O'Hara


This name is equally common in Ulster, Leinster and Connacht, its main centres being Dublin, Co. Sligo and Co. Antrim.  The name is in Gaelic Ó hEaghra and the family was originally of Co. Sligo, descendants of one Eaghra, pronounced 'ara', a chief of Leyny in that county.

In the fourteenth century a branch migrated to the Glens of Antrim and settled at Crebilly near Ballymena.  Here it became an important sept and entered into several marriages and alliances with the great families of Antrim.  In the mid-nineteenth century O'Haras were still found concentrated in the barony of Lower Glenarm.

At the beginning of the twentieth century the name was being used interchangeably with Haren in several parts of Co. Fermanagh and so some at least of the O'Haras of that county will be originally O'Harens, Gaelic Ó hÁráín.  The O'Harens were erenaghs of Ballymactaggart.

 

GLOSSARY

Clan From the Gaelic clann which means literally 'children'.
Mac- From the Gaelic mac, meaning 'son'
O' From the Gaelic Ó, meaning 'grandson', 'grandchild' or 'descendant'; Ní is the femine form of Ó, meaning 'daughter' or 'descendant'
Plantation (Ulster) The redistribution of escheated lands after the defeat of the Ulster Gaelic lords and the 'Flight of the Earls' in 1607.  Only counties Donegal, Derry, Tyrone, Armagh, Fermanagh and Cavan were actually 'planted', portions of land there being distributed to English and Scottish families on their lands and for the building of bawns.
Sept A family group of shared ancestry living in the same locality
Undertakers Powerful English or Scottish landowners who undertook the plantation of British settlers on the lands they were granted.
Gaelic This word in Ireland has no relation to Scotland.  As a noun it is used to denote the Irish language, as an adjective to denote native Irish as opposed to Norman or English origin.
Erenagh From the Irish Gaelic airchinneach, meaning 'hereditary steward of church lands'.  A family would hold the ecclesiastical office and the right to the church or monastery lands, the incumbent at any one time being the erenagh.