William Ellacott was born on 25 January 1795 at Sampford Courtney, North Devon, son of John and Elizabeth. He married Susanna Snell on 30 June 1822 and they had three children; John, Susan and William, before she died on 3 August 1827.
In 1841 William is to be found working as an agricultural labourer on Underhill Farm under his presumed brother-in-law James Snell and alongside his son William. His other children are not with him and although Susan will rejoin him, there is no further sign of his eldest child John. He is also now being known by Ellicott rather than Ellacott.
Move on ten years and William is master of his own fate running 30 acres at Pitt Farm, Bondleigh. Susan is with him acting as housekeeper and they have a farm servant called Michael Brook. Incidentally, his neighbours are Edward and Elizabeth Goss, he is the local landowner and probably William’s landlord, she is a school teacher, and it is into the Goss family that his son will marry.
By the time of the 1861 census William is running a much larger farm in North Tawton. Westworthy is a farm of 198 acres and while Susan still keeps house, there is a house servant (age 12), a farm servant (age 13) and a carter (age 15). Also living with them is four year old Adella, William’s granddaughter, the child of William junior who by now is married to Grace Goss.
By the time William dies on 2 April 1868, the Ellicott family has, it is fair to say, moved up in the world.