Saturday, 1 May 2010

A New Third Cousin

The last week of April was 'new cousin' week. In my family history research there have been a number of instances when registering my interest (in the McIlhagga Clan) with a local Family History Society has paid off. On this occasion it was in West Lothian, Scotland. The second youngest daughter of my great-great grandparents, William and Agnes (nee McCosh) McIlhagga, was Nancy, born in 1841. She was baptised in the First Presbytertian Church, Broughshane on 17th October 1841. I have known for some time that she married William John McLeary on 15th May 1863 at Broughshane, and that they had two sons, William John and Crawford. I also knew that the two sons married, William John to Annie McGrath and Crawford to Agnes Currie. Finally I also knew that each had had a daughter.

I didn't know that through Crawford there was also a male heir, another William John, and through him, who married twice, two males, one of whom produced my correspondent of last week who was therefore my third cousin (once removed). He had discovered my name through the West Lothian Family History Society. He has kindly sent me a Statutory death record for Nancy which shows some interesting facts. Her husband predeceased her. She died on 31st July 1905 having suffered Apoplexy for seven days. Her eldest son gave notice of her death including of course the required information about the names of her parents. Their surname is spelled with only one 'g', McIlhaga, and Nancy's mother is called Ann (no maiden surname). This we know was incorrect. She was Agnes McCosh. Clearly Nancy's son had remembered that she was called something beginning with 'A' and 'Ann' was a good guess because he had an aunt Ann (who married Robert Linton). Nancy's address was 62 Stewartfield, Broxburn, in the Parish of Uphall, in the County of Linlithgow, now West Lothian.

Finding a mistake on a Vital Record reminds us that even the most reliable 'original' records must where possible be verified by checking them with other known facts. My correspondent told me of fond memories of his grandparents, William John McLeary and his second wife Margaret Pringle Hamilton. Both were blind, William John possibly from birth, Margaret in an accident at a Peebles Tweed Mill. They probably met at the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh which William had attended from the age of six.

No comments:

Post a Comment