Mary, Mother of Walter

The adult life of Walter UNWIN was bookended by Filey. The first four of the nine children he had with Sarah Jane SEMPLE were born in the town between 1878 and 1884. The next three first saw light across the Pennines, in Horwich (Bolton Registration District). The family returned to the east coast where Filey girl Eva was born in 1894 and Maria two years later. Their parents are buried in St Oswald’s churchyard.


I found Walter on FamilySearch Tree and he seemed well set, grounded enough anyway to be given his wife and children, no questions asked. Once I’d completed that task I added the headstone photo as a memory. Before moving on, I noticed something odd.

One of the Record Hints attached to Walter offers the 1871 Census. This shows him as a 19-year-old Printer’s Apprentice in Barnsley, living with his parents, John and Mary. FST has his mother, “Mary Ann Hirst” dying in 1859. No worries. John married another Mary, surely?

The Record Hint for Mary Ann’s marriage gives her name as just Mary, the place Silkstone and the date 22 January 1837. There is an 1851 census source that places the couple in Thomas Street, Barnsley. They are both working as Hand Loom Weavers and have two children, Hannah (12) and William (3). Barnsley is given as the birthplace for all four. The years between the two children suggest infant Unwin deaths and the GRO records a William the First in 1845. (Both boys had the middle name Henry.) There was another lost boy recorded – Arthur – in 1856. The firstborn, Hannah, has a christening source on FST but I haven’t found her civil birth registration.

The next census, 1861, puts John at 2, Shambles Street, Barnsley, a widower with two sons, William Henry and Walter. There is a supporting GRO death registration for the former Mary Ann Hirst’s death in 1859 but John now has a housekeeper, his mother in law, Mary ROOK, a widow. John Unwin’s mother in law would have been Ann Hirst if she hadn’t died in 1853. And Ann’s husband supposedly died in 1862. So who exactly is widow Rook? Is this a different John Unwin who also happened to have sons called  William Henry and Walter? That John is now a “Time and Work Keeper in Factory” is a caution, but not really a surprise considering the extent to which machines had by this time taken the livelihoods of handloom weavers.

So, on to 1871 when John has a wife called Mary again. Mary who? She is 50 years old, born in Frickley, ten miles or so to the east of Barnsley. She may have been a widow when she married John, so I haven’t tried to trace her origins. I couldn’t find a marriage source but there is a death registration in Barnsley, June Quarter 1875, for a Mary Unwin born in 1821. Walter’s occupation, by the way, is given as “Printer’s Apprentice”.

In 1881, when Walter and Sarah Jane are living in Ravine Terrace, Filey, mourning the loss of their first two children, (and Walter is a “Printer Master Self-Employed”), John Unwin, a widower, 67, born Barnsley and a “former Clerk”, is staying with his younger brother William in Crowle, Lincolnshire.

I couldn’t find a death registration for John in the West Riding of Yorkshire or Lincolnshire, but in the March Quarter of 1887, a John Unwin of the right age died in Bolton, Lancashire. A few months later, the birth of William Henry Unwin was registered in the same place – John’s grandson, almost certainly.

John’s first wife was given as Mary HIRST, but I felt I needed more evidence to confirm she was the Mary Ann Hirst on FST. A little more digging turned up an 1841 census transcription for a household in Park Row, Silkstone, that contained John Hirst, a weaver, his wife Ann, a younger weaver John Unwin, his wife Mary and their 2-year-old daughter Hannah. (Relationships are presumed, not given.) The only issue on FST may be a mix up of sources for several girls called Mary and Mary Ann Hirst born within a year of each other in the same area of Yorkshire (Huddersfield and Barnsley).

Four christening sources from FST:-





If these can be resolved…

A Tailor of Filey

George STERICKER didn’t reside in Filey long before he died. He married Sarah HODGSON in 1852 and their first daughter was born in Pickering a couple of years later. Their second daughter was born in Filey towards the end of 1859 and George died about three months later.

Sarah went back to Pickering, the place of her birth, to raise the girls, making her living as a dressmaker. Firstborn Mary Elizabeth married David TINDALL in 1879 and moved to Huddersfield with him to bring seven children into the world. Four were alive in 1911. Maria Ann married John William WILKINSON in 1884 and they too moved to Huddersfield. In 1911 they were living quite close to the Tindalls and all five of Maria’s children had made it through to their mid-teens and early twenties.

