Ellen Kirston MELCHER (née OLSON, aka Nellie) [1886-????]

Submitted by jill on Fri, 06/30/2023 - 21:26
Ellen Kirston
Alias / nickname
Birthplace (town, state)
Hong Kong
Birthplace (country)
B.C.C.Hong Kong

Nellie was the youngest daughter of John Olson and the fifth of his six children. She was step-sister of my grandmother, Hannah Warren. Her birth certificate gives her mother as Cheng A-Fung, who would later take Ellen as her Christian name, making two Ellens in the family. Nellie was born at 1 Ladder Street Terrace. The Ladies Directory gives her as living with her mother in Caine Road until at least 1907 after the birth of her nephew, Arthur, when her address is given at Charles and Hannah Warren's home at 2 Observatory Villas. She eventually married Evert Melcher and went to live in Shanghai, where he worked. She is still given as Miss Olson in 1916 arriving in Hong Kong on 3 April from San Francisco and departing for London on 7 April, so she may have married later that year. The Melchers' son was the youngest of John's and Ellen's grandchildren and nicknamed "Sonny Boy". He appears with them in group photos with old John Olson on the terrace of 13 Broadwood Road. His real name may have been Everett like his father's. The family are thought to have gone to Indonesia and then to Holland after the war. The couple split up and Nellie left Holland, but a photo shows her visiting her Olson nephews in Chiswick, London after the war. She is thought to have emigrated to the US after that, but efforts to trace her there have not been successful. It is not known if she remarried.

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I have been reminded by angie-r that Ellen Olson aka Ching ah Fung, stepmother of my grandmother, Hannah Warren died at “Merville”, 161 Wanchai Road, on 20 October 1915, owned by angie-r's relative Mrs L.M. Murray. It seems logical that Ellen's unmarried youngest daughter, Nellie would have lived with her and cared for her there until she died. The business premises of C.E. Warren & Co. at 98a Wanchai Road, where Ellen's husband, John Olson lived and died, would have been no place for an invalid, but was near at hand. It is notable that, unlike her siblings, Nellie only began travelling abroad after the death of her mother and also didn't marry till the age of 30, which would have been considered late for the era.

evert nellie melcher
evert nellie melcher, by jill