A Happy Life Well Spent

Hatty MIDDLEWOOD’s birthday gives me an excuse to re-post The Middlewood Windows (Looking at Filey, 7 August 2011).

Two large stained glass windows in Filey Methodist Church are dedicated to the Glory of God but also remember George MIDDLEWOOD, his wife Mary Jane, and their only son John Charles. On Friday I was given permission to photograph the windows – and to post the results here. Here are a couple of details.

Courtesy Filey Methodist Church

The name MIDDLEWOOD was vaguely familiar, but I had to Google George to discover I’d put him on the Wiki in the December Anniversary list! He died in St Just, Cornwall on the 18th of December 1922, aged 88. Mary Jane had died twenty years earlier in Filey and she is buried in St Oswald’s churchyard. She was sixty-three years old, though the Free BMD registration gives “65” (Scarborough 9d 222). John Charles lived a few days beyond his sixth birthday. Mary Jane was forty-three years old when she gave birth to her only son and fourth child in December 1871. Firstborn Emily had been born in 1866 and then there were the almost regulation two year gaps to Hannah and Hatty.

The three girls were born in Gristhorpe and at the 1881 Census Emily and Hannah, age 17 and 15, were Pupil Teachers. I don’t know what became of these two young ladies, but Hatty lived on through two World Wars and died in August 1949 in her 82nd year. Her inscription on the St Oswald’s headstone tells us that hers was “a happy life well spent”.

Mary Jane being an elderly primer, with a family residence in Gristhorpe, two daughters possibly going into teaching careers and, above all, being memorialized in two beautiful stained glass windows – everything seems to point to the Middlewoods being from the first rank of Victorian society but in 1881 George was a butcher with a shop in Murray Street. And the family appears to have lived above it.

George was born in Muston, but it doesn’t appear that the Middlewoods were long stayers there. I don’t know what trade or profession his father John followed.

Mary Jane at the 1881 and 1891 censuses gave her birthplace as Harrogate which inevitably prompts speculation that, perhaps, she may have married beneath her station. She was a daughter of Matthew YOUNG and Hannah and baptized at Kirkby Overblow just south of Harrogate on 28th December 1828 (Family Search, Source film 918345). She married George at Sherburn near Leeds when she was thirty-one years old (Family Search, Source film 1068405; Free BMD Tadcaster 9c 646).

George retired from trade in his early fifties, and it must have been a terrible blow to lose his wife in 1892. Hatty, only 22 years old, had been living with her parents the year before so he wasn’t left completely alone. And of course, he had the community of the Wesleyan Methodists to support him. He and his family were clearly loved and respected in Filey to be given such a fine memorial in the Church. I wonder what the circumstances were that took him all the way to Cornwall at his great age.

She Married a Memorable Manitoban

In Filey Genealogy & Connections, Sarah Jane was the eighth of nine children born to John WOOD of Gristhorpe and Sarah ATKINSON from Hutton Buscel. The Shared Tree indicates that five of the younger Wood children emigrated to Canada. The parents seem to disappear from English records except for an assertion by FG&C that Sarah was buried in St Oswald’s churchyard in July 1895. My failure to see Woods in England didn’t seem to matter when there were so many of them on the Shared Tree, a good number pictured – one being Sarah Jane’s memorable husband, George E. COLE.


FG&C gives Rickman and Margaret only one child – Sarah born in 1828. The 1851 census finds mother and daughter in Dog and Duck Lane where Margaret, at the age of 46, Margaret is a “fisherman’s widow”. The Shared Tree gives Sarah three brothers – John, William and Robert. The youngest boy, born in 1833, is found in 1841 at the above address aged 8 with his mother “Mary”,  and siblings Sarah and John. Father Rickman could have been away at sea on census night but, given the lack of further additions to the family, he was more likely deceased.

Sarah and Robert moved north to Hartlepool, found partners and gave Margaret plenty of grandchildren. In 1871, named “Margaret Fenling” in the census, born Filey but with the erroneously given age of sixty, she was with Sarah, son in law Jacob and six COX children at 17 Mosley Street, Hartlepool. She was, alas, described as an invalid and her death before the year was out is noted on the Shared Tree.

Flight of Fancy 46 · Scum Face

Casualties of War

Phyllis Ritchie and Kenneth Simpson CLARKE were aged six and five when their mother, Norah Mary née RITCHIE was killed by Walther SCHWEIGER, captain of U-20, and his crew. She was not alone. Another twelve hundred people aboard RMS Lusitania perished with her.

