A Family History Collection
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James Mackay was the son of George Mackay who married Hannah Bittleston in 1825.
George died young and Hannah married again to become Hannah Clarke.
In the 1841 census, James Mackay, aged 15, is living with his mother, Hannah Clarke and his half brother William Clarke, aged 6, in Whitburn Street, Monkwearmouth, a district of Sunderland.
They share the address with a large Spraggon family.
James is a shipwrights apprentice.
Meanwhile, his future wife Mary Ann Scott aged 16, is living with her mother, Elizabeth and two of her brothers - Joseph, aged 14 and Thomas aged 9- in Barclay Street, Monkwearmouth.
Elizabeth had married William Scott in 1816 so there may have been older children who had already left home.
By 1845, however, when James Mackay and Mary Ann Scott married in St Peters Church, great improvements were being made to the area.
The 1871 census shows him and Mary Ann with their children in Victor Street in Monkwearmouth but he moved his family to London around that time, to Deptford. (See 'Sheila's Memories')
He was the Ships Carpenter on the ship The Castle Howard.
In 1863/4 the ship sailed without James - he had fallen and broken his leg so could not go.
The Castle Howard was lost without trace. In 1865, James and Anne's daughter was born. In memory of his shipmates and in thanks for his fortunate escape, they named their daughter Emily Howard Mackay. Emily was the name of the Captain's (James Lamprell) wife who had also perished on the voyage.
Since that time, children in the family have been given the middle name Howard to remind us all that they we not exist if James had not broken his leg that day.
Mary Ann Mackay nee Scott