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.
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
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.
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?
An Untrue Story
In the post ‘Baltic’ and ‘Noran’ nine days ago, I said I would attempt to recover a memory of an amusing story involving the latter fisherman. As chance would have it, I met a relative of ‘Dick Noran’ on my early morning walk towards the end of last week. I told him the story as I remembered it.
Richard Duke ROBINSON was a friend of Mary Elinor PLACE, the only daughter of George Thomas Brown Place, a curate for a while at St Oswald’s. Mary ran a Café on Filey Brigg. Perhaps it was this one.
There were several generations of café, each having a few years of life before they were wrecked in storms. But surely only one had a proprietress as eccentric and inventive as Mary. If she ran out of ice-cream she would take a large white sheet around the corner of the Naze and weigh it down with rocks on the cliff face. This was a signal to Dick Noran to buy a large tub from Baker’s Café on the Landing and row it out to the Brigg in his coble.
I said to Dickie’s first cousin twice removed, “Is this true?” and without hesitation, he replied, “No”.
Aw, shucks. Tom did concede that “some people around town” said that Dickie and Mary had a relationship – and left it at that.
Dick was 17 years older than Mary but had been a widower for a long time when their friendship began. Mary didn’t marry. He died in 1969 aged 79, she in 1985 aged 78.
I went up to the churchyard this afternoon to see if I could get a better photograph of the stone remembering Dick and his parents. There is work for Paul and his gang because it has broken away from its base. Propped up at an angle it is in the early stages of being overwhelmed by vegetation.
Dick and wife Mary Ellen named their first son Richard Duke. He survived for just four months, so they tried again with their third son. This Richard Duke Robinson joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and died in North Africa during the Battle for Tunisia. (Montgomery and his Eighth Army versus Erwin Rommel’s German-Italian Panzer Army.) I have no supporting documents for my surmise that Richard should have been safe at one of the British Hospitals, probably No.31 General in Oued Athmenia because he was initially buried in the Military Cemetery in that town. He may have succumbed to malaria. His body was exhumed the following year and re-buried at La Reunion War Cemetery in Bejaia. I have given him an ID and put him on the Shared Tree.
Richard Duke Junior was seven years old when his grandmother Mary Ellen died at 66 Queen Street. His elder sister Margaret was living at 68 Queen Street when she died in 1959. I photographed the cottages this afternoon.
‘Baltic’ and ‘Noran’
In a Filey Genealogy & Connections note, Kath says that George Whiteley BOYNTON acquired his by-name following his experience of fighting in the Crimean War. Little more than a boy, he was seemingly a combatant in a distant theatre of that conflict – the Baltic Sea. When the Anglo-French fleet attacked Kronstadt in 1854 he would have been just twelve years old, and a few weeks short of his 14th birthday at the war’s end. He gave his occupation as “Mariner” when he married Ann SAYERS in 1864.
Richard Duke ROBINSON, known locally as ‘Noran’ or ‘Dickie Noran’ (for a reason unknown to me), was 47 years younger than George. He made a useful prop for the older man when they were photographed on a quayside with five other fishermen.
This undated photo was kindly donated to the Looking at Filey blog by Suzanne Pollard and several names were usefully provided. If you reckon ‘Noran’ to be about 14, that would make ‘Baltic’ sixty-one years old, and the year 1903 or thereabouts.
At the 1911 census, George is still working at age 69, but as a general labourer, and living at 4 Spring Road, Filey, with Ann. The couple had six children, two of them failing to reach the first birthday. Three married and two of the boys would acquire distinctive by-names of their own – ‘Boysher’ and ‘Rammy’. More about them some other time.
I have a vague memory of hearing an amusing story about Dickie Noran. I’ll chase it up and, if recovered, share it here.
