Paula Smith's Family History - Smith (3)

***LAST UPDATED: 25th April 2005***

  • William Smith (unknown)
  • Ellen Smith (1890-1973)






  • William Smith

    lived with Ada Dunn for an unknown number of years. Known children:
    1. Emily Smith
    2. Rose Smith - Born Islington, 1887. Married Michael Joyce McDonough in Islington, 1910. Died Southend-On-Sea, 1975. Never had any children.
    3. Ellen Smith - Born Islington, 1890. Died Chelsea, 1973.
    4. William Smith - Born Islington, 1894. Died 1948.

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 the 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 matched.

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 Billingsley).

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 Smith (1890-1973)

    married (1) William Billingsley (1873-1923) at Fulham Register Office, 1918. Click on William's link to find out more about their family.
    married (2) Thomas Oswald Mosley in Fulham, 1925. Children:
    1. Ellen Mosley
    2. Lily Mosley - Born 1927. Died 2002.

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.