Sunday, 23 January 2011

Naming Pattern in Maxwells Walls

I think I need to follow up my last blog on the townland of Maxwells Walls in the Parish of Connor in County Antrim. Of all the clan Family Trees I have attempted to compile the one centred on Maxwells Walls has always had the largest element of 'reconstruction', though I think I may now have reached a reasonable level of accuracy. Of course I always hope for more facts to emerge which will either confirm or correct my present conclusions.

I concluded my last blog with the hypothesis that there were probably four siblings who must have been born in the last twenty years of the eighteenth century, Henry, John, James and William, all of whom farmed at Maxwells Walls. I have written earlier blogs about each of them, but have not however come across any documentation which has named either of the parents of these siblings, if siblings they truly were. There is of course one 'test' which might suggest a name for either or for both of them, and that is to apply the Scottish and Irish naming pattern. Can we demonstrate that this Maxwells Walls family followed this tradition which was indeed strong in the 18th and 19th Centuries in the Province of Ulster?

So can we reasonably ask, from the information we already have, what was the first name of our clan progenitor in Maxwells Walls? First, we must ask whether there is a common first name given to any first male grandchildren of our eponymous male. Let us take each of the siblings in turn. Henry's first son (so the eldest grandchild) was either John or Henry. They appear both to have been born about 1800, and possibly even were twins. Henry's brother John, as far as I can tell, had only daughters. The third brother, James, though it is possible that he married, it is uncertain whether he had any children. The fourth brother William certainly did, and his eldest son was also Henry. Therefore our first proposition from the 'Naming Pattern' must be that the 'common name' of a first son in the third generation was Henry, and that therefore quite possibly our progenitor had been Henry McIlhagga.

This hypothesis would be strengthened if we could find that the same pattern applies when we look at generations two and four, seeing them of course as grandfathers and grandsons. And what do we find? Henry (generation 2) had three 'first grandsons', who were Henry son of John, Henry son of Henry, and Henry son of William Gage. William (generation 2) had four 'first grandsons', William son of Nathaniel Owens, William son of George, William son of Jane, and William son of Archibald. Our conclusion? The naming pattern seem to have been followed perfectly! Strictly, Jane's first son should have been Daniel (her husband's father's name) and her second son should have been William, but for some reason she and her husband reversed the name order. Their 'second' son was indeed Daniel and their first was William. They must have had some special reason for calling their first after Jane's father, for they even gave him the second name of McIlhagga. Their surname was Boyd. I have put the word 'second' in inverted commas because the Boyds had two male infants who did not live beyond infancy.

So we have seen that the second and third generations follow the patters almost 100%. What of the fourth generation? This list is bound to be longer and the percentage accuracy not as high. It will be clearest if I list them:

John son of Henry, 1st son Henry named after paternal grandfather;
Henry son of Henry, 1st son Henry named after paternal grandfather;
William Gage son of Henry, 1st son Henry named after paternal grandfather;
William Gage's 2nd daughter Margaret not named after paternal grandmother;
John's 3rd daughter Ellen's only son Robert may not be named after paternal
grandfather, William, but after his father;
Nathaniel Owen son of William, 1st son William named after paternal grandfather;
Nathaniel Owen son of William, 1st daughter Henrietta may be named after maternal grandmother and is named after her mother;
Nathaniel Owen son of William, 2nd son James Wilson named after maternal grandfather;
Nathaniel Owen son of William, 2nd daughter Margaret may be named after her paternal grandmother;
George son of William, 1st daughter Margaret may be named after a grandmother;
George son of William, 1st son William named after paternal grandfather;
George son of William, 2nd son Samuel Robinson named after maternal grandfather;
George son of William, 2nd daughter Eliza Ann may be named after her maternal grandmother and is named after her mother;
Jane daughter of William, 1st son William McIlhagga named after maternal grandfather;
Jane daughter of William, 1st daughter Mary Ann named after paternal grandmother;
Jane daughter of William, 2nd daughter Margaret may be named after maternal grandmother;
Jane daughter of William, 2nd son Daniel named after paternal grandfather;
[NB. As I have noted above, Jane and her husband reversed the naming pattern, presumably for a good reason.]
Archibald son of William, 1st son William named after paternal grandfather;
Archibald son of William, 1st daughter Jean named after maternal grandmother;
Archibald son of William, 2nd son Robert named after maternal grandfather;
Archibald son of William, 2nd daughter Margaret may be named after paternal grandmother.

