Great Grandparents

Ephraim Aldis Eliza Patten
1833-1904 1839-1919
Ephraim was the last of 10 children born to John Aldis and Mary Rookard, his mother dying only a few months after his birth. When his father also died when Ephraim was still a teenager, he seems to have decided to follow his older brother’s profitable occupation - horses. He left Norfolk - the first of his Aldis family for many generations - married a Middlesex woman, Eliza Patten, and found his way to Bexley, Kent, where he remained for the rest of his life. By 1871 he was a successful horse trainer and dealer, and established in a house large enough for a family of seven with the addition of two lodgers. Eliza Patten was the daughter of James Patten and Eliza Kennerley, James being a sergeant in the Scottish Fusiliers and Eliza’s birth registered in St John’s, Marylebone. She married, aged 20, as Patton in Plumstead, and thereafter her maiden name is variously given as Patton, Paton or Patten. Her first child was born in Greenwich, but seven subsequent children were all born in Bexley, Kent, where Eliza remained for the rest of her life. Her photograph suggests a formidable woman, shrewd and determined.
Charles Day Mary Eliza Hammett
1848-1888 1852 - (alive 1895)

The eighth of nine children born to Charles Day and Eliza Turner, Charles, like his older sister Caroline, marked his father’s stay in North Wales. Charles Day snr. was a foreman of masons at the construction of the Britannia Bridge and probably worked at the Penmon quarry in Anglesey; daughter Caroline was born in Bangor in 1847, and son Charles was baptised at Holyhead in December 1848. The 1871 census on Stepney, London, describes Charles as a stonemason like his father who by then was close to retirement. Possibly Charles was apprenticed to his father, or perhaps his father hoped that his son would follow in his footsteps.

Charles married Mary Eliza Hammett, an 18-year old Irish girl, in 1868; they had a daughter Ada Louisa and a son Charles John. Described as a ‘commercial traveller’ at the time of his early death from diphtheria, aged 38, in 1888, Charles pre-deceased his father by only a few months.

Born in 1852 in Youghal, near Cork, Ireland, Mary Eliza was the only child of John Hammett’s second marriage, to Elizabeth Hanan; his first marriage, to Dorothea, produced two daughters, Elizabeth and Maria.

When the family moved to England is not known. Mary Eliza married Charles Day in Stepney, London, in 1868 when their daughter, Ada Louisa, was born. From her earliest years, Ada lived with her grandparents, John and ‘Bessy’ Hammett, certainly until 1891; she married Charles Edward Slaven in 1895 and had two daughters by 1901.

Mary Eliza and Charles had a son, Charles John, in 1870; he married Emily Rebecca Morris in 1889.

Mary Eliza was widowed in 1888 when she would have been just 36 years old. As Mary Eliza Day, she witnessed her daughter’s marriage in 1895. No further marriage has been found for Mary Eliza Day; nor has her death.

John Morris Mary Jane Ellis
1830-1905 1837-(alive 1905)

John Morris descended from several generations of John Morris who all lived just south of Canterbury, Kent, in the ancient villages of Petham and Waltham. The line has been traced back to John Morris, husbandman of Petham, whose will was dated October 1706; and it seems likely that previous generations of John Morris lived in the same villages.

John was the first of four children born to John Morris and Ann Hyde, daughter of Angel Hyde and Rebecca Forrester, of Eastry, a village to the east of Petham between Sandwich and Deal.

John married Mary Jane Ellis of Canterbury in 1863 and, with the exception of their first child, Sarah, all of their eight children were born in Littlebourne, a village just east of Canterbury. Interestingly, they did not name one of their three sons John (nor any of their five daughters Mary Jane). John, who worked variously as a butcher, groom, gardener and bricklayer, died in 1905 in Whitstable, to the north of Canterbury; Mary Jane, who would have been about 70 at the time, survived him.

Mary Jane Ellis, born in St Paul’s Canterbury in 1837, was the second of five children born to William Ellis and Mary Ann Simmonds. William, though born in Somerset, worked as a shoemaker in Canterbury for the whole of his adult life. In Canterbury he met and married shoebinder Mary Ann Simmonds; their children were all born in Canterbury, and they were both buried there at St Mildred.

From her mother and maternal grandmother, Elizabeth DeLaSaux, Mary Jane inherited Huguenot blood. The DeLaSaux family were wealthy silkweavers who became prominent citizens of Canterbury. Thomas DeLaSaux, 1753-1837, Elizabeth’s father and Mary Jane’s maternal great grandfather, was a gentleman who served as Mayor of Canterbury. The DeLaSaux line has been traced back to Peter/Pierre Duthoit, born in 1693 to Jacques and Elizabeth Duthoit, who married Jane Hesman at Stepney St Dunstan. Much of the family wealth was handed down in the female line; but by the time Mary Jane married John Morris in 1863, it seems to have been dissipated.

James Lawn James Lawn Elizabeth Mason Elizabeth Mason
c. 1830-1910 c. 1837-1916
James Lawn and Elizabeth Mason married in 1866 in Paddington, London; and in 1868 twin boys were born to them. One twin lived for only ten hours, and it appears that Elizabeth was either unable or unwilling to bear further children. They apparently adopted Alice Henwood Earl shortly after her birth in 1871 and raised her as their own daughter with their surviving son John. James Lawn was a beer retailer in 1871; but by 1881 he had become a cab proprietor, and he remained one for the rest of his life. Alice lived with James and Elizabeth until her marriage in 1899, and they are posed as her parents in Alice's wedding photograph.