Stathers the Chemist

The Scarborough Gazette Directory of 1905 places Alfred STATHERS, dispensing chemist, at 3 Union Street, Filey. At the census four years earlier, he was resident at this address, above the shop, with his unmarried son, Alfred Bird Stathers, 30, and a Housekeeper, Hannah POOL, age 26 and single. Alfred senior had been a widower for over twenty years, since his wife Mary Jane died in March 1879. Mary Jane was the daughter of Robert BIRD, the subject of last Friday’s post. You may recall that Robert and wife Ruth employed Elizabeth Stathers to help with the running of their London home (1871 census). I speculated that Elizabeth was Mary Jane’s sister in law, and Alfred Stathers was indeed her brother. The relationship of the two women would appear to have been much deeper than mistress and servant, or sisters.

In affectionate remembrance of ELIZABETH STATHERS, late of Malton, who departed this life Dec 27th 1878, aged 49 years.

‘Thy will be done’

Also of MARY JANE STATHERS, the beloved wife of ALFRED STATHERS, who died March 12th 1879, aged 44 years.

‘Nearer my God to Thee

Nearer to Thee’

Also of ALFRED STATHERS M.P.S., who died Sep 3rd 1905, aged 73 years.

‘His end was peace’

This stone is next to that of Robert and Ruth Bird, and if the street numbers have not changed in the last hundred years, Alfred’s chemist shop has morphed into Frothies.

Union Street, Filey

I have united previously unconnected elements of the Bird and Stathers families on the FamilySearch Tree. There is more work to be done – and another stone to present, to make a family group of three.

Path 128 · Church Walk

Migrating Birds

Robert BIRD ran a successful business as a tailor and woollen draper in Queen Street, Filey, for a quarter of a century or more. He seems to have had only two children with Ruth nee POSGATE; Mary Jane born in 1835 and Samuel Robert who arrived twelve years later. Both were with their parents when the 1861 census was taken. Mary Jane married in 1864 and built a nest with Alfred STATHERS. Robert retired from business not long afterwards and flew south to London where the enumerator found him in Hungerford Road, Islington, with Ruth and Samuel Robert, 24, who was working as a junior clerk in the Public Record Office. The trio had a lodger, a commercial traveller in the woollen trade called Adolph WEPPLER, who had been blown across the German Ocean by the winds of fate. The live-in servant, Elizabeth STATHERS, aged 40 and unmarried, was most probably Mary Jane Bird’s sister in law.

The older Birds may have tired of the Great Wen because ten years later they are enumerated in Westcott, just outside Dorking. They are living at The Lodge – and I want to believe they had a few contented years in this small property –

Nowadays, you would have to hand over about £600,000 to acquire ownership but, hey, it is only a couple of hundred metres from Nirvana Cycles.

Robert died in January 1885 and the homing instinct in Ruth was too strong to keep her in Surrey. She is buried in Filey – and her stone remembers Robert. I have put a photograph of it on the Shared Tree.

Path 127 · Headland Way

to Speeton Sands

Bird Watching

There are about sixty representatives of the family BIRD in Filey Genealogy & Connections but only three are remembered in St Oswald’s churchyard. One is Ann, who reached the grand age of eighty. I photographed her stone this morning.

The dedication to “our dear mother” suggests there were two or more children to mourn her loss. Ann did not marry and there are birth registrations for two girls, in 1867 and 1870, that could be her daughters. Ann Mary the First died before her first birthday. Ann Mary the Second was 9 months old when the 1871 census was taken, living with her mother and grandfather Thomas Bird in Murray Street. Thomas, a butcher and a baker, died in 1876. In 1881 mother and daughter are again found in Murray Street, with Ann senior described as a confectioner.

I don’t know what happened to Ann Mary after 1881 but Ann is living alone in Providence Place, working as a charwoman, in 1891, 1901 and 1911.

Ann Bird’s presence on the Shared Tree is minimal.

And so is her father’s –

Thomas had seven children with Ann BRUMPTON, and he was one of nine children born to Robert Bird and Elisabeth (or Elizabeth) JOHNSON. Most of these Bird children can be spotted on the Shared Tree, all but two of them unconnected to any of their siblings. I will attempt to bring them all together over the next few days but I will have a score of merges to do and at least five Bird descendant families to deal with.

