Alicia’s Story: Part 4 – Digging For Clues


I am well and truly on the hunt, now. I need more information about Charles ELLIS and his family. A lot more information. So, let’s start digging…


The goal of all this digging was to ultimately find the following information:

1. When and where was Charles ELLIS born?

2. Who were Charles ELLIS’ parents? And can any other family be identified?

3. Can any information be found linking the names THOMAS with ELLIS or confirming why the change in name – if the theory is true?

Hopefully the answers to the above questions could help to either support or disprove that Charles ELLIS was the same person as Charles THOMAS/LOCKHART and that Alicia Eleanora ELLIS was his sister and Alice/Alicia THOMAS and John Ingram LOCKHART were their parents.

For the sake of brevity (hopefully), I will attempt to cover only the most interesting and relevant details I found. Note that some of these will be “negative” results.

The Daughters

I found Charles ELLIS’ three daughters in the 1841 & 1851 England Census living at Mrs Cole’s “select and long established school”, first located in West Moulsey Villa and later at “The Grange” in Ewell, a mile outside of Epsom.1,2,3  

  1. Maria ELLIS (1824-1851)
    The eldest daughter, Maria, died, unmarried, in 1851 in Ewell.4
  2. Charlotte Augusta ELLIS (1826-1908)
    Charlotte Augusta married William WITHERS on 19 April 1859 in Hampstead, Middlesex. She states her father, Charles ELLIS, was a solicitor and her sister, Rosetta ELLIS, was a witness.5 Charlotte and William moved around a bit because their children were born all over the place. I haven’t investigated all the children as yet. Charlotte and William ended up living in Bolton, Lancashire with most of the children. In the 1901 England census, Charlotte is a widow living with 5 unmarried daughters and one unmarried son (named after his father) ranging in age from 30 to 40. Their occupations include teacher of music, governess, violinist, vocalist and calico printer’s secretary! Charlotte lists herself as a “gentlewoman”.6 She died in 1908.7
  3. Rosetta ELLIS (1830-1863)
    Rosetta married George POOLEY Jnr on 7 March 1860 in Penwerris, Cornwall. Once again, she lists her father as Charles ELLIS, solicitor.8 Rosetta died at the age of 32 on 30 June 1863.9 Their only child, Augusta Rosetta POOLEY, was born in 1863 and it is possible that Rosetta died giving birth to Augusta, or due to complications shortly after.10 Augusta Rosetta dies, unmarried, in 1932.11

Nothing particularly useful from investigating the daughters. Lets check out Dad.

Charles ELLIS

Charles married Maria REILLY in 1823. There is a marriage allegation stating Maria was a minor between the ages of 20 and 21 and was married with the permission of her natural and lawful father, Thomas REILLY.12,13

With a lot of effort, I managed to find their 1841 England Census record but it is barely readable. Major kudos to the transcriber who managed to figure out as much as they did. The address is Park Road, St John Hackney, Middlesex and Charles was apparently born in County. It also mentions another child, apparently a son, Charles. I cannot make out the age though the transcriber thinks it is 18 years which turns out later to be wrong.14

Charles died in 1845 and an inquest was held:

SUDDEN DEATH OF A SOLICITOR. – Yesterday, Mr. Wakley, M.P., held an inquest at the Gray’s Inn Coffeehouse, Holborn, on the body of Mr. Charles Ellis, aged 47, a solicitor, late of Hampton-court, and formerly of the firm of Messrs. King and Ellis. From the evidence of Mrs. Ellis, who through grief was almost inaudible, and of her brother and other witnesses, it appeared that the deceased, whose constitution was not the strongest, had, contrary to the advice of his medical attendant, lived rather freely and drunk wine, which greatly injured his constitution. About three weeks ago he came up to London to have his child’s likeness taken, and during that period resided at the Gray’s Inn Coffee-house. About half-past eight o’clock on Sunday morning, while in bed, he complained to Mrs Ellis of thirst and weakness. Mrs Ellis instantly rang the bell for soda-water and a little sherry, but he was a corpse before half-an-hour. A certificate from Dr. Terry was put in and read, in which he gave it as his opinion that deceased died of apoplexy. A verdict in accordance with the above evidence was returned.15

