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They came to Scotland

The Kilted Ancestors Topic for February 2022 is 'They came to Scotland'.

I was fortunate enough when my interest in Genealogy started to be able to sit down over many afternoons with my Paternal Grandfather to run through his memories in relation to the family. He did not pass away until I was in my early forties so it was nice to feedback all what I had found as my research progressed.

His mother came from County Sligo in Ireland & moved to Glasgow as a child. He initially told me that in his later years he had taken a coach trip to the area & on chatting to a local man the man agreed to show him where in Sligo Town the O’Hara’s had lived, all be it for the price of a pint! He took him through the town centre & pointed over a bridge stating that the O’Hara came from this area.

My Grandfather (Left) with his mother Jane O'Hara & my father as a child c1947

Intrigued to learn more I later took a trip myself & spent a few days in the area. Irish Research at that time was still particularly new to me, so wanting to make the best use of my time there I booked & paid for a slot at the County Sligo Heritage & Genealogy Centre where I spent a couple of hours with a specialist volunteer running through the records & piecing together some of the family tree.

At the time all I knew was that my Great Grandmothers name was Jane O’Hara that she was born in Sligo in 1893 & that her parents were Edward O’Hara & Bridget Henry.

From the research completed at the centre I was able to piece together the family group: -

Edward O’Hara born 1853 in Ballysadare, Sligo son of Denis O’Hara & Catherine Walsh

Married in 1882 Bridget Henry born 1853 in Ballysadare, Sligo daughter of James Henry & Catherine O’Donnell(y)

They had the following children: -

Joseph Edward O’Hara born 26 Nov 1883 in Ranaghan, Sligo

Michael O’Hara born 20 May 1886 in Ranaghan, Sligo

Mary O’Hara born 20 June 1889 in Ranaghan, Sligo

John O’Hara born 15 June 1891 in Ranaghan, Sligo

Jane ‘O’Hara born 26 Dec 1893 in Ardcree, Sligo (my Great Grandmother)

Bridget Kathleen O’Hara born 26 June 1898 in Cloonacurra, Sligo

From here I was also able to find out more information in relation to the siblings of Edward & Bridget, taking the family back that bit further.

This research also revealed that Janes father Edward passed away in 1905, so I took a trip to the local records office & purchased his death certificate. This revealed that Edward died at the Annaghmore Estate in Tobercurry where he worked as a Farm Servant for Major Charles O’Hara.

Farm Buildings on the Annaghmore Estate, Sligo

Annaghmore House, Co Sligo

Armed with a landranger map & the names of all the places that the family had been born & lived I tracked down all the relevant townlands. Our O’Hara family were certainly not living over a bridge in the town of Sligo as my grandfather had been told. They were actually living about 9km south of the town in a rural area. I visited Ballysadare old church, had a walk around the cemetery there, looked around the townlands & viewed the estate house at Annaghmore. My initial thought was how lovely this place would have been to grow up, the countryside was beautiful & rather like parts of Scotland. However, I can only imagine the shock they must have encountered moving from such a quiet & pretty place to such a busy city as Glasgow!

Ballysadare Old Church, Co Sligo

River at Ardcree, Co Sligo

Janes mother Bridget would later marry John Pettipiece in Glasgow in 1908, John had lived in the same area in Sligo so it is possible that they got together & made the decision to move to Glasgow where they married & had their son Robert Pettipiece in 1909.

Jane O'Hara with her Husband George

On my return to Scotland, I had the unenviable task of telling my grandfather that he had been duped into thinking that his family had lived in the town for the price of a pint of beer!

It was nice however to be able to hand him a printout of all the details found along with photographs of all the relevant places & a stone lifted from the banks of the river close to where his mother had been born. I too lifted a stone in 2006 & that stone has sat on my desk ever since.


Why not join in with some of the amazing events taking place in my Kilted Ancestors Facebook Group which will also be embracing Year of Stories during 2022!

Interested in having a piece of research compelted on your behalf or need some tutoring to help you break through that brick wall in your research? Visit our home page to find out more


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