Measure of Man 54 · Filey Promenade

Ancestral Trials

The Misses Mary TOALSTER on FamilySearch (IDs GZMR-29J & 9QVZ-N86) could not, of course, be merged, being different individuals. I had two choices. Declare them “not a match” and then change the name of “Mary E.” to create the person Mary Elizabeth HUNT. Or I could make this change first, thereby removing the “potential duplicate”. I thought it better not to break the chain of data custody and go the “not a match” route. I started the clock to see how long this would take me. After four hours yesterday I had most of the information I held on the two Marys uploaded to the Shared Tree but hit some obstacles along the way and didn’t get as far as connecting Mary Elizabeth to her forebears. The most interesting puzzle involved Sarah ODLING, a grandmother of Mary Elizabeth Hunt. She has this toe-hold on the Shared Tree.

And here she is, usurped –

Sarah UNDERWOOD/HUNT has six sources attached to her record. Two census returns, three baptism records for daughter Sarah Ann and one reference to the baptism of Mary Jane the Elder. None of these sources identify mother Sarah as a born Underwood.

It seems unlikely that there were two Mary Jane’s living together as sisters. I have not found a record of the younger Mary. Here are the birth registrations of four children –

(Roger, Mary Elizabeth’s father-to-be, is usually “Rodger” in subsequent records.)

It appears we should accept Sarah ODLING as the wife of James Crowther Hunt. Here is the parish marriage register record –

Grimsby is in Caistor Registration District and the family crossed the River Humber after Mary Jane was born to settle in Hull. I found it interesting that Sarah could write and her husband couldn’t. Sarah’s childhood had not been easy. In 1851, given age 9, she was descibed as a pauper inmate of Boston Workhouse, with her mother Ann, (married, 48), brother Benjamin (15) and younger sisters Elizabeth (6) and Mary Ann (3).

It gets worse. On the Underwood screenshot above the “real” Mary Jane Hunt marries William AARON and if you look on the Shared Tree they have (perhaps) seven children. The youngest, Doris, has an attached record showing her baptism in 1895 in Goole, which is about thirty miles from Hull. By some genealogical legerdemain, she transforms into Doris Lynette, born in Athens, Georgia in 1918. It should not come as a surprise that Mrs Mary Jane Aaron, aged fifty when Doris Lynette was born, was not in real life the daughter of James Crowther Hunt.

I’m not sure I want to bite the bullet. It feels as if I’ve been put through a cement mixer.

Found Object 51 · Primrose Valley

A Tale of Two Marys

Mary Ellen TOALSTER was sixteen years old when three of her eight brothers were killed on the Western Front. James came home from India and Arthur William survived the conflict too – as a mechanic in the infant RAF.

A couple of years after the war ended, aged 20, Mary Ellen married George Arthur DICK in their home town, Hull. The partnership was broken by Mary’s death in 1955.

I turned to the FamilySearch to see if George was represented on the Shared Tree.

This screenshot jumps the gun somewhat – in showing that the Mary E. Toalster who died in 1994 needs to be cancelled to make way for George’s second wife.

George was sixty-years-old when he married Mary the Second and it seemed likely that this was her second marriage also.

The GRO Index entry for her death was helpful in giving her middle name and year of birth.

DICK, Mary Elizabeth, [Date of Birth] 1909. GRO Reference:  DOR  Q1/1994 in HULL (5502B) Reg B51A  Entry Number 129.

It also confirmed the approximate date of her death so I then looked at the “possible duplicate” on FamilySearch to see if that offered any clues.

The two addresses for “Mary E. Toalster” were possibly supplied by a contributor with close family connections. I needed to find a birth family for the former Mrs Coultas before I could tackle the merge. Thanks to the 1939 Register data on Find My Past, this was more easily accomplished than I had expected.

A search in the Register for Mary Coultas born in 1909 found the home in Hull that she shared with husband William Henry, a Railway Signalman and two children. The younger child, Brian, had yet to celebrate his first birthday and his registration gave the mother’s maiden surname as HUNT. Mary’s birthdate was clearly written in the Register as “28/2/1908” but her birth registration and a baptism record confirm 1909 is correct.

All I needed now was to show William making way for George, which he did in the June Quarter of 1957, aged 58.

I haven’t found a marriage record for William Henry Coultas and Mary Elizabeth Hunt yet. Ten years older than Mary, William may have first married Agnes SMALLEY in Howden in 1920. But I think I have enough information to hand to do the necessary merge. Tomorrow perhaps.

Bird 97 · Titlark

I think this is a Tree Pipit but I am playing safe. Rock, tree and meadow pipits were all referred to as ‘titlarks’’ once upon a time. Birds Britannica (Mark Cocker & Richard Mabey) has this:-

Small, brown and streaky, pipits represent either an expansive pleasure dome for the hair-splitting expert or a baffling terra incognita to the tyro. Their dullness is legendary.

