Three Widows

On the 5th of November 1852, Flamborough men John BAILEY, John MAJOR and George STEPHENSON went to sea “in pursuit of their calling”. Their fishing coble was turned over by the waves and all three drowned, “each leaving a widow to lament their bereavement”.

John Major’s body was soon recovered and laid to rest on the 7th. Jane, his widow, wasn’t a stranger to the graveyard.

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Photo courtesy Ann Davies

On his last day, John could not have known he would become a father again. His daughter, Jane, was born the following year, in July.

Widow Jane had been a minor when she married but signed the register with a neat hand (after a false start).

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In 1861 she is living in Ship Inn Yard, Flamborough, with three children – Ann (12), William (10) and Jane (7). At the same address ten years later, young Jane is absent on census night, and William, now 20, is supporting the family by fishing. He marries two years later and sets up his own household. The enumerator in 1881 finds Jane in South Dalton, about thirty miles from Flamborough, working as a housekeeper to Henry Llewellyn CHOWEN, a single man, aged 38, and a land agent. He also employs Jane ELLERBY, widow Jane’s 14-year-old granddaughter as a servant. Jane the Elder is still Henry’s housekeeper in 1891. I don’t know if she stayed in post until his death in 1900 but at census the following year she is back in Flamborough with son William, a fish merchant now and a widower. It must have been a comfortable home because William’s three unmarried sons are all working and his daughter, yet another Jane, keeps house.

Widow Jane dies aged 87 in the winter of 1908. Find her on the Shared Tree.

The bodies of John Major’s drowned companions are not recovered for a week or more. John BAILEY is buried on 16 November and George STEPHENSON  two days later.

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John married Frances HUNTER in 1849 and the couple had one son before death intervened. Frances is with 10-year-old William Hunter Bailey in Mosey’s Yard, Filey in 1861 but she dies before the next census, aged 50. She is buried somewhere in St Oswald’s churchyard but her headstone has been relocated to the north wall. You can find a photo of it as a memory on the Shared Tree.

Alice COCKCROFT married George in 1850 and only had time to have one child with him, a daughter, Mary. Shortly before she buried her husband she had seen her two sisters laid to rest, Esther in August aged 17 and Hannah in September aged 26. Alice and Hannah’s husband George BIELBY, bereft and both with infant daughters to raise, moved in together. They didn’t marry and it is nobody’s business whether the arrangement ever had a romantic dimension. Six successive census enumerators from 1861 to 1911 noted Alice’s status as George’s housekeeper – and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Find Alice on the Shared Tree.

Bird 79 · Chiffchaff

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Sarah’s Unfortunate Menfolk

Sarah was the middle child of five born in Flamborough to Tanton CHADWICK and Mary STEPHENSON. When she was eight years old, her father left home one day to fish and didn’t return.

BRIDLINGTON: – On Monday, the body of Tanton Chadwick, one of the fishermen who was missing from Flamborough in the late gale, was washed ashore at Filey bay, near the lighthouse.

Yorkshire Gazette, 18 October 1851.

Tanton was buried in Flamborough St Oswald’s churchyard the following day.

Ten years later Sarah was working in Driffield as a housemaid to Anna Stephenson, a grocer/draper recently widowed (at just 24) and possibly a relative. I don’t know how Sarah met fisherman William SAYERS, but she married him at Filey St Oswald’s in November 1865.

In January 1877, while pregnant with her fifth child, Sarah received news that two of her brothers had drowned.

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Baby Susannah would die on the fourth anniversary of the deaths of her uncles. She was old enough to have been excited about welcoming a baby brother into the world. The birth of Thomas was registered in the same quarter as Susannah’s death, but he lived for just nineteen months.

The gales of early March 1883 took the lives of four Filey men, one of them Sarah’s husband.

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(Horatio WILKINSON and George SCOTTER were the other two fishermen lost on 6 March.)

William’s headstone in Filey St Oswald’s churchyard has a fine carving depicting a yawl.

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Denison (SH88) survived the beaching at Spurn. Built in Rye in 1859, it had a long working life before being wrecked at Saltburn on 4 August 1904.

In 1911, widow Sarah was living in Hope Street with her son William, byname “Ginger Billy”, daughter in law Elizabeth née JAMES and six grandchildren. She had ten more years ahead of her, dying at Seadale in November 1921, aged 78.

I did a few hours of research into the Chadwick family of Flamborough before discovering they were well represented on the Shared Tree.

It isn’t a simple matter to marry Sarah off to William. As the son of yesterday’s fisherman, the union might raise the ghost of the shoemaker. I have messaged a contributor to the pedigree of William Benjamin SAYER and maybe the “issues” will soon be resolved. I will add a photo of William and Sarah’s headstone to FST as soon as I can.

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Alice and Her Sisters

Alice COCKCROFT was one of the three widows left to “lament their bereavement” following the deaths of their husbands in November 1852. She was well practised in lamentation.

On the 29th August that year, her younger sister Esther had been laid to rest, aged 17. Ten days later, her elder sister Hannah was buried.

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Alice’s daughter Mary was about 9 months old at this time and her niece, Sarah Ann BIELBY, had recently celebrated her first birthday. There may not have been much discussion before the bereft man and woman, each with an infant to raise, chose to live together. (They would be inseparable for about fifty years.)

The 1861 census found Alice keeping house for George Bielby and Sarah  Ann in Foxroyd Yard, Flamborough. (Mary was with grandmother Sarah Cockroft in South Street.) Ten years later the two girls, now 19, were in Front Street, Flamborough, with their “single parents”.

