Who Do You Think You Are?

Can you help me research my forebear?

- Susan Hall Katherine Cobb

QI am trying to find informatio­n on my great great grandmothe­r, Elizabeth Hallot (sometimes known as Sarah). I have her in the 1871 census with her three children using the name Sarah Pollard. In 1872, she was arrested (as Elizabeth) along with John Pollard, her ‘husband’, and imprisoned for a year for forging coins. I have a possible baptism for her in Bethnal Green, 17 June 1849

(pictured), her parents being Zachariah and Martha. I can find no census informatio­n for her before 1871 or after her term in prison. I also cannot find anything about Zachariah and Martha.

AWith surnames for which numerous variations are possible, you need to be creative and remember that options may vary from one website to another. Consider, too, how regional accents may affect spellings.

Searching London baptisms for those with parents Zachariah and Martha led to the baptism of John James Ellet at St Leonard’s, Shoreditch, in 1846. His parents Zachariah Ellett and Martha Hallot married at St Philip’s, Bethnal Green, in 1844. The family, including their 13-year-old daughter Elizabeth, are recorded as Elliott in the 1861 Bethnal Green census. In later censuses, they appear as Ellett. Could this be Elizabeth/Sarah Pollard’s family? So far, so good. However, in 1869 an Elizabeth Elliot, daughter of Zechariah, married Thomas Bensley at St Jude, Bethnal Green. If this Elizabeth is Zechariah and Martha’s daughter, she cannot be ‘Elizabeth Pollard’, as Thomas and Elizabeth were living in Bethnal Green at the time of the 1871 and 1881 censuses.

It seems that Elizabeth’s three children are listed in the 1881 census of Edmonton Union School as John, Amelia and Thomas Aylott. A transcript of the inmates of Edmonton Workhouse in 1881 can be viewed at The Workhouse ( workhouses.org.uk), but there is no sign of Elizabeth. Since the workhouse admissions registers no longer exist, it is not possible to tell whether the children were admitted to the workhouse together with their mother. However, other records (including various registers) are at London Metropolit­an Archives (LMA); some are available on Ancestry ( ancestry.co.uk). Check the catalogue via search.lma.gov. uk for any that mention Elizabeth.

Finally, extend your search for a possible birth to include surnames such as Hewlett, Ellett and Aylett. That of Elizabeth Sarah Hewlett at Edmonton in 1845 may be of interest.

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