|The Search for the parents of Lucy E Bissell|
Lucy Elizabeth Bissell (b.1859), wife of Robert Melville (b.1854) by Allan Lannon
For some years the parentage of Lucy Elizabeth Bissell, listed in one record as Elizabeth Lucy Bissell, puzzled me and searching the Scottish indexes threw up no clue as to the background of her parents listed on her marriage certificate to Robert Melville at Fascally, Brora.
Lucy’s parents were
listed as Jonathan Bissell, Iron Moulder, and Jane Marr or
possibly Warr . The
first inclination was to look in the records for Aberdeenshire
as the Marr surname was known to exist there. This
proving fruitless a search was made in the Iron Smelting areas
In 1996 a letter was
sent to Melvilles residing in Golspie by Richard Melville from
In late summer of 2006, with the unusual occurrence of having time on my hands, I decided to spend some time and money searching the English archives through Ancestry.co.uk and Online1837.co.uk. Success was rapid after the discovery that Jane Warr, Bissell by marriage, had actually married a second time relatively shortly after the birth of Lucy and she had become Mrs Daniel Goodfellow as indicated in the 1861 census for Cradley, Warwickshire. This discovery explained the appearance on the marriage certificate of Robert and Lucy of a D. Goodfellow as a witness to the marriage. The occupation of Daniel Goodfellow, of Brick Maker, at the time of this census suggested a link to Brora and the Coalmine and Brickworks. On following the family through the census returns up to 1901 the references to the Brick making industry proved consistent and showed that Daniel Goodfellow and his family had moved around the country as he obtained employment in this industry. One such employment opportunity was at the Brora Brick Works and while in Brora his step-daughter, listed in early records as daughter in law, married to Robert Melville. The marriage was in 1877 and they were still in Brora at the time of the 1881 census. However, the family moved south to Leicestershire between 1881 and 1883. By the time of the move at least three children had been born in Brora and maybe four, possibly including a pair of twins.
Searching of the
English records successfully followed the family up to the
1901 census and complimented the later information sent by
Richard Melville. This
information is adequately covered in the Family Group Sheets
and descent outline and does not require repeating here.
Unfortunately, however, there is a blank in the early records
due to the fact that Jane Warr could not be found in the
census records for 1841 and 1851 for
The non-appearance of
Jane Warr in the in the 1841 and 1851 census records is a
she was simply not recorded due to the family moving around or
the possibility that she too was a child in a second marriage
is unclear. The
latter is certainly a possibility and she may be somewhere
recorded under the name of a stepfather or possibly as an
illegitimate under the father’s name rather than the possibly
unmarried Warr mother. This
search will also be undertaken again at a later stage after a
copy of the marriage certificate for Jane and Daniel
Goodfellow has been obtained. Hopefully this will indicate
The Bissell, Warr, Melville Line
1. Jonathan Bissell, b. ABT 1835 in Rowley Regis, Warwickshire, England (son of Benjamin Bissell [1809 - 1853] and Sarah Bissell [1812 - 1854]), census 1841 in Dudley, Worcestershire, England, occupation Iron Moulder, d. JUN 1859 in Place unreadable in records, census 1851 in Kingswinford, Staffordshire, England.
Iron Moulder. Deceased before 1860.
He married Jane Warr, JUN 1858 in West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England, b. ABT 1836 in Cradley Heath, Staffordshire, England (daughter of Benjamin Warr [1801 - ] and Lucy Warr [1799 - ]), census 1841 in Hales Owen, Worcestershire, England, census 1851 in Rowley Regis, Staffordshire, England, census 1861 in Parade, Cradley, Warwickshire, England, census 1871 in Rowley Regis, Staffordshire, England, census 1881 in Aston, Warwickshire, England, census 1891 in Withycombe Raleigh, Devon, England, census 1901 in St Oswald, Aston, Warwickshire, England.
Jane: Initially not
2. i. Lucy Elizabeth Bissell b. 1859.
2. Lucy Elizabeth Bissell, b. 1859 in Middlesbrough, Yorkshire, England, census 1861 in Cradley, Worcestershire, England, occupation 1877 Domestic Servant, census 1871 in Rowley Regis, Staffordshire, England, census 1881 in Clyne, Sutherland, Scotland, census 1891 in Leicestershire, England, census 1901 in Aston, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England.
Father appears to have died when she was very young and his details yet to be found. Brought up by step-father, Daniel Goodfellow. He was a brick manufacturer from Staffordshire who came to work as a foreman at the Brora Coalmine and Brickworks. He was probably the witness given as D. Goodfellow at the marriage of Lucy to Robert Melville.
Note: The birthplace of Lucy is given as Middlesbury or Middlesboro,
In the 1861 census given as Lucy E Bissell, 22 month old daughter inlaw, and in 1871 census she was given as Elizabeth Goodfellow - name of her step-father.
