A couple of days ago I began searching for the forebears of John William DONKIN and Ada Isabella CAMMISH. They are buried in St Oswald’s churchyard.
John’s mother, Jane HALLAM, was the second of four girls born to Matthew, a Hunmanby fishmonger, and his third wife Mary COOPER. Matthew was 63 years old when he married Mary and 67 when Jane arrived in 1856. Mary was, of course, much younger than her husband – about 36 when she gave birth to Jane.
When Jane was just over a year old, the odd couple helped a young woman in distress. With other kind-hearted folk, they gave shelter and food to Betsy LYNES, shut out by her parents. I think Betsy was illegitimate, so perhaps a wicked stepfather was involved.
Three years after this sad event, the Hallam’s third child, Sarah, died aged eighteen months. A few weeks later, they buried six year old Elizabeth. In the summer of 1862 Anne Elizabeth joined the family. I have not yet discovered how long she stayed but Jane would live to see the first year or so of the Second World War.
Three of the four girls are on the FamilySearch Shared Tree but have yet to be brought together. Here is Jane –
Over the next few days, I hope to give Matthew his first two wives, and Jane her husband and their eight children.
(The doctor who carried out the postmortem on Betsy subsequently poisoned his wife and mother in law, deeds for which he was hanged on 28 July 1865.)