Sunday, 30 September 2012

Scottish Records update

ScotlandsPeople has just published the births, marriages and death records for 2010 and 2011 for Scotland. I entered McIlhag* and received two additions to our clan records, one birth and one death, with no marriages. First the birth was in 2011 in Edinburgh City, the name being Andrew McIlhagger. There is no image on line so I am not able to tell at this stage who Andrew's parents are. Application for a full birth registration can be made by quoting the Registration number 738/00/0159.

The death was of Samuel Robinson McIlhagga, age 74, in Annan, Dumfries & Galloway in 2010. Samuel was a son of Richard and Madeline (nee Robinson) McIlhagga of Dublin. Richard was a Race Horse Owner and Trainer. Samuel moved to Lancashire, England where he became a manufacturer of cushions and pillows. He married in 1956 and had, to the best of my knowledge, four children, a son and three daughters. Again, to the best of my information, there are three grandchildren in the North West of England. There is no image of the death registration on line, but one can be applied for, using the code 839/00/0090.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Tardree Townland

I have recently added to two blog entries, those on 18 August ('Two Henry Tenancies?') and 21 August ('A Shared Tenancy in Castlegore').

There is one other residence reference to Nathaniel [O] McIlhagga which is in the Connor Parish Continuation Book C in a townland nearby Maxwell's Walls, namely Tardree, with Map 2Ba, where the name of Viscount Massereene & Ferrard is crossed out in 1882 and that of Nathaniel inserted, only to be deleted the following year 1883 and that of Viscount Massereene reinserted. I can only assume that during that short period Nathaniel toyed with the idea of expanding his farming enterprise, which didn't work out, or perhaps he simply needed a house for a short period either for himself or someone else.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Centenary Day

Today is the hundredth anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant. In 1912 it was a Saturday. I have written about it fairly fully in the past so won't repeat myself. What I have not done before is to look up the addresses at which our clan members lived. There were about fifty of them. Most do not throw up any surprises but one, I find, has recorded two names incorrectly and eight addresses have people with other surnames who may or may not be related to clan members.

The incorrectly recorded names are at 42 Gainsborough Drive, Belfast. David McIlhagger is transcribed in the Covenant Index as McIlhagga and Elizabeth Louise McIlhagger is transcribed as McShagger. From the photograph of the original signature, above, I think Elizabeth Louise wrote very clearly!

The addresses where there were other people are as follows:

29 New North Queen Street, Belfast. In addition to Henry McIlhagger there are James and Kathleen M. Boyd.

33 Linwood Street, Belfast. In addition to Nathaniel McIlhaga there are David and Sarah Jamison.

Tullygarley Bridge. In addition to Andrew McIlhagga there is also Jeannie Bolan.

3 College Avenue, Londonderry. In addition to Jeannie McIlhagga there are four others, James and Lillie M. MacMaster, Minnie McDowell and Miss Jane Gilmore.

85 Queen Street, Ballymena. In addition to Mary McIlhagga there is Jeannie Sutters.

30 Donegall Avenue, Belfast. In addition to William and Mary A. McIlhagga there is Jeannie Boyd.

6 Lawther Street, Belfast. In addition to Robert McIlhagga there is R. Lowry.

104 Mountcollyer Avenue, Belfast. In addition to John G. McIlhagger there is also Isabella Carse.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

'i', 'e' and 'ey' endings

There are four spellings of the clan name which I think would all have sounded the same, and of which there are very few examples, though all appear in, namely M'Ilhaggi, McIlhage, M'Ilhage and McIlhagey. The first comes just once in the marriage of Eliza Ann to William Buchanan in the Apr-Jun Quarter of 1890 in the Antrim Registration District (ref. Vol. 1, page 1). Unbelievably it is also misspelled as M'Alkaggi!! As McIlhaggi I have already reported that they married at Connor Church of Ireland on 12th April that year. This was a late marriage when Eliza Ann was 41 and after she had had five children out of wedlock. She was the daughter of James McIlhaggo and Mary Ann (nee Gardiner).

The second reference is to the birth in Belfast of Mary on 22nd March 1867 to William Gibb and Mary (nee McIlhage). Mary was the third of their seven children. Interestingly they had married in Scotland. Mary may have returned 'home' to have her children, and I think one possibility is that she was the daughter of William Gage McIlhaggie/a and Mary Houston who as a couple migrated to Rutherglen in Scotland from County Antrim. (NB. the spelling McIlhage does occur once in the Irish phone books).

