And another contrary Mary.
Francis COLLEY, born in Folkton in 1785, is not related by blood to young Jane LUNDY, the supposed descendant of Boudicca. He had at least nine children with Mary, born Colley, who was also not related to him by blood. All the children entered the world in Filey but on the FamilySearch Shared Tree they had, until yesterday, some younger siblings who were born in Sheffield. Mother Mary would have been sixty-years-old or thereabouts when she gave birth to the last of them.
My breakfast reading at the moment is A Measure of Darkness, by Jonathan & Jesse Kellerman, and this morning I read about the discovery of a dozen credit cards found on the corpse of a Jane Doe. A different name on each card. Clay, our resourceful narrator, begins to search for the owners of the stolen, cloned or faked cards. He opines…
Without a second data point, a name is close to meaningless.
The FamilySearch ‘system’ had a Mary, married to Francis Colley, as the mother on a bunch of christening records. For each, they had another data point – the christening place – but this was ignored. So Filey Mary and Sheffield Mary were treated as one.
I looked for the Sheffield mother’s birth family name and decided it was COCKAYNE. Foolishly, I attached this detail to Sheffield Mary and thereby gave several instances of her Filey counterpart the surname Cockayne. (Both women had several IDs, one for each christening source.)
It took a while to clear up my mess but I think I have left the Sheffield Colleys in reasonable shape. There are some issues that still need to be addressed. Search in Records on FST for Mary Cockayne, born Sheffield in 1800 and the top hit currently shows William Cockayne and Betty as her parents. Clicking on her tree icon returns Filey’s Mary Colley. Mary Cockayne has a different ID and one possible duplicate for a Maria Colley. I don’t know how to fix this bizarre glitch.
If you have linked to the Sheffield Colleys on FST, you will see there are few sources given for the family. Harriet had been given a precise birthdate in 1848, without a source. I have added the GRO registration for 1840. This Harriet did not die in infancy. She went on to marry and is aged 60 in the 1901 census. (She married Marriott HALL on 11 June 1863. On the same day, in the same place, her sister Emily married Leonard COOKE.)
The apparent firstborn, Francis William, has a christening source but awaits his bride, Sarah BANKS (possibly MP6P-BVS). The marriage took place in 1857 when Francis William and Jonathan worked in their father’s Leather business. Francis senior employed 11 men in 1851 and the firm advertised a number of times for journeymen curriers over the next ten years. But in 1861 the father is listed in the census as “Out of Business”. Jonathan remains in the family home, aged 28 and unmarried, described as a Leather Dealer. A bit more research revealed that the partnership of father and two sons was dissolved by mutual consent on the last day of 1859. Jonathan continued to run the company under its original name, Francis Colley & Sons.
In the 1850s, Francis senior’s name appears a number of times in the local newspapers, sometimes twinned with that of his brother in law. In the Election for Sheffield Guardians in 1857, Thomas Bagshaw Cockayne came ninth in the race and Francis tenth. Both just missed out, as because only eight Guardians were elected. Twelve years later, both men were re-elected as Directors of the Sheffield Waterworks Company.
Returning to the coast and the other Francis and Mary. Six of their nine known children died in infancy. Although Filey Genealogy & Connections denies a blood relationship, the marriage record shows they were from the same parish. Love is perhaps blind to the size of gene pools. The three that survived childhood married. I don’t think I have all the offspring of these unions yet: five to John Colley and Martha PRETTY, and two to Jane (the second) and Robert Benjamin FOWLER. It seems that Robert Colley and Betsy HARPER, marrying in their mid-forties, left it too late to start a family.
I don’t have a picture to illustrate the Colley story, but I offer a Glamour shot instead. The white glint on the horizon of the Filey Sands photo is the Vos Glamour. She looks somewhat raddled – handheld in poor light with the point and shoot at max zoom. Plenty of pictures online though – and I found this short YT video mesmerising. Oddly, Ship AIS had her down as a Passenger/Ferry. Fake Shipping News.
The two Janes are of different generations and not related by blood, but are both connected to the same unfortunate man. Young Jane is the mother of Joseph Edward COLLEY, who drowned from SD Research in 1925. The older Jane is a great grandmother on his father’s side.
I have sought to establish the parentage of old Jane, born who knows where or when, and have so far failed. In 1841 she is with husband John and all five of her known children, in Prospect Place, Filey. Her age is given as 38 but her death registration nine years later says she was 56-years-old. If that is correct, she was 33 when she had the first child for whom there is a christening record. In the absence of a marriage source, we can only wonder if she gave birth to children before William in 1827. And dying before the 1841 census deprives us of a birthplace more specific than “Yorkshire”.
Filey Genealogy & Connections runs with Jane as the wife of John Colley.
The FamilySearch Shared Tree is uncertain, offering three possibilities.
Mary and Sarah get the red lights because there are no sources to support their existence, let alone the relationship with John.
The third and the most compelling possibility has a “just Jane”, married to John and with just one child – the seeming first-born, William. With Jane JENKINSON, William has five children and two or three generations of descendants that bring the family into the 20th century. There is only a christening source for William and neither John nor Jane have birth and death dates. But they are both buried in St Oswald’s churchyard.
Sacred to the memory of JANE, wife of John COLLEY, Master Mariner, who died May 5th 1850 aged 56 years.
‘A loving wife, a friend sincere
A tender mother lieth here
In love she liv’d, in peace she died
Her life was crav’d but God denied’
Also, the above named JOHN COLLEY, who died Oct 13th 1872, aged 79 years.
‘Blessed are the dead
Which die in the Lord’
Old Jane’s parents may be impossible to find but Young Jane connects to a “super pedigree”. I don’t suppose for a moment that she knew of her direct descent from kings of Wales, Man, Mercia, Saxony, the Franks, the Goths, and the Visigoths. Take a pinch of salt, start here (where Young Jane connects to “Wrong Mary”), and see how far you can go. On my first run, I reached Julius Caesar and on the third Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni. Your mileage may vary.