Family Names

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

A to Z Challenge - D is for Daughter

Snippets from the life of Martha Sarah Ellis.

Martha Sarah Ellis was the daughter of Alfred Ellis & Martha Bartlett, who were married on the 27th Apr 1864 in St James Church, Shoreditch, Middlesex, England.[1]  Martha's parents were working class people.  Her mother's family were originally farm labourers from Kent and her father's family were boot makers.
Her own father was a skilled boot maker who set up his own shop, and although not middle class could be described as "occupying the borderline territory between working and middle classes."[2]

Alfred Ellis – Martha’s father's Line

Alfred’s occupation was listed as watchmaker on his marriage certificate.[3] However by 1865 when his first child Alfred (Jnr), is born her father’s occupation has gone from watch maker to Bootmaker (Master).[4] None of the children after Alfred born 1865, including Martha, were christened until 1881.

Martha Bartlett – Martha’s mother's Line

Mothers died young in Martha Sarah’s maternal line. Her mother (Martha Bartlett) died in 1880 when Martha Sarah was only 10 years old.  The same thing had happened with her mother’s mother, Martha Frances Moon who was born in Kent into a farm-labouring family in 1840 and died at the relative young age of 40 leaving her daughter (Martha’s mother) motherless at the age of 15. [5]  Martha Sarah’s Great-Grandmother Hannah Cutbush also died young at the age of 25, her daughter motherless at the age of 4.[6]  Four generations of girls’ losing their mothers at a young age, what happened to those girls who died before Martha Sarah’s generation is not really known however back then they may have gone into service at a young age.  After Martha Sarah’s own mother died she continued her education, which was compulsory in the 1880s until at least 12 years of age.

Each of Martha’s siblings were registered with the surname Ellis shortly after birth, in the public sphere, however, the family surname was given as Lee.  To learn more details see my post C is for Census.  Her father only went back to his real surname once he married his second wife to Mary Elizabeth Southgate[7]  Martha’s father married three years after her mother died.  The couple went on to have three more children. [8]

To Read more about Martha's life for articles previously posted for the A to Z Challenges click the Letters below:-

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

[1] England, marriage certificate for Alfred Ellis and Bartlett Martha, married 27 April 1864; citing 1c/256/459, June quarter 1864, Shoreditch registration district, Parish of  St James sub-district; General Register Office, Southport. 
[2] Mitchell, Sally. 2008. Daily Life in Victorian England, Second Edition. ABC-CLIO. P.19
[3] General Register Office, England, "Marriage certificate Alfred Ellis & Martha Bartlett" (Reference Details.  Marriages Jun 1864, District Shoreditch, 
[4] General Register Office, England, Birth Certificate Alfred Ellis, Reference Births Dec 1865, District Camberwell, Vol 1d, Page 584 (Original a certified copy).
[5] England, birth certificate for Martha Bartlett, born 13 March 1840; citing 5/379/81, June quarter 1840, Sevenoaks registration district, Penshurst in the County of  Kent sub-district; General Register Office, Southport; England and Wales, death certificate for Jesse Moon, died 13 April 1841; citing 5/313/479, June quarter 1841, Tenderden Union registration district, Tenderden county of Kent sub-district; General Register Office, Southport.
[6] buried in Tenterden Churchyard
[7] General Register Office, England, "Marriage Certificate Alfred Ellis & Mary Elizabeth Southgate Reference Marriages Dec 1883, District Camberwell, Vol 1d, page 1263"
[8] Church Register for the Parish of St Luke, Camberwell in the County of Surrey England 1881, Year 1884, Page ?, Entry 112.; England, birth certificate for Millie Elizabeth Ellis, born 24 October 1885; citing 1d/ 977 /49, December quarter 1885, Camberwell registration district, St George Camberwell in the County of Surrey sub-district; General Register Office, Southport.; England, birth certificate for Hugh Alfred Ellis, born 8 July 1887; citing 1d/[1_]83/466, September quarter 1887, Camberwell registration district, Peckham in the County of Surrey sub-district; General Register Office, Southport


  1. Terrific to be documenting Martha's life in such detail and giving the sources.

    Thanks for dropping by on the A go Z challenge

    D is for Dartmouth: Guy Mainwaring and the beagle pack


    Anne Young

    Anne's family history

  2. Wish I had access to my family history. This is fascinating.

    1. HI Denise, I didn't have access but over the years have managed to dig up lots of little gems with endless hours of research. I hope to pull it all together for the descendants one-day so that they have the access that wasn't so easy for us.

  3. I had it the wrong way round. They went from Ellis to Lee...aren't you clever to have found them? How on earth did you find them? Were you scouring the census or did you just find the family at the same place with all the same christian names and ages but just a different surname?

    1. I wish I could take credit for all the research but I am one of a number of researchers that have all worked together to help resolve the address problem. We formed a closed discussion group many years ago and have worked on and off for years on establishing the BDM and census whereabouts. Like with most genealogical research it's always a group effort.


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