Phyllis was born in Fife, Scotland and her husband, Francis William Clarke, was a Hull man. The family of four plus servant Ellen STANWELL was caught by the 1911 census in South Street, Cottingham. Francis, a printer’s commercial traveller, provides the Filey connection – he was a nephew of William STORY who had died in an earlier war, at Balaclava in the Crimea.

Two Mariners

The year before Elizabeth’s parents married, Richard Fox YOUNG was trying to drum up custom.

Elizabeth, Filey-born, would marry a sailor from her father’s home town, Scarborough, but William HUNTLEY may have been a disappointment to her. In 1871 they were living on the Crescent in Filey with Elizabeth’s maiden aunt Mary WILLIAMSON. William’s status – “mariner unemployed”. He must, however, have brought home a load of bacon subsequently because their address at the next two censuses was Ambrosia Villa on the Foreshore.

During their occupation, the house never rang with the voices of children, not theirs at least. William died from here in 1898 and three years later Elizabeth had downsized to a modest terrace property in Mitford Street.  Aged seventy-five, she told the 1901 census enumerator that she was “living on her own means”, and offered the name of a servant – Sarah Ann KNAGGS, 39.

Abstract 98 · Street Art

Bird 123 · Mallard

Glen Gardens

In Filey Genealogy & Connections, Thomas Smith OMAN marries Hannah Green BRAMLEY at St Oswald’s in 1854 and they have five children in the following seventeen years. The lives of all five children are “endless” in the database. Mary is the middle one, born in 1864. The GRO Index, however, gives her three more siblings, making her the fifth of eight Oman children. The census records indicate that she leaves home in her mid-teens to work in service. In 1881 she is found in Westbourne Park, Scarborough, the only domestic servant in the large household of widow Jane Woodcock, a retired hosier. (Jane’s married daughter Mary is in residence on census night with husband Robert Dunn WOODALL and their nine children.) Ten years later, our Mary is still single, a servant to the HAWSON sisters at a lodging house they run in Prince of Wales Terrace, Scarborough. I lose track of Mary there. (I have put Mary on the Shared Tree but the Bramley family requires a lot of work. Mary’s new ID doesn’t take you to half of it.)

Oh, Mary was born before her parents married but she is clearly a Bramley.

Henry’s birth year ranges between 1818 and 1827 in online family trees. The 1871 Census and his death registration agree that 1818 is correct, though he wasn’t baptised until 6 May 1822. He is working in Newark as a brickmaker in 1841 and a waterman in 1851. Between those years he had spent some time on the south coast, getting Sarah Ann OVERY with child but then marrying her and bringing her home to Nottinghamshire. I cannot find a birth registration for either Charles Cobb or Charles Overy. The boy who would winter in the Arctic aboard the whaler Diana is a Cobb in 1850s Newark and an Overy when he marries in Hull in 1867. Henry had eight other children with Sarah Ann. The youngest, Henry junior, was seven in 1871 when his father was working as a porter in Newark. (Henry senior is a great grandfather of Charles Overy Belt: marriage anniversary 29 April.)

Filey fisherman Charles SKELTON was 33 when he married Ann CHADWICK at Flamborough St Oswald’s. FG&C hasn’t blessed them with children.

Ellen was twenty-three when she married George BOWES at Filey St Oswald’s. They almost made it to a fiftieth wedding anniversary. George lived another eight years. Neither has a place on the Shared Tree yet.

Henry had been given the middle name “Thomson” when he was baptised but he is just Henry when his death is registered. I haven’t found the reason for his early passing.

The Disconsolate Widow

Margaret COWLING was baptised at Filey St Oswald’s on this day in 1815. On Christmas Eve 1842 she married fisherman Thomas HUNTER in the same church. The couple is together on Filey Genealogy & Connections but not yet on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. They are childless on FG&C and this morning I didn’t know how long they lived. I couldn’t find them in any England & Wales census and had little hope that they had emigrated – it isn’t what fishermen do in my experience. Disappearing from the records usually means that they have died – and their widows have married again.

Margaret had been married for forty-one days (by my reckoning) but I am quite sure that she is the disconsolate widow. I will make an effort to find her in happier circumstances. The drowned brothers appear to have been the sons of John CAMMISH and Elizabeth EDMOND. FG&C doesn’t give them marriages, children and dates of death. Just a brief note for Robert – “1841: at home with his parents”.

