Friday, 27 March 2009

Kirkmichael roundup

The Old Parochial Records (OPRs) of Kirkmichael, Ayrshire, Scotland contain 18 baptism and marriage records of our clan. In two reviews we have already considered eleven. We have also mentioned one other, the marriage of Jennet McElhagow and James Lockart on 11th February 1673 in Stuarton. Banns had been read in Kirkmichael on 26th January. The entry gives no clue to the parents of Jennet, nor of her age. A marriage in 1673 of a twenty year old would give a birth year of about 1653. This would indicate that she was a possible sibling of James son of Thomas, despite James' record being for McIlhagow and Jennet's being for McElhagow. We have already seen that such a name variation occurs elsewhere in this family. All David McIlhaggow's children are recorded as McElhagow!

A similar scenario may apply to another marriage. On 22nd July 1669 Thomas McElhagow married Jonet Murchie in Kirkmichael. Their banns had been read on 3rd July. If Thomas was (say) twenty when married, his birth year would be 1649. He's another candidate to be a sibling of James son of Thomas. At the time of writing we have no information about any offspring of James and Jennet Lockart, but we do have the records of the baptisms of the four children of Thomas and Jonet (nee Murchie) McElhagow. They had been married in July 1669 and John was born eight months later. He was baptised on 8th May with two witnesses, James Gibson and Andrew (?)Gothies. Thirty-three years later the last Kirkmichael OPR entry is for the baptism of David son of John McIlhagow on 20th September 1702. David son of John could well be the grandson of Thomas and Jonet (nee Murchie).

The second child of Thomas and Jonet is particularly important for us. She is Helen baptised on 6th August 1672. She is the only clan member in Kirkmichael for whom we have three records, of her baptism, her marriage and evidence of her burial. The marriage banns were read on 29th November 1697. The OPR reads 'Betwixt David Mitchell in the paroch of Stratoun and Helen Mcilhagow in this paroch maried at this kirk Decbr 26th, 1697'. It is Helen's name on the earliest gravestone (as Hellin McKlhagu) which is in Kirkmichael graveyard. It was doubtless erected by her spouse David for her and for other members of the Mitchel (to use the Memorial's spelling) family and their spouses. Helen's date of death is not recorded though it was before 1738 which is the only date on the stone. The reverse side of the stone has the bold carving of a skull and crossbones.

The third child of Thomas and Jonet was David baptised 14th March 1675. His witnesses were David Lockart, presumably his uncle James, and William Gibson, presumably one of the family of Gibsons who were Coupers in Ayr. Finally we have the third son and fourth child of Thomas and Jonet, also Thomas. He was baptised two years later, on 28th January 1677. A witness is named, possibly a James Cathcart. These references complete all the records we have from the village of Kirkmichael, before we move our attention to the nearby village of Dalmellington.

Military Service

In the 2006 Clan Newsletter I wrote an article on 'Clan Military Service' and after several people had been in touch updated it in 2007. No fewer that fourteen men served in the First World War, half of them in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, two with Scottish Highland Regiments, two with the Royal Irish Rifles and one, who won the Military Medal, with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers; two were in the Royal Navy. In World War Two seven men and two women served, including one man killed as a Prisoner of War. Four were in the Air Force, including both women. In more recent conflicts one man who was in World War II was also in Vietnam and one other served in Korea. The details of all these can be found on our Clan Website, . A recent correspondent from Ballymena has let us know that after the Second World War 'Jim' (James Spence) McIlhagga of Ballymena served in the Royal Navy. I assume this was James son of James Spence and Elizabeth (nee McGrillis) McIlhagga, born about 1916 who died about 1980. If anyone has any more information about him we would like to hear from them.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Clan Map: Kirkmichael

On March 22nd I outlined the first three generations of the Clan in the Ayrshire village of Kirkmichael. The oldest known member of the third generation was James son of Thomas McIlhaggow baptised in 1653. The five others who were probably his cousins were the offspring of David and Katherin McElhagow. We can deduce from the Hearth Tax records of the 1690s that at some time Thomas and his family moved into a house called Barnhill where he was charged for one fireplace. David and his family were to move into a house called Barndona. The Hearth Tax documentation also shows another occupant of 'Barndona', a John Spears who paid for two fireplaces. Maybe John Spears was in the farmhouse and David was in a croft on the farm. Now, do we know anything of David and Katherin's children?

