Snippets from the life of Martha Sarah Ellis.
I’ve talked previously about Martha’s heritage and her ancestors, today, however, I thought I would focus on her step-mother. Martha’s mother died in 1880 from a postpartum haemorrhage leaving 10-year-old Martha and her siblings motherless, her father is listed as a widow in the 1881 English Census.
However, by the 1891 census, he had remarried and the children from his first marriage had left home. Alfred had started a second family, his first family had come of age and left home, by 1891 the family living at home comprised of
- Alfred Ellis, 51, Bootmaker
- Mary Ellis, wife, aged 39
- Millie Ellis , Daughter, 5
- Hugh A Ellis, Son, aged 3
|Photographer unknown, Alfred & Mary E (nee Southgate) Ellis thought to have been taken in London England, circa 1908, Neil Carmody's Private Photo Collection T172|
So who was Mary and how did Alfred meet Mary? A very interesting question.
According to the various census’, Mary was born in 1851/2 in London.
I have found two likely candidates in the 1881 census.
The first is Mary E Southgate born circa 1852, Whitechapel, Middlesex, England visiting the East India College Arms, London Road, Gt Amwell, Hertfordshire, England an unmarried dressmaker.
Is this her I wish I could tell. If it is her how would they have met? Possibly church?
The second candidate is Sarah Suddgate living in the same house as Alfred Ellis the eldest brother of Martha who was living in the "The Bell Tavern" in Old Bailey Street. It did occur to me that this Suddgate could actually be a Southgate who goes by the first name of Sarah, much in the same way as Martha was also known as Pat. Sarah was the unmarried manageress of "The Bell" where Alfred (the eldest son worked); it would make an interesting story if it were true.
[Suddgate/Sudgate could have been an alternative spelling of the name Southgate, however, it is probably unlikely as she was born in Sommerset, so it probably unlikely to be connected, but it’s a pity it would have made a good and romantic story]
How I wish I knew more!
To Read more about Martha's life for articles previously posted for the A to Z Challenges click the Letters below:-
[i] Census returns of England and Wales, 1891, Registration Sub-District 4D St George Civil Parish, Township or Place: Camberwell - Census extract for Ellis (1891, Census Registration Sub-District 4D St George Civil Parish, Township or Place: Camberwell. Public Records Office, England (PRO) RG12/488 /125, Original a scanned copy of page from the Original Census Enumerators' Book . Photocopy in possession of Sandra Williamson. (poor quality image)).
[ii] England, marriage certificate for Alfred Ellis and Mary Elizabeth Southgate, married 13 November 1883; citing 1d/1263/65, December quarter 1883, Camberwell registration district; General Register Office, Southport.
[iii] MyHeritage, Census record for Mary Elizabeth Sudgate, 1881 Census England & Wales, East India College Arms, London Road, Gt Amwell, Hertfordshire, England, accessed 17 April 2017
[iv] Census returns of England and Wales 1871, Registration Sub-District 2A Camberwell Civil Parish, Township or Place: Camberwelll - Lee extract (1871 Census Registration Sub-District 2A Camberwell Civil Parish, Township or Place: Camberwell; Public Records Office, England (PRO) RG10/722/130. Original a scanned copy of page from the Original Census Enumerators' Book .