A Tale of Two Marys

Mary Ellen TOALSTER was sixteen years old when three of her eight brothers were killed on the Western Front. James came home from India and Arthur William survived the conflict too – as a mechanic in the infant RAF.

A couple of years after the war ended, aged 20, Mary Ellen married George Arthur DICK in their home town, Hull. The partnership was broken by Mary’s death in 1955.

I turned to the FamilySearch to see if George was represented on the Shared Tree.

This screenshot jumps the gun somewhat – in showing that the Mary E. Toalster who died in 1994 needs to be cancelled to make way for George’s second wife.

George was sixty-years-old when he married Mary the Second and it seemed likely that this was her second marriage also.

The GRO Index entry for her death was helpful in giving her middle name and year of birth.

DICK, Mary Elizabeth, [Date of Birth] 1909. GRO Reference:  DOR  Q1/1994 in HULL (5502B) Reg B51A  Entry Number 129.

It also confirmed the approximate date of her death so I then looked at the “possible duplicate” on FamilySearch to see if that offered any clues.

The two addresses for “Mary E. Toalster” were possibly supplied by a contributor with close family connections. I needed to find a birth family for the former Mrs Coultas before I could tackle the merge. Thanks to the 1939 Register data on Find My Past, this was more easily accomplished than I had expected.

A search in the Register for Mary Coultas born in 1909 found the home in Hull that she shared with husband William Henry, a Railway Signalman and two children. The younger child, Brian, had yet to celebrate his first birthday and his registration gave the mother’s maiden surname as HUNT. Mary’s birthdate was clearly written in the Register as “28/2/1908” but her birth registration and a baptism record confirm 1909 is correct.

All I needed now was to show William making way for George, which he did in the June Quarter of 1957, aged 58.

I haven’t found a marriage record for William Henry Coultas and Mary Elizabeth Hunt yet. Ten years older than Mary, William may have first married Agnes SMALLEY in Howden in 1920. But I think I have enough information to hand to do the necessary merge. Tomorrow perhaps.

Bird 97 · Titlark

I think this is a Tree Pipit but I am playing safe. Rock, tree and meadow pipits were all referred to as ‘titlarks’’ once upon a time. Birds Britannica (Mark Cocker & Richard Mabey) has this:-

Small, brown and streaky, pipits represent either an expansive pleasure dome for the hair-splitting expert or a baffling terra incognita to the tyro. Their dullness is legendary.

Bramleys

Mary Jane CRAWFORD was born to Wesleyan Minister John BRAMLEY and Margaret HART in the spring of 1864. That she would marry a fellow with the middle name “Bramley” is intriguing. Her father John was born in Bubwith, near Howden. After much wandering on the Wesleyan circuit he had returned to his heartland. The births of his last two children, Mary Jane and Fanny, were registered in Howden.

The marriage of Robert Bramley Crawford’s parents was registered in Howden in the same quarter as Mary Jane’s birth. The bride, Elizabeth BRAMLEY, had been born 22 years earlier – in Bubwith. And yet the two families Bramley joined by matrimony were, Roots Magic tells me, not connected by blood.

The chances of Mary Jane Bramley and Robert Bramley Crawford being totally devoid of common ancestors seems impossible to me. I will search for the “missing link”.

John Bramley was a Minister for almost forty years but seems to have been a shy and retiring type. I searched for long enough online and found him officiating at just one marriage. He has seven children with Margaret on the FamilySearch Shared Tree but I have found registrations for two more. Firstborn Emily died aged five in Oldbury in 1858 and there is a James the First whose death record has yet to be found. I can suggest that John was distinguished in a small way. The registration places of his children helpfully track his progress round the country in service of the Lord.

Emily, Westbury on Severn, Gloucestershire

Charlotte Elizabeth, Sevenoaks, Kent

James Hart and John, Carlisle, Cumberland

Margaret, Oldbury, Worcestershire,

Hannah Louisa and James (the Second), Kidsgrove, Staffordshire

Mary Jane and Fanny, Howden, Yorkshire

I have the marriage of John junior to add to the Shared Tree ­­but in 1911, after 27 years together, the couple had not brought any children into the world. John settled for teaching the children of others. At the 1901 census they had eight boarders in Stonehouse, Stroud – including maybe a relative in the oddly named Myles Goyen HART. The boy’s birth registration has the same spelling as the census transcription. He appears to have been illegitimate, as the mother’s maiden surname is not given in the GRO Index.

Tree 48 · Charles Laughton’s Sycamore

See Evron Centresecond photo and info beneath third photo.

Dove Tale

One George DOVE was a grandfather of the WARLEY girls of Middleton on the Wolds.

Last month, I deliberately titled a post Floy Warley, so that this blog might take the top spot from Rootspoint – should one in a billion people Google-search for the poor woman.

I was tempted to play the same card today with George, but there are two Yorkshiremen with this name, contemporaries, who found their wives, both called Rachael, in villages only twenty-five miles apart. I didn’t want to flummox the crawlers.

Over at FamilySearch the bots (whatever) can be fooled into offering inappropriate hints – though human agents must unwittingly contribute false data to make this happen.

