Ellen Tilley, the hunt continues.

My 4th Great Grandmother, Ellen Tilley was born about 1835, in Stanford Le Hope, Essex, England. (also known as Stanford.)
The 1861 census gives her year of birth and location as 1834 Stanford Le Hope, Essex and the 1871 gives it as 1835 Stanford Le Hope, Essex. I haven’t been able to find her on any other census yet or a christening or baptism.

She married Thomas Kirby before the 1861 census, most likely before 1854.
I have looked for a marriage record for both Thomas Kirby and Ellen Tilley but I can only find a marriage record for Ellen Tilley, October/December 1853, St Pancras, Volume 1b Page 63. The record is only 99% complete.
I ordered the certificate on the 26 Oct 2017 in hopes it is the right one. The Certificate was the wrong one and it was back to the drawing board.
I’m starting to think maybe they didn’t marry or maybe she was married before and that’s why I can’t find a marriage under the name Tilley.

I have confirmed her surname as Tilley from her son Alfred Kirby (my 3rd Great Grandfather) birth certificate and her other two sons birth index’s. I have ordered their birth certificates today, just to make sure.

Her son Thomas William Kirby was born in the September quarter of 1854 in the Saint George Hanover Square district ( Vol 01A Page 172)

Her second son Henry John Kirby, was born in the December quarter of 1856 in The Islington District (Volume 01B page 196.)

Her third Son was born at Number 3 Dorset Street, Islington, Middlesex, England on the 4th June 1860.

As you can see all three birth Index/certificate, have the name Tilley as the mothers maiden name.

The 1861 census show Ellen, her husband Thomas Kirby and their three children, Thomas, Henry and Alfred residing at Number 3 Dorset Street, Islington, Middlesex, England. Her husband Thomas is working as a Omnibus Coachman. The family have a lodger called Mary Ann Hutchin, aged 60.

The 1871 show Ellen, Thomas and their children, Henry and Alfred, were residing at Number 15, Dunford Road East, St Mary’s, Islington.
Thomas is working as a Bus Driver and 14 year old Henry, an Errands Boy.


Ellen disappeared from records after the 1871 census.🧐

There are a lot of trees on Ancestry showing Thomas remarrying a Elizabeth Mercer Nee Mills. I have found an 1881 census which confirms names etc. But once again I can’t find a marriage Index for them.

I’ve search for a death for Ellen Kirby but haven’t been able to find anything yet under the name Ellen Kirby.
It’s all very strange as there doesn’t seem to be any official documentation in the name of Ellen Tilley/Kirby apart from the two census records and birth index/certificates for her sons.

I did find a possible burial, under the name Ellen Tilley – Interment Details – authority -London Borough of Islington. Cemetery – Islington Cemetery.Grave reference – W/3/9337.
It was a communal grave and she would’ve been buried with 21 other people.
I was going to order the death certificate to see if it gives any clues but surprise, surprise, I can’t seem to find it. Maybe yesterday was an off day and I’ll find it today (hopefully). 🤞

I do know her husband/partner Thomas Kirby, was buried in Islington Cemetery, as were her sons, Alfred and Henry.

Scrolling through baptisms, I did come across a baptism on Family Search, for a Helen Tilley, baptised in Essex 25th May 1828 to Henry and Eliza Tilley. Could this possibly end her?
The name Ellen is also known as Helen or Eleanor.

The questions are still mounting up.
Where was she or should I say who is she.
Did she marry young, before she wed Thomas Kirby?
Did she actually wed Thomas?
Who are her parents?
Was she baptised or christened?
Why isn’t she showing up in earlier census?
It’s all a tad frustrating. 🧐🥸🤨

I would be so very grateful for any help or insight if you have a spare five minutes to help me or know anything about Ellen Tilley.
Thank you in advance and have a wonderful day.

Too-da-loo for now.

One thought on “Ellen Tilley, the hunt continues.

  1. Pingback: The Life Of Thomas Kirby 1831-1911  | Intwined

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