The Harriet DOVE I found yesterday, a domestic servant at age 13 in 1851, was not the daughter of “Snaith George”. The muddled, mistaken family was at that time about 3,000 miles away in Brant County, Ontario. No wonder I had failed to find them in the England & Wales census.

Small elements of doubt. I unearthed the christening records for the children this morning and all the entries in the Hook Chapelry book gave George’s occupation as “Innkeeper”. This doesn’t solve yesterday’s mystery scrawl. And George told the Canadian enumerator he was a Mason by trade (and a Methodist by religion). I then happened upon a source from a much later date that said the family arrived in Canada in 1840. so what are the chances of these migrants being mistaken Doves all over again?

In 1841, in Snaith, the family comprised:-

George, 35

Rachel, 35

Ann, 9

Sarah, 7

Emma, 5

Harriot, 3

George, 1

The birth and christening records show variant children’s names – Ann Elizabeth, Harriet and George Wesley.

Compare the list with the 1851 Canada census:-


Not a slam dunk, but close. (In 1841 England, enumerators were instructed to give adult ages to the nearest five years.) I can’t explain Sarah’s absence. It is possible she was left behind in the home country but it’s perhaps more likely that she died in Canada before 1851.

On a happier note, I found a record of Harriet’s marriage to Benjamin F. CHEESBRO, son of Joseph and Jane, in Norfolk, Ontario on 11 September 1858. But nothing else.

There is still the muddle on the Shared Tree to sort out. I am receiving help from another contributor, so with luck and a following wind…

A Mystery Occupation

The two Georges DOVE are still in a tangle on the Shared Tree. There are enough sources on FamilySearch to make a sound case for a switcheroo but I’m still looking for a piece of gotcha evidence. As mentioned in an earlier post, each George heads a household in the 1841 census but “Snaith George” then seems to disappear with Rachel née BICKERTON. Of their five children, I have only found Harriet in 1851 – as a 13-year-old servant in Whitgift, (about 8 miles from Hook where her parents married).

Middleton George is a widower in 1871 and living with his married daughter Jane Elizabeth, son in law George WARLEY and three grandchildren, Jackson, Charlotte and Mary. He is described as an annuitant and at the given age of 67 is old enough to have given up blacksmithing. He is actually 74-years-old with eight more years to live.

Snaith George’s given age in the 1841 census is 35 – and I can’t make out his occupation in the page image accessed at Find My Past. Any suggestions?


Left Behind in Filey

A substantial stone by the west wall of St Oswald’s remembers a young boy, a stranger to the town.


Gustav Henry was one of eight sons born to Gustav BUSCH, a Liverpool merchant, and Louisa PURTON. About eighteen months after Gustav Henry died they named their fifth son Gustav. Six years after that Adele Louisa was born – the couple’s only daughter.

Gustav senior was born in Hamburg but census returns say he was a naturalised British citizen. Louisa was also a British subject but born in New York City. She has a long and distinguished European pedigree stretching back to the 15th century.

Gustav traded in cotton and did very well, though he dissolved at least two partnerships on his way to amassing significant wealth. The family lived for many years in Hayman’s Green, West Derby. In 1871 the household was run by eight servants, in 1901 just four and in 1911, five. Gustav was not “all work”. He played golf and kept pigs. In 1890 his sty was attacked by swine fever and the local authorities ordered one of his animals to be killed.

As Gustav Henry died in late September, I assume Louisa came with her four young boys to the new and select “watering place” on the Yorkshire coast. It was typical for busy entrepreneur husbands to stay for just a few days; their wives, children and servants for a month or more. Long enough for Gustav Henry to sicken and die.

The verse on his stone reads:-

‘Despise not one of these little

Ones for I say unto you that

In Heaven their Angels do

Always behold the face of

My Father which is in


Matt. 18th Chap. 10th Verse

Of the brothers he didn’t get to meet, Louis took Holy Orders and officiated at the wedding of the youngest sibling, Harold Ferdinand, to Edith Hilda CLEAVER in 1913. Oscar Julian died aged 26 in Ringwood, Hampshire.

I would like to think Gustav Henry had some great times with his older brother, Freidrich Otto. Fritz died on 6 April 1879 in Algiers, aged 23. I have no idea what he was doing there.

Gustav senior has about ten duplicate IDs on the Shared Tree. I will merge them over the next day or two and add a few sources to those already attached to the family. Right now, they are best represented here.

Mary, Mary…

More contrariness in the Middleton DOVE family.


The wife of William NEWLOVE had an older sister called Mary who died in 1844. So, the above arrangement on the Shared Tree only needs a bit of tweaking to put things right. Change the birth date and connect her to the rest of her birth family – after Rachel BICKERTON has been replaced by rightful spouse Rachael SELLER.

