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Maria and James' children

Jessie Elizabeth Oldfield/Willison (1857-1905) 


If my hunch about ‘Jessie’ being a substitute for ‘Janet’ is right, first born Jessie Elizabeth O (CR), was named after Maria’s paternal grandmother Janet/Jessie and perhaps a maternal relative, Elizabeth Brown, for whom one of Maria’s sisters was named. Four years after her father’s death, on 16 June 1875, 18 year old Jessie married lawyer’s son, Andrew Willison (1832-1907) (CR), aged 43, in Lightcliffe, York. Andrew was a Dundee oil merchant and commission agent from Broughty Ferry and this is where the couple made their home for most of their married life. Jessie died at home, The Laurels, East Newport (a suburb over the Tay from Dundee), of heart disease (nine months) and embolism (10 days). She was just 48 years old.
    Andrew died 19 months after Jessie. According to an obituary and various other newspaper items, Andrew had a “courteous and affable disposition” and had spent part of his younger life in an unspecified part of the Antipodes. He was a staunch Episcopalian, an office bearer in his church and had sung in its choir. He was a keen golfer and a founding member of the Dalhousie Golf Club. In his will is a donation to the Dundee Council of five paintings by his granduncle, George Willison, a renowned Scottish artist. The gift was to be known as the Willison Bequest. While he originally left his estate to be shared equally among his children, subsequent alterations seemed to limit the bequests to £200 each (except for Annie who was left £150, and £50 to her, at the time, only child, Frank). Later, he reduced the original bequests for James Carnegie W and John W to £100 each. Jessie and Andrew had seven children, most of whom emigrated to North America, leaving only eldest son, John, to carry on their Willison name in Dundee.

Marion W (1876-1952) was a nurse who had earned promotion to matron by the time she migrated in 1920, aged around 45. She arrived

in Seattle in September, en route to Canada. She was living in Victoria City, British Colombia in 1921 when her occupation on the census was ‘nurse’ then ‘retired’. An immigration record from 1923 noted she was a woman of private means “now engaged in charitable work” when she arrived in Washington in August. The immigration papers also record that she was five feet, eleven and a half inches tall, with brown hair and blue eyes. She named her niece, Annie, as her closest contact in Canada. From other hints, she remained single all her life, dying in North Vancouver aged 76 although a cemetery search of British Colombia finds no record of her death there. I can find no records for her at all, post-1923. She may have had a chronic ill-health condition because, in his will, her father stipulated that any monies he spent on hospital, nursing home or treatment costs should be deducted from her £200. Or perhaps this was because, being an independent woman, Marion’s father foresaw there being no husband to cover such costs.

John W (1877-1952) was the only one of the Willison siblings to stay in Dundee where he was a jute and oil merchant and commission

agent, as was his father before him. Following the Scottish (albeit not Anderson) tradition of transferring immovable property (e.g., real estate, business) to the eldest son, he inherited the family business when his father died. Further, it may be he who was the John Willison, jute and oil merchant and insurance broker, who dissolved a partnership managing Willison Forbes & Co in 1921 to continue as just Willison & Co. What we do know is that he married Williamina Marshall Wallace in Dundee in 1905.
    John seems to have had a love of cars because he volunteered to take his to France in 1914 to join the Army Service Corps and act as a driver in WWI in both France and Macedonia. In 1921, he was sued for an outstanding £125 by the Dalton Motor Company over three cars he bought from them then returned for a variety of reasons mainly to do with the company’s misrepresentation of the year of manufacture and mechanical faults. Or that his wife didn’t like it (a Sunbeam) and it wasn’t fast enough. The decision went against John; the Sheriff thought “the defender was a little apt to take somewhat exaggerated views” as evidenced by John’s counter-claim (for a self-estimated £157/10/- loss on the various deals) that was thrown out of court. That same year he was again in the court this time objecting to a Communist conscientious objector being on the Dundee Voters’ Roll. This time the court found in his favour and the man’s name was deleted.
    The inventory of John’s will totalled £12,479 when he died in 1952. His obituary says he was “an ardent Conservative who took a prominent part in the administration of Dundee Unionist Association”, earning over 100 hits between 1920-50 in Dundee newspaper archives for his Unionist office-bearing activities. The couple had four children.

