A Boy Named Allison

In 1881, the census enumerator identified the head of a Mariners Place household as “Harrison Mason”. I think this must have been a mistake. At Charleston Farm, Boynton, in 1851, Allison was a 17-year-old farm servant, bunking down with several other young men. In 1871, working as an agricultural labourer, he was at home with his parents in Thwing, his given age 35, his status unmarried, and his name again, unashamedly, Allison.

Two doors away that year, John BENTLEY, hind to Mrs BARUGH, (for whom Allison had worked twenty years earlier), was playing host to his sister in law, Barbara BOWMAN. Barbara’s sister, Mrs Bentley, was on this census night some miles away, under her parents’ roof in Filey – in Mariners Place.

One can’t help being a little intrigued, especially as the enumerator wrote that Barbara was unmarried.

Barbara HUGILL had married Francis Bowman in 1860. He may have died in the first years of the marriage – I haven’t yet found his death registration – but, towards the end of 1879, widow Bowman married Allison Mason in Little Driffield. Barbara’s father had died a couple of years earlier and at the 1881 census “Harrison Mason” shared his home with mother in law Mary. The 76-year-old lady paid her way, working as a laundress with Barbara. Allison was now working as a “general labourer”. He didn’t quite make it to the next census.

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In affectionate remembrance of ALLISON MASON, the beloved husband of BARBARA MASON of Filey who died April 3rd 1890, aged 56 years.

‘Be ye also ready for in such an hour

As ye think not, the Son of man cometh’

 

Also of BARBARA MASON, the beloved wife of the above who died March 18th 1903, aged 65 years.

‘Leave this world without a tear, save for the friends

I loved so dear. To heal their sorrows, Lord

Descend and to the friendless prove a friend’

 

Also THOMAS HUGILL, father of the above BARBARA MASON, who died Nov 19th 1879, aged 77 years.

Also MARY his beloved wife, who died Nov 16th 1886, aged 83 years.

‘Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.

Yeah, saith the spirit, that they may rest

From their labours’

I don’t think Barbara had any children with her two husbands but there was another boy named Allison in this part of Yorkshire, briefly. The registrations of his birth and death are found in the first quarter of 1877, in Driffield. His father was John MASON, his mother Sarah DOBSON, but I haven’t yet found the family connection to the older Allison – which must surely exist.

Find the Allison who grew to be a man on FST.

The Elusive Fireman

Brothers Henry and Warcup CROSHER/CROSIER both called their second–born children Mary Maria. While Warcup settled in Filey, Thomas moved to Kilham, near Driffield, where he married Bessy ASHBY and brought three children into the world. Around 1870 the family journeyed on to Hull, where it almost tripled in size.

Early in 1890, Mary Maria “CROSHAW” married Paul Alexis HERONNEAU and their first child Louis Paul arrived a year later.  Mother and child are living at census time with widow Bessy and four of Mary Maria’s siblings. The enumerator wrongly identified three of these as “Herroneau”, making five in the household bearing that name. Absent, though, is Paul Alexis, and I failed to find him anywhere else in the city, or beyond.

It isn’t strange to find people in a large British port with somewhat exotic family names but I was surprised to find that PAUL HERONNEAU was genealogical kin to a Googlewhack.

In 1901, Mary heads a household in Merrick Street, Hull, comprising just her married self and four sons. At the baptism of the eldest boy, Thomas Alexis, his father was described as a Fireman. Whether he lit fires and kept them burning or attempted to put them out wasn’t specified.

All attempts to find Paul have failed to uncover vital details about him, but someone showed up later that year to provide the genetic material to make Ida and, in 1904, Leonard.

If the Heronneau family had not lived in the city of my birth I may not have pursued them any further but I was attracted by the name, and the cropping up in sources of places familiar to me.

Thomas Alexis and George Henry Heronneau served in the First World War. Both came home, though Thomas was wounded in 1915.

