When he signed the marriage register at St Oswald’s in 1860, Maria WATKINSON’s husband signed his name “Thomas COULTAS”. Until death parted them, the couple supplied census information five times, and on each occasion, the enumerator inscribed “Thomas” in his book.
In 1881 there were just three at home in Church Street; in 1891 five in Chapel Street – the parents and three unmarried offspring aged 24 to 29.
By 1901 Thomas and Maria had moved to No.2 Mitford Street and on census night they had a house full. George, resolutely single at 38, was still under the parental roof and daughter Jane, now Mrs POSTILL, was there with infant Annie, 1. The wife of their son Thomas, Sarah Jane SELLERS was visiting (or maybe resident) with two of her children, George, 9, and Maria, 3.
Six months later, Grandma Maria was a widow. The Registrar entered her husband’s name as “John Thomas” and on the gravestone in St Oswald’s churchyard he is “John T. Coultas”.
This monument is next to the stone remembering Maria’s parents and sister Jane. Elsewhere there are graves for a younger John Thomas and two Thomases, and several more remembering husbands of Coultas and Watkinson women. There’s a lot of work to be done! I did some merging of duplicates this morning, so these families are beginning to take shape on the Shared Tree.