Local History Societies and Family History Societies do a superb job, often recording and publishing family information. The Newtownabbey branch of the North of Ireland Family History Society has recently published a book called The Hidden Graveyard a copy of which I received this morning. I sent for it in the hope that there might be a clan name in it - and there is one! The book is the result of a lot of hard work in clearing and then recording the M.I.s (Memorial Inscriptions) in one of the three graveyards of the Church of the Holy Evangelists, Parish of Carnmoney. It is in Church Road, Newtownabbey. In Section A, near the entrance to the road, there is a metal plaque with metal railings, in position A/H5 (see the diagrams on pages 26 & 27). The book simply records 'The family burying ground of Samuel McIlhaga, Belfast, 1886' (see page 31).
I wrote about Carnmoney in a blog of 20th May last. Mostly it was about Carnmoney of a century before the death of Samuel. I did however mention one Samuel born July 1842 and baptised at Carnmoney Parish Church on 27th November that year. He was the seventh child of Nathan and Ellen (nee Wilson). If he was the Samuel buried in The Hidden Graveyard he would have been just 44 when he died. However, at this time I have no more information about him. My own records do not spell his surname 'McIlhaga', rather 'McIlhagger', but spellings were very fluid about this time. Hopefully there are some burial records which might tell more. I do have records for one Samuel McIlhaga (one 'g'), not necessarily from Carnmoney, but he died in 1904, so clearly he's not the one buried in The Hidden Graveyard.