‘Lucy’ Weathers the Storm

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Information supplied by Captain Syd informs us that Lucy was a 61-foot yawl with a lute stern built in Scarborough in 1878. Her first owner was William JENKINSON of Filey, almost certainly the father of Richard, named above. What eventually became of the vessel isn’t noted.

William JENKINSON is on FamilySearch Tree. Richard has a “guesswork wife” in Filey Genealogy & Connections and it appears that FST isn’t sure about her identity either. But the childless couple has a fine stone in the churchyard. I’ll try to confirm that Mary  Ann was a CRAWFORD when time permits.

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Challenger SH97 was a little smaller than Lucy, and older, built at Whitby in 1857. In 1889 her owners were Richard Williamson HARRISON and Thomas Storry HARRISON, both decorators of West Square, Scarborough. Richard Williamson became sole owner less than two months before Thomas Cammish WILLIS was drowned.

Thomas was alone at Challenger’s helm, about 32 miles east of Flamborough Head, when a huge wave broke over the vessel and swept him overboard. His seven or eight crewmates were presumably unaware of his disappearance for a short time but they would have been unable to save him had they realized immediately he had gone. Thomas left a widow and six children.

Ann KIRBY is another FG&C guesswork wife but I believe Kath chose well. She doesn’t give us the parents but FST has placed Ann as a child with the wrong family.

Two young KIRBY men from the Driffield area, apparently brothers Robert and William, married two COWLING women from Filey, Rachel and Margaret. The two Kirby-Cowling partnerships were near neighbours in Little Kelk when the 1861 Census was taken and paterfamilias Robert Kirby senior lived close by. Unluckily for confirmation purposes, Ann, aged 13, was enumerated that year in Queen Street, Filey, described as the niece of John JENKINSON and his wife Ann, née COWLING. Ann was sister to a Rachel and Margaret but FG&C has the latter marrying Thomas HUNTER.

I’m convinced William, and not Robert junior, was Ann’s father. I haven’t found a marriage record yet but the GRO Online Index and Census records combine to show he had five other children with Margaret COWLING, and the last was named  John Cowling KIRBY, which seems to be a clincher.

Ann and her sister Mary are only enumerated together with William and Margaret in 1851. Mary didn’t marry and she was living with Ann and Thomas Cammish WILLIS in 1891, and with widow Ann and unmarried son David WILLIS in 1911.

All this, of course, is by the by. A man died before his time and six children lost their dad. The eldest, Elizabeth Ann, was then 19 and the youngest, Frances Mary, just three.

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In Loving Memory of our dear mother and father, ANN WILLIS, wife of

THOMAS C. WILLIS, who died May 4 1917, aged 69 years.

Also of the above THOMAS C. WILLIS who was lost at sea,

February 22 1893, aged 47 years.

‘Be ye also ready’

Also, MARY KIRBY, sister of the above, died September 30 1927, aged 78 years.

Also of DAVID WILLIS, their son, died 12 Sep 1944 aged 61.

‘In Heavenly love abiding’

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