Bird 116 · Spinning Jenny

1810 Filey · Baptism  Rachel was born in Gristhorpe, the only child of farmer John HUTCHINSON and Ann BRUMPTON. Her mother died in August 1811 at the age of 29 and it doesn’t appear that her father remarried. Rachel had six children with William CLARKSON. Widowed in 1857, she returned to her father’s house and was enumerated at 7 West Street, Muston in 1861 with four children  – Annie Jane, John, Mary Ann and Rachael Susannah. Rachel’s father died in 1867 and on census night 1871 she was enumerated at the Cross Keys in Muston with her granddaughter Rachel Ann, 7, the firstborn of eldest son John and Isabella CARR. Rachel died the following winter and is buried in Hunmanby, presumably with her husband William.

(I didn’t accomplish much today.)

Mark of Man 87 · Tracks

Hunmanby Sands

Today’s birthday girl was born into a bewildering family. I spent most of the day getting nowhere. The characters include an artist, a musician, a bird stuffer and a plumassier – so they are worth following to wherever the sources eventually lead. I hope to catch up with the other five in the grid eventually.

Note: Edith signed the marriage register Edith Helena.

Russian Man Bad

People who are now speaking out against Russia’s military action in the Ukraine need to answer a simple question: Where have you been for the last eight years while the carnage in Donetsk and Lugansk was going on, while people were being burned alive in Odessa, while the Ukrainian government organized terrorist operations on Russian territory and while the entire Ukrainian population has been forced to kowtow to Americans and to speak Ukrainian, most often against its will? If your answer is “I didn’t know” then you have forfeited your right to an informed opinion on what’s happening there now. Please keep that in mind and act accordingly.

Dmitry Orlov

Full article at The Saker


One of the six-to-remember today demanded so much attention that I’ll have to short change the others. I will try at least to give their dates and IDs.

1878 Gristhorpe · Birth  Elizabeth is a “BASSAM” in Filey Genealogy & Connections and I happened upon other variant spellings. I am going to settle on “Basham” because there are several people with that spelling in Filey churchyard who are relatives of Elizabeth.

I don’t know when Elizabeth made her departure but it is probable her father survived her. Johnathan (the spelling on the 1911 census return) died four years short of his century.

1841 Filey · Baptism  Last Tuesday, I mentioned the hamlet of Newbiggin and two of Skelton KNAGGS’ older siblings were born there. (The enumerator wrote “Newbegin”.) Robert and Elizabeth SKELTON had eight known children and the last one, Peter, was buried a week after his mother had been laid to rest. The infant had been baptised in May so this was not an instance of death in childbirth. Elizabeth was forty years old.

My attempt to follow Skelton through life ended with the 1851 census. He disappears in his teens. The last throw of the dice was a search of newspapers.

Never believe what you read in newspapers. A licence dated 1 November 1832 was easily found, indicating the couple’s intention to marry in Scarborough. It isn’t true either that all children except Skelton and one sister died. FG&C shows Robert, Elizabeth and Emma marrying. (I don’t know what the Shared Tree offers. Skelton is devoid of sibling company there.)

I visited the fabulous Trove in Australia but only found a near-identical newspaper story to the one above, with no indication of the size of the fortune Skelton had made – or of which sister benefited from his hard work in the colony. (Both Elizabeth and Emma seem to have made it into the twentieth century.)

1786 Easingwold · Marriage  George DOUGLAS and Ann CARISSare second great grandparents of James Douglas (Anniversary Baptism 11 February).

1865 Glasgow · Death  Jane COWAN was poisoned by her son in law, Edward William PRITCHARD. Scotland’s People has an article with a source image that indicates Jane died on 25 February but it is the 28th on the Shared Tree.

1809 Filey · Burial  Kath has added an intriguing note to the record of James ROTHWELL on FG&C.

They had sailed across to Newfoundland and back and hit a terrific storm, the sails were shredded and they ate the ship’s mice and dog.  He died as they entered Filey Bay. John Anderson died shortly afterwards. The story of their fate is in Hinderwell’s history of Scarborough.

James’ grave in St Oswald’s churchyard isn’t marked.

