Skip to main content

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.

About Us
Contact Us
Site Map
Member Login
Family Mysteries
Family Members
Family Stories
A better Life in America
All American Sporting Her
Antiquities and Memoirs o
Bedfordshire Connection
Charitable Mucklestons
Coat of Arms
Deeds and Charters
Family Occupations
Family Reunions 1997 and
From the Parish Chest
Illidge Connection
Mucklestons in Toddington
Pen y Lan and Oswestry
Shrewsbury Burgesses
The Allen Connection
The Beginnings
The Mackleston Connection
The Merrington Estate
The Muckelstons of the US
The Mugglestones
They went in to the Churc
University Scholars
World War One Soldiers
World War Two Servicemen
Wales to Winsconsin
Family Photographs
Main Family Tree
Bedfordshire Branch Tree
London Tree A
Mackleston Tree
Muckelston Tree
The Mackleston Connection

The Mackleston name is less than 150 years old and came about when two brothers moved away from their birth place of Shrewsbury and changed their names from Muckleston to Mackleston. The reason for the move and change of name is not clear and many rumours abound, including marrying against their father’s will.


It is these rumours which partly made Bill (William) Mackleston want to start researching the family.


The first of these two brothers was Russell he was a Printer and Compositor by trade. He was the son of Richard Muckleston a Haulier of Benyon Street, Shrewsbury and his second wife Mary Ann (nee Meredith formerly Preece).  There had been no children of the first marriage for Richard but Mary Anne had a daughter of the same name by her first husband William Preece. She lived with her step father and half siblings until 1884 the year she married Thomas Banks, a railway goods guard, and with him went on to have six children. One of the children of Thomas and Mary Ann Banks was Herbert born 1887 and he is visiting with the Macklestons (his mother’s half brother Russell and family) in West Derby in 1911.


Born on 5th November 1864 in Shrewsbury, Russell can be found on the 1881 census for Shrewsbury age 17 working as a printer’s apprentice. It was usual for an apprenticeship to last for seven years and once the apprenticeship was completed the apprentice was allowed to carry on the trade in his own right. A compositor was someone who set up type for printing. It wasn’t until 1884 that a machine called a Linotype was invented in the USA, which replaced the manual placing of each letter individually ready to print. Russell would have been taught to take each tiny metal letter from a case and place it individually in the narrow stick that carried one line of text. The next information we have is his marriage in 1888 to Emily Roberts in Shrewsbury and in the register his name is given as Russell Mackleston. The following year a daughter, Florence Edith, was born to this couple in Liverpool where the family had settled and Russell carried on his trade as a printer. Interestingly Florence's surname was given as Muckleston on her birth certificate but she married under the name of Mackleston. There followed the birth of two sons William Norman in 1891 and Harold in 1893. Sadly Harold was to die at just 18 months of age and despite being registered at birth as Mackleston his surname registered at death was Muckleston. Two further daughters were born to this couple, Ethel May in 1902 who died in 1903 and Ivy Mary born in 1906.


According to the 1901 census the family was living at 59 Byford St. Small Shop General Small Wares, West Derby Lancashire and he had a “married” lady called May Ritter, who worked as a domestic servant, and her son and two daughters boarding with them. The children’s names were Robert, Annie and Connie. In 1911 both Robert and Annie were still showing as boarders but Connie now went by the name of Constance Mackleston, adopted daughter of the head of household Russell Mackleston. May was not to be found. To try and find out more I located Constance’s birth certificate for 1894 which told me that William Martin Ritter and May Ritter formerly Price were her parents. Her father was a mariner in the merchant service and they lived in West Derby as did Russell and his family. In the summer of 1905 May Ritter married Alfred Bainbridge; a record of her first husband’s death eludes us but as he was in the Merchant Navy he could have died overseas or even being missing for seven years and presumed dead when she remarried. Her older children were now 16 and 15 and of an age to fend for themselves and maybe her new husband did not want her children underfoot; whatever the reason they remained living with Russell and his family. Could Connie who was 10 at the time of her mother’s remarriage therefore have been adopted by the landlord’s family? May had stated on the 1901 census that she was married(assumedly to William Ritter) but on the 1911 census she said that she had been married to Alfred for 10 years; could they have been co-habiting since 1901? Alfred was to die in 1911. On her marriage certificate Constance Emily used the surname Mackleston and gave her father as Russell. Until 1926 adoption could be covered by a deed drawn up between parents and adopter, or sometimes it was simply an unrecorded verbal agreement.


