A Woman of Deeping

The clerk at St James’ Church in Market Deeping gave her the name Lavina Jane.

Her first name is “Lavinah” on the monument in St Oswald’s churchyard.

Just because a name or date is carved in stone, (or set with letters cast in lead), it doesn’t mean the information is correct, but I think Lavinah is the form she preferred. It is offered in other sources, though some latter day transcriber/digitizers who can’t believe their eyes have gone for “Lavinia”. What does it matter? The three versions all spring from the same Latin root. In Roman mythology, Lavinia is the last wife of Aeneas. Her name means “Woman of Rome”.

A local newspaperannounced that the marriage of “Lavina Jane” to Alfred SAWDEN, a Liverpool chemist, had taken place at the Bishop Street Chapel, Leicester on 8 September 1880. We know from Thursday’s post that Alfred had been born in Sherburn in Hartford Lythe and so, roughly calculated, his journey to the altar had been one of at least 210 crow-flown miles. Lavinah had not travelled as far. It is about 35 aerial miles from Deeping St James to Leicester but, for a fair comparison, one must add double the distance from Leicester to Uttoxeter, giving a total of 105 miles. In the 1871 Census, “Lavinah Jane Hainsworth” is listed as a 27-year-old servant in the household of Edwin Peter MINORS, a Uttoxeter Silk Mercer and Draper. Lavinah was working for him as a “Milliner Assistant”.

As is always the case, I would like to know the circumstances of her first meeting with Alfred.

After the Leicester wedding, the couple set up home in Lark Lane, Toxteth Park, and they owned a property there to the end of their lives. They do not appear to have had children but in 1891 Harry Edward, Alfred’s youngest brother, is in residence, working as an apprentice pharmacist. (The enumerator has changed Alfred’s given name to Andrew. RG12 2940 f98 p8.) Ten years later Alfred’s assistant is Percy W. BOUGHEN (RG13 3441 f110 p6).

Alfred died at 28 Lark Lane in February 1910, aged 58. By this time, the Sawdens had purchased a second home in Filey and Arthur was brought to St Oswald’s for burial. Probate was granted to Lavinah and her brother in law Arthur Jabez.

The current value of Alfred’s effects is about one and a quarter million pounds.

Lavinah died six years later at the Filey house, leaving effects valued now at around £109,000 for her nephew to deal with.

To the ever dear memory of ALFRED SAWDEN, died February 9th 1910, aged 58 years.

Also LAVINAH JANE, wife of ALFRED SAWDEN, died January 5th 1916, aged 73 years

‘The memory of the just is blessed’

I searched newspapers for reports of Arthur and Lavinah’s exploits but didn’t find anything noteworthy. There was however, this sad event in 1885.

Tree 55 · Church Ravine

“A close up of a tree.” Google gets it right this time. (I think it is a beech.)

Alfred Misplaced

Alfred SAWDEN was not a blood relative of James KNAGGS or Sophia MARSHALL (Tuesday’s post) but he was born into their extended family. The year before he arrived on the planet, his uncle William married James’ elder sister Jane. This connection isn’t yet apparent on the FamilySearch Shared Tree.

Alfred was christened in Sherburn, Yorkshire, on 5 April 1851. A source is attached to his FamilySearch page.

No such event took place that day in Sherburn in Elmet, but don’t take my word for it. If you are able to access the Yorkshire Baptisms database at Find My Past a search will give you this –

Fifty miles away, in the other Yorkshire Sherburn, the vicar of St Hilda’s baptized Alfred.

The East Riding Sherburn is also known as Sherburn in Hartford Lythe, though it seems the longer name was not attached to church records until the 1880s.

The 1851 Census had been taken a week before the christening. Out of curiosity, I checked out the vicar’s household.

A wife, a son, nine lodgers and three servants. Interesting enough already, but one of the servants is Fanny Knaggs – the younger sister of James and Jane.

Fanny, 18, had eleven years to live. She married William BARKER in 1856, gave birth to daughters Emily and Mary Jane, and died on 29 May 1862. She was laid to rest in St Oswald’s churchyard next to her sister in law, Sophia Knaggs.

Alfred is buried a hundred metres away. He married a woman of Deeping St James – I will write about her in a day or two.

