Wrightson

The distinctive first name came from his paternal grandmother’s family. Jane WRIGHTSON was born in “Heartbeat Country” – Goathland on the North York Moors – and died at the beginning of the year in which her grandson was born.

Wrightson married Mary Jane SHAW in 1877. The newspaper report of his death says he left three children. Filey Genealogy & Connections has daughters Miriam Elizabeth and Mary Jane; the FamilySearch Tree just Miriam. (More work to do.)

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Bringing Jane into Focus

Jane lived for 88 years, married twice but didn’t bring any children into the world. She is memorialised on two headstones in St Oswald’s churchyard.

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Jane married John William COWLING on 8 December 1888 and just over four months later he drowned from the coble Concord. His stone has not fared well and much of the inscription is illegible, though its emotive carving has survived.

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Jane’s father, William ANNIS, was a Gloucester man, a labourer and brickmaker who made his way to Yorkshire and married Filey-born Mary CHAPMAN. They named their first child Jane but she died before her third birthday. A boy, William, came along a couple of years later and then another girl they called Jane. They gave her a middle name, Alice, but after the birth registration and baptism, this seems to have been forgotten. Kept from the record keepers at least.

Two years after John William’s death, Jane was in service to Elizabeth ATKINSON, a lodging house keeper on The Crescent in Filey. Seven years later, aged 34, she married Francis CRIMLISK, a grandson of Thomas and Catherine (McDEVITT), who came over from Ireland when Victoria became queen.

The 1901 census found Jane and Francis in Jones Yard, Queen Street and ten years later at 1, Cammish Yard. And it was there that Francis died on 13 May 1929.

Jane stayed in Filey for some years. In 1939 she was living alone at 27 Newthorpe, still working at the age of 75, as a Ladies Conveniences Attendant. At some point, she moved to Pocklington, where she died in The Poplars on 4 February 1953. Formerly the Pocklington Workhouse, then a Care Home for the Elderly, it has now been demolished. There is a photograph of it here.

The headstone made for Francis had promised that he would meet Jane again.

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Jane and Francis are not yet united on FamilySearch Tree. There’s work to do!

Jane Alice ANNIS

Francis CRIMLIS.

Edward COWLING (John William’s father).

“Lord Help Me”

About ten weeks after his Christmas Day wedding, William JENKINSON sailed for the North Sea fishing ground aboard the yawl Jane and Elizabeth, skipper Bayes COWLING. Thirty miles from the coast the lines were cast from the yawl’s coble – and then a “sudden gale sprung up”. (All quotes are from a syndicated report that appeared in many local newspapers around the country.) Many other fishing boats ran for shelter but Captain Cowling, quite reasonably, chose to bring in his lines and their catch before heading for shore. Three of the crew, William Jenkinson, the skipper’s son Thomas Hunter Cowling and William SAYERS, brought in fourteen lines and then went out to haul the remaining seven.

…a fearful sudden sea rose and struck the coble, filling her with water. This caused her soon to upset, throwing the crew into the sea. Whilst they were struggling in the water, Cowling caught hold of a bowl and an oar, Jenkinson two bowls, and Sayers grabbed hold of the coble, which was bottom uppermost, and got upon it. Soon after he was joined by Jenkinson, but Cowling could not reach it. The Captain, who had seen this sad affair, at once ran the yawl towards the men, and whilst passing, Cowling seized hold of a “fender” which hung over the yawl’s side. One of the boys on board got hold of the hair of his head and held him up, whilst his father, the captain, seized a rope and life-belt, which he threw to the two on the coble. His son was then pulled in, and the yawl turned round to the rescue of [the] others, but on getting to the coble, Sayers alone was holding on nearly exhausted. A second sea had washed them off, but fortunately he had again got hold of the coble. Poor Jenkinson, on attempting to do so, fell backwards, exhausted, exclaiming, “Lord help me,” and was never seen again. Jenkinson was about 26 years of age, and has left a young widow, he having been married only three months.

There may be an official record of William’s death somewhere but, lacking his recovered body, there isn’t a civil registration. He isn’t remembered on a stone in the churchyard and he wasn’t with Jane long enough to leave a genetic inheritance.

Jane gave birth to a daughter about four years later, father unknown, and eight years after William’s death she married again and had five children with Thomas JOHNSON.

With the only evidence of his passing being a brief, if widely disseminated, news item, it isn’t too surprising that he has not yet been accurately represented on the FamilySearch Tree.

As I write this, Ann CAPPLEMAN is still William’s wife on FST. One of the blue hints by his name on the pedigree leads to his rightful marriage to Jane CAPPLEMAN. (The women are first cousins, their common ancestors being Thomas CAPPLEMAN and the Jane WEBSTER of Sunday’s post.)

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England Marriages 1538-1973; page image via Find My Past

Jane and Elizabeth

There are several fishing vessels with this name in Captain Smith’s database but none are yawls. There is a yawl called Jane Elizabeth, built in Scarborough in 1867 and registered SH70. The date of first ownership is annoyingly given as“7???” in my digitization of the Captain’s handwritten pages. However, the owners are “Thomas Hunter COWLING & Bayes COWLING, fishermen of Filey & Robert CAMMISH, grocer of Filey”. In Filey Genealogy & Connections, Robert has just the one child, with Jane ELDERS, baptised Jane Elizabeth in August 1861. You can find her on FST. A case, perhaps, of coincidence challenging a possible recording, transcription or digitization error!

