Friday, 16 March 2012

Belfast Newsletter

My references in this blog to The Belfast Newsletter have come from an Index with abbreviated items, published by an American University. I have for the past couple of days had access to a digitised version of the newspaper on the Ancestry website which amplifies some of the clan references and indeed corrects what I have been able to write before.

My first reference was on 27 Sep 2010, to a list of Island Magee tenants on 13 Feb 1770. There is nothing to be added to this. My second reference was on 1 Sep 2011, first to Port News on 4-8 August 1786. I now know this was a ship that had been 'cleared outwards', though from where I'm not sure, probably Belfast. The ship was called 'Mary' and her captain 'McIlhago'. What I now know is that she was destined for Malaga, with butter, cloth, &c. on board.

Second, on 6 Dec 1797, we have a reference to a shipwreck. The full paragraph reads as follows:

The Industry, of Irvine, Robert McElhago, master, is the vessel that was wrecked on Friday last, between Drogheda Bar and Clogher Head, and not the sloop Jenny, as mentioned through mistake in our list. Sunday last, the remains of the crew, five in number, belonging to the above sloop, which were taken up drowned near Clogher Head, were conveyed to town, attended by many respectable persons, and decently interred in St.Peter's Church yard.
Wallop Brabazon, Esq. of Rath, deserves every praise for his humane exertions to save the unfortunate sufferers of the above vessel. The elements were too strong for human powers.

The mistaken reference to the sloop Jenny may imply that a ship of that name was associated with the name McElhago. She could have been an earlier vessel sailed by Robert McElhago or possibly a vessel sailed by his father. Unfortunately the papers for 1787 are missing, which contain a reference to another 'clan' ship. I have written to Ancestry to ask why.

I have two references to marriages, which I will detail next time, but the reference here to Irvine in Ayrshire reminds me that I have also recently discovered that one can access the full text of the Laing Charters on the website of the Scottish Genealogical Society in Edinburgh. I have therefore added to my blog of 7 January last an accurate version of the entry for 17 August 1527 which mentions Michael Macylhaggow, the earliest member of our clan documented in Ayrshire, Scotland.

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