Coastguard

John STOCKDALE was buried in St Oswald’s churchyard this day 1849. His headstone tells us he was  “Late Chief Boatman of the Coastguard Service”.  Born around 1776 he would have been in his mid-forties when the Service was formed, an amalgamation of the Revenue Cruisers, Riding Officers and Preventative Officers. He probably had a varied career, therefore – and must have had a very thick skin. Who loves a Revenue Man?

Well, Susanna GENERY did and they had at least four children. The first two were born in Harwich, Essex. Elizabeth seems to have come next but I can’t find a record of her birth. One source says she entered the world in Filey but her younger brother Joseph was born in New Romney, Kent. It seems unlikely that father John would have returned to Filey after a first stint here. There is a gap of at least six years between the third and fourth children too, so there are probably more to be found.

All four for whom I have some records married. The two boys settled in Filey; John junior had nine children with Mary WHITTLES(?) and Joseph at least three with Susannah WILLIS. Naomi, daughter of John and Mary married Robert SKERRY, brother of Thomas who was lost from SS Mexico. (It’s a small world.)

It is proving rather difficult tracing the journeys of those STOCKDALES who either married away or chose to venture overseas. At least two fetched up in South Africa and probably have adventures to relate.

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Sacred to the memory of JOHN STOCKDALE ((late chief boatman of the coast guard service) who departed this life September 1st, 1849 aged 73 years. Also SUSAN, wife of the above who died February 27th, 1851 aged 72 years.

The couple’s representation on FST is minimal at the moment. FG& C  gives a better idea of John the Boatman and Susan(na)’s impact on the town.

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