Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Klamatu and Blackfeet!

Sometimes one gets a real surprise. Something crops up that is totally unexpected. On 14 May last year I wrote a blog about the name McHaggart which contained some unusual things, including a Scottish Highland Shepherd's family, but nothing to compare with a note I added later to that date, that in the 1930 US Census there is a reference to a Roy McHaggart, aged 48 (so born 1882), who was resident in the Klamatu Indian Reservation in the State of Oregon. Apparently he had been born in Indiana.

Equally surprising is a second US Census reference, five years later on 31 December 1935, to James McIlhagery, a white man, living in the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in the State of Montana. No place of birth or age is given for him, and I have to admit that his surname is a variation of, or a deviation from our clan name (if indeed it is that) I haven't come across before. One might be excused for thinking that Roy or James had landed in an Indian Reservation at those dates because there happened to be a job going at the time, and that might be true for Roy, but was not so for James.

The rest of the entry, which incidentally is found in the US Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940, makes it clear what attracted James to Montana. The next name is 'wife', Violet (McGovern) aged 19, tribe Blackfoot, born 27 September 1917. Clearly she wasn't classed as 'white', though her 'maiden' name was the Scots or Irish McGovern. We must presume that her father was Scots or Irish and her mother a Blackfoot Indian. Somehow the McGoverns had become known to James McIlhagery and he had fallen in love with Violet. Maybe he was about the same age, so born about 1915. We may presume that they were married by 1934, for the third Census entry is that for their daughter, aged one, Joanne Belle McIlhagery, born 11 July 1935. Unfortunately none of the above facts about this family help me to relate them to any other members of our clan. Has anyone a family story about American Indians?

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