Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A Belfast Family

A descendant of a Belfast family has written to me for help and to offer her information. I have a number of family trees which have only a very few people on them and I try very hard to find wider links in order to expand them and to link them with other trees. This is what has happened with this Belfast family to a limited degree, though there must be further avenues to explore which may be known to readers of this blog. Please get in touch.

Interestingly my correspondent's information about no fewer than six siblings included three variations of our surname, McIlhaga, McIlhaggo and McIlhagga, and I have another to add myself. The key family which for my correspondent provides the progenitors, James McIlhaga and Rebecca Johnston, had these six children. When I compared the clan indexes I have compiled on births and marriages, and also the documents I have collected, I found that with a high level of probability I could take this family back a generation, albeit only to a man who was born about 1830.

I reckon that James' father was Nathaniel McIlhage who in about 1854 married Ellen. At this stage I do not know where Nathaniel was born, nor do I know Ellen's maiden surname. Below I will reveal how I know her first name. I was not surprised to find the name Nathaniel, partly because it appears in several other trees, and particularly because one of James' children was given the name. And I was not surprised to find a Nathaniel-Ellen marriage for one of the 'founding' marriages in another tree, that from Carnmoney, is of Nathan McIlhaggar to Ellen Wilson in 1830. Now another of James' children was named Wilson, which presumably comes from an ancestor's surname, so it may be that Ellen's Maiden Surname was also Wilson. I realise this would be a coincidence, though the fact that the two marriages are a generation apart makes me ask whether there might be a link that as yet I haven't found.

In 1872 Nathaniel senior was employed as a Gate-keeper, though I don't know where. He and Ellen had (at least) three children, James, Jane and Ellen. James must have married Rebecca Johnston in about 1877 and they had six children, Robert James McIlhaggo born in the Oct-Dec quarter of 1878, Wilson McIlhagga in 1880, Nathaniel McIlhaggo born 2 Feb 1883, baptised 24 February, Eleanor McIlhagga of 20 Liffey Street, Belfast, born 23 December 1885, Jane McIlhaga born 10 Jan 1889, baptised 9th February and Samuel McIlhagga born 7 June 1891 and baptised 27 June. Now Rebecca, daughter of Robert Johnston, a ship's carpenter, had a brother John who married James' sister Jane. So we have a brother and sister marrying a sister and brother, a McIlhagga-Johnston double linking. Rebecca was a witness at John and Jane's marriage while she was still Rebecca Johnston. John and Jane in fact married on 21st July 1873 at Eglinton Presbyterian Church, Jane being still a minor, giving her a birth year of about 1857. John was probably four or five years older. James McIlhage (the fourth spelling!) was John's witness. In 1873 John called himself a Spinning Master. I haven't yet researched whether John and Jane had any children, though one suspects that a reason for a minor getting married might well have been a pregnancy.

James McIlhaga is variously described as a Flax Dresser, A Hackler and a Rougher. Taking his children in order, Robert James at present I know nothing more about. Wilson appears in the 1901 Census, surname McIlhaggo, aged 20, boarding with David Jamison and family in Hillview Street, Belfast. As yet I haven't discovered a family relatiuonship. Wilson was a Sawyer in a factory. Next we come to Nathaniel, whose baptism at 41 Silvio Street, Belfast, gives us an occupation for his father. When Nathaniel was nineteen he joined the Army and from 2 June 1902 to 1 Jun 1908 he was serving with the Royal Irish Rifles, being discharged from what was clearly a six-year engagement, from the 3rd Batallion. In the 1901 Census Nathaniel was boarding with a Hinton family at 13 Fingall Street, Shankill, listed as 'nephew'. If we go back a generation we discover this is no euphamism. Nathaniel senior's other child was Ellen born about 1851. She was in fact the eldest, with James in the middle and Jane the youngest. Ellen married William John Hinton on 5 January 1872 also at Eglinton Presbyterian Church, hence making Nathaniel junior their nephew.

