Sunday, 24 April 2011

Some free information and a McPhee problem

In honour of a certain (Royal) wedding which will take place next Friday one of the commercial genealogy internet sites,, has given free access to certain of its resources. First, it has opened its marriage indexes for England and Wales. I put 'McIlhag*' into the search box and got 61 hits. Having saved the details to my 'Ancestry shoebox', I now have to find the time to check that I have all of these in my clan Marriage Index. These are all marriages of people who are still alive so I will not be commenting on any of the details in this blog.

Second, Ancestry has given free access to some of its Canadian records. Again, I entered 'McIlhag*' and got three hits. All were from the Drouin Collection of 'Quebec Vital and Church Records, 1621-1967'. Two related to a branch of my own family and one contained new information. The first was the birth/baptism of William Neil Duncan McIlhaggie, 1921 at Montreal, Knox Presbyterian Church. It reads, 'Baptism. McIlhaggie. William Neil Duncan McIlhaggie son of Thomas McIlhaggie and Annie Campbell his wife was born in Montreal on the twenty first of December in the year one thousand nine hundred and twenty and was baptized by me on the ninth day of March in the year one thousand nine hundred and twenty one. R.W. Dickie. Thomas McIlhaggie. Annie C. McIlhaggie.' The image is clearly in Mr. Dickie's handwriting, except for the signatures of Thomas and Annie which were in their own handwriting.

William Neil Duncan was the only child of Thomas and Annie who survived. I have known for some time, from William's son in Canada, that there were two earlier births of children who did not survive and whose names we have not known. The second child, a boy, may have been stillborn and not given a name. The first child's name is now known to us from a death/burial record from The Anglican Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal. It reads, 'McIlhagga buried 2nd Aug. 1917. Christina Bird infant daughter of Thomas McIlhagga, and of Annie Campbell his wife, died on the first day of August one thousand nine hundred and seventeen, aged nine days, and was buried on the second day of August in the same year. By me, M.B. Johnson, Curate. Witnesses present at Committal, Thomas McIlhagga.' Interestingly Thomas' signature in 1917 was clearly McIlhagga and in 1921 was clearly McIlhaggie. The Ancestry transcription for 1917 states incorrectly that it was McIlhagge. Both these entries derive from the Ballycloghan McIlhagga family.

The third Canadian clan record comes from a different family line. It is another baptism, this time from the Catholic Church Records of Notre Dame du Bon Conseil, Ottawa (1910). It reads, 'B.80. Eliz. McPhee. On the twentieth day of September nineteen hundred and ten, I the undersigned priest have solemnly baptized Elizabeth McIlhaggo lawful daughter of John McPhee and Elizabeth [McIlhaggo crossed out] McMinn born on the twenty first ultimum. The sponsors were myself and Eliz. McIlhaggo. Geo. W.O'Toole'.

Now I have only one McPhee - McIlhagga link, and that is indeed a John McPhee who married Sarah Bell McIlhaggar, daughter of William McIlhaggar (1850-1935) and Mary Jane Bell. William was son of Francis who almost certainly was part of the Maxwell's Walls branch of the family. Sarah Bell McIlhaggar was born in Carmyle, Scotland. The John McPhee whom she married could well have been born a little earlier, perhaps 1860. They had five children, the eldest of whom was also John. He would have been too young to marry Elizabeeth McMinn and have a child in 1910. John born perhaps 1860 would have been the right age, but he was married to Sarah Bell McIlhaggar! Could a marriage to Elizabeth McMinn in Ottawa have been a first marriage? And who was Elizabeth McIlhaggo the baptism sponsor, after whom the McPhees clearly called their child? There was certainly one Elizabeth McIlhaggo in the family from which Sarah Bell McIlhaggar came. She was in fact Sarah Bell's aunt, and a daughter of Francis, so we could have the scenario that I am suggesting. I would be most grateful if anyone can enlighten me further.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Surname finder maps

In this blog I have written a number of times about the origins of our clan name and have maintained, with I think the best 'name historians', that it has Scottish origins, despite its strong Irish links. Clearly discovering the origin of a surname is a great help for genealogical and indeed its associated genetic research. In a recent article in the magazine Your Family Tree Anthony Adolph mentioned a new internet site for mapping the whereabouts of Western surnames, and therefore a start for guessing where they originated, or perhaps a confirmation of a paper trail. It is at Does it agree with the name historians and with the conclusions I have come to about our clan name?

