Little Maggie and Her Great Aunt Richard

I have not been able to find Maggie in public records. Perhaps the only evidence of her short stay on earth is the inscription on a St Oswald’s gravestone.


Her parents, William ALDEN and Mary Elizabeth AGARS, had four children together. The last, Lilian Wilhelmina, was born after her father’s death. Mary Elizabeth, four years a widow, wrote on the 1911 census form that she had been married for fourteen years and had given birth to four living children. Two had subsequently died.

The births of four children can be found in the GRO Index. For a reason that probably nobody knows, first-born Hester may have been remembered after her death as Maggie.


In loving memory of WILLIAM EDWIN, the dearly loved child of WILLIAM and MARY E. ALDEN of Gristhorpe, who died Aug 8th 1901 aged 13 months.

Also MAGGIE their little child who died in infancy.

‘Suffer little children to come unto Me’

Also of WILLIAM ALDEN, dearly beloved husband of MARY E. ALDEN

of Gristhorpe, died Sep 12th 1906, aged 37 years.

‘Gone from memory to…’

The AGARS are well represented on the FamilySearch Tree but I had to add Mary Elizabeth to the six children of William and Mary. She lived below the census radar, being with her grandparents in 1871 and working ten years later in the service of Registered Physician and Surgeon Alexander BREDON.

Little Richard appears in the Find My Past transcription of the 1851 household of gardener John AGARS.


Any consternation is quickly dispelled (?) by the page image –


A foul but no harm is done, though one occasionally finds someone on the Shared Tree for whom the only evidence is just one census household of uncertain veracity.

We know what Maggie’s great aunt Rachel looked like. She was 45-years-old when Maggie made her brief appearance, I wonder if they met.

If, dear reader, the name Alden rings a bell – I posted four times about the family in May. The past rolls up like a carpet behind me. I’d forgotten!

24 The Impossible Wife, 27 Cant, 28 A Missing Marriage, 29 Just Williams.


Miner, Soldier, Accountant, Contractor’s Clerk

In July 1938 the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer informed readers of the marriage of Samuel Hughes DIXON, Accountant, to Olive, the eldest daughter of Charles FERRAR, of Filey. Samuel, the notice said, was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs Philip Dixon, of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. He had been born in Fenton, one of the unlovely Six Towns of The Staffordshire Potteries, and at age 13 in 1901 he worked as a miner below ground, probably at Fenton Glebe Colliery.

Ten years later his presence on the North-West Frontier was noted. He was with the 2nd Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment, which had been raised in the next Pottery town in the chain, Longton. He didn’t leave the army until 1929 and so, had he stayed with the North Staffs, would have served for at least ten years in India, a couple of years in Ireland until the Free State was established, and the remainder of his army life at the regiment’s depot in Lichfield or other “home stations”.

His military conduct had been exemplary and for the last ten years he was a Company Quarter-Master Sergeant. He re-started his civilian life in Burslem, as licensee of The Legs of Man Inn in the Market Place. For eight years there were no complaints against him but early in 1937, he found himself in court, charged with supplying intoxicating liquor to two women during “non-permtted” hours.  One of the women, Elizabeth Bridgford, pleaded guilty and was fined but the evidence that she was supplied after 10pm was not strong enough to convict Samuel.

The Stipendiary Magistrate’s view that the case was nonetheless “suspicious” may have weighed heavily upon Samuel. Ten months later The Staffordshire Sentinel reported that the Wine Licence for The Legs o’Man Inn had been transferred from Samuel Hughes Dixon to Alfred William Wood.

Samuel must have quit The Potteries immediately because a couple of months later his marriage to Olive FERRAR was registered in Buckrose. Olive was forty-years-old. Samuel, aged 50, claimed to be an accountant. Eighteen months later, when the Census was taken at the beginning of the Second World War, he told the enumerator who called at 67 Muston Road that he was a Contractor’s Clerk.

Samuel died in the summer of 1952 and is buried at Cayton. His widow married again and is remembered on the FERRAR stone in St Oswald’s churchyard as Olive JACKSON. She died in 1975 aged 78, about 18 months after her youngest sister Gladys Ann BROWN. Their brother Arthur’s life had been snuffed out at nineteen while fighting for King and Country in France.


Find the Ferrars, and Samuel, on the Shared Tree.