After discharge from 'The Rifles', in the 1911 Census we find Nathaniel junior having returned to live with the Hintons, now at 16 Linwood Street. Belfast. In 1911 he claimed to be Church of Ireland, unlike his siblings who were all Presbyterians and Congregationalists. Perhaps this was the influence of his time in the army. His 1901 Mill working had become 1911 Labouring. One of the documents I have in my possession is a Pension Application by Ellen in 1917 when she lived at 30 Rathlin Street, Crumlin Road, Belfast. Interestingly the application is made in her maiden name of McIlhaga, and on it she declares the name of her mother to be also Ellen, which is how I know that Nathaniel senior married an Ellen. In 1917 she was living in Mountpottinger Street, Ballymacarrett, Belfast. (The Pension Application also gives her married name of Hinton). Her husband, William John was, like James, a Flax Dresser. They had six children, Sarah, Ellen, Archiebald, William, Lizzie and Rebecca.

I have noted that Wilson lodged with the Jamisons. Interestingly in 1912, as revealed by the Ulster Covenant, David Jamison and his wife Sarah were living at 33 Linwood Street, Belfast, and next door at 31 there was Jane Robinson (nee McIlhaga), though there is no mention of Thomas Robinson in the Covenant. They must have been living almost opposite the Hintons and Nathaniel who were at number 16. Jane McIlhaga and Thomas Robinson married on 8 April 1908 at Clifton Park Congregational Church, and in the 1911 Census called themselves Congregationalists. In 1908 Thomas was, like his father James, a Coal Merchant at 6 Waterproof Street, Belfast, moving by 1911 to 20 Ballymena Street. Jane in 1908 gave the same address that her nephew Samuel had been born at 17 years before, 50 Rose Mount Street, Belfast. To the best of my knowledge Thomas and Jane had three children, Jane, Thomas and Nathaniel. My correspondent from this family is descended from Thomas. Most interestingly she has a brother who has been given the middle name of McIlhagga, thus perpetuating the clan link.

The last of James and Rebecca's children was Samuel born in 1891. At this stage I have no other information about him. A brief addendum to this story is the fact that in the 1901 Census there is a Rebecca McIlhagga boarding at Ambleside, Shankill. However this Rebecca is only 20, so was much too young to be the former Rebecca Johnston.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Back a generation in Ayrshire?

In a blog on 4 July last I attempted a 'tree reconstruction' of the family or families that existed in Ayrshire in the 17th and 18th Centuries. This includes Robert McIlhago(w) who married Bessie Johnstone. They had four children, first Agnes who probably married a James Gemill and had a daughter Margaret; second Robert who may or may not have married, third Mary and fourth John. I have just been looking closely at the entry for the baptism of Robert which is in a rather difficult 17th Century script and which I now believe reveals to us a fact that we haven't known until now. It reads:

Robert Mcilhague sone lawfull to Robert Mcilhague fisher in Newton of Ayr and Bessie Johnstone his spouse was born on monday May 30.. 1687 and baptised [ ] after wittness Robert gfather and James Gibson.

In my blog on the Ayrshire reconstruction I said that I was uncertain of the name of the father of Robert who married Bessie. Based on naming patterns I suggested it might be John or Robert. I think we can now say with some certainty that it was Robert. Grandson Robert was born in 1687. I estimate that father Robert would have been born about 1660 and that grandfather Robert would have been born about 1635. It was probably his father who was the Robert M'Ilhago who witnessed a charter in Tradidnel in Ayrshire in 1597.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Clan Documents

This past week I have been attempting to catalogue all the original documents and copies of documents and copies of entries of vital events that I have on file relating to clan members. I have 106 birth documents (plus 88 birth years referred to in other documents), 42 baptism certificates, 183 marriages, 104 deaths (including 15 Wills, 11 gravestones and 5 obituaries), 6 burials or cremations and 137 other documents.

The 'other' documents include an Identity Certificate, Passenger Declarations, Probate Documents, a family letter, a Patent, Census Documents, a Naval Record, a Corrected Entry, Relief Applications, Army Attestations, a Lloyds Register entry, Rent Records, Indentures, Banns of Marriage, an Adoption, Pension Applications, a Kirk Session Minute, an Affidavit, Marriage and Funeral Services, Exam Results, a National Service Record and a Name Change Certificate. All these add vital information about the individuals referred to in the respective documents.

