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Ellen Eliza Hallett

(1887 - ????)

Ellen Eliza was born in Bridgwater, Somerset 15 February 1887 to parents John & Annie Hallett (nee Dowden). Her baptism is recorded in the parish registers of St John Baptist, Bridgwater on 16 January 1888, when the family were living at 26 Wellington Place, Bridgwater. Her birth was registered in the first quarter of 1887 (ref 5c 358).

The baptism entry has a 'P' recorded against it, suggesting that it was a private baptism. Along with the eleven month delay in being baptised, this may suggest that Ellen was ill as a young child and unable to attend church. Ellen was the fourth born and would eventually have eight or nine brothers and sisters.

Sometime before the 1891 census the family had moved to 32 Wellington Place. The census brings some confusion as Ellen does not appear to be with the family. She would have been four years old at this time.

There is a daughter in the property named Selina who was the same age as Ellen and perhaps she was incorrectly recorded as Selina or she adopted Selina as a pet name. With the delay in baptism as mentioned above, it was also felt likely that Ellen could have been a twin. This now appears unlikely as a review of BMD records 1886 - 1887 revealed no Selina.

Ellen's father was employed as a labourer in the local gas works.

The baptism of a sister, Bessie Beatrice in August 1891 suggests that the family had moved to 24 Wellington Road.

By 1896, the family had moved to 8 Wellington place. A further moved occurred and in October 1898 they were living at 82 St John Street.

The year 1900 was to change the fortunes of Ellen's parents. The brother of her grandfather had emigrated to America in the 1850's, setting up home in Toledo, Ohio. He accumulated substantial sums of money and owned a number of properties.

'Toledo John' died on 13 November 1899, and after making a number of specific provisions to friends, he bequeathed the balance of his estate to his sister and nieces and nephews including Ellen's father.

The 1901 census places Ellen, her parents and seven of her brothers and sisters at Cruffs Cottage, Liberty Place, St John Street, Bridgwater. Ellen was recorded as sixteen years old. Ellen's father is clearly in receipt of the Toledo money as he is shown as 'living on own means'.

Further information about Ellen will be added at a later date.