Monday, 31 December 2012

Harry McIlhagga has recently allowed free access to its records of Border Crossings from Canada to the U.S. 1895-1954, which I am gradually working through. They include Harry McIlhagga on 26 Jun 1916. I already had a record of him travelling from Liverpool to arrive on that date at New York, from the records of both and He was on the ship Cameronia. There is however extra information on his Border Crossing record. The New York port has the name Rouses Point. His class of travel is given as 'C'. His occupation is Commercial Traveller. He was born in Belfast, Ireland. His age is 37 (on the transcript though on the original image it may be 57). He paid for the passage himself. He was 5'10" tall, had brown hair and blue eyes. Crucially he gave his wife's name as Elizabeth, living in Belfast. I say 'crucially' for there are I think two Harry McIlhaggas born in the year 1879, which would have made them 37 in 1916.

The first Harry/Henry was the son of John McIlhagga and Elizabeth McCullough, born and baptised in Connor parish. At present I have no certain evidence that he survived and married. The second Harry (always as far as I can see known as Harry) was the son of William James McIlhagga and Ruth Woods of Belfast. In the 1901 Census he was an Invoice Clerk and in 1920 was described as a Linen Salesman when he married Sarah Laura Browne on 11 February at Lisburn Register Office and Legacurry Presbyterian Church. This marriage was four years after his 'Border Crossing' from Canada to the U.S. when he said his wife's name was Elizabeth. Both his place of residence and his occupation surely identify the crossing Harry as my second Harry, so we must assume that before he married Sarah he was previously married to Elizabeth. This is new information for us.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Pender's Census

It is rarely worth reporting something that appears to be totally negative, but today I think I must as part of the search for the earliest date on which our clan name appears in Ireland. At present the earliest date is 1669, on the Hearth Money Rolls in County Antrim. I have just come across a transcription of 'A Census of Ireland circa 1659', Irish Manuscripts Commission, Seamus Pender, editor. It records first 'Tituladoes', the most notable people in a Barony, then the 'Principall Irish & Scotch [and] their Numb.'.  The only name which is even remotely linked to ours is in the Barony of Antrim, where the name 'Taggart' occurs nine times. Interestingly the name Crawford occurs 7 times, Boyd 7 times, and McCullough 6 times, all names to which ours is linked by marriage.

The negative conclusion we must I think draw is that our clan name had probably not reached Ulster from Scotland by 1659. However, to be established householders by 1669, only ten years later, which three men were in order to have to pay the Hearth Tax, must mean that they had crossed the North Channel very soon after Pender's Census was taken.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

A No Christmas Boar War

I wish all the followers of the McIlhagga blog a very Happy Christmas. I've tried to write something every three days during December, and the third day just happens to fall on Christmas Day! I have nothing particularly relevant to Christmas, except perhaps that what I have to pass on has no Christmas in it! I have on several occasions referred to the Boar War. The person who served was John (H) McIlhagga. born 1880 to Nathaniel Owens and Henrietta McIlhagga. John survived his war without injury, but was subsequently killed in the First World War at Passchendale. I have only recently seen his Attestation Papers for the Boar War, which can be found on ''. The details are as follows:

First name: John. He didn't use his middle name of Huchison.
Last Name: McIlhagga.
Year of birth: 1880. He was in fact born on 8th July.
Parish of birth: Skegonul, Belfast, County Antrim. This is a mistranscription for Skegoneill.
Age 22 years.
Date of Attestation, 6th January 1902, at Curragh Camp.
Corps, Imperial Yeomanry.
National Archives reference: WO128/129/72.

He entered on 'Short Service'. He gave his trade as Dyer. The previous year in the 1901 Census he is described as a Linen Dyer & Finisher. When asked if he received a Notice, presumably about the need for recruits, he said 'Yes, from R. Bently, from a local Corps.' Mr. Bently acted as his witness. He then took an oath of allegiance to His Majesty King Edward VII, signed by Justice James Craig.

John's description includes, Height 5'10"; Chest 35"-37"; Fresh Complexion, Grey eyes, Dark Brown hair; one vaccination mark on his left arm. He was a Presbyterian. A Lt. W.Davis of the RAMC medically examined him and two officers of the Imperial Yeomanry gave him Certificates as 'fit', and 'Approved'.

John's Statement of Service confirms his date of Attestation as 6.1.02 and his Discharge on 25.11.02, so no Christmas involved! During that time he was at 'Home' the first 124 days, presumably being trained, then in South Africa for 193 days and finally again at 'Home' for 7 days. He served in the Campaign known as 'S. Africa 1902'. He was not wounded and he gained the relevant service medal.

He gave his parents as Nathaniel and Henrietta McIlhagga of Loughview Cottage, Old Cavehill Road, Belfast, and he declared that he was single. His certificate of discharge was signed by Capt. James Craig and his discharge witness was a Samuel Telford, on 25th November 1902. He was 38432 Private McIlhagga, J. of the 29th Bn. Imperial Yeomanry, Irish Horse, 134 Company. He was discharged at Aldershot, aged 22 years 10 months, to go to Loughview, Old Cavehill Road, Belfast. He had been discharged at his own request. His conduct and character had been 'Very Good'. He had gained no special qualifications during his time of service. His physical development was said to be good. He was re-vaccinated on 7.2.1902 with a 'perfect' result.

Saturday, 22 December 2012


When I started this blog, four years ago, I decided to look for any artefacts which were connected to our clan, for you never know what may turn up. Apart from a war medal which I am pleased to say has found its way to the family where it belongs, the only other things which have turned up have been books. There are quite a number which have authors with clan names and I have quite a long list of those, which I need to bring up to date sometime. What I am concerned with here, however, are those books in which one or more characters, factual or fictional, appear and who have a clan name. As I have come across them I have referred to them in the blog, but never listed them. I do that now:

Dixon Donaldson, History of Islandmagee, 1927, re-published 2002 by Islandmagee Community Development Association;
James Reynold, Maeve the Huntress, a Novel, 1952, Farrar, Straus and Young, Inc., New York;
Tom McCaughren, The Legend of the Golden Key, 1983, third edition 2011, Mercier Press, Ireland, a Children's Story;
Janet Fawcett Higginson and Vicki Landis Wiatt, Mom I'm Bored!, 1985, A Guide for Parental Survival, Oak Lodge Publishing, Oregon, illustrated by Marjorie McIlhagga;
Mark Nelson, Winnipeg's Navy, 2003, published by Mark Nelson.

In addition I have recently come across four titles listed by Google Books, as follows:

George Henry Thurston, Ed., Directory of Pittsburg and Allegheny cities, 1856, referring to Margaret McElhago with an address. I have written about this person who is buried in Allegheny Cemetery. There are, of course, several Irish Directories referring to a number of clan members;
The Northern Ireland Law Reports, Butterworths, 1944, referring to the case of Belfast Corporation v. McIlhagger. I have not yet been able to research this publication;
HM Stationary Office, Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Records, 1949, referring to James McElhago of Larne, Co. Antrim, having a Lease in 1786. I have a copy of this lease;
Finally there is a sociological study by Rosemary Harris, Manchester University Press, 1972, which will be the subject of another blog.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Ballyclug Burials

One of my Australian correspondents has kindly sent me a link to an Ireland site that I hadn't come across before. Quite recently the burials at Ballyclug have been listed and can be found at There are just two for McIlhagga, both children, as follows:

Samuel, age 5, buried 22 Nov 1896 from Tullygarley, parish of Kells, fee paid 1/";
William, infant, buried 7 Jan 1911 from parish of Ballymena, fee paid 2/6.

I am very uncertain about whose children they were. For Samuel I have a possible birth in the Antrim Registration District for 1891, in their Vol. 1, page 16. I can't get nearer than that. For William, there is a possibility of this being the son of William Hugh McIlhagga and Margaret Boyd, born 9 Jan 1911. However, he was registered William Hugh, though of course the burial record may just say William.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Island Magee rents

When I was in Ireland earlier this year I found an Estate Record which gave me a list of rents paid by the tenants on Islandmagee in 1824. Although in my haste I didn't note the name of the document or where it can be sourced, as you can see below, my notes are preceded by item numbers so I think they must come from a Viscount Dungannon Estate Book. They are as follows:

Townland of Kilcoanmore

144 Samuel McIlhago (no arrears)

    Half year due May 1824, £12.0.0 (in red ink);
    Half year due Novem 1824, £12.0.0 (in red ink);

This is the first time I have come across a tenancy in this townland on the west side of Islandmagee.  It was however next to Ballytober where Samuel's two brothers were farming, which I think helps to identify which of two possible Samuels we are talking about. He was I believe the Samuel who was farming also at Port Muck on the east side of the peninsular. He was married to Ellon McWhinney and had three children, Catherine who married Arthur Forbes, William who died at 23 and Mary who married John Fullerton.

Townland of Ballytober

149 William McIlhago (no arrears)

    Half year due May 1824, £2.10.0 (in red ink);
    Half year due Nov 1824, £2.10.0 (in red ink);

When I was an accountancy student red ink indicated an amount in debt, but in these accounts it appears to mean the opposite for they clearly say 'No arrears'. Perhaps it simply means 'not yet paid because its due date hasn't arrived'. The amount William paid for rent was comparatively low, presumably because it was for a small amount of land. Maybe he had other land in another townland. I think William was married, possibly to a Mary, and possibly had three children, who may have been George, who may have been married to a Catherine, Sarah who married Thomas McMurtry and William John who possibly married a Mary Jane. I'm afraid much of my reconstruction of the Islandmagee Family Tree has many 'possibles' in the early and mid 19th Century. I may one day find more certain evidence.

Also farming in Ballytober was

150 James McIlhago Junior

    Arrears due November 1823, £16.0.0 (black ink);
    Half year due May 1824, £8.0.0 (black ink);
    Half year due Nov 1824, £8.0.0;

It would appear that brother James was not too good a farm manager for he was in debt by a full year's rent. Maybe a brother of James was standing guarantor for him. James Junior may have been the person who was to marry a Margaret Mawhinney, who may have been a sister of Samuel's wife. On the west side of Islandmagee the next two townlands moving north were Carnspindle and Ballydown where we find two men farming who were related to our clan by marriage. They were:

Townland of Carnspindle

164 John Napier late Sam. McIlhago

    Half year due May 1824, £9.11.0 (red ink);
    Half year due Nov 1824, £9.11.0 (red ink);

A Samuel Senior had died in 1818 when farming at Ballylumford and Carnspindle. One of his daughters had married Mathew Aiken. Their daughter Mary who died at the young age of 20 had a son who took the name of John Napier and he seems to have taken over the farmland previously worked by Samuel, his great-grandfather. I have to say that this is a rather unlikely scenario as John could not have been more than a teenager. Perhaps there was another John Napier, of the previous generation, maybe his father?

Townland of Ballydown

181 John and James Aikin

    Half year due May 1824, £11.0.0 (red ink);
    Half year due Nov 1824, £11.0.0 (red ink);

Samuel who died in 1818, according to his very damaged Will, probably had a son, possibly Andrew, and three daughters. The two youngest married Samuel Barneford and Patrick Willson respectively. The daughter who married Patrick was Jennet. The third daughter, possibly Eliza, married Mathew Aiken. In addition to Mary, above, they had a son John. Mathew had twin brothers, John and James, so it is not surprising to find them farming together in Ballydown. Mathew had taken over one of Samuel's farms in the next townland, Ballylumford.

