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Re: Henry Mellon is he a bigamist 1871

Hi Kathleen,

Sorry unable to check the originals as Terry's stock of old originals is no longer accessible.

I dont have FMP or Ancestry to check there.


Re: Henry Mellon is he a bigamist 1871

Hi Elaine, Bigamy was common in those days as normal people could not afford to pay for a divorce. I have quite a few in my tree
Best wishes, John

Re: Henry Mellon is he a bigamist 1871

I think that John is right, that Harriet Richardson and Harriet Ellison are the same person.

Harriet Richardson said her father was Thomas Richardson. The witnesses to the Ellison marriage were Joseph and Hannah Carr. See marriage 6 Jan 1867 St Mary's Bramall Lane - Joseph Carr to Hannah Richardson. Hannah's father was also Thomas Richardson.

1861 census at 3 Joiner St, Hannah is living with Thomas Richardson and wife Isabella.
Marriage 24 Jan 1842 York, Thomas Richardson to Isabella Ellison. Isabella's father was Samuel Ellison. Harriet Ellison also said her father was Samuel Ellison.

Finally, comparing the signatures of Harriet Richardson and Harriet Ellison. The Harriet bit looks similar, especially the formation of the capital H, a fairly heavy dot over the letter i, and a downward slope to the cross on the letter t. Looking at the surname part, they both have the same long curl and the end of the letter n.


Re: Henry Mellon is he a bigamist 1871

Wow that was a complicated web - Why have two weddings in different churches to the same people a month apart, calling the bride two different names and two different set of witnesses.

My theory was he married the first one then found the second Harriett pregnant and then married her I thought how was he keeping to households going at seventeen. Nothing of the sort.

It will never be understood.

Thank you so much, to all the detectives on this case.

Re: Henry Mellon is he a bigamist 1871

Evening folks,

Still not happy with the reasoning.... LOL.

There are the two marriages Both registered in the June qtr 1871.

Henry Mellon Batchelor aged 17 Chimney Sweep living at Carlisle St.
Harriet Richardson
which too place 10 April 1871 at ST THOMAS BRIGHTSIDE.
Marriage registered as June 1871 Sheffield 9c 363.

Next one.

Henry Mellon Bach aged 17 Chimney Sweep residing Wicker.
Harriet Ellison
which took place HOLY TRINITY WICKER.May 15th 1871.
Marriage registered June qtr 1871 Sheffield 9c 619.

Could one actually be from the Banns Book. I think its 4 weeks since the first one would have been read.

Was Harriet born Richardson but after her mothers marriage became a Ellison.


Was trying to see if we had made an error in our transcription but I dont think we did.

Elaine in a very cool & wet Ottawa.

Re: Henry Mellon is he a bigamist 1871

Sheffield Independent
Wednesday Apr. 12, 1871

At Brightside Church, by the Rev. R. V. Taylor, B.A., curate: April 10 … … Mr. Henry Mellor (sic) to Miss Harriet Richardson …

Similar April 15 1871.

Seem to be a batch of marriages advised to the newspaper by the church.

Can’t find something similar for the 15 May Wicker marriage.

I note however that Sheffield Indexers, & FreeBMD all transcribe both records as Mellon.

Re: Henry Mellon is he a bigamist 1871

Birth q3 1853 York, Harriet Ellison mmn Forth

Marriage q1 1850 York, Samuel Ellison to Bella Forth

Re: Henry Mellon is he a bigamist 1871

It looks like Harriet Ellison's mother Isabella died in 1858 in York and (Possibly) her father Samuel in 1862 in York. I suspect therefore she was brought up by her aunt Isabella Richardson nee Ellison and her husband Thomas. That would explain the first marriage being in the wrong name and the second being a correction.

Re: Henry Mellon is he a bigamist 1871

As a widower Samuel Ellison married Jane Forth (widow, nee Hopwood) on 4 Sep 1859 in York.

1861 census has the family living at 59 Laurence St, York.

Samuel Ellison, married 35, farm labourer, born Heslington Yorks
Jane Ellison wife, 30 dressmaker born Upper Helmsley
Harriet Ellison, daughter, 9 scholar born York
Samuel Ellison son age 1 born York
Elizabeth Forth daughter age 8 born Acaster
Thomas Forth son age 5 born Gate Fulford

Baptisms for Samuel (13 March 1826) and Isabella (2 July 1823) both in Heslington confirm they were siblings.


Re: Henry Mellon is he a bigamist 1871

I can´t read my own handwriting! The 1861 census said Harriet was born in Heslington. That ties in with the burial for her mother Isabella, the record says she was aged 27 and of Heslington. I think Dave is right, Harriet moved to Sheffield after the death of her father and was taken in by her aunt.

In the 1871 census, Harriet was working as a general domestic servant for a Mrs Wilkin at 57 Monmouth St. She was still going by the name of Ellison then.


Re: Henry Mellon is he a bigamist 1871

Despite what the 1861 census says, Harriet was not yet 8 yrs old at the 1861 census and at the times of the 2 marriages she was not yet 18. Note that the first (jncorrect) marriage was just 8 daysafter the 1871census, so she knew her name was Ellison
I wonder if she was confused by the fact that her real mother was Isabella and her aunt was also isabella. And maybe at the time of the first marriage she did not know her real father name so she used Thomas Richardson. Once the error was realised the only way to put it right would be to have a second marriage with the correct names

Re: Henry Mellon is he a bigamist 1871

Think we now have it sorted for Kathleen......... and I dont have to be concerned about our transcription being incorrect.

Phew that was a brain teaser. LOL