Tuesday, 1 September 2015


Today commemorates the birth of my maternal grandfather, John Ronald MACKENZIE. Born in Fodderty Scotland on 1st September 1859 he was the third of five children of Ronald MACKENZIE and Janet (Jesse) INNES. When I told John’s story earlier (14th February) I mentioned that I was waiting for a copy of his Will and as I have now received this I’ll share what I have found here.

When John died in hospital on 14th February 1945 his Will was almost exactly 10 years old. This had been drawn up on 19th February 1935; several years after the death of his second wife Florence in 1931 and when all 5 of his children were still alive. Interestingly there was only one beneficiary of his estate.

At some time during the decade before his death John moved from his home in Welling to the Petts Wood home of his married daughter Mabel Tardiff and it is this daughter who inherited everything.

By 1945 Mabel had been married to solicitor Frederick Graham Charles Tardif for 20 years and had several children. Mabel’s younger sister Irene had been married for over 10 years and lived not far away in Welling with her husband Reginald Short. Of the three children of John’s first marriage, the two eldest were William and Ronald and I know they had been estranged from their father for many years. The youngest from this first family was my grandmother Jessie who was also well settled with her own family at the time.

So why was Mabel the sole beneficiary? Possibly simply because she had provided her father with a home in the years before he died. It may be that he had provided his other children with financial bequests during his life. It may be they benefitted when he sold his home and moved in with Mabel. We may never know.

Here is a copy of the Will –

The gross value of John’s estate was £107-14-9 which converts to about AU$8500 today.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for starting this up again, Little Sister!