Saturday, 14 February 2009

Vital Indexes

As part of a One-Name Study of our Clan Name and its variants in which I am engaged, it is necessary to analyse the statutory references to the name in the national records.  Also, apart from this, I often need to find a reference quickly to a particular member of the clan.  For both purposes I have been engaged recently in compiling Indexes of Births, Marriages and Deaths.  The task has been more complex than at first I thought, though it has already begun to be useful.  As a preliminary exercise I decided to list all clan references in Censuses and in what are sometimes called census substitutes, particularly useful in Ireland where so many of the 'regular' censuses were destroyed.  This produced 242 entries as follows: 1669 Hearth Money Rolls, Ireland 2, Scotland 3; 1847-64 Applotment Books and Griffiths Land Valuations, Ireland 27; 1851 Census Ireland 5; 1881 Census Scotland 6, England 7; 1891 Census Scotland 1, Canada 1; 1911 Census Canada 2, England 7, Ireland 114; 1912 Ulster Covenant Signatures 45 and 1930 USA Federal Census 3.

These entries, together with as many Statutory and Parish Records as I could find, have up to the present found 811 births, 451 marriages and 266 deaths.  These include many variations of our clan name: 38 in the Birth, 32 in the Marriage and 29 in the Death Index!  Of the 811 births 501 are for McIlhagga, 79 McElhago, 71 McIlhagger, 42 McIlhaggar, 16 McIlhago, 14 McIlhaggo and 11 McElhagow.  15 more name variations account for 61 more births (with more than one for each name) and there are 16 for name variations with just one birth each.  Of the 451 marriages 283 are for McIlhagga, 49 McIlhagger, 18 McIlhaggar, 17 McIlhago, 15 McElhago, 13 McIlhaggo and 10 McIlhaga.  Nine more name variations account for 30 more marriages (with more than one for each) and finally there are 16 for name variations with just one each.

To be certain about numbers of deaths is much more difficult because in early times and in some places such as Scotland people didn't think it so important to keep such records, though other than book records do help, like the hiring of mort cloths, the proving of Wills and of course Memorial Inscriptions on graves or plaques.  At present I have 201 for McIlhagga, 33 McIlhagger, 13 McElhago, 9 McIlhaggar, 4 McIlhaggo, 2 McIlhaga and one each for McElhagow, McIlhaggan, McIlhaggie and McHaggie.

These Indexes are very much a work in progress and in the coming months will no doubt be expanded considerably.

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