The third spelling, M'Ilhage, occurs once in the US school yearbooks for Illinois where a photo of Tim M'Ilhage can be found. I did not however access this as it would have meant subscribing to This was also the case for five of the six McIlhagey references, namely:

Andrea, in the US Public Records Index Vol. 1 of Michigan;
Napoleon J. in the 1901 Canada Census for Hamilton, Ontario;
Mary, in the 1901 Canada Census for Hamilton, Ontario;
Bell, in the 1901 Canada Census for Hamilton, Ontario;
Rena,in the 1901 Canada Census for Hamilton, Ontario.

This leaves one Irish Birth which is new to me, and in a place I don't recall another, of

Sean T, McIlhagey in the Jul-Sep Quarter of 1943, registered in Monaghan, Vol. 3, p.142 with the note that his mother's maiden name was Gillespie. I'm afraid there is no known marriage to me where a Gillespie married into the clan.

Friday, 14 September 2012

McIlhagger and M'Ilhagger records the registration of 5 McIlhagger and 5 M'Ilhagger marriages. First, McIlhagger:

James, 1853, Ballymena, Vol.1, p.717, spouse Jane Middleton.
I was aware that James' name was sometimes spelled McIlhagger but I think his son Robert consistently spelled it McIlhagga, as did his descendants;
Margaret 1854, Ballymena, Vol. 1, p.760, spouse John Hill.
My understanding is that the 'normal' spelling of Margaret's and her father Crawford's surname was McIlhagga, from tenancy documents;
Mary Kathleen, Oct-Dec 1909, Belfast, Vol. 1, p. 406, spouse James Boyd.
This is the family that normally spells the surname with 'er';
John George, Apr-Jun 1911, Belfast, Vol.1, p.485, spouse Sarah Millar.
Samuel Robert, Apr-Jun 1919, Belfast, Vol.1, p.451, spouse Elizabeth Lewis.

Second, M'Ilhagger:

Mary Ann, 1867, Ballymena, Vol. 16, p. 109, spouse ???
This is a new marriage to me. I have no idea of her spouse;
John, 1870, Belfast, Vol. 1, p. 417, spouse Mary Jane Hull.
The normal 'er' family, plus a new registration to me;
George, 1876, Belfast, Vol. 16, p. 485, spouse Mary Jane Boyd.
David, Jul-Sep 1906, Belfast, Vol.1, p.320, spouse Elizabeth Louise Sherwood.
William John, Apr-Jun 1908, Belfast, Vol.1, p.447, spouse Eleanor M'Arthur.
Ditto. However I may have noted this name down incorrectly (or else Amnesty has mistranscribed) because it should be William Boyd McIlhagger.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

MacIlhaggart, M'Ilhaggart and McIlhagart

In my blog I have often reported finding the surname variant McIlhaggart but never with the first names of Margaret or Ann. Now, from Ancestry, I have two marriages, both registered in Ballymena, as follows:

Ann M'Ilhaggart, 1864, Vol. 16, p.191, spouse Robert Linton;
Margaret MacIlhaggart, Apr-Jun 1903, Vol.1, p.109, spouse Joseph Hills.

I have Ann's marriage recorded with the surname McIlhagga on 8 October 1864 taking place at Clough, County Antrim. Ann has a birth year of 1838 which made her 26 when she married. Robert was ten years older, born 1828. They were to have nine children, and in fact Ann was my Great Great Aunt. Again, the new information for me is the registration reference.

The marriage of Margaret MacIlhaggart (or McIlhaggart) is one which I have noted before. It took place on 11 April 1903 in Kirkinriola Church of Ireland to Joseph Hills. Margaret was a Widow when she married Joseph, so she wasn't born into the clan. Her maiden name was Margaret Luff.

With these names in Ancestry I am associating its one reference to McIlhagart. This is to Esther who in my last blog was spelled Esther McIlhaggar. As McIlhaggart she is in the 1851 Census in the townland of Dunaghy, aged 19, a Linen Weaver, a Visitor with the McCrory family. As we know it was not she who married James McCrory, but Martha. She was to marry Robert Whiteside in the same year, 1851. The Census was in March and she married in August.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

M'Ilhagar, McIlhaggar and M'Ilhaggar

Continuing from yesterday's blog, my next marriage registration is for William M'Ilhagar, married in 1875 in Belfast (Vol. 1, p. 451). I already have this record with the name McIlhagar. William called himself a Farmer from Ballygallough, son of William John, a Weaver. He married Mary McNeilly, also from Ballygallough, at Mountpottinger Presbyterian Church. However, again I cannot fit this family into a Tree.