If those who follow this blog think they have documents or copies that I might not have, do get in touch, and I would be very happy to add them to my list.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Death in Drogheda and Birth in Irvine

My Scottish friend who is a descendant of ship's captain Robert McElhago who was drowned in a shipwreck in 1797 has prompted me to try to find someone who will visit the church-yard of St. Peter's Church of Ireland in Drogheda to see whether by chance there is a surviving Memorial Inscription commemorating the shipwreck of the sloop Jenny and in particular of Master Mariner Robert McElhago. Frankly, without much expectation I have written, asking for help, to the Millmount Museum in Drogheda, Co. Louth, and I await a response with interest.

I have recently acquired the birth and baptism details of the last child born to Robert and Elizabeth McElhago of Irvine. I found the Old Parish Record of John, though he is indexed on the Internet as McIlhagor. Having examined the original, I'm sure the name is entered as McLihagor! He was born on 11th and baptised on 19th August 1789. The entry reads, John son to Robt. McLihagor, ship Mr. and Eliz Jameson. This means that John was born 8 months and 5 days after his father was drowned in the tragic shipwreck. John must have been conceived just before Robert set sail on that fateful voyage, and Elizabeth can't have known she was pregnant when she heard about Robert's death.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

World War 2

Yesterday one of my grandsons e-mailed me to ask be about my memories of living through the Second World War. He had a homework project to complete! He was also interested to know if any McIlhaggas had served in that war. I realised that although I have referred to some eleven people in this blog I have never brought together the names of the clan members who so served, and perhaps it would be useful to do so - at least for when the next grandson asks the same question. I will list them in alphabetical order of first names and add the date(s) of the blogs in which they may be found:

1. April McIlhagga (nee Smith), Officer, Women's Auxiliary Air Force: 16 Mar 2010;
2. Florence Jane McIlhagger, Aircraftswoman, Royal Australian Air Force: 29 Oct 2009;
3. Frederick William McIlhagger, Victory Defence Corps, Australia: 3 Oct 2009;
4. James McIlhagga, American Army: 12 Dec 2009;
5. James J. McIlhagga, Gunner, Royal Artillery, Maritime Regt.: 23 Jan 2010;
6. Norah Georgina McIlhagger, Corporal, Royal Australian Air Force: 29 Oct 2009;
7. Liston Burns McIlhagga, Comdr, Royal Navy & Lt. Comdr, Royal Canadian Navy: 17 Mar 2010;
8. Robert (Ross) McIlhagga, Canadian Army: 23 Jan 2010;
9. William McIlhagga [POW], Ft.Lt, Royal Air Force & Col. Royal Canadian Air Force: 28 Apr 2010; 18 Dec 2010, 25 May 2011;
10. William John McIlhagga [POW], Australian Army, Infantry: 19 Sep 2009, 1 Dec 2010;
11. William Neil Duncan McIlhagga, Royal Canadian Air Force Ferry Command: 20 Dec 2009.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Scandal in Irvine

A 19th Century Mariner

I have cooperated with a descendant of the 18th Century McElhago family from Irvine which I have mentioned several times recently in relation to the 1797 shipwreck at Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland, in which Sea Captain Robert McElhago died. I have also mentioned his grandson Richard turning up in Australian waters. It has been uncertain how many siblings Richard had. Was it three or four, for there are references to both an Elizabeth and an Eliza. My correspondent in Scotland who is in fact a descendant of Elizabeth recently wrote her 'frustration' about the lack of information about her ancestor to the national magazine called WDYTYA (Who do you think you are?). Did Elizabeth marry? Was she married once or twice? We have the names of two men, but no marriage documentation has been found. She had a response in the magazine published September 2010, pages 46/47 in a short piece by researcher Rosemary Bigwood, entitled 'Scandal'. The magazine illustrated the comment with the fine oil painting The Mariner by the 19th Century Scottish artist Erskine Nicol.

The Kirk Session records of Irvine Parish Church produced two references to her, summarised as follows: 'On 2 May 1848, it was reported that Eliza, a member of the Church, unmarried, had borne a child and her church membership was suspended but, after a favourable report on her, she was readmitted in July. However, on 26 March 1851, Elizabeth was again accused of fornication'. It would be interesting to know who produced a 'favourable report' on her. Probably a Church Elder or the Minister had visited her and her parents with whom she lived, James and Jane (nee Harvey) McElhago. James was a local Master Mariner and maybe their good standing in the community had stood Eliza in good stead. Eliza called her daughter Jane, who was known as Jane Martin. In 1851 she was staying with her grandparents in Dundonald, listed in the Census as Jane Martin, aged two. It looks as if one Philip Martin, also a Master Mariner, had taken responsibility as the father of the child, and hopefully had supported her as she grew up.

