What Happened to Ada?

She didn’t make the cut for remembrance on the family headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard.

Doris and Phyllis Ida are two of the four daughters Ada had with Frederick Herbert. In 1911 the family was complete and living together in Abbeydale Road, Sheffield. Frederick, 44, was working as an Assurance Superintendent and Ada, a year younger, had her hands full with six children, from Sidney, 18, down to Marjorie aged seven.

Thirty years earlier, Ada WHEATLEY, 13, was living with her parents in Daniel Hill, Sheffield, less than two miles from the HORRABIN family. Ada isn’t given an occupation but Frederick, 14, is said to be a “school teacher”. At the end of the year, though, Ada is a witness in the case of The Crown v. Dover. Described as a servant, it isn’t clear whether she was in the full-time employ of Thomas SKINNER, who had died of arsenic poisoning. There is an account of the case on Wikipedia with several photographs, including one of the modest house in which the killing took place. It looks too small to have needed a housekeeper and servants. Thomas has an interesting back story – and a Wikipedia page – but no place on FamilySearch Shared Tree. His killer, under her full name, can be found there, but she only has her father for company.

Ada may have acquired a taste for drama from her participation in the murder trial. She found herself in the newspapers again in 1888.

The Stuart Wortley Working Men’s Club, Daniel Hill – The first entertainment was held at this club on Monday evening. Mr. R. Gleadhill presided, and a very excellent programme was gone through. Mr. Harris, Miss Ada Wheatley, and Mr. J. S. Marshall, assisted by a portion of the Society Minstrel Troupe, gave every satisfaction in rendering their songs, readings, and ballads.

Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 19 April

I wonder if this is where Frederick first set eyes upon Ada. They were married three years later.

Ada died in the spring of 1941 in Sheffield, aged 73. I don’t know how long Frederick stayed in the city before moving to the coast. His last address is given as 38 The Crescent in the burial register. His spinster daughters died from the house they shared in West Avenue, Doris in 1968 and Phyllis in 1973. I wonder if anyone remembers them – and knows what happened to Ada.

(The guilty Kate Dover didn’t serve her whole of life sentence. She was released from Woking Female Prison about 1895 and must, therefore, have done time with the innocent Florence MAYBRICK. Though the two women had arsenic in common, I can’t imagine them being friends.)

Mark of Man 67 · Churchyard

St Oswald’s, Filey

Re-arranged Marriages

A few days ago I messaged a contributor to the FamilySearch Shared Tree,and with David’s help the problematic PARROTT families have been reconciled.

Tom Parrott of Hemswell has had his marriage to Susannah GRAVES annulled and he is now happily married to Minnie HIDER. On the 1911 census form he stated that ten children had been born in the previous 25 years, of whom three had died.

The sudden emptiness in Susannah’s life was instantly filled by marriage to Tom PARRATT (sic) of Donington on Bain. I think David has already added to their family.

Because of the distant connection to Filey, through Emily Etta, I did a bit more work today on her father George, finding the marriage of his parents in Northorpe, a few miles from Hemswell.   George’s mother was 38 years old when she married and may have had a daughter with much younger Thomas Parrott before they tied the knot. I haven’t put Mary on the Shared Tree because I couldn’t find sources for her birth or baptism.

George and Elizabeth VICKERS have possible duplicate IDs linked to the baptism sof a daughter Elizabeth (MJB9-8QF) on 18 May 1859. Brother Tom was baptised on the same day, and firstborn sibling Sarah Elizabeth in May two years earlier. Alas, I haven’t been able to find a birth source for Elizabeth – and Sarah Elizabeth reaching adulthood and marrying puts a questionmark over Elizabeth and Tom being twins. I haven’t found little Elizabeth in census or death records either, so have not made the merge. Perhaps a descendant will find these Parrotts and offer a solution to this small mystery.

I took George Woodward Parrott from the other couple called George and Elizabeth but made up the loss by contributing other children and sources. Neither parent has ancestors on the Shared Tree, and only two grandchildren so far from their four girls and five boys. There’s plenty of work there for others to do!

Mark of Man 65 · Whitby Abbey

Rose window, north transept

Emily’s Brothers

I have put Emily Etta Parrott’s headstone on the Shared Tree but Tom, the eldest of her four brothers, is still absent. It may take a few more days to extricate him from the marriage to another man’s wife.

I only had to create IDs for Emily and George William. The wee boy was a few months old when he died, leaving the way clear for George Woodward. Placing George the Second with another family seemed to be a FamilySearch “system error” so I didn’t think I would upset anyone by bringing him back home.

