This is one of my favourite stones, with its dove flying from clouds on rays of light. And yet… It tells just a little of the sad story of this WILLIAMSON family. The inscription notes the father’s death in 1810 at 57, a reasonable “innings” in those days. But his youngest son died at 12 and the third of four children, John, drowned in the Baltic Sea, aged 19, in 1808. Firstborn William drowned 10 years later, closer to home in South Bay, Scarborough. One of his sons would drown in Filey Bay in 1858, aged 50.
The only daughter of Francis and Ann CAMMISH, married “awd Marky” BAXTER and they brought six children into the world. She died aged 49 and Mark lived on for thirty more years.
But back to John. Filey Genealogy & Connections says he was a fisherman but the Baltic, as far as I’m aware, is beyond the normal range for a yawl, let alone a Filey coble. The war with France had a way to go and I’m wondering if John was pressed into the Royal Navy.
Last month I wrote about the Battle of Flamborough Head, which ended with Captain Pearson surrendering ignominiously to John Paul Jones, but successfully ensuring the safety of the Baltic convoy under his protection. Roll on twenty years and the Royal Navy is in the Baltic Sea safeguarding its trade routes, thwarting Napoleon’s efforts to cut Britain off from the continent.
If you are not convinced by this scenario, I offer you another Filey fisherman, George Whiteley BOYNTON, who was given the byname “Baltic”. As a teenager, he sailed that sea when it was a theatre of the Crimean War.
This WILLIAMSON male line on Filey Genealogy & Connections ends with a grandfather going back in time but brother William leads the way to the mid-twentieth century. (William was baptized in 1779, four days before the Baltic fleet dodged Bonhomme Richard’s cannonballs.) The pedigree is not yet as extensive on FamilySearch Tree.