HIS HERITAGE


The first known migration of the Mackle Family occurred during the Irish Potato Famine of the mid 1800s. Patrick Mackle – about 25 years of age and son of Timothy Mackle, a farmer - left Ireland and settled in England in the town of Fleetwood, a small fishing village on the northwest coast. In Fleetwood Patrick worked at The Steam Packing Company and married an Irish lass, Sarah Flanagan in 1847 in a Roman Catholic ceremony. Sarah bore him four children including James. 

James was born in 1850 in Fleetwood England.

By 1871 James had ventured a few miles north to Barrow-In-Furness England. James is recorded in the 1871 census, living with the Radcliffe family - his future in-laws. For some reason his future bride Nancy Radcliffe is not listed as residing there although she would have been only eighteen at the time.

In any event James and Nancy were married nearby in the Catholic chapel in Ulverston, England in the County of Lancaster in September 1871. Two months later their first child William was born.

James must have been an enterprising young man. The few documented articles that have been handed down over the years describe him as a ”prominent townsman” who was an Innkeeper and a Publisher in Barrow-in-Furness. He also ran successfully for election to the school board in 1881 and again in 1884.

As a result of a serious “inflammation of the lungs” James passed away in November 1886 - at the youthful age of thirty-six - leaving Nancy to care for her four young sons. Frank - the youngest child - was five or six when his father died.

James, in spite of his accomplishments, apparently died penniless. One letter from J.P. Hodgeson to Nancy - apparently settling James’ estate - tells part of the story:

"In reply to your's of last week, I have seen J. R. Bell & Wm Malder. They say that all the cash in hand will be required for expenses & that their (sic) will be nothing for either you or your creditors. It seems to me to have been a very expensive affair. I remain Yours Truly,Johns P. Hodgeson"

Nancy was thirty-three when her husband of fifteen years passed away.

Nancy was not one to let circumstances decide her future. Less than one year later she wed a seaman named John Kendall.

The story - handed down by my father - indicated that John ran off soon after leaving Nancy and her boys alone.

Once again taking matters in her own hands she somehow booked passage to a new life in America.

So the story of the Mackle family in the United States began – as so many immigrant American success stories do – with a long sea voyage in the late 1800s - as Nancy Radcliffe Mackle and her four sons, including the youngest, Frank Elliott Mackle (Senior), boarded ship in England and set sail for the New World.

Upon their arrival Nancy and the four boys settled in Elizabeth New Jersey.

Confusing the old family story are the records, city directories of Elizabeth show John Kendall residing with Nancy from 1895 to 1898. Whether the family story is flawed or whether John reunited with Nancy after her voyage or whether Nancy recorded John’s name in the city records for “appearance” purposes may never be known. There is no further record of John. My father who was born in 1916 - with his grandmother Nancy living nearby - never knew him.

Elizabeth was an industrial city known for its steel mills and ship building companies.

It was in this environment that young Frank Mackle (Senior) grew up.