Beach 121 · Muston Sands

The Four Wives of James Knaggs

At the end of March 1851, James was at the Pigeon Pie Inn, Sherburn, with older sister Jane and her husband, William SAWDEN. He was 25-years-old, working as a joiner and single. It would be three years before he found a wife. For reasons unknown, he crossed the Humber to Lincolnshire, wooed Sophia MARSHALL and married her in Winteringham on 15 August 1854. In early summer the following year she gave birth to William, their only child, in Filey. When the boy was five months old she died. The family is minimally represented on the FamilySearch Tree.

Sophia’s headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard has fine letter forms that have withstood 164 years of weather quite well.

A year later, James married Ann REYNOLDS in North Frodingham. There is a Scarborough birth registration in the September Quarter of 1859 that could mark the entry of daughter Anne into the world but the child then disappears from view. Mother Ann vanishes too. I cannot find a record of her death but on census night 1861 James is with his third wife, Isabella née BROWN, at 10 Pembroke Cottages, Islington.

James has given up his trade and become a Lay Missionary. His firstborn, William, is living in Winteringham with grandfather William Marshall and “step grandmother” Catherine. (Sophia’s father has married for the third time.)

In 1871 James is the Minister at Stratford Congregational Church and a widower, but young William, 15, is with him and the three children born to Isabella. Ten years later James is a widower still and now an “Independent Minister”. William is working as a grocer’s clerk and the other boy, Cornelius, has a similar position in a chemist’s shop. James’ daughter Isabella Margaret, 18, is listed as “housekeeper” and there are two other servants. Fourth child, Caroline Mary, now 14, is a boarder at Milton Mount College, Gravesend.

By 1891, James is back with the Congregationalists – and has found a fourth wife, Eliza, fourteen years his junior. If this is Eliza Mary WOOLFE, they are in the eighth year of their marriage. Margaret seems to have dropped both her first name (Isabella) and skivvying for her father. At 28 years of age she is now a “Professor of Music”.

In 1901 James is 75 and retired but his house in Hampstead rings with the voices of two native South Africans – Marjorie Knaggs, 9, and her sister Isabel, 7. I must seek out their parents.

James Knaggs is the first fellow I have happened upon who married four times. I haven’t found appropriate statistics for Victorian Britain but in 21st century America 3% of men and women have married three or more times.

I will flesh out James and Sophia’s thin pedigree on the Shared Tree when I can. Quite a few of the people mentioned above have IDs already but they are scattered all over the place. Dots to be connected – and a lot of merges to be done.

Found Object 46 · Filey Sands

A Large Family

I left sculptor Robert SMITH on Thursday with five children. I have added six more. You can find them on the Shared Tree.

On census night in 1881 Selina Hannah was in Arthur Road, Horsham, with seven of them. She had to manage on her own while her husband carved stone somewhere. Robert was alone in Beverley in 1901 but I haven’t located Selina that year. Neither would be visited by the enumerator in 1911.

 At least three of the Smith children died in infancy. Their mother was used to such departures. She had eight siblings and may have outlived them all. (One died before she was born.) The parents were not represented on the Shared Tree but now you can follow this link to William FARMER.  

Aaron, brother of Moses, dressed well and was hardly ever depicted without his “breastplate” studded with twelve jewels. A censer dangles from one hand and he holds his Rod in the other. At my father’s knee, I learned something about Aaron’s physiognomy. “God said unto Moses…” – I’m sorry, I can’t tell you the rest, but it still makes me laugh.

I continue to be amazed by Robert’s skill – but did he abandon his wife and children?

Water 36 · Glen Gardens

The boats have gone into hibernation

A Minnie Problem

John Hendry NORTH, born 1820 in Hull, first married Sarah Doughty SPINK. After bearing seven children between 1842 and 1858 she died in London, but is remembered on a headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard.

John Hendry was 47 years-old when he married Frances Ann Elizabeth SHAILER, 24, in the summer of 1867.  Their first child, Arthur Guildford North, was late to the scene – in 1872 – and he didn’t marry Minnie SMITH until he was forty-three.

Even though she was a Smith, I thought Minnie would be easy to find. Initially, I had the information that she was born in 1879 in East Yorkshire. I added 1878 to the search term and Free BMD offered the following girls.

I had a moan about all these Minnies but it didn’t take too long to find a parish marriage entry that gave her father’s name – William Henry.

