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
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"
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
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)