The Hart Family

Editor’s Note: My earliest recollection of having Hart family cousins came from my mother mentioning James Austin Hart to me. he was then the Dean of the DePaul University business school in Chicago. I believe I met Jim Hart briefly once and had a written exchange with him related to some op-ed articles he’d written for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. This was when he was Dean of the College of Commerce of DePaul University in Chicago in the 1980s.

The Hart more pertinent to The Families: Vol. 2 website here, is Joseph Christopher Hart. I began an email correspondence with Joe Hart in 2011, when he was in the midst of a long research journey through the history of the Canavan family and their descendants. More recently I have been reaching out to Joe for advice and information on Canavan genealogy and how to better sort through the often conflicting information that abounds. One result of my contact with Joe over the years is that I have a profound regard for the extraordinary work he has done laboring in the vineyards of the extended Canavan families. More important than the great body of information on this subject he has pulled together is the skill and judgement he has used in cataloging the more than 12,000 individuals he has in his master tree of Canavan descendants.

Joe has a unique perspective on pulling this kind of variegated information together. You can see some of his amazing work on this website in the Descendants of Anthony Canavan and Catherine Kirby and in the Descendants of Anthony Canavan and Ann Hughes. When I asked Joe if he would talk to me about how he went about his enormous task, he quickly agreed. He also said that he has some tips for anyone else with an interest in their family history, be it casual or monumental, as it certainly was for Joe.