A Worthy Man

Six days ago I took four children from their wrongful parents. Yesterday, I set about uniting them with the people who gave them life.

WELBURN_wm1692_FSTscreenfocusThe tick and crosses have to be re-evaluated. The children’s father was a William WELBURN born about 1841 but he didn’t marry a woman 27 years his senior. A record of marriage to the mother of his children eludes me but her maiden surname was quickly found in the GRO Births Index. MUSK. In the censuses, she was just Ann or Annie but registered as Ann Elizabeth by her parents, Robert and Mary Ann née HARDY. Robert was a mariner and he went where the wind blew whenever the census enumerator called, saying he was born in Beccles (Suffolk), Barnby (Norfolk) or Norwich. All three places are within a few miles of each other so he didn’t drift too far from a true course. Ann was the first of their thirteen children to be born.

The green tick indicated that a different, older William Welburn, William of the Four Wives, had married Ann Thickett on the date indicated. The FamilySearch Tree gave his mother as Jane ARTLEY, born 1817, and it wasn’t a great surprise that she is also considered to be the children’s grandmother. But she has competition.

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All but Jane Artley have been generated by “the system” from christening sources and can be discarded because I found Jane LAYCOCK properly represented elsewhere on the Shared Tree. I have been unable to connect Jane Artley to either the Welburns or the Musks. She was the right age to marry John TEMPLE in Scarborough in 1850.

In addition to the four children given to the wrong William and Ann, the rightful parents had two more boys. Ernest, the youngest child, was about 21 months old when William went out fishing in Bridlington Bay and didn’t return home. A squall sprang up and upset the coble Straggler. Two others in the boat managed to grab hold of a short mast and an oar and made it to shore. William is reported to have said to Richard PURVIS, “I am done for” as the waves closed over him. The Driffield Times omits this poignant detail.

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The widow isn’t named in the newspaper reports I have seen. The week after her loss, the takings from a concert in the Victoria Rooms were handed to Purvis and Wilson. Annie didn’t marry again and seems to have worked as a charwoman into her old age. On census night 1901, aged 59, she was sheltering six of her GILMOUR grandchildren. She died on 3 June 1907 and left her effects to William and Ernest. I can’t explain how a char amasses about £50,000 in today’s money.

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Beach 106 · Speeton Sands

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