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Family "story" !!!

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Kathlyn Report 22 Aug 2012 16:04

Mary Mawdsley married John Roberts, who was the father to my granddad.

Mary and John were married in 1868

In 1881 George Massie was living as a lodger in the house of Mary Roberts and her two sons, John and William.

In 1891 George is now "head of the household", and Mary is recorded as his wife, but they did not marry until 1894.

I only discovered the name change after I obtained the marriage cert of Mary to George to find that Mary`s maiden name was Mawdsley, this then gave me the reason why granddad changed his name from Roberts to Maudesley, as he had joined the army using the name Roberts, and when he ran away soon after being taken back home, he must have signed on the ship going to Australia using his mothers name in the hope that George Massie would not find him.

(Oh what a tangled web we weave!!!!!!!)



lancashireAnn Report 22 Aug 2012 15:06

thanks Mary I had not looked far enough - I assumed the marriage to be before John left the army


Mary Report 22 Aug 2012 14:43

Mary Roberts married george Massie 1894.

1881 George Living at Mary Roberts home down as married.

1881 Mary Massie 1845 born Mold Flintshire Wales was married and at Peter Grayston's home.
I thought she may then have married Peter Grayston but not found any evidence of that.

1861/71 George Massie born 1840 Cheshire with Mary born Mold Flintshire.



lancashireAnn Report 22 Aug 2012 14:36

oh well - it was only a guess

have you found a marriage for Mary & George? Just curious as you have obviously done a lot of research into this


Kathlyn Report 22 Aug 2012 14:16

I have heard of lads as young as 14 signing on in the army, and I would have thought that the army was not too concerned at the age of its recruits.

As the story goes......when granddad left home he walked from Liverpool to Glasgow, saw an advert for the regiment and signed on. Not sure how stepfather George Massie discovered his whereabouts though.

This is one of those things one wished you had asked questions when they were alive.



lancashireAnn Report 22 Aug 2012 13:47

Hi kathryn

you stated in your 1st post

"and as he was underage, he was released"

so that was the reason for his release - underage was age under 21 and presumably he had to have parental consent for him to join

he maybe forged signatures on the signing on documents

maybe his step father refused to have him back both for setting fire to the bakery and costing him £18 to release him


Kathlyn Report 22 Aug 2012 13:35

Yes it stands for Robert, after his grandfather.


MarieCeleste Report 22 Aug 2012 13:03

Kathlyn - on that 1891 he has a middle initial of R - do you know what it stands for?


Kathlyn Report 22 Aug 2012 12:47

Hi Marie,

He is on the 1891 census as the stepson of George Massie along with his brother William and his mothers sister Jane Taylor, liveing in Bootle.

He accidently set fire to his stepfathers bakery, that is why he ran away from home and joined the army.



MarieCeleste Report 22 Aug 2012 12:36

Kathlyn - where was he on the 1901 & 1911 (under what name and who with) - just curious to get a clue as to his occupation to try to find him on the passenger lists in Oz.


Potty Report 22 Aug 2012 12:31

Maybe he fell out with his father? There is a very well known footballer who adopted his mother's maiden name because of his dislike of his father.


Kathlyn Report 22 Aug 2012 12:25

Hi Marie,

His mothers maiden name was Mary Mawdsley, but granddad always insisted that we spell it Maudesley.....can I feel a new reason for this name change!!!!!



MarieCeleste Report 22 Aug 2012 12:20

Hi Kathlyn - what was his mother's maiden name?

Does sound like he may have been hiding something!

If I've got the right record (mother Mary, father John of 242 Marsh Lane, Bootle) then there seems to be no problem with his service. It describes his conduct as good and his habits as temperate.

It does say that he was discharged 11 October 1893 on payment of £18 - sounds to me like he bought himself out, perhaps he just didn't like it?


Kathlyn Report 22 Aug 2012 12:17

Helo Marie Celeste,

He was John Roberts, born 1873 in Bootle. To my knowledge he was a fit man. He signed on to the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders on 5th August 1891. (I found this document on FMP)

I have just had a thought........He took his mothers maiden name when he married grandmother, and bearing in mind he never went back to Liverpool, could he have "run" away" from the army and this is why he used his mother name?

This adoption of his mothers maiden name took me several years to sort out, and needless to say, we all have this maiden name.



MarieCeleste Report 22 Aug 2012 12:07

Hello Kathlyn, there could be all sorts of reasons - just one being that he was medically unfit. Another reason sometimes given is "unlikely to be an efficient soldier".

If you want to give us his name and what details you do have then perhaps we can have a look?


Kathlyn Report 22 Aug 2012 12:01

We had a story in the family that granddad ran away from home and joined the army, the family found out where he was and as he was underage, he was released.

I have now found the signing on document and it states that he was 18 years old at the time, (this is in 1891).

He did leave the army because he went to Australia in about 1892/3. He returned to the UK approx two years later but never returned to Lancashire.

Your thoughts please on:-

What reason could be given for him to be released from the army?

Did he go AWOL, and if he did, could that be why he never returned to Liverpool but stayed in the London area on his return to the UK?