Wednesday, July 17, 2013

John O'Hora and His Daughters Part 1

Mary Travers Hore
     Following my own good advise, I've been looking into the brothers and sisters of James O'Hora, my Irish immigrant great, great grandfather.  His older brother John Hore, (that was the name in Ireland), was born in the late fall of 1819 in County Carlow Ireland.  According to his baptismal record, and also those of his six siblings, John's, (and James'), parents Michael Hore and Mary Travers made their home in the townland of Ricketstown in the Catholic Parish of Rathvilly until at least 1831 when their youngest was born there.  Their Civil Parish however, was Rahill, an important distinction in Irish research.  

      I haven't found much information on their father, Michael Hore, he isn't listed in the Tithe Applotments or Griffith's Valuation, though the valuation of Rahill Civil Parish wasn't done until 1852 and the family had probably mostly left Ireland by then.  All I can surmise is Michael and his family were living with another family, possibly the John Hoar the applotment shows leasing land in Ricketstown.  John Hoar in the applotment can't be Michael's son, that John would have been six years old when it was done in 1825.  He could be Michael's brother or father, his naming a son John suggests another relative named John is probably nearby.

     My current theory is that John Hore in the applotment was Michael's father with whom he and his family lived on the leased farm, and that father and son were both deceased by the time of the valuation in 1852.  I know for a fact that Mary Hore was widowed and  living with her daughter Mary McCabe near Auburn at the time of the 1855 census.  Quite possibly she was the Irishwoman Mary Hore, aged 50, who arrived in New York Harbor aboard the "America" in August of 1852.
Ricketstown Tithe Applotment 1825

     I almost didn't find John Hore in the applotment index either.  His name was indexed as John "Hone", which any fool can see is wrong, it clearly says Hoar, yet another spelling.  There are so many mistakes and bizarre spellings in the index I have to believe it was compiled by persons whose first language was not English.   

     A short distance from Ricketstown, (less than a mile), and just across the county border, Daniel McGarr and his wife Anne Donahoe lived in Ballyraggan, County Kildare. Finding Daniel in the applotments was interesting too.  Not only was Ballyraggan  misspelled Ballyraggon, (though to be fair that was the spelling used in the applotment), the townland seems to have migrated north to the parish of Granard in County Longford instead of staying put in Graney, County Kildare  where it belonged.  Daniel's surname is wrong too, spelled "Mcgaw" in the index. Look at the applotment book below, and it becomes obvious the spelling used by the "applotters" was in fact "McGaa".  Still wrong, but a spelling I've seen before in Irish records, (though interestingly, not in US records).

Ballyraggan Tithe Applotment 1833
     Now that we've established that you must posses the magical powers of Penn & Teller to find your relatives in this particular index, on with the story...  

     Catherine McGarr was born to Daniel and Anne in April of 1823 in Ballyraggan and baptized in Baltinglass, across another border in County Wicklow.  Her godparents were John Ryan and Maria Donahoe, also important to know in Irish research, unfortunately John's were not recorded.  From Catherine's however, we can theorize that Maria Donahoe and Catherine's mother, Anne Donahoe were likely sisters or at least cousins.  Being close neighbors, Catherine McGarr and John Hore probably met at an early age and in January of 1845 they were married at Baltinglass.  John's older brother Peter, and a Bridget Donahue, (hoe?), were witnesses.

     They enjoyed about eight months of wedded bliss, when in September the unthinkable happened.  Their potatoes, and those of their neighbors were attacked by a fungus which destroyed them.  Catherine was four months pregnant at the time with her first child.  The baby, named Mary for John's mother, was born in February of 1846 and later that year or the next, the little family packed all they could take with them and set sail for America.  They never saw Ireland again.

     John and Catherine took up residence in Auburn, New York, where relatives of Catherine were already living.  Seven more children were born to them over the years, but this blog series concerns their daughters, I'm concentrating on them first because the sons never married. Next post will tell little Mary's story in her new country.

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