I happened upon the Toalster name for the first time a few days ago when I prepared the Monumental Inscription record and headstone photograph for Catherine APPLEBY.
Catherine was the daughter of James Patrick TOALSTER and Ethel May HARRISON, born in Hull in 1906.
A quick search online for the meaning of the family name and its heartland turned up nothing of value and I must go with my instinct that it is an Irish name. Catherine’s great grandfather James Toalster was born in the Emerald Isle about 1810, possibly in Galway – the place named in the first of several records that track his career in the British Army. The others are Liverpool, Poona and London where, I think, he was discharged. In 1861 he can be found living in Scott Street, Sculcoates, given age 51 and described as a Chelsea Pensioner.
James was about 44 years-old when his son, also James, was born and did not live to see any of the twelve grandchildren young James had with Mary Ann CLEARY.
Eight of the twelve were boys and four would join the British Army and serve in the most senseless war. All went to foreign fields and only Catherine’s father, James Patrick, came home.
The 13th East Yorkshires was one of the Hull Pals Battalions. If you follow the link you will see that those whose Commonwealth War Graves are illustrated were all killed on the same day as Thomas Toalster. But his mother, still mourning the loss of two of her boys, lived in hope for several months that she might see Thomas again. He had been reported missing at the Battle of the Ancre (13 to 16 November 1916). Then, in late March/early April 1917 –
Ancre was the last of the infamous Somme battles fought over five months. John had been killed on the first day. Edward died from wounds suffered at the Second Battle of Ypres, when poison gas was first used on a large scale.
Elizabeth Christiana VICKERMAN married Bridlington sailmaker Thomas SCRIVENER in 1809 and in the next fifteen years gave birth to at least six children. I do not know when she died but Thomas married again in January 1831 when he was 44 and Anna CALAUM 35. Henry Thomas was born at the end of November 1831 and Charles Waters in April 1834.
On Monday I mentioned the unusual bond the brothers had. I said that when William Charles Scrivener was born “maternal grandmother Elizabeth Sweet was also his aunt”. This is a true statement but it does not tell the whole story. William’s birth was registered in the June Quarter of 1867, eleven years after the widow SWEET married his uncle Henry Thomas. His father, Charles, married Elizabeth’s firstborn daughter in St Oswald’s, Filey on the 15th of May that year, when she was either near term or already a mother. Impossible to say when Elizabeth attained her grandmother to William status. She died before the year was out.
Why would a 24 year-old fellow marry a widow twenty years his senior and a mother of seven children, five still living? For love or money?
Some sources claim that Elizabeth’s first husband, William Sweet, was a solicitor but I think he was only a solicitor’s clerk. She may not have been a rich widow. In 1851, aged 20, Henry was working as a draper, but enumerated at an establishment in St Pancras that housed 55 boys and men between the ages of 13 and 47 (median age 25) – an assortment of carpet salesmen, cashiers, clerks – and drapers. I do not know what accidents or designs took him from the capital to the far north of England but in 1861, five years after marrying, he was head of a household in the parish of St Andrew, Newcastle upon Tyne, a “Mustard Manufacturer employing 2 Men”. (Elizabeth’s father in law, Samuel Sweet, had been a Mustard manufacturer.) Three of Elizabeth’s children were at home, including Jane Elizabeth, Henry’s his sister-in-law to be but described by the enumerator as his “daughter-in-law”.
The following year Henry declared himself bankrupt and, for reasons I cannot fathom, was still a bankrupt six years later.
Younger brother Charles Waters Scrivener set out on a more elevated career path. Aged 17 in 1851, he was a Student of Medicine in Hull. I have not been able to find him in the 1861 census but in 1871 he was living in Clarence Terrace, Filey (now West Avenue), an “MD Doctor”. With him were Jane, their second son Thomas, Jane’s sister Mary Elizabeth Sweet and a servant, Elizabeth FOSTER, 19. As mentioned on Monday, first son William Charles was with his grandfather on census night and it would appear that Mary was in Filey to help Jane in a time of trial. Four weeks after the census Mrs Scrivener was dead. She had given birth to three children in three years and had suffered the ignominy (maybe) of her husband’s bankruptcy.
