Saturday, 10 March 2012


1. My last blog asked who the 'J. McIlhagga' was who is named on the St. Matthew's Church WW1 Memorial in Shankill, Belfast. I'm delighted to say that I had a reply 'by return' from one of my Australian correspondents to say she thought my suggestion of Sgt. John McElhagga was probably right. For his own good reason John varied his surname from McIlhagga to McElhagga and then to McFarlane. As John McElhagga he won the Military Medal in the First World War after which he was remembered by his birth name of John McIlhagga. He was a son of Robert McIlhagga and Margaret Craig of Ballee, County Antrim, one of their ten children. This is a family that can probably be traced back to about 1770.

2. Someone has left a comment with no content on my blog of 26th October 2011 on 'Land Tenure'. As this 'comment' could be spam I have deleted it. If the author wishes to make a positive comment which contributes to our clan knowledge he or she will be most welcome to return and do so.

3. I have been having an interesting email correspondence with a lady in the USA who is I believe a descendant of the McIlhaggo - Forbes marriage in Island Magee, County Antrim, in the 1830s. In a Family Tree in which it is extremely difficult to find 'facts' two probable relationships have come from things remembered as family stories. One concerns 'Old Samuel' being the lady's great grandfather and one is related to a Napier family. In addition I have learned who it was who emigrated to the USA. The moral is never discount even vague memories of conversations you had years ago with your elderly relatives!

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