James BARR was only thirty-three years old when he died. He was one of at least seven children born to John and Sarah nee TAYLOR in North Frodingham, a village about 23 miles south of Filey. John was an “excavator”, as was his father before him. They mostly dug ditches for farmers, I suspect. James has one of the most striking headstones in St Oswald’s churchyard, with a fine carving of mason’s tools.
I was surprised today to find that he began his working life as a groom, serving the Doctors SAVILE (father and son) in Nafferton. Between 1861 and the next census he learned a trade, married and became a father. In 1871 he was living in Church Street, Filey with wife Diana/Dinah nee WILLIAMSON and their four-year-old daughter Sarah Ann, and working as a bricklayer. He had six more years to live and I can only assume he acquired a mason’s greater skills in that short time. I haven’t discovered the cause of his death.
In 1881 James’ widow had moved the short distance to a house in King Street and was making ends meet as a charwoman. Sarah Ann, 14, was with her, described as a domestic servant.
Sarah Ann married in 1889 and two years later Dinah was enumerated with three “lodgers” – Francis SIMPSON, his wife Ann and their three-year old son John Williamson. Ann was Dinah’s niece and the wee boy her grandnephew.
Dinah died two years later, aged 53.