Deaths by Pandemic and Natural Causes

Alan, my source for Skipsea COLLEY information, explains how George Toyn met Charlotte WARLEY.

My great grandfather, George Toyn Colley, now orphaned at the age of three, was packed off to live with his cousin, Robert Pape of Beverley. He was a Master Builder and the £600 G.T.C. had inherited from his father was left in his trust. Robert Pape brought G.T.C. up as if he were his own child. At age 21 then, my great grandfather came into his father’s bequest, and set upon moving to London to start up a bicycle business. Before leaving Yorkshire, he had occasionally to stay the night at Middleton on the Wold. He was unable to find lodgings and was directed by staff at a local public house to try at the grocers. Here he met the daughter of the house, Charlotte Warley. He fell instantly for her, exclaiming that she was the most beautiful lass he had ever seen. He stayed much longer than intended, and eventually leaving for London, vowed that once his business had been established, he would return to marry her. This he did, marrying on 26 December 1885 at Middleton on the Wold. They returned to London and had four children, adopting another: George (born 11.05.1886).

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Alan has provided this photograph of a portrait painting of Charlotte. The artist is unknown and one can only guess at the painting’s date.

Charlotte married at eighteen, gave birth to her first child aged 20 and her fourth (and last) at 35. If a hundred people were asked to guess her husband’s occupation on the evidence of this image, I would be surprised if any would hazard “bricklayer”, his trade in 1901 and 1911.

In 1911, the family is at 103 Whitehorse Lane, South Norwood, Croydon. It seems that the house has been demolished to make way for a Sainsbury’s supermarket and petrol station, but other properties in the immediate vicinity are modest – two up, two down at a guess.

The most lethal pandemic in human history, until now, began in military camps in the United States and came to Europe in the lungs of soldiers. It seems odd, though, that Spain was the first old-world country to be seriously infected. The “Spanish ‘Flu”, soon spread to Britain where peak deaths occurred in October and November of 1918.

Charlotte was 51-years-old when she succumbed to the infection. Find her on the Shared Tree.

The “most beautiful lass” (and handsome woman) was, perhaps, not all that she seemed. In the last year of her life, she was a witness at a Coroner’s inquest into the death of her younger sister.

THE DEATH OF AN IMBECILE

An Inquest was held by the Croydon Coroner on Tuesday on Foly Warley, 40, a spinster, who died in Croydon Infirmary. Mrs Charlotte Colley, of Whitehorse Lane, South Norwood, sister of the deceased, said she was an imbecile, and had been so all her life. Witness had not been advised by any doctor to send her to the infirmary. “I liked to keep her for company,” said the witness. “She was no good to me, but she was not quite helpless.” The Guardians contributed 4s. weekly to her maintenance. By Dr. Passman’s directions she was taken on Saturday to the infirmary, and died the next day. Ellen E. Wing, an adopted daughter of the last witness, assured the Coroner that the deceased was well cared for. Dr. R. W. Wilson, medical superintendent of the infirmary, said he received her as an imbecile. She was in a verminous condition, and had bronchial pneumonia, to which death was due. The Coroner thought the deceased was not so clean as she might have been. Dr. Wilson added that the deceased was well nourished and apparently had not been treated unkindly. A verdict of “Natural causes” was returned.

Norwood News, 25 January 1918

A Passage to America

Mistaken Mary Ann Hemington (Thursday’s post) had a younger brother, John Thomas. He was two years younger but made an honest woman of Caroline JACKSON two years before Mary Ann married.

John worked as a Printer and he impressed 12 copies of his genetic code upon Caroline between 1861 and 1883. The first child, Caroline Amelia, didn’t complete her first year. The second, Caroline Alice, married in 1880 but an initial search failed to find a record of her death, or that of her husband, James Glascott EVERETT.

The next three children also reached adulthood and married – John Thomas jnr., Alice Elizabeth and Rosina – and all died in their south London heartland. (It is the descendants of Rosina and Sidney Gauntlett STEPHENS who  make the connection to the Filey/Skipsea COLLEY families.)

John Thomas senior, the printer, died on Christmas Day 1891, aged 50. (The death registration gives “49”.)

In 1921 the death of a Caroline Ann Hemington is registered in Hackney. She was eighty-years-old.  Caroline Jackson was Hackney-born – but in the second half of 1843. I wasn’t sure if this old lady was John the Printer’s widow.

