Hartigan Family Summary

Another family from Ireland that is hard to trace back to its Irish origins. Yes, there are tantalising clues; no, they don’t lead us to an answer. Co. Limerick and Co. Clare are the frontrunners in the search and there are plenty of Hartigan people to choose from but still no certainties.

Martin Hartigan was a soldier, quite possibly he avoided the famine route into Liverpool by signing up, he was in Barracks in Aldershot in 1861 and then made his way up to Hulme and Salford where he married Margaret Howe. His wife died of illness and Martin then took up with a young widow, Margaret Renshaw née Joynt. In the 1870s and 1880s life could still be hard in Salford. Martin was a road labourer, Margaret and her son John Renshaw were fruit and grocery hawkers in Salford.

Children were born and children died. Then the parents died of illness whilst still relatively young. One surviving daughter, Hannah, was brought up by her half sister Jane Ann Renshaw.  The youngest surviving son, Joseph, was visited by his half brother, Thomas Renshaw, in the Salford Union Infirmary until the lad died of TB. The two oldest lads, Martin and Henry, fended as best as they could with Martin spending some time in St Joseph’s Industrial School at Eccles and Henry at the Longsight School on account of having no-one to take proper care of him. When Henry was about 14 he would have been released from the Industrial School and he worked as a carter with his brother, Martin.

Sadly, Martin was killed in a stabling accident, kicked by a horse, when he was only 21, leaving Henry without his brother and best mate. Perhaps the rough and ragged upbringing that the two lads had endured was part of why Henry overcame yet another huge upset, possibly with the kindness of Thomas Renshaw, too, and continued to work and to bring up a family.


  • 2 x Great grandfather – Thomas Hartigan
  • Great grandfather – Martin Hartigan
  • Grandfather – Henry Hartigan
  • Father – James Henry Hartigan
  • Self – David Hartigan

Marriage is used in this tree whether there is evidence of a marriage or not, for convenience. 

Hartigan Family Tree

  • Thomas Hartigan of Limerick/Co. Clare 
    • Martin Hartigan of Ireland 1838-1890 married 1) Margaret Howe of Ireland 1831-1875 in 1870 at Hulme, St Wilfred and 2) Margaret Renshaw née Joynt
      • 2) Martin Hartigan of Salford 1877-1898
      • 2) Henry Hartigan of Salford 1878-1943 married 1) Annie Fullalove of Salford 1879-1915 in 1905 at Salford and 2) Emily Frimston née Dooley of Tunstall 1880-1966
        • Doris Hartigan of Salford 1917-2008
        • Lillian Hartigan of Salford 1920-1979
        • James Henry Hartigan of Salford 1923-2000
          • David Hartigan
      • 2) Hannah Hartigan of Hulme 1880-1961 married Sam Cottam 1881 in 1906  at Harpurhey
        • Annie Cottam of Salford 1910
      • 2) Joseph Hartigan of Salford 1881-1892
      • 2) Margaret Elizabeth Hartigan of Salford 1884-1885
      • 2) William Hartigan of Salford 1885-1885
    • Hannah Hartigan of Ireland 1840-1898 married 1) Fergus Kelly 1831-1876 in 1872 at Manchester, St Wilfred and 2) Eugene McCarthy in 1876 at Manchester, St Wilfred

Copied from the old website

I’ve left this in, it’s a record of the interesting challenge that we had in the earlier days of researching the Hartigans and, even though we have now filled in most of the gaps, it still makes interesting reading. (Edit: I have made a few alterations to account for what is now obvious!)

Thomas Hartigan is recorded as being of Ireland. He was father to Martin, Hannah and James (Edit – where did James pop up?) These children were all born in Ireland, probably in Limerick.

Martin Hartigan probably came from Ireland to Hulme (Manchester) where he married Margaret Howe in 1860. No children have been traced and it has to be assumed for the time being that Margaret died childless before 1876.  After Margaret Renshaw (nee Joynt) was widowed in 1876, Martin seems to have moved in with her, initially at Buckingham Street, Salford, where their first son, Martin Hartigan was born in 1877. By the time their second son, Henry Hartigan/Renshaw was born in 1878 they had moved to Siever Street on the opposite side of Liverpool Street in Salford. Their third child, Hannah Renshaw/Annie Hartigan was born in Hulme in Manchester in 1879 and Joseph Hartigan was born in Joseph Street, Salford in 1881. 

This was the point at which the family history was difficult to trace because Margaret only seemed to register her children as Hartigans if their father was available to agree to the registration; if Martin Hartigan was working away from home then it seems that the children were registered as Renshaws. On the 1881 census all of Margaret’s children – Renshaws and Hartigans – are called Renshaw and Martin appears to be working away. At some points the surnames Hartigan and Renshaw appear to be interchangeable.

Martin Hartigan died, age 50, in 1890 in Salford. He had fallen and hit his head on a pavement. His “wife”, Margaret Renshaw, had already died in 1886 as a result of chronic bronchitis. It is not known how the children survived when they were orphaned, but it is clear that their stepbrothers and sisters took them in at various times.

