Time and Some Places

George Thomas Brown PLACE was the eldest son of Robert, a York photographer and tobacconist, and Mary Ann BROWN. He had six younger siblings but four died as infants and Arthur Ernest was 19 when he departed this world. The youngest, Jane, married Thomas SAWYER in 1897 when she was 25-years-old. The ceremony was conducted at St John’s, York…


The census enumerator in 1891 had found George and Jane in Micklegate with their widowed father and a “general servant domestic”, Emily HORNER.

Ten years later, Jane, her husband and their first child were still in York but Robert, George and Emily were living at Rose Cottage in Filey. At some point, George and Emily “became an item” and when they married in the second quarter of 1906 Emily was at least four months pregnant. Their daughter, Mary Elinor was born on the 21st of August.

In early April 1910, Robert died at Rose Cottage and George played some part in his father’s funeral service. Local newspaper reports of the death of “a well known Filey resident”  were coy about the Place family’s arrangements. The Bridlington Free Press stated:-

He leaves a son and a daughter, both married, the daughter being Mrs. Sawyer, who with her husband resides at York. The Rev. G. T. B. Place had resided with his father.

Five weeks later, on the 12th of May, George died of pneumonia. The Leeds Mercury had this to say:-

The Rev. G. T. B. Place was a native of York, was educated at Durham University, was ordained deacon in 1885 and priest in the following year. He held curacies at Dunham, Notts., and at Long Eaton, Derbyshire, before going to Filey in 1898. He resigned the Filey post in 1902, and had since lived in private life in the town, taking occasional duty in the district. He leaves a widow and one child.

The service in the Parish Church was conducted by the Rev. E. G. Howorth, curate, and at the graveside by the Vicar of Filey (Rev. A. N. Cooper).

Emily was a widow for 29 years, dying on Christmas Eve 1939. Mary Elinor didn’t marry but seems to have been a larger-than-life character who set tongues wagging – and they wag still.

I hope she kept her parents’ grave tidy, (she died in 1985), but it is sadly neglected now. The flat stone has lost some of its letters and is difficult to decipher. The inscription remembers George and Emily and adds Non Omnis Moriar. I suspect most of us believe that we will not wholly die.

The Flyer


This was to have been Today’s Image, and I was going to do a follow-up post on the Coltas Family. But, rather than his two childless sons being the last of the line, Christopher Coltas left a genetic inheritance of such proportions that I haven’t gathered in all the clan yet. I was, also, rather taken by the bears I found on a grave this morning!

Before the First World War, Rose Cottage was the home of Robert PLACE, his son George and their housekeeper Emily HORNER, as was. (Emily married George.)

Emily took in lodgers and one was John ‘Jack’ BRERETON, an aviator who spent some time at the  Blackburn Flying School at Flat Cliffs, just south of Primrose Valley.

After he left the area Jack sent Emily a postcard.



His message reads:-

Dear Mrs Place,

Will you please send on those things of mine to “Kiplingcotes”. You have the address I believe. Mr [?] Scott is doing well at Hendon. I often wish I was flying at Filey again.

Kind regards hope this will find you quite well.

Yours sincerely,

J Brereton

My thanks to Christine Hayes for the digital copy of the postcard.

George PLACE is on FamilySearch Tree with his parents, though not under his full name – and not yet hitched to Emily. He is buried in St Oswald’s churchyard. I will attend to his pedigree soon.

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.

Two Lives Cut Short

To the left of the path leading up to the door of St Oswald’s (Today’s Image) are two ‘table graves’. Both remember a “George Fowler”.

On the right, George FOWLER, a land and ship owner who died aged 61. To the left, George Fowler TAYLOR, who lived for just 22 years. The young man succumbed to consumption at the home of his aunt, Mrs George Fowler, on The Esplanade, Scarborough. (A different Mrs George Fowler is memorialised on the adjacent tomb.)


On this day in 1895, Fanny Deadman Hanson (born SCOTTER) was buried in the churchyard. She was 21 years old and had been married to fisherman husband, John Henry, for just 14 months. I haven’t discovered the cause of her death. Phthisis may have taken her too – it was one of the biggest killers in Victorian Britain – but perhaps she died in childbirth.


I have put this headstone photograph on FamilySearch Tree. (The angel, pointing upwards, symbolises “a sudden departure or untimely death”.) John Henry married again and had five children with Annie Elizabeth PASHBY.