Home. Names. Trees. DNA. People. Places. Records. Links. Contact. Astle One-Name Study
with Astles, Astell & Astill
Astle One-Name Study
with Astles, Astell & Astill

The children of Malcolm MacPherson and Mary Alice Dancer

Children

Born

At

Married

Date

At

Died

At

John Alexander

1867

Winshill,

Burton on Trent

Mary Ellen

Stone

1888

Quarndon,

Derbyshire

1956

Shardlow R.D.

Angus

1868

Winshill,

Burton on Trent

Alice Chapman

1896

Aston R.D.

1940

Northampton

William

1870

Winshill,

Burton on Trent

Emma Maria Hinton

1897

Newton Solney

1954

Coventry R.D.

Sarah Ann

1872

Winshill,

Burton on Trent

N/A

N/A

N/A

1874

Burton on Trent

Hannah Alice

1873

Winshill,

Burton on Trent

Alfred Astle

1898

Heathtown,

Wolverhampton

1945

Burton on Trent

Malcolm

1875

Winshill,

Burton on Trent

Elizabeth Ann

Reardon

1897

Dublin

1915

Coventry

Margaret

1877

Winshill,

Burton on Trent

George Aaron Floyd

1933

Burton on Trent R.D.

1946

Lichfield R.D.

Elizabeth

1879

Winshill,

Burton on Trent

N/A

N/A

N/A

1879

Burton on Trent

Jessie Ann

1880

Winshill,

Burton on Trent

N/A

N/A

N/A

1881

Winshill,

Burton on Trent

Harold

1881

Winshill,

Burton on Trent

N/A

N/A

N/A

1919

Lichfield R.D.

Albert

1883

Winshill,

Burton on Trent

N/A

N/A

N/A

1897

Burton on Trent

Ellen Jane

1886

Winshill,

Burton on Trent

Robert Nisbet

1916

Canada

1946

Canada

Herbert Malsbury

1887

Winshill,

Burton on Trent

Julia Ada

Timms

1911

Stapenhill,

Burton on Trent

1957

Sheppey R.D.


Malcolm MacPherson (1839-1899)

Malcolm was born on the 2nd December 1839 at Kingussie, Inverness the eldest of seven children to Alexander MacPherson an agricultural worker and his wife Ann, also a MacPherson. At 21, Malcolm had left home but still lived locally working as a Tutor. The arrival of the railway at Kingussie in 1863 no doubt represented an opportunity for the educated bachelor to travel and seek his future elsewhere, and by the mid 1860’s Malcolm had arrived at Burton on Trent, where he worked as an office clerk for a brewery.

Malcolm traveled from Burton to the ancient and picturesque Northamptonshire village of Eydon to marry Mary Alice Dancer on Boxing Day 1866. Mary was the daughter of John Dancer the village grocer, and his wife Sarah Malsbury who was originally from Londonderry. The church of St Nicholas dates from the 13th century and had recently been refurbished. The witnesses were John and Hannah Dancer, Mary’s elder brother and 15 year old sister. Sadly Hannah was to pass away only seven months later.

Malcolm and Mary returned to Burton and lived on Bearwood Hill Road Winshill, where their first child John was born in September the following year. Their Christmas present for 1868 was a second son named Angus, and their third son William was born in September 1870. On the 1871 census the family is next door but one to the Travellers Rest and next to the Swan Arms Beerhouse, possibly an uncomfortable position for them as they were Methodists!

Their first daughter Sarah Ann was born in May 1872 but sadly did not reach her third birthday, my grandmother Hannah Alice was born in 1874, and by early 1881 the family had grown to nine with the arrivals of Malcolm 1875, Margaret 1877 and Jessie Ann in 1880,  (although another daughter Elizabeth had died in infancy in 1879).



Here is the family in the mid 1880’s, with my grand mother Hannah in the centre of the picture. She had three elder brothers at this time so one of them is absent, probably Angus  would have been around 17 years old.

Back Row:       William and John
Third Row:       Malcolm and Hannah
Second Row:   Malcolm, Margaret and Mary
Front Row:      Albert and Harold

The children in the front row are more tricky to identify as the next eldest after Margaret was Jessie Ann, but she only lived for a little over a year. The next eldest children would have been Harold who was born in 1881, and Albert who was born in 1883. If these are the younger children in the front row it would suggest the picture was taken in 1884 or 1885.

The final two additions to the family were Ellen Jane in 1886 and Herbert Malsbury in 1887. Herbert’s middle name coming from the surname of his Irish grandmother.

Only about three or four years after the photograph was taken, the eldest son John married Mary Ellen Stone at Quarndon on the 4th August 1888. Within a few years they had settled in Duffield and raised a family where John was a Landscape Gardener.