Snagged on Some Brambles

There are seventy or more BRAMBLES in Kath’s Filey Genealogy & Connections database but only two have a stone in St Oswald’s churchyard – Richard Herbert and his wife Maria, born COULTAS.D162_BRAMBLESmaria_20181031_fst

In loving memory of my dear wife MARIA BRAMBLES, died September 10th 1969, aged 71 years.

Also her dear husband RICHARD HERBERT, died April 22nd 1971, aged 75 years.


I went back to Richard’s grandfather John for a starting point on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. A first task was to give him a wife. There was a choice of three Hannahs, each linked to a christening source for the three sons. A point to Kath, who gives Hannah’s family name – McCLARON. (I have chosen to go with the spelling in the marriage register but other sources give McCLAREN or McLAREN.) This brought their three sons into the picture with existing IDs, and the middle one, John William, already had his spouse “on the system”. I just had to create IDs for their five children. (Maria brought a four-year-old daughter to the marriage from an earlier relationship.)

I expected then to be able to add the headstone photo as a Memory. But there’s a snag. For both Richard Herbert and Maria I get a Person UNKNOWN response with the message

Person Not Found. This person does not exist, has been removed or is restricted in FamilySearch.

Find the non-existent, not removed or restricted couple here.

Richard had a granduncle, Gibson BRAMBLES who died in “Trabzon, Turkey” in 1872, aged 56, according to FG&C. What was a Muston farmer doing there? Perhaps someone reading this knows the story.

Death in a Cinema


When I first saw this stone about ten years ago, I wondered what sort of SCOTT parents would name their son Adolphe. Mark and Alice actually registered him as Adolphus Louis. At the age of 34, he would marry Amy Eveline ROE as Adolphe, though later census enumerators would use the name given at his birth.

Either way, the boy’s name had, I thought, a continental flavour to it and a whiff of high class. Both notions didn’t survive my discovery yesterday that Mark, at the age of fourteen, worked as a miner in the Durham coalfield. Ten years later he was a Railway Clerk in Leeds. In 1871, six months married and living with his wife and widowed mother, he gave his occupation as Tobacco Manufacturer. His business grew and in 1881 he was employing 30 men and girls. At home in Mount Preston were Amy, three daughters and “Adolphus L”., age 6.

23BlackmanLane_GSVIt isn’t possible to determine how successful Mark’s business was. Clearly, he moved out of the working class into which he was born, and for six years he was a member of the City Council. But after a period of poor health, he died suddenly in 1904 at home in Blackman Lane, and if it is the same dwelling that you can see on Google Street View, you might think he had fallen on hard times. (Hanging out her washing is the 21st-century “lady next door”, at No.25.)

Three years earlier, 27-year-old Adolphus was living at 4, Mount Preston with his father, stepmother and half-sister Hilda, his occupation Cigar Manufacturer. (His father is still manufacturing tobacco.)

In 1911, Mark’s widow has turned 23 Blackman Lane into a boarding house. Living with her is stepdaughter Alice, 38, a Librarian, and her own daughter, Hilda, 23 and without occupation. Both young women are unmarried, as is the boarder, Margaret GRIFFIN, aged 30, working for a National Children’s Orphanage.

Four miles to the south, Adolphe Louis, now a “Traveller for Cigars and Cigarettes”, occupies a small terraced house in Beeston with Amy Eveline and their year-old son Adolphe Clarence.

I have found registrations for two more sons born to Amy, in 1912 and 1916, but I can’t find a record of her death. Perhaps she divorced Adolphe and remarried.

The headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard marks the grave of “beloved wife” Elizabeth. I haven’t found the marriage but a Death Notice in The Aberdeen Press and Journal states:-

Suddenly, on the 13th September 1937, Adolphe Louis Scott, (of L. Hirst & Son, tobacco and cigar merchants), beloved husband of Elizabeth Burnett, 17, Stanmore Street, Leeds.

The house Adolphe didn’t return to from his business travels is another small terrace property, a short walk from the Vue IMAX Cinema in Kirkstall. The name of the cinema in which Adolphe breathed his last isn’t reported but it was in Carlisle, and he was watching The Mill on the Floss. He suffered a cardiac arrest and, at the risk of seeming insensitive, I wish the newspapers had told us what was onscreen at his heart-stopping moment.

