EARLS FAMILY CHRONICLES

© Christopher Earls Brennen

CHAPTER TEN

THE MERCER FAMILY


There is substantial circumstantial evidence to suggest that the Mercer family were deeply involved with the linen trade and weaving business. We suspect that they may originally have been Huguenot immigrants who settled near Lisburn and in the Lagan Valley. In France the name Mercier is regarded as a Huguenot name and is connected with the silk industry. A great fire in Lisburn in 1707 inflicted substantial damage to the linen industry. After the fire the linen industry was dispersed to the surrounding countryside where loom cottages were provided for the Huguenot weavers; these cottages accomodated a family and a long room for anywhere from four to eight looms. The surrounding farm was used to grow both flax and provisions for the family. Most of the family would be involved in the production of the linen, the women as spinners and the men for setting up the looms and for weaving. The Mercer family headed by Old-old Stothard and by Old Stothard may well have presided over such an operation. However the introduction of factories using power looms in about 1800, signalled the end of the disperse phase of linen production and may well account for the dispersal of Stothard and Ellen Mercer's family into a variety of different livelihoods.

  1. Stothard Mercer, known later as ``Old-old Stothard'', was a farmer who lived in the vicinity of Magheralin, County Down, Northern Ireland in the late 18th century. He married Ellen Forsythe and they had a large family according to the local parish church records (see below). In the record of the baptism of their son Stothard in 1796, their residence is listed as Ballymagin, a townland just northwest of the village of Magheralin. Stothard erected a gravestone (a white limestone tablet in surround) in the Old Burying Ground in Magheralin which reads: ``Erected by Stothard Mercer of Ballymagh. Here lieth ye body of Mary Mercer who departed this life Jan.21, 1814 aged 7 years.'' It seems quite possible that the John, Henry and William Mercer listed below who were contemporaries of Stothard Mercer and who belonged to the same church were, in fact, his brothers:
  2. John Mercer may have been a brother of Stothard Merecer. He had at least two children:
    1. Richard Mercer christened on Mar.4, 1786, in Magheralin Parish Church.
    2. Ann Mercer christened on Feb.9, 1789, in Magheralin Parish Church.
  3. Henry Mercer may have been a brother of Stothard Merecer. He married Elizabeth McDowal in the church in Magheralin on Oct.12, 1790. They were the parents of:
    1. Hugh Mercer christened on May 23, 1791, in Magheralin Parish Church.
    2. Possibly also Abigail Mercer christened on Jan.19, 1806.
  4. William Mercer may have been a brother of Stothard Merecer. He married a woman named Ann and they were the parents of:
    1. Rose Ann Mercer christened on Dec.31, 1805, in Magheralin Parish Church. She married Coslett Waring in the church at Magheralin on Feb.26, 1828. In the parish registers of Dromore, County Down there is a record of the birth of John ``Warren'' to Coslett ``Warren'' and Rose Mercer on Dec.16, 1828.
    2. William Mercer christened on June 4, 1815, in Magheralin Parish Church.
    3. Richard Mercer christened on Mar.16, 1817, in Magheralin Parish Church.

Map of the Magheralin area of County Down showing some
of the places occuring in the story of the Mercer family.


CHILDREN OF STOTHARD MERCER:

  1. John Mercer was christened in the Magheralin church on Oct.11, 1785. Circumstantial evidence suggests that he may have moved to Scotland. A John Marcer/Mercer married Agnes Scobie on 3 Nov 1815 in Maybole, Ayrshire and is recorded in the 1841 census as aged 56 from Ireland. He was employed in the local salt works until his death, possibly prior to 1851. Agnes died a widow in 1865. [This information on the family of John and William Mercer provided by Susan Lamberton .] John and Agnes had a son:
    1. William Mercer was born in Newton, Ayr, Scotland, on Jul.23 1825 and became a railway engineer. On Aug.14, 1848, in the Church of the Holy Trinity, parish of Magheralin, William Mercer, 22, a bachelor and engineer, of Glasgow, Scotland (father: John Mercer, labourer) was married to Sarah McVeagh, 20, of Magheralin. Anne McVeagh was a witness. It seems likely that William met Sarah while he was visting his family in Magheralin. Sarah had a brother who died in Scotland, the son of Robert McVeagh and Elizabeth Archer. William appears in the 1851 Census of Scotland. William and Sarah started married life in Glasgow, moving on to Carlisle and finally Crewe, a major rail center. They had a large family. Their daughter:
      1. Sarah Mercer lived with her brother in Birkenhead after her parents died and met and married James Wattleworth there. Some of their children emigrated and descendants are spread across North America and Australia as well as the UK.
  2. Jane Mercer was christened in the Magheralin church on Feb.18, 1787.
  3. James Mercer was christened in the Magheralin church on Dec.26, 1788.
  4. William Mercer was christened in the Magheralin church on May 29, 1791. He married Mary McKinley in the same church on Feb.17, 1828.
  5. Joshua Mercer was christened in the Magheralin church on June 16, 1793. Joshua married Anne Cordner in the same church on Nov.4, 1823 and they had a number of children listed below. Joshua lived in Ballymacmain and worked as a labourer. His first wife Anne must have died prior to 1851 for in that year Joshua was married on Sep.26 to Adamson Leinster in the Parish Church of Magheralin. Joshua is described as a 50-year-old widower and farmer from Ballymacmain. Adamson is described as a 35-year-old widow, a servant residing at Grace Hall Cottage prior to the wedding. Her father is listed as James Wilson, a farmer. Interestingly this wedding took place just one week after the wedding of Joshua's daughter, Elizabeth. Joshua's children by his first wife, Anne:
    1. William Mercer was christened in the Magheralin church on Nov.16, 1823
    2. Elizabeth Mercer was christened in the Magheralin Church on Nov.16, 1828. On Sep.20, 1851, at the age of 22, she was married in the same church to David Irwin, 21, a bachelor weaver from Ballymackeonan whose father was Thomas Irwin, a labourer. The witnesses were Robert Mercer and Margaret McCoy. Elizabeth's father is listed as Joshua Mercer, a labourer.
    3. James Mercer was christened in the Magheralin church on Jan.19, 1834.
    We also know of the following children of Joshua and Adamson Mercer:
    1. Jane Mercer was christened in the Magheralin Church on May 1, 1853.
    2. Eleanor Mercer was born on Aug.22, 1854.
    3. Margaret Mercer was born on Jan.10, 1857.
  6. Stothard Mercer (1796-1875), our ancestor, was christened in the church at Magheralin on Apr.17, 1796. Known later to his descendants as ``Old Stothard'' to distinguish him from his father and his son, Stothard was a farmer at Ballymackeonan near Moira, County Down. He married Eleanor Pickering (1798-1854) who was known as Ellen in the church at Magheralin on June 18, 1819. The witnesses to the wedding were William and James Pickering, the bride's brothers. The Pickerings were a prominent family in Magheralin (see chapter 10). Members of the family then and now reside in Newforge House, Magheralin, and a family Bible there records the marriage of Stothard and Eleanor. Legend has it that they had 13 children, 7 sons and six daughters, but three of these are unknown. Stothard is described as a warper on the 1851 marriage certificate of his son, Stothard. Stothard Mercer died at Ballymackeonan on Aug.30, 1875 at the age of 80; his wife, Ellen, died on Nov.25, 1854. They are buried in the Old Burying Ground in Magheralin, County Down where there is a gravestone slightly to the right of the entrance and up toward the ruin of the old church which is in a fair state of preservation and which reads:
    ``Erected in memory of Stothard Mercer who died 30 August 1875 aged 80 years. Also his wife Ellen Mercer who died 25 Nov. 1854 aged 56 years. Also their sons Stothard who died 30 August 1869 aged 41 years, John who died 24 Dec. 1844 aged 19 years. Also their grandson William who died 18 Nov. 1868 aged 23 years.''
  7. Thomas Mercer was christened in the Magheralin church on Sep.27, 1798. He married Charlotte King in the same church on Apr.3, 1830. We think that Thomas became a weaver and resident of Ballymagin. Thomas and Charlotte had at least seven children as follows:
    1. Thomas Mercer was born about 1832. In the 1901 Census, 68-year-old unmarried farmer Thomas Mercer (born in County Down, member of the Church of Ireland) are recorded as living in the townland of Ballymagin, parish of Magheralin, with his brother William John Mercer and William's wife Sarah A. Mercer. In the 1911 Census, 76-year-old unmarried farmer Thomas Mercer (born in County Down, member of the Church of Ireland) are recorded as living in the townland of Ballymagin, parish of Magheralin, with his brother William John Mercer and William's wife Sarah A. Mercer.
    2. Elizabeth Mercer was christened in the Magheralin church on Aug.24, 1834.
    3. William John Mercer was christened in the Magheralin church on Mar.20, 1836. This may be the William John Mercer, a farm labourer of Ballymagin, County Down, and member of the Church of Ireland (father: Thomas Mercer, farm labourer) who was married on Dec.25, 1885, in St. Patrick's Church of Ireland, Ballymacarrett, County Down, to Sarah Anne Hewitt of 15 Cable Street, spinster and member of the Church of Ireland (father: James Hewitt, farm labourer). Witnesses were Richardson Hewitt and Charlotte Jane McKinley. In the 1901 Census, 64-year-old William John Mercer and his 40-year-old wife Sarah Anne Mercer (both born in County Down, members of the Church of Ireland) are recorded as living in the townland of Ballymagin, parish of Magheralin, with William John's brother Thomas Mercer. In the 1911 Census, 74-year-old farmer William John Mercer and his 56-year-old wife Sarah Anne Mercer (both born in County Down, married 20 years, members of the Church of Ireland) are recorded as living in house #14, townland of Ballymagin, parish of Magheralin, with William John's brother Thomas Mercer.
    4. Henry Mercer was christened in the Magheralin church on July 2, 1837
    5. Ellen Mercer was christened in the Magheralin church on Mar.19, 1843.
    6. Charlotte Mercer, presumably Ellen's twin sister, was christened in the Magheralin church on Mar.20, 1843. On Jun.4, 1862, Charlotte Jane Mercer, aged 22, was married in the same church to James Malcolmson, a 28-year-old bachelor and sergeant in the Royal Army. James's father is weaver John Malcolmson and Charlotte's father is listed as weaver Thomas Mercer. Both are residents of Ballymagin. The marriage was witnessed by William King and Cherrie Mercer.
    7. Mary Ann Mercer was christened in the Magheralin church on Sep.25, 1844. In 1867, Mary Ann married Joseph White, a weaver in Magheralin, in the same church. Joseph was the son of Solomon White, blacksmith.
    8. Alice Mercer was christened in the Magheralin church on Nov.28, 1847.
  8. Mary Mercer whose gravestone epitaph is given above was christened in the church at Magheralin on July 12, 1807 and died as a child on Jan.21, 1814.