You will have realised that of these twenty-one relationships, ten definitely follow the naming pattern, ten probably follow the naming pattern and one does not, so our conclusion must be that in all probability we have reconstructed the Maxwells Walls family tree with a high degree of accuracy. And so the last thing that must be asked is whether the naming pattern can help us fill in any gaps in the Family Tree? We have already said that there may be a good probability that the name of our clan progenitor in Maxwells Walls is Henry. The other name which has kept cropping up is Margaret: William Gage's second daughter, Nathaniel Owen's son William's second daughter, George son of William's first daughter, Jane daughter of William's second daughter, and Archibald son of William's second daughter. I think the likelihood therefore is that William, son of our progenitor [Henry?] married a Margaret. Finally, do we have any clues from the naming pattern to the possible name of the wife of the progenitor [Henry]? There are two Marys and one Jane in generation three. More than this we cannot say, except that two to one, she may have been Mary!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

The McIlhagga - Boyd Intermarriages

Castlegore/Maxwells Walls Farms

I have written a good number of times about the McIlhagga families in the townland of Maxwells Walls, recently because I have met a descendant of the Boyd family which lived in the neighbouring townland of Castlegore. The Boyds and the McIlhaggas intermarried and there are three particular marriages which are very interesting, the first being of Jane McIlhagga to James Boyd in 1872, and then of two of their daughters, Mary Ann Boyd who in 1902 married William son of Henry McIlhagga, and of Margaret Boyd who in 1903 married William son of George McIlhagga. George was a clerk in Belfast but doubtless knew well and was probably closely related to the three or four men who were farming in the Parish of Connor which embraced the townlands of Maxwell Walls and Castlegore. The map above shows clearly at least three McIlhaggas, William, John and Henry and at least three Boyds, James, Daniel and James Junior, who all farmed within a couple of square miles. One Henry McIlhagga worked and farmed with a Boyd and a Gardiner in Castlegore, living in plot 37 on the map.

I got in touch recently with my friend who is related to the Boyds to tell him that during some Scottish research I had discovered that James and Jane Boyd had had their first child in Greenock, Renfrew while James had been working in the Sugar Industry there. Neither of us had known that they had had this son in 1874 whom they called William McIlhagga Boyd. There is however no evidence of William playing any continuing part in the life of this family and although we cannot be certain we agree that he may well be the 'William Boyd' whose death is recorded in Ballymena in 1876. The FamilySearch website puts his age at three years, though no parents are listed. This couple's third child was given the single name William. It was not an unusual practice to give the next male the same name as an earlier child who had died. Our continuing discussion has clarified for me one or two relationships between the families, and most importantly has corrected the Family Tree which I have been attempting to reconstruct for the McIlhagga clan family based in Maxwells Walls.

For some considerable time I have worked on the assumption that William who married Mary Ann Boyd was part of the family of Henry and Agnes (nee McMeekin) McIlhaggo/ie/a. I was right about the Henry and the Agnes but not about her maiden name. From the standpoint of a greater appreciation of the relationships between the McIlhagga and the Boyd families, I have realised that the Henry concerned must not be he who married Agnes McMeekin in 1855 but Henry who married Agnes Gardiner on 27th July 1857 at a Civil Ceremony in the Antrim Registrar's Office. Incidentally I have no idea why this was a Civil rather than a Church Ceremony. The Gardiner link is implied I believe from the evidence of the map above, with its reference on plot 36 to the joint tenancy of James Boyd and George Gardiner. What happened was that in 1864 farm 36 consisted of a house and land of just over 61 acres and was being rented by Francis Gardiner from Viscount Massereene. It was Francis' daughter Agnes that Henry McIlhagga married. By 1876 this house and farm was being rented by James Boyd the husband of Jane McIlhagga in a joint tenancy with George Gardiner, who I assume was Francis' son. Henry McIlhagga was living in a house in plot 37, within plot 36. Clearly by 1876 he and Agnes had returned home from Greenock.

The father of Henry (of the McMeekin marriage) was William McIlhagga. The father of Henry (of the Gardiner marriage) was another Henry McIlhagga. My present thinking is that Henry of plot 37 and John of plot 27 on the map were probably brothers and that their father Henry (possibly of plot 30) was one of four siblings, John, Henry, William Gage and Mary, who were all the children of another Henry (born about 1780) who married Mary
McDole/McDowel/McDowall. He in turn could have been one of four brother, Henry, John (who had three daughters, Rose, Mary and Ellen), James and William (the father of nine children, one of whom was Jane who married James Boyd).

James and Jane Boyd had ten children born between 1873 and 1888, two being the sisters who married McIlhaggas. Mary Ann Boyd and William McIlhagga had (at least) two children, Jane and Henry. Margaret Boyd and William McIlhagga had (at least) four children, Jane, Elizabeth, James and William. The parents of William McIlhagga who married Mary Ann Boyd, namely Henry and Agnes (nee Gardiner) McIlhagga migrated to Scotland where most of their family stayed in the New Monkland area of Lanarkshire and where both Henry and Agnes died.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Blood Group in Calgary

There is a new Canadian Discovery Portal where you can search archive material for your ancestors. I looked for any McIlhagga references and there was just one, in the Glenbow Museum. It was the above picture of a group of men who in November 1955 had attended a blood donors session in Calgary, Alberta. The picture was published in The Albertain, November 23rd, 1955, page 3. It was taken by Jack De Lorme of Calgary. The picture is entitled 'Fraternity gives blood'. The eight people in the picture who are seated round the two tables are named, with the comment "(s)hown being served coffee and cokes by Red Cross House staff after giving blood. Mrs. Jennie Shannon and Mrs. Pearl Anderson are shown serving the boys". The fourth person from the left is named as Al. McIlhagga.

