Mary Ellen's mother died at after her birth leaving young children. It is unclear how many children Bridget had and how many survived their mother but her daughter, Mary Ellen Phillips, went to live with Aunt Lizzie. Lizzie and James had six sons.
Lizzie's father, Edmund, died at age 44 leaving his wife Elizabeth with five children. It is unclear what happened; Edmunds wife Elizabeth may have been unwell or unable to cope on her own with five children.
Lizzie's two brothers were sent to the Royal Hibernian School in Ireland, a school for the orphans of Military Personel.
Where the Lizzie, younger sisters Mary Ann and Bridget Sophia went to live is unclear. One account has them being placed in a Convent. Another account has them being raised by their Aunt Charlotte (Charlotte Sophia Rebecca Arnsby Miles).
Perhaps the truth is somewhere in between; on the 1881 British Census, we find Charlotte, a Widow, living at 157 Lynton Road, Bermondsey, England with two of her nieces, Elizabeth Charlotte and Mary Ann. No trace of Bridget Sophia was found on the 1881 Census.
We have a date of death for Lizzie's mother Elizabeth as circa 1890 at the age of 52. No record of Elizabeth was found on the 1881 Census.History was to repeat itself when Lizzie's sister, Bridget, was to die leaving young children.