CHILDREN OF STOTHARD AND ELLEN MERCER:

  1. Elizabeth Mercer was christened in the church at Magheralin on April 1, 1820. She married Robert Symington in the same church on Oct.24, 1839. Robert and Elizabeth emigrated to Philadelphia and had at least four children, Robert, Stothard, William and Elizabeth Symington. One of Robert and Elizabeth Symington's granddaughters married a man named Eckstein and their daughter, Anna Eckstein, wrote to Elizabeth Mercer.
  2. William Mercer, our ancestor, was christened in the church in Magheralin on July 8, 1821. He married Mary Bell and they had a large family described later. William was involved in the linen industry and he and his family lived in various places including Magheralin, Lurgan, Banbridge and Belfast. On his daughter Jane's marriage certificate he is described as a warehouseman and their address is given as 32 Albion Street, Belfast. William predeceased his wife who was left a widow with many children.
  3. Jane Mercer was christened in the church in Magheralin on June 23, 1823. She married a man named Bell and had two sons:
    1. Edwin Bell married Elizabeth Ralph and they had
      1. Norman Bell married a woman named Muriel and they had two children:
        1. Colin Bell married a woman named Shirley and they had two children, Jennifer and Fiona Bell.
        2. Betty Bell married a man named Hoddern.
      2. Freda Bell married a man named Hume.
      3. Lily Bell married George Barrett and they had four children:
        1. Norman Barrett had four children Clifford, John, Kenneth and Marion Barrett.
        2. Winifred Barrett had two children, Alwyn and Denise.
        3. Cecil Barrett had a son, Peter Barrett.
        4. Robert Barrett had three sons, Mark, Stephen and Paul Barrett.
      4. Noel Bell
    2. Robert Henry Bell married his cousin, Eleanor Wilson, and had four children:
      1. Cherrie Bell
      2. Joseph Henry Bell (known as Josh)
      3. Eleanor Bell
      4. Robert Bell
  4. John Mercer was christened in the church at Magheralin on Oct.16, 1825. He died on Dec.24, 1844 at the age of 19 and is buried in the Old Burying Ground at Magheralin alongside his parents.

