Sunday, 6 June 2010

McIlhaggo - McNeilly

The 1901 Irish Census has just been published and as I analyse all our clan references (which will take a little time!) I hope that some of our genealogical problems will be solved. However this is really not true of the first references to come up. They concern a household at 45 Ballygallough, Ballyclare in the District of Larne, County Antrim. The head of the household was James McNeilly, a farmer, born about 1843, who was unmarried. In the same household was his sister Mary, born about 1836, now Mary McIlhaggo. Her husband is the third name at number 45. He was William McIlhaggo, another farmer, born about 1851. William and Mary had married on 15th March 1875 in Mountpottinger Presbyterian Church, Belfast. (I am adding whatever other information I have, as I go along). Interestingly the two witnesses at the marriage were James McNeilly and Mary Jane McIlhagar, who was probably William's eldest sister. We know from the 1911 Census when William was head of a household at 52 Ballygallagh (note slightly different spelling), that he had another sister, Jenny, who was single in 1911. The last clan member on the 1901 list was William and Mary's daughter, Maggie born 1876 or 1877. She is listed as Niece, of James McNeilly. She too was still single ten years later. We know from William and Mary's marriage record that Mary's father was Joseph McNeilly and William's was William John McIlhaggar (or McIlhaggo to use the 1901 spelling). All but William were Presbyterians. William belonged to The Brethren. The only other Plymouth Brethren I have found in the clan were a family a generation later, namely Samuel Robinson and Jane McNeice and children. Was Samuel influenced by William? If so, were they related? Samuel's father was George, whose father was William. Was William who married Mary McNeilly therefore a brother of George? The 1901 household included two unmarried servants, Martha Pennie, 20, a domestic Servant and James Adair, 26, a Farm Servant. It will need further research to know where this family fits into the clan.

Aha! I have found William's two other sisters. They were living together at 4 Clement's Hill, Ballynure. Jannet, aged 50 was the Home Keeper and Head of Family. Mary Jane, aged 58 was working as a Muslin Lopper. Neither was married and both belonged to the Church of Ireland.

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