Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Tragically Short Life of the Other Ralph Ellam (1823-1859)

My last post revealed the short life of Ralph ELLAM (1907 - ca. 1919) who died of a broken neck when he fell out of an apple tree.

This post deals with another tragic death of a Ralph ELLAM.  This Ralph ELLAM is my husband's great-great-great grandfather (and also the great-grandfather of young Ralph above).

Born 1 May 1823 in St. Helens, England, Ralph was one of 9 children born to Ralph ELLAM (1788-1846) and Elizabeth HUGHES (1791 - ?).  He grew up poor and illiterate, never learning to write his own name.

On 1 Jan 1853 at the age of 29 he married Elizabeth GREENALL in the Chapel of Farnsworth, Prescot, Lancaster, England.

After his marriage he continued his work as a miner and he and Elizabeth welcomed three children:

Alice born in 1855
Elizabeth in 1857
William 29 Jul 1858 (my husband's great-great grandfather)

Tragedy struck on Tuesday, 12 Apr 1859.  On that day Ralph reported to work at the Broad Oak Mines in St. Helens, England.  Sometime during the day he fell off a roof in the mine causing instant death.  He was 35 years old.

An inquest was held on 14 Apr 1859 (the same day he was buried) and found the death was accidental. William was only 9 months old at the time of his father's death.

Ralph is buried in St. Helens Cemetery and his Find A Grave memorial can be found here.

Elizabeth remarried one year later to Lambert HEATON, the only father William knew.

18 years after his death Elizabeth finally received the effects of Ralph's estate.  Effects valued ess than £50 (less than $82 US today).

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