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Richard Hartford christened son Dennis Michael Hartford at St. Nicholas' Without in Liberties, Dublin in 1824, meaning he possibly married wife Ann Kelly at St. Nicholas in 1823. Richard was discharged from the 37th Foot at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea in 1823, as a result of wounds likely received in Canada, losing his right eye and suffering an injured shoulder. He emigrated to Canada in 1832, was baptized the same year in Montreal at Norte Dame, and died in 1833. His father Richard and grandfather John were also from Dublin, but a number of Hartfords have lived in Lusk/Swords. Somebody once told me the name suggests that the family was originally English. Any further details on the family, particularly prior to Dublin, greatly appreciated. 


Sunday 5th Dec 2021, 03:06AM

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  • Most of the surviving baptism and marriage records for Dublin city parishes are available on the free IrishGenealogy website - the baptism you mentioned took place in the Roman Catholic parish of St. Nicholas (Francis Street), unfortunately there's no mother's maiden surname recorded to confirm a marriage. Can you post the details of that 1823 St. Nicholas marriage you mentioned - I'm not seeing an RC marriage with those names

    The records for St. Nicholas RC go back to the 1740s but there are gaps, some sections that are very difficult to read, and also parts of of order .. possibly rebound incorrectly.

    I dont see a likely marriage or any other children for Denis and Anne in St. Nicholas or wider Dublin city RC records, it's possible that they came from outside the city. Like many other large towns and cities there was a general drift of people to the city over the years, not just from county Dublin but all over Ireland and some from Britain. Connecting further back with any certainly would be difficult due the the lack of detail in early records.The date in this case is early for Catholic records, the average starting date for Catholic reguisters in rural areas is about 1830 , so if Denis and Anne originated in a county parish there may not be any written record available. Many early records are noted in Latin so Dionysius or similar for Denis.

    for reference :  Military records generally noted place of birth as the Civil parish, in this case in addition to the Catholic parish of St. Nicholas there were also two Church of Ireland parishes of St. Nicholas (within & without).



    Shane Wilson, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 5th Dec 2021, 12:58PM
  • Dear Shanew147,

    The marriage is a conjecture, based on the baptism the following May, given that Richard returned from hospital @Chelsea in 1823. I don't imagine they would've baptised Denis if he was not the product of a marriage. I conjectured that the family may have come from Lusk/Swords, given the number of Hartfords found in Griffith's Valuation in that area, combined with Kelly's and Colemans, the latter being Richard's mother's maiden name. As I understand the history, many with Anglo-Saxon vice Irish or Scotch-Irish names residing in the Pale came from England. Hartford is a place-derived name for several locations in England, to include near Liverpool. This is all flimsy conjecture, but I was hoping that a Hartford from Lusk/Swords might be able to weigh in, to prove/disprove the strawman sketched out above. 

    The Dennis Hartford noted above grew up to be a steely-eyed Irishman with long handlebar moustache, who served as a blacksmith for the Union Army in the Amercian Civil War. Infected with malaria while smithing on the James River in Virginia, he petitioned the Secretary of War to take leave to tend his children, after their mother died in Dennis' absence. He was given forty days, likely walking most of the way to upstate New York, and then back to his unit. He continued to swing a blacksmith's hammer, despite recurring bouts of malaria, until his death near 90. 




    Sunday 5th Dec 2021, 10:54PM
  • I misread the detail on the  marriage and then realized I could not edit the reply - the registers which should include 1823 marriages at St. Nicholas Francis RC are available on the National Library of Ireland website at this link, this is one of the registers I mentioned with entries out of sequence.  The sections I looked at seem reasonably clear and not too difficult to make out, might be worth a browse through to check if the transcripts have missed anything relating to your Hartford line.

    The surname Hartford does not appear in MacLysaghts 'Surnames of Ireland' closest matches are probbaly Hart and Hartley, the latter described as a common English surname. From previous research I read Hart can mean a deer, a ford is a river crossing. There are at least two places in England named Hartford one in Cheshire the other in Cumbria - i.e. possibly this is an example of a surname that derived a location at some point in history.

    The Tithe Applotment records in Ireland date from the 1820s to 1830s, these show landholders/leaseholder/renters of certain types of eligible agricultural land, and nearly 90 entries for Hartford or Harford - including over 20 in various parts of County Dublin -  all North County. A quick check of the surnames represented on Down survey (1641-1670) doesn't show any Hartford/Harford.

    Griffith's primary valuation is dated a bit later - mid 1800s (1847 to 1864)





    Shane Wilson, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Monday 6th Dec 2021, 01:16PM
  • Shanew147,

    Thanks for the additional thoughts and context! Further research on Ancestry produced a baptism record for Richard Hartford in September 1774 at St. Mary's pro-cathedral. I understand from further digging that St. Mary's 1749-1786 was a chapel on Liffey St. prior to moving to its current location. Father John and mother Margaret were listed, as well as godparents/witnesses John Di(lon?) and Mary Synker. I'm not sure about those names, particularly the latter doesn't seem to be a common Irish name. I checked the civil records in for St. Mary marriages prior to the baptism, but unfortunately I see nothing in the fiche after 1767. 

    I also discovered that another parishioner from St. Nicholas from about the same time as Richard also served in an English regiment - the 100th Foot. The 100th served in the War of 1812. Many Irish veterans of the 100th were settled in Upper Canada, rather than being returned to England or Ireland. Perhaps that was seen as a safer place to settle trained Irish soldiers, from an English perspective. I had assumed that Richard's emigration to Canada was his own choice, but now wonder if emigration of Irish veterans was generally encouraged, or at least subsidized. 


    Monday 6th Dec 2021, 03:34PM

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