Thursday, 1 May 2014


A few days ago I looked at the life of Great-Grandad George MANSELL. Today it is the turn of his father, William. The eldest son of George and Mary (possibly nee LEES or EVANS – I have two contenders here), Great-Great-Grandfather William was baptized on this day in Wellington, Shropshire in 1815.

I should clarify here that before civil registration was introduced in the UK in 1837, records were kept by the Church. The purpose of these registers was to record the date of baptism of a child, not its birth date. Sometimes you will find that the date of birth has also been mentioned, but this was purely arbitrary. This can be confusing when several children in the family were baptized together; unless the parish clerk has been thoughtful enough to also include dates of birth it can be difficult to work out the birth order in the family.

When he was 21 William married Elizabeth ARCHER on 16 October 1836 in Eyton Upon the Weald Moors and they had 9 children together. Census returns for 1841-1891 give a quite clear picture of what was happening during the course of Williams life.

For the first two decades of their married life William and Elizabeth lived in Ketley and raised their 9 children on the income William earned labouring in the coal and iron works nearby. As soon as their sons were old enough, at the age of 12, they too began labouring at the iron works.

At some stage between 1861 and 1868 the Mansell family moved across country to Stockton on Tees as the iron industry there exploded in the second wave of the industrial revolution.

For the next 20 years, William continued labouring to support himself and his family. After the death of their daughter-in-law in 1870 and their son George’s subsequent remarriage in 1874 to G-Grandma Eliza Ann LLEWELLYN, William and Elizabeth raised their grandson William James.

William died at the age of 79 and was buried in the Oxbridge Cemetery in Stockton on 18th December 1894. 

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