Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Brick Wall Number 1: Parents of Ellen Taylor

Brick Wall Number 1: Parents of Ellen Taylor

My greatest brick wall from the beginning of my genealogical research days in 2003 has been and remains my great grandmother Ellen Taylor mother of my maternal grandmother Ellen Rosina Buller. I know so very much about Ellen in some ways but I lack positive proof for the names of her parents or for her date of birth. Nor do I have her marriage date to Edwin Denner Buller (if I had that I would have her father's name presumably). I do have her death certificate. She died when my grandmother was just eleven  years old. Grandma had just been accepted to move on in school as she was 11 years old and really wanted to go on in school but she was needed at home to look after her younger sister just two years old. Her father had attended school so was able to help her continue learning at home which was lucky for her. Ellen died of pneumonia collapse (my grandmother said she had influenza followed by pneumonia) and she was just 37 years of age when she died 27 Feb 1897 at the Workhouse Infirmary Western Road UD All Saints Birmingham.

All of the children of this couple

Ellen Rosina Buller
Edwin Denner Buller
Ada Gertrude Buller
May  Edith Buller
Henry Buller (twin)
John Buller (twin)
Sarah Ann Buller

were registered (boys by their father and girls by their mother) as the children of Edwin Denner Buller and Ellen Buller formerly Taylor. However, no marriage has surfaced to date for this couple. I want to check the Roman Catholic Parish Registers as I suspect that Ellen may have been Irish descent and Roman Catholic (no proof but just a bit of family lore that points me in that direction).

If Ellen really was 37 years of age (and my grandmother also said that her mother was 37 when she died) then she would have been born between 28 Feb 1849 and the 27 Feb 1850. I have collected all the Ellen Taylor birth registrations in Birmingham between 1857 and 1862 and there are not actually all that many surprisingly. I have traced these families on the census and determined where Ellen Taylor was in 1891 when I do have the census record for the Edwin Denner Buller family including Ellen Buller. There is only one Ellen Taylor that fits if indeed she was born in Birmingham as it states on the 1891 census. This is the daughter of Thomas Taylor (shoemaker) and Ellen Roberts born 9 October 1859. Ellen is on the census in 1861 with her parents and in 1871 with her mother and siblings. I know that the Ellen Taylor on the census in 1881 at Aston Workhouse with Florence Taylor is likely the eventual wife of Edwin Denner Buller because Florence Elizabeth Taylor was her illegitimate daughter born in 1879 (this is known to be true) although that the Ellen and Florence at the Workhouse are indeed one in the same may only be because I can not find them anywhere else in 1881! Edwin Denner Buller is missing from the 1881 census but is possibly in South Africa working as a jeweller for his uncle Edwin Withers.

So do I have enough proof to attach Ellen to these parents? As always I am looking for that one conclusive piece that might link them. Lately on Find My Past I have discovered where Edwin Denner Buller and Ellen Buller were buried in 1899 and 1897 respectively. I will be ordering the burial certificates to see if I can learn anything new.

Another interesting family lore is that Ellen's father was a shoemaker and Thomas Taylor was a shoemaker. Also my grandmother lived with an "Aunt Kate" before she came to Canada in 1808. Ellen had a sister Kate. So again conclusive enough? I have tested my mtDNA and perhaps when someone exactly matches me that will give me the piece of proof that is icing on the cake and lets me think yes I have found my Ellen Taylor's correct line!

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