I have looked at my clan births, marriages and deaths records, and I'm afraid I cannot identify 'Al'. Presumably Al is short for Alastair or Albert or conceivably even for Archibald. From the age of the men they must all have been born around 1930, and it is possible that 'Al' is still alive. Maybe of course 'Al' was a nick-name, rather than a short version of a first name. If anyone can identify our clan member, I would be most grateful.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

The Ross Line

Ross Crest

In my blog of 1st August last and subsequently of 19th December I was bold enough to include as possibly the earliest clan Will, that of Farquhar McIntagairt. 'Taggart' is of course an anglicisation of the same Gaelic word behind the last syllable, 'hagga', of our clan name, in Gaelic 'sagairt', meaning 'priest'. In my enthusiasm I thought the 'In' of McIntagairt must have the same derivation as the second syllable of our clan name, 'Il', a shortening of 'ghille'. I now know this is not so and hence I should not have included Farquhar in the Probate Index, however attractive the copy of the original document which adorns one of my paper files which I obtained from the National archives in Edinburgh.

I will in due course remove the Will from the Index but not before I have noted some interesting and relevant medieval facts which just might link in to our history, which are I think, worth a 'blog'. The Farquhar McIntagairt Will originated in Inverness in 1667, in the Northern Highlands of Scotland. I was intrigued recently to receive a copy of an occasional paper called West Highland and Island Notes and Queries (Series 3, No.15, October 2010), edited on the Isle of Coll, which included an article by Andrew B.W. MacEwan entitled Random Thoughts on Sir Farquhar, Earl of Ross. This earl of Ross, aka Farquhar Maccintsagairt (McEwan's transliteration) lived four hundred years before Farquhar who wrote the 1667 Will, ie c.1181 - 1st Feb 1251/2 - he died at Tain - and with etymologically the same name, one Farquhar was conceivably the ancestor of the other.

I quote the Paradox of Medieval Scotland internet site, 'Fearchar, earl of Ross, aka Farquhar MacTaggart... overthrew Alexander II's enemies when they entered Moray in 1215, cutting off their heads and presenting them to the king; as a result Alexander knighted Fearchar'. G.F. Black, in The Surnames of Scotland, points out that Ferchar (sic) was the son of the red priest of Applecross. I presume this is a reference to the colour of his hair. It would of course be super-serendipidous if I could say at this point that I or some other clan member has or had some known relationship to Sir Farquhar, but I can't!

It is however interesting that Sir Farquhar married a girl from the south - the Scottish Borders. We don't know her name but we do know that she was a daughter of William de Bruce, the 3rd Lord of Annandale and Christina Steward the daughter of Walter, the High Steward of Scotland. This is personally of interest to me because I do have a very distant blood relationship to Farquhar's wife and hence to all his offspring - he had two sons and two daughters, five grandchildren, including the last King of Man, and three great grandchildren. The title Earl of Ross descended through the eldest son, through three Williams, a Hugh, then to another William who was the 6th Earl (1310 - 9th Feb 1311/12). It was incidentally the third Earl who chose the above crest for the Earls of Ross.

Hugh, the 5th earl also married a Bruce, Matilda (or Maud, the name MacEwan uses) daughter of Robert the 6th Lord of Annandale and Marjorie, Countess of Carrick (my 20th Great Aunt!). Hugh and Matilda's son William, the 6th earl, married Mary Macdonald (my 17th Great Aunt!). Andrew MacEwan calls Mary the cousin of William. By my reckoning she was his 7th cousin 3 times removed. MacEwan says they were related as grandson of Countess Marjory and great-granddaughter of Affrica, daughter of Neil earl of Carrick (d. 1260).

I have at last reached the really interesting possible link to our clan history. Neil, earl of Carrick, was the son of Duncan the 1st earl of Carrick (1174-1250) whose Steward - he had the title Steward of Carrick - was Gillescop McI(l)haggain. Although in the past I have assumed that McI(l)haggain is a version of our clan name, I have to admit that it could equally be a version of McIntsagairt, the 'aka' name of the Earls of Ross. The Carrick connection may simply indicate that Duncan had employed as his Steward someone who, through the marriages I have mentioned above, was known to him from the Ross line.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

McIlhagga - S, W

I come to the last of my surveys of the FamilySearch Beta Internet site. As I do so, I can tell you it is no longer a 'Beta' site, but a fully fledged site - do they call them 'Alpha'? A couple of days ago I added a comment to 'McIlhagga - N' (7 Jan), just one extra person. Today I have two 'S's and five 'W's.