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I didn’t Find Thomas in the 1939 Register but George Henry was a Packer in the Flour Mills, almost certainly one of the factories I passed several times a week as a child. George Henry’s son, also George, went to the same grammar school as I did – Malet Lambert – winning a Third Form prize in 1939. Young George’s first cousin Roy, son of Alfred Heronneau and Ruth Agnes née GUTHERLESS, won a Special Place at Riley High in 1944.

There were surprisingly few manglings of “Heronneau” in the sources so the family readily presented a coherent pedigree, with all of them descended from the mysterious Fireman. Find Paul Alexis. Someone out there must know where he came from.

The Alternative Brothers

Their graves in St Oswald’s churchyard are about 60 paces apart. John’s stone has been out in all weathers for over 30 years longer than his brother’s and it hasn’t worn well.

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The incised letters on Warcup’s stone are still sharp a hundred years after they were cut.

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Warcup was baptised a CROSIER…

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…but he signed his apprentice indenture form and the marriage register on his wedding 1846 as CROSHER.

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Warcup and Ann’s three girls came into the world as Croshers and departed as either Crosier or Crozier in official records. Only the youngest girl married – as Elizabeth Ann Crosier. For this family unit “Crosier” is written in stone.

One wonders if the two brothers talked about changing the family name. They clearly didn’t see eye to eye. Not only did John marry as a Crosher but his son with Elizabeth the Second did too – and died a Crosher in 1971.

Variant family names are an occupational hazard for family historians. I suspect most arise from misunderstandings by record takers (initially) and digitizers/transcribers (in recent years). Not many are at continuing variance by parental or sibling choice. A quick look at the Index of Volume 2 of the East Yorkshire Family History Society’s St Oswald’s Monument Inscriptions shows only one family in this sort of conflict. Crosher/Crosier.

John is with his first wife, Elizabeth PASHBY, who died childless (it seems) at the age of 44.

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About fourteen months later, at the age of 54, John married Elizabeth MILNER, a spinster aged 35. Her widowhood lasted 36 years and her grave, next to John and the other Elizabeth, has a flat tablet letting the world know who placed it there.

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In loving memory of ELIZABETH, second wife of JOHN CROSHER, who died October 16th 1919.

Erected by her son GEORGE HENRY CROSHER Hon. Steward of Westminster Abbey.

Find George Henry on FamilySearch Tree.

Today’s Image

I posted a photo of Ironbridge Gorge last autumn but titled it Landscape 61, forgetting I had an empty category for “Old Life” pictures. My faithful companion, Jude, departed for the Big Kennel on this day five years ago. Six years to the day before that we enjoyed a lovely walk on a bright, frosty morning – and he waited patiently while I made this panorama.

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The Sandholes are between Jude and the risen sun. I don’t know if it is true, but I understood that the sand taken from this place was of a particular kind, perfect for making the moulds into which molten iron could be poured to make useful and/or decorative cast iron objects. Half a mile from this viewpoint, more or less straight ahead, is one of the Cradles of the Industrial Revolution, and an iconic brick structure – The Darby Furnace, where iron was first smelted using coke.

If you copy and paste these coordinates into Google Maps and hit Satellite View you’ll find yourself at the Sandholes.

52.633737°,  -2.500155°

Sandholes

The Old Life ended when Jude and I left Middle England for the Yorkshire Coast, about four months after the Sandholes photos were taken. Here’s a picture of him taken in Filey in March 2009. I miss him, but he’s not really gone away.

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An Unexpected Poet

Whatever it may be, frost heave, soil settle or something other, it nudges gravestones from the vertical, and a few will eventually fall on their backs or faces. The headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard remembering George MILNER, and his wife Mary Ann seems unique in appearing to be pulled, ever so gradually, into the earth by an unknown force. Straight down.