Townland of Ballylumford

214 Samuel McIlhago, now Matthew Aikin (no arrears)

    Half year due May 1824, £7.10.0 (red ink);
    Half year due Nov 1824, £7.10.0 (red ink);

Finally we come to Samuel, brother of William and James Junior:

Townland of Portmuck

232 Samuel McIlhago

    Arrears due Nov 1823, £7.7.0 (black ink);
    Half year due May 1824, £6.0.0 (red ink);
    Half year due Nov 1824, £6.0.0 (red ink);

Samuel farmed Portmuck in addition to Kilcoanmore. It would seem that he lived at Port Muck though Kilcoanmore was the larger, or at least the higher rent farm.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Highland and Ireland

Most of the Scottish names that populated Ulster at the 17th Century Plantation and later came from the South West of Scotland, in particular Ayrshire. A few also came from further north into the Islands and Highlands. An example is McLean, a name to which I have links through my paternal grandmother. There is also a highland name which in the past I have been tempted to think was related to our own clan name, which can still be found in both Scotland and Ireland, namely McIntaggart. I have referred to it in two blogs (13 Jan 2011 and 29 Aug 2012) and I must admit that I am still ambivalent about whether there is a relationship to our name, more than the obvious shared gaelic 'sagairt', priest. Perhaps it is something that one day DNA matching may demonstrate.

I have recently come across two references which I though it worth recording, one in Scotland and one in Ireland. In the mid-19th Century there was a McIntaggart family on the Isle of Mull in Argyllshire, not far away from where my own McLeans were living. In the 1851 Census a Rachael McIntaggart appears, age 32, born 1819. She is a visitor, unmarried, a General Servant, born Kilmeny, Argyllshire, staying with the Black family: Hector 56, a farmer of five acres, born Kilfinichen, Argyllshire; Jane 54, his wife, born Kilmeny; Lachlan 27, an unmarried son, a mason's labourer, born Iona and Ann, a daughter and servant, age 15, also born Iona. Their address in 1851 was 3 Bra Chreich, Bra Chreich, Kilfinichen.

There is a Mull genealogy site which gives us four others. John McIntaggart married Christian McLean on 18 Sep 1832. Christian was probably a local girl. Then there are three people who must be their children, Archibald born 21 July 1833 (baptised 23 July in Kilfinichen), Mary baptised 25 October 1835 and Alexander baptised 17 September 1838, both also Kilfinichen. Possibly related, there is an OPR (Old Parish Register) marriage of a Jean McIntagart to Archibald Munn on 4th June 1831 in North Knapdale, Argyll. A Mary McIntagart, possibly Jean's mother or aunt was born in North Knapdale in 1795. A further 60 McIntaggarts can be found on the ScotlandsPeople website and three can be found in Liverpool, Lancashire, England, namely Owen b. 1787, Henry b.1816 and William b.1834.

My Irish reference comes from the Baptism Registers of Christ Church, Church of Ireland, Delgany (Glendalough) which is a few miles south of Dublin in County Wicklow. There are three baptisms, as follows:

Henry Perciva McEntagart, 27 Jan 1888 (b. 19 Apr 1886); parents John George and Ester Grace of Greystones where John George was a Shopkeeper;
Gladys Gwendo M'Entagart, 10 Apr 1889 (b. 19 Dec 1888); parents John George and Ester Grace of Greystones, where John George was a Licenced Victualler;
Edith Rebecca M'Entagart, 16 Apr 1890 (b. 25 Jan 1890); parents John George and Ester Grace, of The Beach, Greystones, where John George was a Licenced Victualler.

Monday, 10 December 2012

I have had a subscription to for the past year, which has been useful. However, quite a lot of information relating to Ireland is not included. There is a separate (though related) site,, the information from which one has to pay extra. Maybe next year I will switch as the Irish site seems to keep adding interesting things. Among these are 55 records of Passenger Lists leaving the UK, Land Records in 1862 for two people, namely Samuel McIlhaggert of Ballymuckvea, Connor, and William McIlhagel of Tullaghgarley, Ahoghill, and Landed estate Court Rentals for 1872 for John McIlhaggart. The 1862 ones must however be Griffith Valuations and they are free on another site. More significantly the recently added Irish Petty Sessions Court Registers have 242 results for McIlhag*. These all appear to be in Galway for either 'Sergt. McIlhaggen' or 'Geo. McIlhagger'. These two are in fact the same person who was in the Irish Constabulary in Galway. It will be most interesting to read through the many times that George appeared in Court, presumably giving evidence.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Vancouver Museum

The website of the Royal British Columbia Museum, Canada, allows you to search free under 'Genealogy' where it produces any BMD and Baptism results. There are three death results for McIlhagga, Archibald Duncan, 86, West Vancouver, 1968/12/20; George his brother, 71, Nanaimo, 1959/06/17; and Mary Ellen, their sister-in-law, 59, Vancouver, 1941/01/16. The first two had a 'Vital Stat' Image which when clicked produced the full Registration of the Death with an enormous amount of detail, as follows:

Address; Length of stay at residence and address, and when arrived in Province; Full Name, Sex, Citizenship, Racal Origin, Marriage Status, Birthplace, Date of Birth, Age, Profession, Place of Work; Wife's Maiden Name, Names of father and mother and their places of birth; Signature of the Informant, Burial date and place; Undertaker's name and address; Date and cause of Death, Medical details, signature of doctor and address, Date of Registration and the signature of the Registrar.

I had known most of the details about Archibald and George but had not known what had happened to Mary Ellen, the widow of John Hutchison McIlhagga who was killed in the First World War. She was born Mary Ellen Kennedy in Manitoba and clearly she had not remarried but had moved at some stage to Vancouver. Also I learned that the notice of Archibald's death was reported by his youngest brother Joseph who lived in Calgary. It is good to know that the rather scattered family kept in touch.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Two Burial records

The Internet site deceasedonline has added one McIlhagga record, for Robert, buried 1 Jan 1918 in Livingston Old Parish Kirkyard, West Lothian, Scotland. The authority supplying this information is called West Lothian Memorials. Apparently there is a headstone for Robert. The interesting question is this: which Robert is buried at Livingston? Could it be Robert Wright McIlhagga, who served in World War 1 and who died on 4 Sep 1917 and was buried at Rocquigney-Equancourt Road British Cemetery? Was his body brought to Scotland and reburied? This seems unlikely, though his name is on the Livingston War Memorial. Perhaps someone can enlighten us.

The second burial appears on and is supplied by the Society of Australian Genealogists. It is for Lillian F. M. McIlhagga, who died 3 September 1957, aged 54. The inscription reads 'Our mother', in Rookwood Cemetery, Sydney, New South Wales. The grave is in Section J, Row 20. The Denomination is recorded as Independent. Interestingly this resource also tells you if anyone else is buried in the same grave. In this case there is one subsequent burial, that of Jean Marie Cormack, who died 22 February 1959, aged 25, wife of Colin Cormack. Jean Marie was in fact the daughter of Lillian.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Half way to 1000

It's the 1st December 2012 and I'm coming towards the end of the fourth year of writing this blog. Today's 'publication' is number 500! In total I have written over 240,000 words, probably a quarter of a million by the time the third anniversary comes round. There have been 70 published comments and there are 30 signed-up followers. There have been a total of 20,697 page views so far, which is nearly 600 a month, from the UK (6828), the USA (5240), Australia (2079), Canada (1535), the remainder from the rest of the world, most views as you would expect via Google. The most viewed pages were Maxwellswalls (11.7.09), Stalag Luft 4 (18.12.10) and McIlhaggar and Galgorm (26.6.10). Ours not to reason why!

I have often wondered whether the resources which provide material for the blog would dry up and it would come to a natural end. Perhaps it will. What I would really like is for other people to contribute, but in the past this has happened only rarely. When it has, it adds enormous interest. I know that I should now turn to rewriting the Clan history, which I drafted several years ago and never published. I'm glad I didn't, as the blog has certainly revealed more. It's all in the blog but could now be put together in a more readable way. If anyone has a suggestion for a title, please let me know.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

County Antrim in the 18th Century

My hunch is that all our known clan members born in the 18th Century whom we find in County Antrim, Ireland, must 'fit together' in a Family Tree. After all there are only 25 names covering the period from about 1720 to the end of the century. There are also about half a dozen people in the same families from the first decade of the 19th Century.

Who was the earliest? It is between two men, both of whom appeared in the Belfast Newsletter - either Nathaniel who was coming to the end of a tenancy on Islandmagee in 1770 or William who rescued a beef cow in the parish of Connor in 1781. If Nathaniel was retiring he could well have been born as far back as say 1720 and if William was an established farmer he could have been born say 1740. I have on another occasion suggested that William may have been born in 1743 in Ayrshire, Scotland, son of David of Dalmellington. William is the earliest name we find in Connor parish which suggests he may have been the father of later farmers there, Henry, born about 1865 and five men any or all of whom could have been Henry's sons, Henry (1784), John (1795), James (1805), Francis (1809) and William (1810), all of whom also had offspring.

Nathaniel's link with Islandmagee suggests he could have been the father of brothers Samuel and James ('Senior') who farmed there and were born probably between 1740 and 1755; and perhaps he was even the father of Nathan, born about 1758 who found his way to Carnmoney to marry Betty Burney in 1783 and have (I think) six children, five of whom were born in the 18th Century, Nathaniel, Jon, George, Patrick, Agnes and Nathan. A firstborn called Nathaniel does of course suggest a grandfather Nathaniel. With regard to Samuel, I still think that his eldest child, whose name is lost from his 1818 Will, was Andrew who was involved with the United Irishmen in 1795.

James (Senior) was born about 1755, probably married and had three sons, James 'Junior', Samuel and William. The next question which arises is whether James Junior married and if so could he have been the James who married Sarah and moved to Shankill? The answer has to be not unless he moved back again to Ballytober on Islandmagee where he was know to be still farming in the 1820s. So where do James and Sarah, and Nathan and Sarah (see my last blog) and their children, three born in the 1790s, fit in, if not on Islandmagee? At present I do not know.

I next come to John McElhager and Jenny McCarley of Lisnacrogher who were both born about 1790, who were to emigrate to the USA. John called his only son James which leads me to think that John's father was James. He would have had to have been born before 1765, so could have been either James Senior of Islandmagee or else the James we find in the Tithe Applotment Book for Kenbilly in 1823, when he might have been in his mid-forties. Could this James be the father of both John of Lisnacrogher born 1790 and of William from nearly Ballycloghan born 1795? Yes, I think so. Could he also have been James whom we find in Shankill fathering a William in 1792 and then another William in 1798 followed by  Martha and Ann in 1803 and 1809? Yes, I think so. It is not unlikely that between 1809 and 1823 James could have moved from Shankill to Kenbilly, and this would allow for the possible Shankill scenario that I outlined a couple of days ago.

We have certainly not related all the clan members known to have been born in the 18th Century who lived in County Antrim, but we may have gone some way towards it. What remains to reconcile is what I wrote some time ago on 25 Oct 2011, when I named a younger brother of William, namely John, who was living next door to him in Ballycloghan, and Mary living in Killygore in 1862. I think I was wrong then to imagine she was their mother, more likely a sibling. And we have to deal with two Johns! If the parents of William and John of Ballycloghan were in fact James and Sarah, then John of Lisnacrogher cannot also be their offspring. Still too many loose ends! I will be patient until a new lead turns up!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

A half-sister?

The early Baptism Registers of St. Anne's Church of Ireland, Shankill, Belfast, have two baptisms which look as if they might be related for the surname of the first is McIlhaggy and of the second is McIlhaggey. What is more the name of the mother in both is Sarah. However, the children concerned cannot of course be full siblings for Margaret baptised on 4th March 1790 had Nathan as her father and William baptised on 25 February 1792 had James as father. I have mentioned these baptisms on a couple of occasions in this blog, and puzzled about them, not knowing which family they belong to. There are however a couple of things which occur to me now which might throw a little light.

My bafflement is not least because these folk were in the centre of Belfast. Where did they move from, and did they move away again? I have no other reference to the clan name there. The most likely thing seems to be that they moved from Islandmagee. However the parents must have been born as early as, if not earlier than, 1770, and I have no Nathan who might have moved about that time. There is James 'Junior' on Islandmagee, but I don't believe he moved away from the farm there. The next thing to note is that after 1790 there are no further references to a Nathan fathering other children. He disappears from the baptism scene. I have to suspect that he died at a young age, in which case Sarah would have been left with the child Margaret.