Bird 113 · Dunnock

Fire from the Sky

Old LaF 2013

In her interviews for Exploring Filey’s Past Ann Wilkie née JOHNSON recalled two incendiary raids on Filey during the Second World War. In the first, the bombs rained down on the West Avenue area and brought a dance at the Southdene Pavilion to a premature close: –

…the dancin’ finished straight away and you were scurryin’ on and duckin’ down, y’ know. One thing, we only had to go from Southdene to Rutland Street so there’s just Brooklands in between, y’ know…and me friend lived in Bell Vue Street. So we hadn’t far to go but it was frightening, scurryin’ along, y’ know. And, of course at home, y’ see, we, when the sirens went, we just went down into the basement, y’ know it was, erm, well, safe I suppose down there. But, erm, yes and then at the Laundry End I think it was worse still, y’ know…

Doreen Mason née HOLMES remembered: –

…we were at the Southdene Pavilion dancin’ and …somebody said, I’ll go and get you a glass of cider at that pub at bottom … and these incendiary bombs were comin’ all off the roofs, so I dashed out and, by God, din’t I run home?

For Doreen, this was the night of the Laundry Hill raid and when she heard that her job had gone up in flames: –

…ooh good laundry’s burnt down. Good, hurray, hurray (laughter). Oh lovely…

Filey Laundry today, 54.212080, -0.290342

Lily Cronk née COLLING was working at the Brigg Cinema when the incendiaries began to rain down. She reckoned that 11,000 were dropped on the town and she had close encounters with a “helluva lot” of them.

I went up on t’ roof at Brigg…with a sweepin’ brush and swept ‘em off (laughter). I don’t know how the hell…I wunt do it now but I did. Hung through thing and took a brush, long brush, y’ know… I ‘ad ‘em off before they went off, must ‘ave ‘ad because [they] din’t do any damage… I just swept ‘em off top… I din’t care where the ‘ell they went as long as they weren’t on top o’ cinema…whether I did right or wrong. But I can’t a done wrong can I? (laughter). It was still there next mornin’.

Keith Lang’s sister worked at the Laundry and he recalled that she lost some of her clothes to the flames.

Nancy Mann nee BROWNING was employed at the Laundry for quite a long time but her health suffered and Dr Dibb wrote a letter enabling her to leave for more amenable work as a shop assistant. During the war, she was a First Aider and was expected to work alternate nights – but to turn up for duty if bombs were falling. On the 26th February –

…it was my night on and I went round as large as life an’ they ses, where were you last night? I ses, I was in bed, why? Well, din’t you ‘ear bombs droppin’?

About 80 metres south of the Laundry an incendiary fell onto Cammish’s Shop, 2c Mitford Street. Robert ‘Bobbin’ CAMMISH raked the tail fin from the gutter – and here it is, with a 20 pence piece to give an idea of scale… Thanks to Joanne for allowing me to photograph it.

The missing “business end” would have been about 12 inches/30 cms long.

Joanne emailed to say that the cast iron guttering still has a crack in it and “every time it rains a poor unsuspecting passer-by gets a reminder of Hitler’s actions to this country”.


1880 Filey · Birth  George was the fourth of ten children born to Mark SCOTTER and Alice COLLING. He married Mary Ann SAYERS when he was 21 and had two children. He died at the age of 36, a few months before his father was shot and killed by a U Boat crewman while fishing from his yawl Susie.

Shared Tree

1789 Frodingham (or Beeford) · Baptism  George was the non-bio father of Martha ROOM (Anniversary Marriage 27 January). I speculated a month ago that Martha was a nurse child of George’s wife, Rachel MAULSON. This Rachel has since been replaced by another – Rachel ROOM. So Martha was maybe raised by her mother’s sister and George. The church register indicates that George was a widower when he married Rachel Room.

Shared Tree

1867 Filey · Marriage  In the thirteenth year of his marriage, William was washed overboard from the yawl Elizabeth and Emma off Robin Hood’s Bay during the Great Storm of 1880. He is remembered on the Fishermen’s Window in St Oswald’s church. Johanna (or Joanna Hannah) married again. She is the brother of John (Anniversary Birth 3 February).

