Another Look at Robert Simpson

When I put up a photo of Robert’s headstone on Monday, I mentioned that FamilySearch hadn’t yet married him to the widow CRAWFORD. Sarah née CAMMISH had lost her husband to the sea.

Sarah was left to raise four daughters, two of whom, Elizabeth and Mary Ann would be designated as Robert’s “daughters-in-law” in later censuses. Elizabeth, the eldest daughter, was “an imbecile since birth” according to one enumerator, and it is she who is remembered on the headstone.

But who is Robert’s first wife, Ann? At least six women called Ann married a Robert Simpson in the Filey area in a ten-year time frame. But census records are consistent in showing that our Robert was born in Hutton Buscel (aka Bushell) around 1813.

Sarah Cammish, later Crawford, has now been married to Robert on the Shared Tree – but he is a fellow born six years earlier in Filey, and therefore certain to have married the wrong Ann and have all the wrong children. Here is a screenshot of the sources he has been given.

This looks worse than it may actually be because the two contesting Roberts both had sons called Matthew and Thomas and each had a daughter called Ann. “X” is not indicating a source is definitely misplaced – just that it should be carefully checked.

There is a clue in the 1851 census to the true identity of the Ann “our Robert” married. She has been dead for four years but on that census night, Robert is looking after his two-year-old nephew, John Procter. I can’t find the boy’s birth registration but there is a record for a Robert Simpson marrying Ann TILFORD – and there are several Tilford/Telford and Procter/Proctor unions in Filey Genealogy & Connections. This isn’t proof that the Ann remembered on the headstone began life as a Tilford – just a possibility.

I put a photo of Robert Temple’s headstone on the Shared Tree and created an ID for Sarah Ann WILSON but didn’t have time to research today’s other “grid people”.

Insect 49 · Ringlet

Flower 31 · Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon

I didn’t find James Gullen DEIGHTON on the Shared Tree but four of his younger siblings were there, in the care of parents Sidney and Jane Elizabeth. James was the couple’s firstborn and, as he is not listed in the census return four years later, I resigned myself to his death in infancy. I discovered he lived for less than six months. His existence is noted in Filey Genealogy & Connections – born at Railway Cottages, Gristhorpe and baptised at the Ebenezer on 24 July. His birth was registered in Scarborough and his death the following quarter in Bridlington. His sister, Florence Harriet was born about a year later in Pocklington and lived for over eighty years. Somewhat curiously, FG&C doesn’t have any of James’ siblings. I have put him with his family on the Shared Tree.

(James is a first cousin of Frank GULLEN – birth anniversary March 28 – and a nephew of Martin GULLEN – death anniversary 6 March. My RootsMagic database says that James is not related by blood to either Fennel or Fennell DEIGHTON – death anniversaries 13 & 25 April.)

Two CRIMLISK girls were baptised on this date, Mary Cambridge at the Prim in 1886 and Martha Annie at St Oswald’s seven years later. I was curious about their family connection. They are second cousins, with common ancestors Thomas Crimlisk & Catherine McDEVITT. In 1901 they lived about 150 meters from each other, Mary in Mitford Street and Martha in Swanns Yard, Queen Street. I have no idea what effect the seven years between them would have had on their lives. Both found husbands but Mary died only four years after she married George SIMPSON. Martha’s marriage to John Richard HAXBY lasted almost fifty years before death did them part.

Insect 48 · Mirid Bug

Mirid calocoris, Martin’s Ravine

Robert, the second son of Robert Varey HUNTER and Margaret Edmond ETHELL left Filey as a young man. The 1901 census finds him boarding at 6 Exmouth Street, Leeds, where he is working as a tram conductor. His landlady is the widow Jackson, 60. There is another boarder, a traveller in drapery called Henry Charles WALMSLEY, 27, from Ulverston. Sarah Jackson’s widowed sister, with her two children, is with her on census night. It is an article of faith that Robert is a healthy fellow and looking for a wife. He is also a bit on the old side to be taken for cannon fodder in the second decade of the new century. A search in Free BMD finds only two marriages in Yorkshire between 1901 and 1910. Both were in Scarborough and the bride in 1909 was Mabel Jane JACKSON – but her mother was called Jane, not Sarah. The groom could still have been our Robert, of course, but I had no sight of him after this date. Does anyone know what happened to him?

