Died 6th October 1849
Elizabeth Smails died in the Cholera outbreak on 6th October 1849 when she was 77 years old, and a widow. According to the Newcastle Courant in her obituary she was recorded as the widow of John Smails a mariner. When we looked for the record of her death, she was entered in the Bishops Transcripts as Eleanor Smiles from Dispensary Street but we think her name should be Elizabeth Smails as in the Rawlinson Report and other records.
We don’t think she was born or married in Alnwick, but on the 1841 census Elizabeth was 65 years old ( rounded up figures only on this census) and living in Fenkle St with her daughter Ann who was age 25, born approximately 1816. We don’t think Ann was her only child, as Elizabeth was about 40 when Ann was born. Later we discovered that Ann had been born in Alnmouth or Lesbury, which might fit with her father being a mariner. Ann, still unmarried, had a daughter named Eleanor Pringle Young Smails born in 1845, so we assume Pringle or Young was the name of her absent father.
Elizabeth died from Cholera in 1849 and was buried in a mass grave at the rear of St Michael’s Church, so at least she knew her grand daughter before she died.
By 1851 Ann and her daughter Eleanor had moved to Roxburgh Place, Alnwick where she was a seamstress. They had two lodgers to help the make ends meet. On the next census, in 1861 both mother and daughter were working in the clothing industry, Eleanor as a milliner, and Ann was a dressmaker.
Ten years later, Ann was living with her son in law, Isaac Gair who was a police officer. He and Eleanor had two small children both born in Barrasford Cottage, near Hexham. Ann was probably there to help with the children, but she was back in Alnwick when she died in 1873 age 58.