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Muckleston Family History Group

researching all references to the surnames Muckleston, Mucklestone, Muckelston and Mackleston please get in touch via the contact us page with any additional information or to correct any errors.

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Alias Smith
 

Most of us are proud of our unusual and ancient surname, however in April 1993 I received a letter from Harry Carter which pointed to an individual who preferred the name Smith.

 

"My cousin Annie Josephine Cocker courted a taxi-driver called Sid, who used to take sailors from Preston Docks for a 'good time' at a country inn, the Plough at Eaves, run by her parents. Sid was evasive about his background and full name, but everyone called him Sid Miller; he worked for Millers taxis. Annie reckoned that all would be revealed at their marriage. He signed the register Sidney Smith, so setting the family name and ending that mystery, though he would never talk about his background. They had a daughter, and he was employed as a lorry driver and later a publican. He was licensee of the Prince Arthur Hotel, Moor Lane, Preston when he died, 26th April 1968.

It was only after registering his death that his wife came across an old insurance policy amongst his papers giving his name as Sidney Muckleston. I obtained her a copy of the corresponding birth certificate, and she was convinced it was for him, even though it showed him as two years older than she had thought (8 years older than she). The birth certificate shows his birth as 14th March 1903, at 47 Shuttleworth Road, Preston, registered 6th April by his mother, Elizabeth Muckleston, cotton winder of the same address; there is no fathers name. I note that your records have no matching marriage or death with the name Sidney Muckleston.

I don't know the religion of Elizabeth Muckleston, but Sid married into a Catholic family, and they all lived as Catholics.

Incidentally, his daughter, Margaret Pauline, married a real Smith - John Bernard, - and had four children."

 

Harry was right - my records showed a Sidney Muckleston born in 1903 but no marriage or death. Research showed that Sidney Muckleston was the illegitimate child of Elizabeth [aka Sarah Elizabeth] Muckleston whose father had moved to Bolton from Shrewsbury sometime before 1875 when he married Sarah Jane Pentland. He was a striker in a foundry and died in 1881. Elizabeth had two brothers and a sister one of whom was born two years after her fathers death!

 

 

We will only ever be able to speculate why Sidney changed his name. His mother married 6 years after his birth, though not to a Smith. However, at the time of Sidney’s birth, she lived at the house of E Smith, labourer. So perhaps E Smith was his real father; we will never know. His secrets died with him and if it had not been for the policy his widow found we may never have known what happened to Sidney Muckleston.,

1911 Census

59 SHUTTLEWORTH ROAD PRESTON LANCS (RG14PN25287)

Ashworth, Robert, Head, Married, M, 30, IRON DRILLER DICH KERR CO    b Preston Lancs

Ashworth, Sarah Elizabeth, Wife, Married, F,  31, DYED YARN WINDER HAWKINS , b Bolton Lancs

Smith, Sidney    Son,       M, 8,      School                                   b Preston Lancs

Ashworth, Mary Isabel  Dau,       F, 8 months,                       b Preston Lancs

Years married 2