John the eldest was baptised on 26th August 1666. On a very poor photocopy the two witnesses may be James Gibson and Gilbert McClymont. We will meet James Gibson again. In 1690 John would have been 24 and when the Hearth Tax survey was taken he was probably the John McIlhago who was living with Adam Neiving at Threave where they paid for two hearths, again possibly a farmhouse. Nowadays Threave is the name of a large Estate. Maybe John was employed by Adam. Neiving is a name which occurs several times in nearby houses in the Hearth Tax records. David and Katherin's second son was Thomas, baptised on 24th January 1669. Another poor copy obliterates the name of a witness. The Kirkmichael Old Parish Records (OPRs) do not include any subsequent marriage for either John or Thomas.

The third child of David and Katherine was their first daughter, Jennet, baptised 12th November 1671. Twenty-nine years later 'Jonat' McIlhagow was to marry Thomas Craig 'both in this paroch'. Their banns were called on 25th October and they married on 26th November 1700. The identification of Jennet and Jonet is made probable by the existence of our earliest Scottish Clan Will which pertains to 'Jonat McIlhague' of Maybole, dated 1733. Strictly speaking this legal document is what is known as a Testament, the document which is drawn up in Scotland after a person dies. Its purpose is in part to make an Inventory of goods and partly to appoint an executor. The executor in question was a James Gibson. He states that Jonat's relationship to him was Aunt and that she was sister german (ie blood sister) to Anable (sic). Now Annable was the other, younger daughter of David and Katherin. She was baptised in Kirkmichael on 4th April 1677. At Annable's baptism there was a witness named James Mc[ ] from Dalmellington. We learn from Jonet's Will that Annable married James Gibson (senior) from Sheoch who was probably the son of a third James Gibson , Couper of Ayr, who appears as a witness at several clan baptisms.

From the Will (Testament) we learn that Jonet and her spouse Thomas Craig must have moved from Kirkmichael to Maybole, the chief town of Carrick, but that they had no offspring, at least none who survived them. Incidentally the OPRs have no record of this marriage, which may may have been an omission or may conceivably have taken place in another parish, possibly Maybole. Thomas must have predeceased Jonet who, according to Scottish custom, reverted as a widow to her maiden name. The Testament makes it clear that Thomas had left Jonet a moderately comfortably-off 'relict', to use the old Scottish word for widow.

Between Jennet/Jonet and Annable, David and Katherine had their third son, James, who was baptised on 14th June 1674. The OPR includes as witness David Lockart. Now on 26th January 1673 a James Lockart and a Jennet McElhagow had banns called at Kirkmichael. They married on 11th February in nearby Stuarton. Presumably James Lochart and David Lockart were closely related, perhaps brothers. Clearly Jennet was not the same Jennet whose Testament we have found for she had been born only two years previously in 1671. We must return to her in a subsequent publication but first must complete our reference to her 'Will'. 'Jonet Mcilhague' left 'ye sum of sixty nine pounds eleven shillings and six penneys Scots'. She also left a Chimney Seat, some green racan (a fancy material), a Bible and a pair of old shoes. The value of these items was £70.4.2. Various people, mostly tradesmen in Maybole, are listed as owing to her items worth £140.2.0, though whether this is rather an amount which she owed to tradesmen is somewhat unclear. Reading an early 18th Century document is not the easiest thing!

Shipping News

This week a clan descendant (GGG Grand-daughter) got in touch with me kindly to pass on some information about her ancestor James McElhago which had been researched for her by Ayrshire Archives. The information comes from the Shipping Intelligence columns of the Air Advertiser of 1822/23 and Lloyds Register of 1838 so you'll gather James was a Master Mariner. 

We are fortunate in having birth, marriage and death records for James. He was born on 9th and baptised on 19th of December 1791. His baptism entry in the Irvine, Ayrshire Old Parish Records (OPRs) reads 'James, son to Robert McIlhaggert, Shipmaster & Elizabeth Jamieson'. He was baptised on the same day as a Jane Boyd. I wonder if the McElhago and Boyd families were related? Some years later an Elizabeth Boyd was to become James' niece by marriage. Often later in life people either do not remember their date of birth or they falsify it to gain some kind of advantage. In both the 1851 and the 1861 Censuses when James was really 60 and 70 respectively, he knocked two years off his age! In the 1841 Census he had knocked 6 years off!! Sometimes an age discrepancy was to hide the fact that a man was younger than his wife, but this is not the case with James. At the age of twenty-eight he married Jane Harvey at Irvine Parish Church on 27th March, 1819. The entry simply reads 'James McElhago & Jane Harvey parishioners'. According to the 1851 Census her birth year was 1793 and according to 1861 it was 1801! The '61 Census spells their surname McIllhago.

