Bird 116 · Spinning Jenny

1810 Filey · Baptism  Rachel was born in Gristhorpe, the only child of farmer John HUTCHINSON and Ann BRUMPTON. Her mother died in August 1811 at the age of 29 and it doesn’t appear that her father remarried. Rachel had six children with William CLARKSON. Widowed in 1857, she returned to her father’s house and was enumerated at 7 West Street, Muston in 1861 with four children  – Annie Jane, John, Mary Ann and Rachael Susannah. Rachel’s father died in 1867 and on census night 1871 she was enumerated at the Cross Keys in Muston with her granddaughter Rachel Ann, 7, the firstborn of eldest son John and Isabella CARR. Rachel died the following winter and is buried in Hunmanby, presumably with her husband William.

(I didn’t accomplish much today.)

‘Joan Margaret’

On this day in 1941, a German mine exploded in the Humber and sank the drifter Joan Margaret. Five Filey fishermen lost their lives and only Jimmy BRIGHT survived.

I wrote two posts about the tragedy for the old Looking at Filey and when I have tidied them up I will reprint them here. Heritage Gateway is worth a visit. The article suggests the fishing boat struck the mine but there is a different narrative. (Isn’t there always?)

‘Joan Margaret’, photographer not known, no date, courtesy Martin Douglas.

The lost fishermen are remembered on family stones in St Oswald’s churchyard and at Tower Hill.

Mark of Man 87 · Reighton Sands Holiday Park

The Murderer’s Daughter

1879 Filey · Birth  Perhaps it was a blessing. Ellen Elizabeth died at the age of nine, five years before her father, Samuel STONEHOUSE, beat her mother to death. I haven’t been able to find a newspaper account of the young girl’s passing but noticed in the St Oswald’s burial register that her first cousin Edith Annie, aged two years and seven months, had been laid to rest five weeks earlier. The grief experienced by the two Stonehouse families may have been a factor in a flare-up that summer. Abraham Waugh Stonehouse was in court accused of assaulting Samuel and threatening violence towards sister in law Maria.

1819 Filey · Baptism  Ann married fish merchant Benjamin SIMPSON when she was 28 years old. Death took him 27 years and five children later. Ann continued the business and two sons married, presenting her with 12 grandchildren. Seven of them died long before she did.

1740 Pickering · Marriage  Joseph TRAVIS is a great grandfather of Arthur Travis CLAY, the West Riding manufacturer who is buried in St Oswald’s churchyard. But did he marry Sarah EMPSON? Filey Genealogy & Connections didn’t take Arthur’s family further back in time so what is in my RootsMagic database is down to me.

FamilySearch sees things differently.

I’ll let you know when the jury comes back and the judge has delivered a verdict. (Perhaps some private investigators would like to get involved in the meanwhile.)

1761 Filey · Death  Nesfield ranks =280 in the Filey surnames list but is also found as a first and middle name. Wharram is a fraction more common here as a surname (=253). The Surnames Map online echoes this with Nesfield found in 76 places and Wharram in 92. My notion that Wharram is a geographical surname because Wharram Percy (a deserted village) is nearby isn’t supported by the distribution map.

Surname Map

FG&C gives Nesfield WHARRAM a wife, 12 children and no grandchildren (from three marriages). I haven’t added to this complement. The FamilySearch Shared Tree also has twelve children but five are married – and there are 27 grandchildren.

Nesfield’s family doesn’t seem to have strayed far from Langtoft, (which is 12 miles from Wharram Percy and fifteen from Filey).

Measure of Man 74 · Waterworks

Cayton Bay


1694 Filey · Birth  Ryther is a small village between Tadcaster and Selby, about fifty miles south-west of Filey. It is the birthplace of Thomas KILLINGBECK, a second great grandfather to John of that ilk whose life ended violently in Filey. Some Filey Killingbecks have London connections but, on a whim, I Googled “Killingbeck Ryther” and this was the top hit –

What larks! Birthday Thomas is one of Ellen’s older brothers. (That’s if you believe Helena Wray could have been 52 when she gave birth to her last child.)

The new ancestor discovery page has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a fun family activity or detailed information about an ancestor’s life.


On the brink, we should all grab some fun when it is offered, but you will need to have a free account at FamilySearch to follow the links on Ellen’s page. Even then, you won’t be able to navigate to the above-mentioned John. His connection back in time currently breaks at grandfather George, brother of Thomas born 1758. I will recall the anniversary of John’s death on the last day of this month but, if you can’t wait, read about his passing here.

Returning to Birthday Thomas – the records indicate he was baptised on his second day of life. Perhaps he wasn’t expected to live. Well, he married Mary FOWLER on May Day 1725 and their only child (found thus far) made the later move of some Killingbecks to Filey possible.

1804 Filey · Baptism  Rachel HOTHAM married a sailor, Robert WILLIS in 1835 when she was 31 years old. They had two children. I am not sure what happened to firstborn Sarah but in 1871 their son William was living with them in Church Stree. He was 35, single and working as a carter, but less than two months later, he married Emily GRANGER at St Oswald’s, Both couples are remembered on this headstone –

(Rachel’s younger sister, Nancy, beat her to the altar, marrying Robert Willis’s younger brother, John.)

