Monday, 18 May 2009

The early Antrim triangle

In County Antrim, Northern Ireland, the present day A5 driving south divides at Ballynure into the A5 and the A57. They form two sides of a triangle, the third side of which is the A6. The A57 takes you through Ballyclare, past a sign on your right to Doagh, and on to Templepatrick. The A5 takes you down to Newtownabbey and a couple of miles off to the left on the A8 to Carnmoney. Go back in time about 300 years and in that triangle you would have found our earliest Clan settlers in the Plantation of Ulster who we must presume sailed over The North Channel from the west of Scotland. In an blog on the 13th April I have referred to the three earliest men of whom we know, who appear in the 1669 Hearth Money Rolls in the townland of Cogry in the parish of Doagh Grange near Ballyclare. They were named Alex McIlhago, Allexander McIlhago and James McIlhaga. They must have been born in the first half of the 17th Century, whether in Scotland or Ireland we do not know.

Although in the earlier blog I have made a conjecture about their link with their Scottish homeland, unfortunately we don't have any evidence of marriages or offspring for them. It is just possible that Helen McHago (presumably an abbreviation of McIlhago) was a grand-daughter of one of them. She came from Carnmoney to marry James Millikin in Ballyclare on 26th May 1713. Ballyclare is a sizable townland of 1013 acres in the barony of Upper Antrim in the civil parish of Doagh Grange. And to find the first sizable clan family we need to stay at the southern apex of the 'triangle' in the smaller townland of Carnmoney. It was a village of 456 acres in the barony of Lower Belfast, in the civil parish also named Carnmoney. However, again unfortunately, we have another large gap of possibly two generations before we meet a man named Nathan who was born at the end of the 1750s. For us he has to be considered the progenitor of the Carnmoney branch of the clan. We will look in detail at this family in another blog.

1 comment:

  1. My father was the sixth son of Hannah who was married to Robert Killips and lived in Rutland. My fathers name was John McILHagga Killips he died in 1966