       
    Eliza (McCoy) Mercer    Lallie Chambers
    (Courtesy of Rachel Johnstone-Burt)

  5. Stothard Mercer was christened in the church in Magheralin on Oct.19, 1828. On May 16, 1851, at the age of 22, he married Eliza McCoy in the Magheralin Parish Church. On the marriage certificate he is described as a bachelor weaver from Ballymackeonan and she is described as a 21-year-old spinster weaver whose father, William McCoy, was also a weaver. On the birth certificates of his daughters, Ellinor and Elizabeth, Stothard is listed first as a weaver and then as a grocer. On both documents his place of residence is given as Edenballycoggil, Moira, in the parish of Magheralin. Stothard Mercer died of liver disease on Aug.30, 1869 at the age of 41 and in the presence of his son Robert John Mercer. He is buried alongside his parents in the Old Burying Ground at Magheralin. Stothard and Eliza Mercer had at least six children as follows:
    1. Robert John Mercer was christened in the Magheralin church on June 20, 1851.
    2. Stothard William Mercer was christened in the Magheralin church on Jan.9, 1853.
    3. Ellen Mercer was born in 1850 and christened in the Magheralin church on July 2, 1854. Ellen married William Henry Brown who ran a company in Lurgan with his brother-in-law, James Mercer. Ellen died in 1941 and William in 1926. Ellen and William had six children:
      1. Cecil Brown was born in 1899 and married Barbara McGregor. Cecil died in 1956. They had four children:
        1. Heather Brown married Stephen Olford and they had two sons:
          1. David Olford married Eileen Gronean.
          2. Jonathan Olford married Catherine ? and had two sons Jeremy and Justin Olford.
        2. William Brown married Sally Best and had two children.
        3. Grace Brown married James Foote and had three children, Robin, Barbara, and Alison Foote.
        4. Lillian Brown married Victor Henning.
      2. Lillian Brown was born in 1899 and died in 1914.
      3. Nora Brown was born in 1903 and died in 1910.
      4. Doris Brown was born in 1904 and died in 1941.
      5. Harold Brown was born in 1906 and married Ellie Carson. Harold died in 1962. Harold and Ellie had three children:
        1. Alan Brown married a woman named Ann and they had three children, David, Jenny and Richard Brown.
        2. Doris Brown married John Matthews and they had four children:
          1. Timothy Matthews was born in 1972.
          2. Helen Matthews was born in 1975.
          3. Claire Matthews was born in 1977.
          4. Jessica Matthews was born in 1983.
        3. Andrew Brown married a woman named Barbara and had three children, Peter, Rebecca and Ruth Brown.
      6. Leita Brown was born in 1910 and married James Carson. They lived at ``The Limes'', Lough Road, Lurgan. Leita died in 1969. James and Leita had four children:
        1. Brian Carson married Faye O'Brien and they had four children, Janet, born in 1968, Robyn, born in 1968, Helen, born in 1969, and Lynda, born in 1972.
        2. Stephen Carson married Gwen ? and they had three children, Vivienne, born in 1975, Diane, born in 1977, and James Carson.
        3. Philip Carson
        4. Ruth Carson married William Addley and they had four children, William, Judith, born in 1971, Esther, born in 1973, and Rachel, born in 1976.
    4. James Mercer was born in 1854 and christened in the Magheralin church on Sept.14, 1858. He married Frances Tallentyre who was born in England in 1862. James formed a company in Lurgan called Mercer and Brown, his partner being William Brown, the husband of his sister Ellen. The company were linen finishers who also did Swiss embroidery, hemstitching, hankerchief manufacturing, etc., and were located in Union Street, Lurgan. It is included in the 1886 County Antrim Directory along with a second company, Mercer and Magill, Lough Road, Lurgan, who also did hemstitching and about whom we have no other information. The two families, the Mercers and the Browns, lived beside each other at ``The Limes'', Lough Road, Lurgan, and are so listed in the Derry Rural area of Lurgan in the 1901 Census. James and Frances Mercer belonged to the Methodist church. James died in 1914 and Frances in 1931. They had five children as follows:
      1. Edith Mercer born in 1890 in County Armagh and died in 1981.
      2. Isabel Mercer born in 1893 in County Armagh and died in 1954.
      3. Percy Mercer born in 1895 in County Armagh and died in 1914.
      4. Laura Mercer born about 1896 in County Armagh and married Thomas McCrea. They had two children:
        1. Roger McCrea was born in 1927 and died in 1941.
        2. Deidre McCrea was born in 1930 and married George Wade. They had had three children:
          1. Ruth Wade married T. Griffiths and they have a son Michael Griffiths born in 1981.
          2. Jane Wade married D. Lambert and they have a daughter Sarah born in 1984.
          3. Clare Wade
