William and Nancy McKay, Mark Street, Glenarm

I am looking for information about my Great Grandmother who lived in Mark Street, Glenarm. Nancy and her husband William. They had three children = Maggie, Patrick and Mary. Nancy died in the early 50's


New Member
I am also interested in finding more information on William and Nancy. You must be my cousin then. They are my Great Grandparents as well. I know they were on Mark St and also that Nancy's maiden name is McIlgorm which is my mother's (Eileen) middle name. There is very little information on the net unfortunately. Michael
GRONI has a death for a Nancy McKay on 29.12.1956 aged 89, registered in Larne (whose area includes Glenarm). That seems to fit with the age in the 1911 census:


Note that in 1911 William and Nancy had had 6 children of whom 4 were still alive. Their marriage was registered on 16.10.1893 in Larne. Children’s births: Jane 14.7.1894; Mary 10.3.1896: Sarah 12.6.1897; Maggie 26.7.1900; Patrick 12.5.1903 & Mary 8.8.1905. Obviously the 1st Mary is one of the 2 children that died. You can view the original certificates on-line on the GRONI website, using the “search registrations” option:


You will need to open an account and buy some credits. It costs £2 (sterling) to a view a certificate.

Family in 1901 census:



New Member
Thank you Elwyn
I have seen the same census' but have you noticed that the ages of William and Nancy (Agnes) are quite out of line with the census years? In 1911 their ages as 48 and 45 yet in 1901 (only 10 year earlier) their ages are 30 and 29? The addresses are also 7.1 vs 6.1 Mark St. I realise that there are similarities in terms of names and Maggie's age sort of fits and I know that Nancy is a nickname for Agnes but, could they be the same family with such an age difference?
It has been a real challenge trying to follow the McIlgorm side of my family before 1901.
Many thanks for pointing me in the right direction with GRONI

Kind regards

Most people in Ireland in the 1800s didn’t know their age very well. They didn’t celebrate birthdays and if officialdom asked for an age, they just guessed. So discrepancies in ages like this in the 2 surviving censuses are widespread. Same with death certificates. The age there was simply the informant’s best guess and, for someone in their 80s, it could easily be out by 10 years.

When the state pension started in 1909, you had to be 70 or over to qualify. It was the first time age ever really mattered, and the church records contain lots of letters from parishioners around that time looking for baptism certificates to prove their age, in which they say things like “I think I am between 70 and 78” and I was born in February. So I wouldn’t worry too much about the age discrepancies.

Regarding the property numbers in the censuses, houses in rural Ireland in the early 1900s did not have any numbers (save in Dublin and one or two big cities). Your townland alone was enough to identify you or get a letter delivered. The numbers you see in the censuses were the enumerators private numbering system, which varied from census to census, according to whatever route they took when gathering the information. They do not relate to any actual house number nor to the Griffiths plot numbers. In my opinion, 7.1 & 6.1 are almost certainly the same property.