Ellen Salisbury

Ellen was born in Sebastopol in 1857, to parents James and Ellen Salisbury. Her father had arrived in Australia from Norfolk, England, and had taken up the occupation of carrier, after trying his hand at mining. Tragically, her mother died in 1866 and James was left to raise the family on his own, which brought with it plenty of hardships and for a while the children were sent to the industrial school. While without his children, James was charged in El Dorado for being drunk and disorderly and in a bid to better himself, applied for a publican’s license but this was rejected by Mounted Constables Ward and Mullane, who stated that he and his children were of ‘questionable character.’
It is possible that Ellen first met Joe in 1873, while waiting along the Woolshed road with her brother and sister, after the wagon they were in, driven by Robert Woods, lost a piece of iron. Shortly after this, Ellen gained employment as a domestic servant for Jane and Archibald Batchelor, who lived next door to Joe and the two of them became sweethearts. She also formed a close friendship with Joe’s sister Kate and was at the Byrne house when Aaron gifted her a bay filly as an engagement gift.
While Joe was in prison, Ellen married Martin Byron in 1876 and shortly afterwards gave birth to her first child. During their first few months of married life, the two found land near the Black Dog Creek at Chiltern, and built a hut where they would go on to raise ten children.
Whether Martin approved or not, Ellen remained close to Joe throughout his outlawry and provided him with provisions and sent letters for him to his mother, despite her being afraid of Margret.
Ellen and Martin had ceased living together several years before Martin was found burnt to death in 1907, with Ellen finding new love with a Mr John Watts, who she had first started working for as a domestic servant. When he died in 1910, he named Ellen the sole beneficiary of his will, with her inheriting his weatherboard house along the Beechworth road.
Ellen died on the 3rd of July 1930 and is buried in Chiltern

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s