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John F. Hearn, Patriot

Posted by Michael O'Hearn on August 10, 2012 at 9:05 PM Comments comments (6)

John Hearn Jr. was a wheelright and served as a Virginia Militia soldier during the latter part of the Revolutionary War. He married Nancy Lynch and in 1807 migrated by ox-cart to Georgia, first settling in Hancock County. Several years later he moved to Putnam County, Georgia, where the family was well-acquainted or related to the Carters and other families who later moved to Troup County, such as the Greers, Lynches and Carters. John Hearn had two known sons: Lewis H. Hearn and Charles W. Hearn, both of whom had children who married descendants of Thomas Carter.


From research of Dr. R. Malone

Shawn O'Hearn, San Francisco

Posted by Michael O'Hearn on July 27, 2012 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

The Guardsman September 11, 2011

Irish Traveller O'Harans?

Posted by Michael O'Hearn on July 10, 2012 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Daniel Hern (O'Hearn) married to Nance Dun (Dunne), both of Sheestown, County Kilkenny, at St. Patrick's Parish on 15 April, 1823.  Daniel being vagrant at the time had to get a dispensation from the Bishop of Ossory William Kinsella.  Our family tradition has been that our ancestor John who settled in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, was a son of Daniel of Kilkenny.  John apparently arrived in New York in 1848 with two brothers, Denis and James.  John is listed  as O'Haran on citizenship application in 1850, married as John O'Haren to wife Catharine at St. Luke's Church, Two Rivers, Manitowoc County in 1851, listed along with his brother James as O'Haran on the land patent for farm in Maple Grove in 1852, and listed as John Harn on the 1855 Wisconsin census for Maple Grove.  While serving on the Manitowoc County Board his name was John O'Hearn.  A cousin once mentioned to me when we were still children that our ancestors traveled in wagons in Ireland. Although John's tombstone lists date of birth as 1822, it is likely that he was born circa 1824 from other documents stating his age at different times.

Following old Irish naming patterns with John being the oldest son, Daniel's father was most likely John O'Hern baptized 6 February, 1764 at St. Mary's Church in Kilkenny, son of Thomas Hern who was possibly a brother of Patrick O'Haran married to Anne McDonnel also of Kilkenny.  John Hern, also being listed as vagrant, married Catherine Johnson on 3 November, 1801 at St. John's Parish, Kilkenny.  My DNA comparison results indicate that the O'Hearn branch includes Dutch ancestors likely descended on the maternal side from the 17th century Dutch corsair Jan Janszoon Van Haarlem whose son Antony Janszoon "Turk" Van Salee (circa 1607-1676) of New York  would then be Catherine's third great-grandfather.

Both John Hern and his son Daniel Hern could likely have been Pavee belonging to an Irish Traveller community.  Daniel's wife's family of Dunne may also have been related to the Pavee branch of that family of that name which today includes many noteworthy musicians and singers in Eire.  This fascinating group and lifestyle goes back to ancient times, being made up of artisans, craftsmen, scholars, poets, musicians, etc., who lived in colorful, ornately decorated wagons traveling throughout the Isles, some coming to America where they still live in local communities to this day, with their own language called Shealta or Cant.  Jack Hearn was known as "Gypsie King" in Wales before losing a fight to "Black" Martin Furey circa 1900 (South Wales Echo).


Last updated: 30 November  2012

Corzine and Napoleon

Posted by Michael O'Hearn on February 28, 2012 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (1)

Former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, like most in the small Illinois farming community where he grew up, considers his personal ancestry to be an unimportant commodity, saying that it may have been Italian or French paternally. My own research has uncovered a possible Corsican connection.