Mary Stephenson flew the unusual but practical nest first, in 1874, to marry William Joseph GARDINER. The couple moved to Hull and lived in Terry Street for about forty years – without the “blessing” of children.

Sarah Ann married Richard Acklam BAYES in September 1876 and had four children, three girls and a boy who would play cricket for Yorkshire.

George William Bayes, as an amateur in a summer sport, would almost certainly not have given up his job as a fish buyer, or his home in Flamborough. In 1933 he made a short film of fishermen at North Landing and “the climmers” on the headland. You can watch it here. George William was not related by blood to George Stephenson but it would be surprising if he hadn’t been told stories about his “granduncle”.

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Screengrab from George William’s film.

I have made some connections on the FamilySearchTree that help to form a picture of the future denied to George Stephenson. I am unable to present his forebears because there are problems to be resolved.

I have found Flamborough Fishing Families to be a reliable online resource but in this instance, it doesn’t agree with FST.

FFF indicates that George’s parents are George and Mary née CHADWICK. I think this is correct.

FST marries George, son of George and Mary, to a “Mrs Stephenson”, with daughters born in 1857 and 1862. I think Mrs S is Jane DANBY, of North Frodingham. She married George there and they raised their family in Roos. Just to confuse matters further, FFF has the George who went to Roos marrying “Elizabeth”.

Of the three men who drowned in 1852, two families (Bailey and Major) have representatives buried or remembered in Filey St Oswald’s churchyard. If I find Flamborough Stephenson connections to Filey I may return to the difficulties with George senior and junior.

Fathers, Lost

William Hunter BAILEY was two years old when his father failed to return home.

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John BAILEY was 28-years old, George STEPHENSON 27 and John MAJOR 35. Their bodies must have been recovered because their deaths were registered locally, but I have only found a burial record for John Major.

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William and his mother moved the few miles to Filey, where Frances died in August 1870. A few months later William married Elizabeth CRAWFORD. At the 1871 census, the couple was enumerated in Mosey’s Yard and ten years later in Providence Place, having been joined by two children, John William and Sarah Ann.

William, undaunted by his father’s fate, worked as a fisherman. Like his dad, he didn’t make old bones but I have been unable to find the cause of his death at age 34.

His headstone in Filey St Oswald’s churchyard has been moved from his grave to the north wall.

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In remembrance of FRANCES, wife of JOHN BAILEY, who died Aug 14th 1870, aged 51 years.

‘Farewell dear son, do thou earth’s days employ

To fit thee for our Father’s home of joy

Sleep on dear Mother and take thy rest

God took thee when he thought it best.’

Also, WILLIAM HUNTER BAILEY, son of the above and the beloved husband of ELIZABETH, died 16th Sep. 1884 aged 34 years.

Find the three drowned fishermen on FamilySearch Tree: John Bailey, George Stephenson and John Major.

Today’s Image

I walked along the beach to Reighton this morning as a way of remembering the solar eclipse.

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A Tale of Two Hannahs

Researching further into the GASH/STONEHOUSE family I found that Hannah, born in 1854 to David GASH and Anne GLENTON, had married. At the time of the 1891 Census, she was staying with her parents in Sands Road, Hunmanby, described as “Single” but given the surname “SHANTON”. With her was a grandson of David, six-year-old William Shanton. I looked at the page image and saw this unusual family name as THORNTON. Further delving revealed that both Hannah and William had been enumerated twice. They were listed at their home in Cooks Row, Scarborough with John Thornton, 72, and his other son John, 12. John senior’s advanced age, 35 years greater than Hannah’s, sent me to the page image.  He was indeed in his seventies and would die at the end of  1891.

He married Hannah on 7th March 1878 at All Saints Church, Scarborough. They were both of “full age” and both residing at 21 Cook’s Row. Their actual ages were 59 and 23 and they would bring two children into the world, John in 1879 and William in 1884.

The next discovery was a census record for old John in 1871 showing his wife Hannah was born in 1819, not 1854.

It isn’t unusual for someone to marry twice, with both spouses having the same given name. It was quite a surprise, however, to find that John had married Hannah GLENTON in October 1845. Hannah “the First” turns out to be the aunt of Hannah “the Second”.

The marriage register in 1845 reveals Hannah’s father is George, a fishmonger. The 1841 Census shows him living in The Bolts, Scarborough, with his wife (another Hannah) and 15-year-old son, Ambrose. Both of his daughters had flown the nest. Anne, 17, was working nearby in Sandgate as a domestic servant to Benjamin SHAW, a baker.

John’s first marriage produced three children. Elizabeth died aged 6 years and the third child, John, didn’t survive his first year. I haven’t found a record for William’s death. He was twelve in 1861 and it is reasonable to suppose he died before the William of John’s second marriage was born. It is curious that Hannah the Second agreed to her sons being given the same names as her Aunt Hannah’s dead boys.

A George Glenton who married Hannah DARLEY features prominently on FamilySearch Tree but I will follow the lead suggested by a fishmonger of the same name marrying Hannah ARMSTRONG in Scarborough in 1814.

Find Hannah the Second on FST. A few years after John’s death she appears to have married again and died aged 66 in 1921. When I’ve confirmed details I will add the information to the World Tree.

Today on Filey Bay.

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Further to yesterday’s link post. It appears that four Englishmen shamed themselves and their country after the England v Tunisia match last Monday. Three inebriated “football supporters” and a “reporter” who sometimes writes for The Guardian. Graham Phillips takes them all to task, using industrial language.

England Nazi-Salute Fans

Response to Shaun Walker’s ‘Nazi Song’ allegations