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Michael Williscroft 1838- ?
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Michael Williscroft 1838- ?

of England and Canada


Michael was born in Brinklow, Warwickshire in 1838, the third child of John Williscroft and Elizabeth Johnson. By 1841 he had moved with his parents and siblings to live in Rugeley, Staffordshire. 

St John the Baptist Church, Brinklow

St John the Baptist Church, Brinklow, Warwickshire, England

In 1866 he married his cousin Sarah Ann Williscroft. Sarah Anne was the daughter of John Williscroft and Elizabeth Lycett. She was living with her parents on both the 1841 and 1851 census in Colton. The marriage was witnessed by Michael's third wife Rebecca Winters and John Maley. I have not found another reference to Sarah Anne but she was not with Michael when he emigrated to Canada. Michael arrived at Quebec aboard the SS Perussian in 1869. On the ships manifest he gives his occupation as a miner. On the same ship a Thomas and Elizabeth Bridge from Somerset, England were travelling with their three daughters. Their daughter Susan became Michael's second wife.

stgeorgeguelp1910

In 1871 Michael was a blacksmith living Perth Street, Guelph, Wellington, Ontario, Canada. In 1872 Michael Williscroft and Susan Bridge’s first child Alice Mary was born. By this time Michael had changed his first name to 'George'. The couples second child George Thomas was born in 1874. The following year Nathaniel was born. 

St Georges Square, Guelph, Ontario, Canada c1910                                                                      Toronto Public Library

There is also a record for a daughter Elizabeth who died in 1878. By 1880 the couple had split up and Susan had moved to Grand Rapids, Itsaca County, Ohio with her 'new' husband Anthony Wood. Susan & Anthony were married in 1884 in Saginaw, Michigan, USA.

cityhallhamilton1913

On the 1891 Canadian census Michael was living with his third wife Rebecca Winters and son's Nathaniel and George in Hamilton City, Ontario, Canada. He was a general blacksmith and his sons were working in a cotton mill. However, Michael didn’t marry Rebecca until 1895. Rebecca was from Mill Green in England, the daughter of William and Mary and had been a witness at his first marriage. 

Old City Hall, Hamilton, Ontario 1913
Toronto Public Library

Soon after their marriage the couple returned to England and in 1901 they were living in Aston, Warwickshire where Michael was a coal dealer. By 1911 he had retired and the couple were living in Erdington, Warwickshire. Rebecca died in 1921. I have been unable to find a death registration for Michael in the UK records and I am wondering if he returned to Canada.

Nathaniel Williscroft 1875-1925

Michael's son Nathaniel Williscroft married Annie Murray their first child Lillian was born in 1895. Her sister Marion was born in 1897. In between the girls the couple had a son George in 1896 who died aged six weeks. Another daughter Jessie Elizabeth was born in 1899 and died aged 10 weeks. In 1901 their youngest child, another George, was born . He was aged a month on the 1901 census. By 1916 the family had moved to live in Toronto where Nathaniel died in 1925.  At the time of his death he was employed as a chauffeur. 

George Thomas Williacroft 1874-1946

Michael’s son George Thomas  born in 1874 never married. He was living with his father in 1891 but latter moved to Ohio where he was living at the time of his Draft Registration. He gave his occupation as a truck driver. George was living in Illinois at the time of his death in 1946 and was buried at Grand Rapids, Itasca, Minnesota, USA.

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