Or was she called Ellen?

William Yeo of Heanton Sachville, who died in 1481, married in the middle of the 15th century, some eighty years before the introduction of parish records, and there is no written record of the marriage.

William’s wife has generally been referred to as Ellen Grenville, a name that appears to be based on three of the sources below. But it is more likely that she was called Lena after her maternal grandmother Lena Gorges; Ellena or Leva might be variations or mis-transcriptions of this name:
– The record of the inquisition post mortem held for William Yeo in 1481, transcribed by Harry Tapley-Soper, refers to ‘Leva Yeo his wife’ and ‘Leva is yet living’
– She is referred to as ‘Leva Yeo, late the wief of William Yeo’ in an indenture dated 2 October 1482 (‘the 2 of October 22 of King Ed IV’).
– According to research by Douglas Richardson, ‘Leva Yeo, widow’ is named in several other common-law legal actions between 1483 and 1489.
– According to research by Joe Northcote [note 1], ‘Lena Yeo’ is named in records of the Court of Common Pleas for cases brought in 1486 and 1489.
– The 1872 edition of the Visitations, edited by Frederic Thomas Colby, p. 322, has ‘Ellin d. of Wm Greenfield of Stowe in com. Cornwall’
– The 1881 edition of the Visitations, also edited by Colby, p. 217, has ‘Ellizab. d. of William Greenfield of Stowe’
– The 1895 edition of the Visitations, edited by John Lambrick Vivian, p. 834, has ‘Ellin, Da. of Wm Grenfield of Stowe in Com. Cornubiae [note 2]
The History of the Granville Family by Roger Granville, published in 1895, p.57, has ‘Ellena, who was married to William Yeo’

So how should we refer to her? Please the Contact Us page if you have any comments.

See The Visitations of Devon and Cornwall for notes on the Visitations. Note also how the spelling of Grenville varies in the publications quoted.

1. For Joe’s web site see https://northcote.one-name.net.
2. County of Cornwall.