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George was born in Hunmanby, a few miles inland from Filey, in 1813. He married Mary Ann PUDSEY in Holy Trinity Church, Hull, in 1838. Their five children were born in that city and one of the three girls, Elizabeth, married John, a younger brother of Warcup CROSIER, who wed the girl next door (Monday’s post).

George followed the same trade as Warcup, and so did John. They were all joiners. But George was also a poet.

At least, that is what he told the census enumerator in 1851. Journeyman Joiner & Poet. Wonderful.

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For reasons unknown to me, the family moved from Hull to Filey during the next decade and in 1871 George was just a plain, and somewhat less romantic, Master Joiner living in West Road.

I went in search of his poems. If there are any out there, I have yet to stumble upon them. I did find this:-

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Poets are known to have become elegiac in country churchyards but further investigation established this George as a Director of Hull’s Cemeteries and probably somewhat older than 33 years. (I didn’t hold too fast to a notion of him in a dual role of making coffins and dealing with the administration of seeing them put efficiently in the ground.)

However, taphophiles may be interested in this extract from the preface to the second edition of the pamphlet referred to above.

In Hull, the town in which the author resides, there is a population of about 70,000; the published returns of the Registrar General, however, only include the parishes of Holy Trinity and St. Mary; and therefore, in dealing with facts, we must confine ourselves to these districts, which, according to the last census, contained a population of 41,130. So early as the year 1301, Archbishop Corbridge mentions a cemetery in Kyngstone. The burying ground is described in the will of John Schayl, in 1303, as the Cemetery of Holy Trinity of Kingston-upon-Hull; in 1320 King Edward granted a vacant piece of ground at the west end of the church, for the enlargement of this churchyard –  the plot altogether, including the site of the church, only contains about 5,040 square yards, and has never since been used as a place of interment for this parish. It is crowded everywhere with bones and coffins, some of the latter within a foot of the surface; the ground, as may readily be imagined, is one mass of decomposed flesh and blood; it is raised two or three feet above the level of the adjoining streets by interments, notwithstanding those streets are now higher considerably than they formerly were. Holy Trinity is situated in the Market-place, and entirely surrounded by dwellings –  at the west, a row of houses overlooks the ground, and in summer months, offensive smells are complained of. In 1783, a new ground was opened for this parish, containing about 14,520 square yards, – the ground has long since been filled, and no interment can now take place without disturbing human remains; this ground has also been considerably raised by interments above the adjoining streets. In the other parish, we find St. Mary’s Church was founded or enlarged in 1333, as Archbishop Melton then granted a licence for “performing divine offices in the chapel, and rites of sepulture in the ground.” The present churchyard contains about 750 square yards; it is frightfully crowded, and the ground raised four or five feet above street level – graves cannot be made without mangling and displacing remains. A new ground was obtained for the parish in 1774, it contains about 2772 square yards; this is very much crowded, so much so that it is necessary to prick with an iron rod for a new grave. The parishes of Holy Trinity and St. Mary, according to the last census, contained 41,130, as before stated; the published Tables of Mortality shew that from the year 1838 to 1846 inclusive, there have been no less than 10, 601 deaths recorded in these two parishes. How then is it possible that, under existing arrangements, violation of the grave can be avoided? No interment can possibly take place without desecration – the quiet of the grave exists but in the imagination.

Our George Milner was buried in St Oswald’s churchyard on 11 May 1890, about a year after Mary Ann was laid to rest. Their son Robert died in Cottingham in 1898 and was brought to Filey for burial in their grave.

Find the family on FamilySearch Tree.

A Girl Next Door

Two Filey households in 1841 had different addresses, one Church Street and the other Gofton’s Yard, but the census enumerator went from one to the other with no calls in-between. An 1851 Map shows a possible location for Gofton’s Yard.

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Five years later, on 24 June 1846, Warcup CROSIER married Ann HALL at St Oswald’s Church. The frailties of the first major census in England and Wales include the absence of marital status and family relationships and the waywardness of given ages. In this instance, the enumerator ignored instructions and gave Warcup his actual age, but rounded down Ann’s likely age of 19 to 15.