From this information, I found his will .16 The highlights are:

  • All daughters are mentioned by name which confirms we have the right Charles ELLIS.
  • Son’s name is “Charles Henry Frederick ELLIS”.
  • Executor is “my esteemed friend Henry Isaac LEE Esq”.
  • Henry Isaac LEE is left a gold watch and a mourning ring.
  • Frederick ELLIS Esq is also left a mourning ring.
  • Charles also leaves “…to my dearly beloved Mother 50l for mourning…”.
  • The will was signed on 25 January 1845.

So, from all of the above we have:

  1. Charles ELLIS was born about 1797/1798 which tallies with Charles LOCKHART/THOMAS’ baptism date which was 22 October 1797.
  2. Charles ELLIS’ mother was still alive in 1845 though her name is frustratingly not mentioned.
  3. A new ELLIS enters the scene – who is Frederick ELLIS? He is old enough to be given a mourning ring.
  4. Charles had stopped naming his sons after John Ingram LOCKHART but instead, presumably, now named his third son after his “esteemed friend” Henry and the mysterious Frederick.


I’m going to cover Maria very quickly. I know from information I obtain next that after Charles’ death, Maria went on to marry Charles’ “esteemed friend”, Henry Isaac LEE in 1849.17 In their 1851 England Census entry, Charles ELLIS’ son is instead listed as Charles H. F. LEE, the son of Henry LEE, which would be an easy misunderstanding for any census taker. But what is not an easy mistake to make is to list Maria’s age as 36 years when she should have been about 50 years! Henry’s occupation is listed as “property in chancery” which becomes pertinent later.18 Henry Isaac LEE died in 1854.19

Dearly Beloved Mother and Frederick

I didn’t have much to go on but I did eventually find two Census records from 1841 and 1851 which showed an Alice ELLIS and Frederick ELLIS living together. The most useful information comes from the 1851 entry20:

Address: 13 South Street, Finsbury, Clerkenwell, Middlesex

Name Relationship Marital Status Age Occupation Birth Place
Alice ELLIS Head Widow 69 Annuitant Finsbury, Middlesex
Frederick ELLIS Son Unmarried 34 Annuitant St Pancras, Middlesex

I wasn’t able to find them in the 1861 Census. But I did find an entry in the 1859 UK Probate Index for an Alice ELLIS at the right address:

The Will with a codicil of Alice ELLIS late of South-street, Southampton-street Pentonville in the County of Middlesex Spinster deceased who died 25 April 1859 at 13 South-street aforesaid was proved at the Principal Registry by the oaths of Arthur Walker and Frederick Allan Grant both of 13 King’s-road Gray’s Inn in the said County Gentlemen the Executors.21

The name and address matched the Alice ELLIS in the census record but Alice ELLIS was listed as a “spinster” in the probate index and a “widow” in the census. Hmmm. This was looking very interesting. Hopefully her will would tell me more and confirm that she was associated in some way with Charles ELLIS. The will was duly ordered and here are the highlights because it is very long22:

  • Alice identifies herself as a spinster.
  • Alice requested to be buried at Long Ditton in the same grave with her late adopted son, Frederick ELLIS.
  • 100 pounds to Emma ROBSON, spinster, now residing in Margate in the County of Kent.
  • 50 pounds to Sarah CRAWFORD, spinster, of No 82 Upper Seymour Street New Road in the parish of St Pancras and County of Middlesex.
  • 500 pounds in trust (and a heap of personal items) to God-daughter, Alice Medway LEE, infant daughter of Henry Isaac LEE of Long Ditton Esq and Maria his wife.
  • 500 pounds in trust to Charles Henry Frederick ELLIS son of Mrs Maria LEE by her former husband Mr Charles ELLIS.
  • Will signed on 6 December 1853.
  • Codicil dated 2 July 1858.

