Monday, 5 November 2012

Nathaniel Owens McIlhagga, 'Junior'

On the eve of the American Presidential election I can record what little we know of an emigrant to the USA. James Wilson McIlhagga of Belfast, an Oil Merchant married Sarah Jane Hoye in 1907 at St. John's, Langbank, Church of Ireland. They had two sons, Nathaniel and Robert. Robert sadly died as a teenager. Nathaniel, whose second name was Owens for his grandfather, emigrated to the USA as a teenager. His journey landed him first in Quebec on 23rd April 1927, aged 18, aboard the Cunard PS Alaunia. In the States he met and married Marjorie Adele Taylor, about whom we know a little from the fact that she illustrated a book for parents, entitled 'Mom, I'm bored'!

The Internet site has recently allowed a free Census search which has resulted in my also knowing a little more about Nathaniel Owens the second. He was born at the end of 1908 and his wife was six years his junior. In the 1940 US Federal Census he was therefore 31 and she 25. They were living at 5515 South West Corbett Street, Portland, Multomah, Oregon, and had indeed been living there at least since 1935. Nathaniel's occupation was in the Engineering Department of a Telephone Company. The Census gives us the information that he had been employed for the previous 52 weeks for a salary of $3800.

The final piece of Census information is that Nathaniel and Marjorie had no children. From my correspondence some years ago with a lady in the States I think they may subsequently have had a daughter. Nathaniel died on 25 March 1988, aged 79 and Marjorie on 31 December 1992 at almost the same age. I have a note from another correspondence that Nathaniel may have been buried in Milwalkee, Wisconsin, though I have not verified whether this is true.

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