Jane Alexander Rennie was the only daughter of Richard Hutchinson Rennie and Jane Stanbury to reach adulthood.  She was a half sister to Fanny Riches (Rennie).

See family tree of Richard and Jane Rennie

Jane was always known as 'Lillie' Rennie and signed personal greetings with that name.  In her birthday book she used the name Jane Alexander Lillian Rennie and she signed her marriage certificate Jane Alexandria Lillie Rennie.

'Lillie' was born on September 29, 1863 in Buninyong.  Her birth registration (Buninyong Birth registration 19212/1863) indicates that at this time her parents Richard and Jane were not married (for the reasons suggested in the earlier part of this document).

'Lillie's' father was a very hard man, especially with respect to his daughter.  He would not allow her to play with the 'boys' (her brothers).  In her later years she told the story of how one time, when her father was not home, 'Lillie's' mother said she could go out and play with the boys.  But her father came home unexpectedly.  When 'Lillie' explained that she had nothing else to do he is said to have torn her pinafore and told her to go and fix it.

In spite of this her father was a very proud man, and when going to Melbourne he would bring back fine material for his wife and daughter to make into dresses.


Jane Alexander Mansell (nee Rennie)


'Lillie' Rennie married Walter Mansell at the Holy Trinity Church in Buninyong on August 20 1891.  She was 27 years old.

Walter was born on April 22, 1865 in Daylesford, the son of Samuel Mansell and Sarah Elizabeth Lewcock.  He was a railway repairer and was resident in Donnybrook, Victoria.  Witnesses to the wedding were her brother John Rennie and Annette Ruth Mansell, the only sister of Walter Mansell.  They initially lived at Donnybrook where their first child was born.  They moved to Welshpool, Victoria, around 1894 living in a railway house.  They bought a farm of 640 acres in 1900.

In 1905 a horse drawn tramway was opened up by the Railways Department to carry fish (and passengers) from the jetty at Port Welshpool to the railway at Welshpool, a distance of some three and a half miles.  Walter drove this tram until he retired in 1930 at 65 years old.  The line closed in 1940.  It was the last horse drawn tramway to operate in Australia. 

Walter Mansell (1930)

Horse drawn tram - Welshpool, Victoria


'Lillie' and Walter raised 9 children. They were:

See family tree of Jane Alexander Mansell

1.  Myrtle Annette Mansell was born on July 26 1892.  She married Edward William White and had two children, Charles White and Inez White.  Ted White was said to be German and that he returned to Germany before the Great War, however information about his parents seems to contradict this story.

Myrtle later married an Englishman by the name of Albert E. Burford.  After Myrtle's death on November 26 1965, Mr Burford returned home to the U.K.  Myrtle had lived and worked for some time in Perth and her son Charles, who rose to the rank of Captain in the Army resided in W.A.  Inez died in Melbourne in the late 1940's.

2.  Lillie Hutchinson Mansell was born June 24 1895.  She was however always known as Lillie Hutchinson Goodchild Mansell.  Lillie's name was sometimes spelt Lily. 

Although Goodchild was not a registered part of her name, it is of significance. Goodchild comes from the maiden name of Wild Renney's wife Jane Goodchild, Lillie's great grandmother.   The name Goodchild also occurs in another branch of the family - that of Lillie's uncle Richard Rennie.  Hutchinson comes from her grand father Richard Hutchinson Rennie.

She married Clarence Leonard Barnes (originally Bahn) and had two children Margaret Barnes and Leonard Barnes.  Lillie died on February 14, 1979.

3.  Walter Richard Mansell was born on December 7, 1898.  He married Freda Murra and lived in W.A.  He had two daughters Patricia Mansell and Barbara Mansell.  Both married and lived in W.A.; Patricia marrying Bill Lapworth and Barbara marrying Rolly Hill.  Walter died in 1978.

4.  Verona Jane Mansell was born on April 20, 1900.  Verona was not married when she died at the age of 25 on August 14, 1925.

5. Alfred John Mansell was born on September 3, 1902.  He was killed in a car accident on June 4, 1938.  He was not married.

6.  Doris Mina Mansell was born on April 22, 1906.  Doris was not married.  Her personal recollections were the source of many of the fine details included in this book.

7.  Albert Samuel Mansell was born on November 16, 1908.  He married Eunice Bird and had three children Helen, Elaine Judith and Ronald.  Albert was a butcher.  He died on July 8, 1980.

8.  Francis Mansell was born in February 1910.  He died at or shortly after birth.

9.  George Aubury Burns Mansell was born on August 8, 1912.  He married Thelma Bailey and had three sons.  He later re-married  and he lived in Queensland.


The children of 'Lillie' and Walter were

  • Myrtle Annette Mansell 
  • Lillie Hutchinson Mansell 
  • Walter Richard Mansell 
  • Verona Jane Mansell 
  • Alfred John Mansell 
  • Doris Mina Mansell 
  • Albert Samuel Mansell 
  • Francis Mansell 
  • George Aubury Burns Mansell 

Jane Alexander Mansell


Jane Alexander was said to be a very hard worker.  She was a very fine housekeeper and welcomed visitors and relatives to her house.

However she suffered with a heart complaint all her life.

She appears to have kept in close contact with other members of the family.  Fanny (May Florence) O'Regan, her half sister, and some of her family visited 'Lillie' in Welshpool, and she visited Fanny in Paramatta.  She kept in touch with her brother Richard Rennie in Western Australia and visited the West to see them c1927 and again in the late 1930's.  They also visited her in Welshpool.  'Lillie' also had close contact with her other brothers that lived in Victoria.

Once again the story of being related to Rennie the bridge builder was passed down through the family.  It is said that "On her farm 'Lillie' had a photo of a bridge built in England by Rennie - a direct ancestor.  The photo was of Waterloo Bridge."  It is said that "'Lillie' often told her children that an ancestor built this bridge."

As indicated earlier, the story that our Rennie family is related to the famous Sir John Rennie that built so many bridges and canals in England, is very widespread.  There is, however, no obvious link to Sir John Rennie in the family tree. 

Further information about Sir John Rennie

Right: Jane Alexander Mansell (nee Rennie) c1880.
Left:  Possibly her half sister Fannie O'Regan (nee Riches) 
(Does any descendant of the O'Regan family in New south Wales have a copy of this photograph?)

Walter and 'Lillie' left Welshpool in September 1940.

'Lillie' died on February 23 1941 at her home in Camberwell, aged 77 years.  She was cremated at the Springvale Crematorium.

Walter Mansell died on August 15, 1943 and was also cremated at Springvale.

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