Friday, 30 July 2010

Samuel McIlhaga Johnston

I have twice had occasion to refer to a young family living in Belfast when they filled up the 1911 Census form. The clan link is the fact that they gave one of their sons the second name McIlhaga. Although on 15th May and 9th November last year I wasn't able to come to any positive conclusion, surely the fact that they spelled the clan name with one 'g' must be the clue to place them in a family tree. They lived at 33 Jersey Street, Shankill and were William (aged 31 so born 1880), Sarah (aged 26 so born 1885) Johnston and their children Robert 7, Samuel 6 and Evelyn 4. William was a Painter. They were all born in Belfast and William and Sarah were married (they said) in 1902. Unfortunately I have failed to find their marriage in the Irish records which would of course have given us Sarah's father's name. However, having attempted to reconstruct a McIlhaga family tree, I believe Sarah's father was named Samuel, and that this was why they gave their son Samuel the second name McIlhaga. I have concluded that Sarah was the second of the three daughters of Samuel McIlhaga who married Grace Marrs. Sarah's siblings were Margaret, born 16th October 1870 and William John Marrs, born 26th August 1877 in Belfast who married Norah Wellwood and had three children. Sarah's third and youngest sibling was Isobel who acted as a witness at the marriage of her brother. On 15th May last year, and on 6th July this year, I also referred to Evelyn V. McIlhagga Milligan who died in 1999. Could she conceivably have been William and Sarah's youngest daughter Evelyn, born in 1907? I have no evidence to demonstrate this except that I know of no other Evelyn associated with our clan.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

McIlhage, McIlhagart, McIlhaggert, McIlhagie and McIlhague

In FamilySearch there are just a few single or double name variants left to note. The record of the birth of Mary Gibb on 22 March 1867 in Belfast gives her parents as William Gibb and Mary McIlhage. In fact they married on 6th June 1863 in Rutherglen, Scotland, using the 'normal' form of our name, McIlhagga. It's interesting that this is a rare example of a move from Scotland to Ireland. Another Belfast birth is of George McIlhagart in 1872. This is the extent of the information given in Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes. This was in fact the birth, on 29th April that year, of one of the children of John McIlhagger and Mary Jane Hull. This family normally used the McIlhagger version of our name.

In Scotland we have also James McIlhaggert born on 9th December 1791. He was the second of the six children of Robert McIlhaggert or (more normally) McElhago and Elizabeth Jamieson. I have already referred to him in two blogs on 25th March and 22nd April 2009. We have one reference to McIlhagie. Hugh Scott was born on 8th March 1867 in Port Glasgow to Alexander Scott and Margaret McIlhagie. Margaret was the youngest daughter of William McIlhagga and Agnes McCosh. Somehow the variant McIlhaggie crept in, but here we have the only example of one 'g' with an 'ie' ending.

Finally we have two examples of the variant McIlhague. On a time line they are well apart. First, Robert was born on 30th May 1687 in Ayr to Robert McIlhague and Bessie Johnstone. We have met this couple before, usually with the spelling McIlhago. The 1824 Scotland Births and Baptisms records Jean born to John McIlhague and Isabella McCallum. Jean's birth was on 8th March and her baptism was on 13th October, in Dundonald, Ayr. Sadly I am not able to fit these people into the known Dundonald family about which I have written earlier.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Belfast Directories

Gradually Belfast City Directories from the 19th and 20th Centuries are being put on line. It would appear that prior to the 1870s all members of our clan lived in country towns and villages, very much part of the rural community of Ulster. From the Directories now available the first year when members are listed in the city of Belfast is 1877. There are four individuals and one firm, McIlhagga & Co., mill furnishers, oil merchants and commission agents at 5 & 6 Albert Square. I have the entries for six more years, and in addition to the same firm entered each time, there are individuals as follows: 1880 - 3, 1890 - 2, 1901 - 6, 1907 - 10 and 1910 - 9.

