A Puzzling Mismatch

Fisherman James WYVILL, born in Filey in 1808, was thirty years-old when he married Mary CROMPTON. Over four years passed before their first child, Crompton, appeared in August 1843. Two years later, little Mary paid a brief visit and was followed by James early in 1848. Subsequent events suggest the brothers were close.

“Crump” married Elizabeth Jane FELL on 11 March 1865 and their first child, John William, was born about five weeks later. Two more children arrived before the 1871 census. The children were with their now widowed grandfather James in Queen Street and, it seems, their parents – but their father is given as James.

James would have been 23 in 1871 and older brother Crompton 27. Furthermore, on this census night James had been married to Jane WATKINSON for just five months and they had just welcomed their firstborn, William, into the world.

It appears that the same enumerator visited both households but didn’t notice a mistake had been made.

James junior had a little over nine years of life remaining, until a gale in late October 1880 destroyed the yawl Eliza and all her crew. Jane was a widow for just over four years and then married Crompton – under her birth family name and not as a Wyvill. I wrote about her a couple of years ago in Rachel’s Sister.

Nature Morte 21 · Puffin

Filey Sands

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