It appears that George acquired a lasting taste for violence in the eponymous northern sea. Married four years and with third child Annie’s appearance imminent…
In November 1877, the Scarborough Mercury reported: –
Fighting at Brid Station
At the Bridlington Petty Sessions on Saturday, before Lieut-Col Prickett and Mr C. Mortlock, George Boynton, of Filey, fisherman, was summoned for wilfully interfering with the comfort of the passengers at the Bridlington Railway Station on 13th ult. Inspector Craig of the North Eastern Railway appeared for the company. George Knaggs, porter, stated that defendant and a number of other fishermen were on the platform arguing about a boat, when defendant struck one of the others and a fight ensued. Defendant was turned out of the station but returned and renewed the disturbance. Fined £1 including costs.
George and Ann’s last child was born about three years later and if you think young Frank’s by-name, ‘Rammy’, has violent connotations, you’d be right. But it seems to have been confined to the football field.
George was eighty when he died in 1922 and Ann 86 when reunited with him four years later.
Find them on the Shared Tree. George’s mother, Elizabeth SUTTON, is not on FST yet. I’m struggling to determine which of several Boynton men called Francis she married.
Although I haven’t yet had a formal response to my message of a few days ago, there has been a great deal of activity in and around the families of the fisherman and the shoemaker on FamilySearch. I am very grateful to whoever has cleared the way for me to put the headstone of William SAYERS and Sarah CHADWICK on the Shared Tree as a memory. Not only has the awkward link between Tunstall/Catterick and Filey been broken, but Susannah and William SAYERS senior have been given their full complement of thirteen children. Four of these have memorials in the churchyard.
The screenshot I posted a few days ago cannot be taken now.
The Fisherman and the Shoemaker
They were born within a couple of years of each other and both were called William.
William SAYERS was born on the coast, in Filey, and followed his father to sea in a small coble, to catch fish. He did well not to drown and raised a large family with his wife Susannah. The census enumerator found the couple at home with five children in 1841, eight in 1851, and ten in 1861. William died in 1892 aged 78; Susannah the following year, aged 75.
Seventy miles to the west the other William, with the singular family name SAYER, had six children with his wife Mary, before she died at age 36 in 1851, just a few days or weeks before the census enumerator called. Three children were mourning the loss with their father – Jane aged 10, Mary 6 and Joseph 4. The other three children were not at home on census night, but Elizabeth would die at the end of the year, aged 9, and John, 11, would be William’s only help at home in 1861. William gave his occupation that year as Master Shoemaker. Ten years later he is, curiously for someone so far from the sea, a Marine Store Dealer. (The nearest water of any depth to his home village is the River Swale at Catterick Bridge, three miles away.) In April 1881, living alone, he tells the census enumerator he has retired from making shoes. Before the year is out, he is dead.
William SAYER, the shoemaker, is on the Shared Tree, with a middle name (Benjamin), sleeping with fisherman’s wife Susannah, and being a father to seven of her thirteen children with the other William.
You will notice that William Benjamin has a second-choice wife, one Mary WAGGETT, the woman I introduced earlier. She has a first-born, Benjamin, who I didn’t find in my searches – but he has 33 sources attached to his record so perhaps he is to be relied upon. Benjamin was born before Civil Registration began but all his siblings are found in the GRO Birth Index.
The fisherman, fortunately, has a duplicate ID placing him with Susannah and three of their children. I will increase their complement and add the headstones I have for the extended family, leaving the “bigamous” shoemaker for someone else to deal with.
Remembering Forgetful Emily
When Emily’s husband of 21 years filled out the 1911 census form, he owned up to not knowing where she had been born. John CAPPLEMAN, 50, had been a fish hawker for much of his working life. Emily was running a newsagent business from their home at 55 Queen Street.
Ten years earlier the enumerator had written “don’t know” in the space for Emily’s birthplace, and didn’t give her an occupation.
In 1891 they had been married for about eighteen months and were living in Cambridge Yard, West Street. John was working as both a fisherman and a hawker of the creatures he caught. In the enumerator’s book, “Newcastle on Tyne” is given as Emily’s birthplace.
