Ellwood and Pearson Families

This past week, stimulated by the visit of Zania and Ian from Edinburgh,  I have been looking through boxes of old family photos and making scans.  Zania and I are “double-cousins” as our grandparents were brothers who married sisters, and that started us off talking about the older generations.  Our Grandfathers were the sons of Daniel William Pearson and his wife Sarah Walker.

daniel william pearson family

The family of Daniel William Pearson and Sarah Walker

Daniel William Pearson,  the son of William Pearson and Sarah Johnson was born in 16 Nov 1855 in Whitehaven  he married  Sarah Jane Walker, born 10 Dec 1957, the daughter of William Walker and Agnes Duke.

Daniel William died on 26 Jan 1929

Obituary from the Whitehaven News

DEATH OF FORMER OFFICIAL

The death occurred on Saturday, after a long illness, of Mr D.W. Pearson, of Victoria Road, Whitehaven. Mr Pearson, who was well-known in the town and district, filled the position of sanitary and m,arkets inspector for 27 years, having been appointed in 1897, three years after the incorporation of the borough. He retired about four years ago, owing to failing health. Previous to his appointment as a council official, he carried on business in Duke Street, Whitehaven, as a butcher. Mr Pearson, who was 73 years of age, belonged to an old and respected Whitehaven family. He leaves a widow and grown-up family of six sons and one daughter.

He left school early, and was a butcher, and was appointed Sanitary Inspector for Whitehaven, a post he held for the rest of his working life.

They had nine children, eight sons and one daughter  (I have always loved this picture)

pearson family

from left to right:  William Walker Pearson, Edith Pearson, Henry Pearson, Charles Pearson, Frank Pearson, Ernest Pearson, Gilbert Pearson, John Pearson and Victor Octavious Pearson

My grandfather was William Walker Pearson, the eldest and Zania and Maxine are the granddaughters of Ernest, the fifth son.   Dear little Victor Octavious married the niece of our grandmothers ( the daughter of their eldest brother John)

Our  grandmothers were the daughters of Thomas Ellwood and Mary Carr, daughter of Ralph Carr and  Isabella Little, she was born 16 November 1847 in Whitehaven.

thomas ellwood 1845-1914

Thomas Ellwood  was born 17 March 1845 in Wingate Grange, County Durham, the son of John Ellwood and Bridget Anderson,

The Ellwood family moved to County Durham in about 1844 to work on the coal mines, and four of their children were born there. They returned to Cumberland about 1852, where Thomas worked with his father as deputy overman at Croft Pit, before going to sea in the 1860s.

Three of Thomas’s uncles also went to Durham, but they and their families did not return to Whitehaven. His uncle Thomas Saxon Ellwood went to America, while William and Isaac stayed in Durham.

Obituary notice in the Whitehaven News – 1914-12-10
DEATH OF MR T. ELLWOOD, WHITEHAVEN
The death was announced on Saturday of Mr Thomas Ellwood of Duke Street, at the age of 69 years. Mr Ellwood was a native of Whitehaven. He was the eldest son of the late Mr John Ellwood, Low Road, an overman and master wasteman at Croft Pit. The father used to be greatly interested in astronomy and other scientific pursuits, and the son inherited some of this intellectual bent and continued a long connection with the Whitehaven Scientific Association.

john ellwood 1819-1892

John Ellwood 1819-1892

Mr Thomas Ellwood began life by seafaring, in the Maiden Queen under Capt. Smith, of Parton. But he soon left this, and began again in the Whitehaven Colliery. After some years he obtained a manager’s certificate, and then went to a colliery at Dearham as manager, and subsequently to collieries at Wrexham and Workington. He then returned to Whitehaven, and retiring from mining, took over a pawnbroking business in Senhouse Street that had previously been carried on by Mrs Carr, he wife’ mother. This he continued to carry on until the time of his death.
He was twice married. His first wife was a daughter of the late Captain Carr. The Carrs were then living in Senhouse Street. By the first marriage there was a large family – twelve in all, of whom two died and ten survive, who are all grown-up. His second wife was Mrs Jackson, of Duke Street, who survives him.
At one time Mr Ellwood took a very great interest in party politics, and was an active and strong partisan on the Conservative side, in local as well as imperial affairs. In local affairs he used to be one of the foremost spirits in elections for the old town and harbour board; and in imperial affairs he was one of the original promoters of the Whitehaven Conservative Association. In those days Whitehaven Conservatism had no popular organisation, while Liberalism had; and a movement was taken up by twelve of them, who were at once dubbed the twelve apostles, to found an association, which resulted in the establishment of the Club in King Street.
Mr Ellwood also took a great interest in Odd-fellowship. He was a member and officer of the Whitehaven lodge, and has served as Provincial Master of the Whitehaven District.

