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.

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