There are two possible clues, the second of which might relate to my Skerry Reconstruction. First, there is a Matthew McNeilly who married Henrietta W. McIlhagga in 1913, daughter of William John. The 'W' may stand for Wilson and indicate a relationship to Henrietta Wilson who married Nathaniel Owens McIlhagga of Maxwell's Walls. Despite both of these marriages being to a McNeilly and both clan fathers being William John, they cannot be brother and sister for they are 38 years apart. It is of course possible that Henrietta W. was the daughter of William and Mary (McNeilly) and that William Junior was in fact William John Junior. I have searched for further clues in the 1901 and 1911 Censuses and in the Ulster Covenant but have drawn blanks so I remain in the dark about a family tree. Though see a reference to William John below!

The second clue is that one of the marriage witnesses for William and Mary at Mountpottinger was Mary Jane McIlhagar, who may well be the daughter of Robert McIlhagga and Mary McAtteer who are in my Skerry Reconstruction. She was born in 1849 so would have been 26 in 1875 and apparently unmarried. Presumably she was related to William. Was Robert his uncle and a brother of his father William John?

So I come to two McIlhaggar marriage registrations, both in Ballymena:

Elizabeth 1851, Vol. 2 p. 128, spouse, Robert Graham;
Esther 1851, Vol.2 p. 177, spouse Robert Whiteside.

Elizabeth I have put on my Skerry Reconstruction, as one of the offspring of John the Weaver of Lisnacrogher. They were married at Cloughwater Presbyterian Church on 21 July 1851. Elizabeth's father was John. Her witness was one William Russell, the same person who witnessed her sister Martha's marriage in 1849, also at Cloughwater Presbyterian Church. These sisters are both on my Skerry Reconstruction. Having written today about William, son of William John, and now of Elizabeth, on reflection I think the whole section under John the Weaver (Generation 3) should be seen as descendants of John and Jenny (nee McCarley) rather that of James and [Sarah].

Coming now to Esther and Robert Whiteside. In listing Generation 4 in the Reconstruction I omitted that David, son of John and Jenny must have married twice, and had an earlier family of five children as follows:

Jane, b. 1824;
William, b. 1826 who married Mary McGowan;
Eliza, b. 1827;
Esther (or Easter) b. 1830 who married Robert Whiteside in 1851 and had 5 children;
David, b. 1834 who married Maria L/F and had 3 children.

Fourthly in Ancestry we have the name M'Ilhaggar, all this time in Ballymoney Registration District. There are three marriages as follows:

Agnes, 1875, Vol. 16 p.203, spouse ?John Stewart;
William John, Jul-Sep 1883, Vol. 1 p.165, spouse Letitia Gaston;
Robert Dunlop, Jan-mar 1899, Vol 1, p.153, spouse Jane Maitland.

I comment in reverse order. Robert Dunlop I have documented fully before as Robert McIlhagga, except for the registration reference in Ballymoney. William John, who was the elder brother of Robert Dunlop, I have documented fully with respect to his marriage to Jane Burgess Anderson. They had five children. However, when JW married JB he was a Widower, and this is my opportunity to record his first marriage to Letitia Gaston, on 10 July 1883 at Ballweaney Presbyterian Church. Letitia must have died before his second marriage on 1902. I do not know the cause of her death, though it would not have been unusual if it had been in childbirth. But did they in fact have a child who lived? In the second paragraph above I said see the reference to William John below! Did he and Letitia have a son William who married Mary McNeilly? And who maybe had a daughter Henrietta W. who married Matthew McNeilly? Another speculation, but I think a reasonable one.