 

A Grocer and His Servant

Alfred Burley TOWSE was born on 12 September 1866. I planned to mark his 152nd birthday last Wednesday with a short post but his family proved to be rather demanding. I have done a few hours work on them each day and have a way to go before I have his birth family all present and correct on FamilySearch Tree.

Alfred didn’t cause any problems, for me at least. He married Annie Maud JENNINGS in Grimsby when he was 25 but their three children were born in Filey. He described himself at the 1891 census as a Grocer’s Assistant, presumably working for his father. Samuel Towse was a Grocer and Sub Post Master in Filey.

In 1893 he got on the wrong side of Constable HARRISON.

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In today’s money, 21 shillings is about £95.

Eight years later he was a Grocer’s Manager living at 11 Union Street. Samuel was clearly still “the boss”, and would remain so until shortly before his death in 1916.

Before the next census, Alfred had moved south, crossed the River Humber and changed trades. In Scunthorpe in 1911, he is described as a Tobacconist Manager.  With him at 74 High Street were Annie Maud and two of their children, Eric Alfred (17) and Ethel Mary (16). Annie Maud was a Lincolnshire lass and that may be the only reason for the family’s move.

During the next 28 years, Alfred changed his occupation again. In the 1939 Register, at 63 East Street, Grimsby, he is listed as a retired House Agent.

Alfred and Annie made what seems to be a sensible decision, forsaking the fishing port for  Louth, some miles inland. Alfred died there at the beginning of 1954 aged 87 and Annie followed him into the good night a year later.

You can find them on FamilySearch Tree.

Turning the clock back to 1901 finds the couple in their mid-thirties and their children aged 6, 7, and 8. They have a live-in servant, a young widow, Mary Jane HANSON, 32.

I expected to find that Mary Jane’s husband had been a fisherman, but no, he worked as a joiner, not a particularly dangerous trade.

There are only twenty Hansons in Filey Genealogy & Connections and of those, I only had death information for eleven of them. Two boys and a girl didn’t reach their first birthday and only one of each sex passed three score and ten. It is a small sample so nothing can really be read into the average lifespan of those born a Hanson: men 35 years and women 34. I recalled adult, gossipy conversations throughout my childhood during which my mother would say, “Oh, they’re not long-livers.”

Widow Hanson didn’t marry again and died aged 81 in January 1950. There are a lot of Filey Cowlings and calculating their average span will have to wait.

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In loving memory of FRANCIS E. HANSON, the beloved husband of MARY JANE HANSON (of Filey), who died July 29th 1894, aged 31 years.

‘His end was peace’

Also of the above MARY JANE HANSON, who died Jan 31st 1950, aged 81 years.

‘Re-united’

Find Mary Jane on FamilySearch Tree. Her pedigree is more extensive on Filey Genealogy & Connections.

‘Pride of Filey’

The steam drifter SH215 Pride of Filey was built in 1907 in Portnockie on the Moray Firth. Originally named Emulator and registered in Banff (BF64), she was sold to Thomas WHITEHEAD of Scarborough on 29 November 1913. Her first three skippers were Isaac ROSS, William SAYERS, and J. W. CRAWFORD. The Admiralty requisitioned her for war service between 1914, and 1918 and in 1921 she was sold to Hull and renamed Cuhona (H307). (Source: Captain Sydney Smith’s database.)

On the 25th July 1914 one of her crew, Filey man Thomas William “Crow” JENKINSON, suffered a fractured skull while fishing. The vessel returned to port immediately but Thomas died in hospital before the end of the day. He was 50 years old, survived by his wife Frances Haxby née COWLING and eight of their ten children. You can find an as yet limited version of his pedigree on FamilySearch Tree.

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FV ‘Emulator’

The steam drifter, wood built at Lowestoft in 1904, was bought by Matthew ‘Matty Airy’ CRIMLISK in 1914 when he saw the success ‘Billy Butter’ WATKINSON was having with a similar vessel, Lord Kitchener. Matthew shared ownership with William ‘Billy Trummy’ JENKINSON and the latter’s nephew, Richard Cammish JENKINSON. The war intervened and Emulator was requisitioned by the Admiralty and operated as a minesweeper. It is a terrible irony that she served without mishap until released by the government and then, on the first peace-time fishing trip from her home port, was blown up by a mine, about 25 miles east of Flamborough Head.

‘Matty Airy’ and his sons, Wilfred and Tom Robert CRIMLISK were killed. ‘Billy Trummy’ and his son, Thomas Castle ‘Toye’ JENKINSON also died, with Richard Cammish JENKINSON and Richard Baxter ‘Dick Fipney’ COWLING. Seven in all. A plaque in St Oswald’s Church names nine fishermen who died in 1919 but two were drowned from the coble Annie (yesterday’s post).

