I. MICHAEL O'HAIR, was born September
11, 1749, and died about 1813; he left County Down about 1775, and we find
his names in the records of the War Department at Washington, D.C., indicating
that he was serving in the Continental forces in 1777. His name appears
on the pay roll of Captain John Hay's company, the Ninth Virginia Regiment.
He was engaged in the Revolutionary War with both Virginia and Pennsylvania
recruits, fighting in the Southern campaign under Generals Morgan and Green,
and participating in the battles of Cowpens, Eutaw Springs, Guilford Court
House, and other battles and skirmishes. After the war he settled
in Virginia, ten miles south of Lexington, in what is now Jessamine
Here he was first married, his wife
dying soon afterward survived by a son Thomas, and three daughters:
Sallie, Betsy, and Katie. The son Thomas, after arriving at manhood, moved
to what is now Edgar County, Illinois, according to family record. Additional
proof of this was furnished by the finding, about 1905, in a large open
ravine, on what has always been known as the Michael O'Hair, Jr.,
farm, of a dry land terrapin, on the underneath side of whose shell was
marked "O'Hair, 1820." Thomas O'Hair afterward migrated to Texas and little
further is known of him except that he fought under General Sam Houston
at San Jacinto, and helped Texas win independence.
After the death of his first wife, Michael
O'Hair, Sr., moved to the vicinity of Mount Sterling, Kentucky, in what
was then known as Clark County, where he married (second) in April 1793,
Elizabeth Tribbett, an orphan, who had been born in Virginia. About the
beginning of the nineteenth century, Michael O'Hair, Sr. moved from Mount
Sterling, journeying about forty miles into the mountains of Kentucky and
settling near Hazel Green. He died about 1813, the exact date unknown,
and was buried within a mile of Hazel Green, in an old county graveyard,
now abandoned, and the headstone worn away and lost. The government furnished
a Revolutionary marker for the grave, and it was placed in Hazel Green
Michael O'Hair, Sr., and his second
wife, Elizabeth (Tribbett) O'Hair, were the parents of the following children:
John, of whom
July 10, 1801 and in 1825 settled in Edgar County, Illinois. 5. Washington
Rose Ann 10.
II. JOHN O'HAIR, son of Michael
and Elizabeth (Tribbett) O'Hair was born in 1793, in Virginia, and died
in Illinois, in 1886. In early life he accompanied his parents to Kentucky,
the O'Hairs being numbered among the pioneer families in this locality.
They were active in the upbuilding of the district, labored for the promotion
of the general welfare, and prospered in practical affairs. John O'Hair
married in Kentucky, and had four children, all who grew to maturity. After
the death of his first wife, he married again, and came on horseback from
Kentucky to Edgar County, Illinois, with his wife and six children. John
O'Hair built the first home in this region, a large Colonial residence,
introducing in its construction the first spiral staircase built in Edgar
County. He married (second) Elizabeth (Eliza) Hardwick, of Kentucky. The
children of the first marriage were: 1. Ellen, deceased. 2.
Sibb, deceased. 3. Sidney, deceased. Children of the second
marriage: 4. Ellsberry, deceased. 5. Mary
Florence, born October 28, 1830, married James William Frazier. She is still
living (1924) at the age of ninety-four, in Los Angeles, California. 6. Henderson, deceased,
7. John Henry, of whom further. 8. James, born March 18, 1837, died August
27, 1866. 9. Nelson, deceased. 10. Jesse Ogden, born August 22, 1847, in
Edgar County, Illinois, died April 18, 1918. 11. Sarah, born August 26, 1849, in Edgar
County, Illinois, died February 8, 1916.
III. JOHN HENRY O'HAIR, son of
John and Elizabeth (Eliza) (Hardwick) O'Hair, was born March 1, 1835, and
died October 7, 1872. He was a farmer by occupation and served Coles County,
Illinois, in the office of sheriff. He married March 27, 1859, Nancy Evelin
Swango. His death occurred October 7, 1872. Their children were: 1. Emma (O'Hair)
Overstreet, born October 6, 1861, of New York. 2. Wigfall S.,
born August 11, 1864, of Paris, Illinois. 3.
of whom further
IV. FRANK TRIMBLE O'HAIR, son
of John Henry and Nancy Evelin (Swango) O'Hair, was born in Edgar County,
Illinois March 12, 1870. After attending the public schools, including
Paris High School, he completed his studies in DePauw University, Greencastle,
Indiana, and made the law his profession. This he has followed successfully
to the present time, public and financial affairs diverting his attention
to some extent from legal activity. He represented his district in the
United States House of Representatives in 1913—1915, and is identified
with the First National Bank
of Paris, Illinois and the Paris State
Bank, of Paris. Mr. O'Hair married, at Paris, Illinois, May 10, 1905, Ruth
Harding Huston, daughter of David Darst and Anna (Harding) Huston. Their
children are: 1. Ruth Frances,
born October 18, 1907. 2. Huston Harding,
born January 31, 1918.
O'Hare from Clare is a common enough
expression in a cosmopolitan place like Dublin when one of the name is
introduced, and, sure enough the origin of the newcomer is likely
to be from the celebrated "Banner County."
But, then again, one might be in error
to assume that because a man's name is Hare he had come from Clare. Yet,
if we trace back the old records we find that all the O'Hares now widely
distributed, were native to the plains of the county that rhymes with their
At the same time, the family was also
established in Armagh, made famous by St. Patrick's ministrations there,
and for centuries noted as the shrine of Ireland's patron saint, and the
place where the Cardinal Promate of all Ireland dwells, in the See
established by the saint 1,400 years ago.
If the name of O'Haire and Clare be
confused, it must be remembered that Clare means a plain, but the O'Hares
were by no means "plain" people in the modern sense, and for this reason:
The original name was Hehir, which means "man of exploits", and the O'Hares
were Lords of Magh-Adhair, in County Clare.
Magh-Adhair was a level district (the
word magh also means a plain) lying between Ernie and Tulla in Clare or
Thomond. It was so called poetically as the O'Briens were there inaugurated
kings. This place, later called, in English, Moyry Park, is in Toonagh,
Parish of Clooney, Barony of Upper Bunratty, about three and a half miles
west from Tulla.
The mound where the O'Briens were inaugurated
is still to be seen. It is of irregular form, measuring 102 feet in length.
Americana Vol. XIX, First Quarter 1925, pages
"The Irish News", Belfast, August 2, 1930.