Finally, the third marriage in 'Ballymoney', of Agnes M'Ilhaggar in 1875. This is totally new information to me. Although registered in Ballymoney there is no evidence that she was from the same family as Robert and William. Their parents, James and Jane (nee Maitland) had nine children and it is possible that I have missed one (Agnes) but I do not think so. The registers give the possible spouse as John Stewart, but again, someone I have not heard of before. I have of course added this couple to my clan Marriage Index, in the hope that a clue will turn up to identify them further.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Skerry area

Continuing to access, my next four searches looked as if they might be related. They were for McIlhagar, M'Ilhagar, McIlhaggar and M'Ilhaggar. McIlhagar gave me two marriages, registered at Ballymena, both of which I recognised, namely:

Eliza, 1847, Vol.2 p.60, spouse Robert McCarley;
Mary, 1847, Vol.2 p.63, spouse John Auld.

I recognised both were from the Broughshane area where my own family came from. Both were married at Broughshane 1st Presbyterian Church. However, I have not been able to put either in a family tree. This fact sent me back to look at the tree which was geographically nearest to my own, the one based at Newtowncromelin (just north of Broughshane) and on which I had made a note that one set of siblings were probably in the wrong place as there was obviously a two generation gap to their 'parents'. This made me write down, with dates, all the people I knew about from the area (the civil parish of Skerry) and then group them in generations, making the assumption (right or wrong) that they would have a common ancestor (whom I called Generation 1). Here is how it panned out (all fairly speculative at this stage, but sometimes you have to speculate!):

Generation 1: An Unknown McIlhagga, probably born about 1750.

Generation 2:
James (born about 1780) who might have married a Sarah or a Margaret.
John (born 1788) who married Jenny McCarley (born about 1790).
[Possibly Samuel (b.1780) and William (b.1782) on Island Magee. If these are included the Unknown of Generation 1 would be their father James].

Generation 3: Four men who could be offspring of the Generation 2 James:
James (born about 1800);
William (born about 1807) who married Agnes McCosh, parents of William (b. 1829) who married Elizabeth Carson in 1851 (and who may have been witnesses at the Auld wedding - see below);    
John (born about 1810), possibly the father of Elizabeth (1830), Martha (1833), Robert (1835) and James (1836). See Generation 4 below for these.
Crawford (born about 1812, who married Martha and had a daughter Margaret (b.1833)  who married John Hill.

Generation 3: Three children who could be the offspring of John McIlhagga and Jenny McCarley of
                        Generation 2: 
William (b.1800), father of Mary (b.1825) who married John Auld in 1847;
Elizabeth (who may have been born in Kent in 1808 to a Soldier then known as John McHagga);
David (born 1806) who married Mary and had four children.

Generation 4:
William (b.1829) daur of William & Agnes, who married Elizabeth Carson;
Elizabeth (b.1830) daur of John, who married Robert Graham in 1851;
Martha (b.1833) daur of John, who married James McCrory
Robert (b. 1835) son of John, who married Mary McAteer in 1849 and had a daughter Mary Jane;
James (b.1836) son of John, who married Eliza [Rogers] and had 5 children.

Margaret (b.1833) daur of Crawford & Martha, who married John Hill and had seven children (1855-1877);
Mary (b.1825), daur of William, who married John Auld in 1847;
Eliza (b.1828), daur of Eliza(beth), who married Robert McCarley in 1847;

Isabel (b.1835), daur of David and Mary, who married Henry Fortney and had a son James Henry in 1863;
John (b. 1840, d. 1841) son of David and Mary;
John (b. 1845) son of David and Mary;
George (b. 1849) son of David and Mary.

I am offering this analysis simply as a working hypothesis for the clan relationships in the Civil Parish of Skerry, in the Broughshane and Newtowncromelin area of County Antrim. I will continue to look at M'Ilhagar, McIlhaggar and M'Ilhaggar next time.

Monday, 10 September 2012

National Family History Fair

Chris Paton's audience

On Saturday last I took myself, for the first time, to the National Family History Fair in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the north east of England. For me it was an hour's train journey. The ticket, which I bought in advance on line, said 'a short walk from the station'. Twenty minutes later I found myself at The Premier Inn next to the Laing Art Gallery. As I arrived I bumped into Dr. William Roulston from Ulster who was to give the first of three talks. William is on the staff of the Ulster Historical Society and I recommend his book, Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors, The Essential Genealogical Guide to Early Modern Ulster, 1600-1800

I couldn't attend the first two lectures as I had promised to help on the stall being run by The Guild of One Name Studies. It was interesting to meet the other three members also staffing the event and the constant stream of people with queries about their names. Fortunately we had software available on screen called The British 19th Century Surname Atlas which can display (and print) maps and statistics for any surname or forename which is in the 1881 Census. It's well worth the £15 it costs for the CD. I was particularly pleased to meet one man who commended the talk I gave a couple of years ago in Berwick-upon-Tweed on my own genealogical research.

