Tag Archives: Mansel

Admiral Mansel (photograph)

My creative writing course is going really well although I am struggling to fit in the work around normal life. One of our latest exercises has been writing captions for photographs. I thought this would make great posts as I love sharing my family photographs.


Black and white portrait card of Admiral Mansel seated at a chair holding a walking stick in his right hand and papers in his left. He wears a suit, is white haired with a beard and ancient. The card is signed in ink.

Caption for picture

Black and white portrait card of Admiral Mansel in old age. Thomas Mansel (1783-1869) was the 7th of 11 children of Sir William Mansel, Baronet. He entered the Navy in 1798, he served under Lord Nelson at the battle of Copenhagen, and travelled to every quarter of the globe.


I adore this photograph as I have many of this type but all un-named except this one and one of his son. I like to think he was a very grand man as this photograph is so serious but I’ll never know!


How googling is great for family history

Although I started my family history research years ago I’m amazed how often I find new results from a quick google of an evening. Sometimes I’ll look at my MacFamilyTree programme to spot any missing entries for marriages or deaths.

Sometimes I think I have all the facts  when there are actually glaring omissions I really should have established at the beginning of my research.

I have a son of a Baronet who was also a member of the Royal Navy in my tree who I can often find information about – Thomas Mansel (1783-1869). However I just realised I had never discovered the date of his marriage to Selina Fleming Leigh.

I turned to google this evening and after trawling through a couple of pages of results I found an entry for Thomas Mansel and Selina Leigh at St James, Birdham, Sussex on the 28th June 1827. I never knew they had a connection to Birdham so that was interesting to discover. The information came from a transcription of the Birdham St James Marriage Register (page 17, entry 49). There weren’t as many details as usually found on a marriage certificate but there was the following:

Thomas Mansel bachelor living in Birdham

Selena Flemming Leigh spinster living in Birdham

Conducted by William Miller

Type Licence

no details for name or occupation of either father

Witnesses William Lush and Catherine Elizabeth Mansel

How to use the British Newspaper Archive

I rarely buy family history magazines anymore but whilst we were on holiday last month I picked up one to read. There was an article about the British Newspaper Archive which sounded interesting so I signed up online and received 15 free credits (which equated to 3 page views).

I tried a couple of simple searches with no luck and was pretty disappointed at the results which seemed illegible. The original newspapers are scanned, converted to a JPEG2000 format for archive purposes, and then run through an optical character recognition (OCR) process which creates the electronic text. This means that the text isn’t read by a human so the words are made live on the website even if they don’t make sense, i.e. ‘MISS SELINA RANCE,n ttends bhtre Gret Lodon Serio-Comic. treet, ‘ Continued Engagement of the Universil Favourites and ge, ou Star Duettists.’ So you need to do a bit of detective work!

I then tried some searches for some of the middle and upper class members of my tree, in particular Selina Elizabeth Courtenay Mansel, as I noticed I didn’t have a date of her marriage to Alfred Young.

On the second page of results was for a notice of their marriage in the Hampshire Telegraph, dated Saturday 27 July 1850:

Young-Mansel  On the 16th inst., at the Collegiate Church of St Nicholas, Galway, by the Rev J Macready , Alfred Young Esq. Lieutenant R.N. grandson of the late Bishop of Clonfert , to Selina Elizabeth Courtenay, only child of Captain Thomas Mansel, R.N. , and grandchild of the late Sir William Mansel , Bart., of Iscoed, Wales.

I’m really glad I persevered with searching as I doubt I would ever have found a record of their marriage. I can see how easy it would be to become addicted to this site! I also found an entry for the death of Admiral Thomas Mansel in the Morning Post, 7th April 1869.

Local newspapers – The Cambrian

The Cambrian was the first English-language newspaper to be published in Wales, running from 1804 – 1930.  A couple of years ago I heard that it had been digitised and indexed which was great news for family historians with Welsh ancestors.

The following extracts relate to Admiral Thomas Mansel (1783-1869):
The Cambrian (Catalogue Index T30)
09 July 1814
With pleasure we state that … Thomas Mansel, Esq. son of the late Sir W. Mansel, Bart. of Iscoed, have been promoted to the rank of Master and Commander.

The Cambrian (Catalogue Index K62)
19 April 1834
Capt. Thos. MANSEL., R.N. – On Thursday, the 27th ult., the officers and crew of the Folkestone District, presented to our brave countryman, Capt. T. Mansel (son of the late Sir William Mansel, of Iscoed, Carmarthenshire), upon his retiring from the command of that district, with a salver, coffee-pot, sugar and milk ewer, of the most costly description, as a token of their high respect and sincere regard for his urbane, gentlemanly, and kind attention to his brother officers during the arduous service of the last three years in that district. On the coffee-pot was engraved the following inscription:- “To Captain Mansel,R.N., on promotion. Presented by the Officers of the Folkestone District, in testimony of their respect and esteem. 1834.” Inscription on the salver:- “To Captain Mansel, R.N., on retiring from the command of the Folkestone District. Presented by the respective Crews as a testimony of their grateful respect for his solicitude in promoting their interest and welfare. 1834.” – Capt. Mansel returned thanks in a feeling address, – The Devon Telegraph, from which the above notice is extracted, says – “We understand it is intended to give the gallant Captain a public dinner in the Town-hall at Folkstone, in which many of the neighbouring gentleman have expressed a wish to join.”

The Cambrian (Catalogue Index C20)
09 April 1869
Death of Admiral Mansel. – the death of Admiral Thomas Mansel took place on the 1st inst., at Fareham, in the 86th year of his age. The deceased admiral, who was the last surviving son of the late Sir William Mansel, of Iscoed, Bart., entered the navy in 1798, and as midshipman served in the Elephant, under Lord Nelson, at the battle of Copenhagen, in April, 1801. He afterwards proceeded to the West Indies, and took part in the operations against the French, at St Domingo, in 1803. As lieutenant of the Racoon he was wounded at the recapture of a merchant vessel off Cuba. He commanded the armed ship Trowbridge, and was present at the taking of the Isle of France in 1810. His last appointment was in April, 1831, to the coastguard, in which service he continued until he was promoted to captain in February 1834. His commissions bore date as follows: Lieutenant, 16th September, 1804; commander, 15th June, 1814; captain, 12th February,1834; retired rear-admiral, 21st October, 1856; vice-admiral,27th April, 1863; and admiral, 18th October, 1867.

The Cambrian (Catalogue Index C10)
09 April 1869
On the 1st inst., At Fareham, Admiral Thomas Mansel, the last surviving son of the late Sir William Mansel, Iscoed, Bart., in the 86th year of his age.

Do you visit places your ancestors lived?

I’m sure I can’t be the only person who loves to visit the places their ancestors lived. Thanks to the census and other records it’s possible to get a good idea of the places people lived. On a few occasions my husband has driven me round to look at places although he always makes me get out of the car to take photographs!

West Street, Fareham

Thomas Mansel died at West Street, Fareham on the 1st April, 1869. George Duncan was also a resident of West Street, Fareham at the time of his marriage to Ada Young , 11th May 1878. Photograph of West Street, Fareham taken in 2005.

East Street, Fareham

Mansel Young was resident at 11 East Street, Fareham according to the 1881 census. Photograph of East Street, Fareham taken in 2005.