Seven Filey Men Lost

Drifter Sunk by Mine

There was great distress at Filey on Wednesday when it became known that the steam drifter Emulator, had been sunk through striking a mine 30 miles out of Scarborough, and that her crew of seven, all Filey men, had been lost. The Emulator left Scarborough on Tuesday afternoon for the fishing grounds, and the steam drifters Tryphena and Fear Not went out at the same time. The Tryphena returned on Wednesday morning and the Fear Not in the afternoon, and reported that shortly before ten o’clock on Tuesday night they heard a terrific explosion in the direction where they last saw the Emulator fishing. They missed the Emulator’s lights, and later, whilst cruising round, discovered traces of oil on the water, but there was no sign of any crew. A search was made at daylight by the Fear Not, but nothing could be seen, and after getting in their own lines the two drifters returned to port. The Emulator was taken over by the Government in 1916, and several members of the crew have been with her all the time. Latterly she has been fishing out of Grimsby, and only returned to Scarborough last Friday. She was owned by three of the men who, it is feared, have gone down with her, namely, Matthew Crimlisk, skipper aged about 40, married, of Filey (who had two sons with him); William Jenkinson, of Filey, mate (who had one son with him); and Richard Jenkinson. The other missing man is Richard Cowling, who married the daughter of a well-known Scarborough fisherman, and who leaves a widow and six or seven children.

Hull Daily Mail, 17 April 1919

There haven’t been enough hours today for me to find all the lost men and their families on FamilySearch Tree. Mainly because I have a studio portrait and headstone photograph, I’ll briefly introduce ‘Dick Fipney’ now.

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photographer Walter Fisher, no date, courtesy Suzanne Pollard

Richard Baxter, son of William ‘Fipney’ COWLING and Margaret BAXTER, was born in 1871. Through common ancestors Robert JENKINSON and Margaret TRUCKLES, he was a third cousin to the other six aboard Emulator.

He married Alice BAYES in Scarborough in 1898  and the couple had seven children. Filey Genealogy & Connections shows that all but one married. The children of Richard and Alice haven’t been entered on the FamilySearch Tree yet.

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‘Lucy’ Weathers the Storm

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Information supplied by Captain Syd informs us that Lucy was a 61-foot yawl with a lute stern built in Scarborough in 1878. Her first owner was William JENKINSON of Filey, almost certainly the father of Richard, named above. What eventually became of the vessel isn’t noted.

William JENKINSON is on FamilySearch Tree. Richard has a “guesswork wife” in Filey Genealogy & Connections and it appears that FST isn’t sure about her identity either. But the childless couple has a fine stone in the churchyard. I’ll try to confirm that Mary  Ann was a CRAWFORD when time permits.

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Challenger SH97 was a little smaller than Lucy, and older, built at Whitby in 1857. In 1889 her owners were Richard Williamson HARRISON and Thomas Storry HARRISON, both decorators of West Square, Scarborough. Richard Williamson became sole owner less than two months before Thomas Cammish WILLIS was drowned.

Thomas was alone at Challenger’s helm, about 32 miles east of Flamborough Head, when a huge wave broke over the vessel and swept him overboard. His seven or eight crewmates were presumably unaware of his disappearance for a short time but they would have been unable to save him had they realized immediately he had gone. Thomas left a widow and six children.

Ann KIRBY is another FG&C guesswork wife but I believe Kath chose well. She doesn’t give us the parents but FST has placed Ann as a child with the wrong family.

Two young KIRBY men from the Driffield area, apparently brothers Robert and William, married two COWLING women from Filey, Rachel and Margaret. The two Kirby-Cowling partnerships were near neighbours in Little Kelk when the 1861 Census was taken and paterfamilias Robert Kirby senior lived close by. Unluckily for confirmation purposes, Ann, aged 13, was enumerated that year in Queen Street, Filey, described as the niece of John JENKINSON and his wife Ann, née COWLING. Ann was sister to a Rachel and Margaret but FG&C has the latter marrying Thomas HUNTER.

I’m convinced William, and not Robert junior, was Ann’s father. I haven’t found a marriage record yet but the GRO Online Index and Census records combine to show he had five other children with Margaret COWLING, and the last was named  John Cowling KIRBY, which seems to be a clincher.

Ann and her sister Mary are only enumerated together with William and Margaret in 1851. Mary didn’t marry and she was living with Ann and Thomas Cammish WILLIS in 1891, and with widow Ann and unmarried son David WILLIS in 1911.

All this, of course, is by the by. A man died before his time and six children lost their dad. The eldest, Elizabeth Ann, was then 19 and the youngest, Frances Mary, just three.

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In Loving Memory of our dear mother and father, ANN WILLIS, wife of

THOMAS C. WILLIS, who died May 4 1917, aged 69 years.

Also of the above THOMAS C. WILLIS who was lost at sea,

February 22 1893, aged 47 years.

‘Be ye also ready’

Also, MARY KIRBY, sister of the above, died September 30 1927, aged 78 years.

Also of DAVID WILLIS, their son, died 12 Sep 1944 aged 61.

‘In Heavenly love abiding’