Now within a short time frame there are several references to a James with a wife Sarah, with other children who were baptised not long after Margaret, all at St. Anne's, Shankill. First there was William baptised 25th February 1792. Then, after a gap of six years, another William baptised on 29 June 1798. We have to assume that the first William died, maybe soon after birth, which could have made them avoid having other children for a few years. Then five years later there was Martha baptised 6 July 1803 and finally Ann baptised the following year on 6th September. In the Registers all have William and Sarah as their parents, though the surname gets a variety of spellings. As we have learned, that was to be expected at that period. William in 1792 was McIlhaggey; William in 1798 was McIlhagar (though Sarah was McIlhaggar); Martha was McIlhaga and Ann was McIlhagart.

I think these records do raise the question of whether by some misfortune Nathan died soon after the birth of Margaret and whether his wife remarried to James, very probably the brother of Nathan. This would of course make Margaret, assuming she lived, a half-sister to William and to the other siblings.
Now I have one further observation. I have recently learned the death date of my great-great grandfather William in 1882 at the age of 87, giving him a birth year of 1795. Given that many people were a little uncertain of their age, and other people reporting their death even more uncertain, and given that 1795 and 1798 are only three years apart, I have to raise the possibility that my William was in fact the William who was baptised in Shankill in 1798. I know of no other reference to a William with whom I can identify him, and I have on another occasion said that I suspect that his father was James, not least because in the Tithe Applotment Books for Ballycloghan and Kenbilly my William and a James McIlhagga rented neighbouring plots.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

A Wedding visit?

In recent months I have been passing on some of the interesting discoveries I have made by searching the Internet site, using different versions of our clan surname. The final category I have noted for 'McIlhagga' is 'Immigration and Travel', especially the UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960.

It is fascinating to note the comings and goings of both men and women, often unaccompanied, travelling between the home country and the 'New World' of Australia, Canada and the United States of America. One learns the names, ages, ports of departure and arrival, the names of the ships and of the Shipping Companies,  a person's normal place of residence, the address to which people are travelling, their occupations and occasionally the passenger 'class' like 'tourist' or '2nd Class'. Clearly very often the travel was to visit family either at home in Great Britain or in the country of immigration.

There are two journeys of special interest, both, it so happens, of people fairly closely related to myself. The first I have commented on before, that of John S. travelling on the ship Penisular which sailed from Sydney, Australia, to London in 1898. The interest is created by the fact that John embarked at Bombay. I had no idea that he had ever been to India. He would have been nineteen in 1898. He was a great uncle of mine.

The second occasion refers back to one of the earliest blogs I wrote, and I think one of the most interesting, on 24th January 2009, entitled Home Children. It concerned my first cousin, once removed, Thomas who after his mother's death was sent as a thirteen year old to Canada where he was 'adopted' by a farmer in Quebec. I had been able (and have since been able) to find out quite a lot about Thomas in Canada - see my blogs of 11 April and 8 July 2009. I ended the last blog on the depressing note that Thomas had probably lost contact with his family in Liverpool and may be had never returned to his birth 'home'.

How wrong I was! And how pleased I am to discover I was wrong. It is clear that Thomas must have kept contact with at least one of his siblings, his eldest sister. The passenger list for the Canadian Pacific Liner Metagama shows that Thomas was on board from Montreal to Liverpool arriving 24th June 1919. The record confirms that he was resident in Canada and that his occupation was 'Farmer', an occupation to which he must have returned after the end of the First World War, in which he served.

Thomas gave the address to which he was travelling as 118 Tatlock Street, Liverpool, the same address from which his sister Agnes would get married to Michael Doyle a couple of months later. Presumably the pending nuptials gave Thomas the excuse and the impetus to make the return journey to his native city. He would have been twenty-four at the time. I have no information at present about a return journey to Canada, though return he did. An interesting side-light on the visit is that Agnes married in a Roman Catholic Church, something that Thomas was also to do when he returned to his adopted home.

Friday, 23 November 2012


The McIlhagga clan in Ireland has been found almost exclusively in County Antrim, though there are rare references to Galway, Dublin, Down and Derry. One of the Irish Genealogical sites has just published the Index of Civil Births for the County of Derry where you can find just four McIlhaggas in the first decade of the 20th Century, namely:

Mary Ann 1906;
William 1907;
John 1909; 
Samuel 1910.

As you can guess these four were siblings. They were the first four children of James Spence McIlhagga and Elizabeth McGrillis. At the time James was a Railway Locomotive fireman. In fact the town of Coleraine, not far from Londonderry itself, was where Elizabeth was living when she and James married and presumably it was convenient for them to live there, probably in her home town and near her parents. Then after number four child, maybe it was his job - he eventually became a train driver - made it better for them to move to the central Antrim town of Ballymena, where their last three children were born.

Samuel (b.1910) and his wife Jessie went back to live in County Derry, in Portstewart, and his son Ronald James was married in Coleraine. A couple of years ago I wrote about a Jeannie McIlhagga living in Londonderry itself when she signed the Ulster Covenant in 1912.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Probate Records

The Internet site holds seven sets of PRobate records for the surname McIlhagga. They are for the following people:

Margaret, died 13 May 1927;
Margaret, died 31 Dec 1940;
Robert, died 13 Apr 1951;
Lindsay, died 16 Feb 1954;
Adelaide, died 31 Aug 1956;
George Robinson, died 20 May 1957;
Harry, died 15 Dec 1962.

I think that a number of general and random comments are in order. First, three of the seven are my own immediate family, my father, grandmother and aunt. It is interesting to compare the value of money at different times, e.g. £1000 (sterling) in the 1930s was worth approximately £40,000 in today's money. Second, four of the seven are people who died in Ireland and the amount of their effects, which in each case is fairly small, only applies to the portion of what they owned which was in England. Presumably there is a record in Ireland of the portion which applied to Ireland.

Each record names the person to whom probate was granted. The relationship to the person who had died is of course of interest and usually of genealogical interest. Margaret who died in 1927 is stated to be the wife of William, a Commercial Traveller. So we know that William survived his wife, and we know his occupation. Margaret who died in 1941 is said to be a spinster. The administration is given to Lindsay, a Company Director, without any mention that he was her brother.

Robert who died in 1951 was in fact a bachelor, though on mention is made of this. Probate was granted to Robert Kennett a Merchant, with no mention that he was a nephew. Robert (Jr.) was the son of Robert (Sr.)'s nearest sibling, Rebecca. Robert Senior was one of twelve siblings and maybe he felt closest to the one who had named a child after him. The full name of Robert junior is recorded, Robert McIlhagga Kennett. From a genealogical point of view not only do we have an example of our clan name being continued as a middle name, we have learned for the first time that Rebecca and her husband Charles Kennett had a son, who like his uncle was a merchant.

Lindsay who died in 1954 clearly named his business partner as his executor, to whom probate was granted. What is 'hidden' behind this fact is that they had a private agreement that his partner would look after Lindsay's family from a financial point of view which was honoured until Lindsay's wife died many years later. Adelaide died in Dublin in a Nursing Home directly opposite the house in which her husband was living. She's called a 'married woman' so we know that her husband was still alive, and he is named, with his occupation of Hardware Merchant.

George Robinson McIlhagga, who died on 20th May 1957 gives us an example of an Estate taking quite a time to wind up. Probate was granted two years later, probably because he died insestate. Administration was given to his widow. It is from the probate records that we learn her middle name. Apparently she was Kathleen Madden Trueick. Finally we learn the basic 'vital' fact of the date of death of Harry McIlhagga, on 15th December 1962, administration being given to his widow, Sarah Laura (nee Browne).

Monday, 19 November 2012


I have just returned from the monthly meeting of my local Family History Society where the speaker was our local archivist who was born and bred in Northern Ireland. She told me that on the occasion when she had to clear the house after the death of a relative she found a letter signed by a Mr. McIlhagga. Sadly that letter doesn't still exist and there is no memory of its contents, though it must have been important enough for the person who received it to keep it.

Mention of it is a timely reminder that such correspondence can be most valuable in building up a picture of an ancestor, be they sender or receiver. We have a wonderful example in the letter a copy of which was sent to me by a correspondent in Alberta Canada, from Henrietta the wife of Nathaniel Owens McIlhagga, which lists most of the dates of births, marriages and some deaths of her large family.

I included that letter in my blogs of 8th and 19th of May 2010. If any readers of this blog have family correspondence or of course other documents or photographs that they would be happy to share, I would be delighted to receive copies and preserve them in the clan archives.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Champion Jockey

I have written before about Richard McIlhagga who lived in Dublin in the mid-20th Century and who bred race horses. I have often found references to him in Irish Newspapers and in Ireland he is probably best remembered for winning the Irish Grand National with King's Sprite in 1971.

The internet site has just added British Newspapers 1710-1950 to its genealogical resources, where we can find four references to Richard McIlhagga in the newspapers of South-West England. Three are only notices of runners, two in the Western Morning News in 1949 and one in the Gloucester Echo in 1950. The fourth however is more interesting. It is in the Western Morning News for 21 April 1949 where we find the following report:

'Mr R. McIlhagga's five-year old grey Impeccable, ridden by Gordon Richards, was one of the easiest winners of the City and Suburban Handicap in the history of the race at Epsom yesterday.
After being among the leaders for a mile Impeccable took the lead in the last two furlongs and Liberty Light, who had taken second place, was unable to get in an effective challenge, Impeccable winning by three lengths.....
Mr. McIlhagga who is a Dublin manufacturer who has won many races with the horses he runs in England... said after the race: "I hope that one of my future wins on this course will be in the Derby in 1952 with Impeccable's full brother, now only a foal".'

We have no record of Richard McIlhagga ever winning the Derby, but at least we have this report of one of his horses being ridden by Gordon Richards, perhaps the most famous champion jockey of the 20th Century.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

1860 Census

There are no surviving Ireland Censuses for 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1891 so it's difficult to keep track of people - unless of course they emigrated! And this is the case for two families from Lisnacrogher / Newtowncromelin, County Antrim. They emigrated to the USA in the 1850s so appear in the US Federal Census taken in Ohio and Pennsylvania in 1960. Here they are:

James McElhager, 24 (b.1836 Ireland), South Shenango, Crawford, PA;
Liza McElhager, 19 (b.1841, PA), South Shenango, Crawford, PA;
Augusta McElhager. 8 months (b.PA), South Shenango, Crawford, PA.

It would appear that very soon after emigrating James met Liza, married and had a daughter. In fact there may be an error here as other evidence shows that Liza was born in Ireland (see my last blog);

Isabell McElhager, 20 (b.1840 Ireland), Factory Hand, living with the Ferand family in Kinsman, Trumbull, Ohio;
And living next door with the Pell family is Sophrona McElhager, 12 (b.1848, PA).

Isabell was James' cousin, but who was Sophrona, of whom I have never heard? Surely the family didn't emigrate before 1848, so perhaps Sophrona is simply adopting the same name as Isabell? However, another mistake - Isabell wasn't 20 in 1840, she was 25. I have a reference to her baptism. So was Sophrona her daughter? If so Isabell would have been 13 when she had her. Unlikely, but possible. But I guess unlikely for surely Isabell would have been in Ireland then.

John McElhager, 19 (b.1841 Ireland), a Carpenter living with the Smith family in Jamestown, Mercer, PA.

John was Isabell's brother.

David McElhages, 25 (b.1835 Ireland), a Tailor, at Gustaves, Trumbull, Ohio;
Maria McElhages, 21 (b. PA);
Catherian McElhages, 17 (b.1843, Ohio).