The Brothers Toalster

I happened upon the Toalster name for the first time a few days ago when I prepared the Monumental Inscription record and headstone photograph for Catherine APPLEBY.

Catherine was the daughter of James Patrick TOALSTER and Ethel May HARRISON, born in Hull in 1906.

A quick search online for the meaning of the family name and its heartland turned up nothing of value and I must go with my instinct that it is an Irish name. Catherine’s great  grandfather James Toalster was born in the Emerald Isle about 1810, possibly in Galway – the place named in the first of several records that track his career in the British Army. The others are Liverpool, Poona and London where, I think, he was discharged. In 1861 he can be found living in Scott Street, Sculcoates, given age 51 and described as a Chelsea Pensioner.

James was about 44 years-old when his son, also James, was born and did not live to see any of the twelve grandchildren young James had with Mary Ann CLEARY.

Eight of the twelve were boys and four would join the British Army and serve in the most senseless war. All went to foreign fields and only Catherine’s father, James Patrick, came home.

CWGC

John

Edward

Thomas

The three brothers are also remembered at the New George Street Shrine in their home town.

The 13th East Yorkshires was one of the Hull Pals Battalions. If you follow the link you will see that those whose Commonwealth War Graves are illustrated were all killed on the same day as Thomas Toalster. But his mother, still mourning the loss of two of her boys, lived in hope for several months that she might see Thomas again. He had been reported missing at the Battle of the Ancre (13 to 16 November 1916). Then, in late March/early April 1917 –

Ancre was the last of the infamous Somme battles fought over five months. John had been killed on the first day. Edward died from wounds suffered at the Second Battle of Ypres, when poison gas was first used on a large scale.

Only the brother who survived the war is represented on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. I will add the others tomorrow.

Sky 24 · Above the Country Park

Doing the Math

Filey Genealogy & Connections has 92 people called APPLEBY in the database. I have added another forty – but there are just three with a memorial in the churchyard. Francis Appleby, his wife Catherine nee TOALSTER, and their son Frank are not yet represented on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. While gathering information that would enable a connection to be made to Applebys with IDs, I noticed some some discrepancies in the data that I thought required some attention.

Frank is a second great grandson of Thomas Appleby and Rachel LEPPINGTON. It was a surprise to discover that a sister and brother of Rachel’s married siblings of Thomas.

But this post is about James and the discrepancy marked by the red X.

Five of the seven sources attached to James are census returns, and all give his estimated birth year as 1862. If he died in 1944 his calculated age of death would be 82.

Free BMD  has this record ­…

Deaths Jun 1944  

APPLEBY James, [Age at Death] 80, Scarbro’ 9d 311.

…indicating birth in 1864. Further investigation shows this to have been another James, born in Seamer to James Appleby and Ann TROWHELL.

Another source attached to “our James” is the 1939 Register, a “war census” taken on 29 September, which gives his birthdate as 5 October 1860 and his calculated age, therefore, is 79. If the information is correct, he would have celebrated his eightieth birthday six days later.

In the other censuses, however, his given age is remarkably consistent for his birth in 1861. (Do the math, bearing in mind that his birthday was after the censuses – if October is the correct month).

Here is the GRO Births Index record.

APPLEBY, James, Mother’s Maiden Surname: LEPPINGTON. GRO Reference: 1861 D Quarter in BRIDLINGTON Volume 09D Page 269.

This fits perfectly with the 1871 to 1911 censuses where his given age ends with a nine, every time.

The seventh source for James on the Shared Tree is his marriage to Rachel on 20 August 1882. He informed the clerk that he was 21, which is correct for his birth in 1861.

His Free BMD death registration offers this –

Deaths Jun 1940

APPLEBY, James, [Age at Death] 81, Buckrose 9d 108.

Filey Genealogy & Connections gives 25 June 1940 as the date of his burial and his last address as 38 Queen Street, Filey – the address listed in the 1939 Register. But, if you do the math, his age should have been 78 – or 79 if the Register had used 5 October 1860 as its birthday benchmark. I can’t explain this discrepancy.

1939 Register screenshot

(Obscured by the transctiption label are George, James & Rachel’s son, and widow Jane Newbold, housekeeper. I don’t yet know her maiden name.)

Find James and Rachel on the Shared Tree.

Tree 60 · Glen Gardens

Brief Wives

For hundreds of years, women who married inshore fishermen woke each day wondering if they would be a widow by nightfall.

Charles Dickens wrote about one Filey woman who lost her husband to the sea and searched for his body for three months (see A Loving Wife).

