Thursday, 12 July 2012

McIlhagger/McIlhagga - McAteer/McAtear

Returning to the Kirkinriola records, the next baptism at St. Patrick's was on 5 September 1849, of Mary Jane (born 26 February 1849), with the word 'Illegitimate' against her name. However, in Mary Jane's case, unlike many others, the names of both her father and her mother are recorded and it looks as if she was given her father's surname. He was Robert McIlhagger of Kirkinriola, a farmer. Her mother who also came from Kirkinriola, was Mary McAtear, though I have also seen it spelled McAteer. The minister at the baptism was Wm. Reeves. Knowing that he spelled James and Mary Ann's surname McIlhagger, the likelihood is that Mary Jane's is also misspelled, for McIlhagga.

So who was Robert McIlhagga, born perhaps about 1825? The only Robert I have on record with a birth near that date is Robert McIlligan, not a farmer but a blacksmith, in the townland of Tickmacrevay, who was born in 1828, married a Catherine and had a one year old daughter. So I'm sure we can rule him out! If I simply try to fit Robert in to a family on the evidence of Place and Date, he could be a sibling of two men I think were brothers, both farmers in the area, Henry born 1821 who married Agnes Gardiner and John, born 1830 who married Elizabeth McCullough (who married at Kirkinriola). Robert could have been born between Henry and John. The slim supporting evidence is that the fourth son born to John and Elizabeth they named Robert, possibly for his uncle.

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