Shared Tree

1976 Filey · Death

Photographer unknown, no date, courtesy Martin Douglas.

I think Arthur’s shop was in Queen Street – and he’d relied on those crutches for many years.

He was cremated on 27 February and his ashes were buried with his wife Ruth on 3 March.

Shared Tree

Beach 158 · Butcher Haven

Clouds 56 · Filey Bay


1816 Rillington · Birth Ann WILLIS is the mother of Thomas Robert CAMMISH. I offered a link to the inscription that remembers her last Wednesday. Her birthplace, Rillington, is eighteen miles to the west of Filey and, as I write this, her parents are not shown in the married state on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. In all but one of the 1851 to 1901 census returns in which she appears, Ann gives her birthplace as Scarborough. In 1861, the enumerator writes “Rillington”.

Filey Genealogy & Connection (FG&C) does show her parents.

The note in the panel (right) includes –

Probably born at Rillington as her mother hailed from that neck of the woods.

The International Genealogical Index considers Ann’s birthday to be 23 February and her birthplace Rillington.

The sea claimed Ann’s husband and she was a widow for over forty years. She appears to have lived alone for much of that time but the census offers two snapshots – with her grandson William HEWITT in 1871 and twenty years later in the bosom of the family her daughter Mary Ann made in Scarborough with Joseph YORKE. (Five grandchildren aged 20 down to ten.)

Ann, “ripe in years”, died in Scarborough and was brought to Filey for burial.

1815 Whitby · Baptism  Jane MIDWOOD married David HUNTER in the town of her birth. It seems that all her children were born in Whitby but some of them didn’t stay long. A headstone remembers Hannah, Mary and Catherine “who died in infancy”. The memorial is in St Oswald’s churchyard and it tells us that Jane died in January 1881, aged 66.

Today, Jane has five children on the Shared Tree. There are two iterations of both Dorothy and Hannah Mary plus John, Mary Ann and Peter Forest. There is room for more children between 1841 and 1852 and the GRO Index offers Catharine (1845), Andrew (1848) and Hannah (1850). The Death Index may have the three lost Hunter infants in Hannah Mary, who died in 1839 aged 1, Catharine in 1851 (5) and Mary Ann in 1852 (9). (There is a christening record for Mary Ann in September 1841. She would have been eleven in the final quarter of 1852.)

Memories of the children who died may have been too much for the parents to live with, prompting the move south to Filey. When the family is properly constituted, I’ll put the headstone on the Shared Tree.

1811 Filey · Marriage  Work is needed to uncover information about Alexander YOUNGER & Susannah HOPPER. Shared Tree

1846 Gristhorpe · Death   It seems unlikely that Jane Walker née PARKE was buried in Filey churchyard on the same day she died in Gristhorpe, but that’s what the sources indicate. I will put her stone on the Shared Tree when the uncertainty is removed.

1893 Filey · Burial  Jane DUCKWITH, wife of Dunn Charles CRAWFORD. Shared Tree.

Tempora mutantur?

Vicar of Filey at Bridlington Priory Church.

The Rev. A. N. Cooper, M.A., vicar of Filey, preached the sermon at the men’s ser­vice at the Priory Church, Bridlington, on Sunday afternoon. Over four hundred men attended. The Borough Band played selec­tions in the church, and the Bridlington orchestra accompanied the singing. The lesson of the day was read by Mr Major Lawson, and Mr Rial was the soloist, sing­ing “Thou’rt passing hence.”