Screenshot, ‘The Mill on the Floss’, 1936, dir. Tim Whelan.

If it was when the mill dam burst…

Adolphe left Elizabeth a “net personalty” of £1,117, which is about £60,000 in today’s money. She was 44 and had 37 more years ahead of her. I don’t know when, why or how she moved to Filey but in 1929, aged 79, Adolphe’s stepmother, Mary Elizabeth Scott, had died somewhere in Scarborough Registration District. It isn’t much of a connection, but the only one I have found.

Elizabeth’s stone has recently fallen.


I will put an upstanding photo of the stone as a Memory on FamilySearch Tree sometime, but there’s work to be done on the SCOTT pedigree. There is just this to go on –


Another Tale of Two Sisters

Catherine and Selina TOCK were born to George and Ann née PARISH  in Burringham, Lincolnshire.

By the age of 25, Catherine, now “Kate”, had moved just five miles from her birthplace to work as a housekeeper to William CAMPBELL at Ashby Grange. The farm’s 250 acres would later be swallowed up by industrial Scunthorpe. It took employer and employee four years or so to decide that they should marry. Two more years passed and Kate had to to say a final farewell. William is remembered in Filey churchyard, on a stone that is very slowly falling backwards.


In loving memory of CATHERINE, widow of WILLIAM CAMPBELL, late of Ashby Grange, Lincolnshire, who died April 21st 1894 aged 59 years.

Kate took on the running of the farm and although she didn’t have a child of her own, the house rang with a little girl’s voice in 1871. Her niece, Kate Edith HOCKNELL, 4, was there on census night, having crossed the Humber from her home in Hull. (Both were recorded as “Catherine” by the enumerator.)

Little Kate was the daughter of a third Tock sister, Jane (sometimes Alice Jane), who may have been responsible for encouraging the other two to move to Yorkshire. She married John HOCKNELL in Hull in 1864.

Selina crossed over the river soon afterwards, marrying Robert Lamplough BROWN in Bridlington in 1866. Family history repeated itself. She buried him two years later.

As she grew older Kate seems to have gone back to being Catherine. She continued to farm at Ashby Grange but in 1881 held only 142 acres, the address now “South Grange”. Ten years later, and a widow still, she was living in Melville Terrace, Filey, with Selina. The youngest of the Tock sisters was a widow for the second time. About ten years after her first husband died she had married William HALL. In 1881 he farmed 262 acres near Hunmanby and the household included his son with Selina, John Hall (1), and “son in law”, George Hudson Brown, (14).

William died in North Burton in 1890 and a year later Selina had moved to Filey. I don’t know for sure if the two sisters lived together for the four years remaining to Catherine but at some point, Selina left Filey. I haven’t discovered her whereabouts in 1901 but in 1911 she was with a son, Thomas, in  Southport, Lancashire. (After John’s arrival in 1880 Selina had given birth to three more sons as regularly as tockwork, each June Quarter until 1884.) Thomas, 29, worked as a Grocer’s Assistant. I can only find one death registration that fits Selina – in 1921 in Ormskirk Registration District, which includes Southport within its boundaries,. She was 79 years old.

Melville Terrace this afternoon

Ladies and Gentlemen

Two sisters who appear to have lived most of their lives together are remembered in St Oswald’s churchyard.


They were born in Tamworth, Staffordshire and, as yet, I don’t know what brought them to Filey for their last years. Both grandfathers were described as “Gentlemen” at the wedding of their parents Samuel ARNOLD and Mary Hannah WOODWARD. Joseph Arnold worked as a Maltster in 1841 but then turned his hand to Brick and Tile manufacture. Samuel carried on the business and in 1871 was specializing in Blue Bricks, while his father presented himself to the world as a “Landowner”.

David Woodward was a silk manufacturer but perhaps not particularly prosperous. Unless that is, he married his second wife for love. Mary’s father, Peter WOODWARD, was a miner. The marriage ceremony took place in Sheffield Cathedral.

Mary, at this her first marriage, was 39 years old but there was still time to have two children. Lavinia and Ralph. Lavinia married a metallurgist of some repute, George James SNELUS. She lived with her husband at Ennerdale Hall, Frizington in Cumberland and was well-known and admired in the nearby town of Workington. The news of her death in 1892 was “received with the most genuine expressions of regret”.

