Measure of Man 80 · War Gaming

Filey Sands

In April 1891, Sarah WOOD was living in Sykes Street, Hull, with her widowed mother Eliza, brother Herbert and Arthur Ernest WHITE, a lodger aged 21, the same age as herself. Five months later she married German immigrant Ferdinand AHLBACH in Filey. Where and how did they meet? I couldn’t find Ferdinand in the 1891 census.

After the wedding, they set up home in Hull, brought two daughters into the world and then returned to Filey where, on the 18th of May Fred was born – and lived for twenty hours. He is recorded in Filey Genealogy & Connections as “Ferdinand” and three years later another Ferdinand was baptised at St Oswald’s (his birth registered as Ferdinand William). He would live to see England beat West Germany to win the FIFA World Cup in 1966.

Between these two boys, FG&C has their sister, Sarah Alice but no information about the family’s future. I was surprised by the number of children that would appear after the family left Filey at the turn of the century. In 1911, Ferdinand declared he had been married for 19 years – eleven children had been born alive and two had died. I have found only ten registrations in the GRO Index and the FamilySearch Tree has nine (as I write this). Fred is missing.

The female Fred born in 1909 is Freda. Her date of birth is given as 10 May 1908 in the 1939 Register. She had married Harry JOWETT, a wool sorter, and with them in Leafield Avenue Bradford on 29 September was Elsa May Ahlbach.

When I chose the doomed Ferdinand (aka Fred) for today’s anniversaries I had no hope whatsoever of discovering any Ahlbach ancestors other than “Joseph”, father of the bridegroom, named in the St Oswald marriage register. The Shared Tree takes the male line to the beginning of the 18th century – and other branches way beyond that: KREKEL to the 15th century and DUCHSHERER to the 16th. Beating the English WOOD forebears convincingly.

Edith Emily’s ID will take you to her father and husband, but her mother and twin sister need to be brought into the light.

I have put William and Eliza’s headstone photo on the Shared Tree – it is one of a number of stones moved from Area D of the churchyard to the north wall.

There is a plaque on the wall inside Filey St Oswald’s that reads (in part) –

[Sacred to the memory] …of ISABEL, daughter of WILLIAM and ISABEL WATT, who died 17 May 1858, aged 2 years.

The Register indicates she was buried the following day. I haven’t traced her family yet.

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