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Virginia's Line to M. O.


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 County, Kentucky.

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 (Kentucky) cemetery.

Michael O'Hair, Sr., and his second wife, Elizabeth (Tribbett) O'Hair, were the parents of the following children: 1. John, of whom further. 2. William, 3. James, 4. Michael, born July 10, 1801 and in 1825 settled in Edgar County, Illinois. 5. Washington 6. Nancy 7. Polly 8. Sibby 9. Rose Ann 10. Eleanor.


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. Frank Trimble, 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.[1]

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 name.

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.[2]


[1] Americana Vol. XIX, First Quarter 1925, pages

[2] "The Irish News", Belfast, August 2, 1930.