First, I suspect the enumerator wrote down two names incorrectly. McElhages should have been McElhager and surely Catherian should have been Catherina. Perhaps like his cousin James, David married soon after he arrived in the USA, to Maria. But who is Catherina? Clearly not their daughter. So was she a sister of Maria and adopting her new surname? How strange! Or was she a sister of David? But it says she was born in Ohio. Maybe this was another enumerator's error, or perhaps she was just a visitor and was assumed to be 'family'.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

"Wm. C. McElhager"

A couple of days ago I included a note about Wm C. McElhager age 21 born in Pennsylvania in about 1879, living in 1900 in the Philippine Islands. He was a Private in the Military, possibly in a Signal Unit. A correspondent in Australia has kindly sent me the Schedule of the Census with William's name on it, which I can magnify to show that has not only mistranscribed some information but also has omitted some other.

First, I do not think his second initial is 'C'. It could be 'A'. It does make it clear that he was a Private in the Signal Corps and adds what is I presume his home address, 248 Dorset Street, Cleveland, Ohio. It clarifies that his birth was April 1869 and that he was 31 (not 21) and single. Vitally it also gives his place of birth as Jamestown, Pennsylvania, and the country of birth of both his parents as Ireland.

I am now sure that this Census reference is to William son of James and Eliza McElhager of Jamestown, PA. He did have a second name, though we don't know what it was. I'm glad to have evidence that both his parents were born in Ireland. I was uncertain about his mother, for the burial records of Eliza (wrongly) state that she was born in Pennsylvania. Although we don't know for certain her maiden name was probably Rogers.

Also William was certainly in the Signal Corps, as his War Pension Records make clear. William's interment record gives him a year of birth of 1864, so maybe he wanted to appear younger in order to get into the Military. Who knows? There is a possibility that I have not yet been able to prove, that he married someone called Hanna and had a daughter Mavis in 1892. If so, Hanna was a Widow by the time the 1910 Census was taken, so William must have died before that date.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

American Census strays

1840 US Federal Census
John McElhagin, New York Ward 14, New York.
Head of family plus the Free White persons:
   one male (30-39);
   one female (20-29);
   one female (30-39).

The three 'free whites' must have been born 1810-1820 and on the assumption that John, for whom no age is given, is a generation older he could be John McElhager born 1788 who emigrated from Ireland and ended up in Jamestown, Pennsylvania. He married and I think had children.

1900 US Federal Census
Wm C. McElhager, age 21 born Pennsylvania in about 1879.
His home in 1900 was San Isidro Huos Esijo, in the Philippines Islands.
William was a Private in the Military and Naval Forces. If I interpret the rest of this entry correctly he was in a Signal Unit.

I have no other reference to a William C. McElhager though there were a couple of Irish immigrant McElhager families in Pensylvania from the mid-nineteenth century and presumably he belongs to one of them.

1910 US Federal Census
There is a family of five in Collier, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, none of whom I have heard of before.

Addison J. McElhage, age 35, born c.1875 in Pennsylvania, whose father and mother were both also born in Pennsylvania. His wife was Anna B. (no maiden surname given), age 29, born c.1881 whose parents were both born in Pennsylvania.

They had three children:
   Mary A. age 10 b.1900 Pennsylvania;
   William L. age 8 b.1902 Pennsylvania;
   Aleta B. age 5 b.1905 Pennsylvania.

Again, with the McElhage version of our clan name, it could be that they belong to either of the Irish immigrant families (having dropped the final 'r'). However, there may be another link for this nuclear family for there is a McElhago who is buried in Allegheny Cemetery, namely Margaret who died in 1875, and I think she relates to the Scottish Ayrshire family.

I should add that I have twice written to the Allegheny Cemetery authorities to try to get more information about Margaret's burial, the second time sending the requested $10, but on neither occasion have I received a reply.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Public Domain

Recently in this blog I have included a number of lists of clan births, marriages and deaths. There are more, in particular the England & Wales Birth Index 1931-1996, and the England & Wales Marriage Index 1916-1999. However, the majority of people on both these lists are or could be alive, and I have tried to keep to the principle that I shouldn't refer to people who are alive without their permission. So, for the time being I have decided not to print these lists. Of course I understand that they only contain information which is in the public domain and which is therefore accessible to anyone who takes the trouble to look it up, so what I am happy to do is, if anyone writes to me, I will do a 'look up' for them for any particular person and send the information in an email. I hope this is helpful. There are 111 people on the Births list and 54 Marriages, all McIlhagga.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Klamatu and Blackfeet!

Sometimes one gets a real surprise. Something crops up that is totally unexpected. On 14 May last year I wrote a blog about the name McHaggart which contained some unusual things, including a Scottish Highland Shepherd's family, but nothing to compare with a note I added later to that date, that in the 1930 US Census there is a reference to a Roy McHaggart, aged 48 (so born 1882), who was resident in the Klamatu Indian Reservation in the State of Oregon. Apparently he had been born in Indiana.

Equally surprising is a second US Census reference, five years later on 31 December 1935, to James McIlhagery, a white man, living in the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in the State of Montana. No place of birth or age is given for him, and I have to admit that his surname is a variation of, or a deviation from our clan name (if indeed it is that) I haven't come across before. One might be excused for thinking that Roy or James had landed in an Indian Reservation at those dates because there happened to be a job going at the time, and that might be true for Roy, but was not so for James.

The rest of the entry, which incidentally is found in the US Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940, makes it clear what attracted James to Montana. The next name is 'wife', Violet (McGovern) aged 19, tribe Blackfoot, born 27 September 1917. Clearly she wasn't classed as 'white', though her 'maiden' name was the Scots or Irish McGovern. We must presume that her father was Scots or Irish and her mother a Blackfoot Indian. Somehow the McGoverns had become known to James McIlhagery and he had fallen in love with Violet. Maybe he was about the same age, so born about 1915. We may presume that they were married by 1934, for the third Census entry is that for their daughter, aged one, Joanne Belle McIlhagery, born 11 July 1935. Unfortunately none of the above facts about this family help me to relate them to any other members of our clan. Has anyone a family story about American Indians?

Monday, 5 November 2012

Nathaniel Owens McIlhagga, 'Junior'

On the eve of the American Presidential election I can record what little we know of an emigrant to the USA. James Wilson McIlhagga of Belfast, an Oil Merchant married Sarah Jane Hoye in 1907 at St. John's, Langbank, Church of Ireland. They had two sons, Nathaniel and Robert. Robert sadly died as a teenager. Nathaniel, whose second name was Owens for his grandfather, emigrated to the USA as a teenager. His journey landed him first in Quebec on 23rd April 1927, aged 18, aboard the Cunard PS Alaunia. In the States he met and married Marjorie Adele Taylor, about whom we know a little from the fact that she illustrated a book for parents, entitled 'Mom, I'm bored'!

The Internet site has recently allowed a free Census search which has resulted in my also knowing a little more about Nathaniel Owens the second. He was born at the end of 1908 and his wife was six years his junior. In the 1940 US Federal Census he was therefore 31 and she 25. They were living at 5515 South West Corbett Street, Portland, Multomah, Oregon, and had indeed been living there at least since 1935. Nathaniel's occupation was in the Engineering Department of a Telephone Company. The Census gives us the information that he had been employed for the previous 52 weeks for a salary of $3800.

The final piece of Census information is that Nathaniel and Marjorie had no children. From my correspondence some years ago with a lady in the States I think they may subsequently have had a daughter. Nathaniel died on 25 March 1988, aged 79 and Marjorie on 31 December 1992 at almost the same age. I have a note from another correspondence that Nathaniel may have been buried in Milwalkee, Wisconsin, though I have not verified whether this is true.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

....Haggo: a wee problem

There is a birth in which can be found by searching for the name 'Haggo'. In fact it is the only result when 'Haggo' is searched. It is of Stewart Walker on 24 Mar 1880 in Belfast, to parents Stewart Walker and Mother Margaret Mc....Haggo. Clearly something is not readable on the birth record where Ancestry has put the dots. The likelihood is that Margaret's full name is McIlhaggo.

Now there is a Margaret McIlhaggo (the only one I know of) in Belfast who the year before, on 27 Feb 1879, married a Walker, though he was, according to my records, Samuel Walker. There could easily be a mistranscription somewhere of Walker's first name, possibly in the baptism record, or even in my own Marriage Index (!). The marriage was at Trinity Church of Ireland, Belfast and I have for some time thought that this Margaret was the daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (nee Glass). She was born on 14 May 1854 so would have been 26 when Stewart was born. For the time being, despite the discrepancy between Stewart and Samuel for the name of the father, I'm going to settle for this solution as the 'best possibility' until further evidence persuades me otherwise.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Death Index for McIlhagga in England & Wales

Yet another list, but I am switching from Ireland to England and Wales. Appropriate to All Souls Day, the list below is the 'England and Wales Death Index, 1916-2000' for the surname McIlhagga in I have only italicised three names as they are the only ones I cannot place in a Family Tree. The order of the information is: Given Name, age at death (year of birth), Quarter or Month and year the death was registered, the Registration District followed by the volume and page number in the records of that District (not in the National Records):

William 71 (b.1867), Jan-Mar 1938, Liverpool North 8b-473;
Margaret 59 (b.1868), Apr-Jun 1927, Birkenhead 8a-607;
Thomas 58 (b.1868), Oct-Dec 1926, West Derby 8b-472;
Crawford 55 (b.1871), Apr-Jun 1926, Liverpool 8b-25;
Esther 86 (b.1873*), Oct-Dec 1959, Surrey South West 5g-910;
Margaret A 81 (b.1876), Jan-Mar 1957, Crosby 10c-105;
Agnes 48 (b.1879), Jan-Mar 1927, West Derby 8b-749;
John S 43 (b.1879), Apr-Jun 1922, West Derby 8b-415;
Mary G 79 (b.1889), Jul-Sep 1968, Conway Caernarvon 8a-129;
James W 44 (b.1892), Oct-Dec 1936, Conway, Caernarvon 11b-533;
Lindsay 60 (b.1893), Jan-Mar 1954, Wirral 10a-836;
Olive Mildred 91 (b.1897), Mar 1989, Birkenhead 37-993;
Margaret 43 (b.1898), Jan-Mar 1941, Liverpool North 8b-776;
Samuel James 80 (b.1903), May 1984, Wigan 39-2414;
William J 41 (b.1905), Apr-Jun 1946, Birkenhead 8a-614;
Margaret 79 (b.1908), Oct 1987, Chatham Kent 16-570;
Annie Stephenson 63 (b.1912), Jan-Mar 1976, Wigan 39-3213;
William 79 (b.1915), Dec 1994, Wallasey 50A-118;
Dorothy Margaret 84 (b.1916), Nov 2000, Birkenhead D8C-135;
Daniel 67 (b.1926), Jan 1994, Wycombe Buckingham 825C-239;
Margaret Helen 39 (b.1931), Apr-Jun 1971, Wycombe Buckingham 6a-1329;
James Spence 67 (b.1933), Feb 2001, Sheffield E90A-204;
Lucy 0 (b.1933), Jan-Mar 1933, Conway Caernarvon 116-681;
Margaret Rose 67 (b.1937), Jun 2005, Wigan & Leigh, B24B-155;
Catharine Anne 63 (b.1938), Apr 2002, Northumberland North 24A-57;
James 20 (b. 1938), Oct-Dec 1958, Ince 10c-451;
Henry 60 (b.1940), Aug 2000, Bromley D37-162;
Norma Anne 44 (b. 1944), May 1989, Birkenhead 37-900;
Sandra 49 (b.1945), Dec 1994, West Lancashire 2A-273;
James P 0 (b. 1959), Oct-Dec 1959, Ince 10c-482;
Meryl H 0 (b.1962), Jul-Sep 1962, Bridgend, Glamorgan 8b-63;
Robert Boyd 20 (b.1963), Oct0Dec 1983, Oxford 20-2362.