John Norman W (1906-07) died of broncho-pneumonia/cardiac failure just after his first birthday.
Williamina Winifred W (1908- ). Typist Williamina married married insurance inspector, Malcolm McKenzie (1902- ) in 1932,

brother James witnessed the marriage. hints she (i) had two children, one named Ian who was born in 1954 which seems a long time after her marriage, and (ii) died in Dundee in 1996 although ScotlandsPeople has no record of this.

James Albert Edward W (1910-89). There are records of a James AE Willison arriving in 1929 to farm in Canada, arriving

back in Liverpool in 1932 and in London from Gibraltar in 1936. There are also records of a James Willison, farmer of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan but these are countered by actual records of our James’ death in Dundee in 1989 and a 1954 newspaper report of his marriage to Hilda Cook (1915-85) at the Royal British Hotel, Dundee, not to mention being at his sister's wedding in 1932 although, I suppose, it could have been he arriving back for the nuptials. JAE Willison served in the British army (with the Royal Engineers) during the 1930s, returning to active duty when WWII hostilities began. The Dundee Courier (and military records on report he was taken prisoner of war in Poland in 1940.

Cyril Andrew W (1914-15) died a fortnight before his first birthday after suffering three weeks of whooping cough then


Annie W (1879-1939) may have been the girl of that name whose scholastic achievements were reported in the Dundee Courier

in the early 1890s. Our Annie, aged a youthful 19, married William Stewart Sandeman (WSS), jute manufacturer and assistant manager (possibly in his father’s business), in November 1898, the same month WSS's father died. I have great admiration for Annie. 1907 was either her annus horribilis or the making of her. Pregnant with her daughter, she divorced WSS at the beginning of February after he had decamped to the USA. (WSS had arrived in New York in October 1906 with Ethel Davies Wears (1874-1945) and her daughter, Gwynneth, whose father was solicitor Thomas Martin Wears (1861- ). WSS and Ethel had a daughter, Stella (1908-91). According to his 1946 voter registration, he was a Republican.) Annie’s father, Andrew, died towards the end of February. Her daughter was born in mid-April 1907, the birth attended by her aunt Marion. Annie and her three children (aged eight and three years, and 5 months) arrived in Quebec in September on the SS Corinthian.
    The 1910 US census finds Annie the head of a household in Tacoma, a port city in Peirce County, Washington. As well as her children, included in her household were brothers James, George, Louis and Andrew. Annie remarried in 1916, to Robert Wingrove Lee (1884-1978) who was born in British Columbia and that is where Annie died in March 1939, in North Vancouver. Annie seems to have been a woman of intelligence, determination and courage. She had three children.

Frank SS (1899-1961) was a truck driver in the 1920s but by 1930 had joined the Long Beach Fire Department. On retirement,

he was the Fire Chief. His draft record in 1942 reports he had a ruddy complexion, blue eyes, brown hair and stood 6’2” tall. His first marriage was in North Vancouver in 1922 to Lillian Johanna Olson (1896-1996), a circumstance that meant US-born Lillian had to reapply for the US citizenship she had forfeited when she married in Canada. Frank applied for US citizenship in 1924. The couple had two children before their divorce. Frank married Lillian Alta Mae Mills (1903-98) in 1938.

Douglas SS (1923- ). According to his draft information, Douglas was physically a chip off the old block albeit one inch

taller. Things were looking a bit grim for Douglas, his mother and sister in 1940. That year’s US census reports they were “roomers” (boarders). It looks as though he was supporting his mother and sister because he was the only one of the three with an occupation, he was a carrier for a newspaper. In 1946, he married Margaret (Peggy) Louise Winn, at least I think this was the name of his bride. offers records for Peggy L Sandeman, and this was the name beside Douglas’s in the US Directories but it reverts to Margaret in the Voter Lists. Douglas had also been a fireman in the 1950s but his occupation was engineer in the 1960s. In 1970, he is alone then in 1982 he married Deanna W Veitia (1946- ). The final record offered is him living alone again in 2001-02, in San Diego, California.