William Henry was the second son of Samuel  CRISP and Mary Anne COWLING. His mother died when he was ten years old and his father married again. On census night 1881, there were thirteen people under the Crisp roof at 5 Princess Street, Scarborough. They included three of William’s siblings, two stepsisters, his stepmother, and his stepgrandmother. Four people were visiting, two being young evangelists. William died in Scarborough in 1937.

Mary STAVELEY married Arthur Edmund WATKINSON in Nafferton in 1925 and, Filey Genealogy & Connections says, died in Murrumbena, Victoria in 1980. I am wondering if she was a ten-pound Pom.

 After her husband’s early death, Sarah Cammish married widower Robert SIMPSON. The Shared Tree hasn’t caught up with this union yet but I photographed the headstone that documents it yesterday.

In affectionate remembrance of ROBERT SIMPSON, who departed this life May 2nd 1881, aged 67 years.

Also, ANN, his beloved wife, who died Feb 12th 1847, aged 39 years.

Also, SARAH, his second beloved wife, who died July 2nd 1883, aged 69 years.

And MATTHEW, his beloved son, who was drowned at sea from the Brig Britannia, Sep 27th 1851, aged 18 years.

‘Blessed are the dead

Which die in the Lord’

Also, ELIZABETH CRAWFORD, who died July 14 1898, aged 63 years

‘At rest’

Beach 169 · Heart

Filey Sands

Hannah Elizabeth ALLISON was one of three daughters born to George, an agricultural labourer, and Mary Eliza BIGGINS. She lived to a good age but was from that generation of women whose search for a husband was compromised by the “Great War”.

I haven’t found a FamilySearch ID for Louisa BASHAM either, though she managed to find two husbands. She was the daughter of a Norfolk shepherd and gamekeeper who made his way to Hunmanby as a young man, married Ann Elizabeth SMITH and had nine children with her. Louisa first married a Hull printer, George Augustus CLEARY, but he died in 1910, a year after their only child Florence was born. The following year she married James WRIGHT in Scarborough.

John Gennery STOCKDALE was born in Essex, the son of a Preventive Service man, but married Mary WHITTLES in Filey St Oswald’s church in 1826. Not all of their nine children stayed in Filey but one or two who found partners in other towns returned.

Kath has put a note on Filey Genealogy & Connections about Charlie HATTERSLEY.

Charlie was one of those really nice quiet men who was so inoffensive & polite.  He was married twice; his first wife is buried at Hunmanby (God’s Little Acre and I think he is). He lived at 64 Northgate which is one of the old cottages with the long gardens and was formerly Sea View Terrace (because you could really see the sea from there – my mum lived next door so I know).

In September 1939, The Register placed him with his first wife Edith née BUTCHER on a smallholding near Pateley Bridge. FG&C has him marrying Laura Elizabeth STIRK at Filey Methodist Church in August 1958. He died in Scarborough Hospital.

Richard MAULSON also married twice. Here he is with his first wife, Harriet Marshall HORNER.

Richard is a second cousin to yesterday’s Ellen, common ancestors Robert Maulson and Elizabeth ANDERSON.

Townscape 83 · Scarborough

54.288493, -0.404154

I have fallen way behind schedule today and what I have to say about the chosen people will have to be added piecemeal over the next week or so.

Update 5 July

After his wife Ellis Ann died, John HOLMES placed a cross on her grave that also remembered his parents George and Mary née SIMPSON. That monument survives intact but a companion cross for daughters Maude and Hilda, “two of God’s chosen flowers”, has disappeared. The inscription on the base isn’t easy to read or photograph.

Hilda lived for ten days (EYFHS) or sixteen (Crimlisk Survey). A flower container remembering the girls’ brother Thomas (aka Dasher), 1906-1970 has disappeared.

Filey Genealogy & Connections has a more complete Holmes pedigree than FamilySearch, though Hilda is missing. The Shared Tree offers three versions of their father but none have married Ellis Ann yet.

Led Astray

On the anniversary of his baptism (25 May), I put the headstone remembering Joseph WILSON’s life on the Shared Tree, not noticing that he was a cuckoo in the nest of the wrong parents. My bad  – to be so easily taken in. I only discovered my mistake today because his sister Elizabeth’s funeral took place on this date in 1896.