Sarah Jane McIlhagga died in Belfast in the Apr-Jun quarter of 1918. She was said to be aged 27, so having an estimated birth year of 1891. These facts may well be correct; however the 1911 Census indicates a birth year of 1897, giving a death age of 21. She was the daughter of William Gage McIlhagga and Jane Todd. Another Belfast 'S' was Samuel who married in the Jul-Sep quarter of 1920. He was the son of Robert McIlhagga and Margaret Craig who married Mary Hunt (daughter of Henry) on 7th August 1920 in St. Ann's Church of Ireland.

William, the eldest child of John McIlhagga (son of William, a Weaver of Tullygarley) and Mary Ann Atkinson (married at Balyclug Church of Ireland) was born in Antrim (town or county?), Ireland, on 28th March 1866. Another William, son of Wilson McIlhagga, married Jenny Stewart on 3 Jan 1868 at Buckna Presbyterian Church, Ireland. The interesting question for me from this entry is 'who was Wilson?' Could he be the John Wilson McIlhagga, son of William, a Farmer in Maxwellswalls? We now move to a Scottish marriage. William the eldest son of the eldest son of William McIlhagga and Agnes McCosh, married Rachel Mclelland (sic) on 31st December 1873 in the Middle or New Parish, Greenock, Renfrew. In accord with a good Scottish practice, this ceremony took place in The Free Church Manse. The fourth William McIlhagga is in another Irish marriage, this one in Ballymena. The record simply says he married in the Jul-Sep quarter of 1910. In fact he married Matilda Allen on 22nd September at Ballymena Baptist Church. Both were aged 26. I'm afraid I don't know to which Family Tree this couple belong. Neither do I know to which clan tree my final William McIlhagga belongs. He was the son of William McIlhagga and Elsie Kelly. He died only one day old on 18th July 1930 in Toronto, York, Ontario, Canada.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Paradox of Medieval Scotland

There is a new internet site with the intriguing, though odd, title of Paradox of Medieval Scotland (PoMS), which is aiming to document everyone in Scotland, at least everyone who appears in documents, between the years 1093 and 1286. In a blog on 8 Feb 2009, Clan History: Medieval Times, I referred to Gillescop McI(l)hagain, the Steward of Carrick. He was Steward when Duncan was Earl of Carrick. Duncan's dates are 1196-1244. I have not before had any 'certain' dates for Gillescop, but PoMS has a 'Person Record' for him which gives a start date and an end date for any information about him, namely 1189 and 13 June 1250. The site gives his Medieval name as Gilla Epscoip and his modern Gaelic name as GillEasbuig. It translates his title as Gillescop, seneschall of Carrick. It also, under a list of 'related factoids' includes 'relationship: son (mac) of Gilwyni(n)' Unfortunately it does not use the apparent 'surname' of McI(l)hagain, unless 'Gilwyni(n) is its transliteration, so the site may not be directly helpful in thinking about the evolution of our surname.

There are two documents relevant to him, both I think versions of the same Charter, in Latin, with a probable date of c.1204 (with a dating note saying 'death of Earl Donnchad of Carrick'). Presumably Gillescop was a witness to the Charter. Its description is as follows, "Earl Duncan of Carrick, for North Berwick Priory; he has given and granted, and by this charter has established, the church of Maybole (AYR), with lands, chapels, teinds, oblations and all its rights and just pertinents, in pure and perpetual alms". (Ref.: Edinburgh, NAS, MS. GD45/13/282). (Held by Cosmo Innes in 1847).

My blog of 8 February 2009 mentions our clan link to Melrose Abbey and it is of interest that PoMS mentions that Duncan was a patron of Melrose Abbey (Chron. Mel.).

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Etymology of Clan Name

Following the blogs I have written about our clan name in what we sometimes call the Celtic Period a friend has written to me to say that he could not understand how the name Mochuda (the familiar name of St. Carthage) became the last syllable of McIlhagga - -hagga, -hago, -hage, -hagger &c. He tells me it cannot be a Celtic mutation because M becomes F (Mhaire = Fairy) and anyway this only occurs in feminine nouns. He wonders whether '-hagga' rather comes from 'Carthage', with the loss of the first syllable?

He hadn't seen the blog I wrote on the 13th November entitled Gilmagu - Carthagus so I sent him a copy though pointing out that it wasn't written to address his etymological question above. I said I could see how one might be tempted to see a link from the Gaelic Carthach via the Latin Carthagus via the English Carthage to '-thage', to '(McIl)hage' ..... However my comment must be that there is no form of paper trail which supports such links, and we have the much more obvious evolution from Carthagus to (Mac)Carthy. Why would one drop the first syllable?

