Monday, 8 February 2010


Most of the 'Clan' who are to be found in the Scottish Censuses between 1871 and 1901 belong to the McIlhagga family which hailed from Ballycloughan, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. There are, however, a couple of families who at this time I am considering as 'strays', and first we have the McIlhaggies who in 1871 were living in Bridgeton. There were Samuel (27), Jane (26) and children Samuel (6), Robert (4) and William (0). Who were they and where did they come from? Clearly Samuel was born about 1844, so do we have a marriage that would 'fit' his birth year? Well, despite the fact that their eldest son Samuel was born in 1865, I think we do. In the Scottish Statutory Records there is a Samuel who married Jane Easton on 8th June 1866 at 304 Bath Street, Glasgow, after banns according to the forms of the United Presbyterian Church. Their marriage was conducted by the Revd. John Wilson, minister of Mitchell Church, Anderston. Jane was a Domestic Servant, daughter of Robert Easton a Handloom Weaver and Catherine Johnstone (deceased). Samuel was a Boilermaker Journeyman, son of William McIlhaggie, a Coalpit Sinker and Mary Houston.

Our immediate thought might be that Samuel and Mary had been cohabiting and had married as soon as possible after their first child was born which would, in Scottish Law, have made him legitimate, despite the fact that his birth record says 'illegitimate'. But the facts may not be quite as we first imagine. The couple may well have planned to marry before they had children, but Samuel's father William was in fact drowned in a Canal near Temple Bridge, in the Parish of New Kilpatrick, on 12th October 1865 and this tragedy may well have delayed any wedding plans. Samuel (who married Jane) was one of four full siblings born to William Gage McIlhaggie and Mary Houston, namely Rebecca, Henry, Samuel and Margaret who gave notice of her father's drowning. Samuel had three full siblings and I think three half-siblings as his mother Mary Houston had I believe been married twice, the first time to William Gage's elder brother John. He and Mary had had another Henry, then Eliza and William. We know from William Gage McIlhaggie's death record that his parents were Henry McIlhaggie or McIlhaggo and Mary McDole or McDowel. Henry in his turn was one of probably four brothers born in the late 18th Century in Maxwell's Walls, the townland in the parish of Connor in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

PS: I do not know what became of the children of Samuel and Jane. A correspondent has found the surname McIlhaggie in Hamilton County, Ohio, USA, Surname Registry. I will document the second 'stray' family I have found in the Scottish Censuses in a subsequent blog.

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