Thursday, 13 August 2009

Transcription Errors and Siblings Marry

On 10th August I mentioned that I am busy analysing some marriage records I have received through the AncestryIreland website. After looking at the first few I have two things to report, one negative and one positive. I did not order records that I already have - that would have been a waste of money. Some however have 'slipped through the net'. I didn't immediately recognize that I already had them, being mislead by transcription errors. I have already had to report several serious ones - wrong names and wrong places. Ballycloughan was transcribed as Ballyloughlin (twice), quite a different place. The name Wade was transcribed as Macaide and the name Thomas as John! If I have spotted these errors on just two records of which I happened to have the originals - one of which might have put me off the scent in my own family tree - how many others are there which I have no means of checking? I wonder if they'll give me my money back?

Let me come to the positive information. On 19th and 22nd June I wrote about Families in Lisnacrogher and Limavallaghan, many of whom landed up in Jamestown, Ohio. It appears that not all of them did. I have been intrigued for a long time that two clan members are to be found in the 2% of the 1851 Census that has survived. Two young people were absent from home when the Census was taken on 30th March, William and Esther, both apprentice weavers. William was in Craigs Townland, Ahoghill, with the Brown family. Esther was in the Carnmore Townland Dunachy with the Redmond family. There were also two other 'apprentices', William Brown in Craigs and William McGovern in Carnmore.

From the AncestryIreland marriage records I can now confirm that the siblings William and Esther must have kept in touch with each other and with their home and that serious friendships had grown up between the various families in Craigs and Carnmore. Both William and Esther married in the same year as the Census, 1851, so we can assume that the relationships must have existed from some time before. William married first, just a month after the Census, on 29th April. He is recorded as William McHagger of Limavallaghan Dunaghy, a Weaver aged 21, son of David McHagger, Weaver. This gives us a birth year for William of 1830. His witness was William Redmond, the thirty-year old weaver to whom his sister Esther was apprenticed. And whom did William marry? Why, Mary McGovern of Carnmore Dunaghy who must have been the sister of Esther's co-apprentice, William McGovern. She was three years older than her fiance, having been born in 1827. The McGovern siblings were the children of Henry McGovern, a shoemaker in Carnmore. Esther McHagger was the 'wife's witness'.

Esther married later in the year, on 9th August. She is recorded on this occasion as Esther McIlhaggar of Lisnakrogher Skerry, daughter of David McIlhaggar, weaver. She is aged 21. Her witness was a Thomas Taylor. She married Robert Whiteside also from Lisnakrogher Skerry, a weaver, also aged 21. He was the son of Thomas Whiteside, also a weaver. The 'husband's witness' was a Thomas Greer. On the records of both marriages, under 'Denomination' all parties declared 'Civil Parish' and both marriages took place in Ballymena Registrar's Office in Kirkinriola, Ballymena, County Antrim. This implies that both marriages were entirely 'secular'. What I don't understand is that both marriages were 'by licence Rev. J. Greer'. Perhaps the Revd. Mr. Greer was the Registrar, and brought in a relation to sign as a witness. I'm afraid I have no knowledge at the present about whether either couple had a family.

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