In 1881 William and Mary’s household in South End, Middleton on the Wolds is of particular interest. In addition to their five children, they are sheltering two indoor male farm servants, John and Gilbert DOVE, and a thirteen-year-old female servant, Charlotte WARLEY. I haven’t yet discovered who the parents of the Dove boys are, but you may remember Charlotte as the beautiful but cruel sister of poor “feeble-minded” Floy.

A short distance away, at North End, are John Seller DOVE, his wife Mary SIMPSON and seven children. John, older brother of Mary and uncle to Charlotte, has taken his recently deceased father’s place as the village blacksmith.

Coronavirus Update

A third person in the UK has fallen sick to the novel Coronavirus. The BBC’s Health & Science Correspondent, James Gallagher writes –

This is not a surprise, not a reason to panic and not a reason to press the alarm bell.

For as long as the epidemic rages in China, there is a risk of people travelling to other countries, including the UK, before they become sick.

But there are crucial differences between the UK and China.

First is the scale of the problem. The UK has three confirmed cases, China has 28,000.

This may be fake news. Zero Hedge and The Taiwan News have reported the possibly accidental or whistleblown release, briefly, of much higher figures. 154,023 infections and 24,589 deaths, five days ago. The incubation time is now generally reckoned to be between six and seven days so by the weekend these higher figures will have doubled. If they are five times closer to the truth than the BBC’s numbers, there’s still no need to sound the alarm in the UK. The regime’s current Chief Medical Officer assures us everything is under control. (His predecessor believed baby wipes could see off the threat of Novichok.)

However, if you want to keep up with the pandemic there is English “old school” instruction and advice from Dr John Campbell and no-nonsense American opinion from Chris Martenson at Peak Prosperity.

When infection spots begin to appear in South America and Africa on the Johns Hopkins world map the panic should, perhaps, begin. For whom the alarm bell tolls… (At 20.45UTC today the map hasn’t yet updated the UK to 3 infections – and is still offering the possibly fanciful low numbers for Chinese infections and deaths.)

Dove Tale

One George DOVE was a grandfather of the WARLEY girls of Middleton on the Wolds.

Last month, I deliberately titled a post Floy Warley, so that this blog might take the top spot from Rootspoint – should one in a billion people Google-search for the poor woman.

I was tempted to play the same card today with George, but there are two Yorkshiremen with this name, contemporaries, who found their wives, both called Rachael, in villages only twenty-five miles apart. I didn’t want to flummox the crawlers.

Over at FamilySearch the bots (whatever) can be fooled into offering inappropriate hints – though human agents must unwittingly contribute false data to make this happen.

I will call the men George of Middleton and George of Snaith, after the places where the census enumerators found them in 1841. In real life, only one was the grandfather of Charlotte and Floy. On the Shared Tree, both of them are. It is a complicated tale.


The only significant error here is George of Middleton’s birth date. The absence of Rachael’s family name is made good by the next screenshot.


Note the date and place of the marriage.


Same date, different place. This is George of Middleton with his correct dates of birth and death, his parents and his youngest daughter Esther (sometimes Easter) – but married to George of Snaith’s wife. Now, a further complication.


The two Rachaels fledged a number of baby Doves before civil registration began but, fortunately, they then had several children that are readily found in the GRO Births Index.

In the first quarter of 1839, George of Middleton registered the birth of Jane Elizabeth, Charlotte and Floy’s mother-to-be, in Driffield Union.

In the last quarter of the same year, George of Snaith registered the birth of George Wesley in the Goole Union. Middleton is in the Driffield Registration District, and both Hook and Snaith are in the Goole RD.


DOVE, Jane Elizabeth, Mother’s Maiden Surname: SELLERS (sic). GRO Reference: 1839 M Quarter in DRIFFIELD UNION Volume 23 Page 30 Occasional Copy: B.

DOVE, George Wesley, Mother’s Maiden Surname: BICKERTON. GRO Reference: 1839 D Quarter in THE GOOLE UNION Volume 23 Page 213.

The 1841 households of the two families are found in the FamilySearch sources.


“Elizabeth” here is Jane Elizabeth.


Young George is George Wesley.

George of Middleton has at least five IDs. I haven’t rounded up all the IDs for George of Snaith but suspect he has a similar number. The wives ditto. So, there is a lot of merging to be done. The mixing of the marriages, evident in the screenshots, won’t make this straightforward.

One day, perhaps, the FamilySearch “system” will be smart enough to red flag the data entry errors that have caused this mess – rather than acquiesce by offering a Census hint for the “wrong” family.


One George and Rachel duo has the birth and death dates of the other, ensuring this hint points to the wrong clutch of Doves. Not a Match.

Mary Ann Still a Mystery

A couple of weeks ago, in A Passage to India?, I expressed doubt that “Mary”, daughter of Edward HEMINGTON and Mary Ann EAST,  had married Daniel McCarthy and borne a child in Poona.


