis Church of Ireland, without which development of the genealogy to this stage would not have been possible
first posted 1 Dec 1999 - last modified 29 July 2012
researched and compiled by John Raymond, Brisbane, Australia

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