Are you a descendant of Ellen Pyke?

– One of the founder members of Neston Female Friendly Society

If you have the surname Tozer, Morrison or Pakenham Walsh in a branch of your family tree and you recognize any of the names below you may well be a descendant of Ellen (Elinor) Pyke who was a member of the Neston Female Friendly Society when it began in 1814.

Ellen (Elinor) Pyke was the sister of Sarah Pinnington, who was also a member and the Society’s first Benefit Stewardess. Ellen died in 1826 but her two daughters, Elizabeth Tozer and Sarah Morrison continued the family tradition and were also members of the Society.

Ellen Pyke

Ellen was baptised at Neston on the 4th November 1781, daughter of Neston baker John Pike and his wife Mary.

She married a cabinet maker, William Martin, a widower, on 2nd February 1820. He married his first wife, Martha Banks, in 1810 and Sarah Pyke (later Pinnington) was a witness at their wedding. They had four children but Martha died when their fourth child, James was born and was buried at Neston on 17th August 1817 on the same day that James was baptised.

Ellen (Elinor) and William had two daughters, Sarah, baptised 26 Jan 1821 and Elizabeth, baptised 4th October 1822. William’s occupation was then baker rather than a cabinet maker so it seems likely that he went into business with his in-laws. She died at the age of 45 in 1826 while her children were still young.

>Elizabeth Martin

Her daughter, Elizabeth Martin married John Tozer on 28th January 1843 at St Mary on the Hill, Chester. In the following year their daughter Elenor was born. She was the first of ten children, four of whom died in infancy. Elenor died in 1865, aged 21. The family lived at the Coach and Horses in Neston where John earned a living as a carrier. Sometime after 1871 the family moved to Mwdwleithin, Flintshire where her Elizabeth’s husband had a farm which he worked with their sons, Thomas, James and Henry.

Elizabeth died in Wales in 1881 but was buried in Neston. When she died she had been a member of the Society for over 40 years and her funeral was attended by members of the Society. The Cheshire Observer (26th November, 1881) describes the occasion.

            “There was a large attendance at the funeral including 18 members carrying the white wands of the society. The wands (which on festive occasions are decked with the brightest flower) were draped with crape, and as the ladies who carried them led the procession, and filed on either side of the church gate to allow it to pass, the scene was most impressive.”

After her death, James and Henry married and remained in Wales. Her son John had moved to Birkenhead where he worked as a builder and he lived there until his death in 1913.

>>Thomas Tozer

Thomas, although he married a Welsh girl, Jane Hughes, in 1883 remained in Neston. He had a number of business interests; he was a pawnbroker, draper and dealer in flour. He and Jane had six children and in 1911 his two sons, John and Harold were joiners, his daughter Margaret managed the bread shop where his son Thomas Wastill Tozer was a baker and another son, James was an apprentice baker. Margaret Tozer married Harry Norman, grandson of Catherine Norman who was also a member of the Society, in 1914. Thomas’ youngest son, William Hughes Tozer, was killed in the First World War. Thomas died in 1936, at the age of 78.

>Sarah Martin

Ellen’s other daughter, Sarah Martin, married William Morrison a joiner who originated from Scotland. They were married in Liverpool on the 13th May 1855. William was a widower and his first wife, Jane Smith, was the daughter of a farmer from Little Neston.

Sarah and William had two children, Ann Morrison, born in 1858, and Robert Morrison, born in 1865. Sarah died aged 70 at her residence, the Old Vicarage in 1891, having been a member of the Society for 47 years and a benefit stewardess for a number of them. The Cheshire Observer (21st February 1891) described her as a “thorough Nestonian” whose family had been living in Neston for seven generations. Her funeral was reported in the Cheshire Observer the following week (28th February 1891)

“The funeral of the late Mrs. Morrison, of the Old Vicarage, Neston, whose death was referred to in our last, took place at the Parish Church on Saturday. For nearly half a century the deceased had been a member of the Neston Ladies’ Club, while for a number of years she held the office of benefit stewardess ; and in recognition of this fact a number of the honorary and benefit members of the institution attended the funeral, bearing white wands decked with crape. Among others present were the esteemed lady patroness, Mrs. Russell, Miss Roberts (hon. stewardess), Mrs. Barrett and Miss Hurle (hon. members), Miss Webb, Miss Youds, and Mrs. W. Pritchard (benefit stewardesses), and a number of benefit members. The latter led the way from the residence to the church gates, where they filed on either side to allow the cortege to pass in. In accordance with the wishes of the deceased there were no flowers, and the coffin of oak, with brass mountings, was covered with a black velvet pall. Deceased’s son and daughter were the principal mourners, and there was a considerable gathering of relations and friends. The Rev. W. F. Barrett conducted the service.”

>>Ann Morrison

Sarah’s daughter, Ann Morrison, married master mariner Louis Henry Pakenham Walsh in 1885. After their marriage they lived at the Old Vicarage were Ann had a small school. They had four children: Robert Morrison Pakenham Walsh, born in 1887, Conrad Martin Pakenham Walsh born in 1888, Norah Calwell Pakenham Walsh, born in 1891 and Louis Henry Carmichael Pakenham Walsh born in 1894.

>>>Robert Pakenham Walsh attended Birkenhead Institute and then served a five year apprenticeship at Camell Lairds. In 1914 he served as a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in 1918. After the war he evidently spent some years in Kenya and South Africa marrying Elizabeth Gunningham from Johannesburg. He died in 1951.

>>>Conrad Pakenham Walsh married Elsie Adeline Roberts, from Worcestershire, in 1919. He was living in Prenton when he died in 1931.

>>>Norah Pakenham Walsh served as a nurse in the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS) during the First World War. She married Ralph Cecil Roberts, Elsie Adeline’s brother, in 1930. After their marriage they lived in Worcester where they had son, Michael Ralph Pakenham Roberts. Norah died in 1963.

>>>Louis Pakenham Walsh served as Captain in Cheshire Regiment, Royal Flying Corp and RAF during the First World War, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

As an Observer officer he rendered valuable services in obtaining photographs of the enemy’s position at Beirut, and also as a “Spotter” for the French cruiser “Requin” off the Palestine coast, near the Wadi Hesy. During the performance of these duties he was regularly exposed to hostile anti-aircraft fire and very frequently to attacks from the enemy’s fast aeroplanes. Lieutenant Pakenham-Walsh subsequently rendered gallant service in the attack on the “Goeben” on 28th January, 1918, in the Dardanelles.”


He married Dorothy Eva Greves in 1922.

>>Robert Morrison

Sarah’s son, Robert Morrison, was a solicitor and lived with his sister and her family at the Old Vicarage until he married Sarah Agnes Hutchinson in 1892. She was the daughter of William Hutchinson, a miller, and his wife Elizabeth who lived in Brook Street, Neston. After their marriage they lived at Glenton House, Little Neston. They had a son, William Hutchinson Morrison born in 1895. Robert died in 1903.

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