In 1877 we have G. McIlhagga, clerk, living at 66 Eglinton Street; John McIlhagga, clerk, at 99 Charles Street South; Samuel McIlhagga, flax-buyer, at 33 North Queen Street and Nathaniel O. McIlhagga (of McIlhagga & Co.) at Antrim Road. In 1880 we learn the name of Nathaniel's house. It is 'Loughview', and in addition we have Samuel McIlhagga, car owner, at 27 Abbey Street and W. McIlhago, another mill furnisher at 38 Lavinia Street. By 1890 we can add James McIlhagga, a flax dresser, at 36 Disraeli Street, Eliza McIlhagga at 53 Berlin Street and John McIlhagga, a Labourer, at 92 Island Street. McIlhagga & Co., furnishers, have moved to 84-88 Great Patrick Street. Nathaniel now calls his house 'Lough View Cottage'. In 1892 a Mrs. McIlhaggan appears at an undecipherable address.

Moving into the first decade of the 20th Century we have two bakers, J. McIlhagga at 45 Wigton Street and William McIlhagga at 18 St. Mary's Street. In the same line of work there is Robert McIlhagga, confectioner at 294 Crumlin Road and John McIlhaggo, a bread server at 26 Sheridan Street. W.J. McIlhagga, a foreman, lived at 299 Albert Bridge Road and N. McIlhagga has moved to 'Merryfield' in Cavehill Road.

By 1907 the variety of occupations has increased a little. David McIlhagga, shipwright was at 35 Parkmount Street, D. McIlhagga, coal merchant, at 66 Agnes Street, John McIlhagga, car owner, at 164 New Lodge Road, John McIlhagga, baker at 41 Cumberland Street, Mary McIlhagga, confectioner, 59a Newtonards Road, Wm. J. McIlhagga, fruiterer, 204 Ormeau Road, William McIlhagga, ship carpenter, 13 Eccles Street, R. McIlhaggart, baker, 30 Lowther Street and George McIlhagger an ex-sergeant in the Royal Irish Constabulary had retired to live at 29 New North Queen Street. N.O. McIlhagga must have died as 'Loughview Cottage' in Cavehill Road was now occupied by Mrs. N. McIlhagga.

Three years later in 1910 some of the 1907 names and addresses are repeated: John (car owner), John (baker), Mary, Mrs. N, William, Wm.J., and George. In addition there were David McIlhagga, confectioner at 90 York Road, and James McIlhagga oil merchant at 18 Madison Avenue. The only later Directory that I have been able to check is the 1913 Telephone Directory. No individuals are listed but 'McIlhagga & Co.' has an early telephone number - Belfast 744.

A McIlhago Emigration ?

The findmypast internet site gives three records of McIlhago journeys to Canada. In 1950 Sarah McIlhago left Liverpool and arrived in Halifax. She gave a birth year of 1896. She was therefore 54. Six years later Harry and Sarah McIlhago left Greenock and arrived in Montreal. They gave birth years of 1893 and 1895, so were 63 and 61 respectively. Clearly this could have been the same Sarah travelling twice. I have no evidence from these or other records that Harry and Sarah were married, though I do have one record that probably ties in. A Henry McIlhago was born in 1893 at Cadder, Lanark, Scotland, though to whom I am not sure. He however appears to have died in 1969 aged 76, in Glasgow, Scotland. He could of course have emigrated for a short time, or indeed just have been visiting, and then returned to Scotland.

A "Memorial Cross"

In February I was sent a First World War 'Memorial Cross' by a kind person in County Mayo in the Republic of Ireland into whose possession it had come. The Cross is illustrated above, though the one I was sent had lost its ribbon and had been attached to a bracelet of eight silver three-penny pieces. This Cross, a gift of the Monarch of Canada, has been given during the reigns of King George V, King George VI and the present Queen Elizabeth. It has been issued as a memento of personal loss and sacrifice on the part of widows and mothers of Canadian sailors and soldiers who laid down their lives for their country during war. Its official description is as follows:

"The Cross will be a Cross patonce in silver suspended by a purple ribbon; at the end of the upright a crown; at the foot, and at the centre, within a wreath of laurel, the royal cypher. It will be engraved with the number, rank and name of the soldiers commemorated".

The word 'patonce' means having the arms growing broader and floriated towards the end. A famous example is the Fleur-de-lis Cross. The royal cypher on the Memorial Cross issued after the First World War is "G.R.I." Full details can be obtained from the Honours and Awards Section, Veterans Affairs Canada, in Ottawa.

