Brief Lives

James BARR was only thirty-three years old when he died. He was one of at least seven children born to John and Sarah nee TAYLOR in North Frodingham, a village about 23 miles south of Filey. John was an “excavator”, as was his father before him. They mostly dug ditches for farmers, I suspect. James has one of the most striking  headstones in St Oswald’s churchyard, with a fine carving of mason’s tools.

I was surprised today to find that he began his working life as a groom, serving the  Doctors SAVILE (father and son) in Nafferton. Between 1861 and the next census he learned a trade, married and became a father. In 1871 he was living in Church Street, Filey with wife Diana/Dinah nee WILLIAMSON and their four-year-old daughter Sarah Ann, and working as a bricklayer. He had six more years to live and I can only assume he acquired a mason’s greater skills in that short time. I haven’t discovered the cause of his death.

In 1881 James’ widow had moved the short distance to a house in King Street and was making ends meet as a charwoman. Sarah Ann, 14, was with her, described as a domestic servant.

Sarah Ann married in 1889 and two years later Dinah was enumerated with three “lodgers” – Francis SIMPSON, his wife Ann and their three-year old son John Williamson. Ann was Dinah’s niece and the wee boy her grandnephew.

Dinah died two years later, aged 53.

Found Object 38 · Mask

Glen Gardens

The Miller’s Daughter

Thomas ROANTREE seems to have wandered East Yorkshire grinding corn, judging by the birthplaces ascribed to his many children. He did, however, stay long enough in Filey to be caught by a census enumerator. The family home in Common Right Road (“Lane” in the census) is easily picked out on a map printed in 1851. (Now West Road, with Ashley Court built on the site of the Mill.)

Sophia was a middle child and married Jenkinson HAXBY, a fisherman, in 1853. They were together for over fifty years but were not blessed with children of their own. The 1881 census transcription claims they had a daughter, also called Sophia, but this young woman was Jenkinson’s niece. Sophia’s niece, Emma ROWNTREE, lived with the couple for many years – she was not a “visitor”. Later censuses indicate she was their housekeeper and at their deaths inherited the property in Carlton Road. Emma was a child of Sophia’s elder brother Thomas Dickinson ROWNTREE who died young. The enumerator’s book reveals his confusion. (Jenkinson was enumerated that year in Grimsby, where he was staying with timber merchant Samuel ELLIS and family.)

Without responsibilities to a large family, Jenkinson had time to throw himself into community life – with gusto, purpose and success. Responding to his death in 1908, The Scarborough Mercury offered two observations: –

THE LEADER OF THE FILEY FISHERMEN.

The late Mr. Jenkinson Haxby, of Filey, had made himself a name far beyond the bounds of the little town in which he was born and lived all his life. He was the leader for many years of a band of men known as the Filey Fishermen, who went from place to place holding services. They were attached to the Primitive Methodist body, and their breezy utterances were looked forward to in many places as a relief from the ordinary pulpit supply. The special line of religious teaching which they took is the one which is coming more and more into vogue. Jenkinson Haxby and his fellow fishermen had not much learning and were not able to dwell on the ancient side of religion and “the wonders of old time.” They specially spoke of their own experiences in the present, and what religion had done for them. Various circumstances are likely to bring this side uppermost, among others the teaching of the higher critics shows that the story of the past has been covered with many accretions, and even falsities, so that one scarcely knows truth from legend. But when dealing with the present, one is soon able to sift the chaff from the wheat.

THE VALUE OF MEN.

Never was a larger funeral seen in Filey than when, last Tuesday, Mr. Jenkinson Haxby was [laid to rest]. The whole available population of [Filey] seemed present, and the Churchmen and dissenters vied in doing honour to his memory. The address at the grave was given by a Primitive Methodist, Rev. F. E. Heape. In the course of this he said he had known many disasters happen to the place, such as shipwrecks, loss of men, loss of gear, accidents to children, and the like, but the worst disaster he had ever known had been the death of Jenkinson Haxby. This sounds great praise, and some might think it exaggeration, but who can estimate the value of really good men! Before a naval battle, the Greeks were recounting the ships and men possessed by the enemy, and compared them with their own few, and looked desponding. “How many do you reckon me worth?” asked their admiral. The question was not necessarily a boastful one, for the event proved that one capable man in command was worth more than twenty ships, including the crews. So the loss of a good man of the pronounced type of Jenkinson Haxby may be greater in the long run than twenty ordinary disasters.