I opened the blue hints for Caroline Jackson on the Shared Tree, and two of the three were death/burial records for her second-born daughter, “Caroline EVERET” in Chicago, Illinois – “Ethnicity American”. (The very specific birthdate is four years wide of the mark.)

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I turned to Find My Past and after entering a few of John and Caroline’s children was rewarded with a hint to examine another contributor’s Tree. This indicated that James Everet and Caroline Alice Hemington emigrated to the United States about 1888. On 19 June 1893, Caroline’s younger brothers, Edward (then 16) and Sidney James (11) crossed the Atlantic. Edward became an American citizen on 23 October 1900, and at that year’s census, Sidney and the Everets (with seven children) were listed at different addresses in Ada Street, Englewood.

If the octogenarian Caroline Ann is “our” Caroline, she probably received the sad news of her grandson Ernest Edward Everet’s death in May 1920, aged 27. He is buried in Chicago Mount Hope Cemetery, his mother nearby perhaps.

Caroline Alice (Ellis) has three FamilySearch PIDs. One gives her a husband and one child – Alice Hannah, born in Canada. You will find her with her birth family here. I must arrange some marriages.

A Passage to India?

Alan, great-grandson of George Toyn COLLEY and generous supplier of family information and photographs to LaFREDUX, has a second great-grandaunt on his mother’s side called Mary Ann HEMINGTON. She is a mixed-up lady, through no fault of her own. She married Frederick George O’BRIEN in Lambeth on 23 March 1863, almost three years after she supposedly gave birth to a daughter in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. That child, Mary Ann Conway McCarthy, married John Henry SUBRITZKY, bore him eleven children and died in New Zealand in 1932.

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Mary on the Shared Tree doesn’t have a family name, though you would reasonably expect her to be a Hemington. Perhaps she was born a CONWAY? She has seven duplicate IDs. One HENNESSEY, one WELTON, three RYANs, one RAGAN and one QUESTIONMARK.

In the first quarter of 1859, Mary Ryan married a Daniel McCarthy in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Just Mary has three sources attached to her record on FamilySearch. One is the 1861 England & Wales Census, placing her in London, aged 22 and single, with her parents and six siblings. It doesn’t make sense to have shipped her out to India.

Sources neatly fit marriage to Frederick George in Lambeth, the birth of a daughter, Sophia Mary Ann in 1865, and death aged 45 towards the end of 1883.

A very different life to the one currently portrayed on the Shared Tree.

A Hill to Die On

Maurice RICKARD’s maternal grandparents were George Toyn COLLEY (he of the Penny Farthing) and Charlotte WARLEY. His paternal grandfather was William “Billy Ricky” Rickard who kept a chemist’s shop in Filey.

Maurice was given two middle names at birth – Nelson and Jellicoe. It should be no surprise that his father was a sailor. Born just after the Great War began, Maurice was of fighting age when the Second global conflict needed bodies to throw at the enemy.

It is a surprise that Maurice not only joined the army but an emphatically Irish Regiment -The London Irish Rifles, the Royal Ulster Rifles. (Today it seems to be just The London Regiment.)

At the beginning of 1943, the 2nd Battalion was in North Africa, moving towards Tunis. Near Bou Arada, it was tasked with clearing two rocky hills of their German occupants.

The 2nd Battalion, The London Irish Rifles was a fine battalion – first-class officers and NCOs – and good men, all as keen as mustard. They had been working together for three years. They possessed a good “feel”, they were proud of their battalion, as they had every right to be.

They attacked with great spirit, and after heavy fighting drove the enemy from Point 286. But then came the trying time. It was practically impossible to dig in on the hard, rocky slopes and all through the day they were subjected to heavy artillery and extremely accurate mortar fire. This fine battalion refused to be shelled off the position. What they had, they held, but at heavy cost. I never hope to see a battalion fighting and enduring more gallantry. Nor do I want to witness again such heavy casualties.

Brigadier Nelson Russell

“Point 286” is also called Hill 286 and there are several web pages that deal with the action on the 20th and 21st January. Maurice died on the second day and you’ll find him listed with his fallen comrades here. (The page offers a link to a full account of the battle of Hill 286.) Three photographs on this Facebook page show the countryside that Maurice last looked upon. He may have been one of the soldiers pictured.

