William ELLIS and Sarah Jane DUCK

by Annette Edwards.

WILLIAM ELLIS was baptised 25 August 1841 at St John the Baptist, Chester, he was the son of Samuel Ellis a joiner from Liverpool and Sarah Edwards who was from Dublin. By 1851 the family had moved to Gwersyllt and were living in the Wheatsheaf area.  They were still there in 1861 and by now William was working as a railway goods clerk. He had siblings Henry 13, Robert 10 and Emily aged 6.

On 25 June 1866 a marriage was announced in the Wrexham Advertiser. 


ELLIS TURLEY –On the 25th inst. by licence, at Gwersyllt Church, by the Rev. Jenkin Jones, incumbent, Mr Wm. Ellis, of Wrexham Colliery, to Eliza Jane, youngest daughter of Mr James Turley, cashier, Broughton Hall Iron Works, near Wrexham.

ELIZA JANE TURLEY was born about 1844 in Sedgeley, Staffordshire. She was the daughter of James Turley and his wife Sarah who had died before 1861.

James Turley was already in Broughton in February 1861, when there was an advert in the papers.

TO BE SOLD A BARGAIN. A drawing on  forge complete  with Helve,  about Three Tons weight, and bed plate, standards, anvil Block,  hammer  and anvil, fly wheel, Alain shaft, with carriages, brasses also, and the wood patterns for the same for £26 .—Apply to Mr James  Turley, Broughton Hall Iron Works.

 In the 1861 census the family is at Pwll Y Go, Bersham.  James Turley was 57 and a widower.  He was a clerk in the iron works, only three of his children are at home, Hannah 24, Eliza 19 and Frederick who was 15. His eldest daughter Lydia had been a school mistress in 1851 and in 1853 when she was 25 she married a Frederick Bladon in Staffordshire

In 1871 William and Eliza were living close to the Walnut Inn and had 4 children, Sarah Jane 3, Samuel James 2, Margaret Eliza 1 and baby William who was 3 months old.  

By 1891 they had moved to Park Lodge and there were another two children Alfred Edward 18 and Edith Emily aged 1.

Over the years William was involved in many organisations in the town and by 1892 he was a Governor of the Grammar School.

WREXHAM GRAMMAR SCHOOL FUND. On Friday a very important meeting of the Governors of the Wrexham Grammar School exhibition foundation was held at the Guildhall to receive the report of the Examiners on the recent examination, and to award the exhibitions to the successful candidates. There were present Sir R. A. Cunliffe, Bart. (chairman), Mr F. W. Soames (Mayor), Mr J. R. Burton (Minera Hall), Mr William Ellis (Park Lodge), and Mr Joseph Wilcoxon, Coedpoeth, with Mr Thomas Bury, Clerk to the Governors.

William was a conservative and also a member of the Oddfellows. In August 1895 it was reported that the anniversary of the Oddfellows Lodge of the Grand United Order held at the Walnut Tree Hotel, Rhosddu took place. The members left the clubroom at eleven a.m., and marched to the church where there was a short service taken by the Vicar. (The procession then marched through Rhosddu, and called at Holm Oak the residence of Mr William Ellis, where the band played for a short time.

He was also a member of the Building Fund Committee of Wrexham (Grove Park) County School and attended many meetings which were held   to consider the best means of obtaining subscriptions towards the fund required to complete the purchase of the Grove Park School premises.

William was initially a colliery secretary and agent, but later was the general manager of the Wrexham and Acton Colliery.

 In October 1895 his son Alfred was injured while playing football. It`s likely he was an “Old boy” of Wrexham Grammar School”

WREXHAM RESERVE V. WREXHAM OLD BOYS  During the progress of this match on Wrexham Racecourse, on Saturday afternoon, Alfred Ellis, one of the Old Boys’ players, fell and put his knee out. He was removed to the residence of his father, Mr William Ellis, Holm Oak, and there lies with his leg in splints. It was quite an accident. The game ended in a win for the Reserve by two goals to one.

 On the 9 June 1900   a marriage was reported in the Wrexham Advertiser.  It shows the family were quite well off to be able afford such a lavish affair.


On Wednesday, at the Brynyffynon Wesleyan Church, Wrexham, the marriage took place of Miss Edith Emilie Ellis, youngest daughter of Mr William Ellis, C.C., Holm Oak, Wrexham, to Mr Joseph Benjamin Gray, youngest son of the late Mr John Lynas Gray, of Liverpool. The bride, who was given away by her father, was attired in a gown of while corded silk, tastefully trimmed with pearl trimming and chiffon. She wore a wreath of orange blossom and a tulle veil, and carried a shower bouquet of white lilies, roses narcissi, exotics and maidenhair fern, the gift of the bridegroom.  The attendant bridesmaids were Miss  Jennie Ellis (sister of the bride), whose gown was wedgewood blue embroidered gauze over   white silk trimmed with white chiffon lace and be`be` ribbon and a black picture trimmed with blue and white  chiffon, black tips and pink roses.

Wrexham Advertiser

 (The bridesmaids and mother of the bridegroom were also in wonderful outfits.)

After the ceremony the wedding party and guests drove back to the residence of the bride’s father, Holm Oak, where after being photographed by Mr Hurst breakfast was partaken of in a marquee on the lawn. The wedding cake was supplied by Mr F. Stevens of Wrexham.

In 1901 only William, Sarah Jane (Jennie) and Alfred are at Holm Oak, his wife Eliza Jane is visiting a family in Caernarvonshire. She was then 57.

William died on 26 May 1901. Eliza Jane has not been found.

Buried with William is his daughter Sarah Jane who was born 3 June 1867.

 Sarah Jane (Jennie) was still at home in 1901, she was a hospital nurse, and in 1908 she married John Duck, a widower from Marlborough, Wiltshire.  The marriage took place in Birkenhead, but banns were also published in November at   St Mary`s. Marlborough, Sarah Jane was of St John’s Birkenhead.  By 1911 they were living in Beechcroft, Marlborough.   John was 68, and 26 years older than his wife, he is a veterinary surgeon.  His single son Herbert aged 32 is with them.  John Duck died at his sons home in Wiltshire on 8 October 1925.

The next time Sarah Jane is found is in 1939, she is at Greenfield Terrace in Dyserth, she is with her brother William C Ellis (born 11 December 1870) who is a retired clerical officer for the Customs and Excise. Sarah Jane is a retired hospital nurse.

 In 1946 Sarah Jane Duck was living at 30 Ashdale Road, Liverpool but she died on 5 February 1946 at the Belmont Road hospital in Liverpool. , she was brought back to Wrexham and buried with her father William.

WREXHAM GRAMMAR SCHOOL FUND. (Joseph Wilcoxon was my own Great Grandfather)

Researched by Annette Edwards. March 2019. Family photos by Angela Ellis. Gravestone photograph by Graham Lloyd.

Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery J-02741

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