Sophia lived as a widow for twelve more years at No. 6 Carlton Road.

photographed this afternoon

I think it unlikely that Sophia was aware that many of her kin had dwelt in castles – Alnwick, Bamburgh and Leicester, to name just three. If the FamilySearch Shared Tree can be relied upon, she had forebears in a number of great English families – Percy, Neville, Mortimer and more. Harry Hotspur was a kinsman, John of Gaunt too, and Æthelred the Unready was a royal ancestor. You will find others if you start here and wander through time.

Tree 52 · Glen Gardens

Family Misfortunes

Something pushed William HUNT from his birthplace in deepest Lincolnshire and across the Humber; and then perhaps he was pulled a little further north to Scarborough. He married Jane Elizabeth ROBINSON there in 1869. She had also moved north from her birthplace in Hull, but only about forty miles, a third of the distance William had travelled from Wainfleet.

The census enumerator in 1871 found them in Hoxton Road, a narrow street of terraced houses not far from Scarborough Prison and the Workhouse. William, 23, was working as a plumber and glazier; Jane Elizabeth, 28, had William Henry, approaching his first birthday, to care for.

A second boy, Charles, was born in Scarborough shortly after the census but the family then moved a few miles south to Filey, where first daughter Martha Ann arrived on 24 August 1872. She was followed by brothers John Robinson and Alfred late in 1873 and 1874.

When the census was taken in 1881, the Hunt household contained five children, but John Robinson and Alfred’s places had been taken by Jane Davison and John Alfred Harold. The missing boys had died within days of each other in January 1875. I couldn’t find a cause but suspect one caught a childhood disease, perhaps scarlet fever, and gave it to the other. The worried parents baptized Alfred at the Ebenezer Chapel on the thirteenth. John Robinson died a day or two later and was buried on the sixteenth. Alfred followed him to the grave on the twentieth, after just 9 weeks of life.

A year after the 1881 census a third Hunt child was taken in the most distressing of circumstances. Newspapers couldn’t agree on where the coroner’s inquest was held but were otherwise on the same page.

On the same day, the Scarborough Mercury, offered this:-

DEATH FROM AN OVERDOSE OF SWEET NITRE

On Saturday last an inquest was held at the Crown Hotel, Filey, before Mr. J. M. Jennings, on the body of Martha Ann Hunt, aged nine years, who died very suddenly on Friday. The mother said that she only gave her daughter two small spoonfuls of sweet nitre. She had purchased one ounce and the remainder was in the bottle. The medical officer said that there was about six drachms left and that two drachms had been given to the child. The jury returned a verdict that deceased “Died from an overdose of sweet nitre incautiously administered by its mother.”

The verdict must have put a terrible burden of guilt upon Jane Elizabeth. New England Popular Medicine (1848), accessible on Google Books, says: –

…The dose is from one to two drachms. A tea-spoonful may be given, every two hours, in a severe fever, in water or in any other simple liquid. The sweet nitre relieves spasms and nervous strangury.

The book also states: –

There is hardly a medicine in more common use than the sweet spirit or spirits of nitre, nor one which is more deservedly popular.

A hundred years or so after Martha Ann’s death, the American FDA banned the over-the-counter sale of sweet spirit because its use had become associated with fatal methemoglobinemia.

The loss of three children was more than enough to persuade the parents to move away from Filey. FamilySearch offers evidence that the Hunt family crossed the Atlantic aboard the City of Chester in 1888. Two of the children married in the United States and the Shared Tree shows that William and Jane Elizabeth had at least five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Sadly, they endured another loss in America. Firstborn William Henry died in New York at the age of twenty-one. The span of the parents’ lives – and details of their forebears – have yet to be determined.

Mark of Man 50 · Crab Pot

Filey Brigg

Deleted Thomas

A couple of years ago I created a Thomas JENKINSON on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. I had a photograph of the headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard that remembers him and his wife Mary. Various distractions prevented me completing the simple upload until yesterday – and I discovered that “my” Thomas was no more.

The reason given for the deletion was that my man was a duplicate. Here is Mary with the fourteen children they brought into the world.