Eleanor Gertrude SS (1925- ). All I have found for Eleanor is that she married Robert D Sanders, a Chevrolet salesman,

in 1944. The couple divorced in 1970.

Stanley Gordon SS (1904-1968) was a clerk when he moved to the US from Canada in 1927. When he petitioned for US

citizenship in March 1932, he was assistant manager at a refrigeration company; his naturalisation was formalised in 1933. He and saleswoman Kathrine (Kay) Reid (1905-51) married in 1930. The Stewart Sandeman boys kept getting taller, Gordon was 6’4” when he registered for the draft in 1942. At demob, he was a Lieutenant in the US Navy. Gordon married Eunice Martin Stout (1914-2000) in 1962. He was a registered Democrat voter but, curiously, I have found no voter or directory record for him post-WWII.

Nance Vera SS (1907- ). Other than several travel records, I have found no more information about Nance Vera SS than in 1937

she was a stenographer/typist.

James Carnegie W (1880-1937) arrived in Quebec in 1908, his nominated destination Tacoma. His occupation was ‘clerk’. According to his

naturalisation application, he was 6’3” with dark brown hair and grey eyes. He became a naturalised citizen in 1916. In 1913, he married Nina Rosalie Ashmann (ca1888- ) and the 1915 City Directory has them in Seattle where James was clerking at shipping merchants Balfour, Guthrie & Co. By 1930, James was a self-employed insurance agent. He died seven years later, aged 56. It looks as though Nina continued James’ client list after he died because her occupation in 1940 was insurance agent. I have found no record of children.


George Murray W (1882-1954) emigrated in 1902 and was a stenographer at Balfour, Guthrie & Co in 1903, making him possibly the

Willison family advance guard to the United States. By 1912 George had married Emily Durs Holz (1878-1940) who already had a son. The Directories do not give George’s occupation before retirement but a passport application in 1924 has him living in Vancouver, a US citizen, whose occupation was Manager, American Trading Co. Emily died in 1940 and George was living alone when he died 14 years later, aged 72 in Pierce County, Washington. George and Emily were parents of a daughter.

Margaret M W (1917-94): It looks as though the “M” was “Murray”. Margaret married John Fowler Kirner (1904-2007) in

Donald Murray Kirner (1942-93) married twice before dying comparatively young of a heart attack, aged 51. He had

married Deborah A McLarren with whom he had a daughter, Sharon.

Louis Bain W (1884-1970): while his name suggests it commemorates a relative, I have found no Louis Bain in Scottish records.

Louis first crossed into the US from Canada, heading for Tacoma, in 1905. It looks as though he may have been a seaman prior to his marriage to Mabel Inez Nolan (1889-1952) sometime in the 1910s because there are several travel records including a Louis B Willison, 4th engineer on the Craighall, arriving in Sydney in 1908. In Tacoma, he was a machinist at Todd Drydock & Construction, a shipworker (1920) and later a watchman then an electrical engineer. In 1935, his occupation was chief engineer at the Department of Public Utilities. After Mabel’s death, Louis married a second time, aged 74 in 1958, to 67-year-old Florence Ferris (1891-1970) who had been widowed twice before. Louis and Mabel had two children.

Virginia Nell W (1917-2002) was a clerk before she married George W Thorpe in 1940. The only other information I have is

that she married a second time, to James T Ericksen (1911-2004), in 1986. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, US records are not as freely available as other countries. Very few seem to have been digitised so that clicking through a trail to confirm I’m on the right one has not been possible. As well, documentation such as marriage records do not carry as much information as those of other countries so that not even the ages of the couple are recorded, never mind details about parents, country of birth, occupation, etc.