Well, we certainly have the right people and Frederick has passed away since the 1851 census. Frustratingly, Alice does not state in her will her relationship to Charles ELLIS. But it is certainly interesting that she is a spinster and her name is Alice. Tick and Tick for the Alice THOMAS theory. If this Alice ELLIS is the same person as Alice THOMAS then it appears she did not remarry, although I did try to find such a marriage but was unsuccessful.

So where did the name of ELLIS come from? Or maybe I should turn it around. Where did the name of THOMAS come from?

On a side note: the name Emma ROBSON is very interesting. What I haven’t mentioned is that there was a ROBSON (first name was unreadable) in the 1841 Census entry with Charles and Maria ELLIS and an Emma ROBSON in the 1851 Census entry with Henry Isaac and Maria LEE. Both Emma ROBSON and Maria LEE formerly ELLIS nee REILLY were listed as being born in Newcastle, Northumberland. Emma is listed as a 34 year old, unmarried visitor with no occupation. I still don’t know who she was but she was obviously close to all the family members. Perhaps she was a ladies maid to Maria or a cousin. At this time, I haven’t been able to track down anything more for either Emma ROBSON or Sarah CRAWFORD.

As far as Frederick ELLIS is concerned. I have not been able to find a baptism record for him. If he really was adopted, he could have been baptised under any name. If Alice used the term “adopted” to save herself any embarrassment, I still couldn’t find any baptism under ELLIS or THOMAS. He didn’t marry and he died young and I couldn’t find a will for him. There isn’t a lot of information to follow up for him. Frederick is a real mystery.

So, where does that leave us?

Well, Charles ELLIS is the right age. He named his first two sons after John Ingram LOCKHART. There is an Alice ELLIS in his life who could be his mother and fits the profile for Alice THOMAS.

On the other hand, Alicia Eleanora BRAND nee ELLIS is not mentioned in any of the wills. This isn’t too surprising as in most cases, once daughters married, they tended to become the responsibility of their husbands.

It isn’t enough. There isn’t anything that definitely strikes Charles ELLIS out of contention. And there certainly isn’t enough evidence to say with any degree of certainty that the theory is proved.

What I really need is something that proves Charles ELLIS was the illegitimate son of John Ingram LOCKHART. And, preferably, something which links the name of THOMAS to this ELLIS family.

But I didn’t really think this could be possible…or was it?…




1 EDUCATION. (18 September 1847). London Daily News, p. 1. Notice that Mrs Cole has moved her school from West Moulsey Villa to The Grange, Ewell. Retrieved 5 July 2016 from:

2 “1841 England Census,” database and image, ( : accessed 2 July 2016), entries for Maria Ellis (age 14), Marria [sic] Ellis (age 15) and unknown Ellis (age 12) at Mrs Coles school, West Mousley, Kingston, Surrey; citing PRO HO 107/1071/5, folio 10, pps 15-16.

3 “1851 England Census,” database and image, ( : accessed 2 July 2016), entries for Charlotte Ellis (age 23), Charlotte Ellis (age 21) and Rosetta Ellis (age 19) at Mrs Coles school at The Grange, Ewell, Epsom, Surrey; citing PRO HO 107/1592, folio 275, p. 34.

4 “Gentleman’s Magazine: 1851, Volume 36,” digital images, Google Books ( : accessed 19 July 2016); Death notice for Maria, eldest daughter of the late Charles Ellis; citing: p. 222.

5 “London, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921,” database and images, ( : accessed 6 July 2016), marriage entry for Charlotte Augusta Ellis and William Withers, married 19 April 1859, Christ Church, Hampstead, Camden; citing London Metropolitan Archives, Christ Church, Hampstead, Register of marriages, P81/CTC, Item 008.

6 “1901 England Census,” database and image, ( : accessed 2 July 2016), entry for Charlotte A Withers (age 71) and family, Bolton, Lancashire; citing PRO RG 13/3629, folio 130, p. 13.