Robert, James' father, recorded in his baptism entry, was a 'Sea Master'. James followed in his father's footsteps, however unsteady they would have been on board ship in the Firth of Clyde or the North Channel. There is a 'travelogue' entry which for a time I have suspected as being ficticious despite James being named and his ship being 'Jane', the name of his wife. However with the corroboration of the recent Ayrshire archive information I am persuaded it must be based on fact. It's an excellent piece of writing by David Yates which conjures up a dock-side atmosphere. It concerns Liverpool Waterfront in 1825 when James would have been thirty four:

'After the last two days of thick fog, when I was confined to exploring the "cavernous" interiors of both the Custom House and the Excise Office, this evening is bright and crisp with a nearly full moon glistening on the water in the Docks and Basins and on the River Mersey beyond. The change in the weather seems to have lifted the spirits of the seafaring men because nautical duties and some fiddle music fill the air around the multitude of Sailing Coastal vessels. Tallow lanterns shine like a thousand stars the full length of the waterfront, and men are getting ready to cast off at first light for the various ports around the British Isles. As time is short, I had better get a move on and list all the vessels going to ports starting with the letter "D".' After Dartmouth and before Dublin he lists 14 ships going to Drogheda (Agents: Liverpool - James Found, 19 Cooper's Row; Drogheda - William Appleyard), including the ship 'Jane', whose master was James McElhago.

The destination port of Drogheda is of course in Ireland, north of Dublin. The Ayrshire Customs and Excise Records and Lloyd's Shipping Register present us with evidence of James at a later date part-owning and captaining a Collier vessel between Ayrshire and Ireland.  The Air Advertiser of 1822 and 1823 had Shipping Intelligence columns recording sailings from Irvine to Dublin, Dundalk and Newry with coals and returning 'in ballast'. The vessel was called 'Nancies' and had been built in 1798 in Saltcoats. It was registered as a Brigantine, Official Number 12001. It had one deck, two masts, a standing bowsprit, a square stern, and was carvel built (ie without overlap of planks).  Its dimensions were 61ft.0ins x 17ft.9ins x 8ft.6ins, of Tonnage 81.2/94. The picture presented to us is surely of our very own Clan 'Para Handy'! There are seven references to the vessel's ownership:

1834 Oct 15: James McIlhago has become master. He remained Master until 31 Aug 1838. He was part-owner of the vessel. Shares in the vessel were calculated in 64ths. 
1836 Oct 10/12: Hamilton Campbell, Robert Rankin and William Wilkie each sold 4 shares to James McIlhago, Shipmaster, Irvine. His total 12/64ths.
Oct 11: John Porteous sold 6 shares to James McElhago. Total 18/64ths.
1837 Jan 18: Jas. McIlhago sold 12 shares to John Jamieson, Merchant, Dublin. Total 6/64ths.
Jan 27: Thos. Garven sold 6 shares to Jas. McIlhago. Total 12/64ths.
1838 Mar 7: Jas. McIlhago sold 4 shares to Chas. Samson, Shipbuilder, Irvine. Total 8/64ths.
Sep 29 Jas. McIlhago sold 8 shares to Cath. Murdoch or Samson, Irvine. Total 0/64ths.

So, on 31st August 1838 James ceased to be Captain and a month later he had sold his last shares in the 'Nancies'. The Lloyds Register for 1838 records, Name: Nancies; Type: Brig; Master: M'ell'age (!); Tons: 81; Built: Saltcoats 1798; Home Port: Irvine; Voyage: Lly, Dundalk; Lloyds Class: AE1; Owner: Captain & Co.. We may note that in 1837 James sold shares to a John Jamieson.  His mother's maiden name was Jamieson and it is not impossible that he was selling to a relative, indicating perhaps that his mother was a native of Dublin.