The Rev. A. N. Cooper preached from the text “The Lord was not in the earthquake,” and remarked they had lived to a time when the greatest earthquake in history had oc­curred if they measured it by the number of lives lost. At Lisbon 60,000 people perished; in Sicily two centuries ago perhaps 60,000 perished. At Messina, no less than 150,000 were supposed to have been destroyed. Was there no lesson for them in such wonderful phenomena? Everything in nature had a lesson for them. The wind – it was like the spirit of God; they never could tell where it would not be found. Scientists explained that beneath the earth there was boiling lava, and water poured into the Lava would create steam which at length would have to find escape, and it escapes up through the earth. The lesson for them was that there were some things which could not go on. The Italians were accounting for the earthquake by recalling that at Messina on Christmas Eve some men who had been playing at cards and had lost, came from the place they had been playing in, in a bad temper. And like other men in a temper, they vented it upon the first thing they met with. A procession was passing along the street, with a crucifix borne at its head, and the gamblers rushed at the crucifix and trampled it underfoot, and spat upon it. The Italians blamed those men for the earthquake. The answer was not given correctly, but very often the boy who answered his teacher wrongly knew most about the subject. The Italians seemed to recognise there were some things in the earth that could not go on. Five years ago Russia was at war with Japan; and they had heard that while the Russian officers were in­dulging in all kinds of luxury, grand pianos following them about from camp to camp, the soldiers’ shoes were made of brown paper, and of other enormities. One felt that that could not go on. When more than a hundred years ago in France, the people learned that Napoleon lived upon champagne and turtles, and paid no taxes, the poor people who paid the taxes lived upon boiled grass. That kind of thing could not go on, and sure enough, the revolution came on, which after all was only another form of earthquake. Near­er home they saw the same thing. He had noticed that women seemed to stick all the closer to the men who used them badly. That was not the spirit of the thing that made an earthquake. Careless­ness in the home sometimes produced an earthquake-carelessness and neglect; so did extravagance. A domestic earthquake must follow if men and women were spending thirteen pence for every shilling they received. Idleness, too, produced earthquakes sometimes as when a man neglected his work by ceasing to be punctual and the sooner they rooted out such characteristics the sooner would they get rid of the causes of earthquakes in their lives.

The Scarborough Mercury Friday 12 February 1909


Birth Added A headstone photo as a Memory on the Shared Tree.

Baptism Frances WATKINSON married twice and her second husband, William POWLEY, is the grandfather of Walter above. Work is needed on the Powley pedigree to enable the connection to be traced on the Shared Tree.

Marriage  William STORY is the father in law of Elizabeth STEER (see last Monday’s Anniversaries). I put a photo of his headstone on the Shared Tree some years ago but the link to it has been broken by a subsequent merge (or ID swap). William has five duplicate IDs and his wife Elizabeth has nine! If I had more time…

Death  Thomas HAXBY has a limited pedigree. Kath put this brief note on FG&C –

Before going into Silver Birches, his address was  Burlington House, Bridlington. His nearest relative was George Haxby (brother) of 118 Worthing Street Hull. He was admitted into Birches on 14h August 1970 & transferred into hospital on 30 Jan 1971 where he died on the 19th February 1971.  (E.Riding Register that was held at Silver Birches).  Notes from Parish records show different date of death

Burial  Jane NELLIST was born in Ugglebarnby near Whitby. Her family on the Shared Tree goes back to the 16th century, with a clear preference for Danby. There is one PRUDENCE stone in St Oswald’s churchyard and it almost certainly remembers her husband’s people. But although she is buried here, I can’t find the exact location of her last resting place.

Abstract 91 · Hunmanby Sands

The Elusive John Hartas Lawson

You would think that fellows with unusual middle names would be easy to track and trace in Victorian Britain. Not so.

I have given “our John” a tick of approval because the minimal information attached to him on the Shared Tree is sound. Opening his single source on FamilySearch gives Emma Atkinson and Agnes Ramsden as possible spouses but, fear not…

The couple married in Filey St Oswald’s and the register entry tells us more.

John died less than eighteen months later but I couldn’t find any newspaper reports of his passing.

In 1901, Ann is “living on her own means” at 10 Mitford Street, Filey, with granddaughter Elizabeth. Ten years later at the same address she is described as a lodging house keeper, and a different granddaughter, Everellda, is with her. Helpfully, Ann noted the length of her marriage to Robert Killingbeck on the census form, 21 years, and that she’d had six children with him, of whom three had died. (Elizabeth is the illegitimate daughter of Ada, though she is Elizabeth ALMAND on the Shared Tree. Everillda is the daughter of Robert Tate KILLINGBECK and Christina SELLERS/SELLARS.)

