Saturday, 12 December 2009

Mass Emigration to North America

Joseph McCulloch McIlhagga aka Haggarty

I concluded my last blog with the story of Joseph McCulloch McIlhagga, aka Haggarty. I want to add a note about a couple of mistakes on his official records. In the Greenock East District Registers his birth contains a note of his parents' marriage in 1867. This is clearly incorrect as they would then only have been 11 and 7 respectively! It should of course read 1876. Second, in the Statutory Register Index of Scottish Births (1855-1904) he is listed as McIlhaggs. This should of course be McIlhagga. Last time I mentioned that he had a son James. James was born on 22nd September 1910 at 66 Ann Street, Greenock to Joseph and his wife Annie (nee Glenesk) whom he had married on 31st August 1909 in East Greenock. By whatever surname Joseph had been married, a year later he signed the register of births 'J. Haggarty'. James was eventually to marry Margaret Wallace Chisholm and have six children, all of whom could still be alive so will not be named in this blog. One of the children was male who in his turn has a male heir, so there are certainly two Haggartys in Middle England who have and are able to pass on the McIlhagga DNA.

Joseph was the fifth of James' and Johanna's 16 children. Number six was Catherine McCulloch, born 17 May 1886. The 1901 Census tells us she became a Mill Worker who died on 4th February 1976, aged 89 in Plant City, Hillsborough, Florida. When her young brother James sailed to New York in 1922 he named Catherine as the person with whom he was going to stay at 730 Main Street, Buffalo. Catherine is to be found on sailing lists, first from Liverpool to New York in 1916, then in 1934, 1956 and 1957, so she must have made several trips 'home'. Next in the list of 16 came Johanna, born 28th May 1888 at 19 Ingleston Place, Cartsburn Street. She also emigrated, but to Canada where she married Melville Russell Dean in Frank, Alberta, in 1919. They had a daughter the day before Johanna died on 26th December 1923 at the comparatively young age of 35.

Number eight child was Elizabeth born in July 1890. She died in about 1968 aged 77. Number nine was Agnes born in 1892. She too emigrated to Canada when she was 21, only to die there on 14th January 1919 when she was 27. This information is to be found at Greenock Cemetery. The tenth child, about whose gender there may have been some dispute was born on 24th January 1894. The name on the birth certificate is Alexandrina. However 'she' becomes Alexander in the 1901 Census, by which time she/he must have been at school. There may have been a 'gender doubt', though the 1901 Census may simply contain an enumerator's error. She later appears as Alexandrina in the New York Western Naturalization Index in 1929. The emigration pattern continues with the 11th child in this family. Isabella McFady McIlhagga was born in 1896. We know this also from the Greenock Cemetery information where it is recorded that she died on 26th September 1944 in Kimberley, British Columbia, aged 48.

We come now to the 'younger brother James', born 13th May 1888. James sailed from Glasgow for the USA when he was 24, arriving on 13th August 1922 on the ship Columbia. He landed, as most immigrants did, at Ellis Island. When he arrived he had £16 on him, destined to stay, as we have said above, with his sister Catherine at 720 Main Street, Buffalo, New York. His stated intention was to stay in the USA permanently, which indeed he did, in New York. His description on the immigration record says he was 5' 7.1/2" in height, of datk complexion with black hair and brown eyes. It was another two years before he married and yet another twelve before he became a naturalized American. He married Jean Blue Crawford who had been born in Fairlie, Scotland, to Archie Crawford and Mary Drummond. James and Jean married in 1924 in Buffalo and had two sons, the eldest of which they also called James (1926 - 2001).

According to the 1930 Federal Census they had Jean's two brothers living with them, presumably temporarily. Alexander was a Riveter Helper in a Bridgeworks and Archibald was a Truck Helper in a Gas and Auto Works. James Junior, who had been born on 6th February 1926, in 1946 married Magdalena Lindstadt. She died in 1971. They had three children, the eldest of which, George William died as an 18 year old teenager (1947 - 1965). Two years before they married James enlisted in the army at Fort Dix, New Jersey, to fight in World War II. He was eventually to be a veteran both of the Second World War and of the Korean War. Before his retirement he worked as a Sales Representative for 'Food Enterprises'. He died on 11th September 2001 six days after he had been admitted to hospital. Although James (b. 1888/9) had for a time adopted the surname Haggarty, eventually he and the majority of the subsequent generations of this Clan line reverted to the McIlhagga name.

The final four children of the large family of sixteen brought up by James and Johanna (nee McCulloch) were all girls: Annie Bell (8th Sep 1900 - 3rd Nov 1901), Ina (b. 1900), Janet (1902 - 30th Oct 1902) and Mary Morrison (1904 - 23 Dec 1904). Three of them died as infants. The survivor was Ina, who, I assume, was a twin with Annie. Ina, like so many of her family, emigrated to New York, where initially she entered service as a Maid. She married James Strathearn and, as we shall see in a later blog, sponsored one of her cousins when he applied for an Immigration Visa from Canada to live and work in the USA.

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