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ELVIN, Harry

b.1866 – d.1909

Early life

Harry Elvin was born in 1866 at Long Milford on the borders of Suffolk and Essex. Long Milford is a quintessential picturesque village. This area was made famous by artists like Constable and Gainsborough.

In the 1871 Census, 5-year-old Harry is living with his father William, aged 31, and mother Elizabeth, aged 34, along with his brother Albert, aged 1. Harry’s father was a ‘Carman’, someone who transports goods on a horse and cart. The family was living at 9 Canterbury Road in Kensington, London.

Was it the lack of work in Suffolk that brought the family to Kensington?

Teenage years

The 1881 census finds the family living at 1 Wells Road, Hammersmith. Harry, 15, was working as a Greengrocer. He now has an additional younger brother William, aged 6. William senior is still working as a ‘Carman’.

In the 1891 census, Harry Elvin, aged 25, a Carman, is living on Goldhawk Road in Hammersmith with his father William, a Carman, his brothers Albert, 21, a Milk Carrier, and William, 17, a Carman, and his cousin Emma Gradley, age 24, a housekeeper. The census does not mention Harry’s mother Elizabeth.


Harry’s marriage to Louisa Godman takes place on the 18th May 1891 at St John the Evangelist, Hammersmith. Harry is 25 and Louisa is 24, daughter of Benjamin Godman, an Engine Driver. They lived at 81 Goldhawk Road.

In the 1901 Census, Harry Elvin, aged 35, is a labourer living at 29 Evelyn Gardens, Brompton, London, with his wife Louisa, aged 34, born in Bermondsey and their children, Louisa 9, Ruth 7 and William 3, all born in Shepherds Bush.

A point of interest regarding Evelyn Gardens, Charles Digby Harrod the owner of Harrods lived in Evelyn Gardens between 1888–1894.

Asylum Years

The Lunacy Register shows that ‘Havvy’ Harry Elvin was admitted to Long Grove Hospital on the 15th August 1908.

He survived just over 1 year. He died in December 1909 aged 43. He was buried in grave 535b in Horton Cemetery on 16th December 1909.

Why was Harry admitted to Long Grove? We’ll need to access the file for this.

Harry’s wife Louisa in 1939

In a 1939 register, Louisa Elvin born 17th October 1866, a widow, was living at 11 Michael Road, Fulham. This address is less than a mile from Evelyn Gardens where she was living with Harry and their 3 children in 1901.

NB – Harry is part of a wider Elvin family tree on Ancestry which shows a photo of Harry’s brother Alfred.

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