Until fairly recently, the most that was known about the early history of the Hart family was contained in this short newspaper article, which discussed a meeting that was held on August 24, 1925.  Family reunions were held regularly on both Independence Day and Labor Day for the next few years, and the earliest details that have survived were gathered during that period.

Little is known about the first generation of our Harts to live in Ireland, and no earlier records of the family have been found. The most that can be said is that a Robert Hart, born in Scotland around 1760, came to Ireland, and with his wife, Annie Todd, had at least four children: Nancy, Robert, Samuel, and Joseph.  Notes gathered in the 1920's by descendants of both Nancy and Samuel suggest that Robert and Annie also had a son named Solomon, but no further information has been found to confirm this. This collection of historical and genealogical details has been assembled by descendants of Samuel Hart, and as a result, the majority of the information found here pertains to his line.

Nancy Hart, daughter of Robert Hart and Annie Todd, was born about 1783. She married Charles McLaughlin, and together they had at least five children: Charlotte, Margaret, Mary, William, and John. John was born around 1808, and with his wife, Jane, had at least five children: Esther, Isabel, James, William, and Mary Ann. Mary Ann was born around 1840, and married George Froggatt. Their daughter, Mary Jane, was born around 1874, and moved from Ireland to Brighton, Michigan, with her parents around 1876. Mary Jane, who married Joseph Clark, kept in touch with Hart relatives also living in Michigan at the time, and hosted several Hart family reunions in her Brighton home. Nothing else is known about the children and grandchildren of Nancy Hart.

Joseph Hart, son of Robert Hart and Annie Todd, was born in Ireland in 1795. Six years before his brother, Samuel, would cross the Atlantic, Joseph boarded the brig Despatch with his wife and five children to sail from Londonderry to Quebec, and possibly from there to the United States.On July 10, 1828, the ship was wrecked off the coast of Isle aux Morts, Newfoundland. Two of his sons were lost in the disaster, their names unknown. Joseph, his wife Mary, and their three remaining children, Thomas, Margaret, and Eliza, were taken with the other survivors to Halifax, Nova Scotia, aboard the HMS Tyne. Nothing else is known about his wife and children. By the time of the 1860 U.S. Census, Joseph was a widower living with his nephew, also named Joseph, in Orleans County, New York; five years later, he was listed on the New York State Census as a resident of the Orleans County Almshouse. A family tree drawn in 1925 lists him with the note: “Lost fortune and family in shipwreck.”

Robert Hart, son of Robert Hart and Annie Todd, married Matilda Speer. Nothing else is known at this time.

The Samuel Hart family is the family we are directly related to and most familiar with.

Samuel Hart was born in Ireland about 1789 to Robert Hart and Annie Todd. On November 2, 1807, he married Charlotte Morrow in St. Columb’s Parish, County Derry. They arrived in New York aboard the brig Ontario on July 23, 1834, and settled in Orleans County, NY near the village of Kendall. In 1857, three of their sons moved their families to Michigan, and Samuel and Charlotte went with them. After Samuel’s death in 1859, Charlotte lived with their daughter, Eliza, near the town of Lamont in Ottawa County, MI. Charlotte died in 1879. We belive both Samuel and Charlotte were buried in Williams Cemetery in Smiths Creek, MI on the farm of Elias and Polly Williams.

    1. Thomas Hart - b.1810, d.1892
    2. James Hart - b.1812, d.1889
    3. Samuel Hart – b.1816, d.1890
    4. Joseph Hart – b.1817, d.1869
    5. Moses Hart – b.1818, d.1896
    6. Eliza Hart – b.1819, d.1904
    7. Mary Ann Hart – b.1821, d.1841
    8. Solomon Hart – b.1823, d.1890
    9. William Hart – b.1826, d.1911
    10. John Hart – b. unknown

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