In 1881, Emily was with her older brother John, visiting a married sister in Kent. Jane Ann’s husband, Alexander FAIRBROTHER, was a farmer with radical inclinations. He gave two of his sons the middle names Cobden and Bright. The birthplace of the three Dawson siblings was given as “Shields, Northumberland”.
In 1871, at home with their parents in Dockwray Square, Tynemouth, all six Dawsons in residence offered North Shields as their birthplace, even though mother Jane (formerly BIRBECK) had been born in York.
In 1861, Errington “DAUSON” and Jane were enumerated at 13, Dockwray Square, with six children born in North Shields (and their mother in her rightful birthplace).
Errington Dawson was a butcher and his son John became a shipowner. The family was clearly settled in North Shields and although several of Emily’s siblings died in infancy there is no obvious reason why she would choose to forget her roots in later years.
Why did she move to Scarborough during the 1880s? In 1888 a list of bankrupts was published in the local paper and there was an Emily Dawson among them. If this was “our Emily” she had failed to make a go of keeping a lodging-house. The following year she married John Cappleman. They were together for thirty years but didn’t have any children.
I had to create an ID for Emily. Her parents already had representation on the Shared Tree but were waiting for me to play matchmaker. There are other nuptials to be noted and quite a few missing children created. The gathering of these has been made easier by a contributor to the new Find My Past system of sharing trees. For now, though, Emily doesn’t have much of a family on FamilySearch.
Did He Drown?
Kath asks the question regarding Edward COWLING in a note on Filey Genealogy & Connections. Edward is remembered on the headstone of his son, John William, who perished after being swept from the coble Concord, (see last Tuesday’s post).
Edward died at the age of 62 on 22 February 1895, whilst line fishing from the Whitby ketch Princess Royal (WY40). It seems, though, that he was taken ill and brought quickly ashore, where the cause of his death was given as “bronchitis”. He was buried in St Oswald’s churchyard on the 24th.
Edward on FamilySearch Tree.
Ten Station Weather, Week 27
A curious week in which two stations that have warmed considerably so far this year, Koltsovo and Sydney, returned mean temperatures below Pre-Industrial. And the coolest southern hemisphere station to date, Buenos Aires, topped the chart at 4.13℃ above P-I.
This week’s twins are Washington and Cape Town. Both stations show a warming trend over the past five weeks, though Washington’s is minimal. Some welcome warmth has come to north-east England – and it shows in the Durham Tees trendline.
The southern hemisphere stations are significantly warmer (as a collective), but the 5-week trend below the equator is nonetheless towards cooling.
With a mean temperature of 0.85℃ above Pre-Industrial, Durham Tees is, perhaps for one week only, exactly as warm as the 10 Year average. Which way will the year go from here?
A year ago I wrote about the loss of six Filey fishermen from the yawl Trio, off Spurn Point. I said that the only man not remembered in the churchyard was also absent from the FamilySearch Tree. He was there, but masquerading as the son of William and Ann TAIT.
Ann had given birth to her first child in 1834 and her ninth, and last, twenty years later, when she was aged about 44. It was possibly a misunderstanding that caused the enumerator in 1871 to add Robert to her roster, though she would have then been about 54 at the time of his birth.
Robert was the illegitimate son of William and Ann’s eldest daughter, Rachel, but only a few weeks after he was baptised she married Charles VEARY. Whether or not he was the boy’s biological father, Charles accepted him as his own.
Charles and Rachel seem to have had just one child in marriage, John William.
I think I have set the records straight on FST, though there is more information to add. Find the unfortunate Robert here. If you go to the pedigree you will see that Charles is a WILLIS. He seems to have adopted this surname shortly after he married. The GRO Index gives his “bachelor name” as Charles Willas VEARY. Filey Genealogy & Connections shows him to be the illegitimate son of Susannah VAREY. His sister, Sarah (Varey) WILLIS married Filey fisherman and boat owner William HUNTER. They had eleven children together and the name Varey (usually in parentheses) is occasionally met on the community tree. I have no idea who the original “Willis” may have been.