 

Thomas Ellwood married Mary Carr, the daughter of Isabella Little and Ralph Carr (he died at sea in 1862).

isabella little carr and family

The Carr Family – taken 12 June 1874 (original on glass)   note on the back gives ages -Left to right top:  William Carr (14), Bessie Carr (17), Ralph Carr (23), Thomas Carr (12), Thomas Ellwood (30)  Sitting:   ?    , Isabella Little Carr (63),  Mary Carr Ellwood (31), Isabella Carr Ellwood (on lap), John Ellwood, Ralph Carr Ellwood.

Thomas and Mary had twelve children two of whom died.  William born 22 Sep 1883 who died 5 Nov 1885 and William Edward born 4 Aug 1890 and who died 1 April 1891

thomas ellwood family

Back Left to Right,  Thomas Ellwood, Ralph Carr Ellwood,  Isabella Carr Ellwood, John Ellwood, Mary Carr Ellwood.   Middle L-R :  Elizabeth Renney Ellwood, Martha Ellwood, Margaret Ellwood, Thomas Ellwood.  Front L-R :  Bridget  Ellwood,  Mary Ellwood,  Robert Ellwood

My grandmother Martha (Mattie) was particularly close to her younger sister Margaret (Maggie) and as she left  Whitehaven for South Africa in 1913 to marry  William Walker Pearson, kept up a correspondence with her for the whole of her life.   Unfortunately I do not have portraits of all of her brothers and sisters but will go on searching through the old boxes in case I can find any of John and Mary  when they were young and of Thomas and Robert.

The portraits that I do have are:

ralph carr ellwood 1871-1957

 Ralph Carr Ellwood

born 28 Jan 1871, at New Yard, Workington, Cumberland and he died at 9 Scotch Street, Whitehaven on 18 May 1957

He was interred in Whitehaven Cemetery after a service in the Congregational Churchralph carr ellwood 29 jul1950

 

 

He was a well-known runner in his youth. He lived with Ernest and Maggie Pearson until he died. He had a superb collection of semi-precious stones which he collected on Fleswick Beach near St Bee’s Head.

Zania said that she remembered him as an old man,  at her grandmother’s house


isabella ellwood 1873-1958

 

 

Gran’s eldest sister was  Isabella Carr Ellwood   

born 29 Jul 1873 in Whitehaven and died in Whitehaven in 1958she was married to James Hurst,  they did not have children
As I was growing up I knew of her as “Aunty Belle”  she was a matron in a hospital, and lived in an old terraced house in New Road Whitehaven near the cemetery.     My gran used to tell us tales of Whitehaven and the family and my Mum and Aunty Molly used to say to her that she really should go on a trip and see them all, but she always had a reason why she could not go. isabella ellwood - 1873-1958 One year Aunty Molly had jaundice and Gran went and helped with the children while she was ill.   We had a wonderful old family doctor, the old fashioned kind, and Mum and Aunty Molly told him that they thought that Gran should go and see her sisters.  He then told her that she had been working so hard helping with the family that he thought she needed a trip and that the best thing would be for her to go overseas.  Lo and behold, she and an old friend were gone within 6 months and went again a couple of years later.  It was very good as she was able to see Aunty Belle before she died.


mary ellwood addison 1875-1964

Mary Ellwood 1875-1964 with Jonathan Addison

Mary Ellwood, born 20 May 1875 in Whitehaven, .  Mary died in Belfast on 9 July 1964.   She married Jonathan Addison in 1896 and they had 7 children.  The eldest, Mary was a great friend of my gran, in fact she was only 13 years younger than her.

martha and mary 1956

 

 

 

 

 

My gran managed to visit her in Belfast  when they were both old

 

bessie jupp - martha - mary - john hayes - mary addison hayes

Left to right: Elizabeth Addison Jupp,  Martha Ellwood Pearson, John Hayes, Mary Ellwood Addison, and Elizabeth Addison Hayes

 

 

Mary Addison (b 1898) married John Hayes (no relation to Steve)  and they visited us twice in South Africa.  They had no children of their own and travelled a good deal,  they were really great fun to be with.  John had the most remarkable memory for places. We would be travelling down a road and he would say, “sure and around that corner is ……”  and he was always right.  He had only been there once before!

martha with bessie and len jupp

 

Martha Ellwood Pearson with Elizabeth “Bessie” Addison Jupp and Len Jupp

 

 

When we went to the UK in 1971 we stayed with her sister Elizabeth (b1908) and her husband Len Jupp

(unfortunately the only picture I have is rather blurred)

 

 


elizabeth ellwood 1877-1968

 

Elizabeth Renney Ellwood

was born 26 Jul 1877 in Whitehaven,  she died in 1968

she married Isaac Nicholson (1874)  in Whitehaven on 6th August 1900.

