Sometimes one gets into a realm of pure (wild?) speculation! If I look at my own family tree, it hits a brick wall about 1810, which could be the year of birth of my great-great grandfather, William McIlhagga who married Agnes McCosh. But who were William's parents? As yet I have found no way of finding them. Ideally of course I would like to find a baptism and/or birth of William, and there is a (very) remote possibility in the Kirkinriola records!
It is remote for two reasons - first, I can't read the place of residence. It looks like 'Nivill' but as far as I can see there is no such place in or near Ballymena. Second, the spelling of the surname is a remote and unlikely variation, and indeed may be a separate name, though I have not come across it before. The record appears to say:
William, baptised 12 December 1812 (born 27 November) to James and Mary McIlaniagh of ?Nivill.
There are a couple of factors which encourage me to consider this couple as my GGG grandparents. First, for some time I have thought that William's father might have been named James, simply because his nearest clan neighbour in the 1862 Griffith Valuation was a James, with a smaller plot perhaps suitable for an older man to work. Second, if William and Agnes were following the naming pattern for their children, then they did call their second daughter Mary, maybe after William's mother. However, if they were following the naming pattern strictly his father should have been another William!
There is an additional factor - in 1862 there is a Mary living in Killygore, possibly an elderly widow, who could have been born about 1785 and so the 'right' age to be William's mother. But I did say this was all speculation!