For most of my life,I have disliked my family name. Now that I know I’m not an ELSOM it doesn’t seem to pain me as much. It is only the name I have an issue with, not my folks to whom it is attached. They’re all good people. I’m OK with being a HESSEY, courtesy of the guy who ravished my 2 times great grandma, but sometimes as I wander among gravestones I see names I would like to try on for size. An old favourite, noticed on one of my first visits to St Oswald’s churchyard, is Bradley BURN. Sounds cool!?
Yesterday’s list of local anniversaries turned up Wilfred BURN, baptized in Bridlington in 1838 so I felt compelled to investigate. He proved to be the third child of a Bradley BURN born in 1806 who married Mary ORMOND in 1831. Wilfred was only three years old when his mother died and thirteen when he became an orphan. He married Eliza NEEDHAM and their four children in Kath’s Filey Genealogy & Connections were all born in Atwick, a place I have never set eyes upon though it is only 20 miles south of here by crow.
Wilfred’s older sister, Rebecca, married the Atwick Miller and had seven children. Her husband Robert BELL approved the name Thomas Bradley for their second child. Rebecca’s other younger brother was a Thomas Bradley too. He married Ann CAPPLEMAN in 1860 and the couple had just one child, a boy, before Thomas died. They named him Bradley and he is the one buried in St Oswald’s churchyard. I went this morning to photograph the headstone that remembers him and his wife Annie née JAMES.
The stone is in the process of slowly falling over backward and the inscription is somewhat worn. It reads: –
In loving memory of ANNIE, wife of BRADLEY BURN, who died Oct. 8th, 1910 aged 45 years.
‘The memory of the just is blessed
& his servant shall see his face.’
Also, in loving memory of BRADLEY, husband of the above, died June 27th, 1927 aged 64.
Sixty-four seems to have been a good age for the Burns and most of the women they married. “Not long-livers”, my mother would have said.
I spent much of yesterday and this morning researching the families and getting totally wrapped up – even though nothing really remarkable seems to have happened to them.
Bradley junior did have the unpleasant experience of being a witness to the death of a workmate and near neighbour in March 1898. He was one of a gang of labourers tasked with taking down a building attached to the Station Hotel on Church Street. A wall collapsed unexpectedly and crushed the life out of George Featherstone BAXTER, aged 37. I will write about this unhappy accident when its anniversary comes round but here is an extract from the Bridlington Free Press report.