There are quite a few of Jessie and Edith’s relatives on FamilySearch Tree but they have yet to be linked together. I’m surprised that descendants haven’t yet given them proper representation on the World Tree.

Find Samuel, who died in the same week of 1892 as Lavinia, here.

The last address of the sisters is 14 The Crescent. I don’t think the Post Office has changed the numbering in the last 80 years. I photographed the tucked-away cottage this afternoon.


Another False Icon

Clown World UK now has the perfect man for the “top job”. He starts work on not delivering Brexit tomorrow. Buckle up, Brits… bumpier roads ahead.

Mary, Mother of Walter

The adult life of Walter UNWIN was bookended by Filey. The first four of the nine children he had with Sarah Jane SEMPLE were born in the town between 1878 and 1884. The next three first saw light across the Pennines, in Horwich (Bolton Registration District). The family returned to the east coast where Filey girl Eva was born in 1894 and Maria two years later. Their parents are buried in St Oswald’s churchyard.


I found Walter on FamilySearch Tree and he seemed well set, grounded enough anyway to be given his wife and children, no questions asked. Once I’d completed that task I added the headstone photo as a memory. Before moving on, I noticed something odd.

One of the Record Hints attached to Walter offers the 1871 Census. This shows him as a 19-year-old Printer’s Apprentice in Barnsley, living with his parents, John and Mary. FST has his mother, “Mary Ann Hirst” dying in 1859. No worries. John married another Mary, surely?

The Record Hint for Mary Ann’s marriage gives her name as just Mary, the place Silkstone and the date 22 January 1837. There is an 1851 census source that places the couple in Thomas Street, Barnsley. They are both working as Hand Loom Weavers and have two children, Hannah (12) and William (3). Barnsley is given as the birthplace for all four. The years between the two children suggest infant Unwin deaths and the GRO records a William the First in 1845. (Both boys had the middle name Henry.) There was another lost boy recorded – Arthur – in 1856. The firstborn, Hannah, has a christening source on FST but I haven’t found her civil birth registration.

The next census, 1861, puts John at 2, Shambles Street, Barnsley, a widower with two sons, William Henry and Walter. There is a supporting GRO death registration for the former Mary Ann Hirst’s death in 1859 but John now has a housekeeper, his mother in law, Mary ROOK, a widow. John Unwin’s mother in law would have been Ann Hirst if she hadn’t died in 1853. And Ann’s husband supposedly died in 1862. So who exactly is widow Rook? Is this a different John Unwin who also happened to have sons called  William Henry and Walter? That John is now a “Time and Work Keeper in Factory” is a caution, but not really a surprise considering the extent to which machines had by this time taken the livelihoods of handloom weavers.

So, on to 1871 when John has a wife called Mary again. Mary who? She is 50 years old, born in Frickley, ten miles or so to the east of Barnsley. She may have been a widow when she married John, so I haven’t tried to trace her origins. I couldn’t find a marriage source but there is a death registration in Barnsley, June Quarter 1875, for a Mary Unwin born in 1821. Walter’s occupation, by the way, is given as “Printer’s Apprentice”.

In 1881, when Walter and Sarah Jane are living in Ravine Terrace, Filey, mourning the loss of their first two children, (and Walter is a “Printer Master Self-Employed”), John Unwin, a widower, 67, born Barnsley and a “former Clerk”, is staying with his younger brother William in Crowle, Lincolnshire.

I couldn’t find a death registration for John in the West Riding of Yorkshire or Lincolnshire, but in the March Quarter of 1887, a John Unwin of the right age died in Bolton, Lancashire. A few months later, the birth of William Henry Unwin was registered in the same place – John’s grandson, almost certainly.

John’s first wife was given as Mary HIRST, but I felt I needed more evidence to confirm she was the Mary Ann Hirst on FST. A little more digging turned up an 1841 census transcription for a household in Park Row, Silkstone, that contained John Hirst, a weaver, his wife Ann, a younger weaver John Unwin, his wife Mary and their 2-year-old daughter Hannah. (Relationships are presumed, not given.) The only issue on FST may be a mix up of sources for several girls called Mary and Mary Ann Hirst born within a year of each other in the same area of Yorkshire (Huddersfield and Barnsley).

Four christening sources from FST:-





If these can be resolved…