The site uses OnoMap, an academic project developed at University College, London. Consideration of language, religion, geographical region and culture in relation to names has resulted in 185 Categories organised into 66 Subgroups and 16 Groups. So what do these reveal for our clan? I put 'McIlhagga', 'McIlhagger' and 'McIlhaga' in to the site 'search term' box. First a World Map appears and then you can click on a country to get a more detailed map of an Area, like Europe. Then you can click on a Region, e.g. Ireland, to give even more detail. Each map is coloured in six shades to show from high to low density of a name. These maps are of course showing present day usage of a name, not historical usage, so are different from maps produced from historical sources, such as censuses. Tables with statistics and names give the top five Countries, Regions and Cities, and the top five forenames associated with the surname.

Finally under the title 'Roots of this name' you are given 'Group', 'Subgroup' and 'Language'. There is also a question for you to respond to, 'Do you agree? Yes/No'. For McIlhagga we are given, Group: Celtic; Subgroup: Scottish; Language: English. For McIlhagger we have Group: Celtic; Subgroup: Irish; Language: English. For McIlhaga we get the message 'Sorry we don't have any information on the roots of this name'. For McIlhagga and McIlhagger I ticked 'Yes, I agree'.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Y - DNA Haplogroup tree

To the best of my knowledge only two of us in the McIlhagga clan have had our DNA analysed. To my gratification the personal 37-marker result for each of us is identical. A particular Y chromosome result is known by an M(arker) number and ours in M335. This indicates the place where a common ancestor probably originated and how many people are known with this Marker in a particular place, say Scotland. I am at present reading a book entitled The Scots, A Genetic Journey by Alistair Moffat and James F. Wilson, and I am interested to see whether M335 gets a mention - though not in the first 60 pages! The American firm which does the DNA analysis has drawn a 'Marker' Tree to show how the different numbered markers relate to one another. This tree seems to make it clear that the McIlhagga M335 is very rare and is found in very few people! And it indicates that it originates in Anatolia - the middle of Turkey! (though as we know in dim pre-history everything came from Africa). The book I am reading does however say (p.58), with reference to another Marker (423), which it calls the Scots founding lineage, that it could have arrived in Scotland about 6000 BC, having crossed the Bosphorus from Anatolia, then along the great river valleys of Central Europe, the Danube and the Rhine. This of course is in the period when Britain was not divided from the rest of Europe by the English Channel, and the Rhine virtually joined up with the Thames.

Having noted this place for a possible common ancestor, I have to say it is based on the developing science of Genetic Migration, and this is what I understood from the 2010 Y-DNA Tree. On 21 March this year many groups were updated by recent research, including our Haplogroup clade, which is R1b1c (Haplogroup is a population descended from a Common Ancestor, and a clade is a sub-section of it). The result is that our origins are now said to be found most frequently in SW Asia and Africa and the African examples are associated with the spread of the Chadic languages. This is the result of research from an Italian University and published in the Jan 6th 2010 issue of the European Journal of Human Genetics. An abstract of this article states that '(a)lthough human Y chromosomes belonging to the haplogroup R1b are quite rare in Africa, being found mostly in Asia and Europe [like the McIlhaggas] ...(t)he analysis of the distribution of the R-V88 (this code seems to have replace M335) haplogroup in >1800 males from 69 African populations revealed a striking genetic contiguity between the Chadic-speaking peoples from the central Sahel and several other Afroasiatic speaking groups from North Africa'. This is due to what is called 'back-migration' from Asia to Africa in prehistoric times.

