Missing Children

When William ANNIS filled out the 1911 census form he declared that his wife Mary had given birth to eight living children, of whom seven had subsequently died.

The survivor was Jane Alice (yesterday’s post). I had birth registrations for only three children, Jane 1, Jane 2 (I thought) and William in between. My search for the other five raised only one – a third Jane. This child replaced Survivor Jane but, rather disturbingly, her birth registration precedes the death of Jane 1. In the absence of birth registrations, I hoped to find notifications of the deaths of the missing children. I found nothing.

I looked in newspapers to see if father William had caught the attention of local journalists. The only story I turned up concerned a William Annis in Gloucester. Jane Alice’s father gave his birthplace as Gloucester at census time so, just maybe…

Gloucester Citizen 21 September 1889

Assault on an Old Man

James Goode was summoned by William Annis for assault at Flaxley Meend, on the 10th inst. From evidence it appeared that defendant called complainant, an old man, names, and on the latter threatening to throw a stone at him, he ran at him and gave him a blow on the head. Fined 10s. and costs or 14 days.

Our William would have been 65 at the time, with 22 years and three days of life ahead of him.


In loving memory of WILLIAM ANNIS, died Sep 13th 1911, aged 87.

Also MARY his wife, died Aug 29th 1913, aged 80

‘At rest’


Bringing Jane into Focus

Jane lived for 88 years, married twice but didn’t bring any children into the world. She is memorialised on two headstones in St Oswald’s churchyard.


Jane married John William COWLING on 8 December 1888 and just over four months later he drowned from the coble Concord. His stone has not fared well and much of the inscription is illegible, though its emotive carving has survived.


Jane’s father, William ANNIS, was a Gloucester man, a labourer and brickmaker who made his way to Yorkshire and married Filey-born Mary CHAPMAN. They named their first child Jane but she died before her third birthday. A boy, William, came along a couple of years later and then another girl they called Jane. They gave her a middle name, Alice, but after the birth registration and baptism, this seems to have been forgotten. Kept from the record keepers at least.

Two years after John William’s death, Jane was in service to Elizabeth ATKINSON, a lodging house keeper on The Crescent in Filey. Seven years later, aged 34, she married Francis CRIMLISK, a grandson of Thomas and Catherine (McDEVITT), who came over from Ireland when Victoria became queen.

The 1901 census found Jane and Francis in Jones Yard, Queen Street and ten years later at 1, Cammish Yard. And it was there that Francis died on 13 May 1929.

Jane stayed in Filey for some years. In 1939 she was living alone at 27 Newthorpe, still working at the age of 75, as a Ladies Conveniences Attendant. At some point, she moved to Pocklington, where she died in The Poplars on 4 February 1953. Formerly the Pocklington Workhouse, then a Care Home for the Elderly, it has now been demolished. There is a photograph of it here.

The headstone made for Francis had promised that he would meet Jane again.


Jane and Francis are not yet united on FamilySearch Tree. There’s work to do!

Jane Alice ANNIS

Francis CRIMLIS.

Edward COWLING (John William’s father).