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Isaac Benson Williscroft 1826-1900
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Isaac Benson Williscroft 1826-1900

of Ireland, England and the United States

Bedford Street, Bradford

Isaac consistently gives his place of birth as Ireland and on the 1900 USA census he say's his parents were also Irish. However, his death certificate gives the West Indies as his place of birth. According to his naturalisation records he was born in 1826. Isaac and his wife 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 in 1886. Isaac became an American Citizen in 1889. He was living in Sagus on the census of 1900 and died later that year. 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.

Saugus Town Hall

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 & Margaret's eldest child was Eugene Mary Jane Benson Williscroft, known as Mary Jane. She was born in 1852 in Liverpool. She 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. 

Initially I had thought Mary Jane had died by this time but I couldn't find a death record. However, I found Mary on the 1891 census living in Manchester. She was visiting Bertha Nicholson with her children George b.1879, William b.1881, Sarah b.1883 and Flora b.1889. Flora died in 1891. The baptismal records of William & Sarah give Mary Jane and George as the parents. Mary Jane was living in the Chorlton area of Manchester in 1911 and Berwich Street, Manchester in 1917. She most likely died in Manchester in 1925. 

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