Farmer, Publican, Farmer

Samuel Nesfield was born in 1811, the eldest son of Samuel GOFTON and Sarah. When his firstborn daughter Henrietta was baptised in 1836, his occupation was given as Farmer in the St Oswald’s register. Five years later, the 1841 census describes him as a Publican.  Samuel’s wife, Catharine, gave birth to four more girls and it seems likely that they were all born at The Bull Inn, Gristhorpe.

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Catharine died in 1845 when youngest daughter Juliana was about 18 months old. Samuel might have been expected to find a second wife to help with the raising of his family but he chose to remain a widower – and return to farming.

In 1851 he is working 110 acres at Colton near Tadcaster. The return says he is employing no labourers but his widowed mother Sarah, 66, is his housekeeper and Henrietta, 15, is “employed at home”.

Ten years later the census names the farm as Colton Haggs where he employs 1 man and 2 boys on 108 acres. There are two farm servants living-in,  both carters, aged 18 and 19. Big boys! Two nephews, Samuel Gofton and John Henry SELLER(S), are there on census night and one is described as a farmer.  Samuel’s four daughters are still unmarried and presumably helping around the farm.

Colton Haggs is a working farm today, with Bed & Breakfast being a supplementary generator of income. The farm name on an old census return is perhaps flimsy evidence that this place was once owned by the Goftons – but there are photographs on the Internet that may be of interest.

Samuel seems to have returned to Gristhorpe to die – in 1867 aged 56. His headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard also remembers Catherine but does not tell us that they are “Reunited”. It is next to the grave of Rachel Swales, his father’s first wife.

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Find Samuel Nesfield on FamilySearch Tree.

Today’s Image

After photographing The Bull Inn this morning I walked back to town along the cliffs. I have long thought of “North Cliffs” running from Carr Naze to Gristhorpe Wyke but Googling brought up Newbiggin Cliff for the ramparts heading east from the Wyke.

Remembering Rachel

She came from nowhere to marry Samuel GOFTON on 25 March 1794 at St Oswald’s Church. She gave birth to two known children, Robert in 1794 and Elizabeth in 1796, and died in 1803 aged just 32.

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The verse that might have given us an insight into her character has been mostly erased by time and weather. Just the first word or two of each line remain. Make of them what you will.

‘Here lies…

One who…

Death…

Physician…

Grieve…

We hope…

And O…

Take her…

Her birth family name is SWALES but I can’t find a record that identifies her parents or her village of origin. A “Rachiel” Swales was born to “Robart” in Whenby in 1769. This is close in time – a two-year discrepancy if the monumental inscription is correct – and in space. Whenby, population about 130 at the beginning of the 19th century, is 40 miles west of Filey, a few miles beyond Malton.

Her marriage and the baptisms of her children generated places on the FamilySearch Tree for the family she created – but disconnected from Samuel’s second wife and the eight known children he had with Sarah GLAVES. I have brought them together.

I don’t know if Rachel’s children made it out of childhood. I suspect neither did because Samuel and Sarah named their fifth child Robert and their last Elizabeth.

Coincidences

John KILLINGBECK was baptized this day 1813 in Carlton by Snaith. He was the sixth child of Thomas and Leah née BRITAIN and the paternal line for several generations seems to have stayed within a small area south of Selby containing the hamlets and villages of Birkin, Camblesforth, Cawood, Drax, and Ryther.

By the age of 24 though, John had forsaken his Killingbeck heartland,  marrying Jane GOFTON in Filey and raising four children. Ellen, the twin of their youngest, George, survived for just a month, a loss that may have prompted them to move further up the coast for a while. At the 1851 census, John was working as a brickmaker in Whitby. Ten years later the parents were back in Filey but living alone at 19 Church Street. Their daughter Nancy had died in 1856 and the boys, Robert and George had gone to London to seek their fortunes. (I’m not sure yet what happened to firstborn Elizabeth.)

In 1871 John and Jane were living in Chapel Street, Filey. In 1881 Jane was a widow of 65 giving her occupation as ’needlewoman’. The enumerator would find her living alone at No.3 Chapel Street at the next two censuses.

John was killed by an express train on 31st March 1880, while crossing the railway line in Filey.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother report describes John as a “hale and hearty man” and said he was going over an occupation crossing. There is at least one of those in the town still but where John met his end there is now a metal fence, six feet or so high and spiked, with a warning that trespass will bring a £1,000 fine. I think “Victoria Gardens” may refer to the area of land now occupied by allotments and imagine John may have been heading home after doing some gardening. Today, that route would take him past Carlton Road. Whether or not that short street of houses existed back then it is a coincidence of sorts – the only benign one I can offer.

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On the 21st May 1881, the Scarborough Mercury reported a “Sad Occurrence”.

On Thursday, the 12 inst., a telegram was received at Filey, stating that Mr. Robert Killingbeck, son of Mr. John Killingbeck, who was killed on the railway a little over a year ago in Filey, had committed suicide by cutting his throat. His friends know of no reason prompting him to commit the rash act.

Robert left behind, in Kensington, London, a wife and three children aged 11, 7 and three. I was sure I’d find a newspaper report of his suicide but several combinations of search terms yielded nothing – until this appeared:-

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(In the original  paper these two snippets were not juxtaposed.)

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In September 1905, about two months before her 90th birthday, Jane KILLINGBECK stepped off the pavement in Mitford Street was knocked down by a horse-drawn cart. She died the following day from shock and concussion to the brain. The coroner recorded her death as accidental; no blame was attached to the cartman, Thomas Edward STEVENSON – not the Charles Edward SIMPSON of the following report.

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The reference to “the level crossing at Filey” is misleading if it calls to mind the present day Muston Road crossing. The 1880 reports clearly state that John was killed a quarter of a mile from the Station.

Another newspaper report records the fact that Jane was taken after the accident to her son George’s house in Station Road. The wanderer had returned and was with his mother when she died. A small mercy.

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John and Jane’s headstone has lost some of the inscription. Here is the Crimlisk’s attempt from the 1970s:-

In Affectionate Remembrance of JOHN KILLINGBECK who was killed

by an express train at Filey March the 31st 1880 aged 68 years

(eroded section)

who died        1902  aged 89 years.

Jane’s date of death should be 19th September 1905. She was buried on the 22nd.

The KILLINGBECKs of the West Riding have an extensive pedigree on FST going back to the 16th century, while Kath’s FG&C brings the family into the Twentieth.