James was to live another twenty-six years. He died on 4th September 
1862 at the ripe age of 70 years, at 2hrs.18mins, pm, in Friar's Croft, in 
the parish of Dundonald in the Burgh of Irvine. His daughter Eliza 
was the informant. She signed the death register on 8th September at 
Irvine, countersigned by William Orr, Assistant Registrar. Strangely 
James is recorded as a widower, though his wife Jane did not die until 
two years later on 17th December 1864! The word 'widower'is in the 
Registrar's handwriting and we must assume the mistake was his. 
There are two final pieces of Shipping Information which probably 
show us that James continued to work until the end of his life. The 
Scotsman Newspaper in its Shipping News on 11th August 1862, page 
4, records the ship 'Nile' arriving at Alexandria from the Clyde on 20th 
July and on 25th August, page 4,records the 'Nile' leaving for the Clyde 
on 12th August, with Captain McElhago. 'Para Handy' had become an 
International player!  If however this was James, then we have a record 
of him making his last voyage.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Mapping the Clan

Where did we come from? Where did we go to? These are interesting questions. In this blog I have hinted at very early (Celtic) origins for the Clan in the south of Ireland and still early (Medieval) origins in the Scottish Borders and in Galloway. In 'modern' times (15th Century onwards) the story continues in south-west Scotland, mostly in Ayrshire. People may move, but they don't move very far, unless there is a pressing reason like the potato famine in the mid- 19th Century, or perhaps the search for work. The part of Ayrshire called Carrick certainly had clan members for 400 years from about 1490 to at least 1890, located mainly in four places, Kirkmichael, Dalmellington, Ayr and Irvine. I will take each of these and ask what we know of the folk who lived there.

The earliest person referred to in the Old Parish Records (OPRs) of the village of Kirkmichael is Thomas McIlhagow who had his son baptised there on 11th July 1638. Sadly in those days no reference is made in the record to the mother of a child at a baptism, so we don't know Thomas' wife's name. We do know however that Thomas probably had two female grand-children: Jennet or Jonet and Annable. If they were following the Scottish naming pattern Thomas' wife could have been Annable after whom a second grand-daughter would have been named. The first grand-daughter would have been called after the maternal grandmother.

The second entry in the Kirkmichael OPRs is the baptism of James son of Thomas McIllhaggow, fifteen years later, on 30th May 1653. Is the father the same Thomas as the father of David? It is almost irrelevant that the surname has doubled both the 'l' and the 'g'. The entries were written by two different people. I have (poor) photocopies of both and the scripts are in two distinct hands, one upright and one italic. James had two witnesses, Hew(?) Cambell and John [ ]. Now it is of course possible that there was a fifteen year gap between two brothers, but it seems unlikely as there are no other baptisms recorded between 1638 and 1653. I think it is more likely that we have a generation gap between the two Thomases. And indeed they could have been father and son if the son Thomas had been an earlier child than David, born say 1832 which would have made him only six years older than his brother and indeed a father at 21. Against this identification is the fact that there is no marriage record for Thomas junior, but then his wife (whose name we do not know for the same reason that we do not know the name of Thomas senior's wife) could well have come from a neighbouring parish where they were married and where the records did not begin until a later date. This 'father and son' conjecture would give us a birth date for Thomas senior between say 1600 and 1610.

Happily the other two entries in the 1650s are for two marriages, both in November 1655. They appear to be for a sister and brother marrying a brother and sister. Also one includes David McElhagow who, we must guess, was the David born in 1638. I realise this means he was only seventeen and a half when he married, but as here we have a case of two families celebrating two weddings, and perhaps indeed of twins marrying twins, there must have been a lot of pressure to conform. Agnes McEllhagow married first, 11 days before David, perhaps because she was the older sibling. She married William Baird on 12th November 1655. David married Katherin Baird on 23rd November. Both families were from Kirkmichael so banns had been called for both marriages during the previous month, October. Sadly the records at this time were very brief and parents names were not recorded, as neither were the occupations nor the addresses of the brides and grooms. Our assumption is however, that if the 'first generation' of the clan that we can name in Kirkmichael includes a Thomas (senior), the second generation includes three people all of whom were probably his children, in probable order of age, Agnes, Thomas and David.

At the time of writing we do not know if William and Agnes Baird had any children. We have already seen that Thomas (junior) had a son James who was baptised in 1653. David and Katherin appear to have had no fewer than five children, including the two grand-daughters of Thomas senior I've mentioned above. We have to note that according to the records they do not start a family for eleven years, until 1666, which may have something to do with David marrying at such a young age, though it is always possible that there were children who did not survive infancy. Their known children, or rather the children we assume are theirs, are recorded as John son of David McElhagow baptised 26th August 1666; Thomas son of David McElhagow baptised 24th January 1669; Jennet daughter of David McElhagow baptised 12th November 1671; James son of David McElhagow baptised 14th June 1674 and Annable daughter of David McElhagow baptised 4th April 1677. After this date there are no further baptisms of a David. I will return to this family in a subsequent publication.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Pittsburg, Pensylvania

