Ellis, James 1 2 3 4 5 6

Birth Name Ellis, James
Gender male
Age at Death about 83 years, 1 month, 26 days


James Ellis was born in Bideford, Devon, England the son of William Ellis, shipbuilder, and baptized in Northam, Devon in 1801. He emigrated to the Island with his parents around 1818. James was baptized as James, and had a younger brother Henry; however, on PEI Baptismal records for his children, his name was given as James or Henry. The Henry could be a mistake: with so many Ellis sons having their children baptized in the same parish mistakes were likely to happen.

James Ellis was employed in his father's shipyard before he set up his own. He was also a farmer, according to Past and Present of PEI. In the History of the Ellis Family, James Ellis' shipyard was described as being on the Bideford shore, not far from his father's original business. A shipyard, in those days, might simply be a place near the water where one ship was built at a time.

His first wife was Jane Ramsay, daughter of a local magistrate John Ramsey, who was called "Justice John". Justice John was a grandson of the first John Ramsey, who emigrated from Scotland around 1770, and who settled in the Port Hill area. I haven't been able to find their marriage record.

In the PEI Baptismal Index, children listed for James (or Henry) Ellis and Jane were: Agnes (1826), two Mary Anns (1828, 1832), John (1830), Robert (1832), Margaret (1834) and Jane (1837). The place of birth, when given, was New Bideford or Lot 12, and the church was the Church of England in Richmond. The church records say Jane Ramsay, but her name was transcribed as June Ramsay on a couple of baptismal records.

Jane Ramsay Ellis died, leaving James with 6 young children under 10, and James married Marion McArthur in 1838. Children of James and his second wife Marion/Marianne McArthur were: Hannah (1839); Ellen (1842), William; Sarah (1844); James Henry (1846), George (1850); Cornelius Edmund (1852), and Thomas Birch (1854). Marion had a daughter Harriet from a previous relationship.

James was in the 1841 census in Lot 12. 22 years of his 999 year lease had expired. The 13-member household was all Church of England, and all but one had been born on the Island. There were 3 males under 16 (John and Robert and ?), and 2 between 16 and 45 (James and apprentice?). There were 6 females under 16 (Agnes was 15, Mary Ann, Jane, Hannah, Harriet and ?), and 2 between 16 and 45 (Marion and servant?).

There could be a couple of children missing from the baptismal records, unless the additional young people in the 1841 census for this household were apprentices, servants or other relatives. James had a lease for his property by 1819, and we don't know exactly when he and Jane were married, so there could have been one or two children born before Agnes in 1826. It seems odd that James would not have named his first son William, or that Jane would not have named an earlier daughter Margaret, after her mother. Some family trees say that Agnes' first name was Margaret, but then it would have been odd to name a daughter Margaret in 1834. (the name Margaret Agnes seems to stem back to a typo in the History of the Ellis Family). As well, in his second marriage, there was a gap between Hannah and Ellen.

In the 1861 census there were 11 in the household. One married couple (James and Marion); Four boys between 5-15 (Thomas, Cornelius, George and James); one male between 16-21 (William?); and 2 males over 60 (James and ?); then 2 females 15-21 (Sarah, Ellen?); one female 21-45 (Hannah) and one female 46-60 (Marion). If James and Marion had a daughter in 1849, as stated in some family trees, she was not baptized and was not living at the time of the 1861 census. Robert, age 29 and not yet married, was not living at home, unless the two males over 60 is a mistake and one is Robert.

In the 1881 census James and Marion were living with their son James Henry Jr. in Lot 13:

Name: James Ellis
Age: 80, Birth Year: 1801 Birthplace: England
Religion: Church of England, Nationality: English
Occupation: Shipwright
Province: Prince Edward Island Lot 13
Household Members:
James H. Ellis 35
Clarinda Ellis 26
George Ellis 7
Mary Ann Ellis 5
Richard Henry Ellis 3
Lavenia Ellis 1
James Ellis 80
Marion Ellis 67

James died in 1884 and was buried in the St. James graveyard in Port Hill.
Name James Ellis
Date of Burial 29 February 1884
Source pre-1906 Death Index. St. James Church, Port Hill
Notes St. James Cemetery

Summerside Journal April 10 1884 page 3, in his 83rd year

See also The Descendants of William Ellis and Hannah Totten, on the Island Register




Event Date Place Description Sources
Birth about 1801 Devon, England in Northam, Devon; christened 22 Mar 1801 as James; also known as James Henry  
Baptism March 22, 1801 Northam, Devon, England    
Death February 27, 1884 Northam, Lot 13, Prince County, Prince Edward Island, Canada buried on the 29th  
Emigration 1818   from Devon to PEI with his parents  


Relation to main person Name Birth date Death date Relation within this family (if not by birth)
Father Ellis, William1774December 25, 1855
Mother Tauton Tawton Totton, Hannah Penrose1778January 18, 1831
    Brother     Ellis, Robert about 1796
    Brother     Ellis, William about 1798 December 9, 1880
         Ellis, James about 1801 February 27, 1884
    Sister     Ellis, Mary Ann December 27, 1802 December 1850
    Brother     Ellis, George about 1804 1874
    Brother     Ellis, John 1806 September 1874
    Sister     Ellis, Agness about 1807 March 8, 1869
    Brother     Ellis, Henry Harry about 1810 January 13, 1886
    Sister     Ellis, Sarah Sally 1813 September 23, 1847


Family of Ellis, James and Ramsay, Jane

Married Wife Ramsay, Jane ( * about 1808 + about 1838 )
Event Date Place Description Sources
Marriage about 1825 Prince Edward Island, Canada    
Name Birth Date Death Date
Ellis, AgnesJune 18, 1826February 1, 1909
Ellis, Mary AnnMarch 9, 1828before 1831
Ellis, JohnJanuary 26, 1830April 4, 1902
Ellis, Mary AnnApril 7, 1831before 1902
Ellis, RobertMay 14, 1832January 24, 1914
Ellis, MargaretApril 19, 1834April 13, 1885
Ellis, JaneOctober 23, 1836April 5, 1902

Family of Ellis, James and McArthur, Marion

Married Wife McArthur, Marion ( * 1809 + August 29, 1905 )
Event Date Place Description Sources
Marriage June 9, 1838 Prince Edward Island, Canada    
Name Birth Date Death Date
Ellis, Hannah PenroseMay 12, 1839April 17, 1912
Ellis, HenryAugust 1841before 1846
Ellis, EllenDecember 7, 1842before 1905
Ellis, WilliamDecember 5, 1843May 3, 1908
Ellis, SarahMay 4, 1844July 26, 1912
Ellis, James Henry HarryFebruary 22, 1846November 10, 1904
Ellis, GeorgeFebruary 8, 1850December 25, 1909
Ellis, Cornelius EdmundFebruary 13, 1852February 25, 1909
Ellis, Thomas BirchJuly 20, 18541933