Sunday, 28 March 2010

McElhago - Harvey

Occasionally one comes across a detail which adds not only to the substance but even more to the information surrounding a particular line in a family tree. Such is the case with the McElhagos of Dundonald shown in the 1841 and 1851 Censuses. The Internet site 'FreeCen' has now published a full 1841 and a 94% 1851 Census for Ayrshire, Scotland. In addition to what I have recorded earlier about this family I have now noted first that throughout the 19th Century they were living in the hamlet of Fullerton. This is now the part of the town of Troon bordering its Municipal Golf Courses. The family lived in Friars Croft Street which still exists and now contains the large Ayrshire Municipal Buildings. I wonder if any old photos of it exist? In addition to James and Jane McElhago and their children there lived with them Francis Harvie aged 65, born in Ayrshire. Although 'Francis' is of course the male spelling of the name, the Census (wrongly) records him as female, clearly an enumerator's error. Fortunately he was still alive ten years later and still living with the family. In 1851 he is listed as Francis Hervey, Uncle, aged 73, a shoemaker born in Irvine, Ayrshire, and this time he is male! He may be the Francis who married an Elizabeth Hay, though if so, she must have died before 1841.

Now James' wife, Jane, was a Harvey, daughter of James Harvey and Elizabeth McDonald. Note that we already have three spellings of this surname! Clearly Francis (aged 73) would be Jane's uncle, so brother to her father. It is always a good idea when looking at Census records to look at the nearby households. In 1841, also in Friar's Croft, two doors away, lived Jane's parents, James Harvie, aged 70, a Cabinet Maker, Eliza Harvie, aged 70, Eliza Harvie aged 35, together with three youngsters, in all probability grandchildren, Agness (sic) Reid 10, Jamima (sic) Reid 8, and John Longwill, 2. So Jane had a sister Eliza who was approximately five years her junior. In nearby Fullerton Street is the only other Harvie family in the 1841 Dundonald Census and who therefore may be related. They are listed at Mrs. Robert Havie (sic) 55, Mary Harvie 10, and two women who may have been lodgers, Jean Hunter 25 and Janet Hunter 30. If Robert was a brother of Jane and was either working away or deceased, his wife (Mrs. Robert) would have needed lodgers to bring in an income. While we are building up a picture of the Harvey family, we should note another McElhago who I'm not sure where to fit into the picture. John McElhago, Seaman and Jean Glen, both of the New Parish in Greenock, had banns called on 6th December 1824. This would likely have meant John was born about 1800, and of an age to make him a sibling of the Dundonald McElhago children.

Do the 1851 entries elucidate matters at all? Indeed they do. First, the McElhago family, in addition to Francis the shoemaker, have staying with them, Jane Martin, granddaughter aged 3, born in Irvine. We know that the eldest daughter, Elizabeth married Philip Martin and had a daughter Jane. For some reason she was staying with her grandparents on Census night. We also learn in 1851 about people's occupations, including that of daughter Jane, aged 21. She was employed as a Muslin Sewer, and she was not the only one. Jane's father had died in the decade between 1841 and 1851 and her mother was now head of the household, still at Friar's Croft, aged 81, a 'Joiner's widow'. Interestingly we learn that she was born in Bute, in the Isle of Arran. Two daughters are living with her who are, like Jane, both Muslin Sewers. Eliza, whom we met in 1841, is now 47 and Catherine Semple is aged 42. Clearly Catherine had married a Mr. Semple for her daughter Janet Semple aged 15 is part of the same household and is listed as a granddaughter, as is Jemima Reid aged 18, another granddaughter whose occupation is given as House Servant. As we have seen, she was there in 1841. I wonder if this means she was the illegitimate daughter of Eliza who had been given her father's surname? Her sister Agness (sic) would have been 20 in 1851 so must have left home, perhaps to marry. Finally also in Friar's Croft as a separate household there are husband and wife James and Jane Hervey who may well be related to the other Herveys. Possibly James is another sibling. They are 52 and 55 respectively. James is listed as Ship Captain and House Proprietor, born Stevenston, Ayrshire. I have to admit that his birth in Stevenston may mean he was a cousin rather that a sibling.

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