I admitted that I don't know anything about Celtic mutations and that in thinking about all this I have relied heavily on those who have the status of 'experts' in the surname field, not least G.F. Black, and I think they have been right to quote what I have called 'the paper trail'. I attempted to summarise the evolution as follows: the Gaelic Mo chutu became Mochuda became the Latin (Gil)magu became (Gil)mahgou [became (Gil)malgon] became the English (Mc)(Il) ha go became (Mc)(Il) ha ga became McIlhagga. The evolution was of course over many years, perhaps over 54 or 55 generations!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

McIlhagga P - R

The FamilySearch Beta Internet site has one 'P' McIlhagga and eight 'R' McIlhaggas. I know nothing about the family of Patricia McIlhagga who was born and died in 1920. She was born in Ballymena, County Antrim, and died during the Jul-Sep quarter.

The first 'R' is also a birth, but this time in Scotland. She was a daughter for Rebecca McIlhagga and David Dunwoodie of New Monkland, Lanark. Rebecca was the daughter of William Gage McIlhagga and Mary Houston. Rebecca and David's daughter was born on 9th November 1869 and they called her Ann.

Back to Ireland for five deaths. Reginald was born and died (in the Apr-Jun quarter) in 1934 in Dublin North Registration District. Reginald was the first child for Richard McIlhagga and Madeline Robinson. Sadly he did not survive infancy, though there were to be seven siblings. Also sadly their next male child (and number three) Richard also died in infancy in the Apr-Jun quarter of 1939, this time in the Dublin South Registration District. The third 'R' death was of Robert McIlhagga in the Oct-Dec quarter of 1912. He was 52 years old. He died on the 13th October and was married to Margaret Craig. Robert was the son of James McIlhagga and Jane Middleton. Fourth comes a Robert about whom I know nothing. He died aged 34 in Belfast in the Jul-Sep quarter of 1913. His estimated year of birth is therefore 1879. I have searched for him in both the 1901 and 1911 Censuses. Last, we have the death of Robert McIlhagga in the Apr-Jun quarter of 1921 in Belfast. He was only 29. I have tried to identify him from either the 1911 or the 1901 Irish Census. However there is no Robert who was 19 in 1911 or 9 in 1901. The most likely candidate I think is Robert who in 1901 lived in Maxwellswalls, the son of Agnes McIlhagga. He was then aged 11. By 1911 the family had moved to Diamond Street, Belfast.

Finally we have two Robert marriages. The first Robert McIlhagga married in Ballymena in the Apr-Jun quarter of 1914. I can identify this Robert as the son of William McIlhagga and Mary Spence. The marriage took place on 30th May 1914 at Ballymena 3rd Presbyterian Church. Then we have Robert Dunlap McIlhagga to whom I have already referred in my blogs of 1st October and 6th January last.

Friday, 7 January 2011

McIlhagga - N

In the FamilySearch Beta Internet site there are three Nancy McIlhaggas. Nancy seems to have become a name in its own right, not simply the 'familiar' name for Agnes. The first is Nancy who married Joseph Clarke. She had a son James on 27 Sep 1879 in Lislaban, County Antrim. I have for some time thought this Nancy might be the daughter of James McIlhagga and Jane Maitland. However this may not be so. A birth in 1879 implies a marriage in 1879 or earlier and so a birth for Nancy in the mid-1850s. However it is probable that James and Jane did not marry until the mid-1860s, so some further research needs to be done!

I am more certain about Nancy Betty McIlhagga who married Alexander Brownlees in Antrim, County Antrim, on 27th October 1865. Alexander was 25 and Nancy 22. Her father was William McIlhagga, part of the Maxwellswalls, Connor, family. The third Nancy was daughter of William McIlhagga and Agnes McCosh of Ballycloghan. She married William John McCleery. I already had the record of (possibly their first) son, also William James. I now know of their other children, Alexander born in Broughshane on 11th February 1864, Crawford born 5th April 1866 and Samuel born 8th July 1872. I do not at present have a birth date for William James junior and he may indeed have come between Crawford and Samuel.

There remain two other 'N's. The first is the marriage of Nathaniel McIlhagga in Belfast in the Oct-Dec quarter of 1916. He was the son of Nathaniel Owens McIlhagga and Henrietta Wilson, and on the 11th December that year he married Sarah Ann Craig. Finally we have the record of the death of Norah McIlhagga in Belfast in the Oct-Dec quarter of 1915. Her age is recorded as 0, so she was also born in 1915. Now the only family in which Norah was a name 'to be handed down', spells its surname with one 'g', McIlhaga, and it may well be that Norah was the infant daughter of William John Marrs McIlhaga and Norah Wellwood.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

McIlhagga - M

There are 16 clan 'M's in the FamilySearch Beta website, the first of which is simply a 'McIlhagga' who was married in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia in 1894 to Lizzie Jane Patterson. I published this as a 'stray' US marriage on 1st October last. The man was Robert Dunlap (sic) McIlhagga and the couple were married on 5th January.

