William Mercer



Thank you to Helen W Mercer for the following comments.

William Mercer

"To the best of my knowledge William was born in 1870 in Dunfermline, Fife.

He was a Master Photographer in Edinburgh at the time of his marriage in Dunfermline (1896). 

By 1901 he is living in Scone, Perthshire and then lived and had a business in Perth until his death
in 1934."

David Mercer

"William's son David was born in Edinburgh in 1897.

David carried on the business until his death 1956.  He never married and I have found no other siblings to date."

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:  Helen W Mercer   -  June 2004 

Helen tells me that William Mercer was a first cousin, 3 x removed to my husband Ian Mercer.




William Mercer was a professional photographer who was based at 180 Lauriston Place - an address used by 10 different firms of photographers over a 20 year period from 1888.

There may well have been even more than 10 photographers at this address in this period.  This address is omitted from the trade directories for 1894 and 1895


Family Portrait

Here are the back and front of an early Cabinet Print by William Mercer.  The baby was born on 20 March 1895.

Cabinet Print 1
Ruby Mercer Junor

W Mercer  -  Cabinet Print  -  Front

  Reproduced by courtesy of Doreen Powell, Leeds

W Mercer  -  Cabinet Print  -  back

  Reproduced by courtesy of Doreen Powell, Leeds

Question 1

Doreen tells me:

-  the baby in this photo is her grandmother

-  Doreen was born at her grandmother's house at 48 Grove Street

- Doreen believes that her gran's father may be the photographer, William Mercer. who took the photo above.

 Doreen is currently researching the history of her family.

Do you have any further information on the Mercer family?

If so, can you  please e-mail me so that I can pass it on to Doreen Powell?

Doreen Powell, Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland:  2006 + Mar 6, 2009

Answer 1

Thank you to Michael J Parker, California, USA who wrote:

"I noticed the baby's surname as JUNOR and thought possibly Doreen Powell and I may be related by way of the JUNOR name.  I am a genealogy hobbyist and know JUNOR to be quite unusual.

Please share my email with her." 

Michael J Parker, California, USA:  November 1, 2006

I've now passed on Michael's message (above) to Doreen Powell.

 -  Peter Stubbs:  November 1, 2006


Studios in Liverpool

Question 2

William Mercer had four studios in Liverpool (1890-93).  In the 1881 Liverpool Census, William Mercer was listed at 103 Byrom Street, Liverpool living with his wife, Mary E Mercer, several children and a servant photographer, Edward Pickup.

Was the Liverpool William Mercer the same photographer as the William Mercer who was a professional photographer in Edinburgh a few years later?  If not, might the two photographers have been related?

Answer 2

Thank you to Doreen Powell who investigated further then wrote:

"I think now that William Mercer who had studios in Liverpool was not the same person as the Edinburgh photographer, William Mercer.

My research shows that the William Mercer who was in Liverpool at Byrom Street was recorded in the 1881 census as being 34 yrs of age and born in Blackburn in Lancashire so his year of birth would be around 1847.  Census information can be out by a year or two.

Even so, William Mercer who had his business in Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, I now know was born in 1870 in Dunfermline.  His father was David Mercer, an Agricultural labourer, his mother was a Christina Blellock.

So it would seem that the two William Mercers were different individuals,  although it is still possible they have common ancestors.  If I get any more information about this I will let you know.


More Cabinet Prints


Cabinet Print 2

Cabinet Print 3

    William Mercer  -  Cabinet Print  -  Greenhouse      William Mercer  -  Cabinet Print  -  lady and baby 



Mercer's Cabinet Prints 2 and 3


Other Photographers