Gerontology Wiki
Margaret Hegarty
Margaret Hegarty
Hegarty (left) celebrating her 100th birthday with a bagpiper in 1980
Birth: 2 April 1880
Skibbereen, County Cork, Ireland (then UK)
Death: 14 November 1991
San Francisco, California, USA
Age: 111 years, 226 days
Country: Ireland IRLUnited StatesUSA

Margaret Hegarty (2 April 1880 – 14 November 1991) was an Irish-born American supercentenarian who was the oldest living person born in Ireland at the time of her death. Her age is currently unvalidated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG).

As of 2020, Hergarty is the fourth-oldest Irish-born person ever recorded as well as the second-oldest Irish emigrant.


Hegarty was born in 1880 in Skibbereen, County Cork, Ireland (then part of the UK). She claimed her birthday was 25 March; however, documentation indicates she was more likely born on 2 April. Hegarty emigrated to the United States in the early 20th Century, where she worked as a housekeeper and cook before retiring in 1953. She was married to Daniel Hegarty Sr. (1889–1924), and she outlived their children, one of whom was Daniel Hegarty Jr. (1915–1948).

Around 1970, Hegarty moved to a home for the elderly in San Francisco, California. In 1980, she celebrated her 100th birthday with a St Patrick's Day themed party. For her 108th birthday in 1988, San Francisco mayor Art Agnos declared it "Margaret Hegarty Day" in San Francisco. She died on 14 November 1991 at the age of 111 years, 226 days.

Longevity Records

Hegarty is believed to have become the oldest living person born in Ireland, as well as the oldest Irish emigrant, following the death of 107 year-old Bridget Hynes on 24 April 1986. Following Hegarty's death on 14 November 1991, Maryann Henthorne became the oldest living person born in Ireland.

Hegarty became the oldest Irish emigrant ever recorded in August 1987, after surpassing the previous record set by Johanna Flavin (whose exact age is uncertain). Hegarty's record of 111 years, 226 days stood until it was broken by Kathleen Snavely on 1 October 2013.

At the time of her death, Hegarty was the third-oldest Irish born person ever recorded, after Katherine Plunket and Elizabeth Munson. After her age was surpassed by Kathleen Snavely in 2013, Hegarty dropped to fourth place.