( He was the brother of Catherine Nicholson (b 1871) who was married to John Ellwood the eldest of Thomas Ellwood’s children. (it was their daughter Edith who married Victor Octavious Pearson))

they had two children.  Doris Nicholson and John Ellwood Nicholson.

She married a second time to a man called Tom Caddy.


bridget - bessie - ellwood 1879-1959Bridget Ellwood

(known as Bessie)  was born 8 Aug 1879  in Whitehaven and died 11 Mar 1959

she left Whitehaven and moved to Liverpool in 1916 and lost contact with most of the family.  She married William Fee on 1 Jan 1907 and had two children  Leonard Fee (b1908) and Elsie Fee (b 1917)

she married a second time to   T.W Wilkinson

M4034S-4211

L-R:  Geraint Jones, Vivienne Hall Jones, Allison Jones, Val Hayes

 

Her daughter Elsie married Arthur Hall and they had a daughter Vivienne.  Vivienne married Geraint Jones and they live on a farm in Deiniolen, Caernarfon.  When we were in the UK in 1971 we visited them

 

 


Thomas Carr Ellwood was born on 17 Sep 1881 in Whitehaven.  He married Margaret McMeehan, who was born 25 Dec 1879 in Northern Ireland,  in 1902.  They had 6 children (two daughters and four sons).  We do not have a lot on this branch of the family.  We probably have not worked on it for nearly 40 years so we need to go back and do some more searching!


My beautiful picture

 

Martha Ellwood

was born 17 Nov 1885 in Whitehaven,  she followed her fiance William Walker Pearson to South Africa where they were married in St John’s Church, Pinetown, on 3 November 1913.

William Walker Pearson, the eldest son of Daniel William Pearson and Sarah Walker was born 9 Dec 1883 in Whitehaven.

 

william walker pearson 1883-1956He  was a ship broker in Whitehaven, where he managed a fleet of five or six steamers. He came to Natal in 1909 and on 16 November began working for the forwarding office of the Natal Government Railways. When the forwarding office was closed in 1917 he was transferred to the Harbour Revenue Department and ten years later he was in control of shipping intelligence – allocating berths to the ships arriving in the port of Durban. After his marriage in 1913 he and his wife lived in Pinetown, and later at St Thomas’s Road Extension, in Durban. In 1923 the family moved to 315 Main Road, Escombe. He was a member of the United Grand Lodge of Free Masons of England, having been admitted to the Third Degree at the Temperatia Lodge No 2054 at Whitehaven.

Fleswick 315 main rd escombe c1947

“Fleswick”  –  315 Main Road, Escombe  c 1947    the home was named for the beach near St Bees where Martha and her sisters collected semi-precious stones as children.

William and Martha had four children,  William Ellwood Pearson  (1915-1984),  Mary “Molly” Pearson (1918-2003) and her twin Arthur, who died of diptheria, (1918-1919), and Dorothy (1923-1984).

pearson family - escombe boxing day 1935 - smaller


william ellwood pearson 1915-1984

 

 

William Ellwood Pearson  (Billy) –  Born 8  Aug 1915 in Durban, South Africa and died in England in 1984.

He married twice,  first at the Magistrates Court in Durban on 18 Jun 1939 at the age of 23  to Edith Marion Woods  – he is shown as a teacher and her as a music teacher.  This marriage ended in divorce.

 

Luigia Sonetti Pearson with Francis Alan and Rosemary 1952

Alan Pearson, Liuiga Sonetti Pearson with Rosemary Pearson, Francis Pearson,  at Escombe in 1952

On the 13 Jan1948  he married Liuiga (Louisa) Sonetti (b 1927 in Italy) in Cape Town.   They lived for some time in Nigeria, and also in Italy before settling in England, where he worked for Lever Brothers. They had three children,  Francis (1948), Alan (1951) and Rosemary (1952).  They visited William and Martha in Durban in 1952.

