Saturday, 14 July 2012


The next baptismal entry in the records of St. Patrick's, Kirkinriola was for Martha, daughter of John Hill, Shoemaker of Harryville and Margaret McIlhagger of Harryville, by (Rev) Wm. Reeves on 3 October 1855. She was born on 17 July 1855. As I have mentioned in blogs before (see 23 Nov 09 and 26 Oct 11) I do in fact have a marriage record for this couple, from the Ulster Historical Foundation. They married on 1st November 1854 in the same Kirkinriola Church of Ireland. John was from Mill Street, Ballymena, a Shoemaker, aged 22 (so born 1832) son of William Hill, also a shoemaker. Margaret McIlhagger of Harryville, Ballyclug, aged 21 (so born 1833), was a daughter of Crawford McIlhagger, Shoemaker. I have looked in Street Directories as near to 1854 as I can find, but have found no shoemakers or cobblers listed. It appears from subsequent records that in addition to Martha, John and Margaret Hill had six children, but surprisingly, ten years after Martha, a female (unnamed) in 1865, Helena in 1867, Margaret in 1869, Mary in 1871, Crawford in 1874 and James in 1877. I have referred to some of these before in my blog of 6 January 2011.

With the above detail to hand, I believe I can now identify with this family the entry in the Griffith Valuation for 1862 where we find a Crawford McIltaggart renting a house and a small garden for £1.10.0 at 6 Railway Street, Harryville in the townland of Ballykeel, in the parish of Ballyclug, from a landlord named Thomas Casement. This is surely Crawford the father of Margaret. I cannot with absolute certainty place this family into a family tree, but there is only one where the name Crawford crops up again as a first name in the 19th Century, and that is my own! My great grandfather was Crawford McIlhagga, born about 1837 in Ballycloghan, Broughshane and I have often wondered who he was named after. If the traditional Irish/Scottish naming pattern was being followed, as the third son of William (born about 1807) he could well have been named for his uncle Crawford the shoemaker who must have been born about 1812, and who therefore would have been a younger brother of William.

1 comment:

  1. In the November 2012 edition of Your Family Tree a reader, Barbara Burrett wrote a letter about Shoe Makers. She says that 'boots and shoes were made in the producers' own homes. The order would be received and, starting in one family home, the first stage of the shoe would be produced. Then the item would be taken to the next house for the second phase and then to the third and onwards until the completed shoe was taken to the final house where, usually the wife, would complete the process by inspecting the stitching, polishing the leather and finally lacing or buttoning the item. The shoe or boot would then be picked up by the salesman on a pre-determined day, usually six days from the receipt of the order.' She adds that 'many.. workers were deaf and dumb or were apprenticed from the workhouses or industrial schools'.