Thursday, 14 October 2010

The Covenant at Knockahollet

I am working through The Ulster Covenant alphabetically, so the next person is Annie E. McIlhagga of Knockahollet. Two other people from Knockahollet signed, according to the PRONI Index, James and 'N.D.'. In the 1911 Census Annie Elizabeth, age 43, is the wife of Dunlop at 14 Ballyweeney. Robert Dunlop is age 41 (son of James and Jane, nee Maitland), a farmer. The Census also shows us a son James, age 6, Joseph age 10, Martha age 8 and Robert age 2. So the 1911 Census encourages us to jump to the conclusion that 'Annie E' in 1912 was the wife of Robert Dunlop McIlhagga. She might have been. However, Dunlop's brother, Daniel Maitland, was also married to an 'Annie E'! and they were both known as Annie. So does it remain an open question as to which one signed? With James we are not much more certain. It may have been James the father of Dunlop and Daniel, though it is not certain that he was still alive in 1912. It probably wasn't his eldest son James, who had emigrated to the States by 1907. It could just have been James son of Daniel who would have been 16. But who is 'N.D.'? I have looked carefully at the signature, which I have printed at the head of this blog, which could read 'M.D.', 'N.D.' or 'R'D'. The PRONI indexers think the probability is 'N.D.' but I have no 'N.D. McIlhagga' in my records! So I think the more likely is 'R.D', making it Robert Dunlop and therefore I think, 'Annie E,' his wife.

Who is the Robert McIlhaggar of Knockahollet that I mentioned in the first blog on the Ulster Covenant on 2nd October? On the reasonable assumption that he was from the same family, I think he must have been a brother of James senior. Robert was born in 1838 to Nathan and Ellen McIlhaggar so would have been 74 in 1912. If we didn't have this reference in the Ulster Covenant we would know next to nothing about him.

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