The Memorial Cross, more often referred to as the Silver Cross was first instituted by an Order -in-Council dated December 1, 1919. It went to the next of kin, in the case of the one I was sent, to Mary Ellen, the wife of 781528 Pte. J.H. McIlhagga. John Hutchison McIlhagga was killed at Passchendale on 26th October 1917. Recipients are allowed to wear them at any time, even though they themselves are not veterans.

The person who sent the Cross to me asked me to find a near relative of 'John H' who would cherish it and eventually pass it on. As far as I know John Hutchison and Mary Ellen did not have any children, so I set out to find out whether there are any existing offspring of his siblings. Given the time lapse since 1919 I though it rather unlikely that any were still alive, but by good fortune, with the help of a cousin in Ottawa, I have found the person who is I think his only existing nephew, a son of John Hutchison's youngest brother, Joseph McKee McIlhagga. And fortuitously he also lives in Canada, and today I have sent the medal off to him. I am pleased to say that he has a daughter to whom I am sure one day he will be able to pass it on and who also will cherish it.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Millikin to Milligan

The name 'Milligan' or 'Millikin' has cropped up once or twice in my blog, which hints at some connection between the two 'clans'. On 15th April last year I referred to Evelyn V. McIlhagga Milligan who died in 1999, simply to point out that I know nothing whatsoever about her, though her name obviously links the two families. On 18th May last year I said that it is just possible that Helen McHago (presumably an abbreviation of McIlhago) was a grand-daughter of one of the earliest known of our clan who appear in the 1669 Hearth Money Rolls in the townland of Cogry in the parish of Doagh Grange near Ballyclare, namely Alex McIlhago, Allexander McIlhago or James McIlhaga. She came from Carnmoney, where there was an early clan family, to marry James Millikin in Ballyclare on 26th May 1713.

On 25th May this year I showed how I have attempted a reconstruction of a 'McHago' branch of the McIlhagga clan, if indeed it is such. The 19th Century examples we can find are from the USA, from where Don Milligan recently left a comment on my attempt. A couple of days ago I had a request from Don to compare our DNA profiles, and today I have received a copy of an email which he has sent to his daughter (and to 25 other people) which continues the story, at least from his perspective, and at the end of which he kindly acknowledges the 'two clan link'. He heads it 'United Irishmen - Organization & Rebellion: Our Millikin Ancestors'. He writes as follows:

'Our ancestor "Samuel Millikin" of Ballyclare, Co. Antrim (your 4th great grandfather: Samuel - George - George - Clyde - Donald - Donald - B[living]) was a member of the United Irishmen Organization in Northern Ireland, and was killed in the 1798 Battle of Antrim Hill in County Antrim against the British troops. The attached statement about the United Irishmen Describes their beliefs & actions.

Our ancestor George Millikin Sr. born about 1795-97 was about 3-4 years old when his father Samuel Millikin* was killed. George came to Jefferson County, Ohio about 1819. His name was recorded as "Milligan", and became a naturalized U.S. citizen circa 1840.

His second wife, "Statia Maria Pastors" is our ancestor. Their son "George Milligan" married "Mary Jane Smith" & were the parents of "Clyde Mitchell Milligan" who married "Katherine Margarite Hoel/Hoel", and they had "Donald Clyde Milligan, Sr." (my father) and your grandfather.

Your grandfather had two sisters: "Margaret" and "Mary Jan". You received your middle name "Mary Jane" after my paternal aunt "Mary Jane Milligan Haynes Berkey" and her grandmother "Mary Jane Smith Milligan". Our Millikin ancestors were Presbyterian Covenanters from Scotland.

*Samuel Millikin, killed in 1798, is the descendant of John Millikin, originally from Wigtonshire, Scotland circa 1630-40 to Donegore, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland, Presbyterian. This "John Millikin" is the ancestor of "James Millikin" of Ballyclare, Co. Antrim, Ireland, who married "Helen McHago", a descendant of the "McIlhagga Clan" of Ayrshire, Scotland. Her "McIlhagga" ancestors were in Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland by 1669. See the records of the McIlhagga Clan.'