Not shown on the scrap of page image above are others in Jane Hall’s household:-

Christiana Hall, 18

John Palister, 61

Josh Redshaw, 50

Christopher Aucland, 20

John Chapman, 7

Without the family relationships, it is easy to jump to the conclusion that Jane was an unmarried mother, with Ann and Christiana being her illegitimate daughters. This would seem unlikely if she was 35 years old, as enumerated – but she was actually five years older than that. She died in November 1859 at the age of 58. At the 1851 census, she was sheltering Warcup, Ann and the couple’s first child, Jane. Joseph Redshaw was still lodging with her and John Chapman, now 17, is described as “nephew”. It appears that Ann and Christiana were Jane Hall’s nieces. In the St Oswald’s marriage register, Ann does not offer a name for her father and at the 1891 census gives her birthplace as Seamer. A Seamer baptism on 26 June 1821 fits her well; her mother’s name is given as Julia Hall.

Warcup Crosier (or CROSHER) was an apprentice to William WOODALL in 1841 and I wrote a post about his Indenture on Looking at Filey – Apprentice. He lived to a great age, long enough to fret over the deaths of young men in the first three years of the First World War.  In 1911 he was living at 29 Church Street. He hadn’t moved far in 70 years. With him were his unmarried firstborn Jane, 64, and two children of his third daughter Elizabeth Ann – Lillian Crosier and Harry Stanley STOCKDALE.

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This is the Crosier house yesterday (unless the Post Office has changed the street numbering in the last hundred years).

Warcup lived for 16 years without Ann. She died in 1891 aged 70.

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In loving memory of ANN, the beloved wife of

WARCUP CROSIER (of Filey), who died June 24th 1891, aged 70 years.

‘He giveth His beloved sleep’

Also MARY MARIA, daughter of the above who died Feb 8th 1901 aged 47 years.

‘At Rest’

Also JANE, daughter of the above, died May 12 1915, aged 68 years.

Also of the above WARCUP CROSIER who died August 15th 1917, aged 94 years.

Warcup and Ann have several IDs each on FamilySearch Tree. There’s an amount of work needed to set them straight, but if you are interested look here.

Something About Mary

About two years ago I added a 3rd great grandmother to my pedigree on FamilySearch Tree. When I checked back a few days later I discovered a portal had opened to many generations of increasingly illustrious forebears. It was all a bit much. I picked a few favourites from the “famous names” – and one was 14th great grandmother, Mary Boleyn. Who wouldn’t want a high-class strumpet for a granny?

I finished reading Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies this morning and Mary was mentioned several times in the narrative. One of the reasons that Henry 8’s marriage to Anne Boleyn was considered illegitimate was because he’d rogered her sister first.

After an audience with Anne, Master Secretary Thomas Cromwell speaks with Lady Rochford, wife of George Boleyn. Jane says of her sister in law, the queen:-

‘She is losing her looks, don’t you think? Was she too much in the sun this summer? She is beginning to line.’

‘I don’t look at her, my lady. Well, no more than a subject ought.’

‘Oh, you don’t?’ She is amused. ‘Then I’ll tell you. She looks every day of her age and more. Faces are not incidental. Our sins are written on them.’

‘Jesus! What have I done?’

She laughs. Mr Secretary, that is what we all would like to know. But then, perhaps it is not always true. Mary Boleyn down in the country, I hear she blossoms like the month of May. Fair and plump, they say. How is it possible? A jade like Mary, through so many hands you can’t find a stable lad who hasn’t had her. But put the two side by side, and it is Anne who looks – how would you express it? Well-used.’ Page 111.

Had affairs taken a different turn, Thomas Cromwell might have taken Mary Boleyn for his wife.

He sometimes thinks about Mary; what it would have been like, if he had taken her up on her offers. That night in Calais, he had been so close he could taste her breath, sweetmeats and spices, wine … but of course, that night in Calais, any man with functioning tackle would have done for Mary. Page 250.

