Monday, 27 September 2010

Nathan - Nathaniel

Some time ago I wrote about the clan's use of the first name Francis because it was so unusual. To a degree the same can be said of Nathaniel and its shorter version Nathan (though I do understand that Nathan can also be a short version of Jonathan). My last log recorded the earliest use of Nathan(iel) that we know of, a tenant farmer in Island Magee, County Antrim, who must have been born early in the eighteenth century. Other documentary evidence that exists about the nature of the speech and accent of the people living in Island Magee would indicate that he, or perhaps his father, had come from Scotland, possibly before the turn of the century.

Of the family trees that I have been able to compile in recent years, the name Nathan or Nathaniel occurs in three of them, namely those whose earliest members are found in Carnmoney, in Maxwell's Walls and in Island Magee. I think we may reasonably assume from this that somewhere there is a common ancestor named Nathaniel from whom all three come, and who therefore links the three trees into one. The earliest of the three, as we have seen, is Nathaniel McIlhago who was coming to the end of a tenancy in 1770 in the townland of Ballytober, Island Magee, and it is of interest that we do not know of any Nathan or Nathaniel in subsequent generations in that family. So is there one or are there more men of the name who have moved elsewhere from Island Magee?

The next earliest is Nathan McIlhaggar, a generation after Nathaniel of Island Magee, who was born about 1758 in Carnmoney, who married Betty Burney there is 1783 and had a son the following year whom they called Nathaniel. He in his turn had a son Nathan in 1804 who married Ellen Wilson in 1830. Chronologically the earliest Nathaniel in Maxwell's Walls of whom we presently know, was Nathaniel Owens McIlhagga, born 1834, who married Henrietta Wilson in 1866. (I wonder if she was related to Ellen Wilson?) Nathaniel Owen's father was William born about 1810. In Maxwell's Walls there were later Nathaniels born in 1878, 1896, 1907 and 1908, presumably all named for the earlier Nathaniel Owens. The interesting question, to which we do not know the answer is, 'was Nathaniel Owens's grandfather (and William's father) named Nathaniel?' If he was, this would fit the Scottish/Irish naming pattern, and if so was he a Nathan or a Nathaniel who mad 'migrated' from either Carnmoney or from Island Magee? From the evidence we have it would be reasonable to postulate that the clan member or members who moved across the North Channel from Scotland, settled first in Island Magee, and that descendant(s) moved a mere few miles inland to Carnmoney and then subsequently to Maxwell's Walls.

The Nathan and/or Nathaniels about whom I have been writing are as follows:

1. Nathaniel McIlhago, born about 1720-30, possibly father of Samuel and James McIlhaggo, Ballytober, Island Magee;
2. Nathan McIlhaggar, born about 1758-65, married Betty Burney about 1783 in Carnmoney;
3. Nathan McIlhaggar, born about 1804 to Nathan (1758) and Betty in Carnmoney. He married Ellen Wilson 1830 and had eight children;
4. Nathaniel Owens McIlhagga, born 1834 to William McIlhagga, Maxwell's Walls. He married Henrietta Wilson in 1866;
5. Nathaniel Owens McIlhagga, born 1878 to Nathaniel Owens and Henrietta McIlhagga of Maxwell's Walls. He married Sarah Ann Craig in 1916;
6. Nathaniel McIlhagga, born 1896 to Archibald McIlhagga and Agnes Jamieson in Shankill, Belfast, nephew of Nathaniel Owens (1834). He married Charlotte, had two sons, and died in 1937. There is a Will in PRONI and a Memorial Inscription in Connor (Parish of Maxwell's Walls);
7. Nathaniel Owens Minford, born 1907 to Hugh Minford and Elizabeth McIlhagga, daughter of Nathaniel Owens (1834);
8. Nathaniel Owens McIlhagga, born 1908, son of James Wilson and Sarah Jane McIlhagga, and therefore grandson of Nathaniel Owens (born 1834).

NB: There was a Nathan McIlhaggy, married to Sarah, who had a daughter Margaret baptised in 1790 at St.Anne's Church of Ireland, Shankill, Belfast. He must have been born before 1770. There was a Nathaniel McIlhaggo born about 1833 in County Antrim, who clearly could be number one above. There is a Nath. McIlhaggan in the 1880 Belfast City Directory, who was a Gate Keeper, and there were two Nathaniels (McIlhaga and McIlhagga) who signed the Ulster Covenant in 1912.

