From Ellis to Lee and then back to Ellis again
In 1851 Alfred Ellis was 12 years old and still living at home with his family at 5 Garden Row, Finsbury, Middlesex, England, UK.
In 1861 I have been unable to find Alfred with his parents in the Census he appears to have left home but his whereabouts are a mystery.
The next time he appears is on 27 Apr 1864 when he marries Martha Bartlett in St James Church, Shoreditch, Middlesex, England. The following year they have their first child Alfred (Jnr) in 1865, Alfred is christened shortly after his birth.
When each of the children are born their births are registered under the name Ellis. For most of the births except daughter Martha Sarah Ellis the mother lists her maiden name as Ellis. However for Martha Sarahs birth she lists her maiden surname as Lee, it was the first time that Martha had acted as an informant for one of her childrens births and although she acted as informant for all the subsequent birth registrations this was the only time that she listed her maiden name as Lee and not Bartlett.
Between 1870 and 1876 all the children of Alfred and Martha were born at 257 St Georges Road.
However in the 1871 census we find the family using a different surname at their family home address 257 St Georges Road, St. George, Camberwell, Surrey
1. Alec Lee, 3?, Bootmaker, London
2. Martha ", age 31, Chiddingstone
3. Alfred ". age 5, London
4. Edward ", age 3, "
5. Martha S " age 3 mo, "
Alfred even changes his christen name from Alfred to Alec.
The family must have moved house after 1876 and before Sep 1880. as Martha who died on the 2 Sep 1880 is registerd as having died at 245 St Georges Rd, Camberwell, Surrey. The death is registered under the name Martha Lee, the informant is Alexander Lee, widower who was present at the death.
In 1881 The widowed Alfred is found to be still living at 245 St Georges Rd, Camberwell, with his family
1. Alfred LEE, Head, Widow, Male, age 41, Boot Maker
2. Martha LEE, Daur, Female, age 10, Scholar
3. Kate LEE, Daur, Female, age 9, Scholar
4. Charles LEE, Son, Male, age 7, Scholar
5. Walter LEE, Son, Male, age 5,
6. Frederick LEE, Son, Male, age 4, Scholar
Alfred only went back to his real surname once he remarried Mary Elizabeth Southgate.
And the 1891 census we find him living with his new and young family at
5 June Grove, City Of London, London, England, UK
1. Alfred Ellis, 5, Bootmaker
2. Mary Ellis, eife, aged 39
3. Millie Eliis , Daughter, 5
4. Hugh A Ellis, Son, aged 3
Some interesting observations
The first child Alfred was christened soon after he was born, at present we have not been able to locate the second sons christening and the younger children were only christened after their mother Martha Sarah died.
1. Martha ELLIS, bapt 27 May, 1881,
2. Walter and Kate Ellen ELLIS bapt 9 Sept, 1881;
3. Charles and Frederick ELLIS bapt 30 Sept, 1881
All at St. Lukes Church, their abode address was always given as 245 St Georges Road.
The children of Alfreds second marriage Millie and Hugh were also bapt at St Luke's Church with the home address listed at 245 St Georges Road.
Something must have happened after the eldest child was born. For Alfred to change both his first and last names in the census returns, but what we dont have any ideas as yet.
In 1864 Alfred was able to sign his own marriage certificate
1865 Alfred Ellis signed his sons birth certificate with an X The mark of Alfred Ellis, Father
1867 it is not clear if Alfred signed his second sons birth certificate or not.
Continued use of the surname Lee
None of the descendants appear to have retained the surname Lee, all appear to have reverted back to their birth name other than in the Census returns which appears to be the only place, as yet, that we have been able to find reference to the surname being used in connection to our family.
The question is now where do I go next to try and find out why the family changed thier surname even if it was only temporarily?
I would love to hear from other researching this family, or any one else who could perhaps give any clues as to what's going on here.