Eighteen months after his wife’s death, Charles married again. His bride was Mary Ann WOODALL. Alas, it does not appear that her father was William Edward, Registrar of the Court.
By 1881, Charles seems to have re-established himself as one of Filey’s doctors. (In 1873 he was also Acting Assistant Surgeon of the 2nd East Riding of Yorkshire Artillery Volunteer Force.) The family of three had moved to 3 Rutland Street and with them was “June CALAM”, a single woman aged 62 described as Charles’ “sister-in-law”. I think this was Jane Ann CALAUM, daughter of Michael and Anna née BRAMBLES. Sources indicate that Charles’ mother, Anna CALAUM, was born eighteen years before Michael and Anna married. As I do not have Michael’s birth record yet, it is possible Jane and Anna were half-sisters.
Henry was a widower for just over five years. He married Jane WINN in Hartlepool in 1873 but I have not found a parish record that might have given his occupation. He had recovered remarkably from bankruptcy because in 1871 he claimed to be – a surgeon. He also told the enumerator he was 35 and had been born in Scarborough. On census night he was visiting widow Dora MORISON, 47, and her four children in Castle Eden, County Durham. Eldest son James, 17, was a Medical Student at Edinburgh University.
Henry died a Gentleman in 1879.
I have not been able to discover what he was doing at the Globe Hotel.
Brother Charles followed him to eternity about three years later and is buried in St Oswald’s churchyard, but nowhere near his first wife.
Dog 29 · Gizmo
The little fella migrated inland some time back. I hope he is keeping well.
Six sons of Richard CORTIS and Jane SMITHSON reached adulthood. Five crossed the Atlantic and ended their days in the United States after experiencing mixed fortunes. From information received and uncovered thus far, it appears that the first young man to Go West was Richard John in 1856. He had married Jane Hannah MAPLES in Hull in 1850 and they sailed from Liverpool with two infant boys. When they were caught by the 1860 US census they had been joined by Harold Graeme (aged 6 months) – and RJ’s brother Samuel Smithson. I don’t know for sure if the other three brothers had made the crossing by this time but eight years ago I was offered a reason for them all leaving home.
Here is a post from Looking at Filey, 6 May 2012 – in full, errors included but footnoted. (The archived Looking at Filey has still not been made available again at The British Library. The web links should still “work”.)
Photographer unknown, no date1, courtesy Elizabeth Kennard
Richard John2 CORTIS senior, born about 1788, was a master mariner and later a shipping agent. He also owned the Minerva public house hard by the River Humber. (Recent photos here, here, and here.) With Jane SMITHSON he had at least ten children. I had found eight of them on FamilySearch but Elizabeth supplied two more – Henrietta, who died in infancy, and Joseph who was killed in Tennessee during the American Civil War. Seven Hull born children made it to adulthood but none breathed their last by the Humber. Six3 died in the United States and one in Australia. Elizabeth asked me what happened in Hull around the 1850s that prompted a whole brood to fly a long way from the nest. Despite being a Hull lad, I didn’t have a clue and so asked a man I hoped would know. Peter Churchexplained that 1849 was a cholera epidemic year and some of the city’s water came from Spring Head in Anlaby along an open channel which passed Spring Bank cemetery where 700 cholera victims were buried. Minerva opened in 1851 and Richard John CORTIS senior was responsible for “masterminding the trans-migrants passing through Hull from mainland Europe to America”. I reckon he was therefore in a good position to advise his children to seek a healthier life across the Atlantic and to facilitate their journeys.
The odd one out was William Smithson CORTIS who was enumerated in Queen Street Filey in 1851 with a wife, three children and three servants. Ten years later he was a widower in a mixed John Street household containing three of his children, a widowed sister in law and nephew (on his wife’s side), a pupil in his medical practice, four servants – and his old dad, 74 year old “Richard, formerly Master Mariner.”
