• Another LennonWylie Lost Collection photo - Gilliland

  • Album - "Presented to Maggie Gilliland on her marriage, by her brother. 11th October 1883 Tom Gilliland"


There's a Margaret Gilliland who got married on the 11th Oct 1882 in the 1st Comber Presb. Church to a James Bennett. One of the witnesses was a Thomas Gilliland and he wasn't the father so could be a brother. This is also mentioned in the Belfast Newsletter dated 16th Oct 1882 - the father Richard Gilliland is a farmer from Troopersfield or Trooper's Field (townland officially called Trooperfield) , Comber, Co. Down.

While circumstantially promising, the year is out by one. However, you can see that the year on the note is in a different pen and may have been added later by someone that got it wrong or misremembered it. Curiously, the newspaper record on Ancestry is also marked as 1883 but it is clearly an 1882 newspaper. Furthermore, there are no marriages apparently on record for a Margaret Gilliland getting married in 1883.

  • If she was 21 or thereabouts when married, her birthdate will pre-date the ~1864 civil registration records

  • There are 30 Maggie Bennetts on the 1901 Irish census - but could also be Margaret.

  • As she would have been circa 40 and married to a James this narrows it down to this couple in Snakee, Co. Cavan but this doesn't look like a good candidate.

  • No Bennett birth certs with Gilliland mother - at least by search parameters but not all certs have the mother transcribed so a manual check is needed.

  • Manual check - Bennett births in 1883-1890 in Newtonards district to start with. There are 31 records

  • Found Isabella Bennett - born 7th July 1883, Trooper's Field - Mary Jane Gilliland grandmother witness. All looks consistent.

  • Isabella would be 17/18 at time of 1901 census.

  • This is them in Belfast in 1901.

  • This is them in Belfast in 1911 - living on a street I know very well funnily enough.

Let's look for a brother for Maggie, namely Tom, to build evidence this is the correct family ( although I am actually satisfied with the marriage date alone ).

  • Can't find any Thomas Gilliland marriages with father Richard Gilliland - assuming he got married after Maggie or up to 10 years prior.

  • Need to do a manual search in all likelihood.