We now have eight Marys. The first Mary McIlhagga died in the Registration District of Antrim in the Oct-Dec quarter of 1910, aged 76, and so was born about 1834. I do not know who this is. Second, we have Mary McIlhagga who was married in Ballymena in the Jan-Mar quarter of 1911. I do know that this Mary was the daughter of a John McIlhagga and that she married John McNeice at Wellington Street Presbyterian Church. Third, we have Mary Ellen McIlhagga who died in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on 16th January 1941 aged 59 years 9 months and 5 days. This gives us her birth date as 11th April 1881. She was born in Manitoba to Mathew and Margaret Kennedy and was widowed at the time of her death. Her maiden name is new to me, as is her place of birth. She was in fact the widow of John Hutchison McIlhagga. Fourth, we have Mary Kathleen McIlhagga married in the Oct-Dec quarter of 1909 in Belfast. This is a surname mis-spelling. Mary Kathleen was the daughter of George McIlhagger and on 21st December 1909 she married James Boyd at Fortwilliam Park Presbyterian Church, Belfast.

The fifth Mary McIlhagga record is of the birth of a son John on 28th August 1879 to Mary and her husband John Fullerton, in Ballymena. I don't know where this family fits into a clan tree, and I suspect that we have a mistranscription here. In my records I have not a Mary but a Margaret McIlhagga marrying a John Fullerton on 8th January 1872. She was the daughter of James McIlhagga and the marriage took place in Connor Church of Ireland where one of the witnesses was Eliza Ann McIlhagga. Next comes a marriage which I can fit into a clan tree, that of Mary [Jane] McIlhagga to Charles E. Thistleton which took place on 15th September 1910 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, USA. Some good information is included in this record: Charles was born in England in 1878, Mary in Ireland in 1878, Charles' father was George and his mother was Emma Lees. This is the clan family with its origins in Carnmoney. The seventh Mary McIlhagga was the wife of Robert John Miller. He was the son of James and she the daughter of William. They were married in Ballymena 3rd Presbyterian Church. Although I do not know to which clan family they belonged, I do know they had a son William Alexander on 25th December 1875 in Ballymena. The eighth and final Mary reference is another birth, of Margaret Jane on 9th March 1865 in Connor, to Mary McIlhagga and William Christy. My records also spell their name Christie and have them marrying on 30th August 1859 at Connor Presbyterian Church. As with other folk in the parish of Connor, you won't be surprised to know they belonged to the Maxwellswalls family.

After eight Marys we now come to three Margarets. First is the marriage of Margaret McIlhagga in Belfast in the Jan-Mar quarter of 1915. From other information I know this was part of the Maxwellswalls 'clan', daughter of Archibald M(a)cIlhagga and Agnes Jamieson, who on 6th January married Joseph Adams at Agnes Street Presbyterian Church. This marriage produced seven children including a boy called Nathaniel Silvey Adams. The second Margaret is I believe another misspelling. She is the mother of four children: a female (unnamed) on 23rd February 1865, Helena on 10th February 1867, Mary on 13th September 1871 and James on 8th Marcy 1877. The first three were born in Ballymena and the fourth in Antrim. Their father was John Hill of Ballymena whom Margaret married I think on 1st November 1854 at Kirkinriola Church of Ireland. I suspect we have here again a misspelling of McIlhagga for McIlhagger and that Margaret was the daughter of a shoemaker in Harryville, Ballyclug, called Crawford McIlhagger. She also married a shoemaker. Although I have quite a large McIlhagger family tree I'm afraid I don't know how this nuclear family fits in.

Finally we have three Matildas, one Martha and one Minnie, about all of whom we know very little. Matilda of Ballymena died in the Apr-Jun quarter of 1911 aged 26 (so born 1885). Matilda of Belfast was married in the Oct-Dec quarter of 1916. Another (I presume another) Matilda McIlhagga of Belfast married in the Jan-Mar quarter of 1917. Martha McIlhagga of Ballymena died in 1875 aged 85. This means she was born in the 18th Century (1790) and this record therefore gives us one of our earliest clan members in Ireland. I wonder who her parents were? Lastly, Minnie McIlhagga was born in the Jan-Mar quarter of 1910. Sadly she also died in 1910. Any information about any of these people would be most welcome.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