The Cortis presence in Filey comes to an end at some time during the next ten years, before 1869 probably because the old master mariner dies in Hull that year, his age given as 83. Two of his Filey born grandsons made their way to Australia and William Smithson went out there too, dying in Manly in 1906.
I wonder if any letters passed between Filey and the United States. Was the man on the horse (above) aware of his older brother’s passing in Australia, four years before his own death?
Elizabeth has told me that Richard John Junior worked as a shipping agent for the White Star Line and did well enough for himself to have four servants and a coachman in the house. The photograph was taken in Brooklyn, New York City, which is not, as Elizabeth writes, “a noted pastoral green, horse riding area any longer”. (William GEDNEY pictured Brooklyn as I imagine it.)
Date about 1895.
I do not think Richard senior had a middle name.
Five brothers and, perhaps, sister Jane.
Elizabeth’s photograph came with the following information attached.
Richard J Cortis 1823-1910, an Englishman who with his wife Jane (Maples) came to NY City permanently about the middle of the 1850s. He was the father of Jessie V. Cortis (1865-1937) who married Wm. Kennard in 1889. The maternal grandfather of Wm. Cortis Kennard (1893-1975) and the great grandfather of Richard Cortis Kennard (1920- 2001.
R J Cortis always kept a horse or two in Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY and this picture taken about 1895 shows him on his horse “Rex” at the Cortis home, 66 Lennox Road, Flatbush, which the Kennard family and R J Cortis left in 1908 for 1722 Albemarle Rd, a home built by Wm M Kennard.
Thomas Walter Bevan COOPER received a licence to marry Mary Anne PEGLER on 27 April 1842. I have found sources indicating that they had four children – and experienced some difficulty in deciding what names to give them.
The birth and death of their first child, a girl, were registered in the same quarter of 1844, her Christian name in both instances represented by a hyphen in the GRO Index. The following year they registered the birth of a boy, Charles Alfred. He was Charles at age 6 but died as John Charles Cooper in 1910.
Indecision by the parents in 1848 condemned the next boy to an official welcome as a hyphen. He would rise above the inauspicious start by becoming an Alderman and later Mayor of London, a knight, and a Baronet two years before his death in 1922.
The child who later wandered around Europe, when he was not tending his Filey flock, also began life as a hyphen in 1850, just Arthur at the census a year later, and acquiring the middle name ‘Nevile’ sometime after that.
Of the three brothers, John Charles had the shortest life. In his twenties, he suffered an attack of rheumatic fever ‘which left him with a weak heart’. He was able to work as a commercial clerk in the Insurance firm of James Hartley, Cooper & Co., but retired in his mid-fifties. He didn’t marry but neither did he shut himself away from society.
…when in London [he] had attended St Michael’s Church, Star Street, Paddington, where he taught a large class of boys. To start the boys in life, to befriend them in their trouble, to watch over them in their temptations, was the work to which he devoted nearly every spare moment from his busy life. The boys thus helped by him were numerous enough to form a club of their own.
Driffield Times, 12 February 1910
A cold spell in January 1910 initiated an attack of bronchitis that he couldn’t shake off. He died at the end of that month in Worthing, aged 64. His body was brought to Filey for burial in his mother’s grave. Chief mourners were brothers Arthur Nevile and Edward Ernest, accompanied by their wives, but also present were some of the Old Boys from St Michael’s, and servants from Alderman Cooper’s mansion at Berrydown Court, Hampshire.
Edward Ernest would claim his education began at a dame’s school run by Horatia Nelson. (See the postscript at the end of Horatia Nelson: Who Was My Mother?) Whatever, he was clearly a bright lad, following his older brother into Insurance but rising to a significantly higher position than John Charles to accrue a fortune worth £28 million today. His interests away from money-making saw him become Chairman of the Royal Academy of Music and Vice-President of the Royal College of Organists. He sang in the St Paul’s Cathedral Choir for many years. He was elected an Alderman in 1909, was Lord Mayor of London in 1912-13, knighted in 1913 and created a baronet in 1920.