First Wives Matter

Rebecca Jane BATES, an aunt to Edith Beaumont (recent posts), married James COATES in 1849. He was about sixteen years her senior so I was rather suspicious of the apparent first child Sarah on the FamilySearch Shared Tree, born four years before the nuptials.

After finding a first wife for James and collecting the birth registrations of their five children, I went back to the Shared Tree to see if they all had representation there. Young Sarah has a duplicate ID.

The two families of solicitor James Coates need to be checked and brought together. They are an intersting bunch. John C. HOPKINSON, husband of Sarah junior, has no sources attached to his record but appears to be John Clifford, born in 1842 to another aunt of Edith’s – Elizabeth. Given a Wetherby birthplace here, he should really be placed with the Ambleside folk.

James junior, a solicitor like his father, died aged thirty following a long illness, consumption perhaps. A local newspaper carried a moving obituary. I will share it in a few days when these houses have been put in better order.

Measure of Man 62 · Rig

North Sea

The Ambleside Connection

Five children of Joseph Travis CLAY and Jane WHITWELL were born in Rastrick, Yorkshire. Arthur Travis, who would marry “cousin Edith”, told most census enumerators that he had entered the world in Loughrigg, Westmorland. Loughrigg has a special place in my heart. I was raised on the flat Holderness Plain and the small hill near Ambleside was the first “mountain” I climbed.

I have been unable to locate the house where Arthur was born but today, while delving deeper into the BATES family of Skircoat, I happened upon another reason for his mother being in the Ambleside area in September 1845.

Jane was a Westmorland girl, born in Kendal. Perhaps Arthur arrived early while she spent summer days with her ain folk.

Concentrate now. Edith Beaumont Bates’ father Benjamin had the middle name Hopkinson. An older sister of his, Elizabeth, married one Benjamin HOPKINSON. He was born in Demerara, South America, but married in Halifax. In 1841 he was living at “Low Field, Windermere” with Elizabeth and their three chldren. This may be the present day “Lowfield” in Bowness, about six miles from Ambleside. Not long afterwards they moved to Chapel Hill in Ambleside, just over a mile from streets that now have “Loughrigg”  names and two miles from the cluster of cottages under Loughrigg Fell.

The Bates, Clay and Hopkinson families may have been aware of each other’s existence long before marriages were contemplated. Closer ties may surface as I do more work on Joseph Bates and the children he had with Rebecca WALKER. I have found a dozen so far, though the largest grouping on the FamilySearch Shared Tree is four. It is taking forever.

Found Object 61 · Shark