Sunday, 13 February 2011

An 1851 Deduction

For some reason I haven't come across the internet site before, and neither had I come across the 1851 Census record on it for Dunaghy Townland: Donbrought number 15:

James McCrory 22 (Head)[Married 1847]-Linen Weaver (Antrim)(R);
Martha McCrory 22 (wife)[Married 1847]-Linen Weaver (Antrim)(R);
Robert McCrory 1 (son) [Unmarried] - None (Antrim);
Esther McIlhagart 19 (Visitor)[Unmarried]-Linen Weaver (R/W).

Why was Esther visiting this family? It was probably either because she had a link through work or family, or both. Let's assume she was Martha's younger sister. Well, according to Ancestry Ireland, a Martha McIlhagga did marry a James McCrory on 15 June 1849 at Cloughwater Presbyterian Meeting House. Admittedly the year is different on the Census, but we know how many errors there are when information is given for someone else to write it down, presumably the enumerator. Note that the Census says that James and Martha could read (R) but not write. So Martha was born in 1829 and Esther in 1831.

Now in the 1851 Census there is also an Esther McIlhaggart living as a Servant aged 18, a Weaver, at 10 Carnmore, Dunachy, working alongside another 'Servant, Weaver', William McGowan. It looks as if she has been entered in the Census twice as resident in two places on census night. I have argued in earlier blogs that Esther was one of five children of David McIlhaggart/McIlhago of Newtoncromelin in County Antrim. See my blogs of 19th and 22nd June 2009 and 13th August 2009. David was probably the brother of John who with his wife Jenny McCarley emigrated to Jamestown, Pensylvania. Martha was not one of those five children, so I think we now have to add her, making six. Up to this point Martha and her husband have been in my Clan Marriage Index, but have not been allocated to a Family Tree. Now they are. Esther was subsequently to marry Robert Whiteside later in that Census year, on 9th August 1851 and then have five children of her own. Interestingly her 1851 work colleague (or fellow apprentice), William McGowan must have had a sister Mary, for Esther's brother William, also a weaver, born probably in 1826, married a Mary McGowan also in that Census year, on 29th April. Like his sister he married at the Ballymena Registrar's Office.

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