Robert (Bob) Louis W (1919-78) was a mill worker in 1939 and married Eleanor W Stillwell (1920- ) in 1940. He was a private in

the US Navy Wing Service Squadron Four but while there are copious war records they tell us no more than this. He may have been in the Lions because a Robert L Willison was president of the Hyndman-Londonderry (Maryland) branch in 1972 but, given he otherwise seems to have spent his life in Washington state, it is unlikely. I have found no mention of children. He died in Snohomish, Washington.

Andrew W (1888-1966) arrived in New York in 1907. He, too, was a clerk, and at the time of the 1910 census was a bookkeeper

at the Tacoma branch of the Bank of California. Between publication of the 1914 and 1915 Directories, he married Olive Sargent Derrickson (1889-1958) and, by the time of the 1930 census, they were parents of four daughters and a son. Whether he knew of the link to his great-grandfather David, Andrew also was a banker. He and Olive were living in Petaluma, California, by the 1950s and this was where Andrew died in May 1966. Olive had died in Vincenza, Italy, while on holiday.

Helen Marion Willison/Baker (1916-2001). In 1936, Helen was a cashier, in 1939 a clerk at what looks like the Karlen-Davis

Library. That same year, she married Arthur Winton Baker (1915-98) who in later years was in real estate. He may have used his second name, in 1977 his entry in the Petaluma city directory was A Winton Baker. I have found no record of their having had children.

Jessie Olive Willison/Swift (1918-91) was a stenographer before her marriage to Kenneth Anderson Swift (1912-2004) in

1944. The couple had four children, the only one named in is Norman (1953-54) who died in infancy. None of the links offered information about Kenneth’s occupation.

Betty Jean W/Garrison/Lewandowski (1920- ). An obituary for her sister, Louisa, refers to Betty and brother-in-law Wally

Lewandowski of Sun City, Arizona where there are phone directory records for Walter J and Betty Lewandowski. Then I noticed in her mother’s death report that she had been Mrs Betty Garrison in 1958 and found marriage records for a Betty Jean Willison and Lloyd Norman Garrison (1917-2007). The couple divorced, he remarried in the 1970s.

Louisa May Willison/Blackwell (1925-2006). Louisa’s husband was William Henry Blackwell (ca1922 - ), about whom I know

no more. From Louisa’s obituary “Mrs Blackwell was loved by all who knew her. She was a world traveler, serving her country for 33 years with the Department of State”. Her parents had been visiting Louisa in Vicenza, Italy, when her mother died, presumably Louisa was on a posting at the time. Her obituary goes on to list her descendants. Other than her children, she had four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Ronald S B (1953- ). I have found nothing about Ronald S B. Several men of this name are in the US marriage records

but there are no identifying details to guess whether one might be ours. In Louisa’s obituary, Ronald is mentioned without reference to a spouse.

Brenda L B (1956- ) married Danny F Webb (1955- ) and that is the sum total of my knowledge about the couple.
Donna Susan B (1959- ) married Timothy (Tim) Wray, ditto.  

Andrew Willison VI (1931-83) served with the US navy in the Korean war. He married Helen Elizabeth Simrell ( -1999) in

1958, the couple divorced in 1969. hints they had two children. In 1978, his occupation was an engineer technician for the Santa Rosa, Ca., council. His US Veterans’ gravestone is in the San Francisco National cemetery.

Marion Vida Oldfield/Stone (1858-1935)



