Saturday, 17 March 2012

Two marriages and a Cow

I'm continuing to refer to the Belfast Newsletter, first for the marriage of a Miss McIlhagga and a John Fullerton in 1840. After searching through twelve months of Newspapers I found this not very informative entry in December:

On the 17th Inst. by the Rev. D. Potter, Mr. John Fullerton to Miss McIlhaga/o both of Islandmagee.

Why, oh why did they not do what most others seemed to do and put in parents names? The new information however is the name of the minister. The Revd. David Potter was in the tradition of the Seceding Presbyterians though in the year of the marriage he and his Islandmagee church united with the Irish Presbyterians and locally became what is still known as Second Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee. This almost certainly gives us information about which Church all our clan there belonged to. This 'Miss McIlhago/a' was almost certainly Mary (born about 1820), daughter of Samuel McIlhagga and Ellon McWhinney. Samuel farmed at Port Muck.

Next, and from a family history perspective we have a most interesting NOTICE printed on 3rd October 1798 as follows:

Whereas my wife, Jennet McIllhaggo, otherwise Summers, otherwise Wilson, eloped from me some time ago, and carried away part of my Goods in my absence without any just cause. This is to caution the public not to credit her, as I am determined not to pay any thing she will contract. Dated at Island Magee this 3rd day of October, 1798. Patrick Wilson, X his mark.

Prior to finding this 'notice' we knew from the (damaged) Will of her father, another Samuel McIlhagga that his daughter 'Jen...' had married a Patrick Wilson. We now know that she 'eloped from him' probably with someone called Summers. My guess is that she was in her early twenties when this happened. As yet I have no information about what became of her. At least we know that the 'Jen...' was really Jennet. As she was likely the third daughter, perhaps this means that her mother, and so Samuel's wife, was also Jennet.

Finally we have the fascinating report in the paper of 6-9 November 1781 headed 'A Stray Beef Cow'. Until now I had assumed that William McIllhaga, the earliest clan member of whom we have any record in the parish of Connor, probably in the townland of Maxwell's Walls, had allowed one of his cows to escape from his farm, and was perhaps in some sort of trouble for this. However, as we can see from the brief report on 8 November, the opposite was the case. He must have found the cow and rescued it. The report reads:

In possession of William McIllhaga, near Connor. Whoever can prove their property may have her, by paying his expenses.

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