Assuming unconfirmed issues to be correct, the history would be that Margaret Joynt married John Renshaw and had three children, John, Jane Ann and Thomas Renshaw. John Renshaw died and Margaret ‘married’ Martin Hartigan.

Margaret and Martin’s first child was Martin Hartigan who was born at 58 Buckingham Road, Salford in 1877. The family moved to 68 Siever Street before the birth of Henry. Henry was registered with his mother’s surname, Renshaw, possibly because the father was working away from Salford at that time. Hannah Renshaw is probably their third child, later she took the name of Annie Hartigan. The last child, Joseph, was born in 1881 and died in 1891 at Salford Workhouse on Regent Road, Salford. He had TB, his death was recorded by Thomas Renshaw, his stepbrother.

By 1881 Margaret and her six children were living at 35 Siever Street. Margaret was recorded as being a widow although the original transcription shows a question mark as to her married status, so perhaps Martin Hartigan was still living there though not recorded by the census enumerators. All the children are called ‘Renshaw’, probably just a convenience by Margaret. The family are poor. Siever Street is poor and rough; Margaret and her eldest son, John, are hawkers.

Margaret Renshaw died in 1886 (?) and Martin Hartigan died in 1890.. By 1891 the family is split up. John Renshaw is married to Francis Lee and living at 138 West Park Street, Ordsall, where he has a greengrocery shop; his wife’s sisters are also living with them. Jane Ann Renshaw is also living in Ordsall, she has married Patrick Mullaugh and has taken in her younger half-sister, Annie. Martin Hartigan is visiting 55 Markendale Street in Ordsall. Thomas lives at 14 Lower Craven Street Ordsall with his wife, Elizabeth (may be after 1891). Only Henry is not close to the family, he is at St Joseph’s Industrial School in Longsight as a 12 year old schoolboy.

By 1898 Henry and Martin are both working with horses in Weaste. Martin is called when he is killed when he is kicked by a vicious horse belonging to John Donogon in St James Street, Salford. At the time, Martin was living with his half-brother Thomas Renshaw and his wife Elizabeth at 14 Lower Craven Street, Salford. Henry was probably living somewhere close.

By 1901 John Renshaw has moved to a new address in Ordsall, again as a greengrocer; later he moves to Christopher Street, Salford and appears to keep some of his previous properties. His wife dies and he marries Agnes Melrose.

Jane Ann Renshaw marries and eventually lives in a big house at The Crescent, Salford.

Thomas Renshaw has married Elizabeth and they have children.

Henry Hartigan can’t be found on the 1891 census, be he later marries Emily Frimston, nee Dooley, his housekeeper. He did have a shop but this was given up when he married and he got a job. Henry and Emily had three children, Doris, Lily and Jim (James Henry Hartigan). For years the family lived at 56 Derg Street, Salford. Henry’s son, Jim, had the task of collecting his father’s wages every Friday before they were gambled away, Henry is said to have been fond of the horses!. Henry Hartigan died in 1943 and is buried at Peel Green cemetery.

Jim married Olive McNally. They lived with family at Whit Lane and at King William Street for a while, then became one of the first families to move into the new council houses at Coniston Road, Little Hulton around about 1950. Their eldest son is David Hartigan.

Thomas Hartigan (<1838>) Thomas Hartigan lived in Co Limerick, Ireland where he was a farmer. He was named as the father of Martin Hartigan and Hannah Hartigan and possibly of a James Hartigan. We don’t know anything else about Thomas at the moment.
Martin Hartigan (1838-1870) This is David’s great grandfather. According to the census records, Martin Hartigan, son of Thomas Hartigan, was born in Ireland in approx 1838. Martin married Margaret Howe in Chorlton-on-Medlock (Manchester) in 1870, there is no trace of any children. In 1871 Martin and Margaret were living in Salford.By 1877 Martin is associated with Margaret Renshaw née Joynt and they have four children that we know of: Martin, Henry, Annie/Hannah and Joseph. It is unlikely that Martin and Margaret Renshaw (nee Joynt) ever married, either Martin’s first wife was still alive or, very likely, they simply couldn’t afford the expense. Martin generally worked as a corporation pavior or excavator, Margaret and her eldest son John (from her first marriage) were hawkers. Martin Hartigan died in 1890 as the result of injuries sustained when he fell onto a pavement.
Martin Hartigan (1877-1898) Martin Hartigan and Margaret Joynt’s first son was also called Martin, born 25 January 1877 in Salford. We know very little about Martin’s childhood except that the family lived in Siever Street, a very poor and very rough area of Pendleton, Salford. By 1890 both of Martin’s parents had died and it is thought, from family stories, that he and his brother Henry were taken in by the St Joseph Industrial School, Eccles. This has not been proved yet, but in 1891 his brother Henry was at St Joseph Industrial School in Chorlton on Medlock (Ardwick) whilst Martin was visiting Mr and Mrs Askley at 55 Markendale Street, Ordsall, Salford.

