Thursday, 30 April 2009

Scottish Strays

There are problems in 'doing genealogy'. The obvious one is the 'brick wall'. How do you get around or over the obstacle that won't let you go any further in researching an ancestral line? I have described one of my own 'brick walls' in this blog on 20th February. Another problem is what might be called 'loose cannons', or perhaps better, just 'strays'. You know about the existence of someone and you may even know something about them, like where they lived, but you don't know how they fit into the rest of the picture. I have written about all the information I have on our clan which fits into to some kind of 15th to 18th Century pattern in Scotland. There are however, just a couple of 'strays'. 

The dominant version of the clan name over that period was McElhago. But who was Mary McElhago born right at the end of the eighteenth century and who died in 1870 at Roseneath, Argyll? Her death record has the alternative name of Erskine. Did she marry an Erskine or was she an Erskine who married an McElhago? Her marriage, if there was one, does not seem to be in the Scottish records. In an earlier blog I have mentioned John McIlhague of Dundonald who married Isabella McCallum and had a daughter Jean. But we don't know how this 'nuclear family' relates to other Dundonald families in the 18th Century. There is however one question we can answer. Who was Robert McAlhago (sic) born on 10th October 1789? He was in fact the first-born son of Robert (McElhago) and Elizabeth Jamieson.  He has never been recorded with the spelling McElhago and he must have died before May 1796 when Robert and Elizabeth had a fourth son they named Robert. Clearly Robert number two 'replaced' their first child who must have died an an infant.

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