I will call the men George of Middleton and George of Snaith, after the places where the census enumerators found them in 1841. In real life, only one was the grandfather of Charlotte and Floy. On the Shared Tree, both of them are. It is a complicated tale.

DOVEgeo&SELLERrachael1_FSTss

The only significant error here is George of Middleton’s birth date. The absence of Rachael’s family name is made good by the next screenshot.

DOVEgeo&SELLERrachael2Mar_FSTss

Note the date and place of the marriage.

DOVEgeo&BICKERTONrachel2_FSTss

Same date, different place. This is George of Middleton with his correct dates of birth and death, his parents and his youngest daughter Esther (sometimes Easter) – but married to George of Snaith’s wife. Now, a further complication.

DOVEgeo&BICKERTONrachel1b_FSTss

The two Rachaels fledged a number of baby Doves before civil registration began but, fortunately, they then had several children that are readily found in the GRO Births Index.

In the first quarter of 1839, George of Middleton registered the birth of Jane Elizabeth, Charlotte and Floy’s mother-to-be, in Driffield Union.

In the last quarter of the same year, George of Snaith registered the birth of George Wesley in the Goole Union. Middleton is in the Driffield Registration District, and both Hook and Snaith are in the Goole RD.

1839

DOVE, Jane Elizabeth, Mother’s Maiden Surname: SELLERS (sic). GRO Reference: 1839 M Quarter in DRIFFIELD UNION Volume 23 Page 30 Occasional Copy: B.

DOVE, George Wesley, Mother’s Maiden Surname: BICKERTON. GRO Reference: 1839 D Quarter in THE GOOLE UNION Volume 23 Page 213.

The 1841 households of the two families are found in the FamilySearch sources.

1841_George&Rachel_MIDDLETON

“Elizabeth” here is Jane Elizabeth.

1841_George&Rachel_GOOLE

Young George is George Wesley.

George of Middleton has at least five IDs. I haven’t rounded up all the IDs for George of Snaith but suspect he has a similar number. The wives ditto. So, there is a lot of merging to be done. The mixing of the marriages, evident in the screenshots, won’t make this straightforward.

One day, perhaps, the FamilySearch “system” will be smart enough to red flag the data entry errors that have caused this mess – rather than acquiesce by offering a Census hint for the “wrong” family.

1851_RightGeorgeWrongRachael

One George and Rachel duo has the birth and death dates of the other, ensuring this hint points to the wrong clutch of Doves. Not a Match.

Private Abbott

AbbottGAThe first name on the Filey War Memorial seems to be a mistake. A search on the CWGC website brings a George Alfred, Manchester Regiment, and a gunner with the initials G A who served in the South African Field Artillery. I think the initials should be ‘E A’.

Private Ernest Alfred ABBOTT enlisted in the Huntingdonshire Cyclists when the battalion was formed. Posted to Filey early in 1915, he courted local girl Mary Ann STORK and the couple married on 11th December 1915 at St Oswald’s.

When the Hunts Cyclists were disbanded in 1916 he was transferred to the 683rd Agricultural Company, Army Labour Corps (Service No. 434613). He died in Cambridge Easton General Hospital on 18th November 1918, a week after the Armistice. The exact cause of his death is not known. He is buried in St Oswald’s churchyard.

Dan Eaton, In Flanders Fields…The men of Filey who fought and died during the Great War for Civilization (1914 – 1919)

His birth registration, though, gives his name as Arthur Ernest, and for some records of his short life he omitted the middle name and just answered to Ernest.

When I looked him up on Lives of the First World War, two people were remembering him. A photograph of his headstone has been added but there isn’t much detail about his life.

Filey Genealogy & Connections has very little about Ernest’s origins, and Mary Ann was illegitimate so her pedigree is difficult to research. FamilySearch Tree was more helpful, providing a start with his birth family – a father and eight siblings. The mother was given as “Ann M. ABBOTT” but the GRO quickly supplied her birth name – GAVINS – and four more children. Ernest was the youngest, then, of thirteen. Ernest’s father and eldest brother had the middle name “FAVELL” and it was no surprise that this proved to be the maiden surname of his paternal grandmother.

Most of these Abbotts and their spouses were landed peasantry from a small area of Huntingdonshire. Initially, I had the notion that it had taken a war to push Ernest out of his family heartland but research unearthed an earlier migration of some Abbotts to Yorkshire. Ernest’s Aunt Rebecca married agricultural labourer Joseph ROBINSON in Alconbury cum Weston in the mid-1850s,  and the childless couple moved to the Howden area of East Yorkshire sometime between 1871 and 1881. They both died in 1910 before Ernest was sent to Filey with the Hunts Cyclists. Rebecca departed first, in July, and was buried in Howden. Joseph, in his mid-seventies, had no family to care for him and was dispatched to the workhouse where he died before the year was out.

After Ernest’s death, Mary Ann didn’t fare well. Their only child was two years old and another boy was born in late 1919. Life must have been a great struggle for her and she died in the North Riding Asylum in York in 1924. The Borthwick Institute in York probably has details of her last weeks or months there, and maybe a photograph. I hope she wasn’t certified as a lunatic – and that the Abbott boys did well after their difficult start in life.