Henry has fallen for Jane Seymour and ways are being sought to annul his marriage to Anne. Thomas Cromwell discusses the matter with Thomas Wriothesley, Clerk of the Signet, who says:-

‘We can still free the king. My lord archbishop will see a way, even if we have to bring Mary Boleyn into it, and say the marriage was unlawful through affinity.’

‘Our difficulty is, in the case of Mary Boleyn, the king was apprised of the facts. He may not have known if Anne was secretly married. But he always knew she was Mary’s sister.’

‘Have you ever done anything like that?’ Master Wriothesley asks thoughtfully. ‘Two sisters?’

‘Is that the kind of question that absorbs you at this time?

‘Only one wonders, how it would be. They say Mary Boleyn was a great whore when she was at the French court. Do you think King Francis had them both?’

He looks at Wriothesley with new respect. ‘ There is an angle I might explore, Now … because you have been a good boy and not struck out at Harry Percy or called him names, but waited patiently outside the door as you were bade, I’ll tell you something you will like to know. Once, when she found herself between patrons, Mary Boleyn asked me to marry her.’

Master Wriothesley gapes at him. He follows, uttering broken syllables. What? When? Why? Only when they are on horseback does he speak to the purpose. ‘God strike me. You would have been the king’s brother-in-law.’

‘But not for much longer,’ he says. Page 360.

Mary was only 21 years old when she married William CAREY in 1520. Their daughter, Catherine Mary Carey is one of my 13th great grandmothers. Maybe.

Anne’s only surviving child, Elizabeth, is a first cousin fifteen times removed. If only…

I smelled a rat at the pedigree portal and contacted the person who had put the gentleman there. A reply agreed that the fellow was an impostor and he was removed. My glorious and inglorious ancestors vanished. I make do now with agricultural labourers, sail makers, sawyers, dressmakers and washerwomen. Honest, decent folk.

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Butter wouldn’t melt… Portrait of an Unknown Lady.  Accepted by some to be Mary Boleyn, or possibly her sister Anne, but maybe neither. One of several copies if this portrait hangs in the Hall at Rockingham Castle.

Mary on FST

Doubting Thomas

In Dodgy Deals a few days ago I said that Thomas WILSON, son of farmer Joseph, had been elected to the Filey Local Board in the 1880s. Moving on to a different Wilson branch I happened upon another Thomas of that ilk, born 12 years earlier and also enumerated in Filey in 1881. He was living with wife Annie, two daughters and a son – in Reynolds street. Presumably, he would have taken an interest in the contentious footpath.

Might he have been the Thomas Wilson elected to the Local Board? While gathering information on his life, I found this in a local newspaper:-

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There isn’t another R. DOBSON in town that is a better fit for this association than the one who went public with his criticisms of farmer Joseph. The thought flickered that Joseph’s son Thomas might have formed a business relationship with “the enemy”, but he was a farmer too, not a saddler. A small doubt dismissed.

There is a stone in the churchyard remembering saddler Thomas, his wife and mother. Next to it, a large stone that his firstborn daughter, Eliza Annie, has to herself.

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Thomas on FST.

I made only a token effort to take this Wilson family further back in time – because they were incomers to the town from over the moors. Towards the end of the 18th century, the Hawnby baptism records proved to be the most detailed I have ever found, giving the grandparents’ names too and, in some cases their parents also. The unexpected gift of two generations of SUNLEYs isn’t apparent on FST  yet, mainly because I need to determine who is confused – me or a Find My Past transcriber.

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Shaken Bridge in the 21st century.

(There is a small, neat stone in the churchyard remembering Ann SUNLEY of Lebberstone – ‘In life respected, in death lamented’. I haven’t been able to find her family yet but maybe this baptism entry will lead me to her. She isn’t recorded in Filey Genealogy & Connections.)