By 1851 Eliza, now called Elizabeth, had apparently 'taken up' with another Master Mariner, one Alexander McCallum, with whom it appears she had another daughter who was known as Elizabeth (familiarly 'Bessie'). It is uncertain whether Bessie became known with the surname McElhago or McCallum, though perhaps she used both. There is an Elizabeth McElhago aged 20 in the 1871 Tradeston Census, and in 1877 an Elizabeth McCallum married a William Wylie.

Irrespective of what happened to Eliza(beth)'s two children, it seems that she remained a single mother, supporting herself as a Muslin Sewer. She died at the comparatively young age of 40 on 13 May 1866 at Dundonald. Doubtless her parents undertook the task of bringing up her children. The upshot of what we have learned to this point of Eliza(beth) leads us to the conclusion that 'Eliza', daughter of James and Jane, and 'Elizabeth', daughter of James and Jane, were one and the same person. It also leads us to the conclusion that the date references in the Kirk Session Minutes accord with the times of birth of the two children Jane and Elizabeth (Bessie) providing strong evidence that Eliza(beth) did not marry either Philip Martin or Alexander McCallum. I say 'to this point' for I have to add that there is a high probability that Eliza had a third daughter who we find in the 1861 Census. She is aged 2 and listed as the granddaughter of James and Jane McElhago. Eliza is also living with them so we may presume that 'Jameson' is also Eliza's child.

There is an interesting little addendum we can make to the Eliza(beth) story. In Dundonald there was an Isabella McCallum who married a John McIlhague, and who had a daughter Jean born 8 March 1824, baptised 13 October 1824. I think John McIlhague must fit in to our clan somewhere. The likelihood is that Isabella and Alexander McCallum were siblings. A speculation is prompted by the fact that only a few months later a John McIlhague married a Jean Glen in Greenock. Did Isabella die in childbirth and if so was her daughter Jean brought up by her father and his new wife?

Monday, 5 September 2011

Merchant Navy Seamen

The internet site's list of Merchant Navy Seamen 1918-1941 has just two clan names on it. Andrew McIlhagga, born 1896 in Ballymena, Co. Antrim, appears in this blog for 6th June last, with a photograph. James McIlhaggie, born 1881, Greenock, Renfrewshire, is probably the son of William McIlhagga and Rachel McLelland. In 1901 he was on board a Royal Navy Battleship, so it must have been some time after that he transferred to the Merchant Navy. I referred to him in my blog of 12th April last. This 'list of two' only goes back to 1918. The 'Merchant Navy family' about which I have written at length is of course the 18th/19th Century Ayrshire family of McElhago. My Australian correspondent last week reminded me of one of them by kindly sending me the crew list of the ship Quebec which was in Australian waters on 21st February 1855, including Richard McElhaga. He was the son of the Master Mariner James McElhago of Irvine, and grandson of Robert McElhago who drowned in the shipwreck about which I wrote earlier this month. Richard landed up in America where he worked for eight years before returning to live with his sister in Scotland. Sadly a wound which partly paralysed him necessitated him applying for Poor Relief in Govan in 1886. He died back home in Irvine in 1891. I detailed what we know of his life on 22nd april 2009.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Immigration follow-up

Once again the value of the Internet and this blog in particular is to be applauded. A valued correspondent from Australia has been able to shed light on my last entry entitled 'Immigration', and indeed has been able to add to it. First, an addition: she observes that a J. McIlhagga, born 1870 in Belfast worked his passage from London to Melbourne and Sydney as a carpenter on the crew of the ship Warrigal arriving 30th December 1904. I have a James who was a Carpenter, but he was born in 1865 and emigrated to Canada. As crew 'J' may not have stayed in Australia, but returned to Britain as crew. I have added him to a new Index of Migration references that I have started.

