Ellen claimed to have been born on 3 January 1893 in the Manchester district called Mizpah, the fifth of nine children to Eliza Elleston and David Royal. She worked as a domestic worker until she got married in 1924 to James Emmanuel Spencer in Coleyville, Manchester. And the couple migrated to Trelawny eight years later, in 1932. Her husband passed away in 1977, aged 77.
Ellen taught Sunday School at the Headings Baptist Church for 36 years. Her children said that she was generally active in the community, undertaking such tasks as teaching children to read. In 2006, she was regarded as the 'mother' of Wilson's Run.
Ellen gave birth to 10 children, six boys and four girls, with two sons deceased as of 2006, including her oldest child Clement Blake, who passed away when he was in his nineties. In 2006, she had 74 grandchildren, 100 great-grandchildren, and, by her son David Spencer's estimate, about 20 great-great-grandchildren.
She was last confirmed alive on 22 January 2006 at the claimed age of 113 years, 19 days. At that time, she lived in Wilson's Run, Trelawny, Jamaica.