Maurice didn’t choose this hill to die on but had he survived he may have had to fight his way from Anzio to Rome. His brother, James Raymond, did land on the infamous beach with the Green Howards (The Yorkshire Regiment) and died on 23 May 1944, the day before the United States VI Corps broke out of the peninsula.

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Men of ‘D’ Company, 1st Battalion The Green Howards, 5th Infantry Division, occupy a captured German communications trench during the offensive at Anzio, 22 May 1944.
Photographer: Sgt Radford, No 2 Army Film & Photographic Unit
Crown copyright, IWM Non-Commercial Licence

The brothers are together on the Filey War Memorial, and their gravestones in Tunisia and Italy carry the same words:-

To live in the hearts

We leave behind

Is not to die.

RickardBros2

Find them on the Shared Tree.

Penny Farthing Thoughts

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George Toyn COLLEY is a first cousin once removed to Anne Elizabeth GRAINGER (Wednesday’s post), and the only one of George Colley and Sarah TOYN’s children to live longer than five weeks.

The photograph, kindly supplied by Alan Hardcastle, (George Toyn’s great-grandson), is undated but was probably taken in Wandsworth or Lambeth in the mid to late 1880s. Reaching the age of 21 in 1883, George had received a bequest from his father and used the money to start a bicycle business in London. High wheelers were all the rage in that decade but, as you can easily imagine, were somewhat dangerous to ride in competitive races. The introduction of “safety bicycles” in the 90s saw the penny-farthing go out of fashion.

George apprenticed in Beverley as a bricklayer. The 1881 census caught him there aged 19, living with cousin Robert PAPE. Ten years later he is a married man in Wandsworth with two infant children – and working as a bricklayer. His bicycle business had failed.

Considering his reasons for leaving a steady trade to speculate in a new-fangled and fast-moving business (sorry, couldn’t resist), I thought of Filey’s World Champion racing cyclist, Herbert Liddell CORTIS. He was “at his zenith” in the years 1878 to 1880, riding in 128 races, winning over half, and amassing trophies valued at £1500 (about £140,000 today). On the 2nd of August 1882, aged 25, he had his last race, breaking several distance records on the way to becoming the first man to ride twenty miles in an hour.

Did Herbert’s renown encourage the Filey born bricklayer to sell bicycles? For a short time, the Colley and Cortis families had been near neighbours in Filey, the one at Cliff Terrace and later 6 North Street, the other on the corner of North and John Streets. George was only three when his father died, and four when he was orphaned. Soon after, the Papes in Beverley took him in as one of their own. Herbert was five years older and the two may never have met but news of the champ would surely have reached George by the early 80s, and perhaps influenced his move to London and the career change.

George reached his majority on 17 August 1883. Two weeks earlier, and the day after his Final Race, Herbert had married Mary BRUCE. Four days after George’s 21st, Herbert and Mary set sail for Australia on the Carlisle Castle. Herbert died just over three years later in Carcoar, New South Wales.

George Toyn married on 26 December 1885 and had four children with Charlotte WARLEY. The “Spanish ‘flu” took Charlotte in 1918 and George died in Croydon in July 1940.

You can find George and Herbert on the Shared Tree. Herbert has a blue plaque on the Evron Centre wall in Filey.

HLCblueplaque

The Bradshaws

Anne Elizabeth GRAINGER, a granddaughter of William COLLEY and Elizabeth WHITING, married Thomas BRADSHAW at St Mary’s Beverley in January 1867.

In the spring of 1871 Thomas, 28, was head of a small household at Upton Grange, near Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, described as a farmer of 48 acres employing one man. There were no children, and none had been registered in the first four years of marriage. Thomas’ sister Anne, 23, was with them, and also farm servant George HEAD, 32.

Thomas was from a Derbyshire farming family and he returned to his roots at some time in the next decade. At the 1881 census, he was with Anne Elizabeth at Busky Fields, near Brampton, Chesterfield. The couple remained childless and Thomas appears to be somewhat diminished in fortune, listed as an agricultural labourer. The house was shared with two of his uncles, retired bachelor farmers John and Thomas Bradshaw, aged 68 and 66. If this seems a rather dismal arrangement, it was soon to become less happy.

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Thomas died the following Spring, aged 40. His mother, Ann DICKEN, had died when he was just ten years old but his father made it into the 20th century, dying aged 87 in 1905. At the 1901 census, he was living at Busky Fields with unmarried housekeeper Ann ASH, 73, and “companion” Barbara GOODWIN, 36.