      5. Muriel Mercer born in 1899 in County Armagh and married John Stewart. She died in 1982.
    5. Mary Mercer
    6. Ellinor Mercer was born in Edenballycoggil, Moira, on Jan.28, 1864; her birth was therefore registered. Since the oral family history did not remember her she may have died in infancy.
    7. Elizabeth Mercer was born in Edenballycoggil, Moira, on Mar.10, 1867. She married William Kirkpatrick Chambers who was born in Boardmills, County Down, in 1871. Elizabeth died in 1956. They had one daughter:
      1. Lallie Chambers was born in 1903 and married a Swede named Lars Carl Adolphus Gustavus Persson (1889-1948) who was known as Carl and who changed his name to Leslie Charles Grenville Alan Persson. They lived in Reading, England, and had three sons:
        1. Rurie Persson, born on Nov.22, 1926, married Shirley Hudson (born Feb.5, 1937) in 1956. Rurie died in 1988. Their children:
          1. Alistair Persson, born on Nov.10, 1957, married Lynne Moss in 1981.
          2. Mark Persson, born on Jul.26, 1959, married Jackie Vickery in 1998. They have a son Louis Persson born in 2000.
          3. Sarah Persson, born on Jun.11, 1961, married Tony O'Donohue in 1980. They have three children, Charles, born in 1983, Sophie, born in 1984, and Edward O'Donohue, born in 1992.
        2. William Persson, born on Sep.27, 1927, married Ann Davey (born on May 12, 1938) in 1957. They live in Dorset, England. Their children:
          1. Rachel Persson, born on Feb.12, 1958, married Tony Johnstone-Burt and they have five children, Edward, born in 1983, Tommy, born in 1985, Persephone, born in 1986, Antigone, born in 1988, and Rupert, born in 1991. They live in Dartmouth, Devon.
          2. Matthew Persson, born on Nov.29, 1960, married Rose Colman and they have two sons, Augustus, born in 1990, and Bartholomew Joseph Persson, born in 1993.
          3. Adam Persson, born on Jun.22, 1966, married and divorced Eva de Carvalho.
        3. Paul Persson, born on Aug.28, 1932, married Ann Carr (born Jun.12, 1937) in 1959. They had five children:
          1. Fiona Persson was born in 1961 and died in 1963.
          2. John Persson, born on May 6, 1963, married a Swede, Karine Zellerstrom and they have three daughters. Isabelle, Hannah and Emily Persson.
          3. Andrew Persson, born on Nov.8, 1964, married Jo Lockhart and they have three daughters, Ella, ?, and Ruby Persson.
          4. Bryony Persson, born Jun.27, 1966.
          5. Graham Persson, born Nov.3, 1968, married Sarah ? and they have one daughter.
  6. Robert Mercer was christened in the church in Magheralin on Aug.15, 1830, and started out his working life as a weaver. On Mar.10, 1854, in the Church of St. John, Moira, Robert was married to Susana Clark, a 23-year-old dressmaker from Moira, whose father, Archibald Clark, was a blacksmith. On the marriage certificate Robert's residence is listed as Ballymackeonan, Magheralin. Later Robert started a bakery known as Mercer's or the Ulster Bakery. In 1865 when his son William Pickering was born, the family were living at 22 Richmond, Belfast and Robert was working as a labourer.
    1. William Pickering Mercer was born on Dec.5, 1865, at 22 Richmond, Belfast.
    2. James Mercer lived in Greenisland, County Antrim and carried on the bakery. He married Ann Jane Mathers (1868-1943) from Magheralin whose grandfather was James Pickering, the brother of Eleanor Pickering who married Stothard Mercer. For further detail see Chapter 10. James and Ann had two sons and one daughter:
      1. Noel Mercer graduated with a B.Sc. from Queen's University, Belfast in electrical engineering and was a classmate of Arnold Earls.
      2. Henry Mercer carried on the bakery.
      3. Eileen Mercer attended Methodist College, Belfast and studied medicine at Queen's University. She became a doctor in the School Medical Service. In 1983 she was living at 107 Upper Road, Greenisland, Carrickfergus, County Antrim.
  7. Margaret Mercer was christened in the church in Magheralin on Feb.9, 1831.
  8. Charlotte Mercer was christened in the church in Magheralin on June 24, 1832. On Nov.29, 1859, she married a 26-year old bachelor shopkeeper from Magheralin called John Wilson, whose father Thomas Wilson was a weaver. The marriage took place in the Magheralin Parish Church. On the marriage certificate, Charlotte's father, Stothard Mercer is listed as a steward. Charlotte and John had at least two daughters:
    1. Eleanor Wilson married her cousin Robert Henry Bell and had four children, Cherrie (Charity?), Joseph Henry (known as Josh), Eleanor and Robert Bell.
    2. Charity Wilson, known as Cherry, married a man named Trimble and had a daughter Augusta Trimble.
  9. Thomas Mercer remained in Magheralin and was married twice. His second wife was called Nellie (?) and they had four children, Fred, Robert (who married Flo (?), lived in London and had 12 children), Jack and Lillie.
