It easy to jump to incorrect parents when matching names. This is especially true when online records are scarce as is the case with Irish records. For George Halliday, it is still a research in progress.
On both his marriage certificates, he listed his father as James. His mother was listed as Sarah Parker on his Scotland marriage certificate. Although George did have miscommunications about names (see blog post on updating Alice), as his youngest daughter was named “Sarah Parker Halliday” it would seem correct that his mother’s name was Sarah Parker.
We can be certain, however, that the James Halliday and Sarah Parker who moved to Australia in 1841 are not the parents of George Halliday. This couple immigrated under the bounty immigration program where they were assisted immigrants. That means that their passage was at least partially paid to Australia by the government to settle there. They would not / could not have had a daughter in 1842 in Australia, gone back to Ireland to have a son George in 1843, then returned to Australia to have another daughter in 1844. It is also unlikely that they would have emigrated to Australia with their son aged five, but not their two year old, which is what George would have been at our earliest estimated birthdate of 1839. In addition, his mother is indicated as deceased in 1872 when he married Jessie Cochrane, whereas the Sarah Ann Parker/Halliday in Australia did not die until 1873.
It is possible that Solomon Halliday (1832) and Eliza Halliday (1835) are siblings of George. They were both born in Ireland and living in Preston. Solomon and his wife Elizabeth stood up for George at his first wedding.
George and Solomon both had a father named James, were both born in Ireland and they were both cattle dealers in Preston. It would seem unlikely that there were two separate unrelated James Hallidays with sons moving to the same place from Ireland, having the same occupation and connecting strong enough that one would stand for another at his wedding.
George listed his father as a labourer on the date of his first wedding in 1860 and a provision merchant on the date of his second marriage in 1872. On his death, his wife listed George’s father as a cattle dealer. Both Solomon and Eliza have listed their father James as a weaver in 1854 and 1855 respectively. In Eliza’s second marriage in 1867 she listed her father as a labourer, which is in line with George.
Eliza’s third son is named George.
Research is still ongoing…