(Received May 24, 2018)

There's plenty of information out on in O'Hara land about my gr-gr-gr grandfather, Oliver O'Hara b. ca 1790 or earlier who married Mary McIver and raised their brood in Bogues Town, Skerry's Townland in the Irish glens near Ballymena, Ulster, N. Ireland. No idea where he was born and raised although there is mention of a bountiful & kindly aunt. He had one brother, Charles O'Hara, and likely half siblings with the last name of Brown from his mother's second marriage as his father died when he was a young child. A family story is that he poached on his cousin's estate at Crebilly to put food on the table prior to emigrating in about 1832 after most of his children were grown. The entire family loaded up and sailed off to America on an almost seaworthy cargo ship. Don't know what happened to brother Charles but did see a passenger list ca 1840s for a ship headed for Tasmania with a Charles O'Hara and unknown wife on board. They didn't get along.

I never have been able to make a direct connection with my Oliver to the descendants of Teige O'Hara of The Route although a "grandmother" Jameson is mentioned . There is no mention connecting him, his brother, mother and his father, John, in the old historical O'Hara family genealogy records from Ireland that I've seen. I'm wondering if the John O'Hara who died in the West Indies supposedly without issue was his father. Also, some time back there was a historical note of an Oliver O'Hara wandering around the Caribbean (maybe a privateer) possibly in the late 1600s. That would have been a way to raise money to send back home to support the vast estates. Not a few Irish were, and are, rovers.

The reason for this new interest in my ancestor O'Hara's history is recent DNA findings of a bit of Sub-Saharan African from 'way back when (1700s). Being aware that the English sent their Irish military out to all sorts of miserable locations in the world during their empire building years and then the men mixed and cohabitated with the local women, I'm wondering about the possibilities of that having happened in my O'Hara genes somewhere out there in the sunny West Indies - and the beloved results were sent home to family in Ireland. Apparently that did happen occasionally - back in the time. Not that the folks back home were terribly thrilled or inspired to spread about the news, or record it in family history. I'm thinking Victorian era and before: Rudyard Kipling, Gunga Din, Sharpe's Rifles. Call it a vivid imagination at work. I've been doing a process of elimination only to discover the most likely in my gene pool (the usual suspects) - didn't or weren't. Which has brought me to "The Most Unlikely." I've been able to account for almost all of my unusual DNA results thanks to my years of genealogy research, not many surprises, but this one has me baffled. Are there any other O'Hara descendants out there with this interesting .2% anomaly?

Karen Engstrom

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