  10. James Mercer (Rev.) was born in 1837 and first became a writing clerk living in Agnes Street, Belfast. On May 24, 1864, at the age of 27, in the Wesleyan Chapel, Frederick Street, Shankhill, Belfast, he married Flora McMillan, aged 22 (born in 1842), the daughter of James McMillan, a mechanic of Ballymacarrett, Knockbreda (the witnesses were Joseph Mercer and Matilda McMillan). James became a preacher and, about 1869, he and Flora went to England where James preached in a London City Mission and, perhaps apochryphally, to the gypsies in Epping Forest. James and Flora had 5 children listed below. Flora died in 1886 and, in 1890, James was married for a second time to Nellie Butler. James died on Apr.11, 1910. The children of James and Flora:
    1. James Stothard Mercer also became a Congregational minister in England. He married Adie Pearce and they had two children:
      1. Walter Mercer, known as Wallie, was born in 1894 in Norfolk. He married Elsie Bryan who was born on Nov.7, 1896, and died on Jan.6, 1975. Walter and Elsie had 2 children:
        1. Brian Mercer was born in 1927 and married Mary Hargreaves. They had 3 children:
          1. Andrew Mercer
          2. Liam Mercer
          3. Dominic Mercer
        2. Kathleen Mercer was born in 1932 and married Peter F.J. Hutchings, born Aug.28, 1923, in Wincanton, Somerset, England. Peter died in Bristol on Jul.18, 1986. Kathleen and Peter had two children:
          1. Nicholas John Hutchings married Margit Agerholm Schacht . Nicholas and Margit have two children:
            1. Torben Bryan Hutchings
            2. Maiken A. Hutchings
          2. Teresa Hutchings and married Anthony Wilcox. Teresa and Anthony have two children:
            1. George H. Wilcox
            2. Phillipa J. Wilcox
      2. May Mercer married Desmond Rees.
    2. Henry Mercer
    3. Jack Mercer
    4. Robert Joseph Mercer was born on Feb.24, 1871, in Fulham, Middlesex and, on May 11, 1890, in Croydon, Surrey, was married to Margaret Stewart Reed, born on Oct.18, 1869, in Hamilton, Lanark, Scotland. Robert died on Feb.4, 1943, and is buried in the Edmonton cemetery in North London. Margaret died on Mar.8, 1953. Robert and Margaret had ten children:
      1. Robert James Mercer was born on Oct.17, 1890, at 12 Stannary Street, Lambeth, London, and on Mar.16, 1918, in Edmonton, Middlesex, married Amy Mary Ann Rust, born on Jul.19, 1889, in Hackney, London. Robert died on Feb.2, 1943, at 6 Sheldon Road, Edmonton, and Amy on Dec.5, 1977. Robert and Amy had a son:
        1. Keith Mercer and married Georgina Crawley . They had three children:
          1. Simon Mercer
          2. Penelope Mercer (pennymercer1961@yahoo.co.uk) lives near Slough outside London. She provided information on this branch of the family.
          3. Joanna Margaret Mercer was born on Jul.4, 1963, in Watford and died on Feb.2, 1978.
      2. John Henry Mercer was born on Jan.30, 1893, and, on Oct.1, 1921, married Agnes Lovatt, born on May 17, 1896. John died on Jan.16, 1977, and Agnes on May 24, 1984. They had a daughter:
        1. June Mercer was born on Jun.21, 1927, and married William Finlayson. June died on Jun.13, 1977. June and William had three children:
          1. John Finlayson
          2. William Finlayson
          3. Mark Finlayson
      3. Flora Margaret Effie Mercer was born on Aug.16, 1894, and, on Jun.9, 1919, married Frank Dunscombe Knight. Flora died on Aug.12, 1982, and Frank in 1948. They had a son:
        1. Frank R.J. Dunscombe Knight was born on Jul.7, 1920, and, on Sep.10, 1949, married Hilda Luckman. Hilda died on Jul.28, 1976, and Frank in 1986.
      4. Mary Mercer was born on Nov.25, 1896, and, on Aug.23, 1923, married Harry Mercer, born in 1900. Harry died in 1970 and Mary on Feb.25, 1978. They had a son:
        1. Alan Mercer
      5. William Mercer was born in 1899 and died in 1908.
      6. Frank Stothard Mercer was born on Jun.14, 1903, and, in 1922, married a woman named Emmy. Frank died on Apr.23, 1950. He and Emmy had a daughter:
        1. Vera Mercer was born in 1925 and had two children, one named John.
      7. Jess Mercer was born on Feb.28, 1905, and, on Sep.1, 1934, was married to Frank Bennett, born May 12, 1909. Frank died on May 29, 1979.
      8. Kate Eleanor Mercer was born on Feb.1, 1908, and, on Aug.1, 1932, was married to Benjamin Venables, born Feb.29, 1908. Kate died on Jun.2, 1956, and Benjamin in 1978.
      9. Edward George Mercer was born on Oct.19, 1910, and, on Aug.2, 1937, married Mabs Ada ?, born Nov.17, 1908. Edward died on Dec.14, 1981, and Mabs in 1962.
      10. Grace Elizabeth Mercer married Harry Thomas Marpole, born Dec.8, 1909. Harry died on Mar.2, 1973. They had a daughter:
        1. Sandra Marpole married Keith Humphreys . They have two children:
          1. Tracey Humphreys
          2. Stewart Humphreys
    5. Matilda Mercer married Frank Pearce.

