THE ELLIS FAMILY
As part of the research done by Heritage Silkstone in 2018 to commemorate the 180th Anniversary of the Husker Pit Disaster , it was decided to look into the family of Dr Edwin Ellis, the local surgeon who had given evidence to the Royal Commission set up in the aftermath of the disaster.
The lives of Dr Edwin Ellis and other members of his family are recorded on two grave stones which lie adjacent to the south door of Silkstone Church. Intriguingly one of these stones also records the lives of
“Louisa Mable (sic) Bridges, second daughter of Thomas Bridges esquire of London. She departed this life September 29th 1780 aged 25” and
“Joseph Bridges, son of Rev Joseph Bridges DD late of York and cousin to the late General Thomas Bridges of London who departed this life June the 20th. 1830 in the 74th year of his age”
Edwin’s Grandfather, the first of three generations of the Ellis family to serve Silkstone as a surgeon was John Ellis and he married Bridget Bridges in Silkstone Church in 1761. This and the fact that Edwin’s eldest brother’s full name was John Thomas Bridges Ellis hinted at a family relationship, but who exactly were Louisa and Joseph, and how did they come to be buried in Silkstone?
Further research revealed connections not only between the Ellis and the Bridges familes, but also to the Scotts ( a local family of Yeoman farmers) and to the Pilmays who though originally of Huguenot descent, settled in Silkstone to manufacture high quality glass ware in the second half of the seventeenth century.
The Ellis family home was Highfield Farm, (see illustration above) parts of which dated back to the 16th century. This building which stood on the corner of Silkstone Lane and Barnsley Road in the village was finally demolished in the mid 20th century to make way for the new housing on Fall View.