More Confectioners…

…and sisters!

The WARBURTON headstone hasn’t worn well, and I seem to have failed to accurately copy the Crimlisk Survey typescript inscription onto a laptop. (This was the first genealogy “work” I did when I moved to Filey in 2008.)

My version:-


beloved sister of EDITH 13th March 1951 aged 63 years

‘Severed only till He come’

Also of her husband HARRY PARKER died 15th Dec 1972 aged 84

I went up to the churchyard this morning to see if I could read the inscription. The morning sun was directly behind me so there were no shadows on the incised letters to assist legibility. The inscription published by the East Yorkshire Family History is complete, indicating that Harry was Edith’s husband, but the verse fragment offered seemed a little odd.

‘Savered only till he comes’

Tracing the letters with my finger this morning made me think ‘Severed’ and ‘He come’ would be a better transcription, though all the letters are capitals and it is impossible to detect a bigger ‘H’. An online search told me in next to no time that First Corinthians 11:26 inspired Edward Henry Bickersteth to write these final lines of a hymn –

Some from earth, from glory some

Severed only, “Till He come.”

But, given the Last Supper connection, one might imagine the mason carved “savered”. Further questions are begged  – were sweet foods on the table when Christ and the Apostles shared that final meal? And did the sisters choose the scrap of verse for their headstone because of the work they had done on earth?

Edith was 58 and Harry 67 when they married in 1955, four years after Madge’s death.

Sixteen years earlier, when The Register was taken, Edith was living with Madge at “99 Confectioner Grocers House Whetley Lane Bradford”. Naomi M gave her occupation as “Confectioner Shop Keeper Manager” and Edith offered “Master Baker Bread & Cakes”.  If the property numbering hasn’t changed since 1939, the address suggests they were not prosperous. Their shop, with living accommodation above, was to the right of Regency Kitchens.

(I discovered later that Madge had sailed to the United States in 1933 on Britannic, perhaps to seek a fortune that eluded her.)

The sisters’ father Frank was a Bradford-born miner and his wife Sarah ROBERTS Welsh. Madge first drew breath in Trimdon Grange, a village in County Durham. Frank relocated his growing family to the South Yorkshire Coalfield in the middle of the 1890s and Edith was born in Wath upon Dearne near Rotherham.

Frank has yet to marry on the Shared Tree but he has a younger sister called Naomi in the GRO Births Index and Naomi Madelina, aged 3, in the 1871 census.

Madge left an estate worth over £100,000 in today’s money.

Her last address was Coney Villa on Scarborough Road, Filey, next door to Mary Ann FANT’s house (see last Monday’s post.)

Doubting Thomas

KNAPTONthosjenningsThis is the duplicate record for Thomas Jennings KNAPTON that caught my attention yesterday. Born in 1815, “my” Thomas was 41 years old when he married Sarah SMITH in Homerton, Middlesex. The couple’s first child, Annie Elizabeth, can be seen in the screenshot (left) You will notice that the children with the other Sarah were born between 1840 and 1849. It is theoretically possible that this was Thomas’ first family.

I already knew, however, that my Thomas Jennings, masquerading as “NAPTON”, was working as a draper’s assistant in High Ousegate, York in 1841, a single man living in the home of his employer, Robert BAINBRIDGE.

The GRO Index was available first thing this morning. Checking the births of the quartet of children revealed that their mother’s surname at birth was also SMITH. At the 1841 census, a Thomas Knapton and his wife Sarah were enumerated in Rawmarsh, Rotherham, with two children age 3 and 1. John, the youngest child in the screenshot, had an older brother, William. This Thomas worked as a coal miner. The next ten years saw the arrival of Mary, Elizabeth, Ann and George. Mary, of course, was missing from the 1851 household in Green Lane, Rawmarsh, but William, 13, was working down the pit and John, 10, would soon follow him below ground. With three wage-earners towards the end of 1851, the family may have been managing just fine.

Five days before Christmas, Thomas and John were killed in a methane explosion at the Warren Vale pit. They were among 32 miners whose funerals took place on the 23rd December. Nine more were buried the following day. In all, 52 men and boys lost their lives in the disaster. There is an account of the event online here.

Mr Burgin went down the pit again and gave an account of the operations that went on to […] inspect the mine and recover the bodies.

“We then got some tarpaulin sheets and nailed them in place of the trapdoors and stoppings, which were all blown down. We continued on the level where we found six bodies. We then went to the No.3, or far most bank, and found Thomas Knapton, Henry Gothard, Joshua Bugg, Charles Sylvester and Benjamin Lane.

They were all dead…

In 1861, Elizabeth, now 17, and her brother George, 12, were living with their uncle John Knapton, a coal owner and farmer. I couldn’t find their mother’s death as a Knapton. I think she remarried before 1861 but I haven’t attempted to trace her.

A sad case of mistaken identity on the Shared Tree.