Eleanor Mary Kirby – Update

Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop.

It’s been a long time coming but FINALLY I broke down Eleanor’s brick wall and I’m chuffed to bits. Seriously I’m doing a massive victory dance.
The lady that mesmerises me, finally has an end to her story and I can even say that it looks like a “Happy Ever After.”

As you know I have been looking for her death record for years, with no joy. Email inquiry after email inquirie came back blank. Years of scanning the indexes and still I couldn’t find the needle in the hay stack.

When I was double checking all her information for her second post on Friday, all about Eleanor’s life as Nellie Montague, I uncovered a document, that throw a massive spanner in the works, a skeleton of sorts, which lead me to the huge discovery, of not only finding her death index, her burial but her movements for the last few years of her life.

As you know Eleanor was married to Harry Herbert Willats, what I didn’t tell you was that at some point around 1911, Harry Herbert was living a double life with a lady called Ellen May Hobbs, leaving Eleanor to bring up her two boys.
I first discovered this through a DNA match, on AncestryDNA, with one of Harry’s and Ellen Hobbs descendants. I will share all with you when I write about my Great, Great-Grandads life, in the up coming weeks, but for now let’s get back to our Eleanor.

When I first discovered Harry had lead a double life, my heart sank for Eleanor, even though I knew that in life, love isn’t always plain sailing and the heart can’t help who it falls in love with. Affairs, Double life’s happen and divorce isn’t or wasn’t for everyone.

I just felt so very sad that Eleanor had lost her daughter and now in a way her husband.
As I could not find her death, I wondered and worried what had become of her, the lady who had captivated me since I first heard her name, all those years ago. All I wanted, was for her to be happy.
I believe she found that. 😊

Let me explain.
I found a document for her Son, Harry Richard Thomas Willats. It was one of his, British Army WW1 Service Recordeds.
As you can see below, he had given his Mother’s name as Eleanor Mary Steele, 59 Spencer Road, Stoke Newington.


There is black and white was the clue I’ve been after from so long.

Had Eleanor remarried?
Or was she using a different name for some reason?

I checked and triple checked for a marriage and came up blank.
So I decided to search for a death, using the name Steele.
Not even a minute later and I had found her on The FreeBMD website.


I already knew Eleanor had died on the 2nd, June 1925, at Number 59 Spencer Road, Stoke Newington, which comes under the, “Hackney” district. I also knew she was only 44 when she had died.

It had to be her, every thing fits, even the W, for Willats.
I double checked on the, General Register Office site, where I order all my certificates from. Once again, there she was, with the ended bonus of the name Willats. Seconds later her death certificate was on order. (Thanks Mark)


Eleanor Mary Willats Steele nee Kirby, died on the 2nd June, 1925, at Number 59, Spencer Road, Stoke Newington, London, England.
She died from, Cancer of the Liver and Asthenia
George Herbert Steele, registered her death on the 2nd June, 1925. He is named as her husband on Eleanor’s death certificate. I still am unable to find a marriage. Maybe they were common law, Husband and Wife?


Up until Eleanor’s death certificate arrived, I didn’t have a clue, what her mystery mans name was, so I set about trying to find out. I came across 5 Electoral Registers which gave me his name.
George Herbert Steele.
Eleanor and George, lived together from at least 1919, at Number 59, Spencer Road, Stoke Newington, until her death on the 2nd June 1925. From Eleanor’s death certificate, I discovered George Herbert was a Solicitors Clarke.

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I then went on a hunt for her burial.
I found out that Eleanor was buried at, Finchley Burial Ground in Islington, aka Islington and St Pancras Cemetery, on the 6th June 1925.


She was buried in Grave ref Z/16851, along with 15 other people, who were all buried between April the 2nd and July the 7th, 1925.


You really can’t understand how happy I am, that after all this time, I have found her final resting space, that I can finish her story and that she can rest in peace knowing that she isn’t forgotten. She lives on through her descendants. She is remembered, that her name is still in lights, as far as her family are concerned.
She will always be a bright shining star known to many as

🌟🌟🌟Nellie Montague🌟🌟🌟

but to me, she will always be my, Great, Great-Granny,

Eleanor Mary Kirby.

May she shine down on us from above.
Our One And Only
Eleanor Mary Willats (Steele) nee Kirby.
1881 – 1925



I have brought and paid for all certificates throughout, Intwined.blog.
Please do not download or use them without my permission.
Thank you.

8 thoughts on “Eleanor Mary Kirby – Update

  1. I am amazed at what you have found out about my Grandmothers life Georgina. I wonder if my Dad knew about the other man in her life I will never know.Thank you Darling Nan X X


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