Friday, 29 August 2014


Oh dear. I said it wouldn't happen again and it has. Another entire month in catch-up. Here's August from 1792 to 1918...enjoy!


This day marks the wedding anniversary of maternal grandparents, Percy and Jessie GALE. No ordinary wedding anniversary but the anniversary of their second wedding; the one at which I think they “officially” came out as a married couple. As mentioned earlier (back in 2009) I have not been able to find out for sure why they married in 1916 and then again on this day in 1918, and probably never will.

This second wedding was conducted at St Clement Danes Parish Church in London. Built in 1682 by Sir Christopher Wren, this famous church was completely gutted during the Blitz and evidence of WW2 bombing is still in evidence on the outer walls. It was restored in 1958 at which time it was adapted to serve as the Central Church of the Royal Air Force. St Clement is the patron saint of mariners

St Clement Danes - about the turn of the century

This date marks the birth of my maternal Great-Great Uncle Donald MACKENZIE. Born in 1856 in Fodderty, Ross & Cromarty, he was the first son and second child of the five children born to Ronald MACKENZIE and Janet INNES.


On this day in 1900 my paternal grandparents married in Stockton-on-Tees. Ivor James MANSELL was a 24 year old Stockton born clerk; the eldest of 7 children of iron worker George MANSELL and Wales-born Eliza Ann LLEWELLYN. My grandmother, 20 year old Margaret SMALL, was one of 12 children of Scottish boiler maker Peter SMALL and Yorkshire born Margaret STEVENSON.

Exactly six months after their wedding, Ivor and Meggie welcomed their first child, a girl Margaret Lillian – my Auntie Madge. They had another 5 girls (Ivy Florence, Charlotte, Millicent, Coralinda and Rhoda) and 3 boys (Mornington, Ivor James and Peter) before their last child, my father, was born in 1919.

The family spent most of their life in the Stockton and Norton-on-Tees area through various levels of fortune. Throughout their marriage Ivor worked as a bookie, or turf commission agent and I believe his first son, Mornington, was named after the famous jockey Mornington Cannon. Ivor also worked for his builder brother in law, John SMITH as a watchman on building sites and at some stage, Ivor and Meggie also ran a small shop, possibly on Thorpe Street in Stockton .

After almost 60 years of marriage, Margaret passed away in October 1956. Ivor died just three years later. They are buried together in Thornaby Cemetery.


William Hamilton MACKENZIE was my maternal Great Uncle and he was born on this date in 1888 in London. William was the middle child of Scottish parents, John Ronald MACKENZIE and Annie Wilson HAMILTON.

William married Ellen YATES in 1929 and they had three children. He died of influenza in 1943.


Three paternal ancestors share this date.

In 1844 my Great-Great Aunt Mary MANSELL was born. Mary was the fifth of nine children to William MANSELL and Elizabeth ARCHER of Ketley in Shropshire. Sadly Mary died at the age of 2 on 9th December 1846.

On this day in 1850 my Great Grandmother Eliza Ann LLEWELLYN was born to Thomas and Eliza LLEWELLYN of Whitchurch near Cardiff.
She was the youngest of their six children and their only daughter. At some time between the 1861 and 1871 census the family moved to Stockton-on-Tees and this is where Eliza was to meet her future husband. Eliza married widower George MANSELL at the Stockton Registry Office on 17th May 1874. They had 7 children before Eliza died at the relatively young age of 49, just 4 years after her husband.

Also on this date was William James MANSELL; my first cousin once removed who was born in 1868. William was the son of my Great-Grandfather George MANSELL and his first wife Elizabeth OGRAM.  When William was only 2 years old his mother died giving birth to a daughter who sadly did not survive. When his father remarried in 1874 (to Eliza Ann LLEWELLYN – see above) William was raised by his grandparents William and Elizabeth MANSELL. He lived with them until his marriage in 1890 to Jane BELL with whom he had 8 children. William died in 1953.


In 1915 my maternal first cousin once removed was born in Blackpool. John Ronald MACKENZIE was the son of my violinist Great Uncle Ronald MACKENZIE and his wife, the opera singer Annie WALKER.  John died in 2002 in London.


On this date we travel all the way back to 1792 to my paternal Great Great Great Aunt Euphemia NIVEN. All I know of Euphemia is that she was the second child born to William NIVEN and Jean EDWARD of Forteviot in Perthshire.


My maternal Great Great Great Great Aunt Ann BROWN was born on this day in 1825. Ann was the seventh child of Mathew BROWN, mason, and Mary KING who lived in Stewarton Ayreshire.

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