Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Mysterious Mr. Mansfield

In researching our Adams family it seems each time we find an answer to something it poses another question.

George Adams and his first wife, Catherine nee Barry, were my great great grandparents.  This post is about their second youngest daughter Margaret Adams.

Margaret's mother, Catherine, died at Park Street, Melbourne in 1884 and father, George died at 5 Brixton Street Flemington in 1921.

In George's will he left his surviving daughters from his first marriage 20 pounds each and all the daughters except Margaret are mentioned by their married names, yet Margaret's death certificate states she married a James Mansfield in South Melbourne at the age of 25 which would have been in 1893.

Margaret was born at Vasse in Western Australia in 1868.  Her death certificate states she was 55 years of age and had spent one year in W.A and 54 years in Victoria.  She died in 1926 at what I initially thought was perhaps 72a Watters or Walters Street, Albert Park but I couldn't find a street by either name.

No registration or certificate has been found for a marriage of James Mansfield and Margaret Adams.

But ......

My third cousin and fellow Adams researcher Christine found a couple of articles in the Argus Newspaper from January 1893 about a James Alexander Mansfield being arrested for Bigamy.  This James Alexander Mansfield was a former Secretary of the Amalgamated Seamen's Union.

In the 1903, 1909 and 1914 electoral rolls a James Alexander was living at 68 Beaconsfield Parade, Albert Park with a Margaret Mansfield.  His occupation is given as coalweigher.

In 1924 electoral roll Margaret Mansfield was still living at 68 Beaconsfield Parade.  There is a Withers Street directly around the corner from that address, could that be where Margaret Mansfield nee Adams died in 1926?  Living at 66 Withers Street was a John Burgess Mansfield and a Nina Mansfield.  I haven't found a connection ..... yet.

I could find no other suitable James Alexander Mansfield in a search of the electoral rolls, nor could I find a death certificate or registration but on searching Trove again I found the following death notice for 1917.

Could our Margaret Adams "husband" be James Alexander Mansfield the bigamist?  Husband of M. Mansfield could be purposefully ambiguous?


  1. It all adds up to me. I thought the private interment was interesting...same thing occurred with the undiscovered bigamist in our family.

  2. Rereading this most interesting post.