Robert Watters Willighan

Robert Watters Willighan birth registrat

The 2nd child of Thomas and Margaret, Robert (Bobby) was born on 15th March 1901 at 40 Hooker Street in Belfast.

 

NOTE: as you can see from the image above, he was actually registered as Milliken at birth in 1901 but the name was changed to Willighan in January 1929, two weeks after his wedding. 

 

Bobby was my great-grandfather and he was named after his father's best friend, a man called Robert Watters.

He married Sarah Porter Donaldson on the 28th December 1928 at Church of Ireland Holy Trinity Church in Belfast.

At that time he was a Sergeant (later to become Colour Sergeant) in the Royal Ulster Rifles, based at St. Patrick's barracks in Ballymena and she was a weaver. Witnesses at the wedding ceremony were his brother-in-law Robert Mullan (Esther's husband) and sister Mary Hamilton.


Sarah previously lived at 85 Cambrai St, Belfast and the couple lived for a time (as did most of the family it seems) at the Willighan family home in 86 Cambrai St before moving town and setting up home in Ballymena. After retiring from the RUR in Ballymena some time later, Bobby then worked at Braidwater Mill in the town. 


Bobby and Sarah had 6 children, Robert Jr (Bobby), Jim, Sally, Ivor, Maureen and Robin.


Robert Watters Willighan died on 8th July 1963 and Sarah died on 24th January 1985. Both are buried at Cushendall Road cemetery, Ballymena. 

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