Saturday, 5 November 2011

What happened to the children?

I had an 'out of the blue' piece of information yesterday, for which I am very grateful. It was from someone searching The Belfast Newsletter for 1840 and came across the announcement of a marriage between John Fullerton and Miss McIlhaga, both of Islandmagee. An advanced search produced no more information. The only 'Miss McIlhaga' of the right age in Island Magee was probably the Mary of whom I wrote in my blog yesterday, the Mary who was a school pupil 1826-31. She could have been born about 1820, so by 1840 would have been twenty-ish. The odd thing about this information is that I do have a record of a marriage which took place in Connor Church of Ireland on 8th Jan 1872 of a Miss McIlhagga (either Margaret or Mary), daughter of James and Mary Anne Gardner, to a John Fullerton, son of John Fullerton. Now of course it could be that the John Fullerton who married in 1840 was the father and the John Fullerton who married in 1872 was the son. I wonder.

If this information has made me ask what happened to Mary McIlhaggo who was in the Island Magee school in about 1830, I must also ask what happened to her 'brother', William McIlhago. On the assumption that he was a year or two older than Mary (simply because his name is listed first), we can say he might have been born around 1815. In fact we do know what happened to him. His name is on a gravestone in Ballypriormore churchyard. He was actually born in 1816 and he died aged 23 in 1839, son of Samuel and Ellen McIlhaggo. Here I think is confirmation that William and Mary were brother and sister.

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