Mary’s husband is represented elsewhere on the Shared Tree.

Mary Castle has 9 duplicate IDs but 7 of them are “not a match” because they have been triggered by children of her “wrong mother” Lydia, (over in the West Riding). One ID, however, has associated Blue Hints that would at least guide an investigator to her “right parents”, Thomas CASTLE and Mary DUKE.

Mary’s mother died giving birth and Thomas married for the third time. Maud/Maude DUKE had seven children with him. (I don’t think she was related to her predecessor.)

I’m in two minds about how to proceed. Have a go at clearing up the mess myself, or leave it to descendants.

I visited the grave this morning and photographed Thomas and Mary’s inscriptions.

Path 97 · Muston Cliffs

Consequences

The father of William WINSHIP (Thursday’s post) made at least one dismal life-choice in his youth.

A month later (13 July), the Halifax Guardian listed the cases that were to come before judges and jury at the Yorkshire Summer Assizes.

47. John Winship, 18, c[harged] with having, at Paull, feloniously assaulted Fanny Barchard.

On Tuesday the following week, the grand jury at the Assizes “ignored the bill” against John for the rape and so he was, I assume, allowed to return home.

He was 17 years old, not 18, and I expect all the villages dotted around the Plain of Holderness knew what he had done.  He was not driven away and stayed in the village of his birth until he married Eliza WISE in 1859. She was just nineteen. They set up home in Hull, the “big city”, and Eliza died there in 1862, possibly in childbirth. (Filey Genealogy & Connections records a daughter Emily, born 1862 in Sproatley near Hull, but I haven’t found her in the GRO Index.)

John, a fisherman, moved up the coast to Filey and on 24 July 1864 married Jane KITCHING at St Oswald’s. Two daughters were born before William. In 1871 the family was living in Church Street, Filey (and the aforementioned Emily was with them). Ten years later, Jane occupied the dwelling with her second husband, Charles BRIGHT. John had died six years earlier, aged just 42.

Shed no tears for him. What about his TWO victims? There were two girls called Fanny BARCHARD – first cousins, having the same paternal grandparents. In 1841 they were living a few miles from each other, the elder in Ellerby, the younger in Roos. At the time of the rape, one would have been 15 years old and the other fourteen. I don’t know which of the girls suffered the attentions of John Winship. The triangle made by their home villages measures about 10 miles on each side. Newspaper notices concerning the outrage offer no helpful details.

If the girls discussed the rape with each other, I imagine they were both psychologically harmed in ways that would shape their futures. It is a simplistic idea, I know, but I wondered if their approaches to marriage would indicate which one had suffered the physical assault.

Fanny the Elder was 28 years old when she married James SEAMER, a farm servant aged 30. I have not found any children.

Fanny the Younger married at 30, her husband 40 year-old widower Matthew THURLEY, a shoemaker. They appear to have been childless also.

Consequences, perhaps, but no conclusion. ( I have had a quick look for their deaths, with no success. A Fanny Seamer who died in Brighton in 1927 aged 82 is not our girl.)

Insect 24 · 5 Spot Burnet Moth

Common spotted orchid, Dactylorhiza fuchsia, Burnet moth, Zygaena trifolii, Muston Cliffs

On the River

When he married Ann Eliza COOPER in the Church of St Lawrence, York, in 1847, William GREEN gave his address as “on the river”. Within three years the couple had registered the births of three boys but the 1851 census did not record the family as a single unit. Two of the boys, Thomas and Ernest, were with their Cooper grandparents (and Aunt Juliann) at 13 Aldwark in the centre of York. The third boy, William Henry, had died aged about six months in 1850. The boys’ parents had vanished.

I knew William was a waterman and of full age when he married. I knew his father was William, and also a waterman, but a long search for this family failed completely. Yesterday’s post revealed that Ann Eliza lived to a great age and was married to Richard GEOGHAN when the 1861 census was taken. So, I made an assumption that young William Green was the same full age as his wife – 21 – and looked for his death in the 1850s. Several possibilities, based on geography, didn’t work out.

I turned to newspapers and found William in next to no time – on the river.

The mention of oil cake was particularly poignant for me. My childhood was spent in Stoneferry, Hull, where the smell from the oil cake mills was ever-present.