I am trying to build up a 'Clan Archive' in two ways, first by acquiring copies of documents such as birth, marriage and death certificates, Wills, &c. The second way is to collect photographs both of people and of Memorial Inscriptions. These latter of course are normally on gravestones. The one I came across this week heads today's blog, but is I confess a complete mystery to me.  Clearly it reads 'Margaret McElhago, 1803 - 1875', who was either born into or married into a McElhago family. However, although I have records of 33 McElhagos, I have no Margaret!  The gravestone is to be found in Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburg, Pensylvania, USA.

I have only one other, rather remote, clan reference to Pensylvania.  One of the late eighteenth century centres of the clan was a place called Carnmoney, half way between Ballyclare and Belfast in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.  We can assume that the very rare name McHago is a contraction of either McIlhago or McElhago and there was a very early Helen McHago born in Carnmoney about 1690. She married James Millikin, a member of Ballyclare Presbyterian Church. They married in Carnmoney on 26th May 1713. Now there are two reference to McHagos in America. The first is to a Samuel McHago who was one of the witnesses to a Quaker Will in New York City, dated 18th September 1777 (proved on 18th April 1780). There is also a 19th Century Edward McHago who was one of three 'hired hands' employed by a farmer in Washington, Cass, Iowa in 1880.  Edward was 21 years old and had been born in Virginia in 1859 of an Irish father and (wait for it...) an American mother from Pensylvania. Were the American McHagos originally from Carnmoney? Were they related to the McElhago family to which Margaret on the gravestone belonged?  These are only remote possibilities but at this time I have no other clues to who Margaret might have been.

P.S. I've just realised that Margaret could have been a sibling of the three McElhago brothers to whom I referred in this blog on 7th February. James, Samuel and Robert were born in 1791, 3 and 6 respectively. Margaret, born in 1803, could have been their 'baby' sister. We know that James and Samuel, and possibly Robert, were seafarers and in all probability went to America and could well have taken Margaret as a passenger, though as yet I haven't found her on an extant passenger list. Maybe she just fell in love with her 'new' country and stayed there.  

Saturday, 14 March 2009

The Seventeenth Century: Scotland

Last month I summarised the references to the three clan members who appear in the 16th Century in the part of Ayrshire, Scotland called Carrick. They were Michael Macylhaggow in 1527, Patrick McIlhagon in 1553 and Robert M'Ilhago in 1597. For the most part the 17th Century keeps us in the County of Ayr and mostly in one village, that of Kirkmichael. Kirkmichael is important to us for two reasons: the Parish Records there contain the earliest birth and marriage references we have to the clan and in the kirkyard there is the earliest gravestone which refers to a clan member who was born in the 17th Century.

The gravestone includes the name of Helen who, we know from the paper records, was born 6th August 1672. She was the daughter of Thomas and Jonet (nee Murchie) McElhagow. On the stone her surname is (incredibly) spelled MCKLHAGU, which clearly was what the sculptor 'heard' in the local accent of the day. Helen married David Mitchell almost at the end of the century, on 26th December 1697. It was the Mitchell family who erected the stone.

The parish records go back two or perhaps three generations before Helen. The earliest record is dated 11th July  1638, the baptism of David, son of Thomas McIlhagow, in Kirkmichael church. Of the names in the records two others are probably Thomas' children, namely Thomas and Agnes who married William Baird. David married William's sister, Katherin Baird. David and Katherin had five children, the third of whom, Jennet or Jonet, leaves us our earliest clan Will in Scotland. Jonet's executor was her nephew James Gibson, son of her younger sister Annable (sic). Annable had married a James Gibson, a couper in Ayr town. In Ayr in 1685 he had been one of two sponsors at the baptism of Agnes, the eldest child of Robert and Bessie (nee Johnstone) McIlhago. Robert was a 'fisher'. The second sponsor at the baptism is particularly interesting for he declared himself as Agnes' grandfather. In the record his first name is difficult to read but he is probably John McIlhago. Both he and his children lived before there were any paper records made. We may observe that if this family followed the Scottish naming pattern for their children, and given that a generation spans approximately 25 years, it is just possible that John, father of Robert McIlhago and grandfather of Agnes, was in fact the son of Robert M'Ilhago whom we met at the end of the sixteenth century (in 1597).  

