The Georges Dove Made Respectable

At the beginning of the month, I made much of a farrago on the Shared Tree – where two husbands swapped wives and one wife gave birth to a child of the other. It has taken a while, but I managed to find a descendant willing to make the necessary corrections to the pedigrees. Judge for yourself how well “homebuilt” has cleared up the mess made of “Snaith George” and “Middleton George”.

I can now add a St Oswald’s headstone to the Shared Tree as a memory that somewhat remotely connects to George DOVE of Middleton on the Wolds. His granddaughter, Charlotte WARLEY, married George Toyn COLLEY, son of George Colley and his third wife, Sarah TOYN.

D71_COLLEYlouisa_20120808_fst

In loving memory of LOUISA, the beloved wife of GEORGE COLLEY of Cliff Terrace, who died May 21st 1860, aged 39 years.

Also, two children of the above who died in infancy.

Also of GEORGE COLLEY, who died April 10th 1866, aged 59 years.

Also of SARAH, relict of the late GEORGE COLLEY, who died Dec 6th 1866, aged 33 years.

You may remember posts about an earlier mistaken identity kerfuffle featuring Elizabeth WHITING, wife of George Colley’s brother William. Louisa is the servant who waited upon Charlotte Brontë when the author briefly took an apartment in Filey. Find the Colleys on the Shared Tree.

The Colley Brothers?

Kath has a note in Filey Genealogy & Connections about John and George COLLEY.

1861; [John] In 5 The Crescent, was he George Colley’s brother (bricklayer) who was the s. of John Colley. 1851; a visitor living with Richard & Jane Ferguson in Back Rd. a bricklayer. did he come to Filey to help with the development of New Filey? 1871: a builder living with family on the Crescent.

Crescent_No5_20191222

No.5 The Crescent is a substantial property for a brickie and those making up Cliff Terrace were not shabby either. The distance from the black door above to Wrays (photo in Saturday’s post) is about 120 yards. Not far, but not proof of a blood relationship.

Turn the clock back 20 years. John and George are living in Bridlington. John, 16, is a bricklayer’s apprentice, living with his father, stepmother, three brothers and a sister in Church Green. George, given age 30, a journeyman bricklayer, is in Pinfold Street with his first wife Ann. They share the dwelling with another couple, John and Bridget AGAR, and their newborn son Thomas. It is a three-minute walk from Church Green to Pinfold Street. George and John’s proximity in two towns and their shared occupation surely makes them “family”.

Living at 5 The Crescent in 1861 with John, his wife Grace and their two infant boys is John’s father, also John, who headed the Church Green household in 1841. It is he who is George’s brother.

I am not the only one who has been struggling to untangle Colleys. When George was five years old, his eldest brother William married Elizabeth WHITING in Skipsea. I have so far found three of their children, but on the FamilySearch Shared Tree they have been given twelve.

BadColley_FSTscreen1

The marriage of William and Elizabeth is right, and Elizabeth’s dates of birth and death and her parents may be correct. But William was born in 1788, died in 1845 and has the wrong parents here. Only Maria in the list of twelve children rightly belongs to William and Elizabeth. (They also have a Skipsea born and christened George and Ann, their firstborn, who is missing from the list.) All the others belong to someone else.

This outlandish family is, however, well documented. One of them has twenty sources attached. But a close reading of the christenings reveals the family to be itinerants. Chronologically, the children were blessed in Doncaster, Ecclesfield, Hull, Doncaster, Ecclesfield, Doncaster, Skipsea, Bridlington, Scawton (x3) and Gravesend. Yeah, right.

If I seem a bit peeved, it gets worse. Looking for Ann in the FamilySearch Sources returns her as the top hit, but clicking on the tree icon brings up the Mary Ann born in Doncaster three years later (No.4 on the above list). This is very annoying.

BadColley_FSTscreen2

I made a lot of progress with the Real Colleys today – because I had a lot of help. In a dusty folder on a back-up hard drive, I found a Colley Family “story” sent to me seven or eight years ago, in response to a post written for the original Looking at Filey blog. I hope to right most of the Colley wrongs on FST over the next week or two.

Also in the letter Charlotte Brontë wrote to Ellen Nussey (Saturday’s post):-

Filey seems to me much altered; more lodging-houses – some of them very handsome – have been built; the sea has all its old grandeur.

The first observation echoes Kath’s note about there being plenty of work for brickies in “New Filey”. The second gives me an excuse to link to the First Man in Filey. Adam tries out a new camera on the path to Filey Brigg, on Carr Naze, at Bempton Cliffs and Selwicks Bay.

Charlotte wanted to go on the Brigg in 1852.

One day I set out with intent to trudge to Filey Bridge, but was frightened back by two cows. I mean to try again some morning.

I wonder what she would make of digital cameras.

Tangled up in Colleys

About a week ago, in Little Warneford Annie, I wrote this-

Robert is one of the Skipsea branch of Colleys. They settled in Filey for many years, but I haven’t yet happened upon any that sleep here eternally. So, I am unlikely to extend their pedigree on FST.

There is a Skipsea Colley buried in St Oswald’s churchyard – so I feel duty-bound…

I intended writing about the Three Wives of George Colley today. The names of two are remembered on this headstone.

D71_COLLEYlouisa_20120808_fst

In loving memory of LOUISA, the beloved wife of GEORGE COLLEY of Cliff Terrace, who died May 21st 1860, aged 39 years.

Also, two children of the above who died in infancy.

Also of GEORGE COLLEY, who died April 10th 1866, aged 59 years.

Also of SARAH, relict of the late GEORGE COLLEY, who died Dec 6th 1866, aged 33 years.

George and Louisa married at St Oswald’s on 29 April 1852. Five weeks or so later, one of Francis Smith’s guests wrote to a friend…

“Cliffe House, Filey, June 6th, 1852.

“Dear E—-, – I am at Filey utterly alone…Do not be angry, the step is right. I considered it, and resolved on it with due deliberation. Change of air was necessary; there were reasons why I should not go to the south, and why I should come here…

“I am in our old lodgings at Mrs. Smith’s; not, however, in the same rooms, but in less expensive apartments. They seemed glad to see me, remembered you and me very well, and, seemingly, with great good will. The daughter who used to wait on us is just married…

Believe me, yours faithfully,

“C. Bronte.”

CliffHouse20191221

Cliff Terrace is just around the corner.

CliffTerraceWrays20191221

I think this was where George and Louisa set up home and brought four children into the world. The infants mentioned on the monument were both called Sophia Mabel.

About a year after Louisa’s death, George crossed the Humber married Sarah TOYN in Spilsby and returned to Cliff Terrace.

Their first child, a son they called George Toyn, lived to the age of 77. Their second, daughter Emma, survived for just a week after her christening. When George died the following spring he was possibly unaware that Sarah was carrying their third child. A widow, she died giving birth. The boy’s birth and death were registered under the name “Stillborn Colley” on the 7th of December. (The “6th” is clearly inscribed on the headstone.)

This afternoon, I found a census record which put a question mark against George’s first wife. Other censuses caused me to wonder if George was perhaps the uncle of the Robert Dixon Colley mentioned at the beginning of this post. With several Filey Colleys beginning their lives in Skipsea it would be a surprise if they were not related by blood. As things are, the Shared Tree is keeping them apart. George needs parents, several children and two wives on FST. There’s more work to be done.