The Postmaster’s Son

He was generously named but sadly neglected on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. He has even been deprived of his capital letters.

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Tooker, W G N 1907I became interested in his story because I found, in a dusty folder on an external drive, a photograph of his father. George Newcombe TOOKER was 39 years old when the picture was taken and he had been living in Filey for just a couple of years. Born in Princetown, Devon in 1868, he waited until he was almost thirty before marrying Mary Anthony ROWE – and shortly afterwards volunteered to fight in the Boer War. “Fight” is somewhat misleading. He delivered mail. A local newspaper gave an insight into his career trajectory.

1905_TOOKERgeoN_News

He arrived in Filey with Mary and two children. One source gives their address as 39 Mitford Street but the 1911 census insists it was No.38. The latter address is more fit for a postmaster but is nonetheless modest. (I am assuming that the street has not been re-numbered in the last century or so.) Chez Tooker has the pale blue door.

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Hedley was born here on 2 December 1911. In September the following year, George is attending a presentation in Plymouth, honouring an “old and respected comrade” at the Post Office. It was “a most pleasant evening”.

Mr Fred Ham’s song, “River of Dart”, was very much appreciated by the company. Mr Jack Marshall favoured his brother telegraphists with “Baby Face” in excellent style. Mr P. Soper was also in good voice. Songs were also rendered by Messrs. Avery, Jeffery, Tooker, Dart and Curle.

…Mr Dart, representing the junior staff, said they thanked Mr Hart for the interest he had taken in them: he was always ready and willing to impart the little intricacies of the “test box” to any of the younger officers.

Mr Tooker referred to Mr Hart as a “jolly good fellow,” and a man who had always done his duty with sincerity and good grace.

George may have returned to Filey with ideas of returning permanently to his home patch. The electoral registers show the Tooker family back in Plymouth at the beginning of the Twenties.

All three of the children married. Edna Mary became Mrs MADDICK in 1927, Leslie married Thirza SMITH the following year, and Irene Patricia Merci DESPARD matched Hedley for given names in 1934.

KingsAshRdPaignton_154_GSVWhen the 1939 Register was taken in September 1939, Hedley was working as an Assurance Agent in Paignton, Devon, living at 154 Kings Ash Road (left) with Irene and their son Michael, 4. A daughter, Mary, was born in 1940. It seems that Hedley joined the RAF at the beginning of the war and, when the conflict was over, the family emigrated to New Zealand. Hedley and Patricia are buried in Whangerei, Northland. Find a photograph of their headstone at Billion Graves.

There is still work to do, but Hedley and his forebears are on a bigger Shared Tree stage now.

Path 91 · Church Walk

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The Horsefeeders

I was looking for Emily NO NAME, a victim of a long-ago data input glitch, and happened to meet the HORSEFEEDERs as I scrolled down rows of an Excel spreadsheet. I so wanted this to be a real family name, even as I realised that, as an occupation, it may not (somewhat ironically), have put much food on the table.

 

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FamilySearch source

I found no other people with this name in Yorkshire and upon searching online for ‘Horsefeeder genealogy’ I had to accept that they were something other.

As a general rule, transcribers should input what they see.

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I’m now seeing ‘Horsefield’ with the ‘i’ undotted and ‘d’ with ascender amputated – but only after accessing the marriage register entry for William and Emma.

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Emma gave birth to nine girls before bringing Fred and finally Walter into the world (when she was 43 years old). In 1901 only Hannah, 25, was still living with her parents – and also in residence were William and Emma’s grandsons, George William, 3, and Joseph Pretoria, about 6 months old. One can guess that unmarried Hannah was their mother and perhaps their father was away in Africa fighting the Boers (if he had not already been killed).

Girl Nine was Ada. I looked at the Filey HORSFIELDs and in their short pedigree of just three generations, there are two women called Ada. About thirty miles separate the families but they don’t appear to be connected, and they are minimally represented on the Shared Tree. Both William Horsefield and Richard Horsfield are waiting to begin their families.

Richard’s son, Herbert Knight, is buried in St Oswald’s churchyard.

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Path 90 · Headland Way

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Path to Speeton Sands

 

Vexed

I still can’t figure who led me to the KITCHING family. The starting point was John Harrison CAMMISH. As a young man, he was aboard the Edith Cavell when it was captured and sunk by UB21 and thirty-four years later he lost his life in the Scarborough Lifeboat Disaster of 1954. He married Rachel Hannah Cowling SHEADER.

One of Rachel’s uncles is the Spouse who featured in last Tuesday’s post. I have done some work on this “problem” family and have found myself getting irritated now and again. It is annoying when one brother has a source attached which clearly belongs to a sibling. The James Godfrey in the screenshot below is really George Godfrey – and the plain Godfrey is Rachel’s Uncle Spouse. I must admit that giving the middle name Godfrey to both male and female offspring is a bit confusing.

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I think I have found all the children for this Sheader branch and will add them to the Shared Tree over the next couple of days. The most egregious mistake will be easy to correct. “James Godfrey” can keep his ID and just have a change of first name and dates – and be replaced by the real first-born James. This wee boy sadly died at eighteen months and, as I write, is one of the thousands of little human archipelagos on FamilySearch generated by “the system”.

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Vaxxed

Andrew Jeremy Wakefield is a discredited British ex-physician best known for a fraudulent 1998 study that falsely claimed a link between the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and autism, and for his subsequent anti-vaccination activism.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia is (occasionally) a source of fraudulent information. I vaguely remember the takedown of Doctor Wakefield. His film, Vaxxed, is currently available on YouTube but could disappear at any moment. The film’s focus is the MMR vaccine/autism connection and the wilful destruction of lives – tens of thousands of children and their parents – with tax-payers picking up bills for “damages” that run to billions of dollars. And then there is the issue of mandatory vaccination being the end of freedom, for everyone. If you are interested, with a mandatory Covid-19 vaccine in mind, start at the film’s website – Vaxxed, From Cover-up to Catastrophe.

Bird 85 · Song Thrush

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Education

The UK Column chaps ended their bulletin today on a light note. They had picked up a meme showing an image of a teacher addressing her near future back-to-schoolers, “So children, what did we learn during lockdown?”

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Adult education for me today included this –

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The conversation that accompanies this cautionary note is enlightening. If you watch it, the Google algorithm will recommend Part 2. In this, John Doyle references the blue ocean event, global dimming and the dangers of wet bulb temperatures. When I gathered my data at Weather Underground this morning I noticed Category 6  had just posted Heat and Humidity Near the Survivability Threshold.

There is still no sign of a sudden rise of temperature in any of my Ten Stations (as a consequence of a less polluted atmosphere). Running average temperatures from the beginning of the meteorological year over the last five weeks show:-

4 of the northern 5 stations are warmer than in the same period last year but at only one, Rome, is it currently getting relatively warmer. Washington was warmer than last year (just) until last week.

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This Met. Year cf Last, Weeks 19 to 23, °C.

Washington DC is the only northern station currently below 2°C above P-I.

All 5 southern stations are now cooler than the IPCC projection for the end of November 2020.

Wellington is now the warmest of the southern stations this year at 1.06° above P-I exactly. (The IPCC year-end projection is 1.0652 degrees.) But in Week 23 it was 0.55°C cooler than last year, up 0.35 degrees from Week 19.

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Bird 84 · Kestrel

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