Making Connections


After gathering more information today and merging a bunch of duplicate IDs I have managed to connect the nine people on the three “family resemblance” stones to folk on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. The connections between the representatives of Foster, Harland and Spink stretched my pitiful graphic talents beyond breaking point but I’m offering a couple of illustrations anyway, in the hope of clarifying their situations.

First, the nine with their “stone names” and dates of arrival and departure.


Now the nine with the names they were born with, and lines indicating their relationship links across the three stones.


I have found only three children born to William FOSTER and Jane HARLAND – and there is one of them on each stone, though I perhaps haven’t made that clear in a linear fashion. The couple may have had more children because there is a gap of 13 years or so between the births of Jane and Editha Sarah Ann.

Editha waited until she was 49 years old before marrying widower Thomas Jennings KNAPTON. She was a married woman for seven years and a widow for 7 more. Two potential stepdaughters had died before she met Thomas, but a stepson, John Barry Knapton, may just have made it to his 80th birthday in 1939. He was named after his maternal grandfather, John Barry SMITH, of Osgodby Hall. Not the Osgodby near Scarborough but the one “near Thirsk”.

The three Foster children who rest eternally side by side probably lived together in their old age. In 1881 Editha was with her husband in Alma Square, Scarborough. Thomas died the following year and Editha ended her days in Filey. In 1881 William, who never married, was with widowed sister Jane in Clarence Terrace, Filey. It seems likely that Editha would have been invited to live with them. The houses are big enough.

Clarence Terrace (now West Avenue) this morning.

Find Editha Sarah Ann on FamilySearch Tree. She may have been Thomas’ third wife. I have just noticed a duplicate record for him showing four other children by another wife named Sarah, but I can’t deal with the merge right now because the GRO Index is down for maintenance.


The first-named on the trio of stones (yesterday’s post) were seemingly rooted in different places.


This William, born in Gristhorpe, farmed Muston Grange for most of his life. His unmarried son, also William, continued to work this land after his father’s death. I have yet to determine who the parents of William Senior were. At the time Junior was at Muston Grange, so too was William Stilborn Foster, one of the farmer sons of Glaves. The two are not related by blood in my Filey Genealogy database, as presently constituted, so I’m wondering how the Grange came to be divided.


In most sources, she is “Edith” and was born in Kirby Misperton. In the 1841 census she is recorded as “Elizabeth” at Allinston Lane End, Barmston where, at the age of 84, her husband William was farming with the help of three male labourers and a female farm servant. Edith(a) died in Barmston in the first month of 1842, and William in the last, in Filey.



A Family Resemblance?


Even though their placement is out of step with St Oswald’s east windows, I have always liked these stones. Fondness at first sight.

Foster, Harland and Spink don’t shout “kinship” but surely all those who lie beneath are related somehow. Three people are named on each stone and they are not all connected yet on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. I’ll attempt to link them up tomorrow. (If you are British, or more particularly Northern Irish, you may immediately associate Harland with Wolff. Start here…)

The Fate of a Guesswork Wife

Elizabeth, the fourth child of Pearson FOSTER and Elizabeth HEWSON born in Muston in 1848, doesn’t appear to be related to the Gristhorpe, Muston Grange and Newbiggin Fosters of recent posts. In Filey Genealogy & Connections she marries Frederic JOHNSON, has four children with him and dies in 1886. But a Reference Note states “wife=guesswork”.

On FamilySearch Tree, the first wife of Frederick Johnson is Elizabeth STAVELEY. Census returns show the same four children but only one has a Mother Staveley in the GRO Index of Births. I can’t find Emma’s entry at all; George and Jane may have mistranscribed mothers – STABLER and STATHERS. There is, though, a fifth Johnson child who surely belongs to the family. Sadly, little Annie didn’t stay long.

It is no surprise that Elizabeth Staveley has the same date of death as Elizabeth Foster. On both FST & FG&C the first wife made a space for Eliza BURR to fill. Eliza had two children with Frederick but brought a son, Frank, to the marriage. His bio father isn’t known but FST attaches him to Frederick.

Frederick was an illegitimate son of Emma JOHNSON and, aged three, he was with his mother under the roof of grandparents, George and Jane. Ten years later, in 1861, he was working for Elisha ELDERS at Church Cliff Farm. For twenty years or so he worked as a “carrier” and then settled for simply labouring on a farm again. He seems to have gone by “Fred” – the diminutive that adorns his gravestone.


But what of Elizabeth Foster? I can’t even guess. I haven’t yet found a death that fits a young Elizabeth, nor a spouse after she reaches marriageable age. Her fate is unknown, to me at least.



This telephoto view down the slope of Madge Hill takes in most of the hamlet of Newbiggin.

Ordnance Survey, 1929. Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence.

Glaves Foster was caught here by the census enumerator in 1851 and 1871, probably occupying the house with two whitewashed gables and four chimneys. In 1861 he was at the Little Britain farm on census night but perhaps not resident there. In 1881, Newbiggin was being run by Glaves’ widow, Mary, assisted by two of her “middle” sons, Thomas Francis and Charles. Both men married in 1886, two years before their mother’s death and it would appear that Newbiggin was bequeathed to Henry, the youngest son. In 1891 Thomas was farming at Sewerby and Charles at Harton, near York.

