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Joseph Elliott

The earliest proven Elliott know of is Samuel Elliott (born approx 1805), born in Merton. His wife is listed as Mary Grott (from Jame’s birth certificate) He seems to have spent his life in Merton. He and his wife Mary are buried in the Churchyard. A few feet to the left are buried James and Elizabeth Eliott who could have been Samuel's parents although they would have had to be fairly old when they had him. Behind Mary’s tombstone is one for their children, and in front of James' a few feet is Joseph Elliott.

Joseph Elliott was the 11th youngest son of Samuel and Mary Elliott. Samuel Elliott is listed as a boot and shoe maker in 1861 census, son James aged 19 a Brick maker, Eli (male) aged 17 a pipe maker, Eliza aged 14 a Gloveress, Joseph aged 11 a scholar.

In approx 1874 the two brothers Eli and James and their families made the trip to Canada, landing in Portland Maine after a hazardous voyage of storms and fuel shortages. Eli and James set up a brickyard just North of Clinton shortly moving to Wingham where they set up another brickyard. Family members still live in Canada. The two brothers were very successful in making bricks.

Joseph Elliott is listed in Kellys Directory of 1883 as a boot & shoe maker, machinist & agent for sewing machines of every description and watch and clock maker. A clock bearing Elliotts name survives today. He died aged 64 Oct 4th 1913.

Joseph Elliott had his ‘Elm Studio’ at Elm Cottage which was the top floor at far (Torrington) end of Malt scoop cottages. Many photographs survive – often as postcards but also framed ones, 2 survive in the church vestry and one shows the church interior before its restoration in 1875. He also appears in several photographs, Mrs Ball ex postmistress remembered him when I spoke to her, and recalled he was a member of the Rechabite Society a temperance society, he is easily recognised with his bush lamb chop whiskers in a number of pictures, including the Choir at back of the church and holding the banner during a meeting (or rally) He taught Henry Bright the use of the camera and I imagine the 2 of them very good friends, birth highly skilled members of the village. Henry Bright started the garage in Merton, his mother was the post mistress These 2 photographers left a rich legacy for us to enjoy.

Much of this information supplied by Laurie Hart of Ontario on his visit to Merton.

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