           
    Left: James Mercer and Nellie Butler. Center: Robert Joseph Mercer.
    Right: Robert Mercer and Amy Rust. (All courtesy of Penny Mercer.)

  11. Joseph Pickering Mercer was christened in the church in Magheralin on Jan.24, 1836. He was married twice. There were no children from his first marriage. Later, he married Elizabeth Martin and they had four children listed below. After Joseph Mercer died in 1903, his widow and four children emigrated to Toronto, Canada. In Toronto, the Mercer family have a photograph of a Captain Stothard according to Ann Marshall.
    1. Samuel Mercer married Charlotte Wilson Wright and they had two children:
      1. Stothard Mercer married Donna Cowan. They lived in Toronto and had two children:
        1. Stothard Wayne Mercer was born in 1951 and became a barrister and probably lives near Toronto.
        2. William Dale Mercer was born in 1953 and became a surgeon and probably lives near Toronto.
      2. Marilyn Mercer married Richard Priddle and had two sons, John and Richard Priddle.
    2. Joseph Stothard Mercer was unmarried.
    3. Herbert Mercer was born about 1898. He married Hannah Houston but had no children. Herbert died in 1984.
    4. Ann Mercer married A. Chambers Marshall and in 1983 was living at ``Green Top'', Crawfordsburn, County Down.


