|Birth: ||Dec. 26, 1855|
|Death: ||Jul. 9, 1916|
Ella R. Adair was the stepsister of my great grandpa and wife of Robert Adair. She was the mother of Clara, Silas, Nellie, Mary/Alice, and Russell, as well as two children who died as infants, Charles and Bessie.
Kind contributor Donna found records indicating Ella's middle name was Rebecca, and indeed, it seems likely that she was named for two of her mother's sisters, Elmira and Rebecca.
This memorial needs updating in light of new info found, but I am leaving work notes below until then.
There were so many paths to take before finding out whose child she was. It had been thought her parents were William Storkey III and Barbara Storkey, first wife of my great great grandpa. Some findings in November of 2014 make this assumed parentage more improbable.
The first census on which she could be found was 1870, where the family is indexed as Starkey. Her age at her last birthday was 14, suggesting she was born about 1856.
On the 1880 census she is age 25, so born about 1855. She is married now to Robert Adair, an Irish-born paper maker, with children Nellie and Clara. They are in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia PA, on Weiss' Mill Road near Shawmont.
Since the 1890 census was lost in a fire, we must skip to 1900 to see Ella once more. This one says point-blank that she was born December of 1856, but her gravestone states 1855. She and Robert (still a paper maker, and noted to have arrived in the US in 1888) have had 7 children, of whom 5 are alive. In the home are Clara, Silas, Mary and Russell.
In 1910, Ella is shown as age 54 (born about 1856) with Robert who is age 56 and still in the paper making business. Children in the house are Clara, Alice, and Russell. They appear to be on Manatawna Avenue, though the census taker's writing makes certainty of this difficult.
Ella died six months after her husband, he dying in January and she in July of 1916. Both funerals were held from 486 Minerva street which was by then the home of their son Russell, a city draftsman.
But it needed to be investigated: Was Ella not by blood a Storkey? Ella would have been born by 1860 but does not appear on the census with the Storkey family (house number 216) which is comprised of father William, first wife Barbara, daughters Georgeanna (age 10) and Mary E (8), and (apparent sister to Barbara) Mary Kiess. Ella is not there.
On the other hand, the same 1860 census shows us a household in the 22nd Ward, house number 580, comprised of Chas Peterson 28 butcher, Ann Lehman age 60 born PA, Maria A Lehman age 25 born PA about 1835, Ella Lehman age 4 on 1860 so born 1856 PA, and Eliza/Elizabeth Bangs age 40. Was this Maria A Lehman and her daughter Ella soon to be part of the William Storkey family? Did William Storkey marry this lady and adopt her probable daughter Ella? I think so, and records still being found bear this out.
Ann Lehman (her probable mom in law) appears 10 years later on the 1870 census in the household of William H. Lehman (49, conductor, perhaps her son and Mary Ann's brother in law) and his son William A Lehman (26), along with Elizabeth Bangs (now 51, a dressmaker), Lizzie Lehman (21) and Clara Lehman (2).
Based on this, Ella's probable grandma is here.
I questioned this thinking, but have since returned to it. On the 1900 census, Mary A. Storkey (aka Maria A Lehman) reports having had just one child. She was definitely the mother of William junior, but had she not been the mother of Ella? In fact, it's since been found Maria/Mary had two children prior to her second marriage because she also had a son, Harry. B. Lehman whom she mentions in her will. Did she potentially misunderstand the census-taker's question and answer with the number of children in the home at that time, or that she had had in her marriage with William only, and not the number of children she had ever borne? I think so.
One more approach... what Lehman family in Philadelphia was having kids around 1835, who may have had a son that Mary/Maria may have married? In Ward 22, Germantown, there is only one family with the name, the household of Margaret and William, who have a 14 year old Samuel living with them. They are too young for him to be their son, but perhaps he is brother to William, Samuel being born about 1836, very close to Maria. But it seems he lived a long life and may not have been her husband, as he appears with a lady of a different name all his life. There is more than one and both lived past 1870.
Around the time Ella would have been born, 1855, Henry S. Lehman (of 444 Vine Street) died, his death certificate giving no information on his family. His obituary stated he was 49, so thus born about 1806. If this was Ella's father, he was appreciably, but not impossibly, older than his wife. And if it is the right man, it would have meant he left a pregnant wife behind because Harry B Lehman was born in 1856.
Mary Ann Keely Storkey (____ - 1902)
Robert Adair (1853 - 1916)*
Nellie M Adair Dotterer (1876 - 1945)*
Clara Adair (1878 - 1953)*
Charles W Adair (1881 - 1882)*
Silas Graffe Adair (1883 - 1927)*
Bessie S Adair (1888 - 1895)*
Mary Alice Adair Hanna (1890 - 1954)*
Russell Hamilton Adair (1894 - ____)*
Ella Rebecca Lehman Adair (1855 - 1916)
Harry B Lehman (1856 - 1940)*
William Hamilton Storkey (1867 - 1937)*
Maintained by: sr/ks
Originally Created by: Donna Elliott
Record added: Jul 22, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 39764900