Marion (CR) married William Gregrach (Loch) Stone in Leeds in April 1886. Loch was an accountant at their marriage, an engineer on Marion’s death registration in 1935, and an accountant on their daughter’s (Bessie) death certificate in 1968. Marion and Loch had twin daughters in August 1888. In records thereafter, she is widowed. I assumed that Loch had died - he may have done - but at that time ‘widow’ was used by women whose marriages had ended. Marion’s niece, Annie Willison, had titled herself ‘widow’ after her divorce until remarrying. With this in mind, I have kept a record of a Mr LG Stone, a married man travelling alone, on the City of New York arriving in New York on 7 May 1891 although there is absolutely nothing to say this is our Loch Stone, or that, if it is our Loch Stone, that the couple had separated. However, to muddy the waters, he may have been going ‘home’ because a William Gregrach Stone (how many people of that name could there be?) had applied for US citizenship in Montana in October 1884, vowing to renounce his UK citizenship. As always with US records, there is no information about the applicant’s age, place of birth, or other vital details.
    Marion and her daughters were living with her mother, Maria, in Louisa Terrace in 1901 before her address was Grove Road, Broughty Ferry, in 1911. (It could well be the same house because her daughter’s testimony gives her address as Louisa Terrace, Grove Road.) She was still there when she died, over two decades later. She had remained a widow and was a woman of independent means her whole life, as were her daughters. The Dundee Courier reported her estate, at probate, to be £1,428/16/3. Josephine and I found her name on the family headstone in Barnhill Cemetery. Her epitaph, under that of her mother, reads “ and their daughter Marion Oldfield/Died 8th November 1935/wife of the late William Stone/Interred at Buenos Ayres”, so clearing up the loose end of his final whereabouts if not his absence from the official record after the birth of his daughters.









Marion Stone.jpg

Dorothy Marion S (1888-1948) was staying with her aunt

Evelyn Oldfield/Bruce-Austin in Fulham, London, for the 1911 census. Also there was her cousin Nora Bruce Dixon. The only other glimpse I have of her is when she provided evidence to the investigation of the famous 1912 murder of wealthy Broughty Ferry woman, Jean Milne. Dorothy had seen her in Dundee on the last known afternoon of Ms Milne’s life and could describe her clothes to the police. Dorothy died on 17 February 1948 in Astral House, Gray Road, Liff and Benvie, of cardiovascular disease/chronic myocarditis which, Wikipedia tells me, is inflammation of the heart muscle.


Elizabeth Lyon (Bessie)(1888-1968). I have found little

about Bessie other than in several Dundee Courier public notices (1904-1907) about the success of Dundee High School pupils where she was listed for her achievements in writing, art, singing and gymnastics. She remained independent and was with her mother when Marion died of probable heart disease mid-morning on 8 November 1935. Bessie herself died at the end of 1968 of uterine cancer.


Louis Anderson O (1860-1897)



Maria’s first son, Louis (CR), lived a short but fullish life. In 1871, three months after his father’s death, he was at boarding school in the parish of Kippax, Yorkshire. On the 1881 census, 21-year old Louis was a law student; in 1882, he arrived in Quebec on the Nova Scotian, his occupation labourer. This seems a massive change in circumstances for which I have found no explanation. He and younger brother, James, were still in Canada in 1891, their occupation ‘druggist’, their religion Methodist. They both sailed to England in 1892 on the Parisian, then Louis (chemist) returned to the US on his own in 1893 on the Siberian intending to practise in Brooklyn. But in 1896, he was a gardener in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where he died prematurely in April 1897, leaving his effects (£336/11/-) to his sister, Marion Stone. From this I’m assuming he didn’t marry.


Eveline (Evelyn) O (1861-1930)



Evelyn (CR) married Piercy Griffith Bruce-Austin (1855-1919) in 1889, in Leeds. His occupation was “clergyman”, hers “lady” although the dreaded CR reports she was a governess prior to her marriage. Piercy’s father, Preston, was also a clergyman and, going by the announced conferral of a Bachelor of Laws degree in 13 February 1857’s London Evening Standard, a lawyer. The Bruce-Austins appear to be a prominent family, particularly in the church and in the affairs of the British colony of Barbados. In 1889, Piercy was appointed one of Her Majesty’s chaplains in the Presidency of Bengal so presumably Evelyn accompanied him to India for the duration, which may have been upwards of 20 years. His entry in the 1897 Clergy List has him going from the position of curate at ‘All SS. St. John’s Wood’ to ‘chaplain, Bengal eccles. at Dinapur and Bankipur 1889-92; Shillong 1893-6; Kamptee 1896- ‘. There is no record of them in the UK until 1910 when Piercy is on the London city directory and Evelyn is named as her brother’s (James) nearest relative on the New York passenger list. Her address was 42 Comeragh Road, Kensington, as it was at the 1911 census. Piercy, “retired chaplain”, died in 1919 leaving an estate of £1,630/2/11 to Evelyn who lived another 11 years until her death in May 1930. Probate of her estate of £965/7/5 was to her brother-in-law, Brigadier-General Elliott and to a sister-in-law, Vera. Although hints at a son, Charles ( -1933), there is no record of his, or any, birth to the couple (Piercy’s brother, Charles Bruce-Austin, died in 1933. His death may have been mistakenly ascribed to a supposed son of Evelyn and Piercy). Probate of both their estates does not mention a son.


