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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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Samuel A Canadian Merchant
 
 
Samuel Muckleston’s immediate family.

 

Samuel Muckleston was born about 1815 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, although some records put his birth as early as 1809. He was the eighth and youngest child of John and Margaret Muckleston. John was a shoemaker by trade and had a wholesale business in Pride Hill, Shrewsbury. In his will (he died in 1875) he was recorded as a Gentleman who had several houses, warehouses and other premises. In John’s will Samuel was given £500 immediately and then he was also given 1/6th of John’s estate after his wife Margaret died the following year. Margaret’s maiden surname was Jeffreys.

 

We are not sure exactly when Samuel emigrated to Canada but he married Ann Short, who was also British, (born in Jersey in the Channel Islands) in Frontenac, Montreal in 1838. He obviously kept his connections with his home town as he was sworn Burgess of Shrewsbury in 1845.

 

In Canada he was a partner in a hardware business. The following photograph showing a plaque on a building dated 1843 which would indicate his partnership was with a Mr Watkins. Samuel appears on a passenger list as arriving in Boston USA. It states “Age 36, Occupation Merchant. Arrival Date: 18 March 1845. Country of Origin - Kingston”. Was it a trip for business or pleasure?

 

 

 

Insert Muckleston / Watkins plaque picture.

 

 

 

 

On the wall are etched the initials BF, PN, HS Muckleston and clearly these are the initials of three of Samuel’s grandchildren Bernard Ferris, Philip Norman and Harold Straun. The names were surely etched between 1878 and 1893 when Bernard died.

 

 

Insert picture of scratched initials

 

His grandchildren had scratched their initials into the walls.

 

The arched door ways are unique.  Built for Watkins and Muckleston merchants in 1843.  Much of our architecture is hidden by leaves on trees in the summer.  Winter photos are best for this.

 

Front view of the building where Samuel Muckleston ran his business.

Photograph by Steve Manders

 

 

Samuel and Ann had at least 5 children. The eldest Harriet Margaret was born in 1840 and married Edwin Loukes in 1864. They had six children.

 

Samuel’s eldest son John Shortt Muckleston was born in 1846 and followed his father into the hardware business. He married Alice Mary Merrick and had two sons and one daughter. One of John’s sons was Hugh Burritt Muckleston who became an engineer and helped to build the Brooks Aqueduct. John’s second son was a mystery until the above photograph was sent to us; the initials stand for Phillip Norton Muckleston who has now been connected to our tree. Philip was an accounts clerk for the railway and in 1895 he emigrated to the USA. Daughter Helen Muriel Muckleston was single at the time of a visit to the UK, at the age of 40, in 1919. When her aunt Emily died in 1941 it was stated that she was the aunt of Mrs H Ritchie. Helen had indeed married a Hazen Ritchie in Vancouver in 1934 at the age of 55.

 

A couple of newspaper notices broadens our understanding of John’s life.

 

Manitoba Daily Free Press 17 Jan 1888 (Manitoba Canada)

The Kingston Board of Trade is prospering and the city is feeling the effects of its efforts. J S Mucklestone has been re-elected President. The board is now making honorary members of residents of adjacent places, thus securing their assistance in furthering enterprises

 

John Shortt MUCKLESTON, 26, merchant, Kingston, same, s/o Samuel MUCKLESTON & Ann SHORTT, married Alice Mary MERRICK, 25, Merrickville, same, d/o Aaron MERRICK & Mary Perim BURRITT. Witn Martha MERRICK, Merrickville, & J.C. LONSDALE, England. Sept. 4, 1872 Trinity Church, Merrickville.

 

Samuel’s grandson Hugh Burritt Muckleston was responsible for the design and building of Brooks aqueduct in Canada.

 

“Like a giant centipede, the Brooks aqueduct spans a shallow 3.2 kilometre valley, suspending a concrete flume twenty metres above the parched prairie landscape. Once filled with precious water bound for the thirsty croplands of south-western Alberta, today it holds only memories. A shallow valley cut off the south-eastern portion of the eastern section from the rest of the district, and they had to find a way to get the water across. The Company's engineering department attacked the problem of its length, low slope, and need to siphon the water under the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) mainline as an experimental challenge.

 

Extending itself to the limits of available technology, the CPR made two important decisions, the use of a uniquely shaped open flume and the use of Portland cement as a cost effective building material. Although common in America, Portland cement was not a well known building material in Canada. Muckleston thought he would minimize the forces slowing the flow by using it. It was a daring decision, a novel combination of principles for use in aqueduct construction.

 

In 1969, the federal and provincial governments agreed to assume the major cost of irrigation system regeneration. The PFRA (Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration) was commissioned to investigate all the major works in the EID in the belief that both the Bassano Dam and the Aqueduct would be likely candidates for replacement.

 

In H.B. Muckleston's own words, "Railway sidings were built near the crossing, storehouses for cement and other material were erected and a concrete-lined reservoir for water was constructed. A double-track, standard-gauge railway, with frequent crossovers, was built along the line of the site(?) on the south side, and a pipe leading from the reservoir to an elevated tank at the west end of the structure laid down, with taps at frequent intervals."

 

Column, girder and brace forms were erected by stiff-leg derricks travelling on skids and working backward as the forms were put up.

 

Outside shell forms were mounted on a carriage which travelled on rails carried by the upper cross-struts, the forms being raised into place or lowered by screw jacks. A locomotive crane was used for various purposes and a Shay engine for switching cars and pulling the outside shell forms ahead."

 

The Bassano Dam was found to be sound, requiring only major rehabilitation rather than actual replacement. This did not hold true for the Aqueduct. After construction of the immense earthen replacement canal, the Aqueduct was to be demolished and the land reclaimed.

 

Demolition was prevented only by the last minute intervention of the new management board and the Federal Minister of Agriculture. Recognizing the danger of allowing the structure to deteriorate of its own accord, the government of Canada, the province of Alberta and the District cooperated to fence it for public safety at a fraction of the cost for demolition. It remains as a monument to those who built and operated Canada's most successful irrigation system, and to an era of development that changed the face of Southern Alberta”.

 

File:Brooks Aqueduct National Historic Site of Canada ID 17702 - 2.JPG 

 

Brooks Aqueduct - now  a National Heritage Site in Canada.

 

Samuel’s second son was William Jeffreys Muckleston born 1849, William was educated at Oxford University in England between 1867 and 1874, a good sign of Samuel’s wealth, and he trained for the clergy.

 

In 1884 he was Curate of Ottawa. In 1872 William married Harriet Ferres surprisingly, considering he was to become a clergy man, in a civil ceremony at the Office of the Registrar General, Frontenac County. William and Harriet, as far as we know, had three children, all sons, they were Bernard Ferris Muckleston born about 1875, Alan Jeffreys Muckleston and Harold Straun Muckleston born about 1878. Bernard died young at just 18 years old. Alan worked in a bank (see A Canadian Banker) and Harold became a doctor. Descendants of Harold Straun Muckleston (he had married the authoress Edith Margaret Wherry) are alive today in Oregon, USA under the surname Price. Both Alan and Harold fought in World War One.

 

Samuel had two further daughters, twins named Annie and Emily born in 1851 and neither married. Annie died aged 66 but Emily went on to achieve the grand age of 90.

 

Samuel was one of 8 children but the only one to try life in Canada and he clearly did quite well for himself and his family. His children and grandchildren clearly travelled to the UK to visit with relations and the children were mentioned in their British based relatives’ wills. All seemed to do quite well.