It took me many years to locate a marriage for John Bourne Oakley and Ellen Lewis, but as their first child was born in 1837, I guessed that they were married c. 1835-6 when both parties would have been aged in their early twenties. In December of 2015, I finally discovered that John and Ellen had married at St Peters in Liverpool...they were both stated as 'being of this parish', and were married by license on January 30, 1837. Witnesses were Richard and Elizabeth Lewis, the latter signing her name with a cross. John's occupation was given as 'Gentleman'.
Jane Elizabeth Oakley was born on October 27,1837. Her mother's name on the birth certificate was given as Ellen Eliza Lewis, which is the first and only time that I have seen the name 'Eliza' used in relation to Ellen's name. Her father's occupation was given as 'Gentleman' of English Frankton. Jane's place of birth was given as 'Ellesmere' rather than English Frankton.
The 1841 census return finds them living at English Frankton:
John Oakley/ 30/ Yeoman/ born in county
Ellen Oakley/25/ born in county
Jane Oakley/3/ b in c.
John and Ellen's second and final child was born in c. 1846. Named Margaret Ellen Oakley, she was baptised at Cockshutt on July 23, 1846.The 1851 census shows 4 year old Margaret living at home with her parents in English Frankton, but her sister Jane Elizabeth is missing:
1851: English Frankton.
John Bourne Oakley/ head/ married/ 39/ Annuitant/ born Pulverbatch
Ellen Oakley/wife/ married/ 38/ born Petton
Margaret Ellen Oakley/ daughter/ 4/ scholar/ born Ellesmere
Elizabeth Lewis/ visitor/unmarried/ 48/ born Petton
Elizabeth Simons/ servant/unmarried/14/ house servant/ born Yarmouth
Jane Elizabeth Oakley was finally found living at a school in Trimpley, Ellesmere, which was run by Eliza Birch. Jane was thirteen years old, and one of only four live-in pupils.
In 1858, when Jane was twenty one years of age, she married Edwin Thomas Oakley, her twenty three year old second cousin.Again, her father's occupation was given as "Gentleman" on the certificate.
In 1861, the Oakley household in English Frankton was missing both daughters:
1861: English Frankton.
John B. Oakley/head/married/49/ retired farmer/ born Salop-Church Pulverbatch
Ellen Oakley/wife/married/47/born Salop Petton
Samuel Povall/servant/10/general servant/born Salop Ellesmere
Jane Elizabeth Oakley and her husband Edwin were missing in action...I have searched for them for years in the 1861 census and have failed miserably to find them. I can locate their baby son, John Griffith Oakley, who is at their home at "The Grove", Middle, Salop, with his 14 year old aunt Margaret Ellen Oakley and three servants:
1861: The Grove, Middle, Shropshire.
John G. Oakley/son/1/ born Birkenhead, Cheshire
Margaret E. Oakley/sister/unmarr/14/scholar/ born Salop-English Frankton
Jane Lloyd/servant/unmarried/44/nurse and cook/ born Montgomeryshire
Frederick Morris/servant/married/25/groom/ born Salop-Baschurch
Elizabeth Morris/wife/marr/23/house maid/Born Salop-Bagley.
The last census in which John Bourne Oakley appears is that of 1871:
1871: English Frankton.
John B. Oakley/ head/married/59/ Annuitant/ born Salop-Church Pulverbatch.
Ellen Oakley/wife/married/51/ born Petton (Incorrect age-she was almost 59)
Margaret E. Oakley/daughter/unmarried/23/born Salop-Ellesmere.
John Bourne Oakley died on August 15, 1873, at his English Frankton home.He was 62 years of age, and his cause of death was cancer.The informant on his death certificate was Frances Bagnall of English Frankton, who was present at John's death. The 1871 census shows that the Bagnall family were neighbours of the Oakleys...father Samuel Bagnall was a 41 year old manager of a threshing machine, and he and his wife Ann had six children living with them at home, of whom 22 year old Frances was the eldest. She and Margaret Ellen Oakley were roughly the same age, and most likely were friends. Alternatively, Frances Bagnall may have worked as a live-out servant to the Oakleys- if she only lived several houses away there would be no need for her to live in. She was not educated, as she signed John Oakley's death certificate with a cross.
It was perhaps a good thing that John Bourne Oakley was not around to face the scandal that erupted in his family in the year 1878. His elder daughter Jane Elizabeth Oakley had died of cancer at the age of 33 in 1871, tragically leaving three young children without a mother.
Margaret Ellen Oakley never married, and also died young in November of 1878. I was amazed, and very saddened, to read of her cause of death when I sent for her death certificate...she died of puerperal peritonitis of eight days duration, on November 10, 1878, at 59 Bevington Hill, Liverpool. This, of course, is a deadly infection as the result of childbirth, so poor Margaret died at the age of 31 after giving birth to an illegitimate child. More about Margaret in her own blog entry.
Ellen Lewis Oakley, widow of John Bourne Oakley, was about 59 years old when she lost her husband, and after her daughter Margaret died she had no immediate family left. Her son-in-law Edwin Oakley had remarried in 1874, and started another family with his new wife in Manchester. Her only grandchildren from her daughter Jane Elizabeth Oakley were John and Amy, who were living with their father, and Harry, who had argued with his father and moved to Wales.
Ellen Oakley turned to her own Lewis family for support, and moved in to live with her nephew and niece, John Lewis Thomas and his sister Jane Thomas. They lived in School Court or Lane, Castle Street, Shrewsbury.
1881: School Lane, St. Marys, Shrewsbury.
John L. Thomas/ head/unmarried/39/ hair dresser/ born Salop-Shrewsbury.
Jane Thomas/ sister/unmarried/42/ dress maker/ born Salop- Shrewsbury.
Ellen Oakley/aunt/widow/62/independent/ born Salop-Petton.
Agnes Manley/niece/13/born Salop-Church Stretton.
Like in the previous census, Ellen's age was incorrect...she was almost 69 not 62.
On the 23 October, 1884, 72 year old Ellen Lewis Oakley died at her home in School Court, Castle Street, Shrewsbury. Her cause of death as given by Dr. Whitwell is very wishy-washy..."mort cordis syncope-probably". Her nephew J.L Thomas of School Court, Castle Street, Shrewsbury, who was in attendance at his aunt's death, registered the event the following day.