Monday, 21 January 2013

May Mckenzie my Irish Grandmother!

Mary Anne McKenzie/Miller on her wedding day in 1906

Mary Anne Hamilton McKenzie was an Irish beauty as can be seen in her photo on her wedding day. She was born in Dublin but I have no idea of her dates as the Public Record Office was blown up in 1916 and her new birth certificate got her name wrong! 

May McKenzie was the daughter of Charles McKenzie who was socially upwardly mobile as were many in the Dublin of that time. May could have been a dead ringer for Nora Barnacle whose family was on the way up who married the writer James Joyce who was around Dublin at that time and whose family was on the way down.  May Miller and Nora Barnacle had much in common. Both loved clothes and both were strong characters. 

So it is not surprising that May fell for the young Scots golf sundries manufacturer from Glasgow who was also upwardly mobile and they had this great wedding in Dublin in 1906 

They were very happy and had a wonderful 50 year marriage but in fact Grandpa got two McKenzies for the price of one. Betty McKenzie, the only unmarried daughter came to look after her sister May after Hughie my father was born in Golders Green London in 1910 as Grandma had contracted septicemia after the birth. Betty McKenzie never went home! Grandpa sort of had two wives! He was very fair, if his wife had a fur coat then her sister had a slightly less valuable fur coat.

The Miller family were very secretive about  how Great Grandpa Charles McKenzie made his fortune. I never discovered his trade until I inherited the marriage certificates in 1998. He was a plumber! That explains it! 

I had great fun telling my rather elderly pompous upper class cousins. I am not sure they were too happy I found out. My second cousins did not bat an eyelid and in fact we are all proud of our humble origins.

Grandma Miller had a lot with which up to put during her life as the wife of an entrepreneur, feast one year, famine the next but she had a sense of humour and was great fun which is just as well.

She died in 1964 from an infected injection of B12, hence my fear of any type of injection and now I have to inject myself! That's life.

Miller/McKenzie Marriage Dublin 1906

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