Thank you for your story it does help put some things into context. I think there are so many things that can scupper our Irish research, the potato famine, the Clearances, and the fire damaged census records, we are all the more positively overwhelmed when we do find a solid link :)
I too have members of family that seem to have drunk from the fountain of youth! I think further to the disasters of the Irish nations (north and south) there is the character of the Irish too that we are up against. I am sure the odd embellished age her or there was not to hinder later genealogist, more to raise their own profile.
I have some marriage data on McClurgs that does not concern my lines and I will post that in the forum, in case it is of use to others.
They were also made of stronger stuff in those days too, your tale of travel through adversity, would end up in a compensation battle these days. Instead William picked up his bag and moved on forward. Quite inspirational.
Thank you again for your comments, I look forward to the demolition of future walls :)