Wednesday, 15 August 2012

A Tenancy for John W.

When I was at PRONI in June the first name I looked at in the Griffith Valuation Continuation Books for Connor was George, who was a son of William McIlhagga of Maxwell's Walls (see my Blog on 11 Aug). The next name I came to was John with three references in Book A (1863-9), two references in Book B (1870-1880), two in Book C (1881-1890) and one in Book D (1890-1902). I start with one of the references in Book B as the easiest to identify. Against the plots of land in Connor at Maps 28a and 29 we have a reference to Margaret McElhagga being crossed out and John W. McElhagga inserted in 1880. He took over a house, offices and land, of total area A27, R0, P5, and paid an annual rent of £12.5.0 for the land and £1.10.0 for the buildings, a total of £13.15.0.

In Book C he continued with this holding as he does as Immediate Lessor for 29a, a house in which Mary McMullen was living for 15/- per annum. I have no idea whether Mary was related in any way to John W. though it is an intriguing question as is appears that he remained unmarried throughout his life. In Book D, against Maps 28a and 29 John W. McElhagga is crossed out in 1898, the year in which, or by which, we might assume that John died. In fact we know from another source that he died on 11 April 1896. Maybe someone continued to live in the house for another two years until a transfer took place.

So who was John W.? Undoubtedly he was, like George, one of the sons of William and Margaret, John Wilson McIlhagga who was probably born about 1840, though we don't have a precise date of birth. It appears that he died in his late 50s, probably unmarried. He left a Will in which he named his brother Archibald, as tenant-in-common, which of course gives us the reason why there was a gap between John's death and the hand over of the tenancy. I'll look at the other two Johns in Book A next time.

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