After grabbing a quick sandwich I did go to the afternoon talk by Chris Paton on Scottish Ancestry. I told Chris that a read his very informative blog called GENES (GEnealogy News and EventS), which is where today I found the photograph above of the audience at his talk, including yours truly on the back row. I'm the handsome one with the beard! As he didn't tell us he was taking it, I'm afraid I haven't asked his permission to reproduce it! Chris was telling us how to Discover Scottish Family History. It was a fascinating and amusing gallop through 29 websites in about 40 minutes to illustrate both the similarities and the differences to researching in other countries. Fortunately he gave us a hand-out with all the URLs listed.

I had time for just one quick walk round all the other exhibitors and was able to introduce myself to the folk from the Northumberland and Durham Family History Society which is based in Newcastle though has branches throughout the two counties. For my sins (as they say) I am the Chairman of the North Northumberland Branch. I look forward to the first talk of the new season next week. It is on Sheep Farming in the Cheviots. But to be honest, the value in belonging is as much for the opportunity to meet others who are just as addicted to the hobby!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Ten M'Ilhaga entries

My next set of records on were registrations. First, four deaths for M'Ilhaga. Now I have a Family Tree for Nathaniel and Ellen McIlhaga/e (not the Carnmoney Nathaniel and Ellen) with appropriate birth dates in the mid-late 1820s, who had a son James born mid-1840s who married Rebecca Johnston and had six children including Wilson and Samuel. I did not however have any death dates for them. But the four from Ancestry fit the bill and add significantly to our knowledge. They are:

Ellen, born about 1826, death registered Jan-Mar 1886, age 60 at Belfast (Vol.1 p230);
James, born about 1844, death registered Jan-Mar 1899, age 55 at Belfast (Vol.1 p2217);
Wilson, born about 1881, death registered Jan-Mar 1907, age 26 at Belfast (Vol.1 p220)
[actually born 30 Dec 1880 at 59 Preston St, Eglington, Belfast];
Samuel, born about 1892, death registered Apr-Jun 1893, age 1 at Belfast (Vol.1 p184)
[actually born 7 Jun 1891 and baptised 27 Jun 1891].

There were also four marriages  and two births listed under the spelling of M'Ilhaga. Of the four marriages I already held the details of Samuel marrying Grace V. Marrs (Registered 1874 Belfast, Vol.16 p405) and William John marrying Norah Wellwood (Registered 1908 Belfast, Vol.1 p284), both with the surname McIlhaga. I also held details of Nathaniel Owens marrying Henrietta Wilson (Registered 1866 Belfast Vol.16 p477) though with his usual spelling McIlhagga (so do we have here a transcription error, so very frequent in Ancestry?). However, the fourth registration is quite new to me. It is for John M'Ilhaga in Belfast (Vol.16 p493). Whom did he marry? There were a selection of possible surnames for a spouse in the Register - C/Green, Dugan, Hamill, Loughran and Owens. My guess is Owens, simply because this family has cropped up before. If anyone can enlighten me I'd be most grateful.

Finally there were two births, first William John Marrs M'Ilhaga, registered in Belfast in 1877 (Vol.11 p249). This I knew as part of the McIlhaga family descended from William John (born 1879) - though who was his father? Second there was Jane, registered in Belfast 1889 (Vol.1 p236). She belongs to the 'other' McIlhaga family and was the daughter of James and Rebecca McIlhaga. She was to marry Thomas Robinson in 1908 and have a large family.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Phone Books

On I was able to look at Phone Books from 1880-1984. No clan names appear before 1920 when the first two appeared in Ireland. Subsequent years added 1921-1, 1924-1, 1926-1, 1929-2, 1930-1, 1931-1, 1934-1, 1939-1, 1941-1, 1946-4, 1949-1, 1950-1, 1953-1, 1955-1, 1957-1, 1963-3, 1968-4, 1970-1, 1972-6, 1972-3, 1975-3. In the Non-Ireland Directories there were 1946-2, 1947-2, 1967-1, 1969-1, 1971-1 1972-1, and 1977-1.

