McGilvray / McGillivray / McIlvra Index
I'm sure you've been as frustrated with the spelling of our name as I
have. Even the pronunciation can cause trouble. When I make
dinner reservations I usually say 'McKenzie' (my mother's name)
rather than having to make 3 attempts at getting the spelling right -
and then finding they spelt it Magillery or Maguvry. Often I just
say 'spell it any way you want'.
It's as bad when doing the research. Most indexes must be checked
for McG, Mc G, MacG, Mac G, M'G, and Mag; plus of course, for
all the 25 variations of the spelling itself. Old books must also be
checked for McIlvra, McIwra and even McOlvera. I've seen it
spelt 3 different ways in the same document. The spelling was not
just a case of a Lowlander or Englishman trying to write down the
Gaelic he heard but also a matter of the sound of the name changing
over the centuries. No researcher should ignore a 'misspelling'.
To overcome this problem all McG's I found in the common data
sources, such as the Scottish Parish Registers (OPR's) were
grouped by first names irrespective of the spelling. Then all the
Alex's and Cath's, etc, were chronologically grouped. Family
groupings emerged when this data was cross-indexed by spouse,
and by place (when warranted). The results often showed a family
had moved to another, but unexpected location, or that an error had
been made in the recording of a parent's name.
The Scottish Civil Registration (post-1855) has been checked for all
McG's. I've copied all the certificates for b.'s to 1875, the m.'s to
1885, and the d.'s to 1881 plus all those b. pre 1855. (for eg. a 70
year old who d.1925). The Mormons will supply a copy of each
cert for $3 Cdn; but they have only 1855-1875, 1881 and 1891.
New Register House in Edinburgh or a Scottish researcher will
copy any cert in any year for $8-12. I will GIVE you the info,
altho I'm sure you will want to have an actual copy of the cert that
pertains to your family. But, my files can save you a lot of
frustrating and expensive searching.
My files include the 1881 Canadian and Scottish Censuses but you
can have your own CD's from the Mormons, for $8 Cdn. The
English 1881 is also on CD. But, remember the spelling problem;
altho wildcards help. Also, I've found it missed finding data that
I've seen on the fiche. Thus, if you can't find your family and
you're confident you know which county they're in; go to the
Mormon's Library and check the fiche. I'm now creating an index
of McG's on the Scottish 1851 census.
All the McG's on the Ontario, Cda Civil Registration have been
copied. Altho the reg'n began in 1869 the early years were very
spotty. Earlier church m.'s are included.
Of even more importance are the names and addresses of many
descendants who have contacted me and who would be happy to
hear from a relative. If you're lucky, this can save a lot of digging.
Luck is especially important when researching the less common
sources. The Glasgow Police Books are a good example. I found
two of my grt-grt-grd-fathers up for disorderly behavior one late
Sat nite in 1821. McG got off while Wilson was fined. :-)
More important was his address which let me determine which of
the 2 John McG's, listed in the Glasgow Porter's Book, was mine.
This in turn gave me his height and a few other specifics. I have
also been able to read the details surrounding an illegitimacy in
1707, from the Kirk Session Records, which called my ancestor to
account (but not the co-offending laird). There's lots out there.
Of course, I've found that luck often depends on the amount of hard
work and money you want to invest.
Hopefully, I will already have info on 'your' family. It's a lot easier
for me if you can supply me with a few pre-1880 spouse names.
Even if I don't have them, at least I can give you some search tips.