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Category: ELLIS

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.

Whose signature?
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.

Walter Todman

Walter Todman is my great grandfather. He lived most of life in Victoria, Australia. It appears he was possibly born in Essex, England and migrated to Australia sometime before 1891 when he married Martha Sarah Ellis in the All Saints Church, East St Kilda, Victoria, Australia. He died suddenly of acute heart failure in 1929 at around 63. Who Walter's parents were is not clear

Before his marriage where and who Walter is almost a complete mystery.

However in my quest to find my grandfather I have found two possible Walter Todmans who could in fact be the same person.

In 1890 a Walter Todman registered a patent in NSW for shearing equipment. In 1892 a Walter Todman is getting married to a Martha Sarah Ellis in Victoria.
The question then becomes are these two Walters the same person?
I have been unable to find either of them coming into Australia nor what happened to the Walter Todman who started off in NSW.

My research so far has focused on the following
Establishing where my great grandfather Walter Todman was born through his childrens birth certificates:-
1894 on his daughter's Martha's birth certificate he was born in Essex, England
1895 on his daughter's Ivy Florence birth certificate he was born in Stepheney, London
1897 on his son's Walter Victor birth certificate he was born in Surrey, England
1903 on his daughter's Hazel May's birth certificate he was born in Essex, England
1906 on his son's Lincoln James birth certificate he was born in Essex, England
1908 on his daughter's Charlotte Mary birth certificate he was born in Norfolk, England
1910 on his daughter's Alma Dudley birth certificate he was born in Norfolk, England

On all birth certificates the informant was Martha Todman, mother (& Walter's wife); although the place listed for the fathers (Walter's) birth is always different his age is always consistent with being born in 1866.

A second Walter Todman?
There is a Walter Todman who fathered a Walter Todman in 1890 in New South Wales Australia with a Jane Levey. This Walter Todman was born in Norfolk, England who was 25 years old at the time therefore being born c 1865. A possible match for my Walter. (note Walter and Jane were not married)

The address listed was 9 Bailey Street, Newtown

Pros as to why this might be the same person as my Walter Todman
* the potential birth date of both Walter's is almost the same
* Norfolk is listed as one of the possible birth places of our Walter and is listed as the birth place of this second Walter Todman
* He is also a blacksmith
[We have been unable to find the marriage or death of a Jane Levey or her son Walter Todman in N.S.W or Vic; perhaps Jane did marry or take some elses name and changed her son's name to that surname also?]

[Efforts to try and establish whether these two Walter Todman's are the same person
I have tried to locate the Walter Todman in NSW after/before 1892 particularly at 9 Bailey Street, Newtown. By following his movements I was hoping that we would be able to distinguish between the two Walter's if they weren't the same person
Records that we consulted while in NSW were:-
1. 1891 NSW Census - taken on 16th April 1891. 9 Bailey Street Newtown was uninhabited. This could indicate a number of things, that after Walter Todman son of Jane Levey and Walter Todman was born the couple moved from the house either together or separately.
2. Sydney Sands Postal Directory - 1888 - 1890 did not list a Walter Todman at any location. In 1890 the person living at 9 Bailey Street, Newtown was Miss Mary A Currey. This could mean that Miss Currey lived by herself or was incharge of a boarding house or ??. If the dwelling was a boarding house or similar Walter and/or Jane could have lived there as well. There were Todmans listed in the Directory including a George F Todman and in 1890 a Herman Todman, neither of these were living near Newtown.
3. In the Sands Directories: Sydney and New South Wales, Australia 1891 there was a Walter Todman listed at 9 Bailey Street, Newtown, New South Wales, Australia
3. Electoral Role 1889 - 1890 no Walter Todman listed. In 1889 a George Todman was listed (not mine as far as I can establish)]

A Jane Todman shows up on Sand and Macdougall directory in Coburg, Victoria in 1907 only. This may only be a coincidence - but if this was infact Jane Levy, her son Walter would have been about to turn 18 perhaps she had appeared to collect his share of his inheritance or something.

*why would you call a second son by the same name? i.e. Walter Victor Todman by the same name as your first son?

With a bit of luck someone can give me a clue on where I should head next or perhaps even have further information to help shed light on the mystery.