A Dying Fall

Francis CHAPMAN married Ann SAWDEN in 1848, in Burton Fleming. Seven children were born to them between 1852 and 1865. For much of that time, Francis worked as a labourer on farms around Gristhorpe, in Filey parish. Ann died in 1879 when her youngest daughter, Hannah, was fourteen years old. Two years later, Francis was enumerated in Gristhorpe, sharing a house with another agricultural labourer, Francis FORDON, a man half his age who hailed from Ann’s village, Wold Newton.

The fortunes of Francis seem to have picked up thereafter and in 1891 he tells the census enumerator that he is a farmer. He shares a bigger house in Gristhorpe with daughter Hannah, now married to William HOOD, and three grandsons, the youngest called Francis Chapman Hood.

In 1901 Francis, given age 76, heads a household on Reighton Moor. He is nominally a farmer still, but the Hood family is with him and son in law William, 36, is the “farm manager”. Grandsons William and Francis, 17 and 13, are horse keepers on the farm.

At the beginning of December 1903, there is a curious accident.


Francis had lingered for nine days after the fall. His body was taken to Filey to be buried with Ann. Over a century of weather has had little effect on their stone but it has had to suffer the indignity of a more recent memorial being set up against it.


Francis, Ann and their children are on the Shared Tree. I have put the stone on their page as a memory. You may read their memorial verses in the description.


Unusual family names are sometimes given to children. Glaves FOSTER’s mother was Ellis Glaves, born Cayton in 1791. In Filey Genealogy & Connections Ellis is often bracketed with Alice, but on FG&C Mrs Foster is plain Ellis.

Labouring the point perhaps, Ellis’s Father is Nesfield GLAVES, a son of Ellis (Alice) NESFIELD.

Glaves Foster’s maternal great grandfather, the husband of Ellis (Alice), was born in Seamer but the family moved a few miles to Cayton and then took another step to Gristhorpe.

Glaves was born in Gristhorpe in 1819 and died in “Newbeggin”. Now “Newbiggin”, there are quite a few places in the British Isles sharing the name. In Scotland, “biggin” or “bigging” means “a building, a house, a cluster of houses; a hamlet”. (Source: Scots Words and Place-Names). In England, the meaning is the same.

In 1861, Glaves was farming 225 acres at Little Britain, Gristhorpe but was at one of the Newbiggin farms by 1871. He died in 1875 and at the 1881 census his widow Mary was working their 320 acres with two unmarried sons and five Farm servants.



Erected to the memory of GLAVES FOSTER of Newbeggin, who died March 11th 1875, aged 56 years

‘Watch therefore for ye know not

What hour your Lord doth come’

Also of MARY FOSTER, the beloved wife of the above, who died Nov 2nd 1885, aged 62 years.

‘The Lord my pasture shall prepare

And feed me with a shepherd’s care’

Find Glaves on FamilySearch.

From Appleby to Welburn

This isn’t a post about a journey from Westmorland to Yorkshire but the change of name when two young APPLEBY women married two men called William WELBURN. The marriages were registered in Scarborough in the last quarter of 1860 and the first three months of 1861. The births of a dozen children were registered to mothers with the maiden name Appleby in the following decade.

After hours of piecing the families together, I still have very little information about the first couple, Harriet and William Edward. I concentrated my effort on Elizabeth and plain William because their grave is to be found in St Oswald’s churchyard.


In loving memory of ELIZABETH, the beloved wife of WILLIAM WELBURN of Gristhorpe, died Nov 19th 1884, aged 49 years.

‘Be ye also ready for in such an hour

As ye think not the Son of man cometh’

Also of the above WILLIAM WELBURN, died Jan 19th 1907, aged 83 years.

‘His end was peace’

Also of their daughter, CATHERINE, born June 22nd 1868, died July 17th 1947.

William may have ended his life as a Welburn but he began it as a WELLBOURN in Weaverthorpe. Elizabeth is a daughter of Robert APPLEBY and Rachel MAW. If you follow the FST links you’ll see that the couple hasn’t yet been brought together on the World Tree.

I am fairly sure of my ground now and will marry them soon and give their nine children (known for sure). For a while, I despaired of finding a piece of “solid evidence” that I was on their right track. It turned up in the 1861 Census. The Find My Past transcription offered William WELBORN, 34, a Farm Labourer born Weaverthorpe and his wife Elizabeth, 27, born Muston. They were described as “lodgers”, and the page image revealed they were under the roof of Rachel APPLEBY. She is married rather than a widow but there is no sign of husband Robert. She appears to have a four-year-old son called William (though she is 51 years old). The child may have been Elizabeth’s boy. Also in residence are two of Rachel’s grandsons, Thomas SHIELDS, 9, and James APPLEBY, 9 months. The GRO Births Index suggests both boys were illegitimate. Rachel’s birthplace is given as Hackness in several sources but in others a nonsense place, something like “Tholso”. An Internet search doesn’t help with this but an OS Landranger map shows a farm – “Thirlsey”- just outside the village. I’m going with that.

