Sacred to the memory of ELIZABETH, wife of CHRISTOPHER COLTAS of Gristhorpe, who departed this life November 14th 1836, aged 30 years.
The languishing head [is] at rest
Its thinking and aching are o’er
This quiet immovable breast
Is heaved [by affliction] no more
This heart [is no longer the seat
Of trouble and torturing pain]
My digitization of the Crimlisk Survey of St Oswald’s churchyard has “ELIZABETH [blank] EMMA” beneath the verse inscription and my first search on FamilySearch Tree found the wee girl. Filey Genealogy & Connections offered the sad information that Elizabeth Emma had been baptised the day after her mother was buried – and died at 16 months.
For a while, I made little progress with online searches and thought the representation of this small family on FamilySearch would mirror the MI details.
FG&C indicated that Elizabeth was 24 years old when she married, so it would have been surprising if Elizabeth Emma had been her first child.
I then happened upon a census household containing two COLTAS brothers, Edwin and Herbert A. It took a while, but I found a source that told me Herbert’s middle name was “Atkinson”. It seemed certain that these fellows were older brothers of Elizabeth Emma but it was the discovery of their church marriage register entries that confirmed Christopher, a farmer, as their father.
FG&C had given Christopher’s occupation as a Filey“schoolmaster” so I was disconcerted – until I found his own marriage record.
When his wife died, Christopher’s boys were five and seven years old, and possibly not too difficult to raise on his own. It was surprising that he didn’t marry again quite quickly though. He waited 15 years, marrying Mary, third daughter of the late Francis HILL, Lloyd’s agent, in August 1845. I have yet to find confirmation of this union in civil, church or census records but a notice in the local newspaper adds a detail to the information above – that Christopher was a “farmer and grazier”.
I don’t know how old Mary was at marriage but she presented him, in his late forties, with two sons, Alfred and Frederick, both with the middle name Hill. Alfred died not long after he was born, and Frederick before his first birthday. A year after Frederick’s death, Mary had another son. They called him “Frederick Hill”. And about 18 months later they named their last child “Alfred Hill”.
Christopher’s sons with Elizabeth ATKINSON married but don’t appear to have had offspring. Herbert died in 1876 aged 43 and I think Edwin departed this life in 1881 aged 50. Returning briefly to the second Alfred and Frederick. I haven’t been able to discover yet whether or not they reached adulthood and were able to continue the COLTAS name. I chanced upon a Frederick Hill Coltas who died in Scarborough in1882, in his first year. Two years earlier a Frederick Hill Coltas had married across the Pennines, in Salford.
If this line of the Coltas family did persist it may well have morphed into the more common “Coultas”. For now, the question mark in this post’s title is appropriate and hopeful. If I can find the marriage record for Christopher and Mary I will add the details to FamilySearch Tree, with the Hill boys and any descendants they may have had. Find Christopher and Elizabeth here.