Another funeral card from the Bible Grandmother left me, it's amazing the documents that have come out of that book! This one is for Grandmother's mother and is a perfect example of how names changed, even in the not so distant past. The card reads, Helen O'Hara, but that is not the name she started life with.
Great Grandmother was born in the fall of 1873 in Port Gibson, New York. Her parents James White, from somewhere in the Irish Free State, and Anna Ryan, from Goldengarden in South Tipperary named her Ellen. In her baptismal record, and other early records that is how her name appears, though sometimes it's Nellie.
The surname O'Hara is another alteration, the name originally was O'Hora, and back in Ireland it was Hore. No mystery as to why that one was changed, but it is a mystery, to me anyway, why they felt so free to change their names seemingly at will?
Great Grandmother died nearly 20 years before I was born, so of course I never met her. My Father adored her, he spent a good part of his early years with her at her farm, and his pet name for me was Nell, after her. Dad has told me wonderful stories about her, like going to bed at night in her big bed with a heated stone at the bottom to warm their feet; and about everyday life on a farm in the 1940's. The one he tells about playing with a pig's head floating in a tub of water at butchering time kinda grossed me out, but that was farm life...
|Ellen White O'Hora at the farm with her son in law Leo Shannon what is that contraption to the left?|