Time and Some Places

George Thomas Brown PLACE was the eldest son of Robert, a York photographer and tobacconist, and Mary Ann BROWN. He had six younger siblings but four died as infants and Arthur Ernest was 19 when he departed this world. The youngest, Jane, married Thomas SAWYER in 1897 when she was 25-years-old. The ceremony was conducted at St John’s, York…


The census enumerator in 1891 had found George and Jane in Micklegate with their widowed father and a “general servant domestic”, Emily HORNER.

Ten years later, Jane, her husband and their first child were still in York but Robert, George and Emily were living at Rose Cottage in Filey. At some point, George and Emily “became an item” and when they married in the second quarter of 1906 Emily was at least four months pregnant. Their daughter, Mary Elinor was born on the 21st of August.

In early April 1910, Robert died at Rose Cottage and George played some part in his father’s funeral service. Local newspaper reports of the death of “a well known Filey resident”  were coy about the Place family’s arrangements. The Bridlington Free Press stated:-

He leaves a son and a daughter, both married, the daughter being Mrs. Sawyer, who with her husband resides at York. The Rev. G. T. B. Place had resided with his father.

Five weeks later, on the 12th of May, George died of pneumonia. The Leeds Mercury had this to say:-

The Rev. G. T. B. Place was a native of York, was educated at Durham University, was ordained deacon in 1885 and priest in the following year. He held curacies at Dunham, Notts., and at Long Eaton, Derbyshire, before going to Filey in 1898. He resigned the Filey post in 1902, and had since lived in private life in the town, taking occasional duty in the district. He leaves a widow and one child.

The service in the Parish Church was conducted by the Rev. E. G. Howorth, curate, and at the graveside by the Vicar of Filey (Rev. A. N. Cooper).

Emily was a widow for 29 years, dying on Christmas Eve 1939. Mary Elinor didn’t marry but seems to have been a larger-than-life character who set tongues wagging – and they wag still.

I hope she kept her parents’ grave tidy, (she died in 1985), but it is sadly neglected now. The flat stone has lost some of its letters and is difficult to decipher. The inscription remembers George and Emily and adds Non Omnis Moriar. I suspect most of us believe that we will not wholly die.

Coltas Continued


Both sons born to Christopher COLTAS and Elizabeth ATKINSON married. Christopher would surely have attended the wedding of Edwin to Bridget CLARK but he died before Herbert married Mary WRIDE. It seems that both happy couples remained childless.

Christopher’s second wife, Mary HILL, must have been ten or more years younger than he was. Their first two children died before their first birthdays. Two more boys followed and were given the same names as their predecessors. The younger, Alfred Hill COLTAS, left Scarborough while still in his teens. The 1871 census finds him boarding in Janet Street, Manchester, working as a glass blower. In 1875, aged 23, he married Elizabeth SMITH, daughter of a Warehouseman. Ten years after Christopher’s death they brought Christopher’s first grandchild into the world. Thirteen years after Clara Hill’s birth they named their fifth child Christopher.

Alfred’s older brother, Frederick Hill Coltas, lived with half-brother Edwin and Bridget in Scarborough and may have helped to work their deceased father’s farm for a while.  But he too crossed the Pennines into Lancashire and, at the age of thirty, married Ellen DOLAN in Salford. The 1881 census gives his occupation as “Bricksetter”. He was still a bricksetter in 1901, and by then a father of sixteen children, though only eight were living. Ellen had three more children after the 1901 census, all girls – and only one of them was recorded in the 1911 census. Ellen filled out the form as a widow and stated she had borne 19 children in 30 years of marriage, and ten had died.

Two of Alfred and Elizabeth’s five children had died before 1911 so, in total, Christopher Coltas the Eldest had 24 grandchildren he didn’t live to see, and twelve reached adulthood. A quick search reveals five marriages but I have no intention of looking for Christopher’s great-grandchildren. I’m content that my gloom of a few days ago – that his two sons with Elizabeth Atkinson may have been the last of his line – has lifted now. I hope some living descendants of Christopher COLTAS and Mary HILL will find the extended pedigree on FamilySearch and add to it.

The Flyer


This was to have been Today’s Image, and I was going to do a follow-up post on the Coltas Family. But, rather than his two childless sons being the last of the line, Christopher Coltas left a genetic inheritance of such proportions that I haven’t gathered in all the clan yet. I was, also, rather taken by the bears I found on a grave this morning!

Before the First World War, Rose Cottage was the home of Robert PLACE, his son George and their housekeeper Emily HORNER, as was. (Emily married George.)

Emily took in lodgers and one was John ‘Jack’ BRERETON, an aviator who spent some time at the  Blackburn Flying School at Flat Cliffs, just south of Primrose Valley.

After he left the area Jack sent Emily a postcard.



His message reads:-

Dear Mrs Place,

Will you please send on those things of mine to “Kiplingcotes”. You have the address I believe. Mr [?] Scott is doing well at Hendon. I often wish I was flying at Filey again.

Kind regards hope this will find you quite well.

Yours sincerely,

J Brereton

My thanks to Christine Hayes for the digital copy of the postcard.

George PLACE is on FamilySearch Tree with his parents, though not under his full name – and not yet hitched to Emily. He is buried in St Oswald’s churchyard. I will attend to his pedigree soon.