Thursday, 22 April 2010


A 'secondary source', which gives us some limited information about twentieth century clan members is Telephone (and other) Directories. From these we can have knowledge of the residences and in some cases occupations and business addresses of people from perhaps half a dozen families in Northern Ireland.

First there are the McIlhaggas whom we have met previously in the Ulster Covenant. By 1935 Flax Merchant 'W.J.' had returned from Belgium to Belfast, still as a Flax Merchant. However ten years later he, or perhaps his son with the same initials, had moved into the world of Cosmetics, where he remained until at least 1948. 'W.J' must have died by 1964 when his wife Norah is listed in his place. It was presumably for business reasons that this family, including Norah, moved across the Irish Sea to the Wirral Peninsula, living first in Prenton, Birkenhead and then in the town of Hoylake.

If 'W.J.' and son moved from Flax to Cosmetics, George R. McIlhagga and son moved from Cutlery to Glass and Paint. George R. McIlhagga and Company we have already noted in another blog when in 1934 they applied for a patent for the design of a razor blade (see 17th September 2009). Was this put into production? It is certainly a possibility for in 1935 the Company is listed as a Cutlery Merchant, ten years later becoming simply an 'Agent'. By 1950 Henry, working from the same address in Peter's Hill, Belfast, is dealing in Glass and Paint, in particular Ribble Paint. We may presume that Henry was George's son, and that he took over the firm which continued until at least 1964. Either the same Henry or another 'H' lived from 1935 through 1958 at 'Glencar', Mount Aboo Park, Finaghy, a leafy suburb of Belfast. By 1964 the address had been taken over by 'L. McIlhagga', probably a near relative.

Quite another line of business occupied another McIlhagga family. In 1935 we have another 'W.J.', a Fruiterer, in the Ormeau Road, Belfast. He and his wife were there when they signed the Ulster Covenant in 1912. Ten years later, in 1946 'J.W.' (possibly the same man?) was a 'Seed Merchant' and remained such, in Dublin Road, from 1946 to at least 1958. Again possibly the same person, (though now simply 'J') in 1964 owns a Pet Shop in Great Victoria Street. Was this the 'Jack', also mentioned in the Ulster Covenant, whose residence was at Tullygarley Bridge, Ballymena?

Two other McIlhaggas are listed in Telephone Directories. In 1946 Thomas was a 'Common Agent' in Alexander Terrace, Bushmills. In the 1958 and 1964 directories 'D.R.' lived at 'Ashley', Comber Road, Dundonald, Belfast.

Finally several of the McIlhagger family appear. We find 'G.E.', a Pharmacutical Chemist listed right through from 1935 to 1964, first at Ligonel then in Duncairn Gardens and lastly in Cliftondene Gardens, Belfast. David S. McIlhagger, Ph.D., is in Duncairn Gardens in 1946, then from 1950 to 1964 at 29 Ashgrove Park. Also in 1946 Mrs. E.L. McIlhagger is at Duncairn Gardens Post Office, presumably as the Post Mistress. Throughout the 1950s Miss Eva K. McIlhagger is at 16 Sunningdale Park North, and in 1964 James McIlhagger is listed at 20 Ormonde Park, Belfast.

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