1818 Filey · Marriage  Sally THEAKER, born in Staithes, also married a mariner at St Oswald’s but Richard RICHARDSON left her a widow in 1834 when she was just forty years old. He is buried in the churchyard, in an unmarked grave – unless Sarah is buried with him. There is plenty of room on her stone for him to be remembered.

1863 Filey · Death John RUDDOCK was also born in Staithes but before he settled in Filey he went with Commander PARRY to the Arctic.

Landscape 152 · Cleveland Way

Near Robin Hood’s Bay 54.397819, -0.480368

Mark of Man 87 · Tracks

Hunmanby Sands

Today’s birthday girl was born into a bewildering family. I spent most of the day getting nowhere. The characters include an artist, a musician, a bird stuffer and a plumassier – so they are worth following to wherever the sources eventually lead. I hope to catch up with the other five in the grid eventually.

Note: Edith signed the marriage register Edith Helena.

Clouds 58 · Over Mitford Street


I didn’t get round to figuring out why John PRUST has been given the middle name “Turner” on the Shared Tree, but there are pleasing photographic portraits of him and his wife Elizabeth PINKNEY.

I wrote three posts about Jane WATKINSON and the families of the brothers she married. See Not So Plain, Jane, Rachel’s Sister and A Puzzling Mismatch.

Thomas WISEMAN & Phyllis have been given IDs and their headstone put up as a memory.

I couldn’t, alas, make time for Mary Ellis or George.

The Actress and the Dressmaker

1848 Great Grimsby · Birth & 1858 Filey · Baptism Elizabeth Ann CROSIER (left) and Dame Margaret Shaftoe ROBERTSON have more than the Ides of March in common. They had a business connection. Dame Madge, as she was affectionately known, lived in Filey now and then, between theatrical tours around Britain and the Empire. She brought work for Elizabeth to do, perhaps repairing costumes damaged while treading the boards.

Photo of Elizabeth Ann courtesy of Joanne Cammish, (who made me aware of this relationship some years ago). Madge has been cropped from a signed Victorian “fan photo”, courtesy of the Filey Museum.

Elizabeth Ann is with her elder daughter in St Oswald’s churchyard; Dame Madge in later life was, I think, estranged from some of her children.

1785 Coppenhall · Death The Reverend Thomas is here because it was John UNETT, his grandson, who had the plans drawn up for what would become The Crescent of “New Filey”.

1874 Filey · Burial  The cross that marked Henry John KILBY’s grave fell many years ago and lay partly buried. It has recently been resurrected and you can see how well it was protected from the weather.

Elizabeth, Henry’s wife, married again, choosing a man almost twenty years her junior, a bankrupt and occasional drunkard. But here she is, sleeping eternally with Henry. In the register, the clerk penned her maiden surname, THOMPSON. I’m sure the whole town knew what she had been through.

Abstract 94 · Hut

Filey Promenade

Ann Who?

1858 Filey · Baptism  Filey Genealogy & Connections insists she is Ann Mary TEMPLE. The Shared Tree currently disagrees.

Her St Oswald’s baptism entry does offer “Martha” –

But when she marries Robert SCOTTER in 1876, she signs “Mary” –

East Riding Local Studies Service

Her trustworthiness is in question. At her wedding, she claims to be 21 years old when her birth registration (as Ann Mary) points to her being only eighteen. (Making her sixteen when she gave birth to William Temple.) Two years after her husband died, she registered the birth of Alfred Tinson Scotter. Kath notes on FG&C that a William J. TINSON was a “boots” at the Crescent Hotel on census night 1891. Five years younger than Ann Mary, and therefore a reasonable shout for biological father, William may have stayed with her if the boy had not died at a year old.

Ann Mary was Robert’s second wife. His first, Hannah, died whilst attempting to bring their son Robert into the world. She was just twenty.

Hannah and the child are remembered on a stone that cannot now be traced. The inscription read –

In affectionate remembrance of HANNAH, the beloved wife of ROBERT SCOTTER, who died Sept 3rd 1874, aged 21 (sic) years.

‘Farewell dear friends and husband dear

For we shall meet no more

Till we be rais’d with Christ to dwell

On Zion’s happy shore’

Also ROBERT son of the above died in infancy

‘Safe in the arms of Jesus’

Also of HILDA MAY, the beloved daughter of GEORGE & HILDA CAMMISH, died 29th Oct 1925 aged 11 years

‘Too dearly loved to be forgotten’

(Hilda May is a grandniece to Hannah Ferguson.)

Robert, a fisherman, died aged 39 and a yawl in full sail is carved on his headstone.

Curiously, Robert appears to have been living in Beverley when he died. The sea did not claim him. The inscription on the stone is almost impossible to read now and this may account for Robert’s death being transcribed forty years or so ago as happening in “December 1891”. The burial register gives 6 December 1889. (His birth registration suggests he was 38 when he died, not 39.)

Most of today has been spent with Ann Mary/Martha. I had hoped to put two stones on the Shared Tree but they are still “in the red”.