The next report gave the Green family’s address in York. Oh, the irony.

I didn’t find Ann Eliza at this address in 1851. Thomas was with his mother and stepfather in Scarborough in 1861. Ernest was enumerated at the Bluecoat School in York. I may follow his fortunes later.

The fourth child (of the first newspaper snippet) is a mystery.

Metal 13 · Brass Band

She Married a Waterman…

…and a Whitesmith, and a Railway Wagon Wright. Ann Eliza COOPER, daughter of a Cottingham shoemaker, was sixty years-old when her third husband, George WINTERBURN, was killed.

Six years earlier, George was working in his former trade as a ship carpenter and living in Ebor Street, York. Sharing the small terrace house were grand-daughter “Julian” GREEN (7) and sister in law “Julian G” COOPER (80). It is amusing that the unusual spelling  “Juliann” caused census enumerators and other minor bureaucrats a lot of trouble. Family relationships are also somewhat mangled where Annie Eliza’s various families are concerned. Her first husband was William GREEN but I don’t think this young girl, “Julian”, is a close relation of hers. “Julian G”, however, is Annie Eliza’s mother, Juliann née OGLESBY.

During the next six years George found work with the Railway Company, Juliann the Elder died (1885) and the household moved to Cambridge Street. The house has been demolished but the street itself remains and its proximity to George’s source of income and the scene of his death are indicated in this Google Street View screen grab.

It seems as though the Railway Company found work for third-time unlucky widow Ann Eliza. The 1891 census finds her sixty miles to the east, living in the “Porters House” by the Station where she is a Waiting Room Attendant. Juliann the Younger (18) is with her, insisting she is Ann Eliza’s granddaughter, and also a boarder, William WINSHIP (21), working as a railway porter. He is Filey-born and marries Juliann two years later.

Twenty years pass. At the 1911 census, William Winship is now a railway signalman at South Milford near Pontefract, living in the nearby village of Hillam with Juliann and three sons. Annie Eliza, 83, is with them and described as “grandmother to wife”. Also present on census night – but probably in permanent residence, is “great aunt to wife” Mary Jane COOPER (85). This is actually Ann Eliza’s elder sister, the first-born child of the Cottingham shoemaker. She would live for five years after the death of Ann Eliza in the spring of 1914.

Ann Eliza’s last spell as a widow had lasted 27 years. I haven’t found death records for William Green or her second husband Richard GEOGHEGAN,  so cannot say what her married life to widowhood ratio is. I’m puzzled too about how many children she had. William Winship writes on the 1911 census form that she had five children and three were still living. I have only found three birth registrations and one of those children died at about six months. Perhaps firstborn Thomas or another boy who lived was the father of Juliann the Younger. (The reason for my aforementioned uncertainty regarding Ann Eliza’s “granddaughter” is that George Winterburn, given age 15, is living in Langthorpe with Robert and Maria GREEN, their four sons and three daughters in 1841.)

When Ann Eliza married William Green in 1847, the church register gave his address as “on the river”. The births of their first three children were registered in York but secondborn Ernest’s birthplace is given as Grimsby in the 1851 census. It seems likely that Ann Eliza voyaged up and down the Humber and Ouse for the first few years of married life. Father William cannot be found for certain in 1851, and in 1861 Ann Eliza is in Scarborough with Richard the Whitesmith, her son Thomas Green, her widowed mother Juliann – and a three year-old “niece”, Ann Eliza COOPER. The birth registration indicates the child is illegitimate and was possibly named after her mother.

I couldn’t find Ann Eliza Cooper the Elder on the FamilySearch Shared Tree and so gave her an ID [G71F-8HC]. She is still single as I write this, but as soon as I can I will marry her three times and give her all the children I find. She has a stronger connection to Filey than William Winship gives her. I had a long chat with a second great grandson of hers on the Coble Landing yesterday.

Beach 109 · Filey Sands

Stuttering

Back in December, I looked at the three contenders for a lasting place in the affections of John COLLEY.

G259_COLLEYjane_20200519

They were not all called Jane.

I messaged a contributor and can now report that some changes have been made on the Shared Tree. It may help to read Jane Lundy x2 before proceeding.

All of the women discussed in December’s post have been thrown in the dustbin of family history, though Sarah’s ID has been taken by an outsider, one Jane STUTTER.

