[HOME] [Introduction] [Horrabridge tree] [John WINGATE (1742-1823)] [John WINDEATT (?1778-1851)] [William P.G. WINDEATT (1816-90)] Sarah Ellen Windeatt (1857-?)

(Sarah) Ellen Windeatt (1857-?) married Sidney ROBINSON & John COOKE

This page: [Tree]  [About Ellen] [Parents] [Move to Manchester] [1st Husband ] [2nd Husband ][1911 Census] [Acknowledgements]
William PG WINDEATT = Selina JARMAN |
9 older brothers and sisters___|______________1 younger sister and 1 younger brother
| Ellen WINDEATT = (1) Sidney ROBINSON  =(2)John COOKE
children from previous marriage
Ellen was born and brought up in Exeter, but moved to Manchester to join her brother and sisters who had moved up there to work in various mental hospitals. Although she was a spinster of over forty when she married her first husband, she was widowed fairly soon and yet married again shortly afterwards to a local Station Master.

1857-1871 Parents & Siblings

Although registered as Sarah Ellen, she seems to have been called Ellen from the 1861, 1871 and subsequent census transcriptions. 

1870s - Move to Manchester - some time between

We're not quite sure when she left for the Manchester area but the first of the family to move North was her older brother, John, who moved up there probably in the mid 1860s and where, in 1868, he was working as an attendant in the Prestwich Lunatic Asylum.

John was later followed by Ellen's sisters, Emma, Mary Ann and Louisa and we know that both Mary Ann and Louisa also worked as attendants in various lunatic asylums in the Manchester area. (see below).  At some time in the 1870s her mother, Selina, and her older sister (also Selina) were in Manchester too because we have a photo of them that was taken in Manchester (c.1876)

In 1881, Ellen's sister and mother had, however, moved back to Devon (as had her older brother John) but her youngest brother,  Henry, moved up to Manchester at some time in the 1880s and his parents came with him, sadly though they both died shortly after the move.

1881 Census (taken 3rd April) © Crown Copyright

In 1881, however, several of the girls were still in the Manchester area and here are Ellen and Louisa  working as Attendants at the Manchester Royal Lunatic Asylum, Stockport, Cheshire along with nine other Attendants and fourteen domestic servants of one kind or another.  All female and mostly unmarried  [RG11/3485/98/3].

Name Relationship Mar Age Sex Birthplace Occupation
. . .six others . . . Atendant          
Louise WINDEAT Attendant U 22 F Exeter, Devon Attendant on the Insane (Hospital)
. . .three others . . . Attendant          
Ellen WINDEAT Attendant U 24 F Exeter, Devon Attendant on the Insane (Hospital)
 . . . 14 others Dom Serv          

1901 - Marriage to Sidney ROBINSON

Ellen was forty-three and very much on the shelf when she married Sidney Robinson some dozen or so years younger than her.  But she told some white lies on the certificate claiming to be 38.

1901 Marriage Certificate - Parish Church of St. Luke's, Weaste in the County of Salford

Date Name & Surname Age Condition Rank or Profession Residence at the time of Marriage Father's Name and Forename Rank or profession of Father Witnesses
Jan 14 1901 Sydney  ROBINSON 30 Bachelor Clogger* Weaste William ROBINSON (deceased)  Brick-maker John Frederick ?GARNER 

Blanche Ada BAXTER

Ellen WINDEATT 38 Spinster - Weaste William WINDEATT

*Clogger: A clog maker.  Clogs were much used by Lancashire mill workers.

**Gardener: Ellen, like her sisters Emma and Mary, also describes her father as a gardener.  Again this is a bit of a mystery.  I have wondered if I could have had the wrong family for these girls but since Emma is buried in the same grave as William P. G. this doesn't seem very likely!


As far as we can tell, Ellen didn't have any children with Sidney.  Poor old Sidney didn't enjoy his marital state for very long because it looks like he died in the March quarter of 1904 in the Prestwich Register Office District [8d 273].   At any rate, my kind correspondent has informed me that (Sarah) Ellen married again the following year.

1901 - Marriage to John COOKE

This time Ellen married Station Master, John COOKE (a step up in the world?) and here she is claiming to be 44 (i.e. a birth date of 1861 rather than the 1857 when she was actually born).  Here is a transcription of the certificate [Prestwich 8d 273]

1905 Marriage solemnized at St. John's Church in the parish of Longsight in the County of Manchester

Date Name & Surname Age Condition Rank or Profession Residence at the time of Marriage Father's Name and Forename Rank or profession of Father Witnesses
13 December 1905 Joxx John* COOKE 58 Widower Station Master** 5 Vernon Terrace John COOKE (deceased) Game Keeper George ?OPEY***

Edith Jane ?OPEY

Ellen ROBINSON 44 Widow - 5 Vernon Terrace William WINDEATT

* John COOKE: The original name has been scored through and 'Col 2 "John" CRR' written in the right hand margin.  Unfortunately, it is not easy to read the original name.  "CRR", however, are the initials of the Rector who has corrected his mistake.

**Station Master:  According to information received John COOKE was the station master at Longsight Station, Manchester.

** George and Edith:  I am afraid I can't read the first letter of their surname.

John COOKE (1846-1924)

From the information kindly sent by a descendant we now know that John COOKE was the son of another John COOKE and his wife Maria née DEEMING.  He had been previously married to a Jane HYDE by whom he had had children.  John COOKE had worked hard and done well for himself.  He had started out as a coal miner but, by 1871, he had left that hard life to join the railway as a guard.  By 1874 he had become a Railway Inspector and was made a Station Master by 1911.  He had moved to what must have been the fairly comfortable house in Vernon Terrace in 1881.

1911 Census (taken 2nd April) © Crown Copyright

Here is John COOKE in 1911 living at No. 8 Vernon Terrace, Leigh, Manchester in an eight-roomed house with a daughter and son from his previous marriage.  He declared that his current marriage had lasted five years and that they had had no children.  Ellen's details have, however, been crossed out.

NameRelAgeStatusOccupation IndustryEmployer?At home?Where Born
John COOKEHead 68MarriedStation Master L&NW Railway CoyRailway CoNo Manceter, Warwickshire
Sarah Ellen COOKE Wife 54 Married Nil     - Exeter
Elsie May COOKEDaughter 22Single Base Maker Cardboard Wholesale Co-op Sy. Worker - Longsight, Manchester
Hubert Cecil COOKESon 20Single Salesman Printer Dep Warehouse Worker - Longsight, Manchester

So why has Ellen's name been crossed through on the census form?

We couldn't find her elsewhere at first but now, thanks to the sleuthing skills of John COOKE's great grandson, we now know she and her sister, Louisa, were visiting her brother Henry down in Birminham.

We don't know why they were having a family reunion at this time.


According to information kindly received from John COOKE's great-grandson, he died in 1924, aged 77, at 36 Greville Street, Rusholme, Manchester.  His widow, E. Cooke, was the informant at his death.

We are not sure when Ellen died (there are lots of deaths indexed for a Sarah or an Ellen COOKE) and without having an idea of when or where she died (nor what age she might have been assumed to be), we just can't be sure which, if any, is the correct one.

Acknowledgements and Further Information

The information on this page has been kindly sent by a great-grandson of John COOKE. 

It doesn't look as though Ellen, herself, had any children - certainly in 1911 John COOKE declared that their marriage had been childless so there are not likely to be any direct descendants.  If you know any different, however, please get in touch via the Message Board.

Last updated: March 2010