It started in March of 1984 when I visited Ireland in search of my patrimonial roots. Upon departing Shannon Airport, I inexplicably began driving North toward Ennis in County Clare, just a few kilometers south of presumptive patrimony location of the O'Hanraghan Clan of Clare of Munster, later to be discovered, through painstaking DNA testing and review of mid-19th century Wisconsin records, as my own ancestors who were actually called O'Haran or O'Haren on the way across the Atlantic and early in America, being a form of O'Hanraghan. My ancestor John apparently arrived in New York with two brothers, and although illiterate, soon got married, became a successful dairy farmer, and served on the Manitowoc County Board during the time of the Civil War.


It so happened that a notorious paramilitary fugitive suspect from Derry in Northern Ireland was apparently staying in a farmhouse on that same stretch of road going toward the lovely town of Ennis, of which I learned while listening to the car radio and reading the Irish Times during my week long stay. He was caught after being wounded in a gun fight with Gardai during the time of my stay, extradited to Belfast where he was convicted of charges, and later released after the convictions were overturned on appeal for lack of evidence. Ten years later in 1994 he was killed in a gun battle among other partisans.


Fast forward.


In reading about this fugitive last week, I stumbled upon information regarding art thefts with several cool Mercedes car chase videos, and regarding Mr. Corzine's contacts with an Irish fugitive suspect seeking sanctuary in America.


Since Corzine's ancestry was traced to the Dutch community in New Amsterdam but glossed over in the wikipedia article, I checked the name in the Ancestry index which stated that to likely be of indeterminate French Huguenot origin with Dutch influence. From this and Corzine's mention of it being Italian or French, my conclusion is that the name apparently pertains generically to a Corsican living in France, Corse being the French equivalent for Corsica.


My own ancestral research includes a possible Corsican matron, not directly related to my branch,  married into the noble Farnese family of Lombard descent in Italy, including Alessandro Farnese who became Pope Paul III, a cousin of my Italian ancestors who eventually settled in Provence, France.


Of course Napoleon Bonaparte was also Corsican. From DNA tests it is concluded that his paternal ancestry was probably Moorish being of type E, an African type relatively uncommon in Europe, and in this respect similar to Adolf Hitler's direct paternal ancestry.

Last updated: 16 May 2012

John Gerald O'Hearn Obituary

Posted by Michael O'Hearn on February 12, 2012 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (1)

John G. O'Hearn, age 52, a lifelong Maple Grove resident, died unexpectedly Thursday morning, Oct. 6, 2011, while working on his farm.


John was born in Maple Grove, on July 13, 1959, to Alberta (Kadow) O'Hearn and the late John J. "Jack" O'Hearn. He attended St. Patrick's Catholic Grade School in Maple Grove, and was a 1977 graduate of Reedsville High School. Known by his classmates as "Hondo", John excelled on the basketball court as a member of the Reedsville High School team and is remembered as a sharp-shooting "three point shooter from the corner". He married Diane Schieffer, formerly of Lannon, on Oct. 13, 1990, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Maple Grove. They proudly raised their two boys in a loving home, enjoying time away, sporting events, working together on the farm and family time together watching Seinfeld episodes.


John dedicated his life to farming, being raised on the family homestead which was established by his great-grandfather in 1888, working over the years for his father, John, and eventually taking over the farm in 1990. He formed a partnership with his brother, Jim, as well as working with his brother, Kenny. The O'Hearn family was proud host of "Breakfast on the Farm" in 2003 and the O'Hearn Family Reunion on the Homestead in 2009. Through his hard work and dedication, John carried on the family tradition and made the farm what it is today.


John was a very successful businessman who was greatly respected by his co-workers and fellow farmers. He will be greatly missed by his dedicated employees, many friends and neighbors. John's outpouring generosity was evident as he served on the Reedsville School Board for ten years and was a proud sponsor of the Reedsville FFA, of which his son, John, is current president.


John was truly a genuine people person who will be remembered for his great sense of humor mixed with his Irish wit and appreciation for good conversation with family, neighbors and friends.


