The Alternative Brothers

Their graves in St Oswald’s churchyard are about 60 paces apart. John’s stone has been out in all weathers for over 30 years longer than his brother’s and it hasn’t worn well.

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The incised letters on Warcup’s stone are still sharp a hundred years after they were cut.

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Warcup was baptised a CROSIER…

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…but he signed his apprentice indenture form and the marriage register on his wedding 1846 as CROSHER.

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Warcup and Ann’s three girls came into the world as Croshers and departed as either Crosier or Crozier in official records. Only the youngest girl married – as Elizabeth Ann Crosier. For this family unit “Crosier” is written in stone.

One wonders if the two brothers talked about changing the family name. They clearly didn’t see eye to eye. Not only did John marry as a Crosher but his son with Elizabeth the Second did too – and died a Crosher in 1971.

Variant family names are an occupational hazard for family historians. I suspect most arise from misunderstandings by record takers (initially) and digitizers/transcribers (in recent years). Not many are at continuing variance by parental or sibling choice. A quick look at the Index of Volume 2 of the East Yorkshire Family History Society’s St Oswald’s Monument Inscriptions shows only one family in this sort of conflict. Crosher/Crosier.

John is with his first wife, Elizabeth PASHBY, who died childless (it seems) at the age of 44.

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About fourteen months later, at the age of 54, John married Elizabeth MILNER, a spinster aged 35. Her widowhood lasted 36 years and her grave, next to John and the other Elizabeth, has a flat tablet letting the world know who placed it there.

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In loving memory of ELIZABETH, second wife of JOHN CROSHER, who died October 16th 1919.

Erected by her son GEORGE HENRY CROSHER Hon. Steward of Westminster Abbey.

Find George Henry on FamilySearch Tree.

Today’s Image

I posted a photo of Ironbridge Gorge last autumn but titled it Landscape 61, forgetting I had an empty category for “Old Life” pictures. My faithful companion, Jude, departed for the Big Kennel on this day five years ago. Six years to the day before that we enjoyed a lovely walk on a bright, frosty morning – and he waited patiently while I made this panorama.

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The Sandholes are between Jude and the risen sun. I don’t know if it is true, but I understood that the sand taken from this place was of a particular kind, perfect for making the moulds into which molten iron could be poured to make useful and/or decorative cast iron objects. Half a mile from this viewpoint, more or less straight ahead, is one of the Cradles of the Industrial Revolution, and an iconic brick structure – The Darby Furnace, where iron was first smelted using coke.

If you copy and paste these coordinates into Google Maps and hit Satellite View you’ll find yourself at the Sandholes.

52.633737°,  -2.500155°

Sandholes

The Old Life ended when Jude and I left Middle England for the Yorkshire Coast, about four months after the Sandholes photos were taken. Here’s a picture of him taken in Filey in March 2009. I miss him, but he’s not really gone away.

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An Unexpected Poet

Whatever it may be, frost heave, soil settle or something other, it nudges gravestones from the vertical, and a few will eventually fall on their backs or faces. The headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard remembering George MILNER, and his wife Mary Ann seems unique in appearing to be pulled, ever so gradually, into the earth by an unknown force. Straight down.

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George was born in Hunmanby, a few miles inland from Filey, in 1813. He married Mary Ann PUDSEY in Holy Trinity Church, Hull, in 1838. Their five children were born in that city and one of the three girls, Elizabeth, married John, a younger brother of Warcup CROSIER, who wed the girl next door (Monday’s post).

George followed the same trade as Warcup, and so did John. They were all joiners. But George was also a poet.

At least, that is what he told the census enumerator in 1851. Journeyman Joiner & Poet. Wonderful.

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For reasons unknown to me, the family moved from Hull to Filey during the next decade and in 1871 George was just a plain, and somewhat less romantic, Master Joiner living in West Road.

I went in search of his poems. If there are any out there, I have yet to stumble upon them. I did find this:-

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Poets are known to have become elegiac in country churchyards but further investigation established this George as a Director of Hull’s Cemeteries and probably somewhat older than 33 years. (I didn’t hold too fast to a notion of him in a dual role of making coffins and dealing with the administration of seeing them put efficiently in the ground.)

However, taphophiles may be interested in this extract from the preface to the second edition of the pamphlet referred to above.

