Snow, Mrs Ellen


Collection date: Apr 1906

Area: Somerset - Langport surrounds

Ellen (Nell) Snow (1856-1912): age 50, gave 5 singing games (FT927ff) to Sharp (with help of daughter Alice) but more particularly she sent songs from her mother Betsy Pike to him: Ellen was the daughter of Betsy Culliford (Pike). She was born in Sept 1856 and married William Snow in Feb 1878. She had 3 children - Alice, William and Francis. Ellen lived in New Street, Somerton, a hundred yards nearer the centre of town than her mother Betsy.

Ellen may not have been as good a singer as Betsy but she was proud of her mother and saw to it that her songs found their way to Sharp by letter. Ellen could not read music herself (her letter to Sharp 31/12/1909) but she ensured that her daughter Alice (who was a competent pianist) captured 17 of Betsy’s songs.

Ellen died in 1912 aged 55. The Langport & Somerton Herald 21/9/1912 commented that ‘The Somerset Branch of the Independent Order of Good Templars lost a valued member – belonged for almost 40 years, held every office and elected delegate for the county’. Sharp included ‘Mrs W.Snow’ among the select few, whose help he acknowledged in the preface of Folk Songs from Somerset vol 3.

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