If It Wasn’t for Bad Luck…

In the space of just over a year (1889/90) Robert Jenkinson WATKINSON saw his first three children die. A few months after burying the third his fishing boat was involved in a collision off St. Abbs Head and he drowned. He may or may not have known that his wife, Annie Elizabeth, was pregnant with their fourth child. Not surprisingly, she called the boy Robert Jenkinson.

In 1901 Annie and her son were living in Queen Street, with her father Jonah RICKABY and brother Denton. Ten years later the widow was an inmate at the Scarborough Workhouse in Dean Road, 46 years old, her occupation given as Domestic Servant. Robert was still living in Queen Street with Jonah and Denton, following his grandfather’s trade of Bootmaker/Dealer.

At the beginning of 1912 Jonah died – and at the end of the year Annie Elizabeth was released from her life of sadness and loss.

Her surviving son’s last job before he went to war was Verger at St. John’s Church in Filey. A hundred years ago he was with the 10th Battalion, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment. He was killed by a bomb, dropped at night from an aero plane on the unlit camp at Thieushouk, north-east France.

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This satellite view shows the farm on which the bomb fell. It is now the Vannobel Jean Horse Riding School. Less than a mile to the north is the Bertenacre Military Cemetery where Robert lies with the 37 comrades who died with him in the explosion. Their names are listed here.

The War Diary of the 10th Battalion is available online and reveals the relative worth of human life and grass.

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Robert Jenkinson is remembered in Filey Churchyard with his grandparents William WATKINSON and Mary nee JENKINSON.

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The East Yorkshire Family History Society transcription (entry 826) reads:-

In loving memory of WILLIAM WATKINSON, the beloved husband of MARY WATKINSON, died April 6th 1911, aged 71 years. “His end was peace.” Also of the above MARY WATKINSON, died Jan 1st 1926 aged 80 years. At rest. Also ROBERT J. WATKINSON, his grandson, Verger of St John’s Church of this town. Died in his country’s cause, Aug. 18th 1917 aged 26 years.

Robert Jenkinson WATKINSON senior is represented on FamilySearch Tree (minimally) but you will have to look on Genealogies to see Robert junior in the context of several generations. I have created a LaF Wiki page for the soldier and over the next day or two I’ll expand his family on FST.

The Difference a Day Makes

On Wednesday I paid another visit to my forebears of note on FST, wandering the pedigree byways to my 26 times great grandmother, about whom  Les Milandes wrote:-

If Eleanor of Aquitaine was alive today, she would forever be on the front pages of national newspapers and magazines and no doubt constantly trending on twitter. For this was a woman who enjoyed incredible power, good looks and amazing wealth. Duchess of Aquitaine, Countess of Poitou, and ultimately Queen of France and England, Eleanor was a truly remarkable woman.

She was clearly a great reader.

Yesterday evening she was gone, or at least unreachable, because someone, somewhere, has removed just one person from “my” pedigree. As my dad would have said, “C’est la vie”.

I am grieving. It is not often you lose a whole dynasty from your family tree within the space of 24 hours. Those Plantagenets are going to leave a big hole in what’s left of my life.

I’ll get over it. There is always the possibility that the unnamed genealogist took out a 6th great grandmother of mine by mistake and further research could see her re-instated – and Elizabeth the First of England will be my first cousin fifteen times removed again. Cool.

Here’s another kind of day-difference. A grey granite headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard says that Benjamin Watson STORRY was killed in action on the 11th August 1917.

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All other sources I have looked at today give the 12th as the date of his death. I will write about him tomorrow.

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Screenshot source.

Family Gash

This day 1829 David GASH [LCMS-6D5]was baptized in Boston, Lincolnshire.

Lincolnshire and Yorkshire make up the heartland for British Gashes. Of 208 people born with that name and enumerated in the two counties in 1881 69.7% were yellowbellies. The tykes were fairly evenly allocated to the three Ridings. Only 4.3% had been born outside the two counties; 74.5 % of the 208 were born in Lincolnshire implying a limited migration to Yorkshire. I haven’t tried to find exactly when David made that move. He is in Sutterton, Lincolnshire in 1841 with parents and four siblings and  Kath’s database has him marrying Ann LANCASTER in Scarborough when he was 24 years old.

Here he is on the FamilySearch Tree (FST) the eldest of nine children born to Edward and “Mrs Mary Anne GASH”.

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But wait, David has a duplicate ID. Here he is shown with some of his descendants and his parents Edward and Mary Ann.

 

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This second fragment of pedigree is low on children  and the maiden names of wives. Kath’s Filey Genealogy & Connections (FG&C) is richer in Yorkshire coast Gashes and identifies at least one of the wives.  It also links the younger David to three mtDNA generations where FSToffers none.

Yesterday I hunted around for the GASH wives and had some success, finding names that have evaded the compilers of several Ancestry public trees. (I don’t have an Ancestry account so cannot inspect those pedigrees closely or readily contact the owners.)

My perfunctory research needs to be checked but I discovered that “Old David” (born 1829) married the widow Ann LANCASTER. Born Ann GLENTON her marriage to William LANCASTER was registered in Scarborough  in March Qtr 1847 (Vol 24 Page 506).Here’s the GRO entry for David and Ann’s son Edward George.

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I found seven GRO records for children of Edward George and Mary Hannah SAYERS. They did not include an elusive Annie who FST has being born some four years before her supposed parents married. The 1911 Census reveals that Edward George and Mary Hannah had nine children of which four had survived  thus far. I will try to find the two that are missing.

What of “Old David’s” mother, Mary Ann(e) born 1811. The eldest of her four children on FG&C was fortunately born after Civil Registration began and the GRO gives her maiden name as DAMM. GRO Reference 1838 Dec Quarter in Boston Volume 14 Page 222. (There were just 6 Lincolnshire DAMMs enumerated in 1881.)

Both FST and FG&C leave “Young David” single and without issue. He married Henrietta CROMPTON in the first quarter of 1914 (Sculcoates 9d 201) and enlisted about the time his daughter Phyllis was born in 1915. The wee girl died in 1917 aged 2. David died the following year, a couple of weeks after the armistice, while on active service in Hull.. He is buried in Hull Western Cemetery, remembered in St Oswald’s, Filey and online here.

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David’s younger brother, Edward was killed in action about two months before the armistice. He is remembered on the family stone in St Oswald’s churchyard and at the Ploegsteert Memorial, south of Ypres.

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Today’s Image (previous post)

If I hadn’t seen Michael Kenna’s Wave, Scarborough, 1981 I probably wouldn’t have thought of taking a photo like this.  Michael’s website.