Sunday, September 8, 2013

Church Record Sunday/Baptism of Edward O'Hora

      This baptism took place on July 19, 1868 at St. Felix Parish in Clifton Springs, New York.  Edward O'Hora, my great grandfather, was born in Littleville, a tiny hamlet outside Shortsville, New York on June 18th of that year.  In 1868 there was no Catholic church in Shortsville, St. Felix was the closest one.
     Edward was the last child of James O'Hora and Maria McGarr, both Irish immigrants from Carlow and Kildare respectively. You will note, Father Lee got the father's name wrong.

     As if the old handwriting wasn't challenging enough, like most Catholic records from the 19th century, at least in the United States, this one is written in Latin, even the names.  Oddly enough the 19th century records of Baltinglass Parish in County Wicklow, Ireland  are in English.  The above record reads:
July 19 Bap Eduardum Nat 18 Ult est Patricio O'Hore et Maria McGarr SS James Coleman et Bridgetta Kinsla

 Bap is short for baptizo which means I baptize
Nat is short for the Latin natus meaning born
Ult is short for ultimo which means the month preceding the current one
SS is the sponsors or Godparents

     I have no explanation as to why Edward's father is recorded as Patrick, I guess Father Lee had an off day.  I am very confident this is my great grandfather Edward's baptism though.  The mother's name Maria McGarr is correct, as is the surname O'Hore.  That is the spelling my family was using in 1868, it's gone through several changes over the years. Further sealing the deal, the godmother Bridget Kinsla, (Kinsella) is the sister of Maria McGarr.  Also, there were no other families with those names in the area at the time, or now for that matter.

   By the way, you have to be careful when you come across the name Maria in Catholic records.  When you see it, it could mean the name was actually Maria, but that is also the way the name Mary was Latinized.  Luckily, I know from other sources like census records and her death certificate that Maria McGarr O'Hora was in fact a Maria.

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