CHILDREN OF WILLIAM MERCER AND MARY BELL:

  1. William Mercer was christened in the church in Magheralin on Oct.22, 1845. It is uncertain whether he was a child of William and Mary. He was the grandson of Stothard Mercer and died on Nov. 18, 1868 at the age of 23. He is commemorated on his grandfather's gravestone.
  2. Stothard Mercer was christened in the church in Magheralin on March 15, 1847. Little is known of Stothard except that he was unmarried and a witness at his sister, Jane's wedding.
  3. Joshua Mercer was christened at the church in Magheralin on Dec.18, 1849. Little is known of Joshua except that he was a witness at his sister, Jane's wedding.
  4. Elizabeth Mercer was christened at the church in Magheralin on Nov.2, 1851. She was the family archivist and kept in touch with many of the people mentioned here. She never married but lived with her sister, Jane Arnold and her husband Robert. She was their very efficient housekeeper and an excellent cook, baker and needlewoman. She outlived the Arnolds and died at the home of her brother John.
  5. Robert Mercer was christened at the church in Magheralin on April 16, 1854. Robert was in the linen industry but when he became a 7th Day Adventist he could not hold down a job and became a self-employed picture-framer. Robert and his wife, Minnie, lived on Sunnyside Street, Belfast, just off the Ormeau Road. Minnie was a reformed alcoholic but took snuff. Irene Calvert's mother used to send her over to their house with photographs to frame and baskets of neccessities. They had three children:
    1. William Mercer married and moved to Bangor where he always seemed well-off with a large house at Ballyholme. He had two daughters, Joan and Mona Mercer.
    2. Harry Mercer also married and lived in Bangor, County Down.
    3. Ellie Mercer.
  6. Jane Mercer, our ancestor, was christened in the church in Magheralin on May 15, 1856. She married Robert Arnold on Oct.8, 1879 at the Ormeau Road Methodist Church, Belfast.
  7. Ellen Mercer, known as Minnie, was christened in the church in Magheralin on May 5, 1858. She married Tom Rodgers of Dublin and had three children:
    1. William Rodgers served in the Black Watch during World War I.
    2. Eileen Rodgers.
    3. May Rodgers married Jack Hunter who was a painter (Wilfred Brennen owned one of his paintings) and became Art Inspector for Northern Ireland.
  8. John Mercer, the youngest of the family, entered the linen industry and became secretary to Gribbon Brothers who had a large warehouse at the corner of Ormeau Avenue and Dublin Road in Belfast. He married Annie McIlwee but they had no children. They lived in Rosetta Park, off the Ormeau Road. John was very musical and took Mary Arnold to concerts before she was married. He also bought her a piano as a wedding present. It was an expensive German piano (a Waldemar) which cost 60 pounds in 1902. This piano is still being played by Katharine Calvert (1985). John Mercer was also a member and trustee of Ballynafeigh Methodist Church. He was also the manager of the National School adjoining the church.

Last updated 6/20/02.


Christopher E. Brennen