Saturday, 20 March 2010

A Tullygarley Family

The family about which I have written most recently appears to have originated in Tullygarley, Ballymena, County Antrim. The furthest back I can go along their ancestral line is to the early 1830s when we find William McIlhagga, a Yarn Boiler, which would be a job in the Linen Mills. There are two siblings living together in Tullygarley on the 1911 Census who are of an age to possibly be siblings of this William. They are Matilda (born 1840) and Andrew (born 1848). Certainly the name Andrew occurs again in the following generation. There is a further probable sibling, Anne Eliza of Tullygarley, whose father was also William, a Yarn Boiler. He is the father on the marriage certificates of both Anne Eliza who married Hugh Kelly, a Gardeneer (sic) who came from Portrush, where his father was a Fisherman, on 1st October 1872 at Wellington Street Presbyterian Church, Ballymena, and also William who married Mary Spence on 17th May 1878 at the same church. There is another name which surely links Anne Eliza and William into the same family. Members of the Millikin family were official witnesses at both weddings.

We have reached the age when the Railways were becoming a major employer, and by 1905 William Junior was a Railway Porter. He and Mary had I think seven children, though I am uncertain about the order in which they were born. Birth records and Census records do not quite agree. We can however be certain of their names: Elizabeth, James Spence, William, Robert, Andrew, John (Jack) and Jeanie. Elizabeth was born about 1879. On the 1911 Census she is a Factory Weaver and may have lived into her nineties. James Spence was born in 1884 in Tullygarley and married Elizabeth (Bessie) McGrillis in 1905 at Wellington Street Church. James was a Locomotive Fireman when they married. He and Bessie had seven children, Mary Ann, William (Willie) born in 1907 Tullygarley, who died in the 1980s. He married Lily Shaw. John, born 16th June 1909 in Coleraine, died 2nd October 1975 in Belfast, married Jane Laverty, born 27th May 1907, died 29th March 1998 in St. John's, Newfoundland. They have three sons and two daughters, have 12 grandchildren and 18 grandchildren known to me. Samuel was born about 1910 in Coleraine and died in the 1980s. He and his wife (Bessie?) had eight children. There are 5 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren known to me. James and Bessie's fifth child was Elizabeth. Their last two children were boys, Robert in 1914 who died as a young child, and James born about 1916 who died about 1980 in Ballymena. It is possible that this James served in the Royal Navy after World War II. More of the sisters Mary Ann and Elizabeth next time.

I now come to William and Mary (nee Spence)'s third child, William. This is the man who I believe became the Firefighter in Manitoba and who was killed in 1921 in a fire in Winnipeg. Then came Robert, born about 1886, died about 1980 in Ballymena, who married Annie Lowry on 30th March 1914 in Ballymena 3rd Presbyterian Church, and who had six children and who to my knowledge have five grandchildren. Then came Andrew about whom and about whose descendants I wrote in my blog of 16th March. He and his wife Sarah had two sons, five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. William and Mary's last two children were John (Jack) who married Adelaide in Dublin. She died in 1956 and was buried in The Friends' Burial Ground in Blackrock. Interestingly she is one of the few Quakers who are associated with our clan. Jack returned to Northern Ireland after his wife's death. He died in 1968 and is buried in Ballymena Cemetery. Jeanie was the youngest child of William and Mary, born in 1897. William died on 14th October 1931 in Tullygarley where he was born. His Will is in the Northern Ireland Calendar for 1988 which records his occupation as 'Railway Employee Administration (DBH) Belfast'. Administration on the Will was given to Samuel Crowe on 16th August. The value of William's effects amounted to £20,000. A former Will grant had been made on 24th August 1964.

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