I am happy to tell you that I have found several documents where William McElrea, husband of Mary Borland, has signed his name in a fluent signature. Two of them are on notarized leases to which he was a party for rented accomodation in Quebec city in 1842 and in 1843, before he and Mary took up land in Bourg Louis. I have also seen his signature on baptisms in church registers. I believe that sometimes ministers just assumed that Irish settlers were unable to sign their names and so did not offer them the opportunity. Of course, I have no idea as to the extent of his ability to read and write.