Tuesday, 25 May 2010

McHago Reconstruction

In a blog on 20th March last year I referred to what I called the very rare surname of McHago, and the possibility of it being a shortened version of McElhago or McIlhago. I raised this when I was trying to find a family context for the lone grave in Pittsburg, Pensylvania, of Margaret McElhago (1803-1875) and was postulating the 'short version' theory as the less likely of two possibilities. I now have to add that this 'lesser likely' solution becomes just slightly more likely by having discovered a Margaret married to a James McHago in Ireland whose dates could well be similar to those of Margaret who died in Pensylvania. I mention this for two reasons, first for the sake of completion as I think the main solution I propounded in March 09 is in fact the better, but second because Margaret married to James is one of a number of McHagos who have turned up in a FamilySearch trawl and who I think may all belong to the same family, all showing up in American sources.

In order to give as complete a picture as we have at present of the name McHago I'll put on record three people I have mentioned in earlier blogs who may well be precursors of the Americans. Helen McHago, born about 1692 in Carnmoney, County Antrim, Ireland, married James Millikin of Ballyclare, in Carnmoney on 20th May 1713. James McHago, who could have been Helen's younger brother, born about 1699 In Dalmellington, Ayrshire, Scotland, married Jean Booll on 1st May 1724 in Kells, Kirkcudbright. I have to say that if Helen and James were siblings it would be one of the few cases of a 17th Century migration from Ireland to Scotland; they were mostly in the opposite direction. Third, Samuel McHago witnessed a Will in New York on 18th September 1777. It may be an unprovable link that James in Scotland was born almost exactly a hundred years before James McHago appears in Ireland who was to marry Margaret, but the continuity of the name James may not be without significance.

James and Margaret McHago were certainly the parents of John born 1828 and probably of Ellen born the year before, in 1827. We have two references to an Ellen and I am working on the assumption that they are related. First, Ellen McHago, born in 1827, and possibly the daughter of James and Margaret, was married on 31st December 1845 to Charles Johnson (born 1819) in, surprise, Colabah, Bombay, India. The groom's father was Joseph Johnson, and another surprise, Ellen's father is named as Gabriel Luttrell. I can only presume that India Marriages, 1792-1948 required a name and that Gabriel Luttrell must have acted for her father who was back in Ireland. The second reference comes from the Wisconsin Births and Christenings, 1826-1926. and is to Ellen, Irish, and to the birth of her son James on 13th February 1877 in Menasha, Winnebago, Wisconsin. His father was C. Frederick Augustine, born in Germany. Given James' birth date we can assume that his mother, our second Ellen was born in the 1850s.

To return to John McHago the son of James and Margaret. Our reference to him is from Virginia Marriages 1785-1940. He married Ann Rieley on 7th September 1856 in Richmond, Virginia. Ann's parents were John and Margaret Rieley. Given that the first Ellen was probably John McHago's sister, I am assuming that the second was his daughter and named after her aunt. I am now left with three people who from their probable years of birth, could well be Ellen's siblings, and also children of John and Ann, namely Tom, Kate and Edward. Tom McHago is in the 1885 Minnesota State Census aged 32 years, giving him a birth year of 1853, in New Jersey. Kate McHago, born in Northfield, is named as the mother of Thomas Ladam, born 27th December 1877 in Burlington, Vermont. The record of Vermont Births and Christenings, 1765-1908 also names Kate's spouse as Frank Ladam of Plattsburg. The third name is not found in FamilySearch. I have mentioned him before in a blog. He was Edward McHago, born in Virginia of an Irish father and a Pensylvanian mother. He appears in the 1880 Census of Iowa where he, with two other men, was a 'hired hand'.

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