Friday, 15 May 2009

A Middle Clan Name

The 1911 Census of Ireland has a particularly interesting entry for 33 Jersey Street, Shankill, County Antrim. It is for the Johnston family. William is 31 and Sarah 36. There are three children, Robert 7, Samuel McIlhaga 6 and Evelyn 4. Why was Samuel given the middle name McIlhaga? Perhaps it was his mother's maiden name, though I have no record of a Sarah McIlhag(g)a born in or near 1875.  There is a similarly mysterious example on a website called where there is Evelyn V. McIlhagga Milligan who died in 1999. Like Samuel, I do not know to which Clan family she belongs, but no doubt these are examples of parents wishing to preserve the Clan name when otherwise it might have been lost.

There are other examples of which we know, where we also know to which family they do belong. In accord with a policy of only using the full names of people who are deceased at the time of writing, we can record that John and Sarah McIlhagga of Belfast have a grandson whose first and middle names are John and McIlhagga. John McIlhagga Collins (1945-1982) was the son of Albert Collins and Agnes McClure McIlhagga of Glasgow. Agnes McIlhagga X and William McIlhagga X are the two eldest children of William Meldrum and Minnie McIlhagga of Glasgow. Annie McIlhagga Y is the grand-daughter of Robert Dunlop McIlhagga and Annie Thompson of Castlequarter, County Antrim. Mr. & Mrs. McIlhagga in Wales have two grandchildren who they say are very proud of their middle name. They are Cameron McIlhagga Z and Catrin McIlhagga Z. If anyone knows of other examples I would very much like to hear from them.

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