As mentioned in an earlier post, Henry was living at 1, The Crescent in Filey in 1901 and 1911. Perhaps the farmhouse at Newbiggin was occupied by a hind. Though giving his occupation as “farmer” at these censuses, Henry was playing a significant part in public life. This morning I went to St Oswald’s to photograph his memorial tablet in the church. It took some finding, being hidden by a banner indicating the south transept is a place for quiet prayer.


The eldest of the FOSTER brothers, William Stilborn, was 20 years old in 1871 and with his parents (and brothers) at Newbiggin. He married Mary Ann RALEY in 1875 and in 1881 he was farming Muston Grange. He died a few months before his mother in 1888, so the question of his inheriting Newbiggin didn’t arise. He has an impressive stone in St Oswald’s churchyard but it is currently on its back. The inscription on the polished red granite is difficult to decipher in the best of lights.


In loving memory of WILLIAM S. FOSTER of Muston Grange, who died June 27 1888, aged 37years.

‘Not my will but Thine be done’

Also ANNIE, the beloved daughter of the above, who died at Beacon House, Flamboro’, August 8th 1904, aged 26 years.

‘Peace perfect peace’

Also of MARY ANN, widow of the above, who died Sept 14th 1930, aged 81 years.

‘The Lord is my shepherd’

I will add to William’s details on the FamilySearch Tree over the next few days.

Little Children

Glaves Foster and his wife Mary named their third son Henry. He died before his first birthday. After bringing another two children into the world they tried again with Henry. He did much better. Local newspapers reported his passing. This from the Hull Daily Mail, 31 May 1938:-

County Alderman Henry Foster, of Red House, Filey, died at Filey yesterday, at the age of 73.

Alderman Foster descended from a yeoman family whose records go back in local registers to 1610. He was a member of the old Board of Guardians for over 40 years, a county alderman and magistrate for 20 years, and a member of Filey Council for 15 years. His service to the church was also long-standing. He was a warden for 34 years, treasurer of Filey Parochial Church Council for almost an equal period. He also served as chairman of Filey Lifeboat Council, chairman of Filey Fishermen’s Trust and president of Filey Conservative Club.

The Fosters are mentioned as landowners in the Filey parish award dated 1788, and also in the parishes of Gristhorpe and Muston.

Henry Two farmed at Newbiggin. He married Annie Elizabeth GRUBB at St Oswald’s in March 1899 and about fourteen months later their first child, Mary, was born at the farm. A year later the trio was living in Filey, at Number 1, The Crescent, where an uncle James WADDINGHAM was head of the household.


1, The Crescent, this morning

It was perhaps here in June 1901, that Annie Elizabeth gave birth to twins William Henry and George Waddingham, and died shortly afterwards. One source says that the boys survived for 14 weeks, another says fifteen. William died on 25 September and George two days later. They were both buried on the 30th, in a small plot beside their mother. A small cross has gone from atop their stone.


In 1911 the census records Henry at 1, The Crescent, occupation farmer, with daughter Mary, a schoolgirl. At the age of 29, Mary married chartered accountant James Stanley TURNBULL at St Oswald’s. He died three years later, shortly after the birth of their only child, Ruth Mary.

When Ruth was eight-years-old she was introduced to a step-father, Clifford Hubert DAVIES, vicar of Thornton. When she was 25, her mother died. Clifford married again about a year later, in 1946. He was Rector of Stokesley between 1942 and 1966 and became a Canon of York. He died aged 79 in 1980. Ruth married Michael J LAYCOCK in 1957.

Newspaper half-tone of Henry Foster.
The Red House, photographed yesterday.

Henry and Annie Elizabeth on FamilySearch Tree.


Unusual family names are sometimes given to children. Glaves FOSTER’s mother was Ellis Glaves, born Cayton in 1791. In Filey Genealogy & Connections Ellis is often bracketed with Alice, but on FG&C Mrs Foster is plain Ellis.

Labouring the point perhaps, Ellis’s Father is Nesfield GLAVES, a son of Ellis (Alice) NESFIELD.

Glaves Foster’s maternal great grandfather, the husband of Ellis (Alice), was born in Seamer but the family moved a few miles to Cayton and then took another step to Gristhorpe.

Glaves was born in Gristhorpe in 1819 and died in “Newbeggin”. Now “Newbiggin”, there are quite a few places in the British Isles sharing the name. In Scotland, “biggin” or “bigging” means “a building, a house, a cluster of houses; a hamlet”. (Source: Scots Words and Place-Names). In England, the meaning is the same.

In 1861, Glaves was farming 225 acres at Little Britain, Gristhorpe but was at one of the Newbiggin farms by 1871. He died in 1875 and at the 1881 census his widow Mary was working their 320 acres with two unmarried sons and five Farm servants.



Erected to the memory of GLAVES FOSTER of Newbeggin, who died March 11th 1875, aged 56 years

‘Watch therefore for ye know not

What hour your Lord doth come’

Also of MARY FOSTER, the beloved wife of the above, who died Nov 2nd 1885, aged 62 years.

‘The Lord my pasture shall prepare

And feed me with a shepherd’s care’

Find Glaves on FamilySearch.