I messaged a contributor who I thought might help, and on Tuesday received a welcome reply. Mary, though still without a family name, has been unlinked from the Hemingtons. (You can see her current status here.)

This departure left a space in the Hemington household to be filled by Mary Ann.


Placing Mary Ann with her birth family has been straightforward. I found she had two IDs that I had previously missed. I also discovered that her youngest sister Emily, missing from the list above, was also represented on the Shared Tree.

Mary Ann’s marriage to Frederick George O’Brien on 23 March 1863 in Lambeth looks solid. (Edward Hemington is named as her father.)

The bride was either very heavily pregnant at her wedding or had already given birth to Emily Bertha. This child’s birth was also registered in the March Quarter of 1863 – and her death aged 2 in 1865, around the time that second child Sophia Mary Ann was born. Sophia fared better, living long enough to marry and have three children, but dying in 1902 aged 36. Frederick and Mary Ann’s third daughter, Martha Margaret, didn’t quite make it to her second birthday.

Uncertainty surrounds Mary Ann’s death. The 1881 census enumerator found only Frederick George and his 15-year-old daughter Sophia at home in Sumner Street, Southwark, and the Find My Past transcription describes him as a widower. From the birth of her last child to the spring of 1881, I couldn’t find a death registration that was a close time and space fit for Mary Ann. In the final quarter of 1883, a Mary Ann O’Brien died in Lambeth aged 45, giving a calculated birth year of 1838. I couldn’t find any newspaper reports of this Mary’s passing and forking out for a speculative death certificate isn’t an option. Before giving up, I had a look at the 1881 CEB page image. For Frederick’s status, the enumerator had written “Mar Widower”.  It is possible that the couple had separated, with Sophia choosing to stay with her father. Frederick may have taken up with another woman – and he married her as soon as he was free to do so. His marriage to Jessie McKAY was registered in the same quarter as best-fit Mary Ann’s death.

Perhaps a close reading of local newspapers not yet available online would solve the mystery. Find Mary Ann on the Shared Tree but more work has to be done to connect her to the Skipsea/Filey Colleys.

Floy Warley

At the Coroner’s inquest into her death, cruel sister Charlotte said that Floy had been an imbecile all her life. “I liked to keep her for company. She was no good to me, but she was not quite helpless.”

If you search for her name on Google, you will find our Floy in a Rootspoint offering.


Floy was once a fairly popular unisex name, though 18 times more girls were given it than boys. One of its meanings is “flourishing” – sadly inappropriate for an imbecile. But how were the parents to know?

Records show that they, and their horrid daughter Charlotte, should perhaps have known better than to have ended up diminishing and degrading Floy.

In 1883 the Middleton School Admissions book records her name, and in the 1891 census, aged 13, she is a “scholar”. In this and the previous census, nothing is noted in the Infirmity column. But in 1901 this appears –


This was a new label to attach to unfortunate people, arguably less harsh than “imbecile”, but it caused the government some problems when compiling statistics. Had the “insane” population risen between 1891 and 1901? You can get a handle on the dilemmas of statisticians by reading the appropriate section of the 1901 Census Report.

In 1901 Floy was 23 and single, and her parents both 63. In the Chapel Lane house with them was a “nurse child”. One wonders how capable either woman was to care for this infant. “Nancy Cresey” was 11-months-old and born in Loughborough Junction, London. How did she fetch up in Yorkshire? Her birth registration indicates that she was legitimate; her mother’s maiden surname FOSTER.

The next census, 1911, finds Floy with her mother in Middleton on the Wolds. Her father has been dead for five years and mother Jane Elizabeth, now in her seventies, has an occupation – “midwife”. Does this caring profession explain the nurse-child? Does it make a mockery of Jane Elizabeth, in her own hand, describing her youngest child’s infirmity thus:


Jane died in 1913 and Floy was shipped down to South Norwood, which just happens to be about six miles from Loughborough Junction. Her last few years may have been different if her sister Mary, closer to her in age, had still been alive. She had married James Frederick WING in 1889, given birth to four children but died aged 28 when her youngest was a month or two old. This child, Ellen Elizabeth, was living with her uncle George Toyn COLLEY and aunt Charlotte as an adopted daughter in 1911. It was she who assured the Coroner that Floy had been well-cared for. (So why did the doctors at Croydon infirmary describe her as verminous and not so clean as she might have been”?)

Floy’s eldest sister, Rachel Esther, married a carpenter and wheelwright Thomas Robinson FISHER. They had just three children together and appear to have strayed no more than three miles from Driffield until their deaths in the 1930s. Why didn’t they take Floy in?

I wonder what Floy looked like. Was she as beautiful as Charlotte? Did she have more about her than her nearest and dearest gave her credit for? I hope she experienced some happiness in her life.

I merged Charlotte’s IDs today so click this link if you want to see the family on the Shared Tree.