Breamlea, Victoria

Breamlea, Victoria

Friday, 14 August 2015

Ellen Cummis aka Ellen Armstrong

Hello everyone,

Today I have been researching Ellen Cummis, the sister of Louisa Cummis, my great great grandmother. As we all know, for some unknown reason, the entire Cummis family adopted either their mother's birth name, Armstrong, or their mother's stepfather's name, Salter.  My great great grandmother used the name Louisa Salter until she married.

Now about her sister Ellen.  We know Ellen was born on 24 August 1870 in Chewton, Victoria.  That is all I have ever known about Ellen since I started researching. Yet another puzzle with this mysterious family.

Today I searched the family trees on Ancestry for clues and found a tree that I believe is being researched by a distant family member.  In that tree they have the details Ellen Elizabeth Armstrong and a death certificate number, but that is all.

From the Births, Deaths and Marriages website, I got these details for that death certificate.

Ellen Elizabeth Armstrong
Parents names : unknown
No Spouse details filled in.
Age: 84
Birth Place: Victoria
Death Place: Sunbury
Registration Year: 1959

So ok, follow my logic here.

Ellen is the correct name.
Elizabeth was her mother's name.
Armstrong was her mother's maiden name.

If she was 84 when she died in 1959, that means this Ellen was born in 1875 in Victoria.  We know our Ellen was born in 1870, so it doesn't seem a match.  And yet, in all our family's research, we find over and over again that the ages of the Cummis children are out by at least a couple of years, always saying they are younger than they actually are.   So I don't find this five year gap in birth years as much of a deal breaker as I normally would.  This fudging of their birth years is consistent for this family.  And so I continue researching, bearing this in mind.

I went to the Genealogical Society of Victoria website and searched Ellen Armstrong and came up with a match to the one born in 1875.

This record shows an Ellen Armstrong was admitted to the Ballarat Base Hospital in 1898 at 23 years of age. (Again if she is our Ellen, she was actually 28 years old.) She was a dress maker and lived in Victoria Street, Ballarat and was single. Ballarat is pretty close to Chewton where she was born and her mother lived. Not a deal breaker.

There is one more thought I have.  Her death in Sunbury.  I googled Sunbury with 1959 and up came Sunbury Lunatic Asylum on Wikipedia.  That tells me so helpfully that patients were transferred from the Ballarat Asylum to the Sunbury Asylum.  So no proof yet, just some massive leaping to conclusions.

 Next step, I need to go into the GSV on Monday and look up the microfische hospital records to see what else we can find out about this Ellen Armstrong.

And I'd love to know WHY  they all changed their names.

Historically yours,
Valerius Copernicus

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