Next she comments on 'Mr. McIlhagga' in my second paragraph who arrived at London in 1898. He was in fact a 'J. McIlhagga' on the ship Peninsula which may have departed from Sydney, but he boarded the ship at Bombay, India. He was single and English. The only J. McIlhagga of whom I know who could claim to be English was John, born 1879 in Liverpool. He was in fact a great-uncle of mine and I have to say that I know nothing about him, except that he was indeed, and remained, single. He could well have found his way to India! The only other possible clan reference to India that I have found is a much earlier one, to Ellen McHago married to Charles Johnson, also in Bombay. Ellen's father was a James, but he clearly cannot be the single Englishman travelling in 1898. Incidentally three other people boarded the Peninsula at Bombay, but I do not think they give us a clue to the identity of 'J. McIlhagga'. They were a Mr. Long and two nurses in the employ of a Mrs. Waddell.

Finally my correspondent comments on James McIlhagga and his wife arriving Liverpool 1898. Apparently James was listed as a farmer on the ship Parisian which docked first at Liverpool and then a week later at Londonderry, Ireland. James was 37 and his wife 35, giving him a birth year of 1861. However my friend observes that they may have returned to Canada (St. John's) five months later, departing Londonderry on 7th April 1899 on the ship Mongolian where they are again James McIlhagga, farmer and Mrs. McIlhagga, wife. This time their ages are given as 34 and 30, making James' birth year 1865. If these rather than their 1898 travel dates are correct, it gives us the strong possibility that James was the son of James McIlhagga and Jane Maitland of Ballyportery, County Antrim. Father James was a farmer so it was possible that when his son emigrated he continued life as a farmer, though I have to record that the 1901 Census of Canada lists him as a Carpenter. He later became a Building Contractor and then Inspector of School Buildings in Sarnia, Lambton, Ontario. James was born in 1865 and in 1889 he married Alwilda Breault from Seymour, Northumberland, Ontario. After they returned to Canada they had two children, Wilda and William James.

Friday, 2 September 2011

'Immigration' - Travel home

A good number of the members of our clan emigrated to distant places, in particular Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Some never returned to their native soil, even for a brief visit, though some did. The internet site has just allowed free access for a limited period to its 'Immigration and Travel' records, which include thirty seven journeys, by ship, between 1878 and 1960 by clan members. Seven were from Australia, seven from the USA, one from South Africa and twenty-two from Canada. Twenty -three journeys landed at English ports and fourteen at Scottish ports.

1898 saw the earliest recorded journeys, and it was a 'bumper' year with one man from Sydney, Australia and four people from Montreal, Canada. I really do not know who the man was who arrived from Sydney on 26th August 1898, in London. The passenger list simply says Mr. McIlhagga. The only male know to me who went to Australia who was born earlier than 1898 was John McIlhagger (born 1883), though to the best of my knowledge he didn't emigrate until 1909. The four people who boarded a ship in Montreal are also a mystery. They appear to be two couples arriving in Liverpool a week apart, on 12th November and the 19th november 1898. However both couples are Jas. McIlhagga (born about 1861) and Mrs. McIlhagga (born about 1863). Surely there is a mistake in these records and there is but one couple who arrived on either the 12th or the 19th. Who they were, again I do not know, as I have no record of births or a marriage which fits with their dates.

In December 1903 J. McIlhagger returned to Southampton, England, from South Africa. His estimated birth year was 1878, so he was about 25. I hope this is a mis-spelling of the surname. I have written twice about a 'John' returning from the Boar War. On 20th Feb 2010 I noted that he was John McIlhagga. On 4th Jan this year I thought he might be John G. McIlhagger from Belfast. Six weeks later (25th Feb.) I changed my mind when I realised that John Hutchison McIlhagga who died in the First World War had served previously in the Imperial Yeomanry in the Second Boar War which ended in 1902. I think he must be the 'J. McIlhagger' who arrived in Southampton in 1903. Admittedly 'JH' was born in 1880, but a two year discrepancy on Army documents is not unusual.

In 1907 'S. McIlhagga' travelled from Montreal, Canada, to Liverpool, England arriving on the 8th July. There is a passenger record of 'Saml. McIlhagga' leaving Londonderry, Ireland, in 1899 for Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was then 30, so was born about 1869. The only Samuel I have in my Birth Index born in 1869 died as an infant. The next 'nearest' was born on 25th April 1871 to Samuel and Elizabeth (nee Glass) McIlhagga of Belfast. He was baptised at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church. I have to admit that I do not know what happened to him, and it could well be that it was he who emigrated to Canada.