My family history detective work is sometimes haphazard and the first two-year-old Minnie I found in the 1881 census was a  boarder in the Sculcoates household of Harriet SHAKESBY, a married charwoman with an absent husband. I had a picture of her in the original Looking at Filey folder.

A page from Albert’s Autobiography, courtesy an anonymous donor

Minnie’s mother Ann Smith, though also described as a boarder (and married with an absent husband), was the eldest of ten children born to Harriet HARTLEY and James Shakesby. The couple’s youngest child, Albert (sometimes Albert Edward) was seven  in 1881 and probably saw Minnie as a little sister. When he was a few years older he lived as a “street arab”, becoming ayoung man of dubious character until he morphed into an evangelist. In later life he was occasionally a local hero in Filey. He died just a few doors from where I am writing this.

It was with a heavy heart that I discovered that this Minnie’s father wasn’t called William Henry. In 1881 that gentleman was living across the River Hull in the Old Town, about a quarter of a mile from the Shakesbys, with his wife Mary née BEEDHAM, three sons and the no longer problematic Minnie.

You can find the three families on the FamilySearch Shared Tree.

Sarah Doughty North née SPINK

Minnie North née SMITH

Albert SHAKESBY (and Minnie Rogers née SMITH)

Tree 50 · Martin’s Ravine

The Bankrupt Brothers

Elizabeth Christiana VICKERMAN married Bridlington sailmaker Thomas SCRIVENER in 1809 and in the next fifteen years gave birth to at least six children. I do not know when she died but Thomas married again in January 1831 when he was 44 and Anna CALAUM 35. Henry Thomas was born at the end of November 1831 and Charles Waters in April 1834.

On Monday I mentioned the unusual bond the brothers had. I said that when William Charles Scrivener was born “maternal grandmother Elizabeth Sweet was also his aunt”. This is a true statement but it does not tell the whole story. William’s birth was registered in the June Quarter of 1867, eleven years after the widow SWEET married his uncle Henry Thomas. His father, Charles, married Elizabeth’s firstborn daughter in St Oswald’s, Filey on the 15th of May that year, when she was either near term or already a mother. Impossible to say when Elizabeth attained her grandmother to William status. She died before the year was out.

Why would a 24 year-old fellow marry a widow twenty years his senior and a mother of seven children, five still living? For love or money?

Some sources claim that Elizabeth’s first husband, William Sweet, was a solicitor but I think he was only a solicitor’s clerk. She may not have been a rich widow. In 1851, aged 20, Henry was working as a draper, but enumerated at an establishment in St Pancras that housed 55 boys and men between the ages of 13 and 47 (median age 25) – an assortment of carpet salesmen, cashiers, clerks – and drapers. I do not know what accidents or designs took him from the capital to the far north of England but in 1861, five years after marrying, he was head of a household in the parish of St Andrew, Newcastle upon Tyne, a “Mustard Manufacturer employing 2 Men”. (Elizabeth’s father in law, Samuel Sweet, had been a Mustard manufacturer.) Three of Elizabeth’s children were at home, including Jane Elizabeth, Henry’s his sister-in-law to be but described by the enumerator as his “daughter-in-law”.

The following year Henry declared himself bankrupt and, for reasons I cannot fathom, was still a bankrupt six years later.

Younger brother Charles Waters Scrivener set out on a more elevated career path. Aged 17 in 1851, he was a Student of Medicine in Hull. I have not been able to find him in the 1861 census but in 1871 he was living in Clarence Terrace, Filey (now West Avenue), an “MD Doctor”. With him were Jane, their second son Thomas, Jane’s sister Mary Elizabeth Sweet and a servant, Elizabeth FOSTER, 19. As mentioned on Monday, first son William Charles was with his grandfather on census night and it would appear that Mary was in Filey to help Jane in a time of trial. Four weeks after the census Mrs Scrivener was dead. She had given birth to three children in three years and had suffered the ignominy (maybe) of her husband’s bankruptcy.

Eighteen months after his wife’s death, Charles married again. His bride was Mary Ann WOODALL. Alas, it does not appear that her father was William Edward, Registrar of the Court.

