Given names: 
E. L.
Given address: 
Milton Terrace
Sheet No: 427
Hawke's Bay

Biography contributed by Angus McGregor and Isobel Connelly (great-grandchildren)

Ellen Louise Tannion (1863–1944) married William Charles Yates in 1885, at which point the couple took over the Yates family home in Milton Terrace, Napier. William was the second generation of the family to live at Milton Terrace – his father (William Ward Yates) purchased the property in around 1865. Ellen raised a large family with William: three sons (Arthur, Valentine and Rex) and two daughters (Winifred and Isobel). Ellen signed the women’s suffrage petition in 1893, giving Milton Terrace as her address – it is quite possible she signed the petition in her own home.

Ellen lived a long life, surviving the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake. She and her youngest daughter moved to Auckland following the earthquake – as many women and children did – returning once Napier had been rebuilt. Aside from that brief period up north, she lived in Milton Terrace from her marriage until her death.

When Ellen died in 1944, aged 81, the property was subdivided and, interestingly, she left the two sections to her two daughters rather than her sons. That was unusual at the time and perhaps an indication of Ellen’s progressive views on the role of women in society. One of those sections has remained in the family ever since, passing to her daughter (Isobel) and then to Ellen’s grandson, Robert McGregor, who raised his family there. In 2015 it passed to Robert’s daughter, Isobel and son, Angus, in whose ownership it remains. Robert’s grandchildren (Ellen’s great-great-grandchildren) are the sixth generation to be associated with the property.


Ellen Yates with her two daughters (Winifred, left and Isobel, right) in about 1910.

Click on sheet number to see the 1893 petition sheet this signature appeared on. Digital copies of the sheets supplied by Archives New Zealand.

Community contributions

1 comment has been posted about E. L. Yates

What do you know?

Isobel Connelly (née McGregor)

Posted: 02 Feb 2020

Ellen Yates is my great grandmother. We still live at the same address in Napier.