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Mildred's Mysteries



My grandmother, Mildred Sophia MANSELL (1889-1957), was actually born with the surname of Agar. This was the first mystery that I had to solve to find out more about her.

When Mildred married my grandfather, Lllewellyn Edwin WILLIAMS (1884-1967), in 1915 she used the name of Mansell. However, when she was born on 12 April 1889 her birth was registered using the surname Agar. Mildred's mother Martha Eleanour SMITH (1867-1965) married James Edwin Agar on 1 Jan 1889 in Forbes, just a few months before Mildred was born.

James Edwin AGAR (1864-1936) was born in 1864 in Condobolin, NSW. His mother was Mary AGAR (1843-1923). When James was born Mary was not married and James’ father is not listed on the birth certificate. Later in 1869, Mary married William Mansell in Forbes, NSW.

Mary’s husband, William Mansell, died in April 1896. In August 1896, Martha “Nellie” Agar submited a petition for divorce from James Agar on the grounds of desertion (information on James’ death certificate indicates he may never have seen his daughter). From then on, Nellie and her daughter Mildred, adopted Mary’s married name of Mansell. Nellie never remarried or had any further children.

James Edwin AGAR (1864-1936) settled near Walgett, NSW where he bought land and developed a property called “Netherby”. He become a successful producer of merino wool. When James died in 1936, “Netherby” was inherited by James’ companion/nurse (he suffered a stroke in 1925 and  was incapacitated for the final five years of his life), Catherine Powell. When Catherine died in 1947, the property was inherited by James’ cousin, Ellen Agar.

I have now ventured into the realm of DNA testing and guess what?  Mildred, again, and it seems that James Edwin Agar was not her father after all.  That may explain why he married Martha Smith and then "ran off" and seemingly never saw Martha's child. I have dozens of DNA matches that indicate that Mildred's father was the son of John Higgins and Rebecca Kearns, most probably their middle son John.



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