Florence (Florry) O (1862-1899)



Florry (CR) married Albert Edward Dixon (1865- ), a maltster, in Leeds on 30 April 1887 (when their daughter, Nellie Irene, married in 1915, his occupation was linen merchant). The 1891 census has the expanding family living with Florry’s father-in-law, William Dixon, a contractor for army supplies. Florry died in 1899, around the time her youngest child was born, so I’m assuming the two events were linked. The family was still living with William Dixon in 1911; William was now a man of private means, Albert a commission agent. Unlike the Willison family, there are few records about the lives of Florry’s children.


Evelyn Mary D (1888- ). Thanks to hints, I thought Evelyn had married joiner Percy Arthur Stinchcombe in 1909.

However, time has now allowed publication of probate of sister Nora’s estate. In 1947, probate was to Evelyn, whose marital status was ‘spinster’. Apart from this record, the only other possible sightings are from British Postal Service Appointment Books where Evelyn M Dixon was a telephonist in Loughborough in 1912 and a typist in Hertford in 1938. While these may not be her, clearly our Evelyn was still alive in 1947. An Evelyn Mary Dixon was cremated in Northamptonshire in 1959 but I have no more information about this person.


Florence Nora Bruce D (1892-1947) remains a mystery, other than a sighting in 1911 when she was staying at her aunt Evelyn’s with

her cousin, Dorothy Stone. She lived an independent life with probate of her £206/6/11 estate awarded to Evelyn Mary Dixon, spinster.


Irene Nellie D (1894-1947) married grocer Alfred Woolrich in 1915. When Nellie died in Manchester, probate was to Alfred, of no

occupation. Again, I can find no record of any children.


I have found little for Bessie D (1898-), other than she was alive for the 1901 and 1911 censuses. There is a 1939 English register that

has Evelyn M Dixon, born 1888, performing unpaid domestic duties in Cheshire living with Bessie Dixon, born in 1897, who is a tearooms waitress.

James Oldfield D (1899-1976) has left a bit more of a paper trail. His WWI service records show

that when he signed on at Seaforth, Lancashire, he was a farm labourer, aged 18, living with his sister Nellie. The next record is his migration to Western Australia in 1938. His occupation then was tractor driver but by 1943 he was a machinist living in Perth’s western suburbs (the prestigious suburbs on the coastal side of the Swan River that are the natural habitat of Perth’s rich and famous). With only a slight deviation to the bush (Canning) later that decade, James stayed in the same Perth area for the rest of his life, his occupation becoming moulder’s assistant. It doesn’t look as though he ever married or had children although his plaque reads "in loving memory" so there may have been intimate or social friends who mourned his death. He died in October 1976 – three months before we migrated to Perth - and is memorialised in Perth’s Karrakatta Cemetery.

Dixon memorial_edited.JPG

Ellen Mary O (1864-1941)



Ellen (CR), whose name feeds my fantasy about her Bain grandmother’s birth, married Gilbert Sutherland McDowell Elliot (1863-1937) in 1893. GSMcDE was born in Poonah, India, but in 1881 was a gentleman cadet boarding at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich. In 1901, Major GSMcDE (now of the Royal Engineers), Ellen and their expanding family were staying at 1 Esplanade, Dover, on census night. By 1911, he had advanced to colonel and the family was in Bedfordshire.      

