Ellen Lancaster

Ellen Lancaster, my 3rd great grandmother.

This fine looking lady is Ellen Lancaster (nee Bridgett), who is my great-great-great grandmother. Ellen was born in 1837, a few months after Queen Victoria came to the throne the previous May, and she passed away on this day 28th May 1887 in Longton.

I can trace her back through my mother’s side of the family. Her daughter, Mary Emma, married Eli Wootton in the 1890s or early 1900s and her son Thomas, who was born in 1905, was my maternal grandmother’s father.

Ellen Bridgett was born in October 1837 in Cheadle in Staffordshire and it seems she and her husband Samuel Lancaster lived in Stoke-on-Trent for the majority of their adult lives. This is interesting given that I lived and trained as teacher in Stoke while I was at Keele University.

I’ve not really researched this side of the family as I’ve been focussed mainly on my own surname and my ancestors through that line right back to late Tudor times.

But the more I look at this picture and the others of her family, the more intrigued I am by her and them. They were true Victorians and must have made quite a success of life given that they are well to do enough to afford a portrait photographer. The photographer’s – J Murrary on High Street in Longton, is obviously long gone and High Street in Longton is now Uttoxeter Road. From what I can gather the studio was near the junction with Chelson Street (which itself was called Bagnall Street during thre Victorian era) and just up from St James’ Church.

Although Ellen died in Longton, Stoke on Trent, her husband moved to London and died in Kensington in 1903, which indicates a well to do family, to be able to move to such high value parts of London. I may spend a bit of time this summer looking into their story.