Sarah didn’t marry again and stayed in Pickering. Aged 68 in 1891, she was boarding with two elderly sisters in Potter Hill, still dressmaking. Curiously, a few doors away there was a Stericker family – Thomas, 31, his wife Ann, three children under six and a nurse servant called Mary Tindall who looked after them.

Sarah died in March 1896 and was laid to rest in Pickering. She is remembered on George’s stone in St Oswald’s churchyard.


Find George on FST.

Filey for Health

George Lewis BATLEY was living with his parents in the spring of 1871 and working as a “solicitor, articled clerk”, aged 17. His father, Joseph, was undoubtedly giving him every encouragement and useful instruction from his lofty position as “solicitor, Town Clerk of Huddersfield”.

Ten years later George was still living at Vernon House, with his parents, seven siblings, maternal grandmother, Hannah TOWNEND, and four domestic servants. He was now established as a solicitor.

He married Julia Pearson CROSLAND early the following year, 1882, and when the next census was taken was head of a large household in Gledholt Road, Huddersfield. With him, his wife and their two children were Uncle John and Aunt Mary BATLEY and four servants.

The census sometimes records disabilities and illnesses but all seems to be well with the Batleys in 1891.

On 19 August 1893, the Huddersfield Chronicle reported…

The announcement in Monday morning’s Daily Chronicle, recording the death of Mr. George Lewis Batley, will be perused with  regret by our readers. For some time the deceased gentleman has been in failing health, and during the last few months he has resided at Filey, where he died on Friday week, at the early age of 39. Mr. Batley was the eldest son of the late Mr. Joseph Batley, the first Town Clerk of Huddersfield. He served his articles with his father, under whom he received a sound legal training, and after admission as a solicitor he became a member of the firm of Messrs. Brook, Freeman, and Batley, of which his father was at one time a senior partner. He acted as a deputy town clerk on several occasions, and during the interregnum between his father’s death and the appointment of a successor he performed the duties of this responsible office. Both in advocacy and conveyancing Mr. Lewis Batley stood high in repute as a lawyer…

I haven’t been able to find a likeness of George online but after his father’s death a public subscription raised the money for a portrait of Joseph in oils, painted from photographs by Herbert SIDNEY (1858-1923). At a ceremony in the Town Hall, the Mayor presented the Batley Memorial Portrait to George, who gave fulsome thanks and then begged that it be taken back to be put on public display. The Mayor then declared their business was not complete because he had a second, smaller portrait of Joseph executed by Mr. Sidney that George accepted for the family.

Image: Kirklees Museums and Galleries

While searching online for material that might present George in less formal settings I happened upon something I found “romantic”.

I mentioned above that George resided in Gledholt Road, Huddersfield. His wife’s family had lived in Gledholt for many years. Her father, Thomas Pearson CROSLAND, M.P. died in 1868 and at the 1881 census, the family home in Gledholt Lane was headed by eldest daughter Ada Pearson and four of his other children, including unmarried Julia, aged 24. When the enumerator called, Julia may have been planning her marriage the following year. A snippet from a local newspaper tantalises with the possibility that it may not have been a whirlwind romance.

For a number of years, the Huddersfield “volunteers” mustered annually on the Rifle Field, Greenhead Road, less than half a mile from the Crosland place. After the young men had impressed the civilian populace with their military expertise, the day would end with a banquet. The newspaper listed those from the upper classes who attended and I noticed George and Julia in the 1876 gathering.


(This is just a slice of a much longer report.)

George’s children were aged ten and five when the attempt to restore his health in Filey failed. His widow waited ten years before marrying again. Frederick George OLDMAN was fifteen years her junior, a clerk in holy orders. I haven’t attempted to discover more but have placed him on the FamilySearch Tree. Click on the inverted caret to switch to George Lewis and find his headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard as a “Memory”.

The Law is a Ass

Mr Bumble uttered the immortal phrase 180 years ago and it is as true today as it was then. A small mercy is that the law in the UK had its eye opened outside the Old Bailey today when a large crowd gathered in support of Tommy Robinson. Why he had to attend court at all is a mystery. I think his case has been adjourned for three weeks. I heard nothing on lamestream about events in London today.

