Sunday, 15 July 2012

Six Williams?

It would seem that around the turn of the 18th/19th Centuries and in the first two decades of the 19th there may have been as many as six men named William McIlhagga in County Antrim. Of course it may be that when more information comes to light we may find that one or more prove to be the same person and so reduce the number! It could be that one or more moved from one place to another. They were: 1) 1798: William of Ballymena, a Weaver, father of James; 2) about 1807: William of Ballycloghan, Farmer and Weaver, father of William, John and Crawford; 3) about 1810: William of Maxwell's Walls, Farmer, father of Henry, Nathaniel Owens and George; 4) about 1813: William Gage also from the Maxwell's Walls area and father of Henry, William and Samuel; 5) about 1820 William of Tullygarley, Weaver, father of John; and 6) about 1820 William (John) of Ballygallough/Ballyclare, Farmer ?, father of William James.

At present I can see no way of even two of these being the same person, and maybe they weren't. I started on this trail when I found a 'mass baptism' of a whole family of five children in Kirkinriola. They were the children of John, son of William of Tullygarley. John had married Mary Ann Atkinson on 14 March 1863 at Ballyclug Church of Ireland. He was a Labourer, eventually employed as a Sawmill Labourer in a Timberyard. When their children were baptised on 3 April 1881 John and Mary were living at Ballyclare. Clearly it was only when the fifth child had been born that they decided to ask for all five to be baptised, which they were on 7 December 1881 at St. Patrick's Church of Ireland, Kirkinriola. The five children were:

John, born 14 March 1868;
Eliza, born 5 November 1871;
Mary, born 26 October 1874;
Andy, born 26 ? 1877;
Clark, born 3 April 1881.

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