Abstract 93 · Hunmanby Sands


It is past my bedtime and I have only just put “the grid” together.

I’ll write something about these people in an update tomorrow.

Update 6 March

On one of my first wanders around the churchyard ten years or so ago, I felt a rather odd connection with this headstone. The stories of the two people it remembers were not even hinted at in Filey Genealogy & Connections and I had to work overtime yesterday to find where Emma and Edgar came from.

In loving memory of EMMA RANCE, who entered into rest April 2nd 1893, aged 54 years.

In loving memory of EDGAR WALLIS, nephew of EMMA RANCE, who entered into rest July 19th 1910, aged 33 years.

1898 Filey · Burial  Emma appears in the 1881 Filey census, lodging with William and Jane HEADLEY in Alma Terrace. She is 37 years old, single, born in Ealing and working as a milliner. Ten years later she is a “milliner and shopkeeper” in Hope Street. She has failed to find a husband but has acquired instead a niece and a nephew aged 19 and 14. Evangelina WALLIS is a “shopwoman”, so the domestic arrangement has the look of permanence about it. Edgar is not only remembered on the headstone but it appears he died in Filey. The thought occurs that Evangeline married and moved away. Well, she did move away. She died in Middlesbrough in 1956, aged 84, a single woman.

After Aunt Emma’s death, the Wallis young adults stay on in Filey. At 23 Hope Street in 1901, Evangeline is working from home as a milliner and Edgar has a job as a stationer. In 1911, perhaps still mourning her brother, Evangeline is living in Murray Street – and working as a stationer. She is still in Filey in 1921 but I haven’t found her whereabouts in September 1939.

So, why was Emma Rance charged with the care of the teenage Wallis children? Her sister Jane married Thomas John Boyd Wallis in Grantham in 1868. He claimed to be a draper (and his father a “gentleman”) but I wonder if, when he proposed to Jane, he told her that he was a bankrupt. At the age of 42 in 1871, he told the enumerator he was a “retired draper”. There was money enough in 1881 though to send Evangeline to boarding school in New Alresford, Hampshire. The children lost both of their parents. Jane’s death is registered in the June Quarter and Thomas’s three months later. The deaths were not remarkable enough to be reported in newspapers available online. One can only speculate.

Emma on the Shared Tree.

1864 Filey · Birth  BURR seems to be a capital name but the diaspora brought some to Filey. David’s father was born in Alconbury, Huntingdonshire and is buried in Filey churchyard. David possibly lived all his life in Filey and, like his father, worked as a chimney sweep, later a carriage proprietor. At the 1911 census, he called himself a “job master”. He somehow found the time to open a Riding School and looks larger than life in the photo below, donated to Looking at Filey by his great-grandson Keith D. Taylor.

Photographer unknown, no date

1873 Filey · Baptism  Mary Alice was the first of five children in FG&C born to Samuel (Hunmanby) and Martha HUTCHINSON (Driffield). None of the children appears to have married so I chose Mary in the hope of discovering more about the family. And ran out of time.

1786 Filey · Marriage  Four of Richard and Elizabeth’s children married and contributed to an extensive Filey Tree.


Shared Tree

1851 ? · Death Though it was only yesterday, I can’t recall why I chose to remember James William. It could have been a corner of the eye snag on an FG&C note – “Emigrated to Port Philip on the Whitby”. Or perhaps I noticed that James William’s mother is Mary Ann BURR, and his father was born in “Hawkinbury (Alconbury) Cambridgeshire”. It was quite a surprise to find that Mary Ann is David Burr junior’s aunt.

It appears that, after the parents married they chose to voyage to the colony that would become “the Lucky Country” (and now something completely different). All their children may have been born Down Under. James William didn’t have a second birthday. A more fortunate brother appears a few times in court records – but only because he was a police constable. Find out more on the Shared Tree.

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