When Elizabeth died in 1884, her youngest child, George, was twelve and William quickly found another wife to help with his large and still not flown brood. I haven’t found the marriage yet but at the 1891 Census George has a half-brother, Harry, 5, and a step-mother, Hannah. William has made himself about five years younger, reducing the age difference with his second wife to ten years. He is less sensitive in 1901 when the gap is more realistic at 19 years. Aged 77 William is still farming, at Gristhorpe. I wonder if he had any rest from his labours before he found peace.

The Jackson Eight

Robert JACKSON, a butcher and farmer in Lebberston, had eight children with Elizabeth CLEMIT. Though both parents lived to a good age, the young ones fared less well. Three died before the age of ten, and two daughters reached their mid-twenties. Eliza seems to have been the only one to marry, and she died before her fortieth year. William’s last birthday was his sixtieth. I’m not sure yet when Charles departed this life, or if he married, but on FamilySearch Tree, he was trafficked to another couple in a distant part of the country. He was put there by “the system” so I had no compunction about rescuing him.

In St Oswald’s churchyard, there are three headstones, side by side, that remember six of the children plus their parents and Elizabeth Clemit’s father, Charles. Both FamilySearch and Filey Genealogy and Connections had records for just two of the children, so I’ve created IDs for “the missing” and put photographs of the headstones on FST as Memories.

There seems to have been nothing newsworthy about the deaths of the young Jacksons, but George and James died in the same month, December 1857, aged 7 and 4. Ann died in December 1869 and Mary Jane followed her to the grave less than three months later.

Eliza had three daughters with Police Sergeant Henry ALDEN and the middle girl, Bridget, was living with grandparents Robert and Elizabeth in 1891 when she was seventeen. I don’t know what became of her, or her sisters, Emily and Elizabeth.



Find Robert on FamilySearch Tree.

End of a Line?


Sacred to the memory of ELIZABETH, wife of CHRISTOPHER COLTAS of Gristhorpe, who departed this life November 14th 1836, aged 30 years.

The languishing head [is] at rest

Its thinking and aching are o’er

This quiet immovable breast

Is heaved [by affliction] no more

This heart [is no longer the seat

Of trouble and torturing pain]

My digitization of the Crimlisk Survey of St Oswald’s churchyard has “ELIZABETH [blank] EMMA” beneath the verse inscription and my first search on FamilySearch Tree found the wee girl. Filey Genealogy & Connections offered the sad information that Elizabeth Emma had been baptised the day after her mother was buried – and died at 16 months.

For a while, I made little progress with online searches and thought the representation of this small family on FamilySearch would mirror the MI details.


FG&C indicated that Elizabeth was 24 years old when she married, so it would have been surprising if Elizabeth Emma had been her first child.

I then happened upon a census household containing two COLTAS brothers, Edwin and Herbert A. It took a while, but I found a source that told me Herbert’s middle name was “Atkinson”. It seemed certain that these fellows were older brothers of Elizabeth Emma but it was the discovery of their church marriage register entries that confirmed Christopher, a farmer, as their father.

FG&C had given Christopher’s occupation as a Filey“schoolmaster” so I was disconcerted – until I found his own marriage record.

When his wife died, Christopher’s boys were five and seven years old, and possibly not too difficult to raise on his own. It was surprising that he didn’t marry again quite quickly though. He waited 15 years, marrying Mary, third daughter of the late Francis HILL, Lloyd’s agent, in August 1845. I have yet to find confirmation of this union in civil, church or census records but a notice in the local newspaper adds a detail to the information above – that Christopher was a “farmer and grazier”.

I don’t know how old Mary was at marriage but she presented him, in his late forties, with two sons, Alfred and Frederick, both with the middle name Hill. Alfred died not long after he was born, and Frederick before his first birthday. A year after Frederick’s death, Mary had another son. They called him “Frederick Hill”. And about 18 months later they named their last child “Alfred Hill”.

Christopher’s sons with Elizabeth ATKINSON married but don’t appear to have had offspring. Herbert died in 1876 aged 43 and I think Edwin departed this life in 1881 aged 50. Returning briefly to the second Alfred and Frederick. I haven’t been able to discover yet whether or not they reached adulthood and were able to continue the COLTAS name. I chanced upon a Frederick Hill Coltas who died in Scarborough in1882, in his first year. Two years earlier a Frederick Hill Coltas had married across the Pennines, in Salford.

If this line of the Coltas family did persist it may well have morphed into the more common “Coultas”. For now, the question mark in this post’s title is appropriate and hopeful. If I can find the marriage record for Christopher and Mary I will add the details to FamilySearch Tree, with the Hill boys and any descendants they may have had. Find Christopher and Elizabeth here.