Now all this is very interesting, but we (of the McIlhagga clan) have to conclude that despite the 'back-migration' some continuing east to west migration must have taken place which included some at least of our clan. The fact that some of us have the same DNA as Chadic speakers in the Lake Chad basin is amazing, if not mind-blowing! Where we go from here I don't know. Hopefully someone will do some work on 'M335' or 'V88' in the European population and enlighten us further.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Glenboig to Maryhill

This is my final bite of the 1911 Scottish Cherry. The last household was in Maryhill - George and Isabella McIlhago and children Margaret (19), Harry (18) and James (14). Interestingly George was a 'Railway Constable', presumably in the early Railway Police Force. Harry was also employed by the Railway Company as a Bookings Clerk. The family had moved to Maryhill from Glenboig near Coatbridge in North Lanarkshire where the first two children had been born and where George had been a miner. However, it was when the children were very young for they are all there in Maryhill in the previous 1901 Census. It must have been quite a change from small rural town to large city. In the 1901 Census Harry had been mis-transcribed as Harvey and Margaret had the second name initial B. In fact both she and James had the second name Boak.

One of the interesting things for us is where George originated in Ireland. If he was 48 in 1911, his birth year was 1863 and the only Irish George McIlhago (sometimes McIlhaggo) I have on record is George Gardner McIlhago who in 1890 married Isabella Scott Boak in New Monkland, Lanark. Clearly from the evidence of second names we have the right couple. Their son James Boak was to marry Margaret Watson Mackenzie on 25th February 1927 in Hope Street Free Church of Scotland, Glasgow. George's father, back in Ireland, was Henry who had farmed in the townland of Maxwell's Walls in the parish of Connor. His mother was Agnes, daughter of Francis Gardiner a neighbouring farmer in Castlegore. Henry's father and grandfather were also Henry, each farming in the same townland, in a family line which consistently used the 'old' spelling of McIlhaggo, back to the end of the eighteenth century and maybe earlier.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The Greenock Family

Ina McIlhaga, working as a servant to a physician, gave her age as 18, which means she was born about 1893. My first reaction which I put in my last blog was that she was Ina McIlhagga who emigrated to the States. There she worked as a housemaid and in the 1930 USA Census gave her age as 27 therefore with a birth year of 1903! She was in fact born on 24th January 1894 (Statutory Birth Record). If this was the same Ina she would have been 37, not 27. It is not unusual for someone to falsify their age, perhaps to get employment, perhaps to wish to appear younger to a prospective marriage partner. Ina did marry a James Strathearn in the USA. I have to say that I have no other Ina in my records, and certainly not an Ina McIlhaga, and I am convinced that the Greenock Ina and the USA Ina were one and the same. Do I have Ina in the 1901 Scottish Census when she would have been about eight? I think so. Born in Greenock I have an Alexander aged 7 which is I'm sure an error for Alexandrina, Ina's full name. His/her parents were James and Johanna (nee McCulloch) McIlhagga of 19 Ingleston Place, Greenock. James was 45 in 1901. Where is he in 1911? He is surely James aged 54, still a Rivetter and now living at 31 Lyle Street. His eldest daughter Marion was keeping house as his wife Johanna had died six years earlier in 1905 having had 'Pulminary Phthisis' for two and a half months. That sounds like Tuberculosis. The family had moved house after her death. In 1911 only four of their fifteen children were still 'at home', namely Marion, Agnes, Isabella and James. They also had a lodger, David Bell who was born in England. It is likely that he was a relation as they had called their eighth daughter 'Annie Bell', but how the Bells and the McIlhaggas were linked I'm not sure.

We now come to Joan McIlhagga, 22, who was a Domestic Servant in Greenock to Robert and Marion Anderson. I am somewhat mystified! I have no Joan on record. However the name could be short for Joanne or Joanna, and there was one Joanne McIlhagga born about 1885, which would have made her 26 in 1911, who eventually married Melville Russell Dean in about 1919 in Alberta, Canada. This does not immediately solve the mystery because I don't know her parentage from that event. Do we get anywhere by going back to the 1901 Scottish Census? Yes, I think we do, for there was a Johanna McIlhagga aged 13 in Greenock East who was another daughter of James and Johanna. And (aha!) she was none other than the person who married Melville Dean. She had two children by him but died at the early age of 35 in 1923, sadly in childbirth. Interestingly her sister Agnes, whom I have noted above, also died in Calgary, Alberta, also at the young age of 27. Their sister Isabella also went to Canada, married Hugh Gallagher Bates and died in 1944 in Kimberley, British Columbia, aged 47. They had one daughter Isabel in 1921 who married John Duff Leith and died in Trail, British Columbia, aged 49. James, who also appears with this family in 1911 emigrated to New York where he married Aa Scots girl from Fairlie, Jean Blue Crawford in 1924. They were to have two sons.