The forebears of Hemswell and Upton cum Kexby Parrots have not yet shown themselves but if you check out Emily’s youngest brother, John Edward, you can follow the many branches of his wife Thirza’s family. Her father’s line only goes back to 1683 but there are plenty of good marriages that will introduce you to “the Conquerors”, and their ancestors who ruled swathes of Europe in the Dark Ages.

Sky 25 · Filey Bay

Filey Brigg, sunlit

A Confusion of Parrotts, Part 1

Reviewing my current list of “Stone People” this morning, I noticed that Emily Etta PARROTT was in need of a FamilySearch Tree ID.

This memory of her probably brings a smile to most people who notice the stone by the west wall of the churchyard.

Born in Upton, Lincolnshire, she was with Mary Elizabeth in Filey when the census was taken in 1901. They offered lodging to visitors at 4 Rutland Street.

Photographed this afternoon

That year, Emily was 27 and Mary 32. Some of Mary’s forebears were established in Filey before the end of the 16th century and it would be interesting to know how she formed such a strong bond with the daughter of an agricultural labourer from the other side of the Humber. The two women appear to have lived together to the end of their days, Mary departing first aged 91 and Emily following about fifteen months later.

About three years ago I found Emily’s parents on the Shared Tree, their record associated with the christening of their first child in 1856. Looking today for a more substantial pairing I happened upon Emily’s older brother George Woodward Parrott. Five years separate them, and both were born in Upton – but although they should have the same biological mother, George has been placed with  Elizabeth nee DOWLE.

This Elizabeth’s husband George died in 1911; “just Elizabeth”, mother of Sarah Elizabeth and Emily Etta, buried her George in 1885. The GRO Births Index shows her maiden surname.

PARROTT, Sarah Elizabeth, Mother’s Maiden Surname: VICKERS. GRO Reference: 1857 J Quarter in GAINSBOROUGH Volume 07A Page 629.

PARROTT, George Woodward, Mother’s Maiden Surname: VICKERS. GRO Reference: 1868 S Quarter in GAINSBOROUGH Volume 07A Page 713.

PARROTT, Emily Etty (sic), Mother’s Maiden Surname: VICKERS. GRO Reference: 1873 D Quarter in GAINSBURGH (sic) Volume 07A Page 722.

The confusion doesn’t end here. The eldest brother of Sarah, George and Emily – Tom – is correctly pinned on the Shared Tree with his christening source but he has been married to the wrong woman and misplaced geographically in 1881 and 1891.

This will take some sorting out. I hope to offer my “workings” in Confusion Part 2 tomorrow.

PARROTT, Tom, Mother’s Maiden Surname: VICKERS. GRO Reference: 1859 J Quarter in GAINSBOROUGH Volume 07A Page 627.

Abstract 75 · Iron Stone

Seawall, Filey Sands

About Another Boy

Last week, chatting to someone I met while out walking, I briefly told the story of Michael David WARE, the lad who died in a cliff fall (Michael Lost). In response, I was asked if I knew about the boy killed quite close to where I now live. It seems the event had somehow come to the attention of several people but nobody had come up with details. My questioner thought it had happened about 70 years ago.

I don’t know for certain, but the incident recalled may have involved George Gilbank WYVILL, who lost his life in 1917.


BOY DROWNED IN A POND.- George Gilbank Wyvill, aged 13, the son of Mr. J.W. Wyvill, of 3, Mitford-street, Filey, was playing with a companion named Frank Appleby, when he slipped into a brick pond, on land in the occupation of Mr. Appleby, of Manor Farm, Muston-road. The body was recovered by the use of grappling irons about an hour later. At the inquest held by Mr. H. Brown, deputy coroner, a verdict was returned that the boy was accidentally drowned.

Driffield Times, 25 August 1917

There is a Frank Appleby, two years younger than George, living a few of stones’ throws from Mitford Street in 1911. His father is not known but his grandfather, James was a farmer, residing in West Parade in 1911 and not on a Manor Farm. There is also an issue with George not being alone when the accident happened. His monumental inscription does not agree with the newspaper account.

‘We shall meet again’

In sad memory of GEORGE GILBANK, the dearly loved son of JOHN & RACHEL WYVILL, who was drowned in a brick pond while sailing a boat, Aug 16th 1917 aged 13 years.

‘No one stood around him

To bid a last farewell

No words of comfort could he leave

To those he loved so well’

The inscription was recorded by John and Maisie Crimlisk in 1977 (G394) but the stone was not found by the East Riding Family History surveyors in 2014 (No.2195).

I cannot find a Manor Farm along Muston Road but across the road from Grange Farm there was a brickyard that was working in 1911 and disused in 1926. Two ponds are shown and overlaying them on the Bing Aerial View gives support to the recently surfacing local memories of George’s drowning.

