Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Family History Writing Challenge - Day 15

I have always thought that my Ellis families from Puttenham and Elstead were connected. When I initially embarked upon trying to untangle the Ellis I shared my thoughts with Ivy Sheffield, who was my Grandfather's first cousin. Ivy was then in her late 70s, but like most of the Grandchildren of Caroline Harris, nee Ellis, Ivy had an amazing memory and as I explained my hypothesis to her, she simply nodded and said I suspect your right. Not perhaps the most helpful of statements, but I felt that there was perhaps some truth in my thought process.

Then in 1990 I met a contact, I can't even remember how we met, but someone who shared a connection to one of the Ellis families in Elstead. She didn't live too far from Elstead and I was invited to tea and to see the documents and photos she had. They were delightful. With hindsight I wish I had photographed them, but I didn't, although I did transcribe and described the documents. The transcripts of those documents is online. Following that meeting I was even more confused and I elected to go back to basics and start again with a clear head.

The bottom line was there were too many families in the same 4 mile radius each having children and calling them all the same names. See the problem?, but there was a glimmer of light on the horizon and I remember telling myself at the time that I must not get swept away and caught up in the details that I was about to unravel.

The first thing was to head back to Ivy. Her son in law, (DW), was the Grandson of a man, from Elstead called Job Ellis. DW presented me with a birthday book that had come down through his family, and was understood to have originally belonged to Adelaide Underwood. I copied the details and like the other Ellis material it is online. It was the least of my problems to know where Adelaide Underwood slotted into the general mix. So my big question was to DW what is the connection between your Grandfather Job and your wife's Grandmother Caroline? The answer was a smile and then "that is what your to find out!" I could have cried. I didn't of course. DW reached into a photograph album and very kindly lent me some photographs that I shall load to the Ellis' of Elstead blog.

So, now I had four sets of Ellis families in the parishes of Elstead, Puttenham, Godalming and Guildford, and in 1992 I met a fifth connection to the Ellis families.
  1. My Great Great Grandmother Caroline Ellis born 1844 the daughter of George and Prudence nee Budd in Puttenham.
  2. Job Ellis born in Elstead in 1848 and the Grandfather of DW
  3. The family of John Ellis born 1817 in Elstead whose family had migrated to Geelong Australia in 1854. I had already made connections with at least three other researchers in Australia and met them during their time in England, or mine in Australia
  4. The family of my contact OS whose family came from Elstead.
  5. The family of my contact BE whose husband's family came from Elstead.
The early families, were easy to work on.
  • John Ellis born 1817 was the nephew to Job Ellis through the marriage of George Ellis and Sarah Hall in 1801 and subsequent lineage to James Ellis
  • Caroline Ellis born 1844 was the Second Cousin to John Ellis leading to James Ellis
  • Caroline Ellis born 1844 was the third Cousin to Job Ellis leading to James Ellis
Initial research has shown that James Ellis, who is the key to this entire family was one of three sons who were the children of James Ellis born circa 1690 and Jane Edwards who married in Peperharrow in 1710. As to what happened to the other two children of James and Jane I have no idea, and I am almost to frighted to find out!

The members who connect to the families of OS and BE are related and eventually join up and connect to Job Ellis.

So I was right when I sat and said to Ivy I think they all connect, I simply hadn't thought that they connected back in 1710!

Word count 720

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