JaneQueryLater

This screenshot updates December’s Jane & Sarah illustration.

I am questioning Jane Stutter because she dies aged 47 and not 56 as recorded by the gravestone, death registration and burial record. Her five children were born in Filey between 1827 and 1837 but her marriage to John took place in Essex in July 1825. Maldon is a small port on the Blackwater estuary, so it is quite possible that our Master Mariner found his wife there. But I am loathe to give up on the elder Jane LUNDY who figures in Filey Genealogy & Connections, though there are no sources to prove a woman with that name married the sailor.

The marriage of John to Jane Stutter does not seem definitive, lacking information regarding home parishes, father’s names and their occupations. It doesn’t give the age of the bride or groom either. Jane’s age on the Shared Tree accords with the 1841 Census, where she is 38, living with 47-year-old John in Prospect Place, Filey. Enumerators were cavalier with ages at this census and the instruction “to the nearest five years” could give a margin of error up to ten years for adults. Jane is said to be Yorkshire-born – and searching for a fitting Colley family in Essex has yielded nothing so far.

I also sent a plea-for-help message in December regarding the elder Jane Lundy’s great-granddaughter Mary Jane COLLING, who was posing as Mary COLLEY, daughter of William and his wife Jane JENKINSON. See Another Mistaken Mary. I didn’t get a reply and so, five months on, I have packed the errant Mary off to the West Riding, where she belongs.

Tree 37 · Country Park

19_20160519Trees1_6m

The Postmaster’s Son

He was generously named but sadly neglected on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. He has even been deprived of his capital letters.

20200516TOOKERHJW_FSTscreenshot

Tooker, W G N 1907I became interested in his story because I found, in a dusty folder on an external drive, a photograph of his father. George Newcombe TOOKER was 39 years old when the picture was taken and he had been living in Filey for just a couple of years. Born in Princetown, Devon in 1868, he waited until he was almost thirty before marrying Mary Anthony ROWE – and shortly afterwards volunteered to fight in the Boer War. “Fight” is somewhat misleading. He delivered mail. A local newspaper gave an insight into his career trajectory.

1905_TOOKERgeoN_News

He arrived in Filey with Mary and two children. One source gives their address as 39 Mitford Street but the 1911 census insists it was No.38. The latter address is more fit for a postmaster but is nonetheless modest. (I am assuming that the street has not been re-numbered in the last century or so.) Chez Tooker has the pale blue door.

MitfordStreet_38_20200517m

Hedley was born here on 2 December 1911. In September the following year, George is attending a presentation in Plymouth, honouring an “old and respected comrade” at the Post Office. It was “a most pleasant evening”.

Mr Fred Ham’s song, “River of Dart”, was very much appreciated by the company. Mr Jack Marshall favoured his brother telegraphists with “Baby Face” in excellent style. Mr P. Soper was also in good voice. Songs were also rendered by Messrs. Avery, Jeffery, Tooker, Dart and Curle.

…Mr Dart, representing the junior staff, said they thanked Mr Hart for the interest he had taken in them: he was always ready and willing to impart the little intricacies of the “test box” to any of the younger officers.

Mr Tooker referred to Mr Hart as a “jolly good fellow,” and a man who had always done his duty with sincerity and good grace.

George may have returned to Filey with ideas of returning permanently to his home patch. The electoral registers show the Tooker family back in Plymouth at the beginning of the Twenties.

All three of the children married. Edna Mary became Mrs MADDICK in 1927, Leslie married Thirza SMITH the following year, and Irene Patricia Merci DESPARD matched Hedley for given names in 1934.

KingsAshRdPaignton_154_GSVWhen the 1939 Register was taken in September 1939, Hedley was working as an Assurance Agent in Paignton, Devon, living at 154 Kings Ash Road (left) with Irene and their son Michael, 4. A daughter, Mary, was born in 1940. It seems that Hedley joined the RAF at the beginning of the war and, when the conflict was over, the family emigrated to New Zealand. Hedley and Patricia are buried in Whangerei, Northland. Find a photograph of their headstone at Billion Graves.

There is still work to do, but Hedley and his forebears are on a bigger Shared Tree stage now.

Path 91 · Church Walk

17_20200517ChurchWalkPano3_8m