Some time ago, I found one Herbert
YALLOTT working as a 'servant' for farmer Matthew
RHODES (brother of my ggg-grandfather, George
RHODES) in Mottram-in-Longdendale on the 1881 Census.
He gave Australia as his place of birth which seemed an
oddity, but no more than that. However, I was looking through
the 1871 Census and found what seemed to be a linked entry.
It was for John GODDARD
(George Rhodes' brother-in-law) living in Market Place,
Mottram and staying with him was his 14 year old niece,
Ellen YALLOTT, place of birth
Australia. She turns up again in 1881 at the same place,
the Hare and Hounds pub, now being run by Ellen
GODDARD, John's widow.
This seemed unlikely to be a
coincidence and I became intrigued. Why would a family emigrate
to Australia, only for their children to return? And why
should they find their way to Mottram? I posted my puzzle
to the Cheshire List. Within a few hours had received information
that began to unlock the puzzle in the shape of birth and
death records from Sydney, New South Wales, that showed
Herbert and Ellen's parents had indeed emigrated and where
they had died, at least three of their children returning
to the UK.
YELLOTT was born in Bradfield, Yorkshire, about four
miles north of Sheffield. According to the IGI, he was baptised
on 18 April 1816, the son of John
YELLOTT and Ruth SPOONER
who were married at Cathedral St Peter's, Sheffield on 2
May 1802. They had four other sons, Joel, John, William
In 1852 Henry
married Harriet Woodger who
was some fifteen years his junior. The couple emigrated
to Australia, arriving in Sydney on 30 September 1852 on
board the Ascendant which sailed from Liverpool. Between
then and 1865, they had eight children, although at least
three died young. The parents died within a year of each
other in 1865 and 1866, leaving a young family - Ellen
(13), Harriet (10) Mary
(6) and Herbert (4).
How the children contrived to
return to England is not yet clear, but return they did,
Ellen going to live with her
aunt and uncle, John
GODDARD and his wife Ellen.
In different censuses, Ellen
GODDARD variously gives her place of birth as Wadsley
and Bradfield, Yorkshire. Wadsley Bridge is just north of
I had no record of John and Ellen's
marriage and the mistake I made was to assume that she was
the mother of all his children in short, I was checking
marriages that were too early. In fact, Ellen
was John's second
wife. My theory was that she was Ellen
Yellott, but the marriage records show her as being
named Ellen Senior
when they married in 1850 (information thanks to John Rhodes.)
So had I got it wrong?
Significantly, her son born
in 1851 was baptised Henry
Yallott GODDARD, so perhaps she too had married twice.
I checked the IGI and sure enough, I found a marriage between
Ellen and a Joseph
SENIOR at Ecclesfield in 1835. It was one of those 'Yes!!'
moments. They possibly had a daughter, Sarah
Jane, baptised on 17 November 1841 in Bradfield, but
this link is still tenuous. However, it seems that Joseph
died between April and June 1842 at Ecclesfield. How she
came to marry John GODDARD
, I don't yet know.
Of course, this doesn't explain
why the YELLOTs went to Sydney. More importantly, how did
a group of young orphans get back to the UK? Herbert
and Mary were in Rotherham in
1871 as boarders with
school master and mistress, William and Mary Bingham. It
isn't clear what happened to Mary
as she doesn't appear on later censuses and presumably died
or married between then and 1881.
By 1881, Herbert
was in Mottram with Matthew
Rhodes following his sister, Ellen,
who was already there in 1871
staying with her aunt Ellen.
There is no sign of Harriet
in 1871 but in the 1881
census she is at Spotland, Lancashire (near Rochdale)
where she was cook and domestic servant for Leonard SHAWCROSS,
a cotton spinner employing 333 workers. Herbert
and Ellen joined her in Rochdale
According to Free
BMD, Herbert married
Sarah Ann Crabtree there
in 1885. Sadly the union didn't last as Sarah died between
October and December 1887 presumably giving birth to their
daughter Annie. He remarried in 1897 to Agnes
Hinchcliffe and they had thee children.
Ellen married Harry
Reynolds in the June quarter of 1898 in Rochdale, but
they don't appear to have had children, although their young
niece Annie is lving with them in 1901
rather than with her father who had perhaps shunned her
as was often the case when a mother had died in childbirth.
Harriet didn't marry and
died in Rochdale between April and June 1917.