By 1881, Charles seems to have re-established himself as one of Filey’s doctors. (In 1873 he was also Acting Assistant Surgeon of the 2nd East Riding of Yorkshire Artillery Volunteer Force.) The family of three had moved to 3 Rutland Street and with them was “June CALAM”, a single woman aged 62 described as Charles’ “sister-in-law”. I think this was Jane Ann CALAUM, daughter of Michael and Anna née BRAMBLES. Sources indicate that Charles’ mother, Anna CALAUM, was born eighteen years before Michael and Anna married. As I do not have Michael’s birth record yet, it is possible Jane and Anna were half-sisters.

Henry was a widower for just over five years. He married Jane WINN in Hartlepool in 1873 but I have not found a parish record that might have given his occupation. He had recovered remarkably from bankruptcy because in 1871 he claimed to be – a surgeon. He also told the enumerator he was 35 and had been born in Scarborough. On census night he was visiting widow Dora MORISON, 47, and her four children in Castle Eden, County Durham. Eldest son James, 17, was a Medical Student at Edinburgh University.

Henry died a Gentleman in 1879.

I have not been able to discover what he was doing at the Globe Hotel.

Brother Charles followed him to eternity about three years later and is buried in St Oswald’s churchyard, but nowhere near his first wife.

Dog 29 · Gizmo

The little fella migrated inland some time back. I hope he is keeping well.

Bramleys

Mary Jane CRAWFORD was born to Wesleyan Minister John BRAMLEY and Margaret HART in the spring of 1864. That she would marry a fellow with the middle name “Bramley” is intriguing. Her father John was born in Bubwith, near Howden. After much wandering on the Wesleyan circuit he had returned to his heartland. The births of his last two children, Mary Jane and Fanny, were registered in Howden.

The marriage of Robert Bramley Crawford’s parents was registered in Howden in the same quarter as Mary Jane’s birth. The bride, Elizabeth BRAMLEY, had been born 22 years earlier – in Bubwith. And yet the two families Bramley joined by matrimony were, Roots Magic tells me, not connected by blood.

The chances of Mary Jane Bramley and Robert Bramley Crawford being totally devoid of common ancestors seems impossible to me. I will search for the “missing link”.

John Bramley was a Minister for almost forty years but seems to have been a shy and retiring type. I searched for long enough online and found him officiating at just one marriage. He has seven children with Margaret on the FamilySearch Shared Tree but I have found registrations for two more. Firstborn Emily died aged five in Oldbury in 1858 and there is a James the First whose death record has yet to be found. I can suggest that John was distinguished in a small way. The registration places of his children helpfully track his progress round the country in service of the Lord.

Emily, Westbury on Severn, Gloucestershire

Charlotte Elizabeth, Sevenoaks, Kent

James Hart and John, Carlisle, Cumberland

Margaret, Oldbury, Worcestershire,

Hannah Louisa and James (the Second), Kidsgrove, Staffordshire

Mary Jane and Fanny, Howden, Yorkshire

I have the marriage of John junior to add to the Shared Tree ­­but in 1911, after 27 years together, the couple had not brought any children into the world. John settled for teaching the children of others. At the 1901 census they had eight boarders in Stonehouse, Stroud – including maybe a relative in the oddly named Myles Goyen HART. The boy’s birth registration has the same spelling as the census transcription. He appears to have been illegitimate, as the mother’s maiden surname is not given in the GRO Index.

Tree 48 · Charles Laughton’s Sycamore

See Evron Centresecond photo and info beneath third photo.