Finally there are other Nathaniels whose names may have been chosen to honour ancestral clan members, viz: Nathaniel Silvey Adams (1917 Belfast), son of Joseph Adams and Margaret McIlhagga, daughter of Archibald McIlhagga (who had a son Nathaniel); Nathaniel Boyd (1891, Greenock), son of William Boyd and Agnes Nancy McIlhagga, daughter of John McIlhagga and Margaret Stewart. There are also one Nate and three Nathans who are alive today in the USA, Canada and England.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Island Magee Tenants in 1770

An advertisement in the Belfast Newsletter on 13 February 1770 announced that lands owned by Viscount Dungannon in Island Magee were 'out of lease' and were to be let for terms of years. Dr. William Roulston, the Research Director of The Ulster Historical Foundation extracted the advertisement and published it in the Foundation's 2005 Directory of Irish Family History Research. After stating that the lands were 'in a rich corn country' which was 'remarkable for producing all kinds of grain', and informing readers how they could make further enquiries, the advertisement listed the 90+ sitting tenants by townland indicating how much land was leased by each. Presumably they could reapply for the respective tenancies. The list included two men in whom we are interested, first 'McIlhago, Nathaniel', in the townland of Ballytober, and second 'Aikin, William' in Ballycronan. I have referred to Matthew Aikin in earlier blogs, presumably a relation, maybe a son.

The reference to Nathaniel McIlhago is new to me, and brings on to the clan scene an 18th Century farmer of whom I have not heard before. Can he be identified with anyone else? From a date perspective he could be Nathan(iel) McIlhaggar, born about 1758 in Carnmoney, who married Betty Burney (born about 1762) in about 1783 in Carnmoney. At the marriage of their eldest son, Nathan, his father's name is recorded at Nathaniel (McIlhagga), so we do have a first name identification. If this is correct then Nathan Sr. would only have been 12 in 1770, which throws doubt on whether we have the right person, though of course he could have been born earlier. If the Nathaniel of Ballytober had been a tenant at, say, 20 years of age, then this would push his birth date back to at least 1750, giving him a marriage age of 33. We have to add that we have no evidence that Nathan McIlhaggar of Carnmoney ever left that place in order to farm in Island Magee, and he certainly married in Carnmoney.

A second approach to placing Nathaniel McIlhago is to start from the fact that clan members certainly farmed in Ballytober at later dates, and that they were men who spelled their name with a final 'o'. James (Junior) McIlhaggo farmed in the townland in about 1830, as did his son William after him. Was this therefore a long established family tenancy, presumably after Nathaniel McIlhago had reapplied for it in 1770? James (Junior)'s father was James (Senior), also a tenant farmer in Island Magee, perhaps in Ballytober, though we have no proof of the townland. He was born about 1755 and appears to have had an elder brother, Samuel, born between 1740 and 1750, who had a tenancy in the townlands of Ballylumford and Carnspindle. Ballytober is adjacent to Carnspindle. So perhaps we have now found the name of Samuel and James' father, which up to this time we have not known, namely Nathaniel. I admit that alternatively Nathaniel McIlhago could have been a sibling of Samuel and James, but on balance my preference is for 'father' as there is no reference to a Nathaniel in documents relating to the lives of Samuel or James. This would give Nathaniel McIlhago, listed in the 1770 Belfast Newsletter a possible birth date of 1720-30, which would have made him about 50 years of age in 1770.

I have quoted William Roulston's article in the 2005 Directory of Irish Family History Research, Ulster Historical Foundation, with permission.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Profile, Intestate and a piece of luck

Iona Abbey Memorial

It has been quiet on the McIlhagga genealogy front in recent weeks. I have renewed my profile page on the Guild of One Name Studies website, which anyone can see, removing the clan website which doesn't work any more, and replacing it with the URL of this blog. A new clan website is under construction in Canada and I will mention it in this blog when it is ready.