Dodgy Deals

His desk is piled high with business for the new session of Parliament. Before many years are out he would like Gregory to have a seat beside him in the Commons. He must see all aspects of how the realm is governed. A term in Parliament is an exercise in frustration, it is a lesson in patience: whichever way you look at it. They commune of war, peace, strife, contention, debate, murmur, grudges, riches, poverty, truth, falsehood, justice, equity, oppression, treason, murder and the edification and continuance of the commonwealth; then do as their predecessors have done – that is, as well they might – and leave off where they began.

Hilary Mantel, Bring Up The Bodies, p. 178.

It is much the same at the local level, minus war perhaps. In January 1878, Robert DOBSON, a grocer, took Joseph WILSON  to task for his part in the creation of a footpath on the east side of Reynolds Street in Filey. Battle was engaged in the correspondence page of the Scarborough Mercury.


Reynolds Street this morning: it is easy to imagine that carters (and their horses) would have felt freer without the new pavement. (The stable wall of the Packhorse Hotel followed the line of the low walls of the pastel-painted houses. Horseless carriages now take up part of the opposite pavement when at rest.)

Joseph responded robustly to the charge of “defying the ratepayers” but was soon embroiled in the matter of his scavenging contract with the Local Board.

To the Editor of the Scarborough Mercury.

Sir, Mr. Dobson in your last issue mentions the scavengering as an instance of my contracting with the Filey Local Board. I will now state the whole of the circumstances in connection with the question. The late contractor gave it up, and the board then issued a handbill inviting tenders for the scavengering. When they met for the purpose of opening the tenders there were none to open. The board was then placed in a fix what to do, and asked me to lend them a horse and cart and they would engage a man to take the refuse to any part of my farm where I directed it to be put until they could procure a suitable piece of ground to lay it upon and get a horse and cart of their own, and when I consented to find them the horse and cart the board thanked me for helping them out of their difficulty. The wages of the men have always been properly entered in the books and audited by the district auditor, who has always given our clerk credit for accuracy of accounts. About the other small matter of earning £4 9s 6d., that was done at the same price per load as the other ratepayers, and while my carts have earned £4 9s. 6d. others have earned much larger sums. For instance, Mrs. Barker £6 12s., Mrs. J W Bulmer £5 2s., Mrs. Plaskett £6 1s. 6d., Mr. J Bulmer £? lls., Mr. Clinort £12 11s., Mr. Smith £1. 1s. 6d., Mr. Richardson £8 10s., J. Wilson £4 9s. 6d., Mr. Ethell £5 11s. 6d.—I am, yours respectfully,


P.S.–The late contractor for the scavengering received the sum of £30 per annum, and all the night soil, &c.

2 February 1878

Within a week some councillors moved to expel Joseph from his place on the Board, thereby saving the town “a great deal of trouble and expense”. Joseph, a farmer, was known in the town as “a good moral man” and must have felt aggrieved. He responded in a manner considered insulting by one of his antagonists.

Three years later Joseph was re-elected to the Board but in May 1881, during a long discussion about the sale of the town’s horse and cart, the following exchange took place:-

Mr. JOSEPH WILSON said that he used to charge one shilling per load for gravel from the sands.

Mr. AUTON: I think you always got more than one shilling per load. I think, if I am not mistaken, you have had as much, as six shillings per load.

Mr. JOSEPH WILSON: Well, perhaps I had a few times, but it was small and I had a long way to fetch it.

It was eventually decided to retain the horse and cart, the SURVEYOR stating that at one shilling per load there would be about £40 to the credit for the mare and cart after everything connected with her was paid for.

Two of Joseph’s sons were also elected to the Local Board in the 1880s. I began piecing the family together this afternoon. Joseph and Mary née DICKINSON had twelve children (found so far) but Filey Genealogy &Connections hasn’t established spouses for any of them. (Three, perhaps more, died in infancy or childhood.)

Joseph was an agricultural labourer when he married in 1841. At the 1851 census, he is recorded as farming 15 acres of land. Ten years later the Find My Past transcription indicates his holding had grown to 650 acres. The page image shows a more reasonable 150 acres. In 1871, aged 53, he was working 86 acres. The size of the farm isn’t given in 1881 and in 1891 his widow is farming the Wilson land (of unknown extent) with the help of unmarried sons Thomas and Richard.


In all the above-mentioned censuses Joseph and his family are recorded as living in the heart of Old Filey, in King Street (aka Queen Street). I’m not sure where his farm was situated but as Joseph’s list of nightsoil beneficiaries indicates, there was room for several farms in the town and on its edge.

Joseph and Mary’s children are scattered about FamilySearch Tree. The parents have a dozen IDs each, at least. I will have to sort them out so that I can add their headstone as a memory.


In loving memory of JOSEPH WILSON, the beloved husband of MARY WILSON of Filey, who died Dec 16th 1887, aged 70 years.

‘His end was peace’

Also in everlasting memory of my dear mother, the above MARY WILSON, who died Nov 16th 1915, aged 84 years.

Also MARY WILSON youngest daughter of the above died Nov 7th 1928 aged 62.