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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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Gone Missing - William Davis Muckleston?

William Davis Muckleston was born on 8th August 1840, the fifth child but eldest son of Paul Davis Muckleston a gentleman and grocer. William appears on the 1841, 1851 and 1861 censuses in the UK, but could not be found on any later census returns. 

His fathers will was written in 1871 and gives some idea as to what happened. The following is an extract from the will:-

“I direct my trustees to advertise for my son William Davis Muckleston who went abroad some years ago and from whom I have not received any communication for some two years last past and to take such steps as they may in their discretion think fit to ascertain whether my said son is living and if my trustees shall not succeed in ascertaining by the end of one year from the death of my said wife that my said son is living then I direct that he shall be deemed to have predeceased me without leaving issue and shall be excluded from the class among whom my residuary estate is hereinbefore made divisible and from all benefit under this my Will”

There was no codicil added to the will when Paul Davis Muckleston died in 1890 so we could assume that he had no contact with his eldest son. Paul’s wife Mary died in 1896. He had asked his executors to initially allow his wife the benefit of estate and then after her death to divide everything equally amongst his surviving children. Paul may have been very wealthy when he wrote the will but his estate was valued at just £44 when he died in 1890 and there would not be much to share between his children. Six years later Mary left just £75.



An email received from Peter Yorke in Australia arrived and initially it appeared quite innocuous.........

I have a William Muckleston born about 1840 died 1908 Auckland New Zealand married Annie Lee born 1848 County Monaghan died 1924 Auckland NZ. Both married Auckland NZ. Adopted Child is Violet b 1897. Would you have a listing for William?”


Peter’s information fitted perfectly the missing William Davis Muckleston. He had married in 1879 in Auckland New Zealand. In a register of Lands in 1882 he is shown as a labourer. He can be found on the electoral rolls for Auckland from 1890 where his occupation is shown as a gardener.  

William was not mentioned in any of his brother’s wills and it has to be assumed that no contact was made. We will never know why William stopped contact with his family but it is nice to know that he was still alive, settled down, adopted a daughter and lived to what was a good age in those days (67). He died on 15th March 1908 and is buried at St Marks, Remuara, Auckland, New Zealand.