On 9 March 1898 Martin was killed when he was kicked by a horse in Salford. Martin was working for the carter and had just taken the horse into the stables on St James Street (Ordsall) when noises were heard from inside the stable. Martin was found to have died from injuries to the head caused by the kicking of the horse. He had been living with his stepbrother, Thomas Hartigan, at the time in Ordsall

The Hartigan family (see also Renshaw and Joynt)

Thomas Hartigan is the earliest of the Hartigan family that we can trace at the moment. We only know that he was a farmer from Co Limerick. Going by his children’s ages, he could have been born c1800-1820 with a wide margin for error.

Thomas Hartigan had two children, Martin Hartigan and Hannah Hartigan, who were both living in Salford, near where Sainsbury’s is now on Regent Road, in 1871. Both children (and there may be other siblings) were born in Ireland and we are not sure when they came to England. At this time Martin Hartigan was married to his first wife Margaret Howe who he had married the year before. His sister, Hannah, would marry Fergus Kelly the following year. We do not know if Thomas Hartigan ever came to England or when he died,

Martin Hartigan was born in Ireland, in 1870 he married Margaret Howe at Chorlton on Medlock (Manchester) in 1870. Margaret died in 187 and by 1877 he appears to be with Margaret Renshaw, née Joynt, at 68 Siever Street, Salford. although he is missing from the 1881 census. Martin and his second partner, Margaret Joynt, had six (known) children.

When Martin Hartigan met Margaret Renshaw she was already widowed and had three children of her own: John RenshawThomas Renshaw and Jane Ann Renshaw. Martin and Margaret had another four children of their own, Martin, Henry, Hannah and Joseph. When the 1881 census was taken it is possible that Martin, who usually worked as a corporation pavior, was working away from home so Margaret conveniently allowed all seven children to be recorded as Renshaws. At this time the family was living at 35 Siever Street, Salford, just south of the present Salford shopping precinct. Margaret and her eldest son John Renshaw (was was 16) were both hawkers, probably fruit and vegetable sellers as her first husband’s family were market gardeners in Sale. John Renshaw subsequently owned various green grocery shops in the Ordsall area. However, in 1881 Siever Street was a very rough area and in one contemporary newspaper report it was stated that you dare not walk past the end of Siever Street without being accosted or assaulted! Martin Hartigan died in 1890, aged 50,  when he fell and hit his head on a pavement. His “wife”, Margaret Renshawhad died four years earlier in 1886, aged 43, of chronic bronchitis.

Henry Hartigan. According to the Public Record Office and the register of births, deaths and marriages, no Henry Hartigan was ever born. In fact he was recorded as Henry Renshaw but he always took the name of Henry Hartigan. The older brother, Martin, and the two younger siblings, Hannah and Joseph, were always recorded as Hartigans, presumably because their father was present when the births were registered and so they were legally able to take his surname; we can only assume, therefore, that Martin was again working away from home when it was time to register Henry’s birth and so Margaret had to register him as a Renshaw.

Henry Hartigan’s siblings:

The older brother, Martin Hartigan, was born at Buckingham Street, off Hodge Lane, on 25th January 1877, the son of Martin Hartigan. When he was 14 he was visiting the Ashby family at 55 Markendale Street, Ordsall (both parents having died by this time). On 9th March 1898, when he was 22 and living with his half brother Thomas Renshaw, at 14 Lower Craven Street, Ordsall, Martin was working for a carter, stabling a horse in St James Street, Ordsall, when a noise was heard in the stable. The carter found that the horse had kicked Martin’s head. Martin was immediately taken to Salford Royal but could not be saved.

The sister, Hannah Hartigan, is variously recorded as Hannah Hartigan, Hannah Renshaw, Annie Hartigan and Annie Renshaw. Hannah was born in 1880 in Hulme, daughter of Martin Hartigan. In 1891, after her parents had died, she was living with her half sister Jane Ann Renshawand her husband Patrick Mullaugh at Henry Street, Salford.

The younger brother, Joseph Hartigan, was born at Joseph Street, Ordsall, in 1881 and died in 1891, age 11, at the Union Workhouse on Regent Road, Salford, of TB. His half brother Thomas Renshaw informed the registrar of his death.

Henry Hartigan was born at 68 Siever Street, Salford on 15th September 1878. When he was 11 years old, in 1891, he was living in the St Joseph Certified Industrial School in Ardwick.  Orphaned boys were often sent here to learn a trade. Family history recalls that Henry was working with his brother Martin when Martin was killed by a horse. In 1905 Henry married Annie Fullalove of Salford, at the time he was working as a carter, they do not seem to have had any children. After Annie died, Henry married Emily Frimston, née Dooley (from Stoke-on-Trent). For many years Henry Hartigan lived in Derg Street, Salford before moving to Milford Street, Salford. Henry died in 1943, he had been working as a night watchman, he died of heart problems. Henry’s wife, Emily, died in 1966.

Henry Hartigan and Emily Frimston, née Dooley had three children, Lily, Doris and James Henry Hartigan. James Henry Hartigan (Jim), was born  on 9 May 1923 at 50 Derg Street, Salford, he died 23 July 2000.

Please remember that the information on this website is only accurate to the best of my knowledge and belief. If any of the information is relevant to your own research, please double-check the sources.

click here to email me     alternative email