* This date is possibly wrong. I think her date of death was 6 Nov 1868.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

McIlhaggar births and baptisms

Yesterday I produced the 'Ireland Birth and Baptisms' records from for the surname spelling McIlhagga. Today I'm continuing the same records but with the spelling McIlhaggar. All are from the parish or district of Galgorm, Ballymena. Unlike yesterday, I am italicising those that were new to me:

John, 4.11.1868, John+Mary Atkinson;
Eliza Jane, 9.11.1871, John+Mary Atkinson;
George, 15.11.1871, Matilda McIlhaggar;
John Bell, 21.7.1873, William+Mary Jane Bell;
Agnes, 4.12.1874, Frank+Mary Jane Brown;
[female], 6.9.1869, Matthew Barr+Matilda McIlhaggar;
Samuel, 15.10.1870, Matthew Barr+Matilda McIlhaggar;
Margaret, 28.5.1875, thomas Francey+Jane McIlhaggar;
James, 1.12.1867, Thomas Francey+Jane McIlhaggar;
Martha, 7.3.1874, John Fullerton+Mary McIlhaggar;
James, 28.4.1869, Robert John Millar+Mary Mcilhaggar;
Elizabeth, 14.1.1871, Robert John Millar+Mary McIlhaggar;
Jane, 8.8.1873, Robert John Millar+Mary McIlhaggar.

Again, you will spot one name with no father recorded, because the father's name is not known.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

McIlhagga births and baptisms

In addition to the Civil Registration lists of Births, has access to an independent list entitled 'Ireland Births and Baptisms 1620-1911', presumably made up from Church Registers. Its McIlhagga entries clearly duplicate some of the Civil Registration lists for both M'Ilhagga and McIlhagga. However, in addition it gives a full date of birth (not only year), the name of the child's father and its mother's maiden name, and the area in which the child was baptised. So, the list below reads as follows: Given name(s), date of birth (day/month/year), father's given name(s), mother's maiden name, District/Parish of Registration and Baptism (if in brackets no information about baptism). In all cases the name of the infant and the father is McIlhagga:

Margaret Jane, 26.9.1868, George+Eliza Ann Robinson, Belfast;
John, 7.9.1868, John+Eliza McCullough, Connor;
William, 13.12.1868, Nathaniel Owens+Henrietta Wilson, Belfast;
[male], 18.6.1870, John+Eliza McCullough, Connor;
James Wilson, 7.2.1871, Nathaniel Owens +Henrietta Wilson, Belfast;
Samuel, 18.5.1871, Samuel+Elizabeth Glass, Belfast;
[female], 10.4.1872, Henry+Agnes Gardner, Connor;
[female], 3.8.1873, John+Eliza McCullough, Connor;
Eliza Ann. 5.4.1875, George+Eliza Ann Robinson, Belfast;
Maggie Meneilly, 17.5.1875, William John+Mary Meneilly, Doagh;
[male], 16.4.1875, John+Eliza McCullough, Connor;
Andrew, 21.5.1875, Eliza Ann McIlhagga, Galgorm;
John, 12.5.1875, Samuel+Eliza Glass, Belfast;
Mary Jane, 19.2.1879, Eliza Ann McIlhagga, (Slatt);
David, 6.1.1879, George+Mary Jane Boyd, (Belfast);
William John, 19.2.1879, Eliza Ann McIlhagga, (Slatt);
Andrew, 21.5.1875, Eliza Ann McIlhagga, (Antrim).

You will note that in four cases above there is no father's name. That is because it is not known. The mother's name is McIlhagga. This list also has a number of entries where the mother's name is McIlhagga and the father is known because the couple are married. In all these cases the surname of the infant is that of the father. These entries are as follows:

William John, 15.10.1867, William John McCleary+Nancy McIlhagga, Broughshane;
Mathew, 21.1.1870, Mathew McDowell+Eliza McIlhagga, Ballymena;
James, 23.7.1874, Mathew McDowell+Eliza McIlhagga, Ballymena;
Sarah, 12.5.1874, John Francey+Rachel McIlhagga, Connor;
[male], 16.5.1875, William Gibb+Mary McIlhagga, Belfast;
Margaret, 9.9.1869, John Hill+Margaret McIlhagga, Ballymena;
Crawford, 10.6.1874, John Hill+Margaret McIlhagga, Ballymena;
Sarah, 2.3.1874, John Hinton+Ellen McIlhagga, Belfast;
Letitia Jane, 2.2.1879, John Johnston+Jane McIlhagga, (Antrim);
Thomas, 1.10.1868, Robert Linton+Ann McIlhagga, Ballymena,
Agnes, 16.9.1867, Robert Linton+Ann McIlhagga, Ballymena,
Woodrow, 2.5.1875, Robert Linton+Ann McIlhagga, Ballymena;
David, 21.1.1871, Samuel Sloan+Margaret McIlhagga, Ahoghill;
David, 19.9.1867, Robert Whiteside+Esther McIlhagga, Broughshane;
John, 17.1.1870, Robert Whiteside+Esther McIlhagga, Broughshane;
[male], 11.6.1869, Samuel Winning+Maria McIlhagga, Antrim.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

McIlhagga births

On 17th October I listed all the M'Ilhagga births to be found in I will now show the parallel list, covering the same years, from 'Ireland, Civil Registration Births Index, 1864-1958', for the spelling McIlhagga. Again I will print in italics those that were new to me or about which I have some uncertainty as to their family tree. There is one at the beginning which has no date, for Jeanie, Ballymena 1-64. From other sources I know that the date is Jul-Sep 1919.

John, 1865, Antrim 1-7;
Mary, 1866, Ballymena 6-144;
William 1866, Ballymena 6-153;
John, 1868, Antrim 11-11;
Hannah, 1870, Antrim 16-28;
Henrietta, 1870, Belfast 6-304;
[male], 1870, Antrim 11-7;
William, 1870, Belfast 6-348;
[female], 1872, Antrim 1-10;
[female], 1872, Antrim 6-8;
Jane, 1872, Belfast 11-283;
Samuel, 1872, Belfast 16-303;
John, 1874, Belfast 11-262;
Mary, 1874, Ballymena 16-118;
Andrew, 1875, Ballymena 6-131;
Eliza Ann, 1875, Belfast 6-286;
John, 1875, Belfast 6-364;
Maggie M., 1875, Antrim 6-16;
[male], 1875, Antrim 6-6; 
Eliza, Jul-Sep 1878, Ballymena 1-125;
[female], Jul-Sep 1878, Antrim 1-7;
Harry, Oct-Dec 1878, Belfast 1-328;
Annie, Oct-Dec 1880, Ballymena 1-100;
Elizabeth Woods, Oct-Dec 1880, Belfast 1-311;
James Spence, Oct-Dec 1880, Ballymena 1-97;
Nathaniel Owens, Oct-Dec 1908, Belfast 1-173;
Agnes McClurkin, Jan-Mar 1909, Ballymena 1-73;
John, Jul-Sep 1909, Coleraine 1-477;
Robert Dunlop, Jan-Mar 1909, Ballymoney 1-111;
Violet Agnes Jul-Sep 1909, Belfast 1-357;
Elizabeth, Oct-Dec 1910, Ballymena 1-66;
Minnie, Jan-Mar 1910, Ballymena 1-75;
Richard, Jul-Sep 1910, Belfast 1-217;
Samuel, Jan-Mar 1910, Belfast 1-181;
John, Apr-Jun 1911, Ballymoney 1-116;
Robert, Apr-Jun 1911, Belfast 1-179;
Samuel, Apr-Jun 1911, Coleraine 1-514;
William, Apr-Jun 1911, Ballymoney 1-116;
William Hugh, Jan-Mar 1911, Belfast 1-233;
Elizabeth, Oct-Dec 1912, Ballymena 1-65;
Daniel Boyd, Apr-Jun 1913, Belfast 1-253;
John, Apr-Jun 1913, Belfast 1-267;
Samuel John, Apr-Jun 1913, Ballymena 1-70;
Annie, Apr-Jun 1914, Ballymoney 1-111;
[female], Oct-Dec 1914, Belfast 1-124;
John, Oct-Dec 1914, Ballymena 1-68;
[female], Jul-Sep 1915, Belfast 1-214;
William, Jul-Sep 1915, Ballymena 1-66;
George, Jan-Mar 1916, Belfast 1-396;
James, Apr-Jun 1916, Belfast 1-177;
Robert Carroll, Jul-Sep 1916, Ballymena 1-61;
Thomas, Apr-Jun 1916, Ballymena 1-63;
Elizabeth, Jan-Mar 1917, Belfast 1-183;
Margaret, Apr-Jun 1917, Belfast 1-370;
Thomas, Apr-Jun 1917, Ballymena 1-63;
Andrew, Apr-Jun 1918, Ballymena 1-67;
Jeanie, Jul-Sep 1919, Ballymena 1-64;
Annie Patricia, Jul-Sep 1920, Ballymena 1-71;
Martha Ann, Jan-Mar 1920, Belfast 1-172;
William, Jul-Sep 1920, Ballymena 1-71;
Clarke, Oct-Dec 1921. Ballymena 1-63;
Harold Browne, Apr-Jun 1921, Lisburn 1-653;
Margaret, Apr-Jun 1921, Belfast 1-265;
Elizabeth, Apr-Jun 1934, Belfast;
Reginald, Apr-Jun 1934, Dublin North 2-321;
Samuel, Jul-Sep 1935, Dublin North 2-315;
Richard, Apr-Jun 1939, Dublin North 2-303;
Jean P., Apr-Jun 1940, Dublin South 2-585;
Richard N., Apr-Jun 1943, Dublin South 2-606;
George E., Apr-Jun 1945, Dublin South 2-829.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Some more Census 'Strays'

A few 'strays' in Censuses who might easily be missed, including the two people I mentioned yesterday:

1861 Scotland:
Margaret Mc Hagger, 17 (b.1844 Ireland), Sailcloth Weaver, staying with the Wade family, 11 Main Street, Greenock, sister-in-law to Robert Wade, sister to Jane Wade and Aunt to Agnes, Robert and William;

1901 England:
Catherine S. McHaggan, 19 (b.1882 Scotland), Telegraph Learner, Boarder in Pendleton, Salford, Lancashire;

1901 Scotland:
Agnes Mc Haggart, 46 (b.1855 Govan), Barleyhill, Gl(sic) Govan Head, Falkirk, Stirlingshire;
Alexander Mc Haggart, 26 (b.1875 Greenah [Greenock?]), son, Labourer;

John McHaggie, 41 (b.1860 Glasgow), Boilermaker, 20 Cross St., Partick, Govan;
Lizzie McHaggie, 39 (b.1862 England);
Robert McHaggie, 17 (b.1884 Partick), Apprentice Ship Plater;
Lizzie McHaggie, 16 (b.1885 Partick), Laundress;
Alice McHaggie, 14 (b.1887 Partick). Laundress;
John McHaggie, 12 (b.1889 Partick), Scholar;
Minnie McHaggie, 10 (b.1891 Partick), Scholar;
James McHaggie, 7 (b.1894 Partick), Scholar;
Agnes McHaggie, 5 (b.1896 Partick);
Mary McHaggie 3 (b.1898 Partick);
Allan McHaggie 10 months (b.1900 Partick).

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Mc_Hagart and Mc_Haggart

Here's an example of trying to think of all the possible variants of our name, though surely this is a 'deviant' version. In I searched for Mc Hagart (gap between Mc and H...) and only one result appeared, a family in the 1871 Scottish Census at 14 St. Andrew Street, Greenock East. As I hadn't got them in my Census Index I started to enter them - there were parents and five children. Just the two youngest had been born in Greenock, Scotland, all the rest in Ireland. (Would that they had put place names, and not just 'Ireland'!). My first thought was that, with the exception of the two youngest, I could start a 'virtual' 1861 Irish Census! Then it dawned on me that I was entering five of the nine children of none other than my own great-great-uncle born in Ballycloughan! This was a family that spelled their surname, to my knowledge, eight different ways, maybe because they lacked the schooling in a 'normal' or 'inherited' spelling. John was a Labourer, though by 1890 Mary his wife appeared to be operating as a self-employed Grocer!

