Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Lennies/McClellans


In the last few weeks Ive learned a lot more about my Orkney ancestors since my earlier posts

One of my biggest finds/and frustrations  is in regards to my 2x G Grandmothers older sons.




Betsy( Elizabeth) Brodie married John Lennie in Stronsay Orkney and they and their family of 3 children ( David, John and Catherine) immigrated here and settled in Pleasant Point in 1870 .

Betsy and John had a further 2 more children, Lizzie, and  Louisa ( who seems to have been registered as Letitia at birth)


Some time around March  1876 John Lennie died ( we know he was buried then but cant find any record of the death ever being registered)

Their second son John Lennie died in 1883.

The eldest son David Married Lucretia Peake in 1887  and they lived in Pleasant Point. He was a pound Keeper and ranger there in 1897, and had trained as a Blacksmith

David and Lucretia didnt have much happiness in regard to child rearing. They lost a baby ( David) in 1889, then lost a baby ( Samuel in 1898  and a son Eric aged 7 in 1901 .  They had  a daughter and  2 sons who survived to adulthood, Lucretia Jeanette , William Henry, and  Francis David, and   At some time between 1897 and 1900 David and Lucretia moved to Wellington and Lucretia was once again pregnant . 


Unfortunately the baby, Margaret, was stillborn and Lucretia died soon after the birth due to complications of childbirth.


What I knew next was that David remarries in Australia, and I found both Francis and William both on Australian Electoral Rolls but all 3 had taken the surname McClellan ( that of Betsy’s second husband and my Great Great Grandfather)


Fast forward to this month and my cousin Rachel has found an old photo album belonging to my Great Grandfather and there are many photographs in there we need to identify so I took the scans to one of my mothers older cousins to get some opinions





She immediately said the top right photo was Dave ( having never met him she must have been told this at some point )

She gave me a copy of the bottom left photo which says Yours Truly  W H McClellan

Very quick research proved that indeed David McClellan did serve in the Australian 5th squadron 2nd Mounted Regiment as a Shoe Smith ( he lied about his age – taking at least 5 years off his age I assume to get in)

William Henry McClellan was indeed in the British Merchant Navy and Royal Navy – his medal card I found at British Archives this morning

It seems to me that the man on the top right – supposedly David – is the same man who is seen sitting in the top left photo . ( That would make the boy my G Grandfather who was 12 years his junior)

I think the younger man in the bottom right photo is extremely similar looking to William Henry in his Naval uniform beside him – dont you??

If its not William then it probably is his brother Francis . ( Francis also served in WW1 for Australia)

The older man though I dont know- he is still a mystery.


What do you think? – Am I grasping at straws here – ?


On a side note… What happened to the daughter Lucretia Jeanette – well Ive talked about her in a previous post  – .

Whether she kept in touch throughout her life with her Uncle ( My G Grandfather) or whether they found each other later in life I don’t know but I do know that in their twilight years, after the death of their respective spouses, they became great companions . I suspect she knew very little of her brothers family in Australia as I have found a Red Cross letter attached to Francis’ war file, dated 1952  enquiring for his whereabouts , as family in NZ hadnt heard from him since before the First World War.

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