Billy spent some years in Guatamala and Belize prior to his final return to the UK.

 

 

 

The last time we met our Pearson cousins was in 1971 when Elaine and I went to the UK, and we have only recently made contact once again.  We are hoping to find out more about that side of the family again

salerno 1956

Sorrento 1956

 

francis alan and rosemary pearson

England 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mary Pearson 1918-2003

 

Mary “Molly” Pearson

was born on 22 August 1918 in Durban and died in Pinetown on 13 December 2003

Molly married Sydney Weston Gammage who was born in Whetstone, Leicestershire, England on 2 July 1918.  Mary Pearson and Sidney GammageThey were married in  Durban on 16 Mar 1946.   and spent the early years of their marriage at Waschbank in the midlands of Natal, later moving to 35 Rycroft Avenue in Queensburgh, Natal where they spent most of their lives. Sydney died on 15 Jan 1997

Molly and Sydney had 4 children,  Enid, Arthur, Douglas and Margaret.

 

Gammage family

Left to Right:  Back – Douglas Gammage,  Sydney Gammage, Arthur Gammage ,                         Front:  Margaret Gammage, Molly Gammage, Enid Gammage

Enid Gammage Christmas 1974

Enid Gammage  b 1947 married to Justin Ellis with 2 Children Hugh and Bronwen

My beautiful picture

Arthur Gammage b 1951  married to Jennifer Caithness – they have three children,  Keith, Sonja and Hilda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Douglas Gammage and Margaret Gibb Nov 1979

Douglas Gammage  b 1953 married to Margaret Gibb, they had 4 children.  Kenneth,  Daniel (died young), Richard and Laura.

margaret foley 2003

Margaret Gammage b 1957 married to Douglas Foley,  they have two children, Candice and Dylan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Dorothy Pearson and Keith Greene

 

Dorothy Pearson

was born 10 February 1923 in Durban and died  on  9 Mar 1984

She married Keith Greene on the 23 June 1945 at St Paul’s Church, Durban.  (they were the first couple ever to have their wedding photographed inside the church)  Keith was born in Johannesburg on 4 July 1922.Keith and Dorothy Greene

 

They lived all their married life at 37 Seymour Road, Queensburgh.   Close to William and Martha’s home Fleswick at 315 Main Road

They had two daughters , Valerie and Elaine

 

Valerie Greene Hayes

Valerie Greene b 1948  married to Stephen Hayes in 1974 they have three children,  Bridget,  Simon, and Jethro.

Elaine Greene Machin

Elaine Greene  b 1951   married to John Machin in 1973.  They have three children, Gregory, Alan and Lesley.  (seen in this picture with her granddaughter Abby, daughter of Gregory)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

greene and gammage descendants 1978

Greene and Gammage families in 1978.     Left to right:  Top – John Machin,  Douglas Gammage, Doug Foley, Arthur Gammage, Sydney Gammage, Enid Ellis holding Hugh, Keith Greene, Stephen Hayes,  Ella Hayes (his mother)  Front:  Margaret Foley, Elaine Machin holding Gregory, Molly Gammage holding Simon Hayes,  Dorothy Greene holding Bridget Hayes and Valerie Hayes.  This was the last time that we were all together for a very long time.


margaret ellwood pearson 1892-1958

 

Margaret Ellwood

the youngest child of Thomas Ellwood and Mary Carr was born in Whitehaven on 23 Apr 1892 and she married Ernest Pearson, the fifth son of Daniel William Pearson and Sarah Johnson in 1916.   She died in 1958

After her death Ernest remarried in 1961 to May Smith,  he died in 1975

 

Ernie and Maggie had four children,  Gilbert (b 1917),  Ralph (b 1920),  John (b 1923) and Margaret (b 1929)


gilbert pearson 1917-1944 - June 1942

Gilbert Pearson June 1942

 

Gilbert Ellwood Pearson

was born in Whitehaven 17  Dec 1917.  He was killed in a munition accident right at the very end of the war, in Burma  on 5 June 1944

he is buried at IMPHAL WAR CEMETERY

 

 


Ralph Pearson

was born at 60 Victoria Rd,  Workington.  He was educated in Whitehaven. Served in Royal Air Force in Second World War, mainly in personnel management. After the war spent most of his working in Navy, Army & Air Force Institutes (NAAFI), in Egypt, Middle East and Singapore. Retired in 1983.

