Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hare/O'Hare in Armagh Ireland

My Grandmother Hawkins was 4th generation Californian when she married my grandfather Hawkins and moved to West Virginia.  Her name before she married was Mary Ann McGregor.  And her family folklore was as romantic as her name.

Her parents were James McGregor and Helen McKinsey.  Today's blog post is about her McGregor side of her family.  James McGregor was the son of Robert McGregor and Mary Ann Hare.  It is not actually the McGregor side that I am talking about, but instead it is her mother's family:  Hare.
I found Mary Ann Hare's maiden name spelled differently in various documents in California.  I decided on this spelling of her name because the website Irish Times shows 42 Hares in Armagh County and NO Hair families.  It also says that there were no O'Hair households in Griffith's Valuation.  There were 120 O'Hares in Armagh in mid 1800s.  Down had 312.  So almost for sure Mary Ann was either Hare or O'Hare.

On the death certificate for Mary Ann Hare's son, James McGregor, the maiden name of his mother is typed in as Mary Ann Hare with birthplace of Ireland.  The information is given by his sister, Anna A. McGregor who is as likely to have known her mother's maiden name as anyone.

I have recently heard from another researcher in Ireland who sent me the following:

Hi, I'm looking for a William Hare/O'Hare born in the Parish of Ballymore, location Aghantaraghan, circa 1792 and died circa 1852 in the Kilkeel workhouse in County Down. Most people know him as William Hare but there is a strong chance he was born as William O'Hare, in 1830 there was a Michael Hare and a Owen O'Hare in the Parish of Ballymore, location Aghantaraghan.. Any suggestions?

My gut feeling is that this man and I are cousins!  I don't know how many generations we will have to go back, but I have a strong suspicion that Mary Ann Hare was from County Armagh.  I have no proof at this time....just a gut feeling.

I began by checking to make sure that the place that the researcher had sent me was indeed in Armagh. And the answer was YEP:


From the index of deaths 1853-1950 on microfiche that I ordered from the LDS Fiche #1819684 (Deaths K-Z Butte county Ca.  1853-1950) that I looked at at the LDS Library, Mary Ann's place of birth was listed as Moughen, Ireland.   Her son said in a letter to his daughter's future father-in-law that Mary Ann had been born in Northern Ireland.  Several years ago before a planned trip to Ireland, I chatted with researchers on the internet and did some research on my own to see if I could figure out the most likely places that Mary Ann might have been born.

There does not seem to be any place in Ireland spelled just exactly like Moughen.  A lady named Patricia sugessted that she had checked a Townland book and she thought it might be 

Townland:  Moghan
Parish:         Donaghmore
Barony:       Dungannon
Tyrone:       Tyrone

I also considered the county of Monaghan which is not in Northern Ireland but certainly is in the north of Ireland.  

However, the place that seemed to jump out at me as most likely is one that I found in the book Genealogical Atlas of Ireland by Gartner, Harland and Smith.  There is an index in the back of the book and the only spelling that is close to that given in Mary Ann's obituary is Moughan.  It is found on the Armagh map just south of Markethill.  It is located in Lower Fews Barony but VERY close to Lower Orior Barony.  

I visited the site that is marked on the above maps as Moughan in September 1999 and the sign post on the road says Mowhan.  In 1999 it was just a wide place in the road with some empty buildings and the sign post.  I will add photos from this trip.

As additional support to that being a probable place for Mary Ann's birth is a map that I found on-line showing areas where surnames are found in Ireland:

Ian Maxwell in his book:  Researching Armagh Ancestors Says on page 7: "The distribution of names in County Armagh illustrates the limited success of the plantation in the region.  The most popular surnames are almost equally divided between Irish and settler surnames.  Murphy, the most common surname throughout Ireland, is also the most popular found in County Armagh.  This is followed by Hughes, Wilson and Campbell, representing settler families, then by the Irish name of O'Hare, and Smith, the commonest name in England and Wales.  ....."

