This notice from the Cheltenham Chronicle published on October 11, 1947 refers to Mrs. Augusta Elliott as "formerly of High-street, Cheltenham".

 Cheltenham Chronicle October 11, 1947

I am trying to determine when she might have lived in or visited the area.

A rough timeline:

  • 1855 Augusta Knowles born in Slapton near Kingsbridge in Devon
  • 1861, 1871 enumerated in Slapton
  • 1878 marriage to Charles Edward George Elliott (reg Q2 Totnes 5b page 5b 341 -- need to order certificate)
  • 2 Aug 1879 son Cecil born in Dartmouth
  • 1881 Census: Visiting Augusta's relatives in Brixham
  • 19 Mar 1886 daughter Lillian born in Massachusetts
  • family goes back and forth between Massachusetts and Devon several times between 1886 and 1910; they are in Massachusetts on census day in 1900
  • 1910 Census in Massachusetts
  • 1911 Census in Slapton
  • 13 Sep 1919 Charles dies in Slapton (at The Myrtles)
  • 1920 Augusta listed in Slapton in Electoral Registers (Spring, Autumn)
  • 1939 National Registration -- Augusta is in Slapton
  • (Evacuation of the South Hams: residents had to vacate by 20 December 1943 according to The Slapton Evacuation and were away until about August 1944.)
  • 1944 Jun 16 in Cheltenham (from will -- see update)
  • 1947 National Probate calendar "ELLIOTT Augusta of The Myrtles Slapton near Kingsbridge Devonshire widow died 17 April 1947"
  • 1947 11 June: Auction of The Myrtles
  • 1947 27th Sep notice from the PPR attached to will: Augusta Elliott "died on the 17th day of April 1947 at The Myrtles Slapton aforesaid"

The newspaper article about her probate is the only reference I have for anyone in the family, immediate or extended, as being from or associated with Gloucestershire. My hypothesis is that Augusta may have been in Cheltenham during the evacuation of the South Hams in World War 2.

However, I have no Gloucestershire contacts in any of the records for her or her extended family members. All known family members lived in Devon, Hampshire, Kent, or Westmorland.

The other possible window is around 1890/1891 -- the 1890 US Federal Census was destroyed, and I have not located the 1891 Census.

Charles was born around 1855 in Devonport. In the 1861 and 1871 Census, he and his family are in Stoke Damerel. All of the records I have found for Charles' siblings so far are in Devon (Devonport, Stoke Damerel, or Brixham).


The 1886 Wright´s Directory of Bristol and Clifton has a Charles Elliott, grocer, located in Watley's End (in the listings for places near Bristol), which needs a follow-up, but by 19 Mar 1886 Augusta is in Massachusetts.

Ancestry's database Gloucestershire, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1974 for the Parliamentary Division Cheltenham has registers up to 1939, then they resume with 1945, Spring and Autumn. There are no good matches for Augusta -- there are a few hits for an A. Elliott in Thornbury in the late 1940s. There are a few results in the Cheltenham registers for a Charles Elliott in 1920, but these are likely to be a different person (since Charles E G Elliott is already deceased by that time).

Update (17 Sep 2019):

1944 16th? day of June?: will of Augusta Elliott "who is at present residing at 407A, High Street, The Strand, Cheltenham in the County of Gloucestershire, Widow"

What other records besides newspapers and directories might be useful in filling in the rest of the timeline, now that I have a street address? What records would you use to determine when Augusta Elliott returned to The Myrtles?

  • 2
    Does the will itself mention property in Cheltenham, or any other reference? As this is a probate notice I would assume the will is likely the source of the information. – Harry Vervet Apr 11 '18 at 3:53
  • 2
    I think a date closish to 1947 is the most likely -- i.e. it was the address before her current one. I wonder what her address was when she made her will? – ColeValleyGirl Apr 11 '18 at 14:53
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    A quick search of that Electoral Register database on Ancestry reveals quite a few Elliotts in Cheltenham, but no Augusta in or around 1945. There is an A Elliott at 160 High Street, Marshfield in 1947-48, but that's quite a long way (~40 miles) from Cheltehnam. – AndyW Apr 23 '18 at 10:31
  • 3
    From a brief read-around on the South Hams evacuation, it looks like many evacuees were sent to volunteer homes elsewhere in Devon. Cheltenham seems a bit far afield (150 miles or so) for that, particularly as families had to take all movable furniture and such from their homes. If Augusta evacuated to Cheltenham, she might have needed a good reason to do so, such as family members already there. Cheltenham was a popular location for general wartime evacuation, so is it possible that some of her relatives ended up there? It could be worth following up the Kent branch, for example. – AndyW Apr 23 '18 at 10:42
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    The Womens Voluntary Service seem to have helped organise the evacuation. They are now the Royal Voluntary Service and it might be worth contacting them. Searching their archive for "Slapton" brings up a record set including "A report on the Devon Evacuation 1943 (Slapton Sands)" – AndyW Apr 23 '18 at 10:44

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