The fit of the ponds into the grassed amenity areas is almost perfect – but in which might George’s life have ended? He is said to have slipped so the pond by the Brick Works would be more likely. There is no indication of elevation change around the eastern pond.

“Brick Works Pond”, Doran Close
“Eastern Pond”, between Hindle Drive & Hallam Close

George has an extensive pedigree on Filey Genealogy & Connections. Coincidentally, his grandfather is Crompton Wyvill who featured in a post just a few days ago (A Puzzling Mismatch). Find him also on the FamilySearch Shared Tree.

Wave 47 · Bridge Hole

Google Alt Text: a picture containing corn

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

The Elusive John Hartas Lawson

You would think that fellows with unusual middle names would be easy to track and trace in Victorian Britain. Not so.

I have given “our John” a tick of approval because the minimal information attached to him on the Shared Tree is sound. Opening his single source on FamilySearch gives Emma Atkinson and Agnes Ramsden as possible spouses but, fear not…

The couple married in Filey St Oswald’s and the register entry tells us more.

John died less than eighteen months later but I couldn’t find any newspaper reports of his passing.

In 1901, Ann is “living on her own means” at 10 Mitford Street, Filey, with granddaughter Elizabeth. Ten years later at the same address she is described as a lodging house keeper, and a different granddaughter, Everellda, is with her. Helpfully, Ann noted the length of her marriage to Robert Killingbeck on the census form, 21 years, and that she’d had six children with him, of whom three had died. (Elizabeth is the illegitimate daughter of Ada, though she is Elizabeth ALMAND on the Shared Tree. Everillda is the daughter of Robert Tate KILLINGBECK and Christina SELLERS/SELLARS.)

John Hartas’ birth year – 1847 – has been calculated from his given age at death. A search of this year on Free BMD offers eleven boys called John Lawson plus one with a the middle name “Heslin”. This lad, born in Sunderland, was still alive in the twentieth century, so no misspelling involved there. There are sixteen just Johns born in 1846, plus four with middle names that can’t be mistaken for Hartas. None of the birth registration places caught my eye – and knowing his father was a labourer called John is of little assistance.

However, knowing that John Hartas had been married before suggested another strategy. I looked for a John H. marrying in a place of interest and found one in 1866. This is a little too early to be encouraging, but the marriage to either Johanna BENFIELD or Ella SOLOMAN took place in Kensington. At the 1871 census, Robert Killingbeck and Ann were enumerated at different Kensington addresses, Robert at York House Stables, where he worked as a coachman, and Ann at Dukes Lane (with daughter Ada, 1, mother Mary Tate nee HOLLAND, 46, and a nephew, Thomas, aged 2).

It is tantalising to think that Ann and John may have met in Kensington, even as she had more children with Robert, but for this to eventually end in them marrying requires  the wife of John H to follow Robert Killingbeck to the next world before 1889. I have found no evidence of this happening.

I will keep searching but other tasks await. Perhaps you, dear reader, can help.

Landscape 140 · Filey Bay

Cliff path above Muston Sands

Egyptian Variant

A vulture, not seen in this country for over 150 years, reminded me of a nightjar from the same neck of the desert, shot by Albert Charles SPINKS in 1883.

I didn’t need much reminding – I read the story while having my breakfast a couple of days ago.

Egyptian Nightjar, Caprimulgus aegyptus. This pale desert nightjar has been recorded just twice in Britain. The second occasion was in 1984, but to the first attaches an entertaining story. A Nottinghamshire gamekeeper, Albert Spinks, flushed a bird from its resting spot while he was shooting rabbits and, thinking it looked unusual, brought it down with his second barrel. A day later when it started to smell he threw it on to the ashpit near his cottage, only for his ornithologist employer, J. Whitaker, to notice and retrieve the skin. Whitaker sent it to his taxidermist and subsequently had its identity confirmed as an Egyptian nightjar, then he honoured ‘his’ find by erecting a monument at the site of discovery (Thieves Wood near Mansfield). The inscription, in which the largest letters spell his own name, was intended to read: ‘This stone was placed here by J. Whitaker, of Rainworth Lodge, to mark the spot where the first British specimen of the Egyptian Nightjar was shot by A. Spinks, on June 23rd, 1883, this is only the second occurrence of this bird in Europe.’ In fact ‘occurrence’ was misspelt and the date appears to have been wrongly given as 1882.

The stone is significant as probably the only memorial raised to an individual wild bird in Britain for more than a century (see Great Auk, page 254). Whitaker’s mounted skin of the bird is now in Mansfield Museum, but his stone was recently replaced by a simple concrete post with only a nightjar etching and the date, which now forms part of a nature trail through Thieves Wood.

