Trying to find Archibald McAllister in Ireland after his birth about 1788?


I am looking for an Archibald McAllister (various spellings including Mac Alester) who in the 1841 Census in St Quivox, Ayrshire, Scotland is recorded as being born around 1788 in Ireland. His marriage is recorded in St Quivox. I don't have anything more precise than that. What strategy would you suggest to try and track him down in Ireland. His name is not that unusual which combined with the patchiness of Irish records means I have no real idea where to start.

EDIT: I have added the census image below - Archibald is midway down the righthand column.

Census Image


Posted 2015-09-06T19:29:35.647

Reputation: 303

1Does the marriage record give any additional information at all? Does his death or burial record give an age consistent with that on the 1841 census? Also, have you checked the 1841 census image to confirm it really does say Archibald was born in Ireland? Sometimes the transcriptions are wrong. – Harry Vervet – 2015-09-06T20:20:27.147

Did he have children whose naming pattern may lead to more likely candidates for his parents, particularly if any of them are uncommon? – PolyGeo – 2015-09-06T21:24:21.747

1Do you have an image of the marriage register, or are you working from a transcription or index? – Jan Murphy – 2015-09-06T23:48:00.873

2When and where did he die? If after 1855 and in Scotland, then his death certificate should contain his parents' names. Though bear in mind that he'd need to have told people who they were in the first place. Identifying his religion is also useful. – AdrianB38 – 2015-09-07T08:14:29.877

1@JanMurphy - I have an image of the marriage register - it is an old parish record from 1822. It only says "both of this parish" which I understand as meaning they were both resident at the time of marriage rather than that they originated there. – neil – 2015-09-07T15:10:19.180

@AdrianB38 I realise I don't have his death record - I need to search for it. However, I know he was dead by the 1851 census where his wife is recorded as a widow. As far as religion is concerned all the family records are in the parish records so I assume Church of Scotland but I may be assuming too much. – neil – 2015-09-07T15:16:41.993

@PolyGeo names are John, Thomas, Alexander and other such common names. Nothing particularly strange. – neil – 2015-09-07T15:18:34.477

@vervet Nothing on the marriage record other than "of this parish" which I think just means residency not birth. I have the census image. I interpret it as saying Ireland by an "I" in the column for foreign, Irish or English. I'll attach it to the question. – neil – 2015-09-07T15:20:36.080

His wife being recorded as a widow suggests that he might be dead, but it's not proof -- note that a woman might describe herself as widowed if her husband had abandoned her. – Jan Murphy – 2015-09-08T04:58:58.990



Most likely came from Glens of Antrim in Northern Ireland where Archibald McAlister is a very common name - there was considerable movement by sea of people from the north east coats of Ireland and Ayrshire in past times. Glens of Antrim only 12 miles from Scottish Coast at nearest point


Posted 2015-09-06T19:29:35.647

Reputation: 1