The 1891 census reveals that Angus had by then left home and was living in Victoria Street, Burton on Trent working as a Tailor. Malcolm was also away, working as a Farm Servant at Cauldwell Farm Caldwell. Of the children remaining at home, two were working. William was a Brewer’s labourer and Hannah although she was only 17, was following in her father’s footsteps as a schoolteacher.

The years 1896 - 1899 would bring great change to the family with four marriages and sadly two deaths. Firstly, Angus married Alice Chapman of Derby in 1896, and they went to live in Leicester where Angus was a Master Tailor and they had a son Hector in 1900. As I grew up I often heard my aunt Edie refer to her cousin Hector, and through cards at Christmas and birthdays they kept in distant touch. Hector later moved to Luton and lived to reach 90 years of age.

Early in 1897, Albert died aged only 13. In April, Malcolm who was now a Corporal in the Army married Elizabeth Ann Reardon in Dublin, and in November William married Emma Maria Hinton of Eydon, at Newton Solney near Burton on Trent. (Emma and William were already distantly related as Emma’s aunt had married William’s uncle, William Dancer). William and Emma lived on Newton Road Winshill and had two sons.

In July 1898 Hannah married my grandfather Alfred Astle at the Methodist Church Heathtown Wolverhampton, where they lived for several years before returning to Burton and settling in Horninglow.

Malcolm, the head of the family died six months later in January 1899, and in the minutes of the executive committee of Allsop's Brewery for 24th Jan 1899 it is agreed to give the widow of Malcolm McPherson £1 per week for six months.

I cannot be certain that Malcolm worked for this particular brewery during all his years in Burton, but assume that he must have been with them for some years to warrant this award.

In his will, Malcolm left both his dwelling house, furniture and effects, and his leasehold property and adjoining land situated in Winshill to his wife Mary. Malcolm indicates that he is living in the leasehold property at the time he created the will in July 1898. (In Mary’s will of 1914 it is clear these two properties are 114 and 115 Bearwood Hill Road.)

On the 1901 census, Mary had four children at home, but no stated occupation. Margaret had become a schoolteacher like her sister, and Harold was a Brewer’s Clerk like his father. Ellen and Herbert were teenagers and probably still at school. The family is living at 114 Bearwood Hill Road, but the next schedule on the census is 116. 115 Bearwood Hill Road is not enumerated at all, so it may have been unoccupied.

In the 1904 Kelly’s Directory for Burton on Trent, Mrs. M. A. Mcpherson is listed as a private resident at 114 Bearwood Hill Road. Not all residents were routinely listed in the directory so perhaps this entry was purchased to indicate some standing in the local community.

In 1911 the same family members are living at 115 Bearwood Hill Road, and the census of that year reveals that the family is now in business.  Mary is now a Fancy Drapery shopkeeper employed on her own account, and Ellen is the shop manageress. Margaret  is a certified assistant teacher in an elementary school, Harold is a ‘traveller’ in Fancy Drapery and Herbert is a clerk at the Deasy Motor Works in Coventry.  William MacPherson is living at 114 Bearwood Hill Road, with his wife and three sons, presumably leasing the property from his mother.  In the commercial section of the 1911 Kelly’s Directory for Burton on Trent, there is a reference to Mrs. M.A. Macpherson, shopkeeper at 115 Bearwood Hill Road, although this is listed under ‘”Shopkeepers – Miscellaneous” and not under “Drapers”, which perhaps indicates it was only a small concern.

The 1912 Directory does not have an entry for the shop, nor is  the Macpherson family listed amongst the private residents. This may indicate that the business did not continue after 1911.


This photograph is taken at the wedding of Herbert Malsbury MacPherson and Julia Ada Timms, which took place at St. Peter’s Church Stapenhill on September 26th 1911. At the time of the marriage Herbert was a clerk living in Coventry and Julia was living in Stapenhill.

At either side of the bride and groom are their respective mothers who were both widows, Mary Alice MacPherson looks rather grand though somber, and Betsy Jane Timms seems to be holding a dark piece of material perhaps for her husband who had died five years earlier. The younger lady on the front row is my grandmother Hannah MacPherson, and my grandfather Alfred is fourth from the right in the middle row.

The two families can be perhaps be distinguished by their headwear, as the males in the MacPherson contingent seem all to have very similar ‘Bowlers’, whereas the Timms gentlemen are wearing very smart Top Hats. Similarly the MacPherson ladies all have bright flowery hats and white blouses.

Mary Alice died in 1915 and at her death she had at least 18 grandchildren. Mary left her daughter Margaret all her estate including the dwelling house and the leasehold property and adjoining land. Margaret and her brother Herbert were appointed executors, and the will was witnessed by Emma Dancer, the wife of  Mary’s nephew Mark Dancer, and Arthur William Price who was living at 114 Bearwood Hill Road.