John is beloved husband of Diane; loving father of his boys, John and Joshua; and cherished son of Alberta O'Hearn, Maple Grove. He is brother to Debbie (Greg) Sheehy, Maple Grove; Daryl (Karen) O'Hearn, Reedsville; Jim O'Hearn, Maple Grove; Kathy O'Hearn and fiancee, Joe, Green Bay; Ken (Andrea) O'Hearn, Manitowoc; and Mary O'Hearn, Manitowoc. He is further survived by a very special aunt and uncle, Don and Gail O'Hearn; as well as other family members in California; loving in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.


He was preceded in death by his father, Jack O'Hearn; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Robert and Joyce Schieffer; and his grandparents.


Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, at Holy Family Parish, 1100 West Ryan St., Brillion. Officiating at the Mass of Christian Burial will be the Rev. Timothy Brandt, with burial to follow in St. Patrick's Cemetery, Maple Grove.


Friends may call at Holy Family Parish in Brillion, from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday evening, where a prayer service will be held at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue Tuesday morning after 9 a.m. until 10:15 a.m.


Deja & Martin Funeral Chapels, 1506 - 18th St. Two Rivers, (ph: 920-793-1756) is assisting the O'Hearn family with funeral arrangements.


The O'Hearn family would like to express their sincere thanks to the Reedsville First Responders, Holy Family Memorial Emergency Room Staff, and the many friends who have assisted and supported us during this most difficult time.


Published in Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter from October 8 to October 9, 2011


O'Hanraghan from O'Flynn of Munster?

Posted by Michael O'Hearn on September 24, 2011 at 12:55 PM Comments comments (2)

John O'Hart in his book Irish Pedigrees (1876) includes pedigrees for Hanraghan of Leinster and Hanrahan of Munster, in addition to O'Hanraghan of Westmeath which appears to be a branch of the former bearing the same arms with the same motto.  No arms are listed by O'Hart for the Munster clan centered at Emly in north County Tipperary.  Burke's General Armory lists the same arms and motto for the Munster clan.  The arms appear to be derived from the Leinster clan related to the O'Murphy nobility of Wexford, both sets of blazons including garbs of wheat, and for the related Murphy clan of Cork, with the same colors of or (gold), argent (silver) and gules (red).  However, the given motto "An uachtar" is apparently of Munster Dalcassian origin derived from the O'Brien motto "Lamh laidir an uachtar" which translates "strong hand uppermost".

O'Hart's version of the Munster Hanrahan pedigree has descent from Áed, a son Nathan who may in fact be Maithan (Mathgamhain), son of Turlogh, a 7th century chieftain of the Ui Bloid on the O'Brien pedigree.  Áed is a brother of Anluan from whom the O'Brien clan descends.  From Áed on this pedigree there are listed ten generations to Teige na Lann from whom descends the O'Laine clan, also anglicized as Lane and Laney.  From Teige there are twelve generations to William Mór an Racan from whom descends the O'Hanraghan clan on this pedigree.  Comparing this to the O'Brien pedigree, ten generations after Anluan we find Donal Mór O'Brien who died in the year 1194.  Twelve generations on the O'Brien pedigree after Donal Mór is found Donagh Ramhar, Second Earl of Thomond, whose father Conor O'Brien died in the year 1540.  Assuming generations of comparable length for each clan, this would mean that this O'Hanraghan clan would have begun after 1500.  As Ard Rí Brian Boru himself instituted the use of clan surnames circa 1000 AD, it is unlikely that the O'Laine clan would not have come into being before 1200, or that the O'Hanraghan clan of Munster would not have come into being before 1500. 