Rolling back the years to 1851 finds Joseph’s father, also Joseph, farming at Frith Hall. A widower aged 65, he heads a household that includes grandson (our) Thomas Bradshaw, and two brothers, John and Thomas  – the uncles mentioned above. Frith Hall Farm is a Listed Building of great age and you can see plans online for the replacement of the roof of a cruck frame barn. I couldn’t find any good photographs of the farmhouse – and the duck pond looks rather sad. Wondering if the status of the farm buildings indicated earlier family fortunes I did a little more research. Our Thomas is currently poorly represented on the Shared Tree but some sources give his father Joseph the middle name Hibbert. Joseph Hibbert Bradshaw’s grandfather Thomas, born in Eyam in 1751, married Sarah HIBBERT. A quick look in FamilySearch sources didn’t immediately offer PIDs for either person but other Bradshaws and Hibberts from the plague village have a rich pedigree, well-sourced and illustrated, going back almost to the Conquest with the De APPLEBYs and forward to several 21st-century families in Utah and California. I hope someone will be able to connect the main subjects of this post to this pedigree sometime.

The Strange Metamorphosis of William Grainger

The re-structured family of William COLLEY and Elizabeth WHITING (“Beeford Elizabeth”) currently shows the couple with just three children. There is an eight-year gap between George and Maria so there may have been more.

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The three children reached adulthood. Ann married blacksmith William BLENKIN(G), George had at least ten children with Jane WALLIS/WALLACE, and Maria married William GRAINGER. Some handwritten sources show his name spelt “Granger” with an insertion mark and the “i” above as if he’d noticed the mistake and demanded a correction. He is a man of mystery, to me at least.

Family lore says he was a schoolmaster and the church marriage register supports this.

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Born in 1821, the son of Francis, he is “impannelled” on the Grand Jury at the General Quarter Sessions for the Eastern Division of Yorkshire, held in the Spring of 1844, as “Mr William Grainger, of Beverley, Schoolmaster”. His first child, Anne Elizabeth, was then about six months old.

The births of three more children were registered to a Grainger/Colley duo; Maria (1845), William Henry (1847) and Ellen (1849). I haven’t found any baptism sources that give the father’s occupation.

The census enumerator finds the family incomplete in 1851 at Albert Terrace, Beverley. The two older children are with their parents but William Henry is with his Aunt, Ann Blenking, in Bridlington and Ellen eluded my search. Father William’s occupation is given as “Butler and Proprietor of Houses”. It is a surprising career change, but even more startling is that he has aged terribly. Maria’s given age is 28 and William’s 44. His birthplace is given as Warter. Subsequent censuses agree with the revised birth year of 1807 but give his place of birth as “Holm(e)” or Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, a village about twelve miles from Warter. Searches for a William Grainger of this age and place of origin suggest his father was William and not Francis as stated in the marriage register.

I tried but failed to find a convincing 1841 census record for William Graingers aged around 34 or twenty.

Maria dies in 1852, aged 30, and is buried in Beverley. William the Butler marries Mary SMALLEY, a 40-year-old Lincolnshire woman in 1859. At the census in 1861, Mary is at home with her “daughter” Helen, aged 11. The girl’s name is not a mangling by the enumerator. She will be Helen, rather than Ellen, to the end of her days. On this census night, William is with his employer, Mary HARVEY, 68.

Ten years later the Grainger household in St Mary’s Terrace, Beverley, comprises father William, stepmother Mary, daughter Helen and 54-year-old boarder, Elizabeth TURNER. (Elizabeth will stay with the family until 1881, at least).

Helen is one of several children over ten baptised in April 1866 at the church of St Mary and St Nicholas in Beverley, though her entry has “Xtened only” by it.

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Death came to the Graingers in threes in the early 1880s. William departed in September 1882; Anne Elizabeth, his first child, died just a couple of weeks later (in Derbyshire as Mrs Bradshaw). William’s second wife, Mary, followed in the first quarter of 1883.

Helen lived on at St Mary’s Terrace and married from there in 1890. She was forty, her husband a 56-year-old widower, Robert Smith PARNELL.

William’s age at death is given as 75, consistent with all but the one record saying he was born in or about 1807. As most readily available sources make sense of his life-journey, the real mystery man is the young schoolmaster he may never have been.