But we haven't dome with this family yet! The Catherine M C McIlhaggie in the 1911 Census is a slight misreading for Catherine McC McIlhagga - her middle name was her mother's maiden name, McCulloch - who, aged 24, was also a Domestic Servant, to Daniel and Margaret Kerr. Like so many of her siblings she too emigrated across the 'pond', ending up in Plant City, Hillsborough, Florida where she died at the great age of 89 in 1976. As far as we know she didn't marry.

Who was the James McIlhaggie, aged 29 in the 1911 Census who was in the Merchant Navy? The record says he was born in Greenock, but there is no James aged 19 in the families of the 1901 Census. The reason? He was at sea then, but in the Royal Navy! He was in fact James the son of William Carson McIlhagga and Rachel McLelland, mentioned above, who was born 19th August 1882. In 1901 he was counted on board a battleship in Gibraltar Bay. Between 1901 and 1911 he must have transferred to the Merchant Service. And in that time he married Mary Young on 30th October 1908 in Govan. They had a son John Young McIlhagga who when he was a Quay Labourer in 1931 married Margaret Smellie Allan in Union Church of Scotland, Maryhill, Glasgow. They had a daughter, Margaret Allan who sadly died as a small child in 1937. John died at the young age of 31 in 1940. Lastly, in this mixture of McIlhagas, McIlhaggas and McIlhaggies, all of who were near relations in the same clan family, we come to Mary McIlhaggie aged 29 who had the one year old son John. We learned from the Census form that she had been married for three years, so her maiden name was not a clan name. Who was she? Yes, she was the Mary Young who married James was was on board ship in 1911 and whose son was John Young McIlhagga. I do not know if they had any other children.

Finally, and from the same clan family, we have William, Martha and Thomas McIlhaggie in the 1911 Census. Their name is also spelled McIlhagga in other documentation. William's wife Rachel (nee McLelland) had died in 1893. In 1911 two of their nine children were still at home. Martha was to remain in Scotland and marry a Mr. Dickson. She died in Dennistoun in 1959 at the age of 71. Thomas, who had the interesting second name of Norris, was to emigrate to Canada where just two years later he married Ann Munro Campbell in Montreal. They were to have just one son who lived past infancy, William Neil Duncan who to this day has five descendants in Canada and the USA. Thomas Norris McIlhagga died at Daytona Beach, Florida.

Monday, 11 April 2011

1911 Scottish Detail

In order to access the full details of the 19 clan members in the 1911 Scottish Census I had to download the details of eight different households. Unfortunately the original census forms have been destroyed so one cannot see one's ancestors' handwriting, but one can see the copies made by the enumerators. Thankfully they seem to have had good clear handwriting. First Ina McIlhaga (either wrongly entered by the householder or mis-transcribed - she was a McIlhagga) was staying with Thomas and his 12 year old daughter Catherine G. Philip at 38 Union Street, Greenock. Ina was employed as an 18 year old servant to Mr. Philip who was a Physician and Surgeon. Next we have a McIlhagga family living at 31 Lyle Street, Greenock. James, a Riveter employed in shipbuilding aged 54 was the head of a household of three daughters, a son and a boarder. His daughters were Marion, 33, who appears not to have had paid employment, so one suspects she was the housekeeper. Agnes, 19, was a net worker in a Merino Mill and Isabella, 14 was still at school. The son James aged 12 was also at school. All were born in Greenock. Their boarder was a 24 year old Joiner working for a Builder, David Bell who had been born in England.

