Monday, 30 November 2009

The William Descent

We will stay with the descendants of the eldest son of the Ballycloughan family. William son of William, as we have seen, had six children. From the youngest: Elizabeth lived until the age of 37. She married William Baxter who was the person trusted to give notice of both his father-in-law's and his mother-in-law's death, despite the fact that she is wrongly recorded as his mother (see The Greenock Telegraph for 27th April 1900)! Janet is absent from the 1871 Census so she may well have died before she reached double figures. Agnes also gave notice of her mother's death in 1900. She was by then married to Samuel Stewart, a Journeyman Baker, son of Alexander Stewart and Elizabeth McLelland. Matilda, like her younger sister Janet also died before her tenth birthday (1868). James, when he was twenty, married Johanna McCulloch by whom he had sixteen children. I will dedicate another blog to him and his descendants. Finally William son of William son of William, when he was twenty, married Rachel McLelland, daughter of John McLelland and Rachel Anderson, by whom he had eight children: William, Matilda, Andrew, James, Rachael, Eliabeth, Martha and Thomas. It is interesting how often the McLellands crop up in relation to the McIlhaggas. I imagine them from one family.

William son of William son of William was born 1852/3 and was given a second name, to 'keep alive' his mother's maiden name, Carson. On 31st December 1873 he married Rachel in the Greenock Free Church Manse in Ratho Street, after banns had been called according to the custom of the Free Church of Scotland. His address was of course that of his parents, 12 Terrace Road. This was also Rachel's address, though she only hailed from the next town along the coast, Port Glasgow. However, her parents were both deceased so maybe she had been lodging with the McIlhaggas. It looks as if William's young sister Agnes, aged only thirteen, was his witness at the marriage, though admittedly it might have been his Aunt Nancy who was using her 'proper' name. In either case, she 'made her mark'. William, a Sugar-House Labourer like his father, was 21; Rachel, who was a Steam Loom Weaver in a Flaxmill, was 19. By 1881 they were living with their first two children, William and Matilda, at 108 Drumfrocher Road, Greenock. Later in life he got the better job of Donkey Engine Driver. He died in 1932 aged 80, one imagines after some years in retirement. By 1891 the family had moved to 130 Maclean Street, Plantation (Govan), the five children then being William (of course!), Matilda, James, Elizabeth and Martha. The three others are clearly elsewhere on Census night, Andrew, Rachel and Thomas. Let us meet each of the eight in turn.

William son of William son of William son of William (!) was born on 4th June 1875. When he was only eighteen, as the eldest son, he had registered his mother's death in 1893. In 1891 he is on the Census as an apprentice to a sail maker. He may be the William McIlhago at Hurlford, Ayr, in the 1901 Census. He was boarding there and is listed as a Labourer. He may have been on the Ayrshire coast in order to work at his trade of sail-making, though his birth place of 'Ireland' may be against this identification. He is however the only clan William in Scotland in 1901 with the 'right' birth year. Matilda (b. 1877) moved by 1891 to 'Plantation' (Govan) from where, on 31st December 1898 she married Alan Woods McLellan, a Blacksmith, in St. Margaret's Hall, according to the rites of The Free Church of Scotland. She died in 1938 in Tradeston aged 61. Andrew (1879) who was given as second name his mother's maiden name, McLelland, sadly died as a two-year-old on 13th February 1881.

James (born 19th August 1882) is probably the James McIlhaggie in the 1901 Census on board Prince George First Class Battleship in Gibralter Bay; aged 18, born Scotland, single, with an 'undefined' employment but listed as a member of the crew. There were 745 others in the vessel. On 30th October 1908 aged 27, as a Merchant Seaman, he married 26 year old Mary Young, daughter of John Young a shipwright, and Mary McNeilage, at 8 Bellahouston Terrace, according to the rites of the Church of Scotland. A year later they were to have a son, John Young, who became a Quay Labourer and who on 25th September 1931 married Margaret Smellie Allan at Union Church of Scotland, Maryhill, Glasgow. They had a daughter, Margaret Allan in 1934 who sadly died three years later of Whooping Cough and Broncho Pneumonia. Her father John Young McIlhagga died in 1940 aged 31. His father, James McIlhagga died in 1921 aged 38.

William and Rachel's fifth child was Rachel who also died as an infant (1884). Next came Elizabeth (1886) who lived in Govan until she died in 1951, aged 65. Martha was born in 1888, about whom we have no more information at present. Finally Thomas Norris was born on 6th December 1891. The long line of first sons, all William, had come to an end. Thomas was the survivor of this large family, but his story must wait until another blog.

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