Another possible explanation is that an O'Hanraghan pedigree was superimposed upon the O'Laine pedigree after 1500, because of a tradition that both clans descend from a common ancestor from the distant past.  This common ancestor would have been among the Ui Bloid of Munster as reflected in the O'Laine pedigree descending from Mathgamhain (Mahon) of Thomond.  However, there is another Mathgamhain descendant who was Brian's brother and King of Munster before being killed in 976.  Rev. Geoffrey Keating in his Genealogies lists among the families descended from this Mahon as being O'Bolland, O'Casey, O'Spelain, O'Hanrahan, O'Sheehan, O'Connolly and O'Toomey, while Rev. Patrick Woulfe states that O'Bolland is from Beollain descending from the earlier Mahon and his name being of Norse origin. Two other brothers of Mathgamhain mac Cenneidi, Donncuan and Echtigern, were both killed in battle in 950. 

The Psalter of Cashel records Echtigern having three sons, these being Floinn, Conghal and Cionath.  It is likely that they would have been adopted by Mathgamhain after Echtigern's death, and hence Floinn appearing as a son of Mathgamahain, from whom descends the O'Flynn clan of originating in Thomond, anglicized as Fling in County Waterford which became Lyng and Ling in Counties Wexford and Kilkenny, probably anglicized from O'Loinn as a variation of O'Floinn and thereby providing the basis for O'Lainn of Munster pedigree, and also from Flann's son Craith, that of the MacCraiths or McGraths of Munster.  Lang, when not of Scottish origin, is according to Rev. Patrick Woulfe an anglicized form of Ó Lainn, which according to Edward McLysaght is very rare, if extant at all, except as Lyng, i.e. another form of O'Flainn found in Galway, Sligo, etc.. Thus an O'Hanraghan clan may have then branched off from the O'Lainn clan perhaps circa 1400, based upon the number of succeeding generations after Mathgamhain to O'Laine as found on the pedigree.


Last updated:  September 30, 2011

Rise of Dal gCais

Posted by Michael O'Hearn on May 11, 2011 at 12:55 PM Comments comments (0)

The Dál gCais of North Munster claim descent from Cormac Cas, or Cas mac Conall Echlúath. They were originally an obscure group tributary to the Eóganachta.  Later genealogies connect them to the Eóganachta dynasties by asserting that Cas was a brother of Éogan Mór from whom the Eóganachta claim descent.  They gained political power in Munster in the 10th century AD after annexing North Munster, which previously had been under the overlordship of Uí Fiachrach Aidhne in southern Galway, possibly with the tacit approval of the powerful Uí Néill dynasty to further weaken the already divided Eóganachta dynasty in the South.

In the 10th century, the Dál gCais kingdom was strategically located at the mouth of the Shannon River near the newly established Viking stronghold of Limerick.  Because of their strategic location and superior fighting skills, they rose to become the most powerful force in Munster and eventually one of their number, Brian mac Cenneidi, rose to become Ardrí in 1002 AD, and was killed at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 AD.

Last updated: 12 February 2012

Of Deisi and Attacotti

Posted by Michael O'Hearn on May 11, 2011 at 12:05 PM Comments comments (0)

The Déisi were the vassal people of ancient and medieval Eire.  The term was later applied to family groups or clans which include Déisi Mumu of Munster, Déisi Temro of Tara, Déisi Becc of Midi, and Déisi Tuisceart who were the Northern Déisi later to become Dál gCais.  During the early Middle Ages, some of the Déisi groups were in contact with Britain and some settled in Dyfed in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

The Attacotti were military auxiliaries of the Roman Empire recruited in Britain and Ireland.  The Old Irish term aithechthúatha pertains to vassal communities in Ireland, which may have formed the basis of the Latin term attecotti.  The historian Philip Rance demonstrates possible connections between migrations from Ireland to Britain, particulary southern Wales, circa 350-450 AD, and the Attacotti attested in Roman sources circa 360-400 AD. (Rance, Philip, 2001, "Attacotti, Déisi and Magnus Maximus: the Case for Irish Federates in Late Roman Britain", Britannia, 32, pp. 243 – 270).  Related units may have included Attecotti, Attacotti juniores Gallicani, Attecotti Honoriani seniores, and Attecotti Honoriani juniores.  One unit of the Attacotti was placed in the Diocese of Illyrium, where a funerary to one of their soldiers has been discovered recently.