In Hull, the town in which the author resides, there is a population of about 70,000; the published returns of the Registrar General, however, only include the parishes of Holy Trinity and St. Mary; and therefore, in dealing with facts, we must confine ourselves to these districts, which, according to the last census, contained a population of 41,130. So early as the year 1301, Archbishop Corbridge mentions a cemetery in Kyngstone. The burying ground is described in the will of John Schayl, in 1303, as the Cemetery of Holy Trinity of Kingston-upon-Hull; in 1320 King Edward granted a vacant piece of ground at the west end of the church, for the enlargement of this churchyard –  the plot altogether, including the site of the church, only contains about 5,040 square yards, and has never since been used as a place of interment for this parish. It is crowded everywhere with bones and coffins, some of the latter within a foot of the surface; the ground, as may readily be imagined, is one mass of decomposed flesh and blood; it is raised two or three feet above the level of the adjoining streets by interments, notwithstanding those streets are now higher considerably than they formerly were. Holy Trinity is situated in the Market-place, and entirely surrounded by dwellings –  at the west, a row of houses overlooks the ground, and in summer months, offensive smells are complained of. In 1783, a new ground was opened for this parish, containing about 14,520 square yards, – the ground has long since been filled, and no interment can now take place without disturbing human remains; this ground has also been considerably raised by interments above the adjoining streets. In the other parish, we find St. Mary’s Church was founded or enlarged in 1333, as Archbishop Melton then granted a licence for “performing divine offices in the chapel, and rites of sepulture in the ground.” The present churchyard contains about 750 square yards; it is frightfully crowded, and the ground raised four or five feet above street level – graves cannot be made without mangling and displacing remains. A new ground was obtained for the parish in 1774, it contains about 2772 square yards; this is very much crowded, so much so that it is necessary to prick with an iron rod for a new grave. The parishes of Holy Trinity and St. Mary, according to the last census, contained 41,130, as before stated; the published Tables of Mortality shew that from the year 1838 to 1846 inclusive, there have been no less than 10, 601 deaths recorded in these two parishes. How then is it possible that, under existing arrangements, violation of the grave can be avoided? No interment can possibly take place without desecration – the quiet of the grave exists but in the imagination.

Our George Milner was buried in St Oswald’s churchyard on 11 May 1890, about a year after Mary Ann was laid to rest. Their son Robert died in Cottingham in 1898 and was brought to Filey for burial in their grave.

Find the family on FamilySearch Tree.

A Girl Next Door

Two Filey households in 1841 had different addresses, one Church Street and the other Gofton’s Yard, but the census enumerator went from one to the other with no calls in-between. An 1851 Map shows a possible location for Gofton’s Yard.

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Five years later, on 24 June 1846, Warcup CROSIER married Ann HALL at St Oswald’s Church. The frailties of the first major census in England and Wales include the absence of marital status and family relationships and the waywardness of given ages. In this instance, the enumerator ignored instructions and gave Warcup his actual age, but rounded down Ann’s likely age of 19 to 15.

Not shown on the scrap of page image above are others in Jane Hall’s household:-

Christiana Hall, 18

John Palister, 61

Josh Redshaw, 50

Christopher Aucland, 20

John Chapman, 7

Without the family relationships, it is easy to jump to the conclusion that Jane was an unmarried mother, with Ann and Christiana being her illegitimate daughters. This would seem unlikely if she was 35 years old, as enumerated – but she was actually five years older than that. She died in November 1859 at the age of 58. At the 1851 census, she was sheltering Warcup, Ann and the couple’s first child, Jane. Joseph Redshaw was still lodging with her and John Chapman, now 17, is described as “nephew”. It appears that Ann and Christiana were Jane Hall’s nieces. In the St Oswald’s marriage register, Ann does not offer a name for her father and at the 1891 census gives her birthplace as Seamer. A Seamer baptism on 26 June 1821 fits her well; her mother’s name is given as Julia Hall.

Warcup Crosier (or CROSHER) was an apprentice to William WOODALL in 1841 and I wrote a post about his Indenture on Looking at Filey – Apprentice. He lived to a great age, long enough to fret over the deaths of young men in the first three years of the First World War.  In 1911 he was living at 29 Church Street. He hadn’t moved far in 70 years. With him were his unmarried firstborn Jane, 64, and two children of his third daughter Elizabeth Ann – Lillian Crosier and Harry Stanley STOCKDALE.

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This is the Crosier house yesterday (unless the Post Office has changed the street numbering in the last hundred years).

Warcup lived for 16 years without Ann. She died in 1891 aged 70.

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In loving memory of ANN, the beloved wife of

WARCUP CROSIER (of Filey), who died June 24th 1891, aged 70 years.

‘He giveth His beloved sleep’

Also MARY MARIA, daughter of the above who died Feb 8th 1901 aged 47 years.

‘At Rest’

Also JANE, daughter of the above, died May 12 1915, aged 68 years.

Also of the above WARCUP CROSIER who died August 15th 1917, aged 94 years.

Warcup and Ann have several IDs each on FamilySearch Tree. There’s an amount of work needed to set them straight, but if you are interested look here.