Speculations on Lawrence O’Hara

Relationship to W O’Hara

A strong possibility to my mind is that the W. O’Hara who was searching for Lawrence is quite likely to be Walter O’Hara b. 1787. He was a freeman of Limerick in 1824 and he later had a military career and was the son of Robert O’Hara of Raheen. More information about him from the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online. How he could be related is not yet very clear.

John O'Hara (d 1729, Town Mayor of Galway)
1. James O'Hara of Lenaboy (b 1717 d 1787) (county. Galway), Mayor of Galway (1747)
A. James O'Hara of Lenaboy (b 1748. d November 1838, recorder of Galway, Freeman of Limerick 1817)
m. (1796) Margaret Moore (d 1814, daughter of Richard Moore)
i. James O'Hara of Lenaboy (b 1796, d Dec. 1838, recorder of Galway)
m. (15 April 1823) Anne Trench (d March 1870)
B. Robert O'Hara of Raheen Mayor of Galway (1804)
m. Frances Taylor (b 1765)
i. Walter O'Hara (b 1789 d 1871)
ii. Anne Lousia (b 1790 d 1844)
m (25/10/1815) James Hardiman BURKE
i. Robert O'Hara Burke (b 1821 d 1861)
iii. John O'Hara (b 1794))
iv. Elizabeth (1799-1875)
m Robert Gregory (b.6/10/1790 d April 1849)
ii. Charles O'Hara (b. 1800 d 1874))

Lieut. Walter O’Hara served in the Peninsula with the 59th and was present at the siege of St.Sebastian, and battles of Vittoria, Nivelle, and Nive, for which he has received the War Medal with three Clasps. He served also the Waterloo campaign

Possible Fathers who lived in India

Others who may be his father are those actually in India at the time or around the time we think Lawrence was born.

Purely from being of the right age, and taking into account that Lawrence was described as being ‘a Gent’ on joining the British army the following could potentially be his father.

  1. William O’Hara: was a Lieutenant (there is no record of him in a British i.e. HM Regiment, so he was most likely in an EIC Regiment) and father of Mary O’Hara (born 11/1/1777 recorded in OIOC Madras Presidency N2/11/29) his wife is unknown.
  2. James O’Hara: died 1783 in the Bengal Presidency, a captain in the First Madras European Regiment.
  3. James O’Hara: died 1787 in Bombay Presidency, a captain in the Infantry.
  4. John O’Hara: born 1750, died 1785 was a Captain in Madras when he died, he is buried in Rajahmundry Cemetery in East Godavari district. There is no record of him having any children in India
  5. William O’Hara from Ireland arrived in 1785 on the Francis as a civilian recorded in list of Embarkations (IOR/L/MIL/11/114). Unless Lawrence arrived with him, of which there is no evidence it is unlikely.
  6. Thomas O’Hara: from Ireland. He arrived in 1767 on the Egmont as a civilian; this is recorded in the list of Embarkations. (IOR/L/MIL/11/114).
  7. James O’Hara died 1793 in Fort William garrison, Calcutta, a Private in the infantry. Although as a private it is unlikely that it would have had sufficient monies
  8. Alexander O’Hara: (born 1765 in Ireland). He died in 1793 with the rank of Lieutenant and could have passed sufficient monies for Lawrence to join the British Army and marry

I have excluded Edward O’Hara who was in the 7th Foot and got his Ensign in the same month as Lawrence (October 1796) in 1807 he became a Major in the Yorkshire Light Infantry, he was born in Canada and is definitely not related to Lawrence

Possible siblings of Lawrence

If we can’t find out from the paper records who Lawrences’ father was, then we might be able to find mention of him in related records.

  • Mary O’Hara (born 1/7/1777) her father was Lieutenant William O’Hara, see above

Mother of Lawrence’s children

He married Mary Lowis previously Skardon, (nee Woodson) see

Who were Lawrence’s children

We know that Lawrence had at least 5 children,

  1. John Lawrence b 1808. His sister Amelia is the Sponsor at his Daughter’s baptism in 1838. Lawrence as we have learnt from the Muster Rolls of the 33rd Regiment was on leave at the end of 1808, the time we think he was born. 
  2. William (1811) in IOR/N2/4/129 his burial is noted as “Captain O’Hara son William, burial 5 November 1811
  3. Elizabeth (1815) at IOR/N2/5/74 it is shown as “Elizabeth illegitimate daughter of Captain L O’Hara of HM 56th Regiment”
  4. Amelia (1818) Her marriage to William Green in 1853 records the father as John Lawrence D.(sic) Hara
  5. George (1820) as we have a record of him being the son of Lawrence and Gungha born in Mauritius and brought up in the Lawrence Memorial School.

It is unlikely that Mary was the mother of any of these children, she would have been over 50 to have given birth to John Lawrence. We know that Elizabeth was a legitimate daughter, so it is very likely that he married again (or was a ‘clerical error), George was conceived in Mauritius, the woman/women who bore him John, Elizabeth and Amelia was most likely dead by 1820.