Russell was fortunate enough to win £3,000 in the Liverpool Newsroom’s Grand National Sweepstake in 1927; he was still working as a compositor at this time. This was a good win worth approximately £140,000 in 2012. On January 30th 1934 Russell passed away aged 69, his home at this time was 21 Lance Lane, Wavertree, Liverpool. He did not leave a will and his administration was carried out by his son Norman his effects were just £186. His widow Emily died the following year. In her will she left her house in Lance Lane to her only son Norman along with a property at 31 Stanmore Road, Liverpool. This second property had originally been left to her daughter Ivy Mary Brade but in a codicil to the original will, (which had been written in 1933), added a few weeks before she died, she withdrew this bequest. She left the rest of her estate to be divided between her four children Florence Edith Clark, Ivy Mary Brade, William Norman Mackleston and Constance Emily Williams; clearly the family treated Constance as one of their own.


Having only one son achieve adulthood and who never married, the Mackleston name died out in this line when William passed away in 1961.


The second brother was Arthur Preece Mackleston a Journeyman/Sheet Metal Worker.  He was born 30th May 1871 in Shrewsbury. On the 1881 census he is shown as a scholar aged 9. On the 1891 census he can be found in Manchester as the lodger of a Jonas Bates and is using the name of Mackleston. He married his landlord’s daughter on Christmas Day that year at Miles Platting, Manchester. He went on to have eleven children with Charlotte Jane the first child being born in 1893. At the time of the 1911 census Arthur and Charlotte indicated that they had 10 children with five living and five who had died. Our records indicate there were six childhood deaths prior to 1911. It is from this couple that all the Macklestons alive today are descended.


Arthur spent two weeks in the “Workhouse” from 31st January 1906 to 13th February 1906. This is not as bad as it sounds as the hospitals were usually connected to the workhouses and he probably had an illness which needed medical treatment for a couple of weeks. The workhouse registers also indicated that his religion was Church of England. Twenty five year old Charlotte also gave birth to Alfred in the workhouse on 25th of January 1895 possibly due to some difficulty surrounding the pregnancy which again needed medical attention; mother and son were discharged on the 31st of January..


Of Arthur's six sons four survived to adulthood and went on to have sons who established the name of Mackleston even further. Although the number of female Macklestons born far out-number the male of the species, the name should continue for a few generations yet.


Russell and Arthur's sister Elizabeth also changed her name to Mackleston and also moved to Liverpool. It was here that she married Alfred Dorricot in 1891.


There were two other sisters; Rachel born in 1868 who died the following year and Ruth born in 1873 was still living at home with her 72 year old father and working as a dressmaker on the 1891 census. Her mother was a nurse/midwife and was away from home on the night of the census. Richard died in 1895 and the 1901 census shows Ruth married to William Henry Potter a Bootmaker and her widowed mother was living with them. Mary Ann was to die in 1903.


We are no nearer finding the reason for the change in name which instigate our research in to our ancestry and we may never know, however our search for this piece of information has led us to a far greater understanding of our Muckleston ancestry.


There have not been many Macklestons but here follows an interesting tale:


Excerpted from Hooray for Jollywood by Philip Martin Williams, David L Williams. Extract from Chapter Six.

Diana Dors was never to forget her visit to the Dickenson Road studio, writing in her autobiography she said, “…the film was an utter shambles, for Randle was mad - and usually drunk into the bargain. But, as he owned the film company, we had to put up with him shooting guns at the dressing room wall or dragging his girlfriends by the hair along the corridors”. Eileen Mackleston was a receptionist who was working at the studio at this time and remembers vividly an encounter with Randle during the production. The incident started quite innocently, when one day Eileen had to refuse admission to a lady friend of Randle’s. She explained to the lady that as he was on the set and that while the red light was showing no one could get in. This information had to be repeated several times more before the lady indignantly left. The young woman in question though formally complained to studio manager Bud Kelly. Consequently, the following day Eileen Mackleston was summoned to his office. She ran through exactly what had taken place and what had been told to the lady; all of which satisfied Bud. Eileen recalled, “Later I was in the studio canteen with some of the lads. Suddenly Frank Randle burst in. “He looked at me while shouting at the top of his voice ‘I want you’. “He was going raving mad and everyone just sat there and never moved. “He kept shouting, ‘I want you’. He was effing and blinding with every other word”. It was one of the studio hands that had been sitting with Eileen, who managed to calm Randle down. He eventually got him to return to his dressing room, but only after several hard words had been spoken. Eileen continued, “Shortly after this, I heard bangs - gun shots. It was Randle again. “He was firing his gun and shouting ‘where is she I’m going to kill her’. “So, Arthur my husband went to see him and calm him down. Which being a bit of a drinking pal of his, he eventually managed to do”.


The above Arthur is Arthur Mackleston (1929-1999), his wife Eileen nee Hutchinson died in 2000 they had two children Barry and Gail. Arthur was one of the grandsons of Arthur Preece Mackleston.