East Lulworth

A  Registered One-Place Study and part of the Dorset OPC Network

The Davis Family

Information courtesy of Selina Draper

Francis Davis (1835-1890)

& Ellen Wilkes (c.1841-?)

(Selina’s 2 x Great Grandparents)

Francis Davis was born on 15 November 1835 in East Lulworth and was baptised later the same day at the Roman Catholic Chapel in the grounds of Lulworth Castle. Francis grew up in East Lulworth and then pursued a career as a gardener, working in stately homes across England.

The 1861 census shows Francis working as an Under Gardener for Arundel Park (and Castle?) and living in the Gardeners Cottage in Arundel, Sussex.  

By 1871 we find Francis in London where he married Ellen Wilkes (born c.1841) of Arundel, at St Mary of the Angels, Kensington on Tuesday 17 January 1871.  

Witnesses for the marriage are Francis’ brother Edwin and Ellen’s sister Eliza.

At the time of the 1871 census, taken on 2nd April, the couple were living in Park Lodge, Wetherby Road, Kensington St Mary Abbotts, London. Francis was working as a gardener, domestic servant.

By the 1881 census Francis and Ellen, with their young children were living in Rudding Gardens, within the Rudding Hall estate in Follifoot, Yorkshire. Francis again working as a gardener.

Children of Francis & Ellen Davis

Their first child was born at Caverswall, Staffordshire and the rest of their children were born at Rudding Park, Follifoot, Yorkshire:

Born 1871

Born c.1873

Born Monday 5 April 1875 – My Great Grandfather

Born c.1877 & died 1913.

Born c.1879

Born c.1880

Born c.1883

All of Francis and Ellen’s children were given the name Joseph or Mary, further evidence of the couple’s devout Catholic faith. I have yet to confirm this but I suspect that the children born at Rudding Park would have been baptised in the estate’s Catholic chapel, pictured below.

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Sometime between Ethel being born in 1883 and April 1890 Francis and his family moved back to East Lulworth. Francis died in East Lulworth on 6 April 1890. His death is noted in Henry Roll’s diary, page 82.

Like his parents and some siblings, Francis was also buried in the Catholic cemetery in East Lulworth.

Pray for

Francis Davis

Born November 15th 1835

Died Easter Sunday

April 6th 1890

Upon whose soul sweet Jesus have mercy


Francis’ brother Edwin and his wife are buried right next to Francis in the cemetery.

Pray for

Edwin Joseph Davis

Who Died 28th January 1919

Aged 78 Years

And for

Julia his wife

Who Died 23rd December 1920

Aged 80 Years

On whose soul sweet Jesus have mercy

It is not clear who of Francis’ family went to East Lulworth but the 1891 census shows his wife Ellen, and children Disbrowe, George, Joseph and Ethel all living there.

Ellen moves up to London sometime after 1891 and we find her living at 14 Gowan Avenue, Fulham, London in 1901. She has her daughters Gertrude & Ethel and her son Joseph living with her. Gertrude and Ethel are dressmakers but there is no profession listed for 20 year old Joseph.

By 1911 Ellen is still in Fulham, now at 142A Harbord Street. Gertrude and Ethel are still with Ellen, both single and working as dressmakers. This census states that Ellen had 7 children and all 7 are still living.

I have yet to discover what lead Ellen to Fulham and am still investigating when and where she died.


To come

Sibling stories & Francis Joseph Pancretius Davis, my Great Granddad....