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Ellen Kathleen Ingram (b. 1892) née Hitchcock

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Ellen Kathleen Hitchcock, known by her nickname "Nellie", was Alfred Hitchcock's older sister.

She was born Wednesday 14th September 1892 at the family home at 29 Louise Road, Stratford.

According to biographer Patrick McGilligan:

[Alfred] was closer to Nellie. He occasionally chaperoned his sister to dances, and accompanied her to stage plays or the new 'animated pictures.' [...] When Nellie took a job as a mannequin for a shop on Oxford Street, brother and sister stopped going to plays and pictures together. As a young lady, Nellie was very stylish and self-conscious about her looks. She used henna and curling tongs on her hair, and made a point of wearing the latest fashions. Nellie has been referred to as a 'small' woman, but she was five feet ten. As the two grew into adulthood, she grew more unlike her famous brother: she didn't care much for travel, nor was she crazy about film or America. Her first husband, Jack Lee, ran the White Hart public house, half a mile from Salmon Lane, as early as 1915. But this early marriage failed, and so did a second, and over time Nellie became hypochondriacal and difficult.

However, McGilligan appears to have made an error with the details of her first marriage. Situated only a few doors down from the Hitchcock's home on Salmon Lane, the Copenhagen Tavern public house was run by the Lee family and Ellen Kathleen married licensed victualler Harry Lee in December 1915.[1]

The couple briefly ran the White Hart public house[2] on Hooper Street, Whitechapel, where their first son was born in March 1917. At the start of 1918, Harry enlisted and joined the Royal Naval Air Service at Roehampton where he likely worked as a member of the ground crew. Whilst Harry was in service, Ellen Kathleen gave birth to their second child, Ellen Marcella Lee, in Oxford in September 1918.

Harry transferred to the RAF Reserves in October 1919 before being fully discharged in April 1920, by which point their final child, Clifford John Lee had been born. Within a few years Harry had fallen ill and the family returned to live at the Copenhagen Tavern where he was nursed by his sister, Grace. Harry eventually died from colon cancer in April 1924, leaving an estate worth £1,052 to his widow.[3]

In April 1928, Ellen Kathleen had an illegitimate child (Albert William Ingram) by married barman Albert Edward Ingram, who was working at the Copenhagen — the couple were unable to marry at that time and the infant was raised by foster parents.

In the introduction to the 2013 edition of his biography of Hitchcock, John Russell Taylor states:

Nellie’s first husband was called Lee. By him she had two or three children before he left her a widow. She then entered a relationship with a Mr Ingram, by whom she became pregnant. They got married, quite possibly (I am not certain of this) before Bill was born, but whenever the marriage took place, it was evident that he had been conceived out of wedlock and was thus a blot on the family’s reputation. As a child Bill was generally farmed out to foster parents, and had lost contact with his mother for many years.

The historical records seem to indicate that Albert Edward Ingram had separated from his first wife, Bessie McParlin, but that he had not been granted a divorce at the time Ellen Kathleen fell pregnant with his child, which would explain why this was such a "blot on the family's reputation". The couple only registered the birth of their son in 1932, a year after their marriage, presumably when young boy started school and his foster parents needed a birth certificate to enrol.

Taylor also reveals that Albert William Ingram — also known as Bill Ingram — worked in the British film industry and met his Uncle Alfred whilst Technicolor were processing the daily rushes for Frenzy (1972). According to Bill, the director was embarrassed by the meeting and avoided making any further contact with him.

Albert Edward eventually divorced his wife and married Ellen Kathleen in April 1931. Their wedding was witnessed by the bride's widowed mother Emma Jane and her sister-in-law Alma Reville. The couple failed to officially register the birth of their child until April 1932, by which time they were living at the The Old Gibraltar public house in Deptford.[4]

The Electoral Registry entries from the early 1930s show the couple residing at two different public houses in London. How long the marriage lasted or what happened to Albert Edward Ingram is currently unknown, but sources imply the marriage failed and that she was living alone by the 1950s.[5]

Following Alfred and Alma Hitchcock's research trip to Africa for the later-abandoned Flamingo Feather project during the summer of 1956, Ellen Kathleen joined them on their return trip to New York aboard the Queen Elizabeth.[6][7]

By the early 1960s, she was living with her son Clifford John and his wife Ella on Campbell Avenue, Ilford.

By the late 1960s, Ellen Kathleen was living at 97 Elgar Lodge, Hayesford Park, Bromley.[8]

She died in January 1979, a year before her younger brother Alfred Joseph Hitchcock. She is buried alongside her parents and first husband at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cemetery, Leytonstone.