Some weeks ago I noticed that there is an index to wills and to 'admons' on the Ancestry website. I was somewhat surprised that only two McIlhaggas were listed, though gratified to find that they were my aunt Margaret who died in 1940 and my grandmother Margaret who died in 1927. I duly sent off my £10 to Her Majesty's Courts Service in York for any details they held, in the hope that either or both referred to other people, in particular to any McLeans related to my grandmother. One of my brick walls is associated with Ian McLean who was her nephew. My frustration continues! Today I have the reply which tells me that both Margarets died intestate. At least I have confirmation of the addresses at which they resided, the names of their next of kin (my father and grandfather respectively), the only people entitled to their estates, the stated occupations of my father and grandfather, together with the gross and net values of the two estates. I suppose the thing which surprised me was that my grandmother had a fairly substantial amount of her own money. May be it was before the days when joint accounts were popular. My aunt of course had her own money as she was a 'spinster'.

Very occasionally good luck provides information that one couldn't expect to gain without an enormous amount of original work. My first such good fortune came some years ago when I found The Sole Society which includes work on the name Sewell(s) and found they had records including Sarah Ann Sewells, a maternal great-grandmother. The society kindly provided me with information going back to about 1590. The second such piece of luck was three years ago when I discovered the work done on the MacLean family by Nicholas Maclean-Bristol of the Isle of Coll and the record he had of one of my great-great paternal grandfathers. His research, together with that of other clan historians has taken this line back to the beginning of the clan in the 12th Century, and, through the wife of the 5th Clan Chief, into the Royal Stewart line in the 14th Century. At the head of today's blog I have included what remains of a memorial brass to be found in front of the high altar in Iona Abbey. It is probably of either the first Laird of Coll or of his father Lachlan Lubanach Maclean who died about 1405.

The third piece of luck is associated with the Macleans for my Great great grandfather John McLean married a McKinnon whose mother was a McPhaiden (who was therefore my GGG grandmother). This week an excellent website concerned with the genealogies of the Isles of Coll and Tiree has published years of work on The MacFadyen - McPhaden Family in those islands done by Glenda McPhadden Franklin and Gene Donald Lamont. They have traced the family back also to the 14th Century. Such is the value of the Internet!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Inventions and Patents

One of the documents I have inherited from my maternal grandfather is a George V Patent, No. 14544/12 dated 21 June 1912. My grandfather, Arthur, a Provisions Salesman, and his brother Wesley, a Grocer, invented "An improved machine for cutting cheese and like substances". Interestingly it is the only document I have which gives me my grandparents' address at that date.

Google 'scholar' searches for articles and patents found under a particular surname. 'McIlhagga' produces 'about 570' entries, mostly articles from five academics. 'McIlhagger' produces 'about 253' entries , all articles by three academics. There are however, three interesting 'inventions', for which patents were sought by McIlhaggas, and which we can say are part of our clan history.
They are as follows:

Net mass liquid filler, US Patent 5,996,650 of Dec 7, 1999, by Scott McIlhagga and five others.
'Liquid filling apparatus and method of producing a fill or dose of a defined quantity of liquid based upon the mass of the liquid. In one embodiment, a servo motor driven rotary positive displacement pump is used to produce flow through a Coriolis mass flow meter to feed a positive shut-off filling nozzle, wherein mass flow data from the meter is used to control the servo motor-pump-nozzle to produce a precise fill dose of liquid based upon its mass'.
This device appears to have had a predecessor, a High Speed beverage dispensing method and apparatus, US Patent dated Dec 30, 2003.

Design for a Razor Blade, US Patent 92,361 of Feb 28, 1934 (In Great Britain No. 50,869, of Nov. 10, 1933), by George Robinson McIlhagga: 'Be it known that I, [GRMcI], a subject of the King of Great Britain, and a resident of the city of Belfast, Ireland, have invented a new, original, and ornamental Design for a razor Blade... (as shown)'. I have referred to this invention in my blogs of 17 Sep last year and 22 April this year.

A Data Processing System, International Application PCT/IE2003/000105 of 23 Jul 2003, by Elaine McIlhagga and two others. 'A data processing system is programmed with objects according to the object-orientated architecture. Each object is for implementing an event, which for financial securities processing is often referred to as a corporate action. An object has a container containing a series of masks, all at the same level, in a flat structure. Each mask has four binary bit flags, each switching on or off a pre-stored unit of executable code for an asynchronous transaction. Initialisation or modifications of the system involves only processing through a series of decisions and setting mask flags accordingly'. The IE in the application number must indicate that this invention is from Ireland.