The following entries are particularly interesting because they indicate what commercial concerns people were involved with (all Belfast unless otherwise stated):

McIlhagga & Co. Oil Merchants, 84 Gt. Patrick St, 1920-1932;
W.J. McIlhagga, Flax Merchant, 6 Commercial Ct, 1920-1928, 18 Donegall St. 1929-34, 1 Exchange Pl, 1935-36, Flax & Hemp 44 Donegall St. 1937-39, Maxset Manufacturer 1940, Cosmetics, 40 Donegall St. 1946-50;
Geo. R. McIlhagga, Importer, Stock Buyer, 11 College St, 1924-28, 180 North St, 1929-32, Cutlery 1933-38, General Merchants 1940, Agent 22 Peters Hill 1944-47;
Henry McIlhagga, Glass, Paint Merchant, Ribble Paint, 22 Peter's Hill, 1949-60, 3 Dayton St, 1961-75;
W.J. McIlhagga, Fruiterer, 204 Ormeau Road, 1930-36;
J.W. McIlhagga, Seed Merchant, 91 Dublin Rd 1946-58;
J. McIlhagga, Pet Shop 91 Dublin Rd 1959, 105 St. Victoria St. 1960-73;
G.E. McIlhagger, Pharmaceutical Chemist 1931-45;
Mrs. E.L. McIlhagger, Duncairn Gardens Post Office, 1946-47;
Thomas McIlhagga, Commn. Agent, Alexander Tce, Bushmills 1946-7;
J.W. McIlhaga, Forwarding Agent, 20 Canning Place, Liverpool 1947-50, 80 Duke Street, Liverpool 1951-72.

In addition there are 41 private addresses and telephone numbers which I am happy to look up if anyone asks for the information (addresses only, not phone numbers).

R and J 'McIlhaga' had two records of men in 1917 with the surname McIlhaga, first Robert an Able Seaman and 'J' a Soldier. Robert was in a Crew List on the ship RMS Niagara leaving Vancouver and arriving Honolulu, Hawaii on 13 June 1917. He had in fact been engaged at Sydney, New South Wales, on 10th May. Robert's surname was really McIlhagga and I wrote about him on 14th July 2009 when I mentioned the ship Niagara. He eventually made Sydney his married home ten years later. He must have liked what he saw in 1917.

'J' McIlhaga was 435607 Private McIlhaga of 22nd Battalion, D Company (Canadian Infantry?), also on a ship, Essequibo, being transferred from engagement in the First World War to Canada, presumably his home. The only 'J' who fits other information I have was Joseph McKee McIlhagga who ten years later was to marry Catherine Walker Ross. In 1917 Joseph would have been 25. My notes on him say he attained the rank of Colour Sergeant, though that may have been a temporary 'Acting' rank.

The 1917 information I have comes from a Nominal Roll of NCOs and men who embarked at Liverpool on 19th February for Canada. The list makes very sad reading for the 41 men listed were suffering from a range of injuries from amputations and shrapnel wounds to shell shock. Several injuries were marked 'Mental', including that of J. McIlhaga who had been diagnosed with Neurasthenia, a term used to indicate the exhaustion of the central nervous system's energy reserves, exactly what one would expect of someone who had had to face the horrors of trench warfare in France. Incidentally, 'J''s name, if he were Joseph, was also McIlhagga.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

M'Elhaga, MacHago, MacHagan

In the 1880 US States Federal Census there is a married couple, Henry and Jennie M'Elhaga whose home is 'Tilghmanton, Washington, Maryland'. Henry worked on a Coal Boat and Jennie 'keeps house'. Henry's parents were born in Virginia and Jennie's in Maryland. I have not come across them before. Henry was 24 and Jennie 19, so would have been born about 1856 and 1861 respectively. Can we hazard a guess about Henry's father? He could have been born about 1830 and if Henry was right that his father was born in Virginia we have to go back to his grandfather (at least) to find a generation which emigrated probably from Scotland or Ireland. That takes us back to 1800-1810, and of course Henry could have been named after his grandfather. If Henry was wrong and we are looking for someone who was just in the USA at the time of Henry's birth, then we are looking at 1855.

