Friday, 1 July 2011

Early English

I have been intrigued by one 'early' clan reference in English records picked up by the IGI (International Genealogical Index), namely the baptism of Elizabeth, the daughter of John and Jane McHagga at Saltwood near Hythe, Kent, on 11th December 1808. On the assumption that this was a first child the parents must have been born no later than 1790, and this is assuming a teenage marriage. The only possible couple this could apply to in my present records, though I do not have a record of their marriage is John McIlhago/McElhager/McIlhagar/McIlhagga (spelled four different ways!) and Jane/Jenny/Jenie McCarley, about whom I know from their part in a family emigration to Jamestown, Pensylvania.

I could find no Internet site with which I could check Saltwood records, so I phoned Canterbury Cathedral, to find that their own archives held both the original and the bishop's transcript. Unfortunately the original had deteriorated too much to be copied, but they kindly supplied me with a copy of the transcript, which reads "Elizabeth Dr of John & Jane Mc hagga / a soldier/ December 11th (1808)". First, this must be the earliest reference to a clan member in the Military. I am trying to find out which Regiment was stationed at Saltwood in 1808. I suspect that the name omits a syllable due to the unfamiliarity of a local scribe with an Irish or Scottish accent. I think that the likelihood is that John and Jane and their family emigrated to Jamestown, PA, at some later stage.

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