We now come to two women who may have been travelling alone (I haven't paid to see the full passenger lists), namely Lucy McIlhagga, from New York, USA, arriving Glasgow, Scotland on 3rd July 1910 and Lizzie McIlhaggs, from Montreal, arriving Glasgow on 27th August 1911. Lucy may have been the daughter of William Gage McIlhagga and Jane Todd, born 7th August 1895, who therefore in 1910 would have been only 15. There is no record of this family emigrating so it is possible that Lucy went to the USA on a short visit, possibly to see relatives. Certainly she is at home in Belfast a year later when she is listed on the 1911 Census as an Office Girl, and living with her parents. Who Lizzie McIlhaggs was, I'm afraid I do not know. On an Emigration passenger list there is a Saml. McIlhaggs, aged 22, born Ireland, who disembarked from the ship Victoria on 14th July 1906. He is on a list published by the Nanaimo, Canada, Family History Society. Lizzie could have been a sibling, and she might just be the Lizzie McIlhaggo, aged 25 who went out to Quebec, arriving on the 22nd May 1909 on the ship Manitoba.

I will continue the list of 'returnees' in a future blog.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

A Shipwreck

I don't think the earliest northern Irish newspaper, The Belfast Newsletter, is on-line, though as part of an academic project Dr. John C. Greene of Louisiana has supervised the compilation of an Index, the result of which is that some 'abstracts' are on-line. I'm not quite sure what all the symbols they used signify, but two extracts exist relevant to our clan. The first has the code ID 185206 from the Newsletter of 4-8 August 1786, page 3, viz.: 'port news arrived 2... $ Mary = McIlhago + Malaga'. I think this means that at an unnamed Irish port the ship called Mary had arrived on the 2nd of August, captained by her Master whose surname was McIlhago. A first thought about Malaga is that she may have come from the Costa del Sol on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, but I think this unlikely. Maybe a second ship called 'Malaga' was accompanying 'Mary'.

Was the McIlhago, Robert born about 1770 in Irvine, Ayrshire, who we know was a Sea Captain? Surely a teenager of 16, who may indeed have 'gone to sea' would not have been a ship's master in 1786! I wonder whether it could have been Robert's father? I have postulated, in an attempted reconstruction of the Ayrshire clan family in the 18th Century that Robert (born about 1770) might indeed have had a father named Robert who might have been born about 1745, who therefore in 1786 would have been 41 and may well have been a ship's master. I based my conjecture on the simple possibility that the first son is often called after his paternal grandfather and Robert (born about 1770) certainly had a first son Robert in 1789. Other than this possible reference in the Belfast Newsletter, at present we know nothing else about 'grandfather Robert'.

The second reference is most interesting, with new information for us. It is news from the paper published on 8th December 1797. It has the code DOC ID 278650 and is found on page 2. The abstract reads as follows: 'Drogheda 6 $ Industry + Irvine = McElhago master vessel wrecked + Drogheda! Bar + Clogher! Head sloop $ Jenny. crew drowned interred St. Peter's Church-yard + Brabazon, Wallop + Rath praise humane exertions'. I take it that on 6th December 1797 Captain McElhago was sailing his sloop Jenny in to the River Boyne at Drogheda when his vessel was wrecked with all hands lost. They all, including the master, were buried in the church-yard of St. Peter's Church of Ireland, Drogheda. It is extremely unlikely, given the circumstances, that the grave(s) would have been marked in any permanent way, and unfortunately there are no paper records, as St. Peter's registers are missing from the end of 1782 to the beginning of 1803.

Once again, we must ask the question, is this master Robert McElhago born about 1770? I think we must answer that in all probability it is, despite the fact that he would only have been about 27, quite young to have had a Master's ticket. Until now we have not had a death date for Robert. All we have known is that he died before 1820, the year his wife is listed in a town census as a widow. We do know that between 1789 and 1796 Robert and his wife Elizabeth (nee Jamieson) had four children, Robert, James, Samuel and a second Robert. In my attempted reconstruction of this family's 'tree' I have been assuming (hoping!) that I could add two other children, John (born about 1800) and Margaret (born 1803), but I now think this is not possible! The identification of Master McElhago as Robert is surely confirmed by the reference in the newspaper to Irvine, which is where Robert and his family lived. The last paper reference to 'praise humane exertions' was I imagine lauding a rescue attempt to save the crew, which was, tragically, unsuccessful.