John Hartas’ birth year – 1847 – has been calculated from his given age at death. A search of this year on Free BMD offers eleven boys called John Lawson plus one with a the middle name “Heslin”. This lad, born in Sunderland, was still alive in the twentieth century, so no misspelling involved there. There are sixteen just Johns born in 1846, plus four with middle names that can’t be mistaken for Hartas. None of the birth registration places caught my eye – and knowing his father was a labourer called John is of little assistance.

However, knowing that John Hartas had been married before suggested another strategy. I looked for a John H. marrying in a place of interest and found one in 1866. This is a little too early to be encouraging, but the marriage to either Johanna BENFIELD or Ella SOLOMAN took place in Kensington. At the 1871 census, Robert Killingbeck and Ann were enumerated at different Kensington addresses, Robert at York House Stables, where he worked as a coachman, and Ann at Dukes Lane (with daughter Ada, 1, mother Mary Tate nee HOLLAND, 46, and a nephew, Thomas, aged 2).

It is tantalising to think that Ann and John may have met in Kensington, even as she had more children with Robert, but for this to eventually end in them marrying requires  the wife of John H to follow Robert Killingbeck to the next world before 1889. I have found no evidence of this happening.

I will keep searching but other tasks await. Perhaps you, dear reader, can help.

Landscape 140 · Filey Bay

Cliff path above Muston Sands

We All Make Mistakes

I was a bit sniffy in last Thursday’s post about the treatment of poor Elizabeth Agar nee CHEWon the FamilySearch Shared Tree. Delving further into the tangled web of Filey parish Chews, I realised today that I had given Robert CHEW, born in 1777, at least twelve more years on the planet than he had enjoyed. I cannot remember now what possessed me to create an ID for him two years ago when there was a good record in existence already – though it didn’t offer a date of his passing or burial.

This Robert was Elizabeth’s father but there were two namesakes, born in 1775 and 1776 – and they both married a woman called Ann. Who isn’t going to make mistakes in such circumstances?

I had confidently suggested that the Robert born in 1775 had died in 1853 but today noticed his wife, Ann HICK, was a widow in 1841. He was a first cousin to the Robert born in 1776 who married Ann PARKINSON. It appears that Elizabeth’s father Robert is not related by blood to the other two. Elizabeth’s mother, Elizabeth nee COOK, was 1777 Robert’s second wife and appears to have died a few months after her second daughter’s birth. (There was an Elizabeth the First who lived for just six months of 1810/11.)

1775 Robert and Ann Hick’s first child, John, lived for less than a month of 1810. They called their next child John. Born in 1811, he married Jane SMURWAITE (sic) in Filey St Oswald’s in 1834. Their three children were born in Lebberston (Filey parish) between 1835 and 1838 – and then John died.

Crows Nest is now a Caravan Park wedged between Blue Dolphin and The Flower of May. Though the enumerator’s book indicates that Jane is the head of the household, the Find My Past digitizer suggests that Robert is her husband. He is more likely to have been the son of 1776 Robert and Ann Parkinson, helping the bereft wife of his first cousin once removed with the farm work.

I looked for Jane in later censuses before finding that she married again in 1849 and emigrated to America with husband Thomas HOWLETT and their daughter. (This information provided by a Find My Past User Tree.)

Helpful Robert may have died a single man in 1858, aged 43. Ten years earlier he possibly attended the wedding of his younger brother George – to Ellen or Eleanor CLARK in Filey St Oswald’s.

Another George Chew, younger brother of 1775 Robert, is buried in St Oswald’s churchyard.

Next to him are grand niece Mary Ann and great grandniece Mary Elizabeth HANSON.

You can find this George (and 1775 Robert) on the Shared Tree here but there is still a lot of web untangling to do (and the spinning of new strands) – Mary Ann Chew is better represented at the moment by a duplicate ID, MGCT-GK2.

Townscape 64 · Seafront, Foggy Morning

Cousin Thomas and Comrade Tom

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou may have noticed another CHAPMAN on the Gristhorpe War Memorial (Thursday’s post). Thomas William is a first cousin to Robert, and you can find him on the Shared Tree.

