Ellis SMITH senior (1814–1878)
His wife Mrs Sarah SMITH, née Midwinter (1825–1883)
Their son Ellis SMITH junior
St Paul section: Row 39, Grave M21 [St Paul ref. D35]
who died June 29, 1877
aged 25 years
IN THE MIDST OF LIFE WE ARE IN DEATH
[His father Ellis Smith senior
who died in 1878
his mother Sarah Ellis
who died in 1883
are also buried here]
Ellis Smith senior was born in Wolvercote in 1814 and baptised there on 18 December. He was the son of the millwright John Smith and his wife Elizabeth, who had eight other children baptised at that church: Thomas (1811), John (1813), Joe (1816), Augustus (1818), Marianne Hannah (1820), Elizabeth Jane (1823), Augustus (1825), and Edwin (1828). He is presumably the Ellis Smith who was admitted free in Oxford on 1 January 1840 and apprenticed to the whitesmith Jonathan Samuel Browning two days later (although it was a very short apprenticeship, and maybe just a technicality as he would then have been aged 25). At the time of the 1841 census Ellis (26) was a whitesmith, living in Wolvercote with his mother Elizabeth and his brothers Joseph (24), who was a tailor, and Edwin (10).
Sarah Midwinter was born at Thames Street, Abingdon in 1825 and baptised at St Helen's Church on 27 March. She was the daughter of the hemp dresser James Midwinter and Lydia Harley, who were married at that church on 9 November 1823 and also had their son Frederick Augustus Midwinter baptised there on 15 March 1827. At the time of the 1841 census Sarah (16) was the servant of a publican in Bury Lane, Abingdon.
On 8 September 1845 at St Helen's Church in Abingdon, the whitesmith Ellis Smith (31, but recorded as 28) married Sarah Midwinter (20, but recorded as 21): they were both then living in Abingdon. They settled in Oxford and had the following children:
- John Frederick Smith (born at Gloucester Green, Oxford in late 1846 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 13 January 1847)
- James Ellis (born at Gloucester Green, Oxford in 1848 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 11 October);
died aged one in 1849
- Sarah Elizabeth Smith (born at Gloucester Green, Oxford in 1850 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 11 October)
- Ellis Smith junior (born at Gloucester Green, Oxford in 1853 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on Easter Day, 27 March)
- Mary Ann Hannah Smith (born at Little Clarendon Street, Oxford in 1855 and baptised at St Giles's Church on 26 August).
Ellis and his family were living at Gloucester Green in St Mary Magdalen parish when their baby son James died on 26 September 1842, and they placed a death notice in Jackson's Oxford Journal.
The 1851 census gives their precise address as 2 Gloucester Green, and Ellis (34) and Sarah (26) were at home with their surviving children John (6) and Sarah (four months), plus a 15-year-old servant girl.
At some point between March 1853 and August 1855 they moved to Little Clarendon Street in St Giles's parish.
The 1861 census shows Ellis (45) living at Little Clarendon Street with his wife Sarah (36), and their four children John (14), Sarah (10), Ellis (8) and Mary Ann (5).
On 31 July 1868 their eldest son John Frederick Smith was admitted free.
By 1871 Ellis (55) was living at 24 West Street, Osney with Sarah (46) and three of their children: Sarah (19) was a dressmaker, Ellis (17) was a fitter, and and Mary Ann (15) was a school teacher. Their eldest son John (24) was working as a cook at the Ilfracombe Hotel in north Devon.
Their son John was married in 1872:
- On 11 January 1872 at St Thomas's Church, Oxford, John Frederick Smith (25), described as a cook of West Street, Osney, married Abigail Harris (20) of Kingston Road, the daughter of the railway pointsman or switchman George Harris.
Their son Ellis Smith junior died in 1877, and his death must have taken place away from home, as it was registered in the Kensington district of London:
† Ellis Smith junior died at Kensington at the age of 24 on 29 June 1877 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 3 July (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul's Church).
His address is given as New Osney in the St Paul's parish register, so it is a mystery why he was not buried in Osney Cemetery.
Their daughter Sarah was married in 1877:
- On 27 December 1877 at St Frideswide's Church, Oxford, Sarah Elizabeth Smith (27) of 24 West Street, Osney married Joseph Richmond (27), a college servant of New Osney and the son of the college servant John Richmond.
His father died the following year:
† Ellis Smith senior died at New Osney at the age of 63 in July 1878 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 18 July (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul's Church).
By the time of the 1881 census Sarah Smith, a widow of 56, had opened a grocer's shop in her home at 24 West Street in Osney, and she and her daughter Mary (25), who was still a schoolteacher, were living over the shop.
Sarah moved Leckford Road in north Oxford, probably to her son John's house, where she died aged 58 in 1883:
† Mrs Sarah Smith née Midwinter died at Leckford Road at the age of 58 in May 1883 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 12 May (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul's Church).
Her daughter Mary was married less than three months later:
- On 5 August 1883 at St Frideswide's Church, Oxford, Mary Ann Hannah Smith of 26 West Street, Osney married Henry John Smith (28), an engine man of 50 Oxford Street, Bristol and the son of the GWR driver Edward Smith.
Surviving children of Ellis and Sarah Smith
- John Frederick Smith (born 1846) was working as a college cook in 1881 and living at 1 Leckford Road with his wife Abigail and a lodger. They moved to Kingston Road some time after May 1883, and Abigail Smith died there at the age of 33 in 1884 and was buried in a new grave in St Sepulchre's Cemetery on 10 May, which was just two days after her mother-in-law Sarah Smith's burial (St Giles's section: Row 42, Grave K42, not yet covered). In 1885 in St Paul's Church, John (37), described as a cook of 70 Observatory Street, married his second wife Miss Sarah Helen Young (29) of 9 Leckford Road, the daughter of the farmer John Young. At the time of the 1891 census John (44) was a waiter, living without his wife at 50 Walton Crescent, the home of John William Seary, who was curiously described as his father-in-law. John Frederick Smith died at 157 Kingston Road at the age of 50 on 11 March 1886. His personal estate came to £77, and his executor was his widow Sarah.
- Sarah Elizabeth Smith, Mrs Joseph Richmond (born 1850) was living at 26 West Street, Osney in 1881 with her husband Joseph, who was a college servant, and their daughter Edith Mary Richmond (2). In 1891 Sarah and Joseph, both aged 40, were living at 56 Western Road in south Oxford, and they had a second child, Harry Thomas Richmond (6). In 1901 they were living at 76 Marlborough Road with their two children: Joseph (50) was still working as a college servant, but he died a few months afterwards. In 1911 Sarah (60) was still living at the same address but her son Harry (26), who was a tailoring trimmer, was the head of the household; his sister Edith (32), who was a drapery assistant, also lived with them. Sarah Elizabeth Smith died in Oxford at the age of 81 near the beginning of 1932.
- Mary Ann Hannah Smith, Mrs Henry John Smith (born 1855) is hard to trace after her marriage in 1883.