George Ellis was the eldest surviving son of John Ellis, the schoolmaster of Gildersome, and his wife. The family were long-established Quakers and his mother’s family had lived in what is now West Yorkshire for generations. His father came from Mansfield in Nottinghamshire and there would no doubt have been visiting back and forth. George’s cousin John was a Trustee of his father’s will so the family connections had clearly been kept up.
The Ellis family would have been respected in Gildersome village and Quaker circles, but George chose to marry outside the Society of Friends. His wife Sarah had been a member of the Ebenezer Chapel, where the minister William Price, claiming to have a “strong aversion to controversy”, had thundered against the “rite of Infant Baptism” and the folly of his “brethren in Christ”.
Maybe there was a religious compromise. Both of them joined the Independent Chapel at Morley, where their children were, indeed, baptised and they were both buried. There is (or was) a headstone at the Reheboth Burial Ground: George must have been quite prosperous to afford this. He was a clothier according to his marriage record and that of his daughter Martha.
I have found a tantalising census record of 1851 – George Ellis, retired cloth manufacturer, born in Batley and staying in the home of his son George, also born in Batley. Both Georges are the right age to be ours, but the strange thing is that they are living in Liverpool! How they got there we do not know, but of course George the elder might have just been visiting on census night.
Another intriguing research opportunity for someone!
Father of Elizabeth Ellis and son of Mary and John Ellis Jnr
Born on 31 December 1780 in Gildersome, Batley: recorded at Yorkshire Quakers’ monthly meeting
Married Sarah Lister on 8 February 1803 at Batley parish church
Buried 2 September 1857 at Rehoboth Independent Chapel, Morley