There is no known Henry McElhaga from the beginning of the 19th Century who emigrated to the USA and the only known Henry from that time was in Maxwell's Walls, County Antrim and as far as I know farmed there all his life. Of course the name may not be important but the date may be. We know of a Richard McElhago (also at least once spelled McElhaga) born 1832 in Ayrshire, Scotland, who was on ships' crews around the world in the mid-19th Century. In 1855 he was in Australia and in 1878 in the USA. In 1855 he was on a ship from Quebec, so had he fathered a child before he left, namely Henry? Did he return in 1878, when he was a passenger, not crew, to try to meet up with him? I'm afraid this is stuff of fiction, not fact, but I'm afraid I have no other lead! I have put Henry and Jennie in my chart of Censuses and who knows? Another reference to them may appear at some stage.

We might remind ourselves of when Virginia has cropped up before in this blog. in 1859 Edward McHago was born there. In 1856 John McHago (son of James and Margaret) married Ann Rieley there. In 1874 Frances A. McHagg (probably daughter of Thomas) married Thomas Bishop there. None of these references seem to relate to Henry and Jennie M'Elhaga. Nor do they seem to relate to Paule MacHago whom I also found in the Ancestry records. He was 20 when the 1880 Census was taken, so was born about 1860 in California. In 1880 he was living in 'Kaweah and Mineral King, Tulare, California'. He was a Sheep Herder. His father was from California and his mother from Mexico.

Now there is a further Virginia reference in the 1880 US Census. There is a family of four in Missouri, headed by 55 year old widow Mary MacHagan (so born 1825).  She was born in Missouri. She married an Englishman but her parents were both from Virginia. I do not know her maiden surname though the first name of her third son may give us a clue. Their home was in St. Louis, St. Louis (Independent City), Missouri. Mary's occupation was Housekeeping. Her three sons (all single) were Charles 24 (b. 1856, Missouri), Stone (?Mason); William 22 (b. 1856, Illinois), Clerk; and Clinton 16 (b. 1864, Missouri).

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Searching on the Internet

Six months ago I bought a copy of the family history programme called Family Tree Maker because it was the cheapest way to have six months access to ''. In the past couple of weeks I have spent a lot of time retrieving all the information on offer related to our clan names - not only the main ones but all the variants I could think of - and have been surprised by the results. One thing I have learned is that some results are 'hidden' behind ways of writing a name like ours, which at first one might not think of. If, for example, you can't find the information you expect by putting in the name  (say) McIlhagga, first try spelling variations like McIlhaga and McIllhagga &c, but equally important try M'Ilhagga, MacIlhagga and Mc Ilhagga (this last one with a space between Mc and Ilhagga). You will be surprised what is there.

I will share my results over the coming weeks, though first I must note that there was some information to which I did not have access (without further expense) because it was reserved for those who had a World (not just a UK) Subscription, so, for example, I was denied information on the following:

Mary J. McAlhagga, Michigan, US City Directories;
Tim M'Ilhage, Illinois, US School Yearbooks (with photo);
McIlhagey family, Hamilton, Ontario in 1901 Census of Canada;
Andrea McIlhagey, Michigan, US Public Records Index Vol.1;
Samuel R. McIlhaggar & Elizabeth McIlhaggar, both died 1972, Australian Cemetery Index 1808-2007;
S. McIlhaggart, Canadian Phone Books 1995-2002;
McIlhagger, Australian Electoral Rolls and Marriages & Deaths;
John McIlhagger, 1911 Electoral Roll for Christchurch North, New Zealand;
S. McIlhagger, Sydney Australia Directory 1927/8;
MacIlhagger, 1906 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan & Alberta;
McIlligan family in 1930 US Federal Census for Barnstable, Mass;
Mary Ann McIlligan, marriage in Rainy River, Ontario;
Charles McIlligan, US Directory of California;
Jan McIlligan, US Public Records, MI;
McIllhagga in Australian Electoral Rolls;
McIllhagga, Military Records of Canada & NSW Australia Directories;
Shawn A. McIllhagga, US Public Records;
Samuel McIlhaggs, 1937 Electoral Rolls, Wimmera, Victoria, Aus;
William MacIlhagga, 1936/7 Electoral Rolls, Darling, NSW, Aus;
Ina MacIlhagga, 1930 US Federal Census, Erie, New York;
MacIlhagga in Australian Marriages;
C. MacIlhagga in Canadian Phone Books;
George Mc_Elhago, New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957.

I have listed the above in case any reader of this blog does have access to any of these records and can share them with us. However, they are but very few compared to the records which were available. I'll begin next time with the names M'Elhaga, MacHagan and MacHago.