Marianne Ellis in 1881

The 1881 census has Joseph Cheshire, draper’s assistant, and his wife Maria (who we know to have been born Maria Jane Blanch, daughter of David and Sarah Blanch) living at 2 Silchester Villas, Surrey Lane, Battersea, with their children David, Sophia, Jane, Frederick, Katherine, Ella, Minnie, and baby Frances Marian. Young David, age 14, is described as a coachbuilder’s apprentice.

It’s unclear from the census record whether the other families recorded on the same page are living in the same house/block, or in adjacent houses. Either way, it’s interesting to see towards the foot of the page the name of Marian Ellis, a widowed lodger, age 65, born in London, Middlesex. It’s unclear who she’s lodging with, but her proximity to the Cheshires is interesting.

If this is ‘our’ Marian, then we know that she was widowed some time in the 1860s and by 1871 was living with her daughter Frances Marianne, married to James George Blanch. By 1881 James and Frances were living by themselves in Gwynne Road, also in Battersea and not far from Surrey Lane. They appear to have been childless, and it’s unclear why Marian would not have been living with them. 

Instead, we find her in the home of her son-in-law’s sister, Maria, who has touchingly named her youngest child after Frances Marianne – and therefore indirectly after Marian herself.

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