Available sources indicate that Elizabeth SPYVEE was 51 years-old when she married Richard RICHARDSON, so the suggestion that they had a child in their four years and eight months together has to be queried.

Born in 1816, Mary ROBINSON may have known Elizabeth, or at least have heard her story. Mary married Richard Anderson CAMMISH in September 1843 when she was 26 years old. Her headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard tells us that he left home one June morning and didn’t return.

Sacred to the memory of MARY CAMMISH, who died on 28th Nov 1882, in the 66th year of her age. She was for 35 years bathing attendant at Filey.

Her husband RICHARD ANDERSON CAMMISH, to whom she was married only 9 months, was drowned at sea and his body never recovered.

This stone was erected by the subscriptions of visitors and residents of Filey as a mark of respect for one who was in every way worthy of it.

In this instance, “written in stone” doesn’t mean that all facts presented are true. The marriage ended after just 155 days.

Richard was skipper of Jerome, a two-masted lugger built in Scarborough by Thomas SMITH in 1838 and purchased in July that year by Jerome VASSALI, a jeweller. An account of the sudden storm can be found at the Scarborough Maritime History website. (Scroll down to the seventh paragraph.)

The two recovered bodies were taken to Filey and buried at St Oswald’s on the 27th. John COWLING junior and Thomas WISEMAN have footholds on the FamilySearch Shared Tree but neither has a memorial in the churchyard.

Widow Mary chose not to marry again and appears to have been self-reliant. I doubt bathing attendants were well-paid but maybe the Vassali family helped out. Roman Catholic immigrants from Switzerland, they appear to have established branches in several Yorkshire towns. Their families are not easy to assemble. A Jerome Vassali aged 38 is a jeweller and master jet manufacturer employing 12 men in Scarborough in 1861 but I haven’t been able to establish who his parents are yet. If he is the son of shipowner Jerome his mother was born Jane ANDERSON and may therefore be related by blood to Richard Anderson Cammish. Captain Syd’s database indicates that Richard’s predecessor as skipper of Jerome was John FELL. A fisherman with that name married Richard’s sister Mary in 1830 and died in 1841 aged 33. Perhaps the respect afforded his widow derived more from a connection to the relatively wealthy “foreigners” than from her service as a bathing attendant.

Beach 131 · Reighton Sands

Scoured out

Miss Prudames

In just four years between 1821 and 1825, Samuel PRUDAMES buried two children and their mother, Hannah nee FOX. Mary, his third child with Hannah, died about three weeks after he had married Mary Ann WILLIAMSON.

Mary Ann gave birth to William a year later. He left this world aged 4 in early October 1831, ten days after the death of his sister Ann. About four years later Samuel’s sixth child arrived – and stayed long enough to marry and have two children with Mary Jane nee THACKERAY. Ruth Charlotte and little Mary Jane were twins. The survival chances of twins in Victorian Britain were not good. I can’t offer any data but from my limited experience, very few Filey twins in the 19th century seemed to survive infancy.

Earlier posts have described Ruth’s marriage to William Henry “Wilf” CASS, and noting that she lived long enough to experience two World Wars.  (She was forty when she saw the “five angels” drown off Reighton Sands in 1902.)

Twin Mary shared Ruth’s love of music but could not match her longevity.

The girls’ father, William Williamson Prudames, had died seven years earlier.

Find Samuel and Mary Ann’s stone (as a memory) on the Shared Tree.

Rock 28 · Muston Sands

“Wilf”

William Henry CASS was not a stranger to me. I wrote about him almost ten years ago on the first Looking at Filey blog, but somehow missed his connection to the Reighton Tragedy. You will find reference to his attempted rescue of the girls at the Norwood College website. Explore further while you are there and you may happen upon the LaF posts – scroll to the ninth item on the Record of Changes. Make sure you also check out the photographs of Wilf and Ruth here.

There has been some recent PRUDAMES activity on the FamilySearch Shared Tree but there is an amount of tidying up to be done. For some unaccountable reason, Ruth’s Uncle Francis Prudames was given a long life, a wife and many children, when in reality he died in his second year. Before removing  Francis and his sisters Ann and Mary from their unbelievable mother I took this screenshot.

I have left Hannah with the seven questionable children, the first four born before she reached the age of ten, but poor Ann ARCHER is out there somewhere, husbandless. I should, perhaps, feel some remorse at being the agent of her abandonment.

Ruth’s grandfather Samuel was born 111 years after the Hannah Kilborn’s husband. You can find him on the Shared Tree here.

Sunrise 50 · Coble Landing