George Holahan Birth record Manchester England approx 1858

+1 vote
Family anecdotal information and census data indicate George Richard Holahan, my grandfather, was born in Manchester, England in 1858 (+/- 1 year). I am unable to find his birth record  and am hoping someone may be able to help me. Thank you
WikiTree profile: George Holahan
in Genealogy Help by Peter Holahan G2G Crew (340 points)
Might be worth looking to see if they might have misheard and written it as Hoolihan or even Callaghan.
Yes, I've seen it spelled Hallihan in the 1870 US Census, Hollihan and Hulihan in other records. I have done a search of the BMD using the different spellings and have come up empty.

4 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer

No need to apologize Peter, I put a "smiley" in my post!  The problem with replying to comments is that you reply to the whole thing and not an individual comment, so it's not possible to reply to a specific instance, so I'm replying to your question again with all that we have so far, so we start a clean thread.

Anyway, what we now have is this:

The marriage of James Horan to Ellen Howard in 1857 in Manchester area

The birth & baptism of daughter Catherine in 1859 in Collyhurst, Manchester (1.5 miles North East of the city center)

The birth and death of daughter Honora in 1864

But still no birth/baptism reference for George.  Not having a birth reference could be down to England not making registration law until 1875, quite a lot of BMD's simply weren't formally registered prior to that time.  But because James & Ellen registered their marriage and their two daughters, I am a bit surprised that we have all drawn a complete blank on George!

Going back to their wedding... one thing that puzzles me is that on the link to LancashireBMD that Vivian posted, the wedding of this couple appears to have taken place at a Registry Office and not a church, which I thought odd for a couple that were probably Catholic.  It made me wonder if Ellen was pregnant when they married, or if she had already had George prior to marrying James Horan/Holahan.  But I haven't been able to find a George (Richard) Howard born to an Ellen Howard either... but it's something to bear in mind.

I think your next move would be to order the wedding certificate of James and Ellen from the UK.  You can use this site to order that:  Pick "Order Certificates Online".  The wedding cert will give you the couples ages, addresses and occupations, father's name and if still living, and also occupation, and the witness names which are sometimes connected to the family.

If you haven't ordered a certificate form the UK before just shout, plenty of people here to help you out.

by Brenda Butler G2G6 Mach 4 (42.5k points)
selected by Peter Holahan
I am looking for the birth record of Catherine Horan on FreeBMD so that I can get a reference to order a certificate and I am only able to find a Catherine, born during that time period in Wigan. Can yo tell me where you found her birth date of 30 Oct 1859? I have ordered certs for Hanora.
1861 UK Census - Manchester

Peter - There's a lot that's wrong with this info, like the name of the wife and the children's ages... but there's a lot that's right too!!  Might be a red herring, though I can't find this specific couple on the UK 1871 census either...

James Horan
England and Wales Census, 1861
Name James Horan
County Lancashire
Event Type Census
Event Date 1861
Event Place Manchester, Lancashire, England
Ecclesiastical Parish St Johns
Registration District Manchester
Residence Note Luke Street
Gender Male
Age 30
Marital Status Married
Occupation Sawyer
Relationship to Head of Household Head
Birth Year (Estimated) 1831
Birthplace Ireland
Page Number 27
Registration Number RG09
Piece/Folio 2930 / 102
Affiliate Record Type Household

James Horan Head M 30 Ireland

Alice Horan  Wife F 34 Ireland

George Horan Son M 8 Ireland

Catherine Horan Daughter F 7 ..., Lancashire

"England and Wales Census, 1861," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 12 December 2017), James Horan, Manchester, Lancashire, England; from "1861 England, Scotland and Wales census," database and images, findmypast ( : n.d.); citing PRO RG 9, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey.

Sorry, we're posting at the same time.  Catherine's info came from this free site: 

I used the Search facility on the left hand side, put in the name Horan, left the first name blank, put Ellen as the Mother's first name and picked 1860 with a 5 year range.

I didn't find this birth on FreeBMD or on the General Records Office site so she probably wasn't registered.  The Online Parish Clerk sites take their info from the parish records and not the official (if they exist) BMD records.  So basically, that info came from the church records.

According to his death record, George Richard was born on 22 JUNE 1857.

"New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949," database, FamilySearch ( : 10 February 2018), George R. Holahan, 30 Dec 1944; citing Death, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 2,166,844.

Yes, and here's what I'm dealing with:

1870 US Census - age 11 (1858)

1880 US Census - age 22 (1857)

1900 US Census - age 37, birth year 1862, immigrated 1868

1910 US Census - age 49, immigrated 1865 (1861)

1920 US Census - age 58, immigrated 1867 (1861)

1930 US Census - age 71 (1858)

1940 US Census - age 82 (1857)

The numbers in parentheses are the birth year I calculated based on his stated age. As he was born in December I added 1 year to his stated age in calculating a birth year, as most of the Census' were done either in April or June. So, as I am sure you already know, the dates are all over the place which makes the search difficult (but actually a little fun :) ).

Welcome to the rabbit hole! ;o)

And to add to your list, the only immigration record I can find for an Ellen Horan traveling with a George Horan in on the ship The City of Boston which docked in New York on 21 SEP 1868... only problem is Ellen is 25 and George is only 3!!!  Do you have a better immigration record for them?  I'm not finding much on either or on FamilySearch.

"New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 11 March 2018), Ellen Horan, 1868; citing NARA microfilm publication M237 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm .

