Misleading Sources

Jane KNAGGS, born this day in 1864, is the third of ten children born to Robert and Hannah née FOSTER – on Filey Genealogy & Connections. Kath indicates that Jane’s parents are Wesleyans and that she was baptised at home. There is also a note that in 1881 she is “helping father at The Fleece Inn, St Thomas St, Scarborough”.

Family Search currently shows Jane with eight siblings. Most are the same children that are on FG&C. Two are missing on the Shared Tree – John and Harry. There is a “new” child – Annie. There shouldn’t be this amount of agreement because the mother of all the children on the Shared Tree is Hannah VICKERMAN who married her Robert Knaggs in Driffield in 1861. Hannah Foster, four years younger, walked down the aisle at Filey St Oswald’s the previous year.

Here is our birthday girl’s birth registration on the GRO Index website.

And here is the registration for Beatrice born in Scarborough in 1879 (FG&C) or 1880 (Shared Tree).

One of the four Shared Tree sources for Beatrice is the 1881 Census.

The family is living in St Thomas Street and, sure enough, Robert is an Innkeeper. Hannah at age 39 could be the former Miss Vickerman, baptised in Foston on the Wolds in 1843. There are two places in East Yorkshire that are candidates for Hannah’s census-given birthplace. One is twenty miles north of Foston and the other about 24 miles to the south. But what does this matter? It is enough to know she is Hannah by a Whisker.

Here is Hannah Knaggs née Foster’s headstone in Filey churchyard.

Jane was twenty months old when her mother died. Within two years she had a stepmother.

Some years earlier –

Charles WHARTON, a brewer, was almost twice as old as Hannah. At age twenty-one, she came into the marriage with an infant daughter, named Anne Whisker, age 3. This may be the eldest child, Annie, age 12, in the 1871 Fleece Inn household of Robert Knaggs and Hannah Whisker. (I haven’t been able to find a birth registration for this child.)

Charles died in Beverley in the June Quarter of 1866, aged 46, giving Hannah about a year to find husband number two.

So, what do we do about Hannah Vickerman and the other Robert Knaggs? It’s a bit of a nightmare.

Wave 55 · Coble Landing

Little Britain

Last Wednesday I wrote about Glaves FOSTER and mentioned he was farming 225 acres at Little Britain, Gristhorpe, in 1861. His father, aged 79, was enumerated at the same address that year, managing 95 acres with the help of his wife Ellis, youngest son Francis Robert, a male farm servant, a dairymaid and an errand boy.

In 1929 a farm at Little Britain could be found on the Ordnance Survey 6 inch map.

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

A large chunk of the farm was taken after this date and the unlovely Dale Electric factory built upon it. The factory closed a few years ago and has now been demolished. The Google Earth satellite view shows some buildings still standing. A more recent pass by a Bing satellite shows the scar of the cleared site, now awaiting the building of about forty houses.


Francis and Ellis are buried at St Oswald’s. Their headstone has been moved from the gravesite to the north wall of the churchyard.


Filey Genealogy & Connections reveals that four of their five children married and lists 18 grandchildren. Most of this information has yet to find its way onto the FamilySearch Shared Tree.