She married Robert Melville, 23 Feb 1877 in Fascally, Brora, Sutherland, Scotland, b. 25 May 1854 in Brora, Sutherland, Scotland (son of Robert Melville [1815 - 1880] and Henrietta Gordon [1824 - 1911]), census 1871 in Commerce Street, Brora, Sutherland, Scotland, occupation Shoemaker Location: Letter Carrier, census 1881 in Reay, Sutherland, Scotland, census 1891 in Leicestershire, England, census 1901 in Aston, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, occupation 1871 Labourer, occupation 1901 Brickmaker.
Robert: M. Wt. Joseph Grant & D. Goodfellow. Moved to Leicestershire between August 1881 and 1883.
3. i. Henrietta Jane Melville b. 10 Sep 1877.
Melville, b. 1877 in Brora,
Not certain when James was born. Possibly a twin to Henrietta and maynot have survived. Or maybe there was not a James - to be checkedagain.
iii. Helen Ann Melville, b. 26 Aug 1879 in Brora, Sutherland, Scotland, census 1881 in Clyne, Sutherland, Scotland.
4. iv. Robert Melville b. 20 Aug 1881.
v. Edith Mary Melville, b. ABT 1883 in Leicester, England, census 1901 in Aston, Birmingham, England.
Worked at Cadbury's Factory. Spinster and lived with mother.
vi. Margaret Melville, b. ABT 1885 in Birmingham, England, census 1901 in Aston, Birmingham, England.
Probably married and died in childbirth. AKA Maggie.
5. vii. Clara Melville b. ABT 1888.
viii. Albert John Melville, b. ABT 1890 in Birmingham, England, census 1901 in Aston, Birmingham, England, d. 2 May 1957.
Foreman at Cadbury's Factory for 41 years retiring in 1951. Nochildren.
ix. William G Melville, b. ABT 1893 in Birmingham, England, census 1901 in Aston, Birmingham, England.
Died as result of wounds suffered in 1st WW - gangrene in leg. A keenathlete who won many cups.
6. x. Ernest James Melville b. ABT 1895.
xi. Alexander G. Melville, b. ABT 1897 in Birmingham, England, census 1901 in Aston, Birmingham, England.
AKA as Alex. and Alec. Worked in Cadbury's Factory for over 50 yearsfrom 1911 to 1952 in Central Accounts. Served as Stretcher Bearer inR.A.M.C. in 1st WW. Keen sportsman playing tennis, snooker andfootball for Bournville Athletic.
3. Henrietta Jane Melville, b. 10 Sep 1877 in Brora, Sutherland, Scotland, census 1881 in Clyne, Sutherland, Scotland.
Possibly a twin to
James. Lived at
She married William Yardley, b. ABT 1875.
i. Boy Yardley.
ii. Girl Yardley.
iii. Winifred Yardley.
4. Robert Melville, b. 20 Aug 1881 in Brora, Sutherland, Scotland, d. 2 Dec 1985 in Selly Oak, Birmingham, England.
Worked at Cadbury's factory 1911-45. Hobbies gardening and playing bowls.
married Alice Maud Burford,
d. 9 Jun 1975 in Selly Oak,
7. i. Leslie Robert Melville b. 14 May 1914.
8. ii. John William Melville b. 22 Mar 1923.
5. Clara Melville, b. ABT 1888 in Birmingham, England, census 1901 in Aston, Birmingham, England.
She married Wilfred Mortiboys.
9. i. Joyce Mortiboys.
ii. Ronnie Mortiboys.
Died in early 1990s.
6. Ernest James Melville, b. ABT 1895 in Birmingham, England, census 1901 in Aston, Birmingham, England.
Officer in 1st WW.
He married Madge Melville (MS Unk.).
i. Sonia Melville.
7. Leslie Robert
Melville, b. 14 May 1914 in
Teacher of Woodwork
and Technical Drawing. Retired 1964 as
married Margaret Ethel Crampton, 19 Oct 1936 in Harborne,
Margaret: Worked for many
years as Secretary in
10. i. Jennifer Katrina Melville b. 3 May 1939.
11. ii. Richard Melville (details excluded).
8. John William
Melville, b. 22 Mar 1923 in
married Lorna Robins, in
i. Alistair Melville (details excluded).
9. Joyce Mortiboys.
Died early in 1990s.
She married Denis Wheton.
i. Caroline Wheton.
10. Jennifer Katrina
Melville, b. 3 May 1939 in
She married William Mackenzie, 24 Feb 1968 in East Sheen,
William: Professional Photographer. Had daughter Catherine Mackenzie(24/4/1960) by a previous marriage.
i. Mark Mackenzie (details excluded).
ii. James Mackenzie (details excluded).
11. Richard Melville (details excluded).
He married Mary Frances Relf, (details excluded).
i. Joanne Mary Melville (details excluded).
ii. Lucy Margaret Melville (details excluded).
iii. Sarah Helen Melville (details excluded).