He married Jean Mary Bearn (b 1921)on  9 Aug 1952,  and they had three children, Joseph, Susan and Gordon.

jean and gordon pearsonLike us Ralph was extremely interested in the Family History and did an enormous amount of research.  We corresponded regularly.  We are still looking for a photo of Ralph (anyone in the family who has a good one, it would be most welcome)

In 1996 I won  a ticket to the FA Cup Final between Manchester United and Liverpool and was in London for a week.  I went to Berkhamstead visit.  Ralph had died  about 4 months before but I met Jean and the family.  We are in touch with Gordon.


john pearson sept 1941 aged 17

John Pearson June 1942 aged 17

 

John Pearson

born 30 Oct 1923 in Whitehaven.  He married Christiana Rose Nora Lees on 4 Aug 1947.   We knew her as Nora and corresponded for many years.  We were able to visit her in 2005, she gave us a lot of information on the family and told wonderful stories.  John died on 12 March 1984 and Nora on  1 February 2017,  we are so glad to have known her.

John and Nora had two daughters Maxine and Zania.

 

maxine nora and zania 90

Nora Pearson celebrating her 90th birthday with Maxine and Zania

maxine

Maxine Pearson b 1948 married to John Wincott,  they have two children,  Emma and Paul

zania mckenzie

Zania Pearson b 1953  married to Ian McKenzie,  they had three children,  Twins Litza and Alexander ( Alexander died at birth) , and Andrea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a wonderful visit with them in 2005 in Edinburgh and have been lucky that both Maxine and John  and Zania and Ian have been able to visit South Africa, and spend an hour or two with us

with maxine and zania in edinburgh

Left to right:  Maxine, John, Val, Ian, Zania,  in Edinburgh  2005


is this Margaret Pearson Worsley 6 jun 1949

 

Edith Margaret Pearson

the youngest child of Ernest Pearson and Margaret Ellwood was born on 15 Sep 1929

she married Edward Worsley on 4 April 1943

They had two children,  Caroline b abt 1954  and Michael born 24 Oct 1957

We had very little contact with her side of the family.

So this is just a little bit of the Pearson/Ellwood tree – mostly that which links the two families.  Anyone who has anything further to add we would love to hear from you.

 

Little by little

A couple of years ago we accepted a challenge by Randy Seaver to list ancestors in the maternal line, and Val’s list is as follows:

  1. Valerie Greene
  2. Dorothy Pearson (1923-1984) married Keith Dudley Vincent Greene
  3. Martha Ellwood (1885-1968) married William Walker Pearson
  4. Mary Carr (1847-1897) married Thomas Ellwood
  5. Isabella Little (1822-1895) married Ralph Carr
  6. Ann Akin married Edward Little — of Cumberland, England

And since then we’ve gone a generation further back, and discovered that Ann (or Nancy) Akin was probably the daughter of James and Margaret Aiken, and was probably born in Keswick, Cumberland around 1780.

When we started our family history research in 1974, just after we got married, we made our most rapid progress on the Pearson, Ellwood, Carr and Little sides of the family, because Val’s grandmother, Mattie Pearson, born Ellwood, had lived with them in Escombe, Natal, for twelve years after the death of her husband, and Val still had lots of her photos and press cuttings. Among the photos was this one:

Carr and Ellwood families, Whitehaven, Cumberland, 12 June 1874. Back: William Carr (14), Bessie Carr (17?), Ralph Carr (23), Thomas Carr (12), Thomas Ellwood. Front (sitting): Unknown, Isabella Carr (born Little, 52), Mary Ellwood (born Carr, 31); Isabella Carr Ellwood (sitting on lap, 1), John Ellwood (4), Ralph Carr Ellwood (3)

Bessie Carr may be the woman sitting in front on the left, in which case the woman standing behind her is the unknown one. Bessie’s full name was Elizabeth Renney Carr, and she married Tom Spedding in 1884, ten years after the picture was taken. We have a picture drawn by her daughter Nellie (Eleanor) Spedding:

The Empty Chair, by Nellie Spedding

Isabella Carr was the daughter of Edward and Ann Little, and was born in Mealsgate, near Bolton, Cumberland, in 1822. The trouble was that there was more than one Edward Little who had married an Ann. There was Edward Little who married Ann (or Nancy) Akin, and an Edward Vipond Little who had married an Ann Moffatt. We wrote to some of Val’s mother’s cousins in England to ask if they knew which one it was, and one of the cousins, Ralph Pearson, latched on to Edward Vipond Little, son of George Little and Hannah Vipond, and traced his ancestry back several generations. They were from the east of Cumberland, near the Westmorland border. Checking with descendants of Edward Vipond Little, who had gone to Australia, showed that that was a false trail, however. Isabella’s father was Edward Little, a blacksmith of Bolton, and Ann or Nancy Akin, and she was the youngest 0f five children that we have been able to find so far.

