She Married a Waterman…

…and a Whitesmith, and a Railway Wagon Wright. Ann Eliza COOPER, daughter of a Cottingham shoemaker, was sixty years-old when her third husband, George WINTERBURN, was killed.

Six years earlier, George was working in his former trade as a ship carpenter and living in Ebor Street, York. Sharing the small terrace house were grand-daughter “Julian” GREEN (7) and sister in law “Julian G” COOPER (80). It is amusing that the unusual spelling  “Juliann” caused census enumerators and other minor bureaucrats a lot of trouble. Family relationships are also somewhat mangled where Annie Eliza’s various families are concerned. Her first husband was William GREEN but I don’t think this young girl, “Julian”, is a close relation of hers. “Julian G”, however, is Annie Eliza’s mother, Juliann née OGLESBY.

During the next six years George found work with the Railway Company, Juliann the Elder died (1885) and the household moved to Cambridge Street. The house has been demolished but the street itself remains and its proximity to George’s source of income and the scene of his death are indicated in this Google Street View screen grab.

It seems as though the Railway Company found work for third-time unlucky widow Ann Eliza. The 1891 census finds her sixty miles to the east, living in the “Porters House” by the Station where she is a Waiting Room Attendant. Juliann the Younger (18) is with her, insisting she is Ann Eliza’s granddaughter, and also a boarder, William WINSHIP (21), working as a railway porter. He is Filey-born and marries Juliann two years later.

Twenty years pass. At the 1911 census, William Winship is now a railway signalman at South Milford near Pontefract, living in the nearby village of Hillam with Juliann and three sons. Annie Eliza, 83, is with them and described as “grandmother to wife”. Also present on census night – but probably in permanent residence, is “great aunt to wife” Mary Jane COOPER (85). This is actually Ann Eliza’s elder sister, the first-born child of the Cottingham shoemaker. She would live for five years after the death of Ann Eliza in the spring of 1914.

Ann Eliza’s last spell as a widow had lasted 27 years. I haven’t found death records for William Green or her second husband Richard GEOGHEGAN,  so cannot say what her married life to widowhood ratio is. I’m puzzled too about how many children she had. William Winship writes on the 1911 census form that she had five children and three were still living. I have only found three birth registrations and one of those children died at about six months. Perhaps firstborn Thomas or another boy who lived was the father of Juliann the Younger. (The reason for my aforementioned uncertainty regarding Ann Eliza’s “granddaughter” is that George Winterburn, given age 15, is living in Langthorpe with Robert and Maria GREEN, their four sons and three daughters in 1841.)

When Ann Eliza married William Green in 1847, the church register gave his address as “on the river”. The births of their first three children were registered in York but secondborn Ernest’s birthplace is given as Grimsby in the 1851 census. It seems likely that Ann Eliza voyaged up and down the Humber and Ouse for the first few years of married life. Father William cannot be found for certain in 1851, and in 1861 Ann Eliza is in Scarborough with Richard the Whitesmith, her son Thomas Green, her widowed mother Juliann – and a three year-old “niece”, Ann Eliza COOPER. The birth registration indicates the child is illegitimate and was possibly named after her mother.

I couldn’t find Ann Eliza Cooper the Elder on the FamilySearch Shared Tree and so gave her an ID [G71F-8HC]. She is still single as I write this, but as soon as I can I will marry her three times and give her all the children I find. She has a stronger connection to Filey than William Winship gives her. I had a long chat with a second great grandson of hers on the Coble Landing yesterday.

Beach 109 · Filey Sands

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