Lawrence O’Hara (1770-1823)

Lawrence O’Hara is the starting point for the O’Haras of interest in India. We know a lot about his life in the British Army, his marriage and children, but not where and when he was born, or where he died.

Where and when was Lawrence born?

The Births and Burials records at the OIOC have no information on Lawrence. But he was probably born somewhere between 1770 and 1775, estimated from his marriage to Mary Lowis in 1794 and that he was a working for the Board of Revenue in 1789 as an assistant and in 1793 as an Examiner, in the East India Company, which is seems unlikely to being doing before the age of 16? His marriage has him down as “Inhabitant”, which implies that he was in India for some period. Also from the list of Europeans in Bengal (British Library IOR/O/5/26) we know that he was in Calcutta from at least 1787.

In 1796 he joins the British Army as an Ensign, normally one would expect some documentation, that relates to buying a commission, which might give some information on his origins, but thus far no documents have been found on the commission itself, although we do have letters from 1821/22, with correspondence from Limerick trying to sell his commission.

Along with the 1814 Letter from Limerick, from a W O’Hara, enquiring about his whereabouts it seems reasonable to have the working assumption he or at least his family had some connection to Limerick.