Troubled Minds

The Scarborough Mercury 6 July 1888 –

Sad Suicide at Filey

Yesterday (Thursday) morning, a farm labourer named Milner committed suicide by hanging himself. From particulars to hand it seems the deceased resided with his mother in East Parade. The family are natives of Reighton but about twelve months ago removed to Filey. Since that time Milner has been in work, latterly to Mr. Robert Smith, farmer, Church Farm. Deceased was the youngest son of the late Mr. Thomas (sic) Milner, who died suddenly some time ago from heart disease, and ever since this sad event deceased has been depressed and low spirited and would meditate for hours about his father. At times he became so despondent that he betrayed signs of slight mental derangement and required medical care and attention to rouse him to a sense of his position. Latterly he has behaved in a very eccentric manner, which necessitated frequent visits from Dr Tom Haworth, who in conjunction with his father Dr [James] Haworth has treated deceased for hypochondria. Though a tall fine man this despondency had such an effect upon him that he hardly ever, when walking, looked up, his eyes being fixed in the ground. He left home early in the morning to go to his work as usual and took his dinner with him, intending to return home in the afternoon. He however went home between eight and nine and complained to his mother of feeling unwell, and when asked what was the matter with him he said he thought the weather had a great deal to do with it. His mother then sat down to breakfast, after which she left the house, telling her son, whom she never saw again alive, that she would not be far away, as she was merely going to make a few purchases in the town. She soon returned, and on entering the house her first thoughts were for her poor son, and not seeing him where she expected to find him she asked of the children where John had gone. She received an answer to the effect that he had gone upstairs, and her anxiety prompted her to go up at once to ascertain whether he had gone to bed or not. Not finding him in the first room, she went to the upper story of the house, and when near the top, her eye rested in the ghastly sight of her beloved son hanging by the neck from the top bannister rail. She was almost overpowered by the sight, but a recollection of her first duty enabled her to overcome her emotions and she quickly sought assistance. A neighbour at once came, and quickly cut the body down, but examination showed the poor fellow to be dead. While this was proceeding, a messenger was dispatched to Dr Haworth, who lost no time in arriving, but on seeing the body the doctor pronounced life to be extinct. The noose and everything had been most carefully prepared, the rope even having been measured, inasmuch as the feet of the deceased were but a few inches from the floor when he was suspended. It appeared from the marks on the neck that death had not ensued very quickly but had resulted from sheer strangulation. From the appearance of the deceased and the arrangements, apparently he had lowered himself down from the bannister after securing the rope at the top. The rope was a portion of the family clothes-line, and of a strong quality.

Deceased was well known in the town and district as a steady and industrious young fellow and his unfortunate and untimely death has caused much regret among the townspeople, by whom he was greatly respected. He was in his 22nd year. An inquest was held this afternoon before the district coroner.

Although the newspaper report suggests that grief over the death of his father was the only cause of his mental imbalance, John had suffered a more recent loss. His unmarried sister, Mary Jane, had borne a son in the summer of 1887 but the wee chap died in the first three months of the following year. Frank had been baptized at St Oswald’s on 13th July 1887 and had the child lived I think John would have been celebrating his nephew’s birthday rather than hanging himself.

John was the second of five sons born to Edmond Milner and Sarah Ann née WATTS and you can find him on the FamilySearch Shared Tree.

Matthew Milner was seventeen years old when older brother John killed himself. A decade later, he had a near death experience. The Yorkshire Evening Press carried the story on 29 November 1898.

A FILEY FARM FOREMAN IN TROUBLE

Edwin Johnson (21), labourer, was indicted for shooting at Matthew Milner, with a revolver, with intent to murder, at Filey, on September 13. He was detained on a charge of attempted suicide, on the same day. To the first charge he pleaded “not guilty,” and to the second (suicide) “guilty.” – Mr. Kemp appeared for the prosecution, and the prisoner was defended by Mr. C. Mellor. – In his opening statement Mr. Kemp said that there was a second count on the indictment, charging the prisoner with intent to do grievous bodily harm. The prisoner was engaged on a farm at Filey occupied by Mr. T. Smith, but on September 12 he refused to do certain work and left the farm. He bought a revolver for 6s. 6d., and some cartridges at Scarborough, and returned to the farm the next day. He entered the stackyard shouting religious texts. He was seen to be carrying a revolver but said to Wharton Smith that he did not intend to harm him, and that he wanted to see the master. Mr. Smith, however, went for a police officer after the prisoner had fired a shot in the air, and when the prisoner heard that the master had gone for the police, he asked who was “stacking.” He then saw Milner, who was “stacking,” and who had taken the place occupied by the prisoner, and said, “He is a devil to take a man’s job from him.” He then fired at Milner, and the bullet whizzed past. When a police officer arrived, the prisoner put the revolver to his own head and fired, with the result that he lost an eye, and for some time was in considerable danger. – Evidence supporting Mr. Kemp’s statement was given. – Matthew Milner said he had no quarrel with the prisoner. He saw the prisoner point and fire but had no idea whether a bullet was discharged or not.