They must have moved from County Antrim to Greenock about 1860, between the births of Elizabeth and Mary, by which time their eldest child Ann Jane must have 'left home', though it is probable that she too moved to Scotland for it is there that she had married the year before. The seven in the 1871 Census are:

John, 42, Labourer, born Ireland;
Mary, 38, wife, born Ireland;
Agnes, 17, Factory Girl, born Ireland;
Margaret, 14, Factory Girl, born Ireland;
Elizabeth, 11, Scholar, born Ireland;
Mary, 8, Scholar, born Greenock;
Janet, 5, Scholar, born Greenock.

A question remains: is the Agnes Mc_Haggart, who is in the 1901 Census for Scotland, and is the only example of this double 'g' spelling, the same Agnes as above in the 1871 Census? She was born 1855, aged 46, said to be born in Govan and living in 1901 at Barleyhill, Gl(stet). Govan Head, Falkirk, Stirlingshire. Living with her was Alexander, aged 26, born 'Greenah' (Greenock?), a Labourer. Ah, no! I have just realised that the Agnes in the 1871 Census died in 1900! So I'm afraid I do not know where this second Agnes and her son Alexander fit in!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Two more queries

Still working through the Ireland, Births and Baptisms, 1620-1911, I have two more queries. One is raised by the birth of James Clarke on 27th September 1879 in Lislaban (Lisburn?) to Joseph Clarke and Nancy McIlhagga. Oddly the record adds that Nancy is the daughter of Jane McIlhagga. Why does it give a grandmother's name as well as the mother's? There is a Nancy, daughter of James and Jane McIlhagga (nee Maitland) of Ballyportery, Co. Antrim. I have had a tentative date of 1870 for the birth of this Nancy but this cannot be so if I have the right family. If James was Joseph and Nancy's first child we can assume they were married 1878/9 which would give Nancy a birth year of say 1860 at the latest. This in turn would have made Nancy the eldest child of James and Jane and probably born before their marriage. We have a birth date of 25 May 1840 for James and in all probability Jane was about the same age. Perhaps this is the reason for the note about Jane as the grandmother at the birth of James Clarke.

Another problem. I reported recently on the birth to John Fullerton and Mary McIlhaggar of Mary Ann in 1872 at Galgorm, Ballymena. I now have the birth of John to the same couple on 28th August 1879. The problem is that at present I have John married to Margaret daughter of James McIlhagga and Mary Ann Gard(i)ner, with a marriage date of 8th January 1872 at Connor Church of Ireland. Could Margaret have died and John have married her younger sister Mary who was born 8th September 1851?

Friday, 26 October 2012

Another Problem

Two days ago I described a problem to me of a name on the Ireland, Births and Baptisms Index. Here's a second one. Mary was born on 3 June 1866 and given the surname McIlhagga. Her mother was Sarah Rea but no father is named. We may assume he was a McIlhagga. Mary was baptised at Broughshane, I assume in the First Presbyterian Church (where all the McIlhaggas were baptised, though it could have been in the Church of Ireland or even the Second Presbyterian Church). I wonder if I can find her father's name? There is no later marriage or death record that fits. Did Ireland have the equivalent of Bastardy Bonds which named the father so that he would pay towards the upbringing of the child? There is no Mary of the right date in the major McIlhagga family in Ballycloughan, Broughshane (mine). So where do I go from here? There is one Mary McIlhagga of the right age in the 1901 Census, living in Newtonards Road, Pottinger, Down, who was a Confectioner and who had a younger sister Elizabeth living with her, but I have no evidence that she was the daughter of Sarah Rea.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Death Certified

This morning I received a certified copy of the Death Entry, registered in the District of Broughshane, Ballymena, for my Great-great-grandfather William. I already knew from the (Scottish) death record of his eldest son William in 1889 that his father was deceased before that date. I also knew from the Griffith Valuation Continuation Books that he was still resident at Ballycloughan in 1879. So I had narrowed down the date of his death and when I looked at the Civil Registrations there was only one entry that filled the criteria. I now know that he died on 7th July 1882 at Ballycloughan, in the civil parish of Skerry. What else does the Entry tell me?

First, that in 1882 the townland was spelled Ballycloughan, not Ballycloghan as I have also seen it. Second, that our surname was spelled McIlhagga and not any of the several variants which have appeared over the years. Next, that William's 'condition' was 'married'. This I have to question. By 1882 I'm sure he was a 'Widower', though I can well believe that 'married' was reported to the Registrar. I will have to try and get a firm reference to the death of his wife Agnes. William's age is given as 87 which means he was born in 1795 and, as he died on 7th July, that his birth was between 1st January and 7th July. This of course assumes that he and his family really knew how old he was. I have wondered for some time whether he could have been the William born to James and Sarah McIlhagar, baptised on 29th June 1798 at St. Anne's, Belfast. That would have made him 84.

Next, his occupation is given as 'Weaver'. He was a Weaver on the 1851 Census for Antrim, though at times his occupation has been stated as 'Farmer'. I'm sure that if 'small-holding' was a secondary job, Weaving was his main occupation. The certified cause of death was 'Disease of the heart, 5 years. Dropsy 3 months'. The signature of the person certifying this is only half included and is unreadable. The space for the 'Signature, Qualification and Residence of Informant' has all been completed by the Registrar. J.R. Piettson (?), so the name Nancy McCleery has 'made her mark' with it. Either Nancy could not write or, as was often the case, she was reluctant to do so. I have seen her surname spelled both McCleary and McCleery. She was 'Daughter of deceased in attendance during last illness'.

Nancy was William's second youngest daughter who would have been about 41 years old. She had married William John McCleery in 1863 and by 1882 had had four sons. Most of William's other seven children had moved away to Scotland, and one to Australia. Nancy's place of residence was given as Broughshane, the town 'just down the road' from Ballycloughan. Finally we have the date of registration of the death, the fourteenth of July, a full week after William had died. We may presume therefore that he was buried on or after the 14th July 1882.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

A double problem

As I move on from the M'Ilhagga indexes in to McIlhagga I find there are two sources for births, first 'Ireland, Births and Baptisms 1620-1911', and second 'Ireland, Civil Registrations Birth Index, 1864-1958'. I have immediately hit a problem. The oldest name in both sources appears to be the same, John 1865, born Connor, Registered Antrim.The first Index tells me the father is John and the mother is Eliza McCullough. In fact I have a double problem. For this couple I already have a son William G. born on 30 Jan 1865 (the Index gives me John born 31 Jan 1865), and I also have a John born September 1868. Were there two Eliza McCulloughs who married two John McIlhaggas about the same time, who both had a son John? Eliza's surname does get spelled two slightly different ways, McCulloch and McCullough. What the second index tells me is that there were certainly two Johns born, one in 1865 and one in 1868, both registered in Antrim District. (The second source doesn't give parents' names). One possibility is that the first John was a twin of William G and died, and that he was 'replaced' by a John born three years later! I suppose light will dawn at some stage.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Good Detective Work

Publishing the Irish BMDs for M'Ilhagga has produced two positive bits of research which is very pleasing. The first, and the more 'adventurous' comes from a correspondent who is researching the family line which includes Robert born in Ballee in 1859 who married Margaret Craig. My correspondent is a great-granddaughter in Australia. Robert and Margaret had ten or eleven children, her grandfather Robert James being (I think) number five. And she has wondered for some time about his sister known as Minnie who was a year or two older.

Now the name 'Minnie' is a diminutive, but of what? When I published the M'Ilhagga births my friend wrote to say that she could definitely place one person on the list, namely Joseph born 1899 as one of the eleven McIlhagga-Craig children. She also suspected that Minnie (aged 17 on the 1901 Census) was Mary born 1833 and registered in the Ballymena District. When I then published the M'Ilhagga marriage list she decided to take a closer look at the marriage of Thomas Flack to Mary M'Ilhagga, a couple that I had not been able to place in a Family Tree.

There were some doubts because there seemed to be several errors on the Marriage Record. In the 1901 Census Thomas Flack lived in Valentine Street, not Ballentine as recorded. Mary was said to be living at 4 Agamor Street, though the family address was 5 Azamor Street. Was the Registrar hard of hearing? But worst of all, Mary's father was recorded as William, not Robert! However there were some positive pointers. The Flacks had two children, and the addresses linked to the Census. The mother on one was Mary McIlhagga and on the other was Minnie McIlhagga, with a Registrar's note that Minnie=Mary; and the informant was the same person for the two births.

I commented that the wrong father's name (William for Robert) was probably the Registrar's mistake after he had already correctly written William for Thomas's father. Also Mary would have been born between 1883 (if she was 21 at marriage) and 1886 (if the Census age was right). However, a wife often knocked two or three years off her age so that she didn't appear older than her husband on a Census form. In fact on the 1911 Census all three Flack adults knocked 2-3 years off the ages given in 1901! And there are sufficient occupation and address links to be confident in saying that Minnie and Mary were the same person, and that the Flacks belong to the Robert McIlhagga/Margaret Craig family tree. A good piece of detective work!

The second piece of detective work? I'm waiting for a death certificate to arrive through the post, so -another time!

Monday, 22 October 2012

M'Ilhagga deaths

Between 1872 and 1809 has recorded 60 M'Ilhagga deaths of which 45 were new to me. These 60 people were born between 1784 and 1907. An initial analysis by splitting the deaths into four periods is very interesting. 19 people born between 1784 and 1840 had an average age of 70 years, ranging from 60 to 90. And incidentally the oldest person was born at the earliest date. In the second period, those born between 1840 and 1854, we have 12 deaths with an average age of 45, with a range of 32 to 60. What a drop, from 70 to 45! But greater surprises are to come. The third period is for those born between 1859 and 1881. There were 16 deaths with an average age of 16, with a range from 0 to 29. Finally in the period from 1881 to 1907 there were 13 deaths with an average age of under 2! The 13 had an age range of 0 to 7. 70 to 45 to 16 to 2. That must be a commentary on the kind of society in which people were living over a period of 123 years, from a totally rural society to a predominantly industrial one.

After noting that of 60 deaths 45 were new to me, I went back to my own Clan Births Index to see whether I could identify any of the 45 from Ancestry's Birth Registrations. Sadly I could only identify a probable six, though I am able to add one more from recent correspondence with a friend in Australia. She positively identified one person in the birth index, who is also in the death index. She also made a 'possible' identification of a second birth. The deaths I can (or think I can) identify I have typed in italics. The rest are new to me. Again, the end figures, following the Registration District, are the volume and page numbers:

