Bits and Pieces

Most days now, the first two or three hours are lost to finding out what is going on in the world. It is beginning to seem pointless reconstructing the lives of long-dead people when genocide is taking shape.

Distracted, I haven’t been able to tackle any research of substance. Today, I did a bit of tidying.

I put the headstone of John Sumpton FOX on the Shared Tree yesterday – and tried to find the origins of his second wife this morning. An unusual middle name – Dale – made it somewhat easier to trace Mary SMITH, but her father was John Smith and her mother just Ann. Mary indicated in censuses that she was born in the time of civil registration but her death record (if I have it right) gives 1836 as a calculated birth year. She was a spinster aged 53 when she married John so there are no children to offer assistance. An 1861 census entry provides a possible brother, ten years her junior, and a three-year-old niece born in Leyburn that could be helpful. There is more work to do here.

Yesterday morning the sun shone and made James ROBINSON’s headstone (Sunday’s post) more legible so I photographed it again and put the better image on the Shared Tree today.

I also did some “figure work”. Two weeks into the new meteorological year, I am still struggling with data from 2020/21. I hope to have some graphs showing the Ten Station results soon. (Confession: I didn’t take any interest in Cop 26.)

Omicron intrigues me though – and the use our Fat Controller is making of it. Cases doubling every three days eh? Not for long, surely. After almost two years of pandemic and a year of mass jabbing, there cannot be many susceptibles left. Unless…

All one can say for certain is that Humankind 1.0 needs saving.

Measure of Man 67 · Lifeboat

Glen Gardens Lake

Taking Stock

I’ve updated my inventory of the St Oswald’s headstone photographs. A couple of months ago I reported 899 photos processed, 49% of the total required. Today those figures are 1,075 and 61%.

There are just 48 headstone photos on the Looking at Filey Wiki and I’ve uploaded 43 to FamilySearch Tree as Memories. ­Only four photos are in both places, so my next task is to synchronize!

I’m compiling a list of ‘family units’  associated with the churchyard graves. Progress is slow. So far I have listed 1,200 individuals, only 35% of whom have FamilySearch Tree IDs. I signed in to FST yesterday intending to create IDs for a large family – and discovered that someone has recently done the work. A pleasant surprise.

Interesting Times

My attempts at organizing the Headstone Project have been accompanied by listening to news and analysis of what is going on in the world. Entertaining and tragic by turns.

Today began with a Tommy Robinson rant and his appeal for viewers to sign an online petition.

This afternoon, Tommy put out an update. Watching both videos will take 30 minutes out of your life (that you’ll never get back) but I hope you’ll take a look. They are not “about Tommy”. They’re more to do with the UK’s quickening slide into becoming a failed state. (This may not be so terrible, in the context of a failed planet.)

Headstones Project

John and Maisie Crimlisk divided St Oswald’s churchyard into eight areas when they carried out their transcription project in the 1970s. A to H. I took a roll call last week and discovered I haven’t taken as many photographs of the headstones as I’d thought. The small sections, A and B are 85% complete but the largest area, G, is only 41% done.

So far I have photographed 899 stones, 49% of the total. I’m still hoping to complete the photography before the end of the year. So far, the “no can do” total is only 16 graves, less than 1% of the total. This proportion will rise as I tick off those graves without a headstone, having instead a kerb without an inscription or one that is overgrown, or just a seemingly empty plot. At a rough guess, I may have another 500 photographs to take to complete this part of the task. Rather more time-consuming will be the piecing together of families and putting folk on the FamilySearch Tree if they are not already represented there.

Today’s Image

The Mass Dial is above and to the right of the priest’s door into the chancel – though I expect you spotted it easily enough. More about such “objects” here.

There is another incised “sundial” to the left of the door with a more obvious hole where the gnomon once was. It is near the top left of a roughly rectangular section of paler stones that, I was told, had blocked up a medieval leper’s window. I accepted this information as “true” but a little research this afternoon points to many churches in England having leper’s windows – with no supporting data for the number of lepers in the country. I think this may be a case of Fake Lore.

Coble ‘Annie’

Filey Bay was a millpond this morning. Ninety-nine years ago it claimed two lives.

Three men in the coble Annie were returning from the crabbing grounds at about 10.30 am when the tideway, racing strongly round the end of Filey Brigg, tipped them over. The youngest of the three at age 27, John LANE, who had only just been demobilized, clung to the upturned boat and was rescued by Richard Cammish JENKINSON in the coble Sunstar. Matthew Jenkinson CAMMISH, 65,  and Mortimer SCALES, 42, were swept away and their bodies never found.

The drama had been watched from the shore by helpless local folk and early season visitors. Everyone’s thoughts must have turned to the loss of seven Filey men from the drifter Emulator the previous week.

Matthew isn’t represented on FamilySearch Tree but you can find his pedigree on Filey Genealogy & Connections.


Mortimer SCALES has a pedigree on FST that varies somewhat from FG&C. If each is carefully checked and verified they can possibly be merged without too much difficulty.

G519_ SCALESmort_20120809_fst

I haven’t yet been able to trace the rescued John LANE.