McLaren & Murray, Ballymoney 1820s

Seeking any leads on a brick wall ancestor, JAMES MCLAREN (born about 1803) and wife AGNES MURRAY (born about a1808) were said to be farmers in this area. They would have married in the mid-1820s I expect and had a son James (b.1828) who later was in a poorhouse in Paisley, Scotland (abt. 1858) and a second son John (b.1840) who became a ship's carpenter and was working in Perthshire, Scotland in the 1850s/60s. AGNES died before 1864 we believe. Searches on most of the common genealogy sites have no yielded any information, so staring to look at researching farms in the area in the hope of finding a lead.
I looked in Park’s 1817 census of the parish of Ballymoney and there were no households with the name McLaren at all. There were 3 Murrays, 1 in Mountbare and 2 in Landhead but none had a daughter Agnes.

I checked the 1803 agricultural census for north Antrim. Again no McLaren households but there was a Robert McLary in Coldough townland, parish of Ballymoney. That was the nearest I could find. You’ll find it on Bill McAfee’s site under 19th century records:

Statutory birth registration didn’t start in Ireland till 1864. Prior to that you need to rely on church records. Not all churches have records for the early 1800s and of those that do, not all are on-line. Ballymoney 1st Presbyterian has baptisms and marriages from 1817 onwards. The Church of Ireland (ie Episcopalian) has records from 1807, so if the family attended either of those churches you might find their marriage and James baptism. But there are plenty of other churches in the area, and as I said, not all have records for the years you need. To see the Church of Ireland and Ballymoney 1st records, you need to go to PRONI (the public record office) in Belfast.

Another approach might be to check Scottish Poor Law records. If your ancestors claimed under the Poor Law in Scotland (as many many Irish did), then the Poor Law file usually records their parish of origin in Ireland as well as details of next of kin there. Poor Law records for the Glasgow area are kept in the Mitchell Library. They will normally do a look up for a small fee. You might want to contact them:

There are also about 20 James McLarens in the Paisley Poor Law records, at least 1 of whom is noted as coming from Ireland. You might want to check those too:
Thank you very much for your time and effort in replying and for the information you were able to provide. It's a needle in a haystack in some regards, but every little bit helps.

I also figure in this that the name McLaren often changes form and has appeared as Mclaren and McLauren and one or two other variation.