Mr Mellor, for the defence, contended that the prisoner did not know the dangerous character of the weapon he was carrying. He only wished to frighten the people in the yard. His conduct was of one half-mad or half-drunk, and he was the only one to suffer by it, and he had suffered terribly.

The learned judge advised the jury to dismiss from their minds that the prisoner had intent to murder.

The prisoner was found guilty, and sentence was deferred.

Two days later –

Edwin has a place on the FamilySearch Shared Tree and there his life is thought to have ended around 1900. I have searched through all sources readily available to me and the only death registration that fits at all closely indicates that Edwin did not go blind but continued to do heavy work as a farm labourer. At the beginning of the Second World War the Register places him at Charleston Farm near Grindale. A single man in his sixties, and unlikely to have married subsequently, a death at the age of 91 that could be his was registered in Scarborough in the September Quarter of 1968.

John and Matthew Milner had three sisters. (There are four on the Shared Tree but I think Emily is a cuckoo.) Sarah Ann, the middle girl, remained single and census enumerators in 1901 and 1911 found her living with her mother in Filey. She died in the East Riding Lunatic Asylum in 1919, aged 43. You can find photographs of the institution online by searching for Broadgate Hospital. It was a huge place. Over 900 inmates were buried in pauper graves there but have not been forgotten. Sarah Ann’s mother may not have been able to care for her daughter but she arranged for her body to be brought home to be with her father, brother John and nephew Frank. Sarah Ann senior would join them three years later.

Sky 21 · Royal Parade, Morning

The Donkin Sisters

Ten days ago, in Every Two Years,I wrote –

There is much still to do. Matthew [HALLAM] must be given his first two wives and Jane junior’s bereft husband (not yet named above) finds a second wife close to home.

Visit Matthew and click Mary Cooper’s caret and his first two wives are revealed. You will see in the screenshot above that the husband of Jane and Florence Mary appears twice.

I surmised last week that Jane may have died in childbirth and later discovered that her death was registered in the same quarter as John Robert Carter, her first and only child. The boy’s father, James Robert, waited almost six years before marrying Jane’s younger sister, Florence Mary.

The enumerator in 1901 found James working as a Foreman on a Carnaby farm. He was 29 years-old, single, and married Jane towards the end of 1904. She was 17, making the age gap between them fifteen years. When widower James married Florence, he was 19 years her senior.

History repeated itself, sadly, when James’ first child with Florence died within a few months. The couple had set up home in Octon, and with them on census night was George Allen Donkin, Florence’s youngest brother (described as “a relative”).

Just before the Second World War began, the 1939 Register located James and Florence at Castle House in Hunmanby.

Castle House Farm, Hunmanby

Photo credit: cc-by-sa/2.0 © Martin Dawes – geograph.org.uk/p/4812217

This is the house in which John William Donkin, elder brother of Jane and Florence, was born two days before Christmas, 1880. Fifty-nine years later, Jane Donkin nee Hallam was head of the household – at the age of 83.

Jane Elizabeth Carter was also at Castle House in 1939. The third daughter of James and Florence, she would marry James SEAMAN two years later. I have not been able to determine if James was born in Selby in 1916 or Pocklington in 1923. A husband nine years younger has a certain appeal – but he had the middle name William and the civil marriage record settles for plain James.

It is John William, born in Castle House, who is buried in St Oswald’s churchyard, Filey.

The parish register gives 10 Mariner’s Terrace as the last address of John and Ada.

10 Mariner’s Terrace photographed this afternoon

Water 32 · Martin’s Ravine

The Separation

I have stayed away from the entangled CARTER families for a couple of days, leaving them in the adventurous hands of ‘homebuilt’. I visited them this morning and was pleased to see one family had become two. Several children were living on the wrong side of the tracks but all the heavy lifting had been done (thank you, James) and it was a simple matter to send Elizabeth, Hannah and Edward over to Malton and add poor Robert to the Bridlington folk. I despatched Ann to the cyber-orphanage. I am convinced her mother is someone other than Mary Thompson or Mary Stephenson. Someone may give her a home eventually.

There is work still to be done but both families look healthier after the surgical procedure. Look back to last Monday’s post to see the way things were. As I write, the two Carter families look like this –

The stage is now set for the story of James Robert Carter and the Two Donkin Sisters.

Beach 117 · Mile Haven

Primrose Valley stream and a clearing rain shower