GSMcDE travelled alone to Canada in 1921, courtesy of the British Overseas Settlement scheme that was established for WWI

veterans. He apparently was intending to settle and farm in British Columbia. The Wiltshire Times (16 July 1921) announced what looks like an entire household’s contents to be sold by auction on behalf of a Brigadier-General Elliott which implies that, if it was our Brigadier-General GSMcDE, his family would be travelling with him or were already living elsewhere. Ellen’s address was c/- 16 Charing Cross, London. A newspaper columnist, writing 'The Rendezvous' in the Hull Daily Mail, quipped “I believe it would be quite safe… to say that if one waited long enough at 16 Charing Cross (Messrs Cox and Co.), one would see the whole of the British Army - past and present” (14 March 1922). Cox & Co was a private bank and army agency that offered a range of financial and other administrative services to enlisted personnel.

The emigration endeavour was not permanent. Ellen and GSMcD were living at 44 Upper Mall, Hammersmith in 1931. GSMcDE

died in Buckinghamshire, England, in January 1937, at Teviot Hache Way where Ellen and daughter Florence were living in 1939 and where Ellen died four years later. Probate was awarded to the Public Trustee. His headstone reads “In Proud/And Affectionate/Memory of Brigadier General/Gilbert Sutherland/McDowell Elliot, CBE, RE/18 March 1863-12 Jan 1937” followed by “Also of/Ellen Mary/Wife of the above/Who died December 26 1941”. In the 1939 voters’ register, Ellen’s occupation was “incapacitated”. Probate of her estate two years later was to Gilbert Oldfield Elliot captain HM army.


Mary E (ca 1894- ) was born at Aros, Isle of Mull, she was a school pupil in 1911 - and that is the extent of my knowledge of her.


John E (ca 1895-1917) began life in Baden, Germany. In 1911, he was a boarder at Bedford (Grammar) School, his nationality British

by virtue of his parentage rather than place of birth. His housemaster was John Parke Kirkman, a notable educator. On 3 August 1917, 2nd Lieutenant John Elliott of the Royal Field Artillery died on the Western Front. His remains were not found but his name is recorded on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, West Flanders, Belgium.   


Gilbert Oldfield E (1897-1964) was born in Barnhill, Scotland (there are several places of that name, including the cemetery where his

great-grandparents are buried). While his parents and older siblings were in Dover for the census in 1901, Gilbert and his younger twin siblings were at 1 The Avenue, Herne Bay, Kent under the care of their cousin and nursery governess, Edith Edgar. In 1911, he and those of his siblings not at boarding school were living with his parents in Bedford. In 1917, he was a supernumerary in the Territorials, 4th Battalion Prince Albert’s (Somerset Light Infantry) - sort of a wait-list. His WWI war record has him a Captain in the Somerset Light Infantry (Indian Army Reserve of Officers). He may have not got to fight, if he was in an army reserve, but boy, he was keen. From at least the 1930s onwards, Gilbert lived in Hammersmith with his parents at 44 Upper Mall. But in 1939, he was married to a woman named June X (1902-66) and they were living in Eton, Buckinghamshire. He was a wholesale gown manufacturer, she was a dress designer. The couple was back in Hammersmith in 1949, in Goldhawk Road where they were still in 1956. The registration area for their respective deaths was Bromley, Greater London, Kent.


Florence Margaret E (1899-1979) and her twin brother, George, were born in Herne Bay, Kent, on 20 December, just before the

calendars turned to 1900. Florence remained independent all her life. She was living in Canying Square, Bristol, in 1922 when her younger brother recorded her as his nearest English relative to Canadian immigration officials. On the 1930 electoral register, a woman with her name was living in the house of Barbara and Arthur Wiltshire. In 1939, Florence was housekeeping for her incapacitated mother, Ellen, also in Eton, as was Gilbert and June although the latter were living at another address. While there is a Florence Margaret Elliott living in Finchley for some decades after the 1940s, it may not be our Florence because there are people at the same address who look as though they are related to each other but do not have familiar names. Based on an hint, I have accepted her 1979 death but the probate record reports “Administration with Will Oxford”, a business or agency rather than an individual, so I am unable to confirm this is our Florence.