Last updated: 18 December 2011

Mairtine Genealogy and Irish Type III DNA

Posted by Michael O'Hearn on May 10, 2011 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (1)

The Mairtine were an ancient Érainn people of prehistoric Eire.  Their capital was Medón Mairtine located at present day Emly in South Tipperary which takes its name from the yew tree held sacred in pre-Christian times.  It was the site of the chief church of the powerful Eóganachta dynasty in early historical times.


Irish historian Dáibhí Ó Cróinín notes that in one tradition preserved in the 14th century Book of Lecan genealogies (still unpublished), the Mairtine were expelled from Leth Cuinn, the northern half of Ireland, and settled in the territory later to be known as In Déis Tuaisceirt, which would have included Medón Mairtine in north Munster, later to become Dál gCais territory.  This possible migration is also confirmed by Irish scholar Nollaig Ó Muraíle who notes in an essay of 2000 that Mairtine Mór "just might" have been located in Connacht, and that Mairtine origin may go back to the Laigin tribe of Fir Domnann of Irrus Domnann, Erris in northwest county Mayo, likely related to the British Dumnonii tribe.


A genealogy provided by Geoffrey Keating in his "History of Ireland" includes the name of a possible eponymous ancestor as follows:

"Eochaidh Apthach (Eochu Apthach) son of Fionn, son of Oilill, son of Flann Ruadh, son of Rothlan, son of Mairtine, son of Sithcheann, son of Riaghlan, son of Eoinbhric son of Lughaidh, son of Ioth, son of Breoghan (Breogán), held the sovereignty of Ireland one year; and he was called Eochaidh Apthach because of the number who died in Ireland in his time; for the plague or other disease seized upon the men of Ireland each month, from which many of them died; hence the name Eochaidh Apthach clung to him; for apthach means 'fatal'; and he himself fell by Fionn son of Bratha."Breogán mac Brath was a king of Galicia in Hispania and the grandfather of Míl Espáine who was father of Éber, Érimón and Ír, and a nephew of Breogán's son Íth listed as Ioth on the above pedigree, who were among the first Goidelic people to settle in Eire according to the Irish Book of Invasions.  This agrees with the second century AD geographer Ptolemy who places the Gangani tribe on his primitive map of Ireland in what would be northern Munster, with later scholars including the British antiquarian William Camden and Dr. Charles O'Connor tracing them to the Concani of Spain, apparently a Celtiberian tribe. (Lewis' Topographical Dictionary as cited in Chapter II, page 11, footnote 1 of History of Clare and the Dalcassian Clans of Tipperary, Limerick, and Galway by Rev. Patrick White, Dublin, 1893).

Gog and Magog at Royal Arcade, Melbourne, Australia

Irish monks later extended the genealogy back to Scythia from Magog, son of Japhet, son of Noah descended from Seth, son of Adam and Eve.  Magog may also represent the Scythians and Sarmatians of the North as preceived biblically.


Y-DNA evidence suggests that the patriarchs of many Dál Cais families characteristically belong to the Irish Type III cluster which is a subgroup of R1b.  Recent research suggests that types R1a and R1b both originated in present day Altai in central Asia.  Both types form the basis of the later emerging Kurgan culture in Ukraine north of the Black Sea around 5000 BC from which sprang the later Indo-European cultures including those of the Italo-Celtic language group and the ancient Tocharians.  By that time, Eire had already been settled by hunters and fishermen and their families.  They comprised the western branch of the Altaic R1 culture which had absorbed the earlier settlers of type I Y-DNA characteristically indigenous to Europe. The eastern branch of the Altaic culture apparently includes tribal federations such as the Aryans of northern India, the Finno-Ugric peoples of Europe, and the ethnic Ugyhurs in China today.

Altai Republic Coat of Arms

Last updated: 18 December 2012