WELCOME TO THE BAYLISS LINE. This blog has been created for my family. By "my family" I mean all those who are related to the Bayliss family either by blood, marriage or even relationship. There are, of course, other Bayliss families not related to us but this blog has at its heart a very specific family who had their origins in Gloucestershire. I am connected to that family because my mother was a Bayliss and it was her curiosity that started my research back in the early 1990's. So, what are you likely to see on this blog? Well, as it is a blog, I want it to be as entertaining as possible rather that a dry listing of facts (that is for Ancestry.com). I will, hopefully, be posting entries on our ancestors and relatives, on the places where they lived, and the historical times they lived through. I have an extensive collection of photographs of people and places which I will, of course, be sharing.

I'd like to ask anybody who reads this blog to give me some feedback. I'd really like this to be a two way thing. It sometimes unearths new information and, to be honest, it gives me encouragement. There will be two ways of providing feedback - either through the comment button (you will need a Google account for this) or via the e-mail address which appears on this page - alternatively, ring me. Now scroll down to read the latest entries.....and, of course, via Facebook.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011


St.Mary's Church Thame Oxfordshire.
Mary Eele, known as "Polly" was born on 1 October 1846 in the town of Thame in Oxfordshire. She was one of at least six children born to Henry Eele and his wife Elizabeth (ex Gardener). The name is common one in Thame and is often spelled Elle. In the baptism records still held at the St. Mary's church (and viewed there by cousin Robin) the name, even for Henry's daughters, has both spellings.  Sometime prior to 1868 Polly made her way to London, whether alone or with her family in unknown. We know her whereabouts in 1868 because on 4 October  she married  John Abbotts at Holy Trinity Church, Haverstock Hill. On the marriage certificate  her address is given as 101 Queen's Crescent.

John Robert Abbotts was born at Crown Court, Cripplegate, London on 3 July 1848. Crown Court was probably a tenement similar to the one shown in the picture below.

Typical Victorian tenement, probably similar to Crown
Court where John Abbotts was born. The picture shows
a tenement in Popham Street, Islington which I visited
prior to its demolition circa 1970.
In 1861 the Abbotts family were living in New Court which was possibly situated on the present day site of The Barbican in Cripplegate.  By the year of his marriage the family had moved to Harmood Street near Chalk Farm. The house stood opposite Chalk Farm bus garage near the junction with Clarence Way.  After the marriage John (known as "Jack") and Polly moved to Langford Road where their first child, James, was born. We know little about Jack beyond the recording on the census of his employment as a "Bricklayer's Labourer" and later as "Bricklayer".  It has been mentioned in the family that Jack had either a club foot or had suffered an injury. On one of his daughter's marriage certificates after his death his profession is given as "Watchman".

Victorian cottage in Harmood Street today.
 Jack and Polly eventually, like the Bayliss family, moved to Highgate New Town where the lived at 20 Annesley Road, the next street to Anatola Road. and it was here in 1885 that the eleventh of their twelve known children, christened Esther, was born on March 17th.

Annesley Road showing Hargrave Park School
at the top end.
By 1891 the family have crossed Dartmouth Park Hill to live at 34 Colva Street and the census shows Polly and several of the daughters working as charwomen. In 1896, probably while still at Colva Street, Jack Abbotts died.  in 1901 Polly and her daughters are living in nearby Doynton Street (her eldest son, James and his wife Ada are listed as a separate family at the same address) and the two youngest girls, Esther and Daisy are working in a Pickle Factory. The year after the census, in 1902 Polly died and the following year her daughter Esther married the youngest of the Bayliss sons Herbert. They were my grandfather and mother and we will pick up their story soon.

Mary "Polly" Eele Abbotts (1846-1902)
Photograph taken at J.W.Grosuch's studio in
Junction Road. Grosuch ruined his business
by his addiction to gambling on horse racing.
(Picture courtesy of Margaret Dalby)


  1. I can remember working in some of those tenement blocks in the 1960s, and the "Guinness" buildings in various parts of London.

    Although they weren't attractive, I felt there was quite a community spirit at that time amongst the residents.