Bird 115 · Jackdaw

Flither Girls

1834 Filey · Baptism  Jane was the firstborn of fisherman Robert HAXBY and Mary SKELTON. Her life in early adulthood would have been, by all accounts, tough – collecting flithers and baiting lines for her father. There’s a brief account of this special breed at Scarborough Maritime Heritage. It refers to a television program that “concentrates on the haunted looks on the women’s faces”.

This photograph was donated to Looking at Filey about ten years ago. The Filey girls were not named but at least two have “the look”. One of them could be Jane. She didn’t marry George PICK until she was thirty-two. They didn’t have any children.  There is a death registration for Jane in Boston, Lincolnshire, in 1904, but I haven’t added it to the Shared Tree. I would like to have more information about George first. He is a man of genealogical mystery.

There are more photographs of flither girls – and the men they worked for – illustrating this folk song on YouTube.

1873 Filey · Birth  Hetty is a sister of Charlotte (Anniversary 14 January) and Walter. I wondered why her mother’s name was familiar! Filey Genealogy & Connections took her as far as marriage to Arthur Edward BASS and I wanted to find out more. Arthur was a Lincolnshire man and after marrying Hetty in her home town in 1899, he took her across the Humber to continue his work as a confectioner in Grimsby.

Hetty was thirty-five when she married but had three children before 1905 – Dorothy Emily, Hilda Marion and Norman Keightley. Perhaps after retirement, Arthur and Hetty went to live in Basford, Nottingham, and both died there, Hetty in 1933 aged 69 and Arthur in 1937 aged 68.

1847 Filey · Marriage  Margaretis Robert’s first wife. She died at 53 and probably never saw him in his bellman outfit.

Robert Stork, photographer uncertain (maybe Walter Fisher), no date, courtesy Filey Museum

1888 Filey · Death Sophia died at Kingston Villa on Cargate Hill, a home she shared with younger sister Isabella. But when Isabella departed this life thirty years later it was from Kingston Cottage.

Kingston Cottage/Villa, photographer unknown, no date, courtesy Filey Museum

The sisters are remembered at the Mausoleum in Filey churchyard (next to the tree, right, in the panorama below).

Photographed 12 March 2009

Nature Morte 24 · Cod

A guesswork fish!

What the Dickens?

1849 Seamer · Death  When I wrote about the death of Mary SUGGIT last month, I said that the Great English Novelist had been economical with the truth regarding the demise of Robert SNARR, the husband-to-be of Mary’s daughter, Elizabeth CAMMISH. I wrote about his final journey here.

1873 Filey · Birth  Elizabeth’s arrival on this day in 1865 is recorded in Filey Genealogy & Connections. The Primitive Methodist chapel baptism register is the source relied upon but I have not been able to check and verify it. Elizabeth is missing from the family in 1871, and cannot be found elsewhere on census night or in the GRO Deaths Index for the previous six years. The family looks to be settled in Church Street but ten years later Emily is a widow of 39 in Bridlington. She has recently given birth to Florence but father Henry’s death registration has eluded me. The family seems well presented on the Shared Tree and should be your starting point if you want to go searching for Elizabeth.

1884 Filey · Baptism  Ellen was the ninth of twelve children born to William RAWSON and Elizabeth Ann MAULSON. She married William Stewart IRONSIDE at Filey St Oswald’s in 1906. William had been a boy soldier, joining the army at age 14. He survived four years of the Great War and then “bought it”  shortly before peace was declared.

Brigadier General Delaforge wrote to Ellen –

It is very hard that at the eleventh hour he should have been taken from us. He was a splendid soldier who set a very fine example. He was the pride of the Division, and all are grief stricken… I am not yet in possession of detailed accounts of the event but I know that just before his death a report had come to the effect that all objectives had been gained in the attack which he was covering with his guns and so he will have died happily.

A newspaper report said that William had left a widow and two children. I have not been able to find their birth registrations but June Gill, a descendant, told me their names were Rene and Billy.  June sent me this portrait of Ellen – undated but possibly taken in the early years of her marriage to William.

Ellen married again but the relationship with Jesse BROOKSBANK did not survive. Unable to find a convincing death registration for Ellen Brooksbank, I looked for a third marriage instead. Ellen may have become Mrs Albert KING in Leeds in 1935, but this couple “disappears” thereafter. The thought occurred that Ellen left Britain. June told me (several years ago) that Ellen’s daughter Rene was killed in Hull during a Second World War air raid. After the war, her brother Edmund took “her children” to America. Billy corresponded with June’s mother for several years but after they died there was no further family contact. (Billy had five children.)

Ellen does figure on a United States document – the death certificate of her younger son. Registered at birth in 1919 as Robert Edmond Stewart Ironside, he died with the surprising moniker of Eadmund Ironside de Braganca. See a page image of the Certificate at FamilySearch. (The informant was Eadmund’s nephew, David S. Ironside – one of Billy’s sons, presumably.)

1898 Filey · Burial Harold is one of nine people remembered on the GASH family headstone. Two infants, two children and two FirstWorld War soldiers. I will put a photo of the stone on the Shared Tree soon.

Flight of Fancy 42 · Downcliffe Djinn