Williscroft & Woolliscroft

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Isaac Benson Williscroft 1826-1900

The story of Isaac Benson Williscroft who was born in Ireland or the West Indies and lived in England before moving to the USA.

Isaac is a bit of a mystery to me. He gives Ireland as his place of birth on census returns, Devon, England on his naturalisation petition but the West Indies is given as his birth place on his death certificate and his father's name as Joseph and he was born on 3 Apr 1826. I think he is most likely related to Alexander Williscroft as he was a tailor and had also lived in the West Indies. In 1841 he married Sarah Carr in Armagh, Ireland, if he as born in 1826 he would have only be aged 16. I have not found another record for the couple. However, Sarah is most likely the mother of Isaac Williscroft b.1850 and Eugene Williscroft b1852. Isaac died as an infant. Eugene gives her father's name as Isaac Benson Williscroft when she married George Vaudray in 1873.

Isaac had met his second wife Margaret Feely (Fielding) by 1856 when their daughter Mary Ann was born in Bradford. Isaac and Margaret Feeley were living in Bedford Street, Bradford, Yorkshire in 1861 & 1871 where Isaac was a tailor. The couple are known to have had eleven children. Margaret was born in Manchester but her parents were from Ireland. In 1851 she was living with her mother Nancy (Ann) and stepfather James Kearns in Bradford, Yorkshire. So far in my research I have been unable to locate a marriage record for Isaac & Margaret. 

Isaac immigrated to London, Ontario in 1873 with his wife and surviving children, except for Eugene his eldest daughter who married in 1873. The immigration record states he was heading for Smith Falls in Ontario, Canada. This where the Williscroft’s from Ireland who had arrived in 1828 were living. Was this a coincidence or was there a family connection?

Isaac’s daughter Elizabeth married John Duckworth in London, Ontario in 1877. Isaac and his daughter Ellen were witnesses. In 1881 Isaac moved to the town of Saugus in Essex County, Massachusetts with his wife and younger children, Ellen, Mary, George, John William and Thomas.  His wife Margaret died from Typhoid Fever in 1886. Isaac became an American Citizen in 1889. He was living in Sagus on the census of 1900 and died later that year on the 19 Dec. His fathers name is given as Joseph on the death certificate.

Of the couples children Thomas, Mary and Ellen do not appear to have married. Thomas was a tailor like his father. Mary & Ellen worked in the woollen mills and are listed on the census returns between 1900 and 1940 for Lawrence City, Massachusetts.

George married Annie Levers in 1895 and the couple had two daughters. They were living in Saugus in 1900 but had moved to Lawrence City by 1910 where we find them on the later census returns. John William, Isaac’s other son married Anna Morse in 1886 and they had four daughters but only Mary survived childhood. The couple were living in Saugus in 1900 and John died in 1907.  

John and Elizabeth Duckworth had moved to Maine, USA by 1880 and were working in the Cotton Mills at Auburn. They had two children by 1880, Gracie b.1877 and Robert b.1879. Two more children followed whilst they were living in Maine Mary b.1882 and Lucie (Elizabeth) 1886-1910. Elizabeth died in 1886 soon after the birth of her youngest child. In 1900 John was living with his children in Sagus near to his father in law Isaac.

Isaac's eldest child Eugene Mary Jane Benson Williscroft, known as Mary Jane married George Vaudray in 1873 but I haven't found the couple living together on any census return. George was living with his mother on the census returns between 1881-1900 in Manchester. His son George and daughter Annie were with him in 1881. Mary Jane was boarding with Alfred and Leah Dunbavin at 19 Berwick Street, Chorlton, Manchester in 1911. She was still living in Berwick Street in 1917 according to her son's service record. Mary Jane most likely died in 1925.


Owner/SourceJill Dixon
Date2 May 2016
Linked toIsaac Benson Williscroft
AlbumsIreland

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