7 “England & Wales, FreeBMD Index: 1837 – 1983,” database, FreeBMD ( : accessed 2 July 2016), death entry for Charlotte Augusta Withers, age 79; citing March [quarter] 1908, Salford, vol. 8d, p. 58.

8 “England, Cornwall Parish Registers, 1538-2010,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 28 October 2015), George Pooley and Rosetta Ellis, 7 Mar 1860; citing Marriage, Penwerris, Cornwall, England, Cornwall Records Office, Truro.

9 “England & Wales deaths 1837-2007 Transcription,” database, ( : accessed 2 July 2016), death entry for Rosetta Pooley; citing September [quarter] 1863, Falmouth, vol. 5c, p. 137.

10 “England & Wales, FreeBMD Index: 1837 – 1983,” database, FreeBMD ( : accessed 2 July 2016), death entry for Augusta Rosetta Pooler [sic]; citing March [quarter] 1863, Falmouth, vol. 5c, p. 226.

11 “England & Wales, FreeBMD Index: 1837 – 1983,” database, FreeBMD ( : accessed 2 July 2016), death entry for Augusta R Pooley, age 68; citing March [quarter] 1932, Falmouth, vol. 5c, p. 217.

12 “London, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921,” database and images, ( : accessed 6 July 2016), marriage of Charles Ellis and Maria Reilly on 16 September 1823 at Parish Chapel, St Pancras, Camden; citing: London Metropolitan Archives, Saint Pancras Parish Church, Register of marriages, P90/PAN1, Item 061.

13 “London and Surrey, England, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1597-1921,” database and image, ( : retrieved 6 July 2016), marriage allegation for Charles Ellis regarding marriage to Maria Reilly, signed 10 September 1823; citing London Metropolitan Archives, Surrey Marriage Bonds and Allegations records: NFI.

14 “1841 England Census,” database and image, ( : accessed 4 July 2016), entry for Charles Ellis (age 40) and family, St John Hackney, Hackney, Middlesex; citing PRO HO 107/698/2, folio 9, p. 10.

15 SUDDEN DEATH OF A SOLICITOR. (20 March 1845). London Evening Standard, p. 2. Article regarding inquest into death of Charles Ellis, aged 47, late of Hampton Court. Retrieved 4 July 2016 from

16 “Will of Charles Ellis of Hampton Court, Middlesex,” database and image, The National Archives (UK) ( : accessed 4 July 2016), dated 15 December 1845; citing PROB 11/2028/19, The National Archives (UK), Kew.

17 “England & Wales deaths 1837-2007 Transcription,” database, ( : accessed 21 July 2016), marriage entry for Henry Isaac Lee and Maria Ellis; citing March [quarter] 1849, Lambeth, vol. 4, p. 276.

18 “1851 England Census,” database and image, ( : accessed 21 July 2016), entries for Henry Isaac Lee (age 65) and family, Long Ditton, Kingston, Surrey; citing PRO HO 107/1604, folio 7, p. 7.

19 “England & Wales, FreeBMD Index: 1837 – 1983,” database, FreeBMD ( : accessed 2 July 2016), death entry for Henry Isaac Lee; citing June [quarter] 1854, Kingston, vol. 2a, p. 117.

20 “1851 England Census,” database and image, ( : accessed 5 July 2016), entries for Alice Ellis (age 69) and Frederick Ellis (age 34), Clerkenwell, Finsbury, Middlesex; citing PRO HO 107/1518, folio 250, p. 71.

21 “National Probate Calendar: Index to Wills and Administration, 1858-1996,” database and images, GOV.UK Service: Find A Will ( : accessed 5 July 2016), index entry for Alice Ellis of South street, Southampton street, Pentonville, died 25 April 1859; citing: 1859 Calendar, p145.

22 “National Probate Calendar: Index to Wills and Administration, 1858-1996,” database and images, ordered via GOV.UK Service: Find A Will ( : received 13 July 2016), will of Alice Ellis of 13 South street, Southampton street, Pentonville, died 25 April 1859; citing: 1859 Calendar, p145, (will: 5 pages length).