I have little to say about the other anniversary people. Elizabeth DAVIS was the greatest challenge – a singleton on FG&C with a one-word note. “Married?” The date of her burial and age at death ), didn’t help much.

Dog 37 · Willow

Parish Wood

Henrietta: In Two Places at Once

Henrietta was born this day in 1783 in Filey and baptised at St Oswald’s towards the end of June. Kath put this note on Filey Genealogy & Connections

According to baptism transcript, they had been to Canada and returned.  Mary Jane was born 15 Mar 1868 in Clark Township, Canada and ‘hypothetically baptised there’ she was then baptised at St Oswalds Filey in 1873, their son William was similar, but Henrietta  & Samuel were born at Filey.

The marriage of farmer William SLATER and Sarah Jane CAMMISH was registered in Scarborough in the June Quarter of 1865. About six months earlier, and thirty-five miles to the southwest, labourer William Slater had married Sarah Ann TODD in Yapham Parish Church.

Henrietta’s parents emigrated to Canada soon after the wedding. After William’s birth on 7 June 1870, I wonder why they returned to England. Samuel was welcomed into the family in 1874 but he didn’t stay long. I haven’t found his death registration in England but a Samuel J Slater aged five is part of the family at the 1881 census – in Ontario, Canada.

The other Slater family had also moved away from their home village and settled in Stockton on Tees, County Durham. A son, Mark, was born there in late 1874.

My last sighting of “Anniversary Henrietta” is in 1891, enumerated with a sister, two brothers, a stepmother and a stepbrother.

You will have guessed already that the Durham Slater family also had a Henrietta in their midst; five years younger but nonetheless mistaken for our girl.

Daisy and Martha feature in the 1901 census transcription, given as a source on the Shared Tree. Their mother is still alive, as “Sarah”, but we know that Sarah Jane née Cammish must have died in Canada before 1891 (making way for Faith). It takes a couple of minutes to check the GRO Births Index – and find mother Sarah’s maiden surname is TODD.

Peace PINKNEY has 19 sources attached to her record on the Shared Tree and one of them says her father is John.

The page image of the St Oswald’s register affirms the transcription.

So, why do we have this?

(Thomas & Elizabeth appear to have a daughter called “Pace” in 1841 – but she is ten years younger than her cousin, an excessive discrepancy, even for that wayward census.)

Mary lost her husband Edmond JENKINSON to the sea when their youngest of four sons was about three months old. She worked as a charwoman and successfully raised the boys to adulthood. Two married but only one, Edmund junior, lived long enough to attend her funeral.

Wilfred BROWN was a Captain in the Salvation Army when he married Miriam at St Oswald’s in 1929. Ten years later in the Register, he is described as an Adjutant and Miriam as a Minister of Religion. Their address was 24 Daisy Street, Bradford.

Alfred OSBORNE is remembered on the Filey War Memorial and on the plaque in St Oswald’s.

Kath has put this note on FG&C –

1881: 1 yr old at census (could have been born 1880) at 16 Cambridge St with parents. Dan [Eaton] has him born at Brid in 1887. Was exempt from ‘call up’ originally due to ‘family hardship’ if he should be injured or killed. The temporary exemption was renewed in May & July 1916 but on 8 Sept 1916, he was denied exemption and told to join Leics. Regt. trained & posted to the 6th Battalion in France. killed after 7 weeks. (Private 28851.)

The Royal Leicestershire Regiment website has this –


Flower 29 · Hawthorn Blossom

Jane’s middle name let people know who her father was. Two years after her birth, her mother married Jacob MARTIN. It says a lot about the couple’s love for each other – Jane had lived for just a few months. Filey Genealogy & Connections gives Jacob and Annie two sons, Edward and Jacob, but their father is still awaiting his life partner on the Shared Tree.

John PEARSON’s birth year is in cautionary red because his birth year, calculated from his age at death, is six years earlier than a fairly convincing baptism record at Ruston. The Scalby marriage register notes that Jane’s husband was “of Wykeham”, the next village to Ruston. The couple were apart on census night 1851. Jane was a “lodger” with her son Charles in Wenlock Place, Filey. I haven’t looked for John’s whereabouts.

Sarah Edith was Tom SMITH’s sister. Tom had married Hannah Elizabeth ROBSON at St Oswald’s in 1906. She is a woman of mystery for FG&C and the Shared Tree.