  • born 14/Sep/1892[9]
  • also known as Nellie and Ellen Catherine


Harry Lee (b. 1892)

  • born 1893
  • married 05/Dec/1915 to Ellen Catherine Hitchcock in a Roman Catholic ceremony at the Church of St Mary & St Michael, Lukin Street, by priest Father Francis Breen(?)[10]
  • marriage witnessed by Harry Lee[11] and William J. Hitchcock
  • died 1924 aged 31[12]

Albert Edward Ingram (b. 1902)

  • born 1902 in Tarkatan, South Africa
  • son of John Henry Ingram (b. ~1875)[13] and Rosina Ingram (b. ~1878)[14]
  • brother of William James Ingram (b. ~1899)[15] and Percival Joseph Ingram (b. 1904)[16]
  • worked as a licensed victualler, as early as 1923
  • married 18/Dec/1923 to Elizabeth (Bessie) McParlin (b. ~1900)[17] at Stepney Registry Office[18]
  • Elizabeth Ingram then bigamously married 1925 to William Alfred Encell[19] — Albert petitioned for divorce in 1928[20]
  • married 27/Apr/1931 to Ellen Kathleen Lee (widow aged 38) in a Roman Catholic ceremony at the St Thomas of Canterbury, Fulham, by priest Father W.A. Wright (b. ~1858)[21]
  • marriage witnessed by E.J. Hitchcock and A.L. Hitchcock
  • the couple possibly separated a few years later[22]


Henry William Lee (b. 1917)

  • born 01/Mar/1917 at 1 Hooper Street, Whitechapel[23]
  • probably died 1994[24]

Ellen Marcella Lee (b. 1918)

  • born 26/Sep/1918 at 16 Parker Street, Cowley St. John, Oxford
  • was also called "Queenie" by her mother and "Winnie"[25]
  • seemingly married Sidney G.W. Hopkins in 1941[26]
  • lived on Fullwell Avenue, Ilford, in the 1960s

Clifford John Lee (b. 1920)

  • born 12/Mar/1920 at 1 Rupert Street, Whitechapel[27]
  • married Ella K.P. Michelsen in 1946[28]
  • died 04/Apr/2012 aged 92[29]

Albert William Ingram (b. 1928)

  • born 09/Apr/1928 at 30 Surrey Square, London, SE17[30]
  • also known as Bill Ingram
  • adoption organised in 1928 by midwife Johanna May Driver (b. ~1881) née Goldschmidt[31][32]
  • worked in the British film industry and by 1971 was vice president in charge of operations of Technicolor Ltd. UK[33]
  • died 2011 in Norfolk[34]


Family Tree


Census Data


  • address: 517 Leytonstone Road
  • William Hitchcock (aged 35) — head, occupation: fruiterer shopkeeper
  • Emma Hitchcock (aged 32) — wife
  • William Hitchcock (aged 12) — son
  • Nellie Hitchcock (aged 8) — daughter
  • Alfred Hitchcock (aged 1) — son
  • Emma Macguire (aged 22) — occupation: greengrocer's shop assistant
  • Florrie Whelan (aged 23) — occupation: greengrocer's shop assistant
  • Adie Whelan (aged 15) — occupation: greengrocer's shop assistant


  • address: 175 Salmon Lane, Limehouse
  • William Hitchcock (aged 48) — head, occupation: fishmonger dealer
  • Emma Hitchcock (aged 46) — wife, occupation: assistant in business
  • Ellen Hitchcock (aged 18) — daughter, occupation: assistant in business (unmarried)
  • Alfred Hitchcock (aged 11) — son
  • Louisa Kelsey (aged 61) — servant (cook)
  • Ellen Snow (aged 21) — servant (domestic housemaid)

Other Documents

Birth Certificate (1892)


Harry Lee (1915)

Albert Edward Ingram (1931)

Birth Certificates of Children

Henry William Lee (1917)

Clifford John Lee (1920)

Albert William Ingram (1928)


Harry Lee

Electoral Registers


Although Ellen Kathleen Lee (who was now a widow) is still reistered at her late husband's address of 183 Salmon Lane, her abode is given as 19 Edith Villas in Kensington, which was where her mother was living at the time.


Ellen Kathleen has married Albert Ingram and they are living at the Old Gibraltar public house, 309 Evelyn Street, Greenwich, London.[37]


From 1933 to 1935, Ellen Kathleen and Albert are residing at the Ye Olde Whittington public house, 5/7 Moor Lane, City of London[38]




Ellen Kathleen is now living alone at 5 York Mansions, Southampton Street, Camberwell, London, SE5, which is about 4 miles south of her previous address on Moor Lane.[39]

This is the last entry for "Ellen Kathleen Ingram". Subsequent London-area entries for "Ellen Ingram"s include:

  • 1945: 17 Tulip Place, Bermondsey, SE16[40]
  • 1946: 37 Surrey Road, Camberwell[41]
  • 1961: 22 Parker Court, Basire Street, Islington

Research Notes

  • Frederick Walter Lee, born 12/Dec/1923 in Hemel Hempstead, was the son of George Lee & Ellen Mary Lee (née Hitchcock)
  • Ellen Kathleen's address in 1978 was given as 97 Elgar Lodge, Hayesford Park, Bromley, Kent, in the telephone directory.

