I photographed this SIMPSON stone in 2017.


Two months ago, “the gang” had put the simple jigsaw together.


On Saturday, I noticed the stone was standing. (I have no idea how long ago it fell and broke.)


In affectionate remembrance of WILLIAM, the beloved husband of MARY SIMPSON, who died May 2 1875, aged 50 years.

‘Thy will be done’

Also MARY, wife of the above, who died Jan 18th 1889 (sic), aged 63 years.

‘She sleeps in Jesus’

Also THOMAS, their son who died May 4 1876, aged 20 years.

And of JOHN MATTHEW, their son who died March 17th 1879, aged 14 years.

‘Safe in the arms of Jesus’

ALICE ANN JACKSON died July 15 1934.

MARY JANE SIMPSON died Jan 3 1935.

I joined William and Mary in marriage on the Shared Tree this afternoon and gave them ten children. Six children had IDs but were separated into their christening source trios with the parents. I looked in vain for newspaper accounts of the deaths of the two young men. I would have photographed the family fishmonger’s shop, where sisters Mary Jane and Alice Ann(e) died in the 1930s, but rain fell most of the afternoon. (A gloomy election day.)

There are more connections to be made in the pedigree, and some merging to be done, but you can find William and Mary’s family here.

Today’s Image

I wonder if old soldiers do turn in their graves. After 17.4 million Brits voted to leave the European Union three and a half years ago, the UK regime continued to tie the nation even more tightly to the Empire Builders. In the last few weeks, the Prime Minister has uttered his “let’s get Brexit done” mantra many more times than Mrs May cried “Brexit means Brexit”. They have both been having a laugh. Countless men gave their lives for this country. Our shamelessly corrupt political class has handed it over to the unelected bureaucrats of the EU without a shot being fired. Adolph Hitler will be dancing jigs in his tomb. This is what he always wanted.

I was the third person in our street to register at the Polling Station this morning. I wonder if the two ahead of me spoiled their ballot.

Of course, I hope I’m wrong and 17.4 million people find Boris’s oven-ready Deal Meal tasty. By the morning we’ll know if the voters have told him to go hang.

A Simpson Survivor

When widow Sophia Barbara SIMPSON filled out the 1911 census form she noted the seven children born to her, of whom six had died. Her son Fred, aged 26 and a fish merchant, was living with her at Yarmouth House in Church Street, with Susie SAYERS, 22, a servant.

Frederick William didn’t set eyes on his three older siblings. One of three brothers called David had lived for just eight hours. Two younger brothers died when Fred was no more than three, so perhaps he couldn’t remember either of them. His sister Charlotte Ann, known as Lottie, was born about fifteen months before Fred but died when he was seventeen.

Fred was over thirty when he married Florence ARMSTRONG in 1916. About a year later he joined the Royal Naval Air Service, entering as an Aircraftsman II and transferring to the RAF in April 1918. It isn’t clear from his rather sparse service record what his duties were, but the RNAS during the time of conflict was mainly involved with reconnaissance of the coast, searching for U-boats. He survived the war and wasn’t discharged until the end of April 1920. His record tells us he was 5 feet 7 inches tall, had brown hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion. There was a small scar on his right eyebrow. Had he become a casualty, Florence would have received a telegram at Yarmouth House.

When the Second World War was about to begin, Fred and Florence were recorded in Scalby, just outside Scarborough. He was described as a retired herring curer but was only 54 years-old. He had almost 30 years ahead of him, and Florence a few months longer than that.

I have put them on the Shared Tree and added the stone remembering Fred’s father and sister Lottie as a memory.

Quite by chance, six years ago today I was walking near Scalby and photographed the Beck that flows to the sea a few hundred metres north of 360 Scalby Road, Fred and Florence’s home in 1939.

Scalby Beck (Sea Cut): approximate viewpoint 54.304799, -0.410488

The Simpsons


I am falling ever further behind with placing headstone photographs on FamilySearch and the Wiki. My weakness is finding a scent and following it. Way more interesting than the oakum picking of source collecting. Today I happened upon connections to four or five families who have folk ‘at rest’ in the churchyard. At least half of them require IDs if they are to have their stones put on the Shared Tree.

A rough calculation indicates that I need to do a stone a day for at least three years to come close to completing the project. I may not have that long. Brexit is sapping my will to live.

You will not be able to read Benjamin’s stone, but I have put it on FamilySearch so you can find what it says there. Benjamin was a fisherman turned fish merchant and I did not find him or his family having adventures that put them in the newspaper.

Today’s Image

2007 was a dark year for me. My partner of 28 years died in the summer. Before the leaves started falling, our daughter had decided that I was surplus to her requirements. That left just me and The Lad. (Sorry, cat lovers, they don’t count.) I was working on the computer in my bedroom at Cold Comfort Cottage, probably transcribing a Filey Oral History Project interview, when I glanced out of the window and saw a morning mist had descended. I roused Jude from his basket and made haste through Dale Coppice, to Lincoln Hill and the Rotunda. Glorious.

It took me another nine months to arrange the move to Filey, but Jude and I had five great years together here. He departed for the Big Kennel almost six years ago. I’m still in my daughter’s doghouse. What was it E.M. Forster wrote?