The next McIlhagga was Joan aged 22, who was a Domestic Servant working for Robert, 36 and Marion, 40 Anderson at 17 Robertson Street, Greenock. Robert was a 'Public Accountant'. Next we come to Catherine M.C. McIlhagga aged 24 who was working as a Domestic Servant at 1 Margaret Street, Greenock, for Daniel 58 and Margaret 56 Kerr. Daniel was a 'Factor to Trustees'. They also had in the household a 26 year old Cook, Margaret McKechnie. She was a highlander from Argyle who spoke both Gaelic and English. Next is listed James McIlhagga aged 24 who was a 'Seaman AB' in 'Foreign Trade'. On Census night he was on board Numedian in Princes Dock, Glasgow Harbour.

We move to a variant surname with Mary McIlhaggie aged 29 and her son John aged one. They lived at 22 Blackburn Street, Plantation, Glasgow. Mary is described as Head of Household who had been born in Govan. In the Census columns 'Particulars as to Marriage' it states that she had been married for three years (so married in 1908) and that she had had one child. We now come to a household of eight people, three of whom are William McIlhaggie 59, who is a Labourer with the Town Council, born in Greenock, Martha McIlhaggie 22, who was a Restaurant Waitress and 19 year old Thomas McIlhaggie who was a Cook (vegetable) with the Marine Merchant Service. These three were 'in-Law' relations to the head of the household, Adam Woods McLellan aged 36, who was a Blacksmith in a Horse & Hoeing Forge. They were respectively Father-in-Law, Sister-in-Law and Brother-in-Law. This means that Adam's wife Matilda (34) was William's daughter. Adam and Matilda had three children, Rachel 12, Jessie 9 and William 6.

Finally we come to the five members of the McIlhago family at 40 Murano Street, Maryhill in the Quod Sacra Parish of St. Cuthbert in Glasgow North. George aged 48 was a 'Railway Constable' with the Railway Company. He had been born in Ireland. His wife Isabella, 42 was born in Colyston, Lanark. They had three teenage children, Margaret 19, a Milliner, Harry 18, a Railway Booking Clerk and James 14, a Clerk with a Granary Warehouse. All the children were born in Glenboig(?), Glasgow. Next time I will compare the 1911 Census with the 1901 and maybe earlier Censuses.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

1911 Scottish Census

Today the 1911 Scottish Census came on line at ScotlandsPeople. I simply searched it with the surname McIlhag*. With the wildcard * I got 19 clan results. I also tried McElhag* with zero results. There are 10 females and 9 males, 10 adults (21 and over), 9 under 20 - all teenagers except one one-year-old. There are no fewer than 8 households, three of them being 'single person' (as far as we are concerned) plus one man in the Merchant Navy. 8 people lived in Greenock on the West Coast, the rest in Glasgow, 5 in the district called Plantation and 5 in Possilpark. There are no fewer than four variations of the spelling of our surname: one McIlhaga, six McIlhagga, seven McIlhaggie and five McIlhago. If we compare earlier official censuses, our clan numbers in Scotland have been small but remarkably steady: 1841-7; 1851-9; 1861-14; 1871-21; 1881-23; 1891-22; 1901-22; 1911-19. Next time I'll start to spell out the details of each household.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

McIlhagga - Glass

In my last blog I outlined the facts we know about the thirteen or fourteen people in the family around Samuel McIlhagga or McIlhaggo or McIlhage who was born on 1st January 1832. Its first home was in the Antrim coastal town of Carrickfergus, almost certainly the place where the girl her married, Elizabeth Glass, grew up. As we have no other clan references to this town it seems likely that Samuel came from somewhere fairly near by. The place where there was a significant clan presence, and had been for about a hundred years, was a mere ten to fifteen miles along the coast, going north, on the peninsula called Islandmagee, so named because in the 16th Century the Magees from the Rinns of Islay followed their laird to Ulster.

