Out of the Workhouse

On Saturday I wrote about the accidental death of young George STEVENSON in 1904. His childhood home was the first house on Foreshore Road, Filey, also referred to as No. 1 The Beach or 1 Beach House.

5 September 2021

This photograph shows the house about ten years after the seawall was built. George’s father, Richard Jesse, was described in the 1901 census as an assistant surveyor and inspector of nuisances, and ten years later as an assistant surveyor and inspector of businesses. In 1851, aged 7, he was enumerated as a pauper inmate in the Boston Workhouse, with younger sister Fanny, 5.

The two children may not have been in the institution for long. They were the youngest of at least nine children born to Willam Stevenson, a Lincolnshire farmer, and Rebecca. William was about thirty-five years old when he married but Rebecca, eleven years younger, died before him in 1847, aged 46. William died in 1850. Their firstborn, also William, had married Eliza ALLEN in 1848 but the couple was clearly unable to give shelter to Richard and Fanny. The other siblings may have found homes with other members of the extended family.

I have not been able to find Fanny in 1861. (She is Frances Charlotte in the GRO Births Index and Charlotte Frances in the Fosdyke Parish Register.) Richard, however, an agricultural labourer now aged eighteen, is enumerated with William and Eliza and their five children. Richard’s birthplace is given as Kirton but he would subsequently offer “Fosdyke”, a parish in the sub-district of Kirton, and both within the Boston Registration District.

At some point in the next seven years, Richard Jesse crossed the Humber and found Mary Darnton HULLOCK. The couple married at Filey St Owald’s on 12 July 1868 and they brought twelve children into the world.

Two generations of Stevensons are scattered around the Shared Tree at the moment. I will attempt to bring them together over the next few days.

Abstract 77 · Seawall

Ancestral Trials

The Misses Mary TOALSTER on FamilySearch (IDs GZMR-29J & 9QVZ-N86) could not, of course, be merged, being different individuals. I had two choices. Declare them “not a match” and then change the name of “Mary E.” to create the person Mary Elizabeth HUNT. Or I could make this change first, thereby removing the “potential duplicate”. I thought it better not to break the chain of data custody and go the “not a match” route. I started the clock to see how long this would take me. After four hours yesterday I had most of the information I held on the two Marys uploaded to the Shared Tree but hit some obstacles along the way and didn’t get as far as connecting Mary Elizabeth to her forebears. The most interesting puzzle involved Sarah ODLING, a grandmother of Mary Elizabeth Hunt. She has this toe-hold on the Shared Tree.

And here she is, usurped –

Sarah UNDERWOOD/HUNT has six sources attached to her record. Two census returns, three baptism records for daughter Sarah Ann and one reference to the baptism of Mary Jane the Elder. None of these sources identify mother Sarah as a born Underwood.

It seems unlikely that there were two Mary Jane’s living together as sisters. I have not found a record of the younger Mary. Here are the birth registrations of four children –

(Roger, Mary Elizabeth’s father-to-be, is usually “Rodger” in subsequent records.)

It appears we should accept Sarah ODLING as the wife of James Crowther Hunt. Here is the parish marriage register record –

Grimsby is in Caistor Registration District and the family crossed the River Humber after Mary Jane was born to settle in Hull. I found it interesting that Sarah could write and her husband couldn’t. Sarah’s childhood had not been easy. In 1851, given age 9, she was descibed as a pauper inmate of Boston Workhouse, with her mother Ann, (married, 48), brother Benjamin (15) and younger sisters Elizabeth (6) and Mary Ann (3).

It gets worse. On the Underwood screenshot above the “real” Mary Jane Hunt marries William AARON and if you look on the Shared Tree they have (perhaps) seven children. The youngest, Doris, has an attached record showing her baptism in 1895 in Goole, which is about thirty miles from Hull. By some genealogical legerdemain, she transforms into Doris Lynette, born in Athens, Georgia in 1918. It should not come as a surprise that Mrs Mary Jane Aaron, aged fifty when Doris Lynette was born, was not in real life the daughter of James Crowther Hunt.

I’m not sure I want to bite the bullet. It feels as if I’ve been put through a cement mixer.

Found Object 51 · Primrose Valley