This entry was posted in Brick Wall, Genealogy, Mystery and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Alicia’s Story: Part 4 – Digging For Clues

  1. TallTalesandTrue says:

    Another Robson for you – the 1849 marriage of Henry Isaac Lee and Maria Ellis (nee Reilly) gives her father as William Robson, Gentleman (on Ancestry).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, well, well. That’s interesting. And weird, since her father is supposed to be Thomas Reilly – as shown by the marriage allegation, bond, marriage entry AND her marriage notice. The marriage allegation is signed by Thomas Reilly and he states he is Maria’s natural and lawful father. This family gets more and more convoluted – but so interesting! That Robson link was bothering me so thanks for the heads up, TallTalesandTrue! This is a good lead to follow.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. TallTalesandTrue says:

    Usually when they get confused about who their mother or father was it’s because of a stepparent or a mother has remarried and they switch between Maiden and married names. My guess would be her mother married twice – possibly when Maria was young – and William Robson was her stepfather. Or the recorder just plain got the wrong end of the stick and put the wrong person’s name in the Wedding party down. Forgot to also mention that she said she was living at Long Ditton – which is where Frederick Ellis was buried in 1853 (Ancestry), and where Alice wanted to be buried with him, but she doesn’t appear to have been. Curiouser and curiouser.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you about step-parents getting mixed up. I’ve seen that happen before and it is usually the most likely scenario. So, Emma Robson could be a step-sister. Hmmm. Another interesting titbit is that in the burial register, Henry Isaac Lee’s burial entry is on the next page from Frederick Ellis’ burial entry! Regarding where Alice was buried, it wouldn’t be the first time that someone’s wishes expressed in a will couldn’t be carried out. For example, the cemetery was no longer accepting burials, they died further away than expected such as overseas, and so on. In the short-term, for the purposes of my research into Alicia Eleanora, it was enough to have Alice’s will, probate record and death index entry. But I will need to fill in all the details, such as Alice’s burial record, which will be the next stage of my research. Lots to do! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. TallTalesandTrue says:

    John Reilly, son of Thomas Reilly of Holly Terrace, Highgate, was articled to Charles Ellis of Verulam Buildings on the 7 Dec 1822 (Ancestry. The year before Charles married Maria). I wonder if that’s how they met or did Charles help them out because of wanting to marry her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s interesting. I haven’t delved too deeply into the Reillys because they seemed too far away from Alicia. Nevertheless, I know that the Reillys did live for a time in Bury St Edmunds which is where Charles Ellis was articled to Henry Topple from about 1814 to 1820. I thought that this was probably when Charles met Maria. I didn’t realise that Charles had in turn articled his brother-in-law! Thanks again, TallTales!

      Liked by 1 person

      • TallTalesandTrue says:

        This site claims that the Reilly family were in Preston, Lancashire, from 1812 to 1817. But it doesn’t mean they never came back to Bury St Edmunds during that time. Charles didn’t complete his 5 years with Henry Topple – in 1818 he was transferred over to finish his 5 year clerkship with Frederick George Syms of Craven Street, London (Ancestry) and John Ingram Lockhart is recorded as Charles Ellis’s guardian on both his articles of clerkship. I wonder if there was any official guardianship papers, or whether it was just a convenient way of describing the relationship. Syms was naturally a relative having married Frances Greenwollers, daughter of Wastie’s sister, Mary Harriet Lockhart. Wheels within wheels.


        • That again is strange but interesting since Charles Ellis signed an oath on 3 May 1821 about his clerkship to Henry Topple but didn’t mention Frederick Syms. Just skips right over that bit to saying he was admitted as an attorney on 16 June 1820. Thanks, TallTales.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. TallTalesandTrue says:

    If Lockhart/Wastie actually was the legal guardian of Charles Ellis, then he may have been the legal guardian of Alice as well, and there may be a paper trail somewhere that may have more information or may just say what you already know. The frustrations of never enough records.

    Liked by 1 person

Please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s