As we know, Ellen lost both of her parents, James and Margaret Yates, within a few weeks of each other, in early 1870. The next we know of Ellen is the April 1871 Census, where she is still at home with her brother James as the head of household.
She must have been in a state of distress and confusion during the time of the census, as just four months later, she gave birth to a baby girl. The girl was born at Hop Yard Farm, Croft and was named Margaret. No father is on the birth certificate, thus no baptism is registered.
Birth Certificate of Margaret Yates
Margaret had been born prematurely and sadly only lived for one month. Ellen's brother James registered the death.
Death certificate of Margaret Yates
James registered the death on 9th September, stating it had happened that day, but the burial register for Croft Unitarian Chapel says that she died on 7th and was buried on 8th September. I can only assume that she was buried in the family grave, though the name is not on the stone - perhaps because she was illegitimate.
Three Years Later
Somehow, Ellen struggled through the next three years, but must have been overwhelmed with emotion on the weekend that would have been her daughters third birthday. After work on Saturday 8th August 1874, she drowned herself in a marl pit and was found the next day.
IN THE MIDST OF LIFE WE ARE IN DEATH
Cheyvonne Bower is a local historian with a passion for the past. A member of Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society and The Society for One-Place Studies.