There are some circumstantial 'reasons' why Samuel may have belonged to Islandmagee. The clan there spelled their name with an 'o' ending, McIlhaggo, as did Samuel on occasions. Second, the first name Samuel was certainly favoured among the McIlhaggos there and some of our information comes from the Will of Samuel McIlhaggo who died in 1818. This Will makes it clear that he had a son and three grandsons, two of whom were named Samuel and John. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that Samuel born in 1832 had sons named Samuel and John, though they cannot have been the two referred to in the Will. The dates don't fit. We are probably looking at two generation apart. It is therefore possible that the Samuel named in the Will, or one of his brothers, (the great-grandsons of the Samuel who made the Will), could have been the father of Samuel born in 1832. Third, the clan families on Islandmagee were all farmers, so if Samuel born in 1832 in his early days was a cattle drover/dealer, then this was something he had likely been brought up to. Fourth, whether or not he was son of the brother called Samuel, it could have been that Samuel who was the witness named at the baptism of a couple of the children of Samuel and Elizabeth.

Do we have any further clues from later events? Not very much. We think that two children of Samuel and Elizabeth must have died as infants. If any of the others survived and married I'm afraid I haven't found any such records. We do have the evidence of the 1901 and the 1911 Irish Censuses. Samuel senior would have been 69 in 1901 but there is no Samuel of that age in the Census. Samuel junior would have been 30, and again, there is no Samuel of or near that age. Nor do they appear in the 1911 Census. John however would have been 26 in 1901 and in that Census there is a 26 year old John and his 25 years old wife Mary living at 102 Queen Street, Ballymena. He was a Carter. In the 1911 Census there is no equivalent Mary though there is a 36 year old John who is boarding with a Sinclair family at 32 Agnes Street, Belfast. He was a Shipwright. He was recorded as single, though he may have preferred to say he was single rather than a widower, if Mary had died.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Cattle Drover to Car Driver

I have been checking my own clan Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes against those available at the Ulster Historical Foundation. I'm afraid that 82 of my entries are missing facts which are hidden in the UHF entries, so I had better do something about it! Fortunately I have a little credit left in my UHF account, enough to check about twenty, and it seems logical to start with one of the oldest. I have 11 births/baptisms from the 1790s. The one I decided to check was that of Margaret McIlhaggy. I knew she was born to Nathan and Sarah and that her birth/baptism was 4th March 1790. The church was St. Anne's Church of Ireland, Shankill, Belfast. I hoped to find Sarah's maiden name, but didn't. I also hoped to find whether the date was a birth or a baptism. The full record has the birth and baptism dates separate, but gives 4th March for both. I can only conclude that Margaret's baptism took place on the day of her birth, possibly because it was thought she would not survive. I have no knowledge of whether she did or not.

I next decided to look up the two entries I have for Samuel McIlhage in 1832 and 1871. Oddly the 1832 entry recorded no parents' names. The full record shows the reason. Born on 1st Jan 1832 Samuel was conditionally baptised in St. Mac Nissi's Roman Catholic Church on 10th Nov 1850 at the age of 18 years by the Rev. A. O'Neill. The baptism of an adult probably needed no parental sponsors. But if only I could find another Samuel born in 1832 I might have found his father, but I can't! There must have been a good reason for Samuel being conditionally baptised in 1850, and the second Samuel McIlhage entry surely reveals it. Samuel born 25th April 1871 and baptised on 28th at St. Mary's Roman Catholic church by the Rev. M. McCashin had parents Samuel McIlhage and Elizabeth Glass. The family lived in Abbey Street, Belfast. There were two baptism witnesses, John McIlroy and Alice Fagan. Surely the father Samuel in 1871 was the Samuel conditionally baptised in 1850.

The reasonable assumption would I think be that in order to marry Elizabeth Glass, Samuel converted to Roman Catholicism. He converted in 1850 when he was 18 and would have been legally able to marry when he was 21 in 1853, and I do have a record of a marriage on 23rd June 1853 of Samuel McIlhagga to Elizabeth Glass at Carrickfergus Roman Catholic Church by the Rev. J. Cunningham. Sadly, on the marriage record the two fathers' names are given simply as surnames, McIlhagga and Glass, and no mothers' names are recorded. We may read into this scenario that the families were not in favour of this inter-church marriage, this being the reason not only for 'surnames only', but also for the fact that Samuel waited until he was 21 to marry. The witnesses' names are given, Bernard Conway and Susan Higgins, but these do not give any clues to Samuel's family.

