Friday, 6 July 2012

McIlhaggo - Forbes

Of the three families I found in the Islandmagee records I will take first Catherine McIlhaggo and Arthur Forbes. Arthur was born in 1798 in Killead, a townland about 20 miles inland from Island Magee near the present Belfast International Airport. Catherine was the eldest daughter of Samuel McIlhaggo and Ellon McWhinney, born about 1806 in the townland of Port Muck on Islandmagee where her father was a tenant farmer. She was about 30 when she married, some four years after her father had died and eight after her mother had passed away. When she married her brother was 21 and her sister 17. There being a nine-year gap between Catherine and William one wonders whether there had been any other children born in the intervening years, though none are known. No doubt Catherine had had to look after the family from her mother's death in 1829. Arthur and Catherine's marriage witnesses were Saml. Erskine and McNeely Erskine, no doubt good friends as their surname will be given to one of the Forbes children.

I found five children as follows, all born at Portmuck and baptised by the Revd. William Campbell at the 1st Presbyterian Church:
Catherine, born 26 June 1838, baptised 20 March 1839.
She is clearly named after her mother and was to marry John Napier and have 7 children.
Mary, born 17 January 1840, baptised 21 May 1840.
She may have been named after Arthur's mother.
Samuel, born 8 September 1842, baptised 11 December 1842.
He was clearly named after Catherine's father, though the tradition was to name the first boy after the paternal grandfather. Perhaps both were Samuel? He was to marry Ellen Fullerton whom we will meet when we consider the children born to Catherine's sister Mary. They were to have three children.
Robert, born 22 June 1845, baptised 24 October 1845.
Perhaps he was named after Arthur's father?
James Erskine, born 28 October 1848, baptised 23 January 1849.
His second name is for the friends who were witnesses at Arthur and Catherine's marriage.

According to family sources there were two other children, Jean or Jane and John, neither of whom I found in the Islandmagee records.

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