Another Tale of Two Sisters

Catherine and Selina TOCK were born to George and Ann née PARISH  in Burringham, Lincolnshire.

By the age of 25, Catherine, now “Kate”, had moved just five miles from her birthplace to work as a housekeeper to William CAMPBELL at Ashby Grange. The farm’s 250 acres would later be swallowed up by industrial Scunthorpe. It took employer and employee four years or so to decide that they should marry. Two more years passed and Kate had to to say a final farewell. William is remembered in Filey churchyard, on a stone that is very slowly falling backwards.

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In loving memory of CATHERINE, widow of WILLIAM CAMPBELL, late of Ashby Grange, Lincolnshire, who died April 21st 1894 aged 59 years.

Kate took on the running of the farm and although she didn’t have a child of her own, the house rang with a little girl’s voice in 1871. Her niece, Kate Edith HOCKNELL, 4, was there on census night, having crossed the Humber from her home in Hull. (Both were recorded as “Catherine” by the enumerator.)

Little Kate was the daughter of a third Tock sister, Jane (sometimes Alice Jane), who may have been responsible for encouraging the other two to move to Yorkshire. She married John HOCKNELL in Hull in 1864.

Selina crossed over the river soon afterwards, marrying Robert Lamplough BROWN in Bridlington in 1866. Family history repeated itself. She buried him two years later.

As she grew older Kate seems to have gone back to being Catherine. She continued to farm at Ashby Grange but in 1881 held only 142 acres, the address now “South Grange”. Ten years later, and a widow still, she was living in Melville Terrace, Filey, with Selina. The youngest of the Tock sisters was a widow for the second time. About ten years after her first husband died she had married William HALL. In 1881 he farmed 262 acres near Hunmanby and the household included his son with Selina, John Hall (1), and “son in law”, George Hudson Brown, (14).

William died in North Burton in 1890 and a year later Selina had moved to Filey. I don’t know for sure if the two sisters lived together for the four years remaining to Catherine but at some point, Selina left Filey. I haven’t discovered her whereabouts in 1901 but in 1911 she was with a son, Thomas, in  Southport, Lancashire. (After John’s arrival in 1880 Selina had given birth to three more sons as regularly as tockwork, each June Quarter until 1884.) Thomas, 29, worked as a Grocer’s Assistant. I can only find one death registration that fits Selina – in 1921 in Ormskirk Registration District, which includes Southport within its boundaries,. She was 79 years old.

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Melville Terrace this afternoon

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