He Lived in a Pigsty

While searching for stories about Robert CAMMISH, owner of the yawl Jane Elizabeth I found this affecting snippet: –

1877_COLEMANjamesh_NEWS

Poor lad.

The COLEMAN family presented themselves neatly in the Filey censuses of 1861 and 1871. The seemingly horrible father hailed from Suffolk and the mother from Scotland. They married in Beverley, about 25 miles or so from Filey. All seven of their children were born in Filey, in Chapel Street or on Scarborough Road. On John’s agricultural labourer’s wages, life must have been a struggle. It isn’t really a surprise that everything fell apart when the mother, Jane, died the June quarter of 1876, aged 42. And a month after James’ court appearance, his older sister Caroline died at just twenty. Their father must have been in despair.

The family fragmented. When the census was taken in 1881, Thomas, 22, was working as a general labourer in Whitby; Isaac, 16, was living in Reighton; the younger sister, Esther, was lodging in Silver Head Street, Scarborough. The undersized boy who had lived with pigs, now 15, was apprenticed in Bridlington to blacksmith Charles DOOKS. I wonder how much bigger and stronger he’d grown! About six weeks before the census was taken, James was in court again, but I’m happy to report it was a case of a biter bit.

1881_COLEMANjshMaulson_NEWS

Five shillings then equates to about £25 now.

This is the last bit of information I’ve found concerning James. Unable to find a marriage or death registration for him makes me think that he may have emigrated. But his name surfaces in the Coleman family in 1897 when Isaac named the second child he has with Ada JACKSON after his little brother. After a spell in the army, with the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, Isaac married in 1894, was a “steelworker” in 1901 and a “general worker labourer” in 1911.

Isaac’s father, John, was at the wedding and “made his mark” in the parish register as a witness. Curiously, the mother’s maiden name on James Harris the Younger’s civil registration is CUSTANCE. I can’t explain this. The mother of Isaac’s other children is, as expected, JACKSON – except for a second John William, whose mother is also given as CUSTANCE. On the 1911 census form, John states that he and Ada had produced nine children in their 17 years of marriage, of whom two had died. These figures tally with the GRO Index of Births (and Deaths) – if the Custance children are included.

The Filey Colemans are present and correct in Filey Genealogy & Connections but were scattered about on the FamilySearch Tree. I made an effort today to bring them together. I have held back from connecting the father, John Harris COLEMAN, to his forebears because he is currently absent from the list of children born to Jeremiah and Sarah née HARRIS. There isn’t much doubt that he belongs there but I’m hoping “family” will check the records and add the Filey branch to the world tree.

2 thoughts on “He Lived in a Pigsty

  1. I have found an Emma ( my grt grt grt grandmother) who has the name Jackson and also the name Custance . She married a MacGillivray was widowed and then remarried a Large all in Scotland . Would this be the same family ?

    Like

    1. Thanks for this information, Kim. I feel it probably is the same family but after a quick look around haven’t found any confirmatory evidence. I tend to shy away from Scotland’s People because of struggles looking for sources north of the border. If you do solve the Custance/Jackson mystery please let me know.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s