Henry 90, 1784-1874 Ballymena 16-76;
Elizabeth 84, 1788-1872 Antrim 6-6;
William 87, 1795-1882 (Jul-Sep) Ballymena 1-77;
Martha 75, 1798-1873 Ballymena 16-70;
Nancy 86, 1798-1884 (Jul-Sep) Ballymena 1-65;
Samuel 84, 1805-1889 (Jan-Mar) Ballymena 1-80;
Robert 80, 1806-1886 (Jan-Mar) Ballymena 1-92;
Catherine 65, 1811-1876, Larne 6-468;
William 79, 1812-1891 (Oct-Dec), Ballymena 1-74;
Agnes Stevenson 84, 1814-1898 (Oct-Dec), Antrim 1-16;
Mary 66, 1818-1884 (Jan-Mar), Belfast 1-223;
Samuel 70, 1818-1888 (Jan-Mar), Ballymena 1-98;
Mary Ann 71, 18221-1892 (Jan-Mar), Ballymena 1-110;
Henry 62, 1824-1886 (Jan-Mar), Antrim 1-5;
James 70, 1824-1894 (Jan-Mar), Belfast 1-278;
Agnes 60, 1827-1887 (Jan-Mar), Antrim 1-5;
Francis 60, 1834-1894 (Apr-Jun), Ballymena 1-65;
Nathaniel O. 71, 1834-1905 (Jul-Sep), Belfast 1-128;
Letitia 60, 1840-1900 (Jul-Sep), Belfast 1-279;
William 36, 1840-1876, Ballymena 11-81;
George 41, 1841-1882 (Oct-Dec), Belfast 1-174;
Jenny 35, 1841-1876, Ballymena 1-109;
John Wilson 55, 1841-1896 (Apr-Jun), Antrim 1-5;
Mary 55, 1844-1899 (Jan-Mar), Ballymena 1-81;
John 57, 1845-1902 (Jan-Mar), Ballymena 1-72;
William James 46, 1846-1892 (Jan-Mar), Antrim 1-9;
John 60, 1847-1907 (Jul-Sep), Belfast 1-127;
Margaret 37, 1850-1887 (Jul-Sep), Belfast 1-153;
Ruth 49, 1852-1901 (Apr-Jun), Belfast 1-367;
Lizzie 32, 1853-1885 (Oct-Dec), Belfast 1-185;
Archibald 44, 1854-1898 (Apr-Jun), Antrim 1-5;
Lizzie 26, 1859-1885 (Jan-Mar), Antrim 1-6;
Samuel 25, 1861-1886 (Jan-Mar), Antrim 1-7;
John 20, 1862-1882 (Jan-Mar), Antrim 1-6;
James 19, 1867-1886 (Jul-Sep), Antrim 1-5;
Eliza Jane 26, 1869-1895 (Apr-Jun), Ballymoney 1-105;
Margaret Jane 17, 1869-1886 (Oct-Dec), Antrim 1-5;
Eliza 18, 1872-1890 (Apr-Jun), Ballymena 1-74;
James 6, 1872-1878 (Oct-Dec), Ballymena 1-88;
Lizzie Ann 7, 1875-1882 (Jul-Sep), Belfast 1-161;
Nancy 29, 1875-1904 (Jan-Mar), Ballymena 1-78;
Wilson 15, 1875-1890 (Oct-Dec), Belfast 1-176;
Ellen 0, 1876-1876, Belfast 16-167;
Robert 8, 1876-1884 (Jul-Sep), Belfast 1-158;
Rebecca 0, 1878-1878 (Oct-Dec), Belfast 1-224;
Sarah Mary 18, 1878-1896 (Jul-Sep), Antrim 1-15;
Daniel 24, 1881-1905 (Apr-Jun), Belfast 1-214;
Ruth 1, 1881-1882 (Oct-Dec), Belfast 1-174;
Margaret 2, 1882-1884 (Oct-Dec), Ballymena 1-77;
Margaret 0, 1890-1890 (Jan-Mar), Ballymena 1-105;
Samuel 5, 1891-1896 (Oct-Dec), Antrim 1-16;
Eliza Jane 0, 1895-1895 (Apr-Jun), Ballymoney 1-106;
Mary 0, 1896-1896 (Jan-Mar), Ballymena 1-79;
Archibald 1, 1898-1899 (Jan-Mar), Antrim 1-7;
John H.W. 1, 1898-1899 (Jan-Mar), Ballymoney 1-113;
Joseph 2, 1899-1901 (Oct-Dec), Belfast 1-272;
Matilda 7, 1899-1906 (Jan-Mar), Belfast 1-181;
Ruth 2, 1902-1904 (Jan-Mar), Belfast 1-260;
Daniel 1, 1906-1907 (Oct-Dec), Belfast 1-145;
Jane 0, 1907-1907 (Jan-Mar), Ballymoney 1-116.

Friday, 19 October 2012

M'Ilhagga marriages

In my last blog I listed 79 M'Ilhagga births that can be found in Over half of them were new to me. Not so with the marriages. Below I list 38 M'Ilhagga marriages between 1865 and 1907. One was new to me! (in italics) Admittedly ten I cannot at present fit in to Family Trees, but the others I can. The Ireland Civil Registrations give a name, year or quarter when registered, the registration district, volume and page numbers. From other sources I have added the name of the spouse in nearly all cases:

Nancy Betty 1865, Antrim 16-42; Alexander Brownlees;
William 1868 Ballymena 1-167; Jenny Stewart;
Ann Eliza 1872 Ballymena 16-163; Hugh Kelly;
Jane 1872 Ballymena 11-156; James Boyd;
Margaret 1872 Antrim 1-3; John Fullerton;
May 1872 Antrim 1-3; John Fullerton;
William 1872 Ballymena 6-171; Mary Jane Bell;
Robert 1876 Ballymena 6-139; Margaret Craig;
William James 1877 Belfast 16-389; Ruth Woods;
William, Apr-Jun 1878 Ballymena 1-157; Mary Spence;
George, Jan-Mar 1879 Belfast 1-415; Lizzie Patterson;
Archy, Apr-Jun 1885 Ballymena 1-159; Agnes Jamieson;
Maggie, Apr-Jun 1885 Ballymena 1-160; James Strain;
Hannah, Oct-Dec 1890 Belfast 1-400; Robert Killips;
William Gage, Apr-Jun 1890 Belfast 1-441; Jane Todd;
Daniel, Jan-Mar 1891 Ballymoney 1-173; Annie Eliza Wright;
John, Oct-Dec 1892 Belfast 1-451; Ann Kerr;
Margaret, Jan-Mar 1892 Ballymena 1-93; Robert Colvin;
John, Jul-Sep 1893 Belfast 1-260; Isabella M'Kay;
Jane, Apr-Jun 1895 Belfast 1-281; James Steele;
Agnes, Jul-Sep 1896 Belfast 1-407; Thomas Sinclair;
Rebecca, Oct-Dec 1901 Belfast 1-393; Charles Kennett;
Daniel, Apr-Jun 1902 Belfast 1-427; Harriet Jane M'Aughtry;
Elizabeth, Oct-Dec 1902 Belfast 1-452; Patrick Wm. Orr;
Margaret, Apr-Jun 1902 Antrim 1-25; William Kerr;
William, Apr-Jun 1902 Antrim 1-1; Mary Anne Boyd;
William John, Jul-Sep 1902 Belfast 1-437; Jane Burgess Anderson;
James Spence, Jan-Mar 1903 Bellymena 1-114; Agnes Wilson;
Matilda Jane, Jul-Sep 1903 Belfast 1-367; Robert Dalzell;
William Hugh, Jan-Mar 1903 Belfast 1-497; Maggie Boyd;
Maggie, Jul-Sep 1904 Ballymoney 1-198; John Taylor Elliott;
Mary, Jul-Sep 1904 Belfast 1-370; Thos Flack;
Robert, Jan-Mar 1904 Belfast 1-290; Eliza Jane Eston;
James S, Oct-Dec 1905 Ballymena 1-119; Besse M'Grillis;
Andrew, Jul-Sep 1906 Ballymena 1-113; Lizzie Todd;
Elizabeth Woods, Oct-Dec 1907 Belfast 1-353; (see below);
Margaret Woods, Jul-Sep 1907 Belfast 1-347; (see below);
James Wilson, Oct-Dec 1907 Belfast 1-305; Sarah Jane Hoy.

NB: Elizabeth Woods M'Ilhagga and Margaret Woods M'Ilhagga are both recorded twice! One married Samuel Balance Knox and the other Hugh Rankin Torrens Wilson. I an not sure from the records which was which, though I think Margaret became a Knox and Elizabeth a Wilson.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

M'Ilhagga births

When searching clearly most Births Marriages and Deaths (BMDs) would be revealed when using our commonest spellings McIlhagga, McIlhagger, McIlhaga, &c. And surely if the Mc became M', that is just a writing convention and the BMDs produced would duplicate what I already knew. Not a bit of it! Here, for a start, are the Births registered with the surname spelling M'Ilhagga. I have listed in ordinary type those I already had in my clan Birth Index. Those in italics were new to me. The place name is the Registration District and the figures give the volume and page number should anyone wish to apply for a birth certificate from the General Register Office. You will note that all the references are in Ulster:

John 1868 Antrim 11-11;
Margaret Jane 1868 Belfast 16-263;
William 1868 Belfast 16-253;
Ellen 1876 Belfast 6-293;
Andrew 1877 Ballymena 16-118;
(female) 1877 Antrim 6-10;
Martha 1877 Ballymoney 11-161;
Matilda Jane 1877 Ballymena 11-136;
Mary Jane, Jan-Mar 1879 Ballymena 1-135;
William, Jul-Sep 1879 Ballymena 1-107;
William John, Jan-Mar 1879, Ballymena 1-135;
Clarke Atkinson, Apr-Jun 1881, Ballymena 1-101;
John, Apr-Jun 1881, Belfast 1-320;
Margaret, Apr-Jun 1882, Ballymena 1-121;
Samuel, Oct-Dec 1882, Belfast 1-238;
Margaret Woods, Jul-Sep 1883, Belfast 1-305;
Mary, Jul-Sep 1883, Ballymena 1-110;
William, Jul-Sep 1883, Ballymena 1-108;
Robert, Jan-Mar 1885, Belfast 1-254;
Robert James, Apr-Jun 1885, Ballymena 1-116;
William, Jul-Sep 1885, Antrim 1-6;  
Andrew, Oct-Dec 1886. Ballymena 1-111;
Annie, Apr-Jun, 1886, Ballymena 1-113;
Eleanor, Jan-Mar 1886, Belfast 1-230;
Jane, Jul-Sep 1887, Antrim 1-7;
John, Apr-Jun 1887, Ballymena 1-109;
Margaret, Jul-Sep 1889, Ballymena 1-95;
Robert, Jul-Sep 1889, Ballymena 1-102;
Thomas, Jul-Sep 1889, Ballymena 1-97;
Lizzie, Oct-Dec 1890, Belfast 1-356;
Margaret, Apr-Jun 1890, Ballymena 1-85;
Robert, Jan-Mar 1890, Antrim 1-5;
Samuel, Oct-Dec 1890, Ballymena 1-93;
Samuel, Apr-Jun 1891, Belfast 1-275;
Maggie, Jan-Mar 1892, Antrim 106;
John, Jul-Sep 1893, Belfast 1-268;
John, Apr-Jun 1894, Antrim 1-6;
John Jul-Sep 1894, Ballymena 1-96;
Robert Wright Oct-Dec 1894, Ballymoney 1-109;
Eliza Jane Apr-Jun 1895, Ballymoney 1-130;
Lucy, Jul-Sep 1895, Belfast 1-247;
Mary, Oct-Dec 1895, Ballymena 1-77;
Andrew, Apr-Jun 1896, Ballymena 1-98;
James, Apr-Jun 1896, Ballymoney 1-127;
Nathaniel, Jan-Mar 1896, Antrim 1-8;
Jane, Jan-Mar 1897, Ballymena, 1-101; 
John Houston W, Oct-Dec 1897, Ballymoney 1-112;
Sarah, Apr-Jun 1897, Belfast 1-245;
Archibald, Apr-Jun 1898, Antrim 1-6;
Matilda, Oct-Dec 1898, Belfast 1-361;
George, Jan-Mar 1899, Belfast 1-393;
John, Jul-Sep 1899, Belfast 1-366;
Joseph, Oct-Dec 1899, Ballymena 1-74;
Samuel Wright, Jul-Sep 1899, Ballymoney 1-115;
Joseph, Oct-Dec 1900, Ballymoney 1-101;
William John, Oct-Dec 1900, Ballymoney 1-99;
Martha, Jul-Sep 1902, Ballymoney 1-119;
Daniel, Jan-Mar 1903, Ballymoney 1-121;
Jane, Oct-Dec 1903, Belfast 1-252;
John, Jan-Mar 1903, Belfast 1-205;
Samuel James Jul-Sep 1903, Belfast 1-407;
James. Oct-Dec 1904, Ballymoney 1-113;
Jane Wilson, Jan-Mar 1904, Belfast 1-852;
William Gage, Jan-Mar 1904, Belfast 1-359;
William Robert, Apr-Jun 1904, Belfast 1-176;
Esther, Oct-Dec 1905, Belfast 1-258;
Robert Jul-Sep 1905, Belfast 1-366;
William John, Jan-Mar 1905, Belfast 1-403;
Daniel, Jul-Sep 1906, Belfast 1-200;
Elizabeth Ann, Jul-Sep 1906, Belfast 1-242; 
Henry, Oct-Dec 1906. Belfast 1-230;
Jane, Oct-Dec 1906, Ballymoney 1-111;
Mary Ann, Oct-Dec 1906, Coleraine 1-480;
Mary Young, Jan-Mar 1906, Ballymoney 1-117;
Albert Hugh, Oct-Dec 1907, Ballymoney 1-114;
Andrew, Apr-Jun 1907, Ballymena 1-77;
David Reavey, Jun-Sep 1907, Belfast 1-388;
William, Oct-Dec 1907, Coleraine 1-579;
Samuel Jul-Sep 1908, Belfast 1-196. 

