George, named after his father and grandfather, was born in 1800. Harrison, six years later, took the surname of his paternal grandmother and Davison, from 1809, would carry his mother’s family name until his death.
All three were born in Bridlington, or that part known as Bridlington Quay, and George died in the town when he was 25 years old. Davison, the youngest of the three, married first, in Bridlington in April 1832. His bride was a Filey woman, Mary JENKINSON, and a few months later Harrison also married a Filonian, Mary WYVILL, in St Oswald’s Church. This second Mary was an aunt to the brothers James and Crompton Wyvill who married Jane WATKINSON (Monday and Tuesday’s posts).
Both marriages were long but neither was blessed with children.
Davison became a master saddler but then branched into property, multi-tasking as an estate agent. It seems he saw an opportunity when “New Filey” was established in the late 1850s. In 1861 he was Secretary to the York City and County Bank, encouraging people to buy shares in the Filey Public Bath and Saloon Company.
The many improvements recently carried out in FILEY, and particularly in the Hotels and Lodging Houses, have induced a much larger number of Families to visit the place during the Season than could at one time have been anticipated, and Filey has now become one of the most fashionable Watering Places on the Yorkshire Coast.
As a further attraction, and to comply with the wishes of many of the Visitors, some of whom have been compelled to leave the place in consequence of the want of such accommodation, it has been decided to erect suitable BATHS in Filey, and for this purpose a Company has been formed and registered under the “Joint Stock Companies’ Limited Liability Acts.”
The Building, which is now in the course of erection, upon a most eligible site on the Undercliff, contains Hot, Cold, Shower and Vapour BATHS; a SALOON and READING ROOM, and a suitable Dwelling for the Manager, and will, it is expected, be completed in the month of July next.
Nearly two-thirds of the shares have already been taken, and Forms of Application for the remainder may be had on application to
Mr. DAVISON PHILLISKIRK
Filey, June, 1861; Secretary, Filey
N.B. Bathing Machines in connection with the above establishment.
This building became an important focus of resort and all year round town social life and is currently nearing the completion of refurbishment as luxury apartments. I wonder how much Ackworth House cost to build 157 years ago.
Harrison worked variously as a painter, plumber, glazier and decorator, employing five or six workers (“men and boys”).
Both brothers were ardent Wesleyans and trustees when the foundation stones were laid for the “new gothic chapel” in May 1876. Davison had made a substantial contribution to the cost of the building but was too ill to attend the ceremony and died about five weeks later.
Harrison lived on for another thirteen years and when his turn came he was laid to rest next to his brother.
There is a less tangible memorial to the esteem in which Harrison was held. Linen draper and Filey Postmaster William STORY gave two of his children the middle name Philliskirk. Ann died in infancy but George would cross the Atlantic and make it into the Canadian Dictionary of National Biography. His short life in the service of God is considered on Faded Genes.
When he signed the marriage register at St Oswald’s in 1860, Maria WATKINSON’s husband signed his name “Thomas COULTAS”. Until death parted them, the couple supplied census information five times, and on each occasion, the enumerator inscribed “Thomas” in his book.
In 1881 there were just three at home in Church Street; in 1891 five in Chapel Street – the parents and three unmarried offspring aged 24 to 29.
By 1901 Thomas and Maria had moved to No.2 Mitford Street and on census night they had a house full. George, resolutely single at 38, was still under the parental roof and daughter Jane, now Mrs POSTILL, was there with infant Annie, 1. The wife of their son Thomas, Sarah Jane SELLERS was visiting (or maybe resident) with two of her children, George, 9, and Maria, 3.
Six months later, Grandma Maria was a widow. The Registrar entered her husband’s name as “John Thomas” and on the gravestone in St Oswald’s churchyard he is “John T. Coultas”.
This monument is next to the stone remembering Maria’s parents and sister Jane. Elsewhere there are graves for a younger John Thomas and two Thomases, and several more remembering husbands of Coultas and Watkinson women. There’s a lot of work to be done! I did some merging of duplicates this morning, so these families are beginning to take shape on the Shared Tree.
I noticed a detail in one source this morning that put a question mark against yesterday’s narrative that Jane WATKINSON married two WYVILL brothers.
On their entry in the St Mary, Hull, marriage register Crompton is correctly identified as a widower, and his bride as a widow but, against convention, Jane gives her maiden name WATKINSON, rather than her first married name – WYVILL. The register, alarmingly, states that her father is William COULTAS, Labourer (deceased).
The register entry for Jane’s first marriage to James Wyvill gives her father as William WATKINSON and helpfully adds the detail that he is “Sexton to Filey Parish Church”. This fits perfectly with Jane’s memorial on her father’s headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard.
In loving memory of WILLIAM WATKINSON, for 32 years Sexton of this parish,
died 20th March 1884, aged 76 years.
‘A door keeper in the House of my God’
Also MARY wife of the above who died 13th April 1897 aged 84 years
‘Thy will be done’
Also JANE WYVILL their daughter died March 19 1930 aged 79
‘Her end was peace’
This Jane may be a second iteration – there’s a birth registration in 1848 for a Jane who may have arrived earlier. I haven’t, though, found a death record, or the birth of a second Jane in 1850 or 1851. However, there is a christening source for March 1851, and that year’s census return gives Jane’s age as “1 mo”.
In 1871 there is a census entry in Mosey’s Yard for Jane, first husband James Wyvill and their first child William, also one month old. (The little chap wouldn’t see the year out.) Nearby in Queen Street, James is recorded again with his wife Elizabeth and three children. This isn’t a transcription error – “James” is clearly written – but the children belong to Crompton Wyvill and his first wife Elizabeth Jane FELL.
Support for Jane marrying Crompton after the deaths of her James and his Elizabeth Jane is found in the 1891, 1901 and 1911 censuses. As close families would, Crompton and Jane accepted the children from those first marriages as their own, and no attempt is made by the census enumerator to indicate the mix of biological parents. On census night 1911, Jane, a widow aged 60 and working as a laundress, is with her “grandson”, 11-year-old Frank Cappleman Wheeler WYVILL. The boy’s grandmother is, of course, Elizabeth Jane Fell. Jane confirms that she had given birth to just three children, of whom one had died. That would have been William.
I can’t explain the naming of William Coultas in the Hull marriage register, mentioned above. Jane’s eldest sister Maria had married a Thomas COULTAS and the couple gave some of their children names that are found in other Watkinson families. (Example – John Clark COULTAS and John Clark WATKINSON.) Maybe the clerk at St Mary’s had a senior moment.
Jane, Elizabeth Jane and the two Wyvill brothers don’t yet appear as they should on the Shared Tree. For now, you may have to go into the Details screens to see everyone I’ve mentioned. (Maria isn’t represented yet.)