14 April 2016

Lewis Mansergh Buchanan 1836-1908


Comparing the first photo (from the Fetherstonhaugh Album) and the second one from The Buchanan Book I found online, I think I have the right man.

Lewis Mansergh Buchanan was born on the 31 Dec 1836 in Lisnamallard, Co Tyrone, son of John Buchanan and Mary Jane Blacker. He had a very distinguished career and there is much written about him on the Internet of which this is just a short piece.

Colonel Lewis Mansergh Buchanan, C.B., F.R.G.S., F.R. Met. Soc., of Edenfel and Lisnamallard, near Omagh, Co. Tyrone, late Colonel commanding the Fourth Battalion Enniskillen Fusiliers, born 31st December, 1836; joined Royal Tyrone Fusiliers Militia in 1855, and volunteered with 80 men to the Army in the Crimea in 1856; was gazetted to the 88th Connaught Rangers, with which distinguished Regiment he served through the Indian Mutiny, including the actions at Cawnpore under Major General Windham, battle of Cawnpore, capture of Lucknow, operations in the Doab with the Column under Colonel G. V. Maxwell, to whom he was Orderly Officer, and siege and capture of Calpee, receiving medal and clasp; rejoined Royal Tyrone Fusiliers in 1862, and commanded the Battalion from 1887 to 1897. He is the author of "Last Winter in Spain", "Through the Himalayas and Chinese Thibet" and "The Climate of Ulster". He married first, in 1862, Eleanor Margaret, daughter of William Whitla and Elizabeth Buchanan, and by her (who died in 1877) has issue.

It then went on to list his children and his second wife, some of which is incorrect according to my research. What I’ve written in red is my version from what I’ve found from various sources including census.

(1) Lt. Colonel John Blacker Whitla Buchanan, R.A.M.C., born 26th April, 1863; educated at Sherborne and Dublin University; served in the South African War, 1899-1901, and took part in the relief of Ladysmith and was mentioned in the despatches; married 25th October, 1894, Mary Louisa, daughter of Rev. A. A. Harland, Harefield, Middlesex, and has issue.
(2) Lewis Ernest George Whitla, Major Fourth Battalion Royal Enniskillen Fusiliers, born 4th September, 1868; volunteered for active service in South Africa and served in the South African War; married, 3rd December, 1903 Constance Kate, daughter of Frederick S. Goulding, Brockley, Kent, and has issue.
(3) Mansergh George Reginald, born 6th Sep, 1870 (6 Sep 1872), married Amy Hughes on 10 Apr 1895 at St George Bloomsbury, London, they had issue. (Somewhere else had given MGRB a dsp which means = descessit sine prole; died without issue).
(4) Calvert James Strong, born 10th July, 1872; served through the South African War with the Rhodesian Horse and was severely wounded.
(5) William Whitla Buchanan born 1865 died 1865.

(1) Ellen Elizabeth, married to William P. Grubb, of Bessbrook, and has issue.
(2) Mary Jane Eleanor (May) born 1867, married Effingham MacDowell, M.D, F.R.C.S, of Sligo, & has issue.
(3) Alice Lilian, married to Charles Stuart Hope, of Chatham House, Trowbridge, Kent, and has issue.
(4) Eleanora Agnes, married Sept. 3, 1902, to Colonel Mackenzie Churchill, late Military Secretary, Ceylon, and has issue.

Colonel Buchanan married, secondly, in 1878, Wilhelmina ‘Mina’, daughter of George A. Moloney, R.M. This photo was named Miss Maloney so I presume she is Mina.


Mrs Buchanan I think is Colonel Buchanan’s first wife Eleanor Margaret Whitla. She looks to be the same woman in the next photo of the whole family, Eleanor died in 1877, the year after the birth of their youngest child Elenora Agnes, known as Nell, whose birthdate is 18 Mar 1876. So Eleanor would have still been alive when this photo was taken IF the youngest child on her knee is Elenora.


None of the people in this photo were named individually so I’m not quite sure who is who, most probably the eldest girl is Ethel Elizabeth. As far as I can make out there were only four girls in the family so the baby must be Elenora Agnes, she looks to be less than a year old in the photo? Say taken at the end of 1876, if so then these are the ages the other children in the family would be:-

Calvert 2, Mansergh 4, Alice 6, Lewis Ernest 8, Mary Jane (May) 9, Ethel 12.

I’d say the boy was about 8 so it looks like Calvert & Mansergh were not there, unless of course the baby is a boy and not a girl, baby boys wore dresses in those days, if that is the case then I give up on who is who!

I can’t make up my mind which wife this is with Colonel Buchanan in the next photo, others think first wife but I’m not sure as it taken in London where I found most of the children staying at a boarding house, on the Isle of Wight, with their new step-mother Mina (and an Aunt Anna) in the 1881 census:-



In 1889 they are back in Ireland where eldest daughter, Ethel Elizabeth, married William Pike Grubb.


As to who the E & M are in the next photo I’m still working on that! The one standing looks very much like Ethel I think and the one sitting down could be Mary Jane known as ‘May’, there is 3 years between them. However, when I came across the next two photos in the album I became totally confused because I think these two look like twins! The eldest son of the Colonel was John Blacker Whitla Buchanan and he had twin daughters born in 1898, but that date doesn’t quite fit with the ages and the fashions in these two photos, their dresses would be a lot shorter in the early 1900s.


In the process of researching the Buchanans I didn’t find any link to the Fetherstonhaugh family, so if anyone knows of a connection I’d love to hear about it.

References: ancestry.com.au; The Peerage; Google; FindMyPast; FreeBMD.


Dawn Scotting

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