A Nest Full of Cuckoos

Ginny MILOW emerged in the summer of 1898. Before that year was over, her older sister, Edith Mary, died aged four. Ginny grew up an only child.

Ginny and her mother, c. 1900, courtesy Martin Douglas

On the Shared Tree, her circumstances are very different.

When Thomas Milow of Seamer filled out the 1911 census form, he declared that his wife Jane had given birth to eleven children in 23 years – and six had died.  

Richard Milow is almost certainly Tom’s brother. At the 1881 census, 6 years separate them in the Seamer household of Richard senior and Mary. Young Richard, 16, is a cordwainer’s apprentice and Tom, 22,  an agricultural labourer.

In Filey in 1911, Ginny’s father writes –

I can’t explain why he adds ten years to his age – or why a contributor to the Shared Tree gives him his brother’s children.

Landscape 151 · Primrose Valley

Bella, Bella

Using my godlike powers, I gave Isabella Bielby CAMMISH a FamilySearch ID last October, in advance of putting her gravestone on the Shared Tree. Alas, I have feet of clay and didn’t get around to doing this until yesterday. It was a shock to see that “my” Isabella had been “disappeared”.

In limbo, her six good sources are still attached.

I went to the churchyard to photograph the stone again.

The inscribed date and age at death tally with the FamilySearch deletion notice. Contributors to the Shared Tree move in mysterious ways sometimes.

But who would believe it? That two baby girls, born the same year and in the same neighbourhood, would be registered as Isabella Cammish. It is not unreasonable for someone to think I married “their” Isabella to the wrong man.

Mary Cammish, mother of the first Isabella to be born in 1894, probably didn’t give the middle name “Bielby” to help with future confusion. It was, more likely, a pointer to the father. But the ‘B’ is of assistance to the alert family historian.

Births (GRO)


CAMMISH, Isabella Bielby, Mother’s Maiden Surname: -.  GRO Reference: 1894 J Quarter in SCARBOROUGH Volume 09D Page 361.


CAMMISH, Isabella, Mother’s Maiden Surname: CRIMLISK. GRO Reference: 1894 D Quarter in SCARBOROUGH Volume 09D Page 373.

On the first two census nights of her life, Isabella B. was under the roof of her grandparents, George Simmons Cammish and Isabella nee HARRISON. Their dwelling in Swann’s Yard in 1901 had 13 Queen Street as its address. During the next ten years the household moved a short distance to Reynold’s Yard. In 1911, “the other Isabella” was with her parents, and younger brothers William and Francis  – at 14 Queen Street.

Filey Genealogy & Connections (in RootsMagic) shows the girls’ relationship –

Isabella B. married at age 21, Isabella at 25.

Marriages Jun 1915 (Free BMD)

CAMMISH Isabella B & WYVILL Crompton, Scarbro 9d 1066.

Marriages Mar 1919 (Free BMD)

CAMMISH Isabella & WRIGHT Allan, Scarbro 9d 697.      

The 1939 Register reveals that Mrs Wyvill remained in Filey.

Whereas Mrs Wright went with her husband to live in the Huntingdon.

At birth, 247 days separated the two girls; at death 14 years.

Deaths Jun 1974  (Free BMD)

WYVILL, Isabella, [Date of Birth] 13MY1894, SCARBROROUGH 2 2298.

June 1988 (GRO)

WRIGHT, Isabella, Year of Birth: 1894. GRO Reference: DOR Q2/1988 in HUNTINGDON (3331) Volume 9 Page 1013.

I must play God again and return Isabella B. to her husband.

I will do this tomorrow. Find the other Isabella on the Shared Tree.

(Mary Ann Wright, in the screenshot above, is not related by blood to Isabella’s husband Allan.)

Found Object 57 · Jewels

Queen Street

A Puzzling Mismatch

Fisherman James WYVILL, born in Filey in 1808, was thirty years-old when he married Mary CROMPTON. Over four years passed before their first child, Crompton, appeared in August 1843. Two years later, little Mary paid a brief visit and was followed by James early in 1848. Subsequent events suggest the brothers were close.

“Crump” married Elizabeth Jane FELL on 11 March 1865 and their first child, John William, was born about five weeks later. Two more children arrived before the 1871 census. The children were with their now widowed grandfather James in Queen Street and, it seems, their parents – but their father is given as James.

James would have been 23 in 1871 and older brother Crompton 27. Furthermore, on this census night James had been married to Jane WATKINSON for just five months and they had just welcomed their firstborn, William, into the world.

It appears that the same enumerator visited both households but didn’t notice a mistake had been made.

James junior had a little over nine years of life remaining, until a gale in late October 1880 destroyed the yawl Eliza and all her crew. Jane was a widow for just over four years and then married Crompton – under her birth family name and not as a Wyvill. I wrote about her a couple of years ago in Rachel’s Sister.

Nature Morte 21 · Puffin

Filey Sands

Rachel’s Sister

Elizabeth Jane FELL was five years younger than Rachel (Saturday’s post) but, like her big sister, she married at age 24. She had six children with Crompton “Crump” WYVILL and four reached adulthood and married. One little girl died almost immediately on arrival, the other stayed for just over two years. They were both called Rachel.

Elizabeth didn’t make old bones.


In loving memory of CROMPTON WYVILL, late Coxswain of the Filey Lifeboat, the beloved husband of JANE WYVILL, born August 28th 1843, died August 21st 1904.

‘His end was peace’

Also ELIZABETH JANE, wife of the above, born Oct 18th 1840, died May 1st 1879.

‘She sleeps in Jesus’

Also JAMES WYVILL, the beloved husband of JANE WYVILL of Filey, who was drowned from the yawl ‘Eliza’ during the severe gale on the 28th – 29th Oct 1880, aged 32 years.

‘Thy will be done’

Jane WATKINSON was 22 years old when she married had three children, all boys, before James was lost in a storm while fishing. After four years as a widow, she married James’ older brother, “Crump”. She was only 36 years old but the second marriage for them both appears to have been childless. After twenty years, Jane found herself a widow again.

[Mr. Crompton Wyville]. Who was approaching the allotted span of life, died on Sunday in a sudden manner. He went out for a walk on Sunday afternoon on the Crescent and met several friends. On returning home he was taken ill, breathed heavily, and died in a few minutes. Deceased having been medically attended, there was no necessity for an inquest, and although the end was not altogether unexpected, Mrs Wyville and family have received many expressions of condolence in the bereavement. During the time deceased was coxswain of the Filey lifeboat, several good services were rendered by the crew, and Crompton Wyville was known as a brave and fearless man. When he retired from the position about ten years ago, the Lifeboat Institution showed their appreciation of his services by presenting him with an illuminated address of thanks. His interest in the institution continued to the end, up to the time of his death he acted as collector at Filey. The Rev. A. N. Cooper, vicar, conducted the last rites.

Driffield Times 27 August 1904

Jane was 81-years-old when she died in 1930.

Find Elizabeth Jane, Jane and the Wyvill brothers on the Shared Tree.