Ellen Frances Webzell was born on Monday 2 March 1868 at 2 Strattondale Street, Poplar, East London  known locally as the 'Isle of Dogs'. Her father was Jonathon Webzell a labourer from Leigh, Kent who worked in the local iron works in Poplar, and her mother was Caroline Smith, from Seal, Kent. Ellen was the eldest of six children, with three brothers and two sisters, see partial tree, below. The 1871 census for Isle of Dogs  shows her parents and her younger brother living in Strattondale Street, Poplar but there is no sign of Ellen Frances. The reason was that Ellen was brought up by her grandmother, Caroline Webb. After the death of Ellen's grandfather, William Smith the blacksmith at Seal, Kent in 1858, Ellen's grandmother Caroline married William Dutton from Worcestershire at Maidstone Church in 1864  . The 1871 census for Warehorne, Kent  shows Ellen Frances living at Capel Cottage Warehorne, Kent (near Ashford) where William Dutton was employed on the estate as a game-keeper. During Victorian times, especially when times were hard, it was not unusual for families to 'farm-out' their children to be raised by better-off relatives.
(Click on image below to see a larger version)
Sometime between 1871 and 1881 Ellen moved to Otford, Kent (near Sevenoaks), where the 1881 census  shows Ellen, aged thirteen, living at Warren Cottage, where William Dutton was again employed as a game-keeper on Warren Farm. The following year Ellen Frances' mother Caroline Smith died from consumption (tuberculosis) aged 32 and three years later in 1885 her father Jonathon died aged 46 from cirrhosis of liver. By 1891 William Dutton had died in Ightham and Ellen aged 23 had moved to London where she was living and working in Chelsea, employed as a cashier at a grocer shop in Flood Street 1891 census .
On Sunday 4 March 1894 Ellen Frances aged 23 married Edward Henry Dore a bookkeeper from Hampstead aged 23 at South Hackney Parish Church . Both the bride and groom were living with Edwards family at 17 Rutland Road. Witnesses to the wedding were George Frederick Luckitt and Annie Matilda Webzell, Ellen's younger sister. It is noted that both the bride and groom were able to sign their names in the register.
At the time of the birth of her only child, Dorothy Caroline Dore,  Ellen and her husband were living at 22 Moreton Terrace, Pimlico, a property owned by Edward's employers, the Watney Combe Reid brewery in Pimlico where Edward was employed as a merchant clerk. The photograph below shows 22 Moreton Terrace in 2003. Some ninety years after Ellen lived here, the house gained a certain notoriety when it was owned by Cecil Parkinson, one of Margaret Thatcher cabinet ministers, see report in the London Evening Standard, December 1985 .
Ellen was widowed just five years after she married, when in July 1899 her husband Edward Henry Dore tragically died from typhoid aged 29 at the North Western Hospital, Hackney . At this time the family were living at 61 Tottenham Street, Hackney (near Balls Pond Road), possibly to be near to the hospital and Edwards family. By this time, Ellen had no family of her own to support her nor did she receive any pension from her husband's employer. Her only means of support was to obtain work. The 1901 census  shows that Ellen Frances was living with her cousin Mary Webzell, also a widow, in Carton Street, Canning Town. Ellen was employed as a waitress, and her cousin Mary, who had five children to support, was employed as a charwoman. Her efforts to maintain employment necessitated frequent house moves, every two to three months. This is evident from the Northey Road school admission / discharge register  which shows that in the years 1901 - 1902 the family were living in both Three Colt Street, Poplar and Ropemakers Fields, Poplar for no more than two months at a time.
On 19 December 1908 at Poplar Registrar Office, Ellen Frances, aged 36 married for the second time . Her husband Robert Yule, aged 46, a marine engineer and widower with three daughters must have been known to Ellen as as a child as he was born and brought up in East Ferry Road, Poplar, which is just around the corner from Strattondale Street, where Ellen Frances was born. Possibly the families knew each other in the 1880's as Ellen had some cousins living very close to both of them. At the time of their marriage Ellen was living at 3 Naval Row, South, Poplar and Robert was living at 16 Navel Row, East, Poplar. Witnesses to the wedding were Walter Shrives and Susan Aldis.
The 1911 census  shows Ellen living with her husband Robert, daughter Dorothy and step-daughters Lillian and Elizabeth at 14 Harrap Street, Poplar. By 1913 the family had moved from number 14 to number 3 Harrap Street. Eight years later, in 1921, Robert Yule died from cancer in 1921 , after which Ellen Frances went to live with her daughter Dorothy Caroline Dore where she died on twenty-fifth November 1934 from heart failure, aged sixty-six . My mother was only eight years old when Ellen died, and her only recollection of her grandmother Ellen is of seeing her peering into the window of the sweet shop at the western-end of Poplar High Street.
Ellen never had much luck in terms of a family life. Rejected by her parents, both of whom died by time she was seventeen, she was brought up by her grandmother. Married life was'nt much kinder: her first husband died only four years after they married, and her second husband died thirteen years after they married.
 GRO Birth Certificate, Ellen Frances Webzell, 1868
 National Archives, 1871 Census for England and Wales, Ref: RG10/583 f134
 GRO Marriage Certificate, Caroline Webb and William Dutton, 1864
 National Archives, 1871 Census for England and Wales, Ref: RG10/960 f78v
 National Archives, 1881 Census for England and Wales, Ref: RG11/905 f63r
 National Archives, 1891 Census for England and Wales, Ref: RG12/63 p54
 GRO Marriage Certificate, Ellen Frances Webzell and Edward Henry Dore 1894
 GRO Birth Certificate, Dorothy Caroline Dore, 1895
 London Evening Standard, 20 Dec 1985
 GRO Death Certificate, Edward Henry Dore, 1899
 National Archives, 1901 Census for England and Wales, Ref. RG13/1576 f42v
 London Metropolitan Archives, Northey Street School Admissions / Discharges 1901
 GRO Marriage Certificate, Ellen Frances Webzell and Robert Yule 1908
 National Archives, 1911 Census for England and Wales
 GRO Death Certificate, Robert Yule, 1921
 GRO Death Certificate, Ellen Frances Webzell, 1934