The Colley Brothers?

Kath has a note in Filey Genealogy & Connections about John and George COLLEY.

1861; [John] In 5 The Crescent, was he George Colley’s brother (bricklayer) who was the s. of John Colley. 1851; a visitor living with Richard & Jane Ferguson in Back Rd. a bricklayer. did he come to Filey to help with the development of New Filey? 1871: a builder living with family on the Crescent.

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No.5 The Crescent is a substantial property for a brickie and those making up Cliff Terrace were not shabby either. The distance from the black door above to Wrays (photo in Saturday’s post) is about 120 yards. Not far, but not proof of a blood relationship.

Turn the clock back 20 years. John and George are living in Bridlington. John, 16, is a bricklayer’s apprentice, living with his father, stepmother, three brothers and a sister in Church Green. George, given age 30, a journeyman bricklayer, is in Pinfold Street with his first wife Ann. They share the dwelling with another couple, John and Bridget AGAR, and their newborn son Thomas. It is a three-minute walk from Church Green to Pinfold Street. George and John’s proximity in two towns and their shared occupation surely makes them “family”.

Living at 5 The Crescent in 1861 with John, his wife Grace and their two infant boys is John’s father, also John, who headed the Church Green household in 1841. It is he who is George’s brother.

I am not the only one who has been struggling to untangle Colleys. When George was five years old, his eldest brother William married Elizabeth WHITING in Skipsea. I have so far found three of their children, but on the FamilySearch Shared Tree they have been given twelve.

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The marriage of William and Elizabeth is right, and Elizabeth’s dates of birth and death and her parents may be correct. But William was born in 1788, died in 1845 and has the wrong parents here. Only Maria in the list of twelve children rightly belongs to William and Elizabeth. (They also have a Skipsea born and christened George and Ann, their firstborn, who is missing from the list.) All the others belong to someone else.

This outlandish family is, however, well documented. One of them has twenty sources attached. But a close reading of the christenings reveals the family to be itinerants. Chronologically, the children were blessed in Doncaster, Ecclesfield, Hull, Doncaster, Ecclesfield, Doncaster, Skipsea, Bridlington, Scawton (x3) and Gravesend. Yeah, right.

If I seem a bit peeved, it gets worse. Looking for Ann in the FamilySearch Sources returns her as the top hit, but clicking on the tree icon brings up the Mary Ann born in Doncaster three years later (No.4 on the above list). This is very annoying.

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I made a lot of progress with the Real Colleys today – because I had a lot of help. In a dusty folder on a back-up hard drive, I found a Colley Family “story” sent to me seven or eight years ago, in response to a post written for the original Looking at Filey blog. I hope to right most of the Colley wrongs on FST over the next week or two.

Also in the letter Charlotte Brontë wrote to Ellen Nussey (Saturday’s post):-

Filey seems to me much altered; more lodging-houses – some of them very handsome – have been built; the sea has all its old grandeur.

The first observation echoes Kath’s note about there being plenty of work for brickies in “New Filey”. The second gives me an excuse to link to the First Man in Filey. Adam tries out a new camera on the path to Filey Brigg, on Carr Naze, at Bempton Cliffs and Selwicks Bay.

Charlotte wanted to go on the Brigg in 1852.

One day I set out with intent to trudge to Filey Bridge, but was frightened back by two cows. I mean to try again some morning.

I wonder what she would make of digital cameras.