Christ and Christiana

I looked deeper into the Yorkshire Sigsworths this morning and happened upon Christiana, daughter of yet another John, and Hannah – or was it Elizabeth?

The Market Weighton church register has this baptism record –

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Every other source I found, beginning with the 1841 census, asserts that Elizabeth is Christiana’s mother.

Market Weighton was Elizabeth’s home village but the couple was living some distance away at the time, in Wawne. In every census in which Christiana is recorded her birthplace is given as Market Weighton, except the last, 1911, when Wawne appears. “Hannah” may simply be a clerical error.

John Sigsworth followed a lowly occupation – licensed hawker – and Christiana worked as a domestic servant before she married Thomas MARSHALL, a bricklayer, in 1867. They had three children. Their firstborn was registered as John Sigsworth MARSHALL and this is serendipitous for a couple of reasons. FamilySearch Tree has, for now at least, a pedigree in which Christiana’s husband is married to another woman!

If John’s middle name doesn’t convince that Miss Waudby is an impostor, the 1871 census seals the deal. John Sigsworth Marshall, aged 2, is enumerated twice. He is with his parents and sister in Walter’s Terrace, and with his grandparents, John and Elizabeth Sigsworth, not far away in Witham. (Both addresses are in the Sculcoates Registration District.) Elizabeth gives her birthplace as Market Weighton. For Christiana, the enumerator just put “Market”.

I was raised a short distance from Witham, a dusty, aromatic area by the River Hull. Fairly quiet in the 1950s and 60s but I imagine it was crowded, noisy – and even more smelly – in Victorian times. Growing up in a Sculcoates Terrace may not have been easy. In 1901, 67-year-old Thomas Marshall was caretaker at a board school and John Sigsworth, 32, single and still living with his parents, was a general labourer. In 1911, Thomas described himself as a retired bricklayer and John, who still hadn’t found a wife, worked on the docks.

I don’t know what sort of life Christiana Waudby had. The after-marriage census sources attached to her tree belong, by rights, to her Sigsworth namesake. She doesn’t have any grandparents.

The other Christiana lived her threescore and twenty years amongst the poor of England’s third-largest port, probably oblivious to her stupendous heritage. FamilySearch connects her to a “super pedigree”, rightly or wrongly, making her a direct descendant of that Usual Suspect, Charlemagne, and a bewildering array of other nobility – kings of what would become France, Germany and Hungary, with a few Plantagenets thrown in, plus Franks, Merovingians and Picts. En route to the King of Kings.

If you start a journey with Christ and go back in time I suspect you will end up with the First Couple. That would be no surprise, but on the way, you will bump into King Serug, aka Sargon of Akkad, who has been reincarnated in this social media age. ROFL.

Good luck travelling forward in time. You may wander for hours before you find Christiana Sigsworth. It might be easier going from Christiana to Christ.

Two Lives Cut Short

To the left of the path leading up to the door of St Oswald’s (Today’s Image) are two ‘table graves’. Both remember a “George Fowler”.

On the right, George FOWLER, a land and ship owner who died aged 61. To the left, George Fowler TAYLOR, who lived for just 22 years. The young man succumbed to consumption at the home of his aunt, Mrs George Fowler, on The Esplanade, Scarborough. (A different Mrs George Fowler is memorialised on the adjacent tomb.)

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On this day in 1895, Fanny Deadman Hanson (born SCOTTER) was buried in the churchyard. She was 21 years old and had been married to fisherman husband, John Henry, for just 14 months. I haven’t discovered the cause of her death. Phthisis may have taken her too – it was one of the biggest killers in Victorian Britain – but perhaps she died in childbirth.

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I have put this headstone photograph on FamilySearch Tree. (The angel, pointing upwards, symbolises “a sudden departure or untimely death”.) John Henry married again and had five children with Annie Elizabeth PASHBY.