The Bradshaws

Anne Elizabeth GRAINGER, a granddaughter of William COLLEY and Elizabeth WHITING, married Thomas BRADSHAW at St Mary’s Beverley in January 1867.

In the spring of 1871 Thomas, 28, was head of a small household at Upton Grange, near Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, described as a farmer of 48 acres employing one man. There were no children, and none had been registered in the first four years of marriage. Thomas’ sister Anne, 23, was with them, and also farm servant George HEAD, 32.

Thomas was from a Derbyshire farming family and he returned to his roots at some time in the next decade. At the 1881 census, he was with Anne Elizabeth at Busky Fields, near Brampton, Chesterfield. The couple remained childless and Thomas appears to be somewhat diminished in fortune, listed as an agricultural labourer. The house was shared with two of his uncles, retired bachelor farmers John and Thomas Bradshaw, aged 68 and 66. If this seems a rather dismal arrangement, it was soon to become less happy.


Thomas died the following Spring, aged 40. His mother, Ann DICKEN, had died when he was just ten years old but his father made it into the 20th century, dying aged 87 in 1905. At the 1901 census, he was living at Busky Fields with unmarried housekeeper Ann ASH, 73, and “companion” Barbara GOODWIN, 36.

Rolling back the years to 1851 finds Joseph’s father, also Joseph, farming at Frith Hall. A widower aged 65, he heads a household that includes grandson (our) Thomas Bradshaw, and two brothers, John and Thomas  – the uncles mentioned above. Frith Hall Farm is a Listed Building of great age and you can see plans online for the replacement of the roof of a cruck frame barn. I couldn’t find any good photographs of the farmhouse – and the duck pond looks rather sad. Wondering if the status of the farm buildings indicated earlier family fortunes I did a little more research. Our Thomas is currently poorly represented on the Shared Tree but some sources give his father Joseph the middle name Hibbert. Joseph Hibbert Bradshaw’s grandfather Thomas, born in Eyam in 1751, married Sarah HIBBERT. A quick look in FamilySearch sources didn’t immediately offer PIDs for either person but other Bradshaws and Hibberts from the plague village have a rich pedigree, well-sourced and illustrated, going back almost to the Conquest with the De APPLEBYs and forward to several 21st-century families in Utah and California. I hope someone will be able to connect the main subjects of this post to this pedigree sometime.

Private Abbott

AbbottGAThe first name on the Filey War Memorial seems to be a mistake. A search on the CWGC website brings a George Alfred, Manchester Regiment, and a gunner with the initials G A who served in the South African Field Artillery. I think the initials should be ‘E A’.

Private Ernest Alfred ABBOTT enlisted in the Huntingdonshire Cyclists when the battalion was formed. Posted to Filey early in 1915, he courted local girl Mary Ann STORK and the couple married on 11th December 1915 at St Oswald’s.

When the Hunts Cyclists were disbanded in 1916 he was transferred to the 683rd Agricultural Company, Army Labour Corps (Service No. 434613). He died in Cambridge Easton General Hospital on 18th November 1918, a week after the Armistice. The exact cause of his death is not known. He is buried in St Oswald’s churchyard.

Dan Eaton, In Flanders Fields…The men of Filey who fought and died during the Great War for Civilization (1914 – 1919)

His birth registration, though, gives his name as Arthur Ernest, and for some records of his short life he omitted the middle name and just answered to Ernest.

When I looked him up on Lives of the First World War, two people were remembering him. A photograph of his headstone has been added but there isn’t much detail about his life.

Filey Genealogy & Connections has very little about Ernest’s origins, and Mary Ann was illegitimate so her pedigree is difficult to research. FamilySearch Tree was more helpful, providing a start with his birth family – a father and eight siblings. The mother was given as “Ann M. ABBOTT” but the GRO quickly supplied her birth name – GAVINS – and four more children. Ernest was the youngest, then, of thirteen. Ernest’s father and eldest brother had the middle name “FAVELL” and it was no surprise that this proved to be the maiden surname of his paternal grandmother.

Most of these Abbotts and their spouses were landed peasantry from a small area of Huntingdonshire. Initially, I had the notion that it had taken a war to push Ernest out of his family heartland but research unearthed an earlier migration of some Abbotts to Yorkshire. Ernest’s Aunt Rebecca married agricultural labourer Joseph ROBINSON in Alconbury cum Weston in the mid-1850s,  and the childless couple moved to the Howden area of East Yorkshire sometime between 1871 and 1881. They both died in 1910 before Ernest was sent to Filey with the Hunts Cyclists. Rebecca departed first, in July, and was buried in Howden. Joseph, in his mid-seventies, had no family to care for him and was dispatched to the workhouse where he died before the year was out.

After Ernest’s death, Mary Ann didn’t fare well. Their only child was two years old and another boy was born in late 1919. Life must have been a great struggle for her and she died in the North Riding Asylum in York in 1924. The Borthwick Institute in York probably has details of her last weeks or months there, and maybe a photograph. I hope she wasn’t certified as a lunatic – and that the Abbott boys did well after their difficult start in life.