You had received very good help, so I decided not to confuse you more.
However, the last bit of information (Lassett/Fassett) should be investigated.
1. Check the record again.
Is the surname really clear? Is the first letter clear?
Check for SOUND... what did the recorder 'hear'?
2. Check for a death record for Ella Purnell. She was alive in 1930, so it is VERY possible that there is a death record. Perhaps her parents' names are listed, since she had two living children (?) who could have provided the information.
3. Look at all children's death records. This could help confirm her maiden name, if known by the informant. Is it possible the family was known by more than one surname?
4. Look at the surname distribution in 1870/1880. Look at Alabama (were their others?). Then look at those BORN in Maryland. Compare with those born and living in Pennsylvania.
5. Continue to dig for more background information.
a.) Did she go to Maryland WITH family / relatives?
b.) Did she have another given name (Mary Ellen?). Could she have been known by a nickname? Initial?
c.) Where was she married? Where did she live in her early marriage years?
d.) Expand your Census History. Include the neighborhood.
Early marriage era census records are often important, especially if the couple stayed close to 'home'.
Who were the surrounding neighbors (up to 10 pages before and after).
Include census records for known relatives as well.
The more you know about her and her family unit, the easier it will be to identify the RIGHT Ellen.
6. A Family Bible is a TREASURE. Use it to the max!
Is there anything else about her in that Bible?
Are there any OTHER Lassett relatives listed in the Bible?
Sometimes, you have to search known relatives.
Even a cousin could lead you to her family (paternal or maternal).
Who did others in the family marry? Where?
An Index to Philadelphia marriages is online (1885-1951):
Just a Sample:
Philadelphia Marriages- Purnell (spouse surname)
Estella (Bailey) m. 1917 M-357386
Estella (Luff) m. 1918 F-384319
George (Devlin) m. 1935 M-658118
Addie (Hockens) m. 1905 F-185163
Georgie Annie (Bailey) 1893 F-57788?
John Wesley (Fassett) 1890 M-38761
Also, Chek early Philadelphia Death Certificates (1803-1915):
**Fassett, LEAR ELLEN (Purnell) 1890 F-38761
Fassett, George E. (Purnell) 1914 M-310744
Philadelphia City Deaths:
There is a John W. Purnell
Born: AL abt 1863
Informant: Ellen Purnell
Be open to possibilities.