Birds Britannica, Mark Cocker & Richard Mabey

There is a photograph of the concrete post on Joseph WHITAKER’s Wikipedia page.

Albert’s claim to infamy isn’t obvious on the FamilySearch Tree and his employer, who didn’t have to work for a living, only has one ancestor – his father Joseph.

Looking for Whitaker descendants offers an example of good sources leading to unbelievable outcomes.

One source attached to the tree places the marriage of Joseph and Mary EDISON (sic) in Mansfield, in the Second Quarter of 1872.

A second source is even more helpful in recording the ceremony at Blidworth on 16 April 1872 and informing us that the bride was the “only surviving daughter of the late Booth Eddison, surgeon of Nottingham”. Booth is represented on the Shared Tree but is not yet married to Eliza ELLIS, with whom he had three daughters and one son, Alfred. Two of his girls were with him when he died on 7 March 1859 in Funchal on the island of Madeira. The more benign climate there was no match for tuberculosis. If one of the daughters at his deathbed was firstborn Sarah Anne, she would die in Mansfield just a few months later, aged 19. Alfred died in Penzance in 1861 aged 16 and middle daughter Margaret in Nottingham in 1866, aged 22.

The middle name of the first child born to ornithologist Joseph and Mary Eddison came from his grandmother Mary RANDALL. His birth in Blidworth in 1875 was registered in Mansfield. In April 1911 he is with his widowed father at Rainworth Lodge (near Thieves Wood) and before the year is out he has married Selina READ in Curling, Newfoundland. A whirlwind romance?

Booth Eddison seems to have been a remarkable doctor. If you want to discover more about his short life, start here and follow the offered links.There is a likeness of him here and lot of information about his forebears here.

But don’t forget the poor Egyptian Nightjar.

Path 140 · Nuns Walk

Michael Lost

In the early evening of Friday 9 June 1950, two schoolboys walked to the cliffs on the north side of Carr Naze in search of seagull eggs. Only one returned to sleep in his own bed. Michael David WARE slipped while making his way down a grassy slope towards a nest he had seen, failed to control his slide and vanished over the cliff edge into Black Hole.

Michael’s friend, Benjamin ROBERTS, alerted the Coastguard and his account of the accident appeared in later newspaper reports.

Michael was buried on 13 June in the sheltered corner near the south door of St Oswald’s.

The “book” stone remembers his parents Roderick Leslie and Edna May. They are represented on the FamilySearch Shared Tree but Les, as he was widely known, has not yet been connected to his father, William [LH7X-Z15].

William is waiting for a wife – Caroline Elizabeth BEGG – and the WARE male line doesn’t go back far. I wonder what our ill-fated egger would have thought about having King ALFRED as a many times great grandfather, had he lived to be a silver surfer. If the Shared Tree is to be believed, Michael had many other forebears among royalty and the elites of Great Britain and several European nations. I recommend a grand tour of his ancestry, all the way to Welsh kings who lived before the birth of Christ. His father, Les, involved himself in charitable work with Filey Lions for the last thirty years or so of a long life and this contribution is honoured on a bench near the Church Bridge gate.

Michael’s mother died aged 82 on the 43rd anniversary of her boy’s funeral.

Measure of Man 56 · Arndale

Moses Found

His name on a list caught my eye a couple of days ago. In the Filey Genealogy & Connections database the vital dates for him are imprecise. There is also no clear indication that he had any dealings in the town. He seems to have spent most of his working life as an agricultural labourer initially, before taking on a small farm of 14 acres – but being successful enough to enlarge a holding that required a number of live in “hands” to help run it. One of these was Samuel TEMPLE a waggoner on Manor Farm in 1901 and the farm’s foreman ten years later. Moses died just a few weeks before the 1911 census, leaving Emma and their surviving daughter Dinah Elizabeth. Dinah married Samuel the following year at the Ebenezer Chapel in Filey.

I was pleased to see Moses on the FamilySearch Tree and set about looking in newspapers for the marks he might have made in his small corner of the East Riding of Yorkshire. I was amused to see that about half of my searches triggered stories about bulrushes – and only three small items that mentioned him.

Four of these worthy gentlemen were mentioned in despatches the following year, when the children of Folkton and Flixton schools “visited Filey in glorious weather”. (Mr. Ashby RICHARDSON also received a mention, a relative perhaps of P. Richardson.)

The last snippet indicates that Moses went quite swiftly and unexpectedly to meet his Lord.

Mr Moses Found, a well-known farmer, of Folkton, was taken ill on his way home from Seamer market on Monday, and, being removed to his home, died just after his arrival.

Driffield Times, 25 Feb 1911

He was sixty-nine years old and left effects valued at almost £10,000 (about £816,000 today).

Clouds 51 · Filey Bay