Wednesday, 23 March 2011

A Correction and More Burials

First, may I say how pleased I am to receive information which corrects something I have written. Often my information comes from a member of the family though perhaps a distant relative and I have to accept it until it is proved wrong. On 17th September 2009, under the title 'A baker in Australia' I recorded the deaths of a married couple, Colin and Jean (nee McIlhagga) Cormack, on the same date and then made the false deduction that their deaths must have been the result of a tragedy. This is not so and a correspondent, a niece of Jean the wife, has kindly put a comment on the blog for that day, not only to record the cause of Jean's death at the young age of twenty six, but to say that Colin lived for many years afterwards.

Second, I had an email from a friend in Australia on the day after I published my last blog to say 'what a nice St. Patrick's day gift' - she could now add a lot of information to her family tree. She also 'claimed' two of the people I said I couldn't identify, namely Andrew and Margaret who may be two of the children of Robert McIlhagga and Margaret Craig who were her great-grandparents. She (I think rightly) also 'claims' Samuel, buried in the same grave as Andrew and Margaret, yet another sibling. However, I'm afraid there are still people I can't yet place in family trees, among whom are Catherine and Henry McIlhagga both of 293 Belmont Road, Belfast, buried in Roselawn Cemetery. Also in Roselawn there are George and Kathleen M McIlhagga. In Dundonald Cemetery is another Margaret McIlhagga who died aged 78 at 27 Kinbayne Avenue, G'Island. Finally there are two deaths in Purdysburn acute care Hospital, one of whom I cannot as yet identify, Robert McIlhagga who died aged 80 in 1980.

Fortunately there are a good number I have been able to identify. Daniel son of John and Margaret (nee Douglas) McIlhagga died in 1905 aged only 25, in Belfast Fever Hospital. He left Harriet Jane a young widow. They had only been married for three years. She was to marry again four years later. I do not know if there were any children. Daniel is buried in City Cemetery. Three people buried in the same grave in Dundonald Cemetery are a father and two of his six children. William John McIlhagga who married Jane Anderson, died aged 81 in 1943. His son William John who died aged 41 in 1946 and daughter Violet who died aged aged 79 in 1989 are all buried together. As a result of the extra information on this family I have become convinced that they belong in an already existing larger family tree going back to Nathan McIlhaggar and Betty Burney of Carnmoney in the mid-eighteenth century.

Next we have no fewer that nine people who belong to one of the two largest clan family trees, that centred on the townland of Maxwell's Walls, again going back to the mid-18th Century. In alphabetical order there were Elizabeth, died aged 63 in 1949, the second wife of James Wilson McIlhagga (Dundonald Cemetery); Elizabeth aged under three whom I mentioned last time; George who died aged 41 in 1882 (City Cemetery) the husband of Eliza Ann Robinson; Henry who died aged 76 in 1981, probably the son of William McIlhagga and Mary Ann Boyd (Roselawn Cemetery); James Wilson who died aged 81 in 1952, husband of Elizabeth above and later of Sarah Jane Hoye (Dundonald Cemetery); Jane who died aged 57 in 1932, wife of Samuel Robinson McIlhagga (City Cemetery); Lizzie Ann aged 7 years, mentioned last time; and finally Samuel Robinson McIlhagga who died aged 67 years in 1941 (City Cemetery).

The last clan family represented in the Belfast City Council Burial Records is that which spells our name with the last syllable 'er', though its first representative is misspelled, namely Henry Joseph McIlhagge, who died aged 32 in 1918. He was the youngest son of George and Mary Jane (Boyd) McIlhagger. He was a shipwright and died as the result of an industrial accident at Harland & Wolf the ship builders. The others, in alphabetical order are first David who died in 1919. He too was a shipwright and Henry Joseph's eldest brother. Elizabeth Louise, nee Sherwood, was David's wife. She died aged 67 years in 1948. George, father of David and siblings, a Police Sergeant, died aged 66 in 1914. John George was a grandson of George and Mary Jane, who died aged 68 in 1980. His father John George died aged 72 in 1954. Martha who died aged 90 in 2009 was the wife of William Boyd McIlhagger who predeceased her aged 79 in 1993. A baby Martha who died in 1875 I have mentioned before, as I have Sarah who died aged 97. Mary Jane (nee Boyd), the wife of George the Police Sergeant, died aged 75 years in 1929 and their grandson William Boyd died aged 79 in 1993. Two other children I mentioned last time, Ruth and Rebecca. Finally, William Boyd McIlhagger, son of William Boyd and Martha, died aged 35 in 1972.

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