Notes & References

  1. At the time of the marriage, Harry was registered to vote at 183 Salmon Lane and Ellen Kathleen was living at 58 Chiddingstone Street, Fulham. The first historical record that links Harry Lee to the White Hart occurs in March 1917.
  2. The White Hart was situated 2 miles west of Salmon Lane.
  3. Equivalent in 2014 to approximately £56,000. See: Harry Lee (b. 1892) - Last Will and Testament
  4. Likely the child was ready to start school aged 4 and the foster parents discovered that no birth certificate had been issued.
  5. It seems possible that the marriage broke down by the mid-1930s, as she is living alone in 1936.
  6. The Man Who Knew Hitchcock: A Hollywood Memoir (2007) by Herbert Coleman, pages 240-41
  7. Ellen Kathleen Ingram isn't listed on the passenger list, but instead appears as "Helen Ingram" and her home address is given as the Paramount London office. This implies someone working for the studio made the booking and misheard her name, which could also explain why the wrong date-of-birth was given.
  8. Source: Bromley and Orpington telephone directory.
  9. Birth of Ellen Kathleen Hitchcock registered Q4 1892 West Ham.
  10. Marriage registered Q4 1915 St. George in the East. Father Breen was a priest in Walthamstow in 1911, so may known the Hitchcock family.
  11. Father of the groom, born around 1863.
  12. Death of Harry Lee registered Q2 1924 Limehouse.
  13. Born around 1875 in East Ham. Deceased by 1931 and profession given as a ship's steward, although he was working as a pawnbroker's assistant at the time of the 1911 Census.
  14. Born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
  15. Born around 1899 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Possibly married 1934 to Winifred N. Sanders [reg. Q4 1934 Ploughley, Oxfordshire.
  16. Born 26/Dec/1904 in King William Town, Cape Colony. Probably married 1933 to Kathleen F. Johnson [reg. Q3 1933 Reading, Berkshire]. Died 1980 [reg. Q3 1980 Basingstoke].
  17. Bessie was the daughter of labourer John McParlin (b. ~1869) and Elizabeth McParlin (b. ~1869).
  18. Marriage registered Q4 1923 Limehouse.
  19. Marriage registered Q3 1925 Leyburn, Yorkshire.
  20. See http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C8051625
  21. Marriage registered Q2 1931 Fulham.
  22. Ellen Kathleen's 1936 Electoral Registry entry doesn't list Albert at the same address. Ellen accompanied Alfred and Alma to the USA in July 1956 and was apparently single.
  23. Birth registered Q2 1917 Whitechapel. The White Hart pub mentioned by Patrick McGilligan was at 4 Hooper Street.
  24. Death of Harry William Lee registered Q1 1994 Kensington & Chelsea.
  25. Hitchcock: Piece by Piece (2010) contains a family photograph on pages 94-95 naming Winnie as Patricia Hitchcock's cousin. Ellen Marcella was Patricia only female first cousin.
  26. Marriage registered Q4 1941 Ilford, Essex. Sidney was likely born around 1919 and possibly died 1975.
  27. Birth registered Q1 1920 Whitechapel. A widely reported murder of a sailor named William Sproull had taken place at 3 Rupert Street in March 1909.
  28. Marriage registered Q3 1946 Ilford.
  29. Source: http://trees.ancestry.co.uk/tree/20671472/person/976435266
  30. Birth registered 18/Apr/1932 Southwark. 28-30 Surrey Square was St. Margaret's Nursing Home, which appears to have been a private property used for training midwives. This was located a short walk from a property at 239 Old Kent Road owned by Ellen Kathleen's uncle, John Sylvester Hitchcock.
  31. Source: http://trees.ancestry.co.uk/tree/20671472/person/18025865743
  32. Johanna May Driver was born around 1881 in London and likely became a midwife after the death of her husband, William Joseph Driver, in 1912. She was based at 28-30 Surrey Square (also known as St. Margaret's), and was possibly in charge of the nursing home. She died 19/Jan/1959 and her probate record gives her address as still being Surrey Square.
  33. See introduction to 2013 edition of "Hitch: The Life and Times of Alfred Hitchcock" - by John Russell Taylor. Bill met his uncle, Alfred Hitchcock, during the filming of Frenzy (1972).
  34. Source: http://trees.ancestry.co.uk/tree/20671472/person/18025865743
  35. Death of Ellen Kathleen Ingram registered Q1 1979 Bromley.
  36. Address given as 97 Elgar Lodge, Hayesford Park, Bromley. Estate worth £16,508.
  37. Pub History: Old Gibraltar
  38. Pub History: Ye Olde Whittington
  39. Parts of Southampton Street now form Southampton Way in Camberwell.
  40. Also living at the same address is Charles White.
  41. Also living at the same address are William & Ellen Legg, William H. Randall and John E. Roberts.