Back in the '80's, I was doing research at the NY Public Library (looking through microfiche) and found an entry for Ellen and George Holahan on the City of Baltimore. I believe the year was in 1868, however those records were lost in a fire. I have searched for whatever passenger list records I could fine online via or Family Search and I'm unable to find what I'm looking for. Out of five Irish ancestor families that came to the U.S. between 1840 and 1868, I've only been able to find one passenger list record.
I found a George Howard born 1857 Saddleworth which is very near Manchester Jun Qtr crub that maiden name is Winterbottom

According to the ISTG site The City of Baltimore only docked twice in New York in 1868, and before that it docked in 1862/3.

Close Heather, so close!
There are additional volumes that include more sailings of the City of Baltimore. BTW, thank you for the ISTG link...I never knew about it and it will also certainly help in my other searches!
+3 votes
Try sourcing the couple you have as his parents. Currently the only locations you have for them are Ireland and USA. Perhaps a census or an immigration record placing them in Lancashire at some point might help you to pin down whether George Richard might have been born there. Using the information you have so far he might have been born in Ireland, England, on board ship or in the USA.
by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (630k points)
All that you say is very possible. I have searched for records of his parents, James Holahan and Ellen Howard, and have found nothing in England. I do have a birthplace for his mother as  Clonaslee, County Laois, Ireland, and his father only as Ireland. I do know that James came to the US in 1866 and Ellen and George followed in 1868, leaving from Liverpool. There are multiple sources stating that George was born in Manchester or England, including his death certificate. Other than that, I have hit a stone wall.

Have you tried the Irish Genealogy website:

If they emigrated in the late 1860s have you managed to find any of them in the 1861 census?
I have searched the English 1861 census and, but not for some time.
There are some British Army Service records in the 1850s for a James Houlihan (and other spelling variants). Might be worth a look. If James was in the army and met Ellen abroad somewhere that could explain why you are having trouble finding a birth for George and census records in England or Ireland.
Interesting...that is one area I haven't researched. I know he (James) was a stone cutter by trade and that there was a big quarry in the Manchester area where he may have worked. He did work in a quarry in Kingston, NY right after he arrived in the U.S..
It may be a red herring Peter, but who knows. If it is him then you might learn something useful about the family.
Red Herring's are better than no Herring's :). Thank you for your help!
+2 votes
Found a George Horahan but maiden name is Howe?
by Heather Jenkinson G2G6 Mach 3 (31.9k points)
i've just come across a Honora, now quoting maiden name Howe!
+1 vote
The only thing I can come up with that's anywhere close is a marriage in Manchester in 1857 on FreeBMD:

Marriages Jun 1857  

Horan  James    Manchester  8d 656  
Howard  Ellen     Manchester  8d 656  
Jones  Mary     Manchester  8d 656  
Jones  Robert     Manchester  8d 656

At that time the records listed two couple per page/entry, it doesn't specify who married who, and although this looks promising, it doesn't mean that Ellen married James, she could have married Robert Jones.

I searched marriages for Ellen Howard, spouse name James, between 1854 - 1861.
by Brenda Butler G2G6 Mach 4 (42.5k points)

One other thing, in the US 1900 census, Ellen states 3 children born only 1 living.  With that info I searched for other birth records in Manchester area where the mother's name was Howard and found this:

GRO Reference: 1864  M Quarter in MANCHESTER  Volume 08D  Page 271

I also looked for her death and found that registered in the Dec quarter of the same year:

HORAN, HANORA     0   
GRO Reference: 1864  D Quarter in MANCHESTER  Volume 08D  Page 218

If nothing else this does show that Ellen Howard did marry James Horan in Manchester in 1857.  They still might not be your family, but that wedding certificate might be worth a punt!
If thats the case I might have found the couple in the us census but no George that would mean he was born in the US now to find it again! thought it was an odd one

Hope this works - I had discounted this BUT now worth a look

I will post the details on your page can't get it to work on here!

Put it on Ellen's profile (comment)

It's definitely interesting, but that James is a Grocer, the original James is a Stone Mason. I think we're going to be playing surname phonetics with this couple!

ETA: George Richard was born c1858 and doesn't seem to fit with this family, with two other children born in 1858 and 1859.
Just found them in 1875 census (I think) wheres Cayuga?
I'm just looking that son his James but right Dob this is seriously weird!
Ohio. (Cuyahoga at any rate is in Ohio).
Thank you Brenda. They may have been married in Ireland prior to coming to England. I have searched the England BMD record for that time period and have not found anything that I would consider likely.
Cayuga is in Cayuga County, New York, which is upstate in the Finger Lakes region. I do not believe this is the family I'm searching for.

According to, Ellen Howard married James Horan.

That's definitely worth pursuing. Thank you!

It's exactly the same info I gave you up-thread from FreeBMD that you said wasn't worth pursuing!  :)

Manchester in 1857 on FreeBMD:

Marriages Jun 1857  
Horan  James    Manchester  8d 656  
Howard  Ellen     Manchester  8d 656  
Jones  Mary     Manchester  8d 656  
Jones  Robert     Manchester  8d 656

And here's the third child born to this couple, still can't find George at all!

From  Use the Search feature.

Baptism: 20 Nov 1859 St Patrick, Collyhurst, Lancashire, England
Catherine Horan - [Child] of James Horan & Ellen (formerly Howard)
    Born: 30 Oct 1859
    Godparents: William Dunn; Anne Bohan
    Parents' Marital Status: conj.
    Baptised by: Edmd. Cantwell
    Register: Baptisms 1852 - 1867, Page 196, Entry 4215
    Source: Original Register

And there are three deaths of a Catherine Horan in Manchester, can't tell if any of them are her though:

Deaths Dec 1861  
Horan  Catherine     Manchester  8d 125  

Deaths Jun 1863  
Horan  Catherine     Manchester  8d 84  

Deaths Dec 1864  
Horan  Catherine     Manchester  8d 221  

So sorry Brenda, I thought I was replying to a different post. Thank you for your help, it's much appreciated.

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