If we now return to the person in the earliest parish record, David McIlhagow and his elder brother Thomas, we can estimate that as the century turned, Thomas would probably have been in his late 50s and David in his mid 50s. Now in 1691 the civil authorities raised a new tax based on the number of fireplaces in your house. It was called the Hearth Tax and in Kirkmichael three houses occupied by clan members were taxed. Thomas McIlhago in Barnhill was charged for one fireplace. David McIlhago in Barndona was also charged for one fireplace. Finally Adam Neiving in Threave 'and John McIlhago there' was charged for two fireplaces. Now David had an eldest son John who would have been about 25 in 1691 and could well have been living with Adam Neiving, perhaps employed by him, in Threave. So the Hearth Tax provides us with some confirmation of the picture of the clan in Kirkmichael that we have from a gravestone and from the parish records.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

The Bent Pinkie

When a new baby is born, it is natural to ask 'who does he/she look like?' We know that we inherit physical features, like the colour of our eyes or the shape of our nose. Sometimes of course we inherit medical conditions perhaps related to an organ like the heart. Occasionally I get a query about whether I know if a characteristic relates to other members of our 'Clan'. Some time ago I had my DNA analysed in order to compare it to that of a group of people with a similar name to 'McIlhagga' and who wondered if one name might come from the other. This week a question has been raised about a specific and a very distinctive physical feature, that of the 'bent pinkie' - the 'little finger' to those who are not Celts!

The syndrome is called Clinodactyly or Camptodactyly.  The little fingers grow bending considerably inwards, a condition which can inhibit doing some things, like playing musical instruments. Like some other physical conditions, sadly children sometimes have a hard time because of the comments they get from their peers.  Unfortunately it is a condition which can get worse and painful as the years go by.  This is apparently a known trait in some Central and Native American peoples and in the West there are theories about a link with Irish and/or Viking ancestry. We all know that one of the major Viking settlements was Dublin. If there is any evidence in the McIlhagga Clan of the 'bent pinkie' or indeed of any other distinctive trait that may be inherited, we would like to hear about it.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Lost and Found

I read recently in one of the national Family History magazines that The FamilySearch Volunteer Indexing Project has been uploading millions of records on the web, including 23 million for Ireland, so I decided to check the variants of the clan name on It soon became obvious that there was the occasional additional entry since I last checked in 2006. Now all my GG Grandparents' eight children were born in Ireland. Their second son John was born between 1830 and 1833 though I have never been able to find which year. He married Mary the daughter of William Stewart in 1851 and they had nine children between 1852 and 1871. By 1862 they had moved from Ireland to Greenock on the west coast of Scotland where their last five children were born.

In the 1881 Census of Scotland there were seven family members living at 56 Drumfrochan Road, Greenock, including Mary aged 49, marked 'head' of the household.  As she was so listed I assumed for some time that John must have died, though Mary was not said to be a widow. However, subsequently I discovered that John's grave was in Greenock Cemetery with a death date having been published in The Greenock Telegraph, as 14th July 1895, where his name is spelled McIlhaggart, as is Mary's surname in the 1881 Census.  So where was John in 1881? Had he simply left the family or was he away working and helping to keep the family? I think the FamilySearch Indexing Project may now have provided the answer. A John Mac Haggart aged 50 (so with a birth year of 1831) born Ireland, was living as a boarder with a Robert Lafferty and his wife at 18 Agnes Street, West Ham, Essex, England, where both John and Robert give their occupation as Sugar H(ouse) Labourer.  So we have yet another variant, or deviant, of the Clan name, but I think we've found John son of William and we know the probable year of his birth.

Friday, 6 March 2009

World Wide

Well over 90% of the 'Clan', both historically and currently, are to be found in the British Isles: Ireland (The Republic and Northern Ireland), Scotland, England and Wales; and in the four countries to which the majority of folk emigrated in the 19th Century, namely Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA.  To the best of our knowledge there are just one or two members living today in Spain, Portugal and the Caribbean, to which we must add also the Isle of Man!  I now have to add an historical 'find'. The International Genealogical Index has the record of a 'Christening' on 24th December 1863 of Vicente Adan Mac Elhaga, son of Samuel MacElhaga and Joanna Whete in Rosario, Copiapo, lii-Region, Chile. Vicente is a common Spanish name and Adan is a variant of Adam. Whete is a very rare surname, possibly a variant of White, but does exist in both Australia and the USA. If anyone can throw any light on this 'nuclear' family we would be most grateful.