Serving in different regiments, it is unlikely that they ever fought side by side, but it seems that both the 12th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment and the 6th Scottish Borderers were at Delville Wood in July 1916. Allied forces were tasked with taking the wood “at all costs” and from the 15th July into August the fighting was brutal, a satanic mix of close combat exchanges and intense artillery barrages. If the bodies of the fallen were found, many could not be identified. Thomas was killed on 23 July and, as one of the “missing”, is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.

A comrade of Thomas in the 12th Battalion was Tom CHAPMAN, son of John William and Eliza née CAMMISH. He was not related by blood to Thomas William and Robert. Tom may well have been struck down on the same day as Thomas. He died on 27 July from wounds received during the battle for “Devil’s Wood”. He is buried at La Neuville British Cemetery at Corbie and is remembered at a family grave in St Oswald’s churchyard. Find him on the Shared Tree.


A Troubled Family

What was Hannah HOOD thinking when she persuaded her husband to share a bedroom with her 80-year-old father?

The remains of Mr. Frank Chapman, aged 80, who met his death at Reighton, by falling from a window, was interred on Tuesday. Deceased was formerly a farmer at Gristhorpe.

Scarborough Mercury 18 December 1903


Hannah was about six months old and her brother George three when they were christened at the Primitive Methodist Chapel in Filey on 16 November 1865.

Twenty-three years later, George married Maria GLENTON. In 1901 they are in Gristhorpe with their three children, Charlotte Ann, 11, Robert, 8, and Eliza Jane, 2. George was sound of body, working as an agricultural labourer, and would see his father buried two years later. If he attended the funeral, he may have considered St Oswald’s churchyard a pleasant spot to rest eternally. If that was his wish, it came true a decade later.

I have not discovered the whereabouts of George or Maria in 1911, Their children were scattered. The youngest, Eliza Jane, is boarding with widow WELLBURN in Gristhorpe. Charlotte Ann is a general servant to farmer Thomas JACKSON at Osgodby, near Cayton. Robert is a “beastman” to another farmer, Charles Collins SKELTON, near Hunmanby, unaware that he will soon be asked to forfeit his life. A life remembered on the headstone of his parents, a few metres from the grave of Frank and Ann.


In loving memory of GEORGE CHAPMAN of Gristhorpe, who departed this life April 9th 1913, aged 50 years.

‘Not gone from memory nor from love

But to the eternal Home above’

Also of MARIA, wife of the above, died Nov 11 1926, aged 67 years.

‘At rest’

Also, Pt. ROBERT CHAPMAN, son of the above, who was killed in France after four years active service, Nov 1st 1918, aged 26 years.

‘In the midst of life, we are in death

Forever with the Lord’

The life expectancy of a soldier on the Western Front was short, and for Robert to have come through three or more years of carnage to die within days of “victory” is poignant. I couldn’t find him on the CWGC database, the nearest sacrifice to November the first being an infantryman with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers. Robert isn’t to be found on the Filey War Memorial – no surprise as he was a Gristhorpe man. I looked for a photo I took of the Gristhorpe Memorial in March.


There he is, at the bottom of the list – “K. O. Scottish Bords”. If he served with the 6th Battalion throughout the war he may have fought in a dozen battles, including the Somme, Passchendaele, Delville Wood, Zonnebeke Redoubt, Cambrai. Robert was killed during the Final Offensive in 1918. His body was identified by his cap badge, general service uniform and boots and placed in a temporary grave. With a thousand or more other comrades he was taken to the New British Cemetery at Harlebeke, near Ieper, in 1924 or 1925.

George had died in the North Riding Asylum in York, aged 50, unaware of the trials his son would soon endure. How much did Maria know of her son’s fate? Robert’s service record online is bereft of kin. She died on Armistice Day 1925 (not 1926) in the same mental hospital as her husband. What must those twelve years of widowhood have been like for her?

In 1924, Eliza Jane signed the register at the marriage of her sister to Charles Henry JACKSON, (perhaps a relative of the people Charlotte had skivvied for at Osgodby). Thirty-four years old when she married, Charlotte died childless (I think) in Scarborough, in 1949, aged 60. I don’t know what became of Eliza Jane.