McIlhagga - L

In FamilySearch Beta there is just one 'L' McIlhagga. Lily McIlhagga 's marriage to Robert H. Rush is recorded in the Jul - Sep quarter of 1914. Although there are no further details I know from other sources that she was the daughter of William Gage (or George) McIlhagga and Ann Todd. She and Robert were married on 13th July 1914 at Crumlin Road Presbyterian Church, Shankill, Belfast. This was a family originally from Maxwellswalls, Connor, County Antrim, Ireland. The odd thing to note is that in the 1901 Irish Census it appears that this person was recorded as Matilda, but in 1911 at Lily. Perhaps 'Lily' was an accepted shortening of 'Matilda'.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The Boer War

The above poster was used, presumably, as part of a recruiting drive for the Imperial Yeomanry who were to fight in what became known as The Second Boer War, 1899-1902. The king referred to must have been Edward VII who came to the throne after Queen Victoria died in 1901. The only member of our clan who served in the Second Boer War was 38432 Private John McIlhagga who was in the 134th Company, the 29th (Irish Horse) of The Imperial Yeomanry. In Ireland 120 men were recruited in February 1900, as reported in The Irish Times. My understanding is that the 29th was raised in 1901, and therefore must have taken part in what is referred to as the Third Phase of that war, when the Boers adopted guerilla tactics. This was from September 1900 to May 1902, so started in Victoria's reign, which is interesting because John was awarded the QSA. the Queen's South Africa Medal. This award may mean that he was discharged, perhaps wounded, before the death of Queen Victoria. I have not been able to confirm this.

A Wikipedia article on this phase of the war includes the following rather derogatory comment on the Regiment: '(t)he Boer commandos were especially effective during the initial guerilla phase of the war because [Commander Lord] Roberts had assumed that the war would end with the capture of the Boer capitals and the dispersal of the main Boer armies. Many British troops were therefore redeployed out of the area, and had been replaced by lower-quality contingents of Imperial Yeomanry and locally-raised irregular corps'. "Lower quality" or not, John won the QSA medal! I'm afraid I cannot be certain to which clan family John belonged, though he may have been the John G. McIlhagger who returned to Ireland to work in the Belfast Shipyards as a joiner.

Monday, 3 January 2011

McIlhagga - J

There are about a dozen 'J' McIlhaggas on the FamilySearch Beta website, and once again there is some new information. The first thing to note is that there were two Jane McIlhaggas who were alive at the same time and I confess that in the past I have confused them. However, one was from Scotland and one from Ireland. The confusion occurred because the Irish Jane and her husband spent a short time in the same Scottish town as the Scottish Jane and her husband. Jane the daughter of John McIlhagga and Mary Stewart who lived in Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland (and my first cousin once removed) married Thomas Smith on 25th February 1870. The new information for me is that they had two children in Greenock, John on 2nd March 1870, just a week after their marriage, and then two years later Margaret, on 1st August 1872. I was tempted into thinking that this Jane must have married twice when I came across a birth of William McIlhagga Boyd in March 1873, whose father was James Boyd and whose mother was Jane McIlhagga, in Greenock. I subsequently realised that this was an error when I discovered that when Jane Smith died the record said she was the wife of Thomas and not James.

The second Jane I have already written about when documenting the McIlhagga - Boyd marriages in the townlands of Maxwellswalls and Castlegore in County Antrim, Ireland (eg on 7th August last). I then included several female children of James Boyd and Jane McIlhagga, including those in FamilySearch, namely Mary Ann born 18th December 1874, Margaret born 6th February 1877 and Mary born 14th April 1879. The child I didn't include, because I didn't know about him, was their eldest, William, to whom they gave the middle name of McIlhagga, who was born 24th March 1873. All the others were born in Ireland but William was born in Greenock, Scotland. Clearly James and Jane had migrated for a short time when he worked in the Sugar Industry.

There are two other Jane McIlhaggas in FamilySearch, both from the Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes. The first Jane died in the Jan-Mar quarter of 1909 in Ballymoney. In fact her death was on 4th January. She was a daughter of William McIlhagga and Agnes McCosh, and my great great aunt. It is interesting that the surname McIlhagga is used in this record as this was her maiden name. She was the wife of Robert Wade. I know that it is a Scottish practice to record the 'vital events' of women under both maiden and married names. but can't remember finding this before in Ireland. The second Jane is in a marriage record in Ballymena in the Oct-Dec quarter of 1919. In fact this marriage took place on 12th November at Kells Presbyterian Church where a Jane McIlhagga married Aaron Scott Crowe. I'm afraid I do not know to which family this Jane belonged.

