Sunday, 17 March 2013


I thought that on St. Patrick's Day I might write a brief blog on the relationship of the name 'Patrick' to our clan. First, the only reference to the saint himself (apart from place names like Templepatrick and St. Patrick's Church, Kirkinriola) is to the carved tomb in St. Carthage's Cathedral, Lismore. Our interest is in the fact that one of the three figures carved on it is St. Carthage (=Mochuda, the name from which our name may derive). The other two are St. Catherine and St. Patrick. There is a photo of the tomb on this blog for 3rd February 2009.

The earliest clan reference to the name is in Ayrshire, Scotland in 1553 when Patricius McIlhagon witnessed a charter to Kennedy of Bargaltoun at Balmacclanoquan in Kyle in the 'sheriffdom of Ayr'. Finding the name Patrick in Scotland in the 16th Century does rather indicate that it may have come over from Ireland, maybe two generations earlier, if the Irish/Scottish naming pattern was being followed. This could take us back to a Patrick born in the 15th Century, say in about the 1460s. Sadly there is no known continuation of the name in the Ayrshire family, though Patrick's grandson (eldest son of Robert) whose name is not known, could have been named Patrick after his grandfather.

The next Patrick was born (or more probably baptised) in 13th October 1799 at Carnmoney, County Antrim, Ireland.This information comes from an 'individual record' in the old International Genealogical Index, a record that should have a question mark against it until verified. He was the son of Nathan and Betty McIlhaggar / McIlhagar who were married about 1783 in Carnmoney. I wish I could say that he was inheriting a clan name, but I cannot. Betty's father was Patrick McBurney as was her grandfather and great-grandfather. That is where his name came from. Nor can I say there were any subsequent Patricks in that family. I have not found any independent proof of Patrick's existence and to complicate the matter there is another son of Nathan and Betty, namely Nathan, who was baptised on the same date, 13th October 1799. There are several possible scenarios. They could have been twins. Two brother could have been baptised together (the likely scenario). The original recording on the IGI could be misleading.

We do have a couple of clan females marrying Patricks, but not subsequently having offspring who were called Patrick. Ann Eliza McIlhagga of Ballymena did have a son Hugh Patrick before she married Hugh Kelly on 1st October 1872, after which all her children took the surname Kelly, probably because Hugh was the father.

Any other references are few are far between. A Patrick Mcintagirt was a witness to a Writ at Dunbarton in 1566 and another of the same name married an Ann Ncewn in 1703 in Kenmore, Perthsire. However these are I'm afraid among the surnames I reject as clan names - see my last blog. On 20th February 1881 Patrick Kernan was born in Belfast to James K. McIlhagga and his wife Catherine. I do not know from which side of the family the name came. Finally in the 20th Century there are a couple more. A Patrick McIlhagga married a Barbara in the USA. He was born about 1967/8. And in 1989 a Jason Patrick was born to Raymond Samuel McIlhagga and Diane L. Conroy in Stockport, Lancashire, England. Should anyone be able to add to the above information I would be glad to hear from you.

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