George Anderson McDowell E (1899-1974). After the 1901 and 1911 census entries, George is next seen in 1925 arriving on the SS

Carmania in the US. His previous address had been Welbeck Street, Cavendish Square, St Johns Wood, London, his uncle Col. RH Elliott’s address. It looks like the address of a professional practice because a record in London’s 1935 City Directories has a “Lt-Col Elliot Rt Hy MD Long, D Sc, FRCS, Eng ophthalmic surgn" along with a similarly-credentialed Lt-Col Kirkpatrick at 54 Welbeck St. Indeed, the entire street is littered with medical specialists. George may have been on a mission of love because, in Chelsea 1926, he and New York born Madeleine A Huppé (1900-91) married. It seems the marriage did not last. There are records for a George A Elliot in various directories but the only definitive sightings are for George’s arrival in Los Angeles on the SS Washington Express in 1938 then his entry in the 1975 Probate Calendar which, as with his sister’s entry, gives no clue as to who inherited his estate. He was living at Little Manor Cooden Close, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex.    

Madeleine arrived in New York in December 1933 and there is a record of her leaving Southhampton in 1951 for the US in

1951. She may have been visiting Gilbert and June because her last English address was Goldhawk Road, W6 (London). Her occupation was teacher. Her permanent address was in Noroton, Connecticut. She and George had a son.    


John McDowell Elliot (1931-2015), aged two, was with his mother when they arrived in New York in 1933. With his mother

a witness, John married (Harriet) Thorne Tjader in 1954 at St Thomas Episcopal Church, Montgomery, Pennsylvania. According to an hint, John died in Bryn Mawr, PA. I have found no record of either Madeleine’s or John’s death. Not only was his mother a teacher, his wife Thorne may also have been in academe. One of her addresses in 1993 was the Department of History, Princeton. John’s Bryn Mawr address when he died indicates his profession was in education.






James Robertson O (1866-1942)


James (CR) may have been named after his father, James, or uncle, James Robertson, husband of mother Maria’s Aunt Janet. To say the young James was peripatetic is not quite an overstatement. He was born in Wales in 1866 and his wanderlust began early. With brother, Louis, he arrived in Canada in 1882. Five years later, aged 20, occupation merchant, he married Irish born Margaret Maxwell (1862-1887) in Melancthon, Dufferin, Ontario. Margaret died after their son’s only day on earth, 20 November 1887. In 1891, he and Louis were still in Canada, living in a boarding house, both of their occupations “druggist”. From there, James touched down in the US, where, in 1898, there is a US Army record for him; he had enlisted in Seattle and his occupation looks like Painter/something - bandsman?. He landed in Glasgow in 1901 then, sometime in the next few years, headed off to South Africa where he married for the second time, in 1907. His bride was his cousin, Edith Edgar, his occupation still painter. Interestingly, some NZ Andersons were also in South Africa at the time so there may have been quite a family enclave. In 1910, he, Edith and their infant daughter departed Southampton, England, for New York. His occupation was now druggist. They had been staying with his sister, Evelyn Bruce-Austin. James’ family finally migrated to Australia. At some point between their arrival in New York and their arrival in Australia, a son was born. In 1913 James and Edith were on the Port Macquarie, NSW, Electoral Roll (ER). His occupation was band master, an occupation he still held in 1924 after moving to Queensland. In 1926, he was again a painter then, in 1930, a selector: somebody who bought land previously monopolised by squatters (Australia’s version of landed gentry) for small-scale farming. His death was announced in The Courier Mail (23 April 1942), his burial was in the Lutwyche Cemetery. It is from this family that our third cousin, Tom Lund, is descended.

Robert Menzies E (1905-82).  In 1922, 16 year old schoolboy Robert arrived in Canada to join his father,

intending to become a farmernear Victoria, BC. He nominated his sister, Florence, as his nearest relative in England. In 1927, he returned to England, a soldier. His entry in the 1927 Royal Military College of Canada’s Yearbook says he arrived from the West and “soon forgot he was the youngest spoilt son” as he joined the theatrical troupe then moved onto to soccer, shooting football and sleeping. The only other confirmed record is that of his death, aged 77, in Frimley, Surrey.

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