***LAST UPDATED: 25th April 2005***
On Ellen's marriage certificate to William
Billingsley, William, her father, is recorded as being deceased and had
the occupation of jewelcase maker. The 1891 census has William being an
out of work pocketbook maker. Ada had a job, although I couldn't read
the record properly so
don't know what she was working as. I haven't been able to find either
William or Ada in the 1901 census.
On 14th December 1897 Rose, Ellen and
William were placed into St John's Workhouse in Islington. On Friday
17th December 1897 Rose and Ellen were transferred to Andover
Children's Workhouse in Islington. They were admitted by their father
(no name mentioned though) of 10 Church Lane. On Saturday 8th January
1898, Rose and Ellen were discharged from the workhouse into the care
of their father of 3 Grosvenor Street. So it seems as though in 3
weeks, the famiy had moved house. There was no mention of Emily and no
mention of William being placed into the children's workhouse.
On 14th March 1898, Rose, Ellen and William
were placd into St John's Workhouse again. On the 25th March, all were
transferred to the children's workhouse. The entries for Rose and Ellen
were separate to that of William. Rose and Ellen were recorded as being
deserted by their parents, William was put into the workhouse by his
sister who was in St John's Road workhouse. Presumably this sister was
Emily. Emily would have been about 15 years old at this point, so too
old to go into the children's workhouse. I checked the St John's Road
workhouse records but couldn't find Emily in the admissions records.
William Smith, when aged 5 years old, was
admitted to Tottenham Fever Hospital in Monday 27th Feb 1899 from the
workhouse (his last meal before discharge was supper). William was
readmitted on Saturday 3rd June 1899. He was collected from the fever
hospital by a Miss Warner. William died in Lambeth Hospital, 1948 at
the age of 54 years. He was noted as living in Camberwell and being a
plumber. His sister Rose registered his death.
Rose was discharged from the workhouse on
Thursday 8th May
1902, aged 15, into service for Mrs Edmonds of 18 Dukes Avenue, Muswell
Hill. Rose's character was recorded as being 'fairly good'. Her duties
were to involve general work, but Rose was sent back as she was not
experienced enough. So on 18th August 1902 Rose was put into the
service of Mrs Warner of 15 Crouch Hall Road in Crouch End. Again her
duties were to involve general work. Ellen wasn't discharged until
Monday 9th March 1903, aged 12,
when, in the care of Miss Ayres, she was transferred to Miss Day at St
Mary's Home in West Norwood. William was discharged on Thursday 4th
January 1906 to St George in the East Schools by a Mr. Ford.
After an extensive search I have
come to the conclusion that William and Ada never married. I searched
indexes to see if there was any record of Ada having been previously
married, and remarried under that name, but there was no-one who
However I have
got a possible answer as to who William and Ada really were. I
have no actual proof of this so I could be completely wrong, but here
are my clues with my reasoning......
In the 1881 census there was an Ada Hall (nee
Dunn), who was married, living with her parents (Michael and Elizabeth
Dunn) and her 3 year old daughter (also Ada) in Cloudesley Road,
Islington. This Ada was of approximately the same age as the Ada Smith
in the 1891 census. Ada's husband, Frederick William Hall, was with his
mother and siblings in Newington, Surrey, but was recorded as being
unmarried. Also living in Cloudesley Road was Sophia Smith and her two
youngest children Eliza and William (see Smith(4)).
This William Smith matches the age of the Smith(3) William Smith.
Smith(4) William Smith was working as a leather worker in the 1881
census. By coincidence his brother-in-law, William Eldridge who was
married to Frances Smith, worked as a pocketbook maker, jewelcase
maker and a leathercase worker throughout his life - jobs that required
leather working. So, i'm assuming that William Eldridge may have helped
his brother-in-law to get a job within this field. It does seem quite a
coincidence that I have two separate ancestors working as pocketbook
makers in the same area at the same time, even if it was in London.,
and that the two William Smith's (although an extremely common name)
were of the same age.
Returning to Ada Hall, she had an older sister named Rosina - is this another possible connection to the naming of Ada's daughter (its a tenuous link I know)? In the 1891 census, Fred Hall was recorded as being a widower. Fred was living with his mother and his daughter Ada. On the basis of this fact I looked through the death indexes from 1881 to 1892 in an attempt to find Ada Hall's death. I didn't find anything that looked like a match. In the 1901 census Fred was still living with his mother, now in Islington, and recorded as being married but there was no trace of his wife. So was it possible that Ada did leave Fred for William? So Ada Hall seems to have disappeared from all the records!
So if William Smith (3) was the same William
Smith from the Smith (4) family it means that Ellen Smith and William
Billingsley (see below) were actually first cousins as William Smith
(4)'s older sister Sophia Smith married William Thomas Billingsley (see
As I said previously, the above clues have no
hard proof to them, I could be completely wrong with little chance of
finding out about any new information. What happened to William and Ada
after 1898 is anybodys guess! If anybody has any information that may
help me in any way to resolving this then PLEASE contact me.
Ellen's sister Rose was a witness at both of Ellen's marriages.
Ellen died of stomach cancer in St Stephen's Hospital, Chelsea, in 1973.
Ellen's daughter Ellen emmigrated to Australia in the 1950's or 1960's. Ellen's daughter Lily married Tommy Henderson and never had any children.