Author Topic: Mary Ann Willighan and Abraham O'Neill  (Read 153 times)

Offline g.willighan

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Mary Ann Willighan and Abraham O'Neill
« on: Monday 19 June 17 00:42 BST (UK) »
Hi. I've just joined, but have been looking into our family history for a while now.

My Great-great Granny we believe came from Sion Mills, and ended up in the Belfast Workhouse in around 1875. We believe she became pregnant by an O'Neill from Ardboe. His Christian name could possibly be Abraham, born around 1830. We have found some records, but I would be very interested in anyone who has an Abraham O'Neill somewhere in their family tree.

We also would be interested to hear if anyone can trace their line back to Willighan, Wallighan, Woolaghan, Willoughan etc, especially in the Sion Mills area.

Many thanks  :D

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Offline aghadowey

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Offline g.willighan

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Re: Mary Ann Willighan and Abraham O'Neill
« Reply #2 on: Monday 19 June 17 18:04 BST (UK) »
Thank you for your kind reply.
We have this information but still can't find our Mary Ann's birth or who her parents were.
We know that her son Thomas was born in the Belfast workhouse in 1875 and as you kindly show, he was an unnamed male.
Thomas' marriage certificate does show his father being called Abraham Willighan, but we know that Mary Ann never married and put this name down as a way to make Thomas look 'legitimate' on his wedding certificate.
Through DNA testing we know that his father was actually an O'Neill from the Ardboe area, and with her citing a relatively usual name as Abraham as his father, we are hoping that an Abraham O'Neill born 1833 could be our link.
Thanks so much for your reply  :) :)

Offline hallmark

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Re: Mary Ann Willighan and Abraham O'Neill
« Reply #3 on: Monday 19 June 17 18:14 BST (UK) »
You don't say when she was born or what age she was when her son Thomas was born in the Belfast workhouse in 1875... was she 18 or 40??

Offline aghadowey

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Re: Mary Ann Willighan and Abraham O'Neill
« Reply #4 on: Monday 19 June 17 18:55 BST (UK) »
You don't say when she was born or what age she was when her son Thomas was born in the Belfast workhouse in 1875... was she 18 or 40??
Born c1842 according to death registration so about 33 when son Thomas was born if the age at death is correct.

We have this information but still can't find our Mary Ann's birth or who her parents were.
Civil registration of births started in 1864 so the only 'birth record' will be a baptism record which may or may not survive- not all do and of those that still exist not all are online.

Possibly your family tree online-
http://willighan.wixsite.com/willighan/early-tree

Offline whiteout7

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Re: Mary Ann Willighan and Abraham O'Neill
« Reply #5 on: Monday 19 June 17 19:36 BST (UK) »
Another one from the  Coty Tyrone guestbook, closer to the time your ancestress was born:
 
"Castlederg in the 1840's. William Willingham (Willahan), son of William and Isabella was baptized in the Methodist Church July 12, 1840. He and a brother and sister immigrated to the U.S. A sister, Rebecca, is my great, great grandmother, the first wife of William Magee of Meaghy. He was born in 1840 and died in 1906." http://resources.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~guestbook/cgi-bin/public_guestbook.cgi?gb=2911&action=view

I think you already know about the Castlederg Willahans, maybe going to Ireland and finding offline sources is the only way ....



 
Wemyss/Crombie/Laing (West Wemyss)
Givens/Normand (Dysart)
Clark/Lister (Dysart)
Wilkinson/Simson (Kettle or Kettlehill)

Offline g.willighan

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Re: Mary Ann Willighan and Abraham O'Neill
« Reply #6 on: Monday 19 June 17 23:17 BST (UK) »
You don't say when she was born or what age she was when her son Thomas was born in the Belfast workhouse in 1875... was she 18 or 40??
Born c1842 according to death registration so about 33 when son Thomas was born if the age at death is correct.

We have this information but still can't find our Mary Ann's birth or who her parents were.
Civil registration of births started in 1864 so the only 'birth record' will be a baptism record which may or may not survive- not all do and of those that still exist not all are online.

Possibly your family tree online-
http://willighan.wixsite.com/willighan/early-tree

Thank you aghadowey, hallmark and whiteout7.

Yes if Thomas was correct with her age at time of death, Mary Ann was born around 1842. We have consulted and visited a number of churches in the Sion Mills, Castlederg and Strabane areas. So far there have been some families found, but not specifically our Mary Ann.

Thank you aghadowey, the website you stated is my family's tree, which my husband began a few years ago.

Offline aghadowey

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Re: Mary Ann Willighan and Abraham O'Neill
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 20 June 17 08:23 BST (UK) »
Yes if Thomas was correct with her age at time of death, Mary Ann was born around 1842. We have consulted and visited a number of churches in the Sion Mills, Castlederg and Strabane areas. So far there have been some families found, but not specifically our Mary Ann.

Since Thomas is listed as Methodist in one census (and Church of Ireland in other) and the William Willigham from Castlederg was baptised Methodist, I think it would be worth checking Methodist records for Mary Ann's family.
Also, have you tried to find a baptism for Thomas in Belfast? sometimes clergy put in the name of father if child was illegitimate
What about Workhouse records?

Offline g.willighan

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Re: Mary Ann Willighan and Abraham O'Neill
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 21 June 17 22:43 BST (UK) »

Since Thomas is listed as Methodist in one census (and Church of Ireland in other) and the William Willigham from Castlederg was baptised Methodist, I think it would be worth checking Methodist records for Mary Ann's family.
Also, have you tried to find a baptism for Thomas in Belfast? sometimes clergy put in the name of father if child was illegitimate
What about Workhouse records?

I have been to the Methodist Historical Society at Edgehill College in Belfast and have found some family members, but still no Mary Ann born around 1842. We have also checked Belfast Workhouse records at PRONI, and have so far found no other trace of her, including in the Outdoor Relief Records. The only record is of her giving birth.
I will go with your advice and try to find a baptism record of Thomas and see where that leads, thank you.