Isabella Little married Ralph Carr, a master mariner, whose father and grandfather were also named Ralph Carr, and also appear to have been mariners. On 4 May 1862 Ralph Carr died on board the schooner Hematite of Whitehaven during the passage to Oporto in Lat 43 2 N Long 9 4 W, in the 42nd year of his age, leaving the pregnant Isabella a widow. Their son Thomas Carr was born a month after his father’s death, on 4 June 1862 (he is in the picture above, aged 12).

Ralph Carr was buried at Corunna in Spain, on the west side of the harbour near to the grave of the celebrated General Sir John Moore who was killed during the retreat of the British Army to that place durimng the Napoleonic Wars. At school I had to learn a poem about the burial of Sir John Moore at Corunna:

We buried him darkly at the dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning,
By the struggling moonbeam’s misty light,
And the lantern dimly burning.

But Ralph Carr was presumably buried in daylight.

After Ralph’s death Isabella supported herself and her children with her pawnbroking business, which was later taken over by her daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Thomas Ellwood. Two of her sons, Ralph and William, also went into pawnbroking.

Since then we have added to our knowlege of the Little family, Little by Little, as it were. One of the tantalising clues was that in a couple of censuses there is an Edwin Little staying with the Carr family. In 1861 he was a ship’s carpenter’s apprentice, aged 18, and and in 1871 he was a ship’s carpenter, aged 28. What is not clear is who his parents were. He could have been an illegitimate son of one of Isabella’s sisters, or a son of her brother Edward. We have since discovered that he went to Victoria (Australia), where he married Elizabeth Allen, and they had a son, Edward Allen Little.

More recently, with many records coming online through FamilySearch and FreeBMD, we have been able to find more Little descendants.

Isabella’s eldest sister Sarah married John Brindle in Torpenhow, Cumberland, and had six children. We have managed to trace one or more generations of three of them, including a fairly sizeable Taggart family.

 

A couple of Ellwood mysteries

One of the long-standing mysteries in our research into the Ellwood family history is the appearance of a Mary Ann Disno in the 1881 Census of Whitehaven, Cumberland.

She is shown as staying with John Ellwood (1819-1892) and Ann his wife, and is listed as their niece, aged 23, and born in Liverpool. Presumably one of her parents was a brother of sister of John or Ann Ellwood, or possibly even of John Ellwood’s first wife, Bridget Anderson (1819-1876). But Mary Ann Disno seems to come out of nowhere. There is no mention of such a person in the 1861 or 1871 censuses. So who was she, and who were here parents?

We can only conclude that her name was misspelt in 1881, and was actually something else. Someone pointed to a Mary Ann Dyson, born in Liverpool in 1857. Perhaps she could fit. Her parents seem to have been William Westword Dyson and Mary Ann Ellis, but it seems unlikely that they would connect with Ellwoods in Whitehaven. They seem to have been Roman Catholics, and John Ellwood’s second wife Ann was a Primitive Methodist, and seems to have converted him to that faith. Back in those days Roman Catholics and Primitive Methodists had little in common.

And then there is John Ellwood’s second wife herself. Who was she?

We haven’t been able to find a likely marriage of John Ellwood to an Ann after the death of Bridget in 1876 and before the census in 1881. Someone drew our attention to an Ann Kidd who married a John Ellwood in that period at Ulverstone, but we know about her, and she seems to have married a different John Ellwood closer to her own age. And even the first wife, Bridget Anderson, is something of a mystery. We have her birth date from family Bibles, and we have her father’s name from her marriage certificate when she married John Ellwood in 1839. But there is no record of a baptism for her, and we don’t know the names of her mother of any of her siblings, so that is no help in solving the mystery of Mary Ann Disno either.

So there are three mystery people linked to John Ellwood
  • Bridget Anderson, his first wife, born 19 Nov 1819 in Whitehaven
  • Ann, his second wife, born about 1824 in Hensingham, maiden name unknown
  • Mary Ann Disno, niece of one of them, born in Liverpool about 1857