From other records we do know a little more about this couple. They had other children than Samuel in 1871. John McIlhagga/o was born on 12th May 1875 also in Belfast. Susan McIlhaggo was born on 23rd June 1867, also in Belfast. And most interestingly Agnes McIlhaggo was born on 11th Dec 1862 (and registered on 14th Jan 1863) at 5 Corporation Street, Carlisle, Cumbria. So this family gives us the earliest of our English references. And the Cumbrian baptism gives us an occupation for Samuel. He was then a Cattle Dealer. In the UHF records there is a third McIlhage entry, with a father Samuel, but no given name, born in 1876. At first I assumed this was a child born to Samuel and Elizabeth who had died at birth. But on checking I was again taught the lesson not to take anything for granted. It was an entry for a completely different family. This nameless child, who probably did die at birth, belonged to Samuel a Flax Buyer who was married to Grace Marrs and who lived at 33 Greenmount Road, Belfast.

In order to check whether I had collected all the references to this family I then returned to the UHF to get the full entries of all the births/baptisms with a father Samuel from the middle of the 19th Century. In addition to Agnes in '62, Susan in '67, Samuel in '71 and John in '75, several more were revealed! Margaret was born in Carrickfergus on 14th May 1854, the year after Samuel and Elizabeth were married. John was born two years later, on 3rd February in Carrickfergus. A later John born in 1875 must mean this first John died as an infant. Elizabeth was born on 16th January 1858 in Carrickfergus and Mary Anne was born on 8th October 1860, also in Carrickfergus. All these are recorded as Roman Catholic baptisms. None record an occupation for Samuel, though we may suspect that a move from Carrickfergus to Cumbria by 1862 may have meant he was involved in cattle dealing in Ireland. There are three significant changes when we come to 1867. On 23rd July that year Susan was born and registered in the 'Civil Parish' on 2nd August, and the family had moved back from Cumbria to 30 Greenland Street, Belfast. Second, Samuel's occupation is given as Car Driver. Third, the witness's name is recorded as Samuel McIlhagga. Conceivably this could have been Samuel himself, but it may have been his father. If so, then we know the name of Samuel's father, of which we have not had a clue up to this point, though we must say we cannot be certain. We must also record that there is the birth of another Susan, 14 months later on 9th September 1868, from which we must conclude that the first Susan must have died as an infant. By this time the family had moved to 57 Boundary Street, Belfast.

Lastly I must return to Samuel McIlhage's 1871 birth/baptism mentioned above, because there is also a Civil Parish record of Samuel son of Samuel and Elizabeth (nee Glass) McIlhagga in the same year. Clearly these are two records of the same event, but the mystery is that the dates differ slightly though significantly. The McIlhage record says born 25th April 1871, baptised 28th. The McIlhagga record says born 18th May 1871, baptised/registered 2nd June. The Abbey Street address is the same. The parents are the same. The McIlhagga record has the additions of Samuel's occupation, namely Car Driver, and there is a witness, also a Samuel McIlhagga. I have no explanation for the discrepancy. Samuel's occupation accords with an entry in the Belfast Directory for 1880 when Samuel was living at 27 Abbey Street, as a Car Owner, presumably running an early taxi service.

Finally, in the UHF records there is one more event that surely refers to the same Samuel, whose occupation is also a Car Driver. Eleven years after the birth of Samuel, but only two years after the 1880 Directory, we have a record of the birth of Mary Jane on 13th October 1882, baptism/registration a week later on 20th. The address is different, 20 Brown's Square. The parish named is St. Stephen's and the denomination is no longer Roman Catholic, but Church of Ireland. The significant difference is that the child's mother is not Elizabeth Glass, but 'Sarah Jane' (no surname). We must presume that Elizabeth had died and perhaps Samuel had remarried, this time in a Protestant Church. The officiant was the Rev. R. Irvine. For some reason there is a second copy of this record in the UHF, the only difference being that the officiating minister's name is give in full, Richard Irvine. We not only have Samuel's job evolving from cattle drover to car driver, but his conversion to Roman Catholicism being reversed as he returns to the Church of Ireland.