Finally I come to the three male 'J's, all John. The first John McIlhagga married in Ballymena Registration District in 1863. This was the marriage of John the son of William McIlhagga on 14th March in Ballyclug Church of Ireland, to Mary Ann Atkinson. The second event was the death of a John in the Jan-Mar quarter of 1912 in Antrim. His age was given as 80. I am a little uncertain but I think this was probably John son of Henry McIlhagga, who died on 4th February 1912 aged 82. He was born on 8th February 1830 and married Elizabeth McCullough. The third John married in Dublin South Registration District. This is one of the most interesting clan marriages, partly because it is the only marriage I have in what is now the Republic of Ireland. The only Dublin wedding of which I have a note is that of John and Adelaide McIlhagga. It so happens that I have published a photograph of this event on 21st March last when I was writing about John's brother James. John was the son of William McIlhagga and Mary Spence. Now there is an added interest. On 3rd September 1956 Adelaide was laid to rest in The Friends Burial Ground, Temple Hills, Blackrock, Dublin. I think we can assume from this that she was a Quaker, and so it may be that the marriage in 1923 was a Quaker marriage, though I have yet to find a Friends Marriage Register to confirm this. I have to say that I have no record of offspring from this marriage.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

ScotlandsPeople update

Each 1st of January the ScotlandsPeople website (which has recently been redesigned) publishes one more year of its records. Yesterday the births for 1910, the marriages for 1935 and the deaths for 1960 were put on the Internet. There were no clan births or marriages but there was one death record, that for Agnes McIlhagga, nee McClure, aged 84 years, who died on 21st October 1960 at 12 hrs noon at 6 Gullane Street, Glasgow. She was the widow of Clark McIlhagga, a Shipyard Labourer. Her parents were given as William McClure, a Ship Stoker (deceased) and Isabella McClure, nee Nicol (deceased). She died of Arterio sclerosis - Cerebral thrombosis, as certified by Ernest Norton, MB, ChB. The information was given by her daughter M. Meldrum, on 21st October, at Glasgow to L. Watson, Assistant Registrar. The Registration District was Partick, Glasgow. Her daughter was Marion who married William Meldrum. Her husband Clark was her second husband, she previously having been married to his older brother William. Their father was John McIlhagga, a Sawmill Labourer. He was the son of William McIlhagga, a Weaver, who may have come from Tullygarley, born about 1820.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

McIlhagga H - I

The FamilySearch Beta Internet site has three 'H' McIlhagga references, the first of which is the marriage of Harry in Lisburn, County Down, Ireland, in the quarter Jan-Mar 1920. This is all the information given by the Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes, 1845-1958. From other sources I know that this was the marriage of Harry the son of William James McIlhagga and Ruth Woods, to Sara Laura Browne, the daughter of Samuel Browne, a Farmer, which took place on 11th February 1920 at Legacurry House, Drumbo, according to a Presbyterian rite. Mabel Browne signed as a witness. Was she Sara's mother or a sibling? Harry was born in the October-December quarter of 1878 in Belfast, so he was 42 when he married. In the 1901 Census he was called a Manager. At his marriage he was called an Invoice Clerk. Evidence from Telephone Directories indicates that he may have died in 1961. William James' father was also William, who would I think have been born about 1830.

The second 'H' is Harriet Jane McIlhagga who married in Belfast in the Oct-Dec quarter of 1909. This is a particularly interesting marriage, to William Robert Girvin, on 3rd November 1909, at Trinity Church of Ireland Belfast, for Harriet Jane was a widow. Her maiden name was McAughtrey. She had previously married Daniel McIlhagga on 12th April 1902 at Frederick Street Methodist Church. Simply on the evidence of date, it is possible that this Daniel was the son of John McIlhagga and Margaret Douglas of Templepatrick. He was born on 31st July 1880 so would have been 21 when he married Harriet Jane and would have died when he was 28.

The third 'H' is Henrietta McIlhagga who was born and died in 1870. The FamilySearch record gives us a death date of 6th August in County Antrim. This is certainly the Henrietta whose birth date was 15th February in Belfast. The additional information given is that she was a 'Merchant's child'. This merchant was Nathaniel Owens McIlhagga who was married to Henrietta Wilson. Baby Henrietta was their second child after William who had been born two years previously. Their third child, James Wilson, was born just twelve months after Henrietta.

There are three 'I' records, all related. The earliest is the death in Kimberley, British Columbia, Canada, on 26th September 1944 of Isabel Bates, nee McIlhagga. She was born on 10th April 1897 in Greenock Scotland, to James McIlhagga and Johanna McCulloch. She was we believe registered Isabella McFady McIlhagga. Her marriage to Hugh G. Bates is new information. The next record is the fact that they had a daughter, Isabel Gallagher, born 12th August 1921 at Gleichen, Alberta, Canada, who married John Duff Leith and who died aged 49 on 16th April 1971 at Trail, British Columbia. The third record is that Hugh Gallagher Bates was born on 21st December 1888 in Dublin, Ireland and died on the 26th September 1973 aged 84 at Kimberley, British Columbia. He was the son of Thomas and Isobel Bates. He had remained a widow for 29 years.