There is an excellent description of Armagh County in the late 1700's and early 1800's in the introduction of Maxwell's book.  There is also an excellent overview of the famine and fevers.  Mr. Maxwell says: " July and August 1846 blight struck again the impact was devastating throughout the county.   I think that not only was this disaster the impetus to push my Mary Ann to emigrate, but also likely to have been the cause for my potential cousin's William Hare to have moved to the work house in County Down.  Mr. Maxwell says that during the late 1840s and in the years immediately after the Great Famine some families were evicted from their smallholdings by landlords in need of rents which could not be paid or anxious to consolidate the farms on their estates."  He also comments that the devastation was even more severe in Armagh because it happened in a period of time that was suffering from a slump in the linen and cotton trade. 

I want to put the names that Robert and Mary Ann named their children as they are likely to have named them after parents or siblings.  Robert was the oldest and born c 1854.  George and William were sons for which I have no birth dates.  There were three daughters Katie, Emma and Annie for which I also do not have birth dates.   James A. McGregor is the son from whom I descend and I suspect that he was the youngest child born in 1869.

While Sarah was attending Boston University, she did a semester abroad in Dublin.  We decided to take all of the kids to Ireland to visit.  We visited both the north and the western part of the Island and, of course, spent time in Dublin as well.  On our way home from Northern Ireland we drove through Mowhan and I took photos of the area as I suspected that Mary Ann Hare might have been from the area.  Here are the photos that I took at that time:

When I have time, I will go through the notes that I made from the class "Paddy on the Internet".  I would like to pursue the clues that a brother got the family land....which would mean that there should be a Hare male living on land after 1850 who would be a relative.  I would also like to look at Griffith's Valuation.  I need to think through if there are more ideas of things that I could look at in NY and CA that would give me clues for Irish roots for Mary Ann.  I would also like to see if there is a picture of Mary Ann among Granny Mary's "things".  It would be good to add the photos of the cemetery and of Cherokee into another blog entry to tie in here.  

Summer 2013 I received an e-mail from Jill in Australia asking me if I had more information.  (I have filed Jill's e-mail in folder labelled Hare)

Saw your posting on internet and wondered if you have anymore info on the Hair / Hare family that you’d be able to assist me with.

I’m tracing the family of John Hare / Hair  & Eliza Riddle, particularly their daughter Charlotte Hair who married Joseph Gibson.

John Hare & Eliza Riddle married (according to the info below) 28 Jan 1857
 Kildarton, ArmIreland, John”s Father was David Hare. The info on their son
John Thomas /Hare states he was born 1 April 1867 Market Hill, ArmaghIreland

I’m assuming John Thomas Hare is Charlotte Gibson’s (nee Hair) brother.
Charlotte Gibson’s family settled in Australia, and a photo of John & Eliza Hare is in a family room of my workmates in-laws.

I also suspect a possible connection:  Andrew Hare who is found in the township of Kilbracks to this family I am researching

I spent a few hours this morning digging in my files and piles and only found one more thing that might be of interest to Jill.  I hate that I did not make better notes, but I just have a note to myself that "It looks as if the most likely persons to use Mowhan/Moughen/Monahan as a Post Office would live within 17 or 21 maps.  ....need to find townlands in order to find these people on the maps.....Andrew Hare located on Kilbracks Townland on map 17 is located perfectly to consider Moughen his post office.  Then I have a map on which I seem to have located his land.  I am having trouble typing below the map, so I will add my comments and then show the map.  Judging from the notes that are paper clipped to this pile, I am guessing that this map was associated in some way to Griffiths Valuation 1864.  As I have made a note on another page that is labelled Barony of Fews, Parish of Kilclooney, contains Markethill.  Griffiths Valuation 1864.  No and letters of reference to map:  28A and B Andrew Hare...The folder that contains these papers is labelled Trip to Northern Ireland Sept 2003.  It is an interesting fact that Jill has connected an Andrew Hare to the family that she is researching and that I had singled out Andrew Hare as a possible candidate for a brother to my Mary Ann Hare.  I haven't yet done the calculations to know much more.

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