John Mabbott Revisited


Six years ago I wrote about John in A Sense of Belonging. That he was born in Sleaford, Lincolnshire seemed beyond doubt but his early life proved impossible to determine. I have access to more resources now but the struggle continues.

His calculated birth year from census records is a fairly consistent 1823 or 1824 so this baptism entry for the Henland or Zion Chapels in Sleaford (via Find My Past) may be his.


MABBOTTdistribution_1891The distribution of the MABBOTT name in 1891 shows the heartland to be Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire with a Soke of Peterborough/Northamptonshire tongue and  the hint of a diaspora to London. (Map courtesy of Ancestry.) Several John Mabbotts were born in Lincolnshire in the 1820s but only our John vanished. He appears to have  moved northwest to a county with fewer Mabbotts – Lancashire – but the area in which he chose to live also had two or three Johns that I thought might be him in the 1841 and 1851 censuses. It isn’t until 1861 that sure evidence of his existence appears in Lancashire – in Newton in Makerfield (Newton le Willows now). The enumerator caught him as a Visitor to the BOWN family. His age and birthplace are right but the surprise is his married status. His wife isn’t with him and there are 9 possibilities for her in two quarters worth of Free BMD marriages in 1849 and 1850. Ruth MASON, the widow he married in 1870 was therefore not his first wife.

Of the Mabbott female deaths in Lancashire in the decade to 1870 the only name found in the potential spouse list is Emma, 37 years old when she died in Chorlton, June Quarter 1862 (Volume 08C Page 394). If Emma TAYLOR was John’s first wife they had a daughter, Elizabeth born in 1851. I looked for more children but failed to find them – and no Mabbott children show up in the census households he later occupies.

ab_20170726HopeSt14_1mTwo step children came into his life with marriage to Ruth in 1870, 15 year old Amos and Martha MASON, 11 but they have gone by the 1881 Census. Ruth died aged 58 the following year in Chorlton and within eighteen months John had crossed the Pennines and married Mary Elizabeth BIRD in Selby. She was 52 years old, eight years his junior, and had worked variously as a bonnet maker, teacher and governess. In 1881 she was living at 14 Hope Street, Filey (left) with her unmarried cousin Mary BIRD. Mary was much older and died a matter of weeks after the census aged 75. It is possible that Mary Elizabeth carried on living in this house and that John shared it with her.

ab_20170726HopeSt6_1mJohn died in 1893 and at the next census Mary Elizabeth was one of four visitors at the house of a relative, widower Richard William BIRD, in Burn, a village three miles from Selby. It is impossible to say how long Mary Elizabeth lived away from Filey but at the 1911 census she was sharing 6 Hope Street (left) with a servant, unmarried Frances WOODALL, 37. Frances was born in Barlby and it seems that Mary Elizabeth, who had been born just five miles away in Brayton, decided to end her days there, cared for by Frances. A burial record attached to the East Yorkshire Family History Society’s transcription of John’s St Oswald’s headstone states “1915 Jun 25 Mary Elizabeth Mabbott Barlby 84”.

I have spent some time today updating John Mabbott’s page on the Looking at Filey Wiki. There’s more to do but my intention is to put the census and other details there with links to the LaF and LaFREDUX posts.

John can’t be found on either FamilySearch Tree or Filey Genealogy & Connections. I put him on the old Filey Community Tree which has been incorporated into FamilySearch Genealogies. It only shows him with the second and third wives so I will try to put more detail on FST in the coming days.  Mary Elizabeth is on Filey Genealogy & Connections – in splendid isolation and with an erroneous birth year – and on FST with her father John BIRD and mother Mary.

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