The husband of Marian SAYER is something of an enigma too. He was a widower when he married Marian but I have been unable to find his first marriage – and I am not sure when and where his life began. Here is his last resting place –

Sadly, Marian died about six months after she married John Arthur.

Bird 121 · Skylark

Rocket Pole Field

Four posts about John MABBOTT of Sleaford.

A Sense of Belonging

Birds of a Feather

John Mabbott Revisited

John Mabbott’s First Marriage

Sarah, daughter of coal dealer Thomas HUNTER and Mary Ann PRIESTMAN is not yet married to Thomas JOHNSON [GM85-397] on the Shared Tree. When the knot has been tied I will put a photo of their headstone on FamilySearch.

Kath has a cryptic note on Filey Genealogy & Connections regarding William SILVERSIDES.

If he married Ann Ryder first, did he then marry Jane Backhouse and later Jane Colley

The only helpmeet William has at the moment on the Shared Tree is Jane COLLEY, identified with some confidence because she was born in Sherburn near Scarborough, married there and gave birth to William junior in the village the following year. William senior was 35 when he married this Jane – and just twenty when he pledged his troth to Ann RYDER in Stillingfleet on 23 October 1821 (FG&C).

Elsie married farmer Charles NEWHAM in 1916 and died at Carr Farm, Lebberston. They are together in St Oswald’s churchyard but the soil has built up against the granite kerb and grass hides most of the inscription. This is all I could see –

FG&C gives the couple two sons and there is another FamilySearch Genealogy that has some Newham ancestors that could help with creating a pedigree on the Shared Tree.

Lancelot married Mary MOSEY at Filey St Oswald’s in 1798 and FG&C shows them having seven daughters and one son. The Shared Tree has some catching up to do.

Wave 56 · Coble Landing

It may have been her husband’s influence. After signing the marriage register “Dinah” our birthday choice today becomes “Diana” at subsequent censuses. And Robert SHEPHERDSON writes “Diana” on the 1911 census form. All six of their children were present on that day at 42 Scarborough Road, Driffield – but they haven’t made their way onto the Shared Tree.

When Eliza’s parents went to register her birth they didn’t say her middle name was Ann. She has a lot of sources on the Shared Tree but I can’t check most of them because I don’t have an Ancestry account. At the moment she resides on an island with her husband. By my count, they had eight children and the marriage lasted 54 years before death parted them. They are together in St Oswald’s churchyard.

John Matthew and Elizabeth also had three (or four) children that the Shared Tree should embrace.

Anne BESWICK has no family at all on Filey Genealogy & Connections. I expected to find her at Gristhorpe Hall but she proved to be elusive. Maybe you can find her!

Ditto Thomas HARPER, All I know is that he died aged 56 in Cayton but was buried in Filey.

Sea 42 · Filey Bay and the North Sea

For Jack, see the wedding anniversary of his parents on 19 April.

William Henry has two brothers and two sisters in my update of Filey Genealogy & Connections but is currently on his own on the Shared Tree.

Charles Overy BELT is “Charlie” on the Shared Tree. He is a grandson of Charles OVERY, who survived an Arctic winter locked in ice aboard the whaler Diana.

David’s younger brother, Harry, opened this year’s anniversary project. Here is Kath’s note on David’s FG&C record.

David had suffered as a prisoner of war across Europe & there are his diaries which obviously show his mood swings as a POW. Sadly after being re-united with his family in Filey after the war – he was working with Sonny Caine (Andie Caine’s son) & they had been to Barmston in a wagon. A gust of wind caught at some wood almost taking Sonny off the wagon – David leaped at the wood to save Sonny and fell over the side onto his head – he died from his injuries.  So sad to go all through the war and die in this way!!   sources:  Harry Cowling.

UK, British Army Prisoners of War, 1939-1945

Name: D. L. Cowling

Rank: Corporal

Army Number: 4393232

Regiment: Green Howards

POW Number: 220938

Camp Type: Stalag

Camp Number: 344

Camp Location: Lambinowice, Poland

Record Office: Infantry and Army Educational Corps Record Office, York

Record Office Number: 20

Google Maps has some photos of the Lambinowice Camp.

The anniversaries of three BURRs have already been celebrated. Today’s David is the son of David (birth 5 March), brother to Eliza (marriage 23 April) and an uncle of Thomas Barker Burr (baptism 19 January).