Joseph senior and Mary DICKINSON had twelve children and Elizabeth was the only one for whom I didn’t have an ID. On closer examination today, I discovered that all but three of them in my Wilson Births & Baptisms list belonged to “the other lot”, over in Doncaster. I think that only three of the Filey Wilson children have rightful places on FamilySearch.

I have detached Joseph junior from the wrongful parents, leaving him in limbo for the time being.

I don’t have much to say about today’s other anniversary people.

Rosanna CHEW is the daughter of Lucy COOK (burial 29 March) and may have been told stories about the killing of her grandfather, Michael. Rosanna was married for less than four years and had one daughter who lived for just seven months.

Henry Haggit FOX was born in the Hope & Anchor public house in Church Street, Filey and died in the nation’s capital. He married a “southerner” whose father made news at the end of his life.


I had four headstones to upload to the Shared Tree today. Several people had to be “created” and the task took almost five hours to complete.

Ellen Routh DUNN is the odd one out. I need more time to discover just how odd her family may have been. Ellen’s mother married William DUNN, an elderly widower, in 1845. He died the following year. A number of Dunn children appeared over the ensuing decade and most, if not all, were given the middle name “Routh”. In 1851, the widow Dunn had a lodger in her Church Street cottage. Adam Routh from Hawes may have fathered all of Elizabeth’s children.

Mary WILLIAMSON was only eight when her brother was killed in the war that didn’t end all wars. I imagine she was heartbroken. See Remembering Jenkinson Haxby for George Edward’s Filey brother-in-arms who also failed to come home.

Abstract 102 · Seawall Exclamation

Royal Parade

Three out of Five

Joseph WINSHIP’s childhood home was in Chapel Street, Filey. Gertrude Annie COLLING’s early years were spent a quarter of a mile away in Mariners Terrace. They were so close together in age that they must have been in the same class at school. Records don’t tell us when they decided they were meant for each other but they do note their marriage at Filey St Oswald’s in November 1910. Joseph came from a line-fishing family but Filey Genealogy & Connections says that in later years he became a trawler skipper. He had four sons and two daughters with Gertrude, and at least four married.

Whereas barely a month separated them at birth, Joseph had to live sixteen years without Gertrude.

As I write, Joseph and Gertrude are not together on the FamilySearch Shared Tree and, given what may be termed contributor confusion, it may be a while before their online lives are properly arranged.

Here are the five sources attached to Gertrude’s record on FamilySearch (with some additional information in colour)

Elizabeth SCALES had sixteen children with George WATKINSON. The youngest, Eliza, was perhaps less than a year old when her father died. (I haven’t found a birth registration for her.) Elizabeth coped somehow with her large family, but it is no surprise to see that in 1901 the census enumerator noted that she was “in receipt of relief”. She was seventy-five years old and living in Swann’s Yard, Queen Street, with her eldest son William, a dustman, and youngest daughter Eliza a charwoman. Both were single, though Eliza would marry Robert HAXBY the following year.

Elizabeth and her husband George are both buried in Filey churchyard, but neither has a memorial. Elizabeth does, however, have over forty reliable sources attached to her Shared Tree record.

Reginald NEWSAM was the son of a Barnsley coal trimmer who went into banking. In his twenties and early thirties, he took several slow boats to China on business. I don’t know when or where he met Winifred JACKSON but they married at Filey St Oswald’s in 1931.

In the first five years of marriage, Winifred had three children. I think all of them married but none were enumerated with their parents in September 1939. Reginald had retired as a “bank accountant” because of ill health and was living with Winifred at Gorse Cottage, Ravenscar.

Annie Theresa HUNT was born in Lewisham, Kent, and married Thomas JENKINSON in Scarborough in 1915. I know nothing about their forebears and I don’t think they are represented yet on the Shared Tree.

Richard WARD is also a mystery to me. Born in Kendal and married to Elizabeth GIBSON (possibly) from Foston on the Wolds (maybe), he is an anniversary person on the strength of his being listed in FG&C as an “excavator’s navvy”. His year of death suggests he may have been an incomer who helped to build the new sea wall – and didn’t live to tell the tale.

Mark of Man 91 · Pill Box and Camp Fire

Hunmanby Sands