Sunday, 14 October 2012


There are a few one-offs to me found in The first three found concern marriage.

John McIlhagor, 1851 Ballymena 2-103, spouse Mary Stewart. John was in fact son of William and Agnes (nee McCosh) for Ballycloughan, County Antrim and this family (mine!) usually used the spelling McIlhagga. They were married at the 1st Presbyterian Church, Broughshane on 15th July 1851.

The next is particularly interesting as it is from the record of Marriage Banns in Paris, France, 1860-1902. It records the name of Marie Sudour who was to marry a man with the surname M'Ilhague. But when or where I know not. There is one Scottish record of John McIlhague marrying Isabella McCallum. They had a daughter Jean in 1824 in Dundonald, Ayrshire, so could be related to our clan there. Isabella had a brother Alexander who married Elizabeth McElhago, daughter of James McElhago and Jane Harvey.

Third we have David G. McIllhaggow (also McIllHaggow) in a published Family Tree on Ancestry, who was born about 1700 and married Janet G. Murdock on 16 February 1725 in Dalmellington, Ayrshire. The 'G' in Janet's name is new to me. This was David's first marriage. He was I think born in 1702. He and Janet had a daughter Janet in 1732. His second marriage was to Elizabeth Dunbar on 22 March 1740 also in Dalmellington, presumably after the death of Janet. They were to have two children, William and Mary. It is possible that William migrated to Ulster and founded the family in Maxwell's Walls, County Antrim, as William McIllhago. He was born in 1743.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

McIlhago & M'Ilhago records the name McIlhago 12 times in total in the 1841, 1891 and 1901 Censuses of Scotland, most of which I had recorded except for George and Isabella at 5 Chapel Bank, New Monkland, Lanark in 1841 when George was a Brick Labourer before he went into the Railway Police Force. A male birth is recorded in 1868 in Belfast under both McIlhago and M'Ilhago, though the spelling that the parents, Samuel and Grace (nee Marrs) usually used was McIlhaga. There are also five McIlhago and three M'Ilhago marriages, all in Ireland, as follows:

1849 Margaret McIlhago, Ballymena 2-61, to George McClean,
1850 Eliza McIlhago, Ballymena 2-87, spouse unknown,
1857 Henry McIlhago, Antrim 1-195, to Agnes Gard(i)ner,
1858 Rachel McIlhago, Ballymena 2-79, to John Francey,
1868 Mary M'Ilhago, Ballymena 16-181, spouse unknown,
1872 Ellen M'Ilhago, Belfast 1-413, to John Hinton,
1873 Jane McIlhago, Belfast 11-366, spouse unknown,
1877 James M'Ilhago, Belfast 1-263, spouse unknown.

One death is recorded, that of Sarah M'Ilhago aged 83 in Ballymena (6-110) which interestingly gives us a birth year of 1781. I have no record of a Sarah born in that year, though of course she may have married into the clan. Finally there were a couple of McIlhago Migration references in 1956, arriving at Greenock, Scotland from Montreal, presumably a visit 'home' by Harry (63) and Sarah (61); also a couple of McIlhago names in the Glasgow Phone Books from 1954 to 1975.

Friday, 12 October 2012


In my last blog I said I was surprised to find four death registrations in Larne. The town of Larne is of course one of the ports on the east coast of County Antrim and so one of the nearest places to Scotland. Hence it should not be surprising to find some early references to our clan there.

In addition to the 17th Century Hearth Tax charged to three men at Cogry, near to Ballynure and Ballyclare, about ten miles inland, the earliest clan reference is to the man we know from several Indentures as 'James, Senior'. He was probably born about 1755 and may have lived in Larne until at least 1835 when he was 80. Our earliest mention of him is on 16 June 1786 when he is described in a house lease as a Bleacher. He was renting a house and garden in Larne from John White for £8.11.0 p.a. His name is spelled McElhago, a familiar spelling in 18th Century Ayrshire. Two further leases in 1786 and 1795 find James letting properties to other people, a farmer and a shoemaker, while he himself moved to Islandmagee. He may or may not have stayed there, or he may have moved between Islandmagee and Larne, for there are two further references, I presume to the same man, unless they be to his son James Junior. In 1824 he is in Pigott's Directory of Larne where he is a Publican in New Town. Then in 1834 he appears as James McIlhaggo in the Larne Tithe Applotment Book in Larne Parks Middle Division. We think he had three sons, James, Samuel and William, all of whom also farmed on Islandmagee.

The next person we find in Larne is George McIlhaggo who is also in the same Tithe Applotment Book of 1834 in Anteville, the West Division of Larne Parks. Someone paying tithes in 1834 must have been born at least around the beginning of the century, which is indeed confirmed for us by the first of the four Larne death registrations. George M'Ilhaggo's death was registered in the Jan-Mar quarter of 1880 when he was 76, making his year of birth 1804. There is also a George in the 1861 Griffith Evaluation for Larne, when in Newton Street, Townparks he was paying £11.10.0 for land and buildings, namely a house, office, yard and garden. He is recorded as George McIlhaigh, a spelling when admittedly opens the question of whether he was the same George.

I must add here that I have two possible references to another George in 1866, whom I believe to be George born 1841 to William and Margaret McIlhaggo/a of Maxwell's Walls. The first is to the grant of a house and small garden in January, recorded in a Griffiths continuation book about which I wrote on 11 August. This was a couple of months before his marriage to Elizabeth Ann Robinson, which is my second reference for they were married in Raloo Presbyterian Church in Larne. Surely we cannot identify with our first Larne George or he would have been 62 when he married and this would have pushed his father's date of birth much too early.

The next two people whose deaths were registered in Larne were I believe married. They are William John born 1812 who died age 83 in 1895. Mary Jane, born 1828 died age 66 in 1894. I think they are they couple I wrote about on 2 July 2011 and who lived in Ballygallough/Ballygallagh, Ballyclare. On 1 July this year I also suggested he might be the William the farmer who subscribed to the building of Ballyclare Presbyterian Church. Were William and George brothers? They were born within eight years of each other. William John and Mary Jane had a son whom they named William James. Why did they use the second name James? Was it after his grandfather or great-grandfather? If so, was this the James who had died about 1835? We know that James Senior had three sons, James Junior, Samuel and William born 1782 who was a farmer in Ballytober, Islandmagee. He had a daughter Sarah in 1808. Could she have come between a son George in 1804 and a son William John in 1812?

I have reached a point where I think it is justified to speculate! I do not know what happened to William son of James and I do not know where William father of George came from and I do not know where William John father of William James came from, though as I've said I think he might have been the farmer who contributed to Ballyclare Church. My 'speculation' brings them all together. James seems to have had three sons, James, Samuel and William. Perhaps William had three children, George, Sarah and William John. William John and Mary Jane had three children, Mary Jane, Jenny and William James. William James married Mary McNeillly on 15 Mar 1875 at Mountpottinger Presbyterian Church, Belfast. They had a daughter Margaret in about 1877. Did they also have a daughter Agnes, who is the fourth Larne death registered when Agnes was 26 in 1898, so born in 1872? Incidentally this 'speculation' also brings together Larne, Islandmagee and Ballyclare.

There remain two more people on the Larne horizon who need more research in order to fit them into an known pattern. Wm. McHagger is in the 1861 Griffith Valuation in Clementshill, Ballynure, where he is renting a house and garden for 15/-. Second is Mary Elizabeth M'Ilhaggy whose marriage was registered in Larne (1-673) in 1884. I wonder who they were?

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Ireland BMD Registrations for M'Ilhaggo

One of the resources used by is Ireland's Death Registrations. Although in my own clan Deaths Index I already had quite a lot of people using the surname spelling McIlhaggo, when I searched for the references to M'Ilhaggo I was surprised to receive no fewer than another 14, all quite early, indeed one going back to the 18th Century. The second surprise was that four of them were registered in Larne, where I have very few 'vital statistics'. Here they are (the figures are volume number followed by page number):

Mary 82 (born about 1785); died 1867 Antrim 1-6;
George 76 (bc 1804); died Jan-Mar 1880 Larne 1-553;
William John 83 (bc 1812); died Jan-Mar 1895 Larne 1-537;
Nathaniel 64 (bc 1821); died Jul-Sep 1885 Belfast 1-181;
Mary Jane 66 (bc 1828); died Apr-Jun 1894 Larne 1-483;
Elizabeth 40 (bc 1836); died 1876 Belfast 6-268;
Eliza Ann 37 (bc 1840); died 1877 Belfast 11-153;
Rebecca 40 (bc 1852); died Oct-Dec 1892 Belfast 1-196;
Hannah 1 (b 1866); died 1867 Antrim 1-6;
Samuel 1 (b 1866); died 1867 Belfast 16-220;
Susan 0 (b 1867); died 1867 Belfast 16-220;
Agnes 26 (bc 1872); died Oct-Dec 1898 Larne 1-455;
George 0 (b 1880); died Apr-Jun 1880 Belfast 1-232;
Samuel James 0 (b 1880); died Apr-Jun 1880 Belfast 1-236.

In the Civil Registrations there were also 10 M'Ilhaggo Births, all of which I found I had already recorded, except for the registration volumes and pages, which are as follows (names of parents last from my own Index):

Susan 1868 Belfast 16-323; Samuel + Elizabeth (nee) Glass;
William Gage 1876 Antrim 6-5; Henry + Agnes Gardiner;
Robert 1877 Belfast 11-297; John + Margaret Douglass;
Daniel Jul-Sep 1880 Belfast 1-254; John + Margaret Douglass;
Ruth Jan-Mar 1881 Belfast 1-260; George + Elizabeth Patterson;
Wilson Jan-Mar 1881 Belfast 1-252; James + Rebecca Johnson;
Nathaniel Jan-Mar 1883 Belfast 1-264; James + Rebecca Johnson;
Agnes Jan-Mar 1892 Belfast 1-232; William + Jane Todd;
Ruth Jan-Mar 1902 Belfast 1-258; Samuel Robinson + Jane McNeice;
James Boyd Apr-Jun 1908 Belfast 1-254; William Hugh + Maggie Boyd.

Lastly under M'Ilhaggo I found 7 Marriage Registrations, six of which I had recorded fully in my Indexes, as follows:

Margaret 1867 Ballymena 16-181; spouse Samuel Sloan;
Ellen 1868 Ballymena 1-161; spouse Robert Scroggy;
Maria 1868 Antrim 6-45; spouse Samuel Winning;
John 1870 Antrim 1-35; spouse Margaret Douglass;
Margaret Jan-Mar 1879 Belfast 1-318; spouse Samuel Walker;
John Jul-Sep 1901 Ballymena 1-111; spouse Margaret Tuff.

I think I can put all these into Family Trees. However one last marriage I cannot place, that of Samuel, Jul-Sep 1883, Belfast 1-307. 'Ancestry' has a way of suggesting the possible name of a spouse by showing the whole Register page. In Samuel's case it showed three possibilities, Sarah Maloney, Agnes McCabe or Julia McCracken. I wonder which one was his wife?