Charles Dickens put the words in Bumble’s mouth and a few yards from where the author stood in St Oswald’s churchyard, contemplating the tragedy of Elizabeth Cammish and Robert Snarr, George Lewis BATLEY, a lawyer, is keeping John Harvey WHISTON (The Third Son) company as they rest eternally. What would they make of their profession today?

Their corner by the south door is at its best on a sunny afternoon.


George’s grave is marked by the cross; John’s by the stone against the wall, next to the downspout.

I have been researching the BATLEY family and hoped to finish a brief article today. George married a CROSLAND, a daughter by Thomas Pearson Crosland’s third wife, Julia COUSINS. Thomas had previously been married to Julia’s younger sister, Maria Roch (or Roche) Cousins.  I had great difficulty tracing the marriage of Thomas and Julia, running them down eventually in Prussia (of all places). I may have the stories and relationships sorted out by tomorrow evening.

The Beaumonts of Where?

Henry Reginald Tyrell Clare BEAUMONT was buried this day 1900 in St Oswald’s churchyard. I have been unable to link  Henry with certainty to any action in South Africa but his regiment, The Buffs, was at Spion Kop and the Relief of Kimberley. The latter event took place between the 11th and 15th February 1900, giving the poor chap time to fall ill and make his way back to England to die at the end of May. One has to wonder, though, at the time it would have taken to make that journey, and the earlier trip home to marry in 1899.

I haven’t managed to find out whether he married Rachel or Constance. I thought it would be an easy discovery to make, with a Census following only fifteen months or so later. It appears, though, to be a BEAUMONT family habit to dodge the census enumerators, even offering misleading names now and again. More confusing still, some of the birth registrations for Beaumont offspring don’t fit neatly into the available census families.

It was a help to stumble upon The Tathams of County Durham, a pedigree that included Henry’s parents. His father, Joseph Tyrrel BEAUMONT, married Hilda Gertrude TATHAM about ten years after Emily OLDROYD died. It doesn’t, however, answer most of the questions regarding the children of Joseph Tyrrel Beaumont and his father, also Joseph.

This branch of the Beaumonts seems to have rooted in the West Riding, in the Huddersfield and Mirfield areas. Emily was from Dewsbury. Joseph senior married Maria BRITAIN and her ties to Ripon may explain a Beaumont shift towards Harrogate.  Both generations, though, have handsome headstones in a Filey churchyard, even though Joseph senior seems to be the only one to have died in the town.

These Beaumonts clearly had an affection for Filey but kept a fairly low profile here. In 1871 Joseph and Maria were living on The Crescent. Ten years later, Maria was a widow and had downsized, marginally perhaps, to St Martin’s Villa, which she shared with spinster daughter Anne. Maria died in Boston Spa and Anne in Harrogate. Both are remembered on the marble cross in St Oswald’s churchyard.  I photographed it in drizzle and terrible light this afternoon so have chosen to render it rather gloomily. When the sun next shines I’ll make a photo that can be uploaded to FST. Joseph senior and Maria aren’t represented there yet and the younger Joseph doesn’t have all his children or his second wife. The soldier is here.


Sacred to the memory of JOSEPH BEAUMONT, Esq., who died at Filey, July 23 1880, in the 70th year of his age.


Also to MARIA, beloved wife of the above, who passed away June 28th 1892.

‘The Lord is my shepherd’

In loving memory of ANNE, eldest daughter of JOSEPH BEAUMONT, Esq, who entered into rest 11th November 1902.

Another Soldier


The inscription on the family headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard tells us that Henry served with the 2nd East Kent Regiment, The Buffs.

There is a record for Henry’s marriage to either Rachel MATHER or Constance LINNELL in Farnham, Surrey, in the last quarter of 1899. It would appear that he came home on leave to wed and fell sick after returning to duty. I assume the enteric fever struck him down in South Africa but will do some more research to confirm this.

Another Killer Gale


John William was buried just four days after his death, so he must have been almost home. The Register of Deceased Passengers held at The National Archives and available to view online via Find My Past gives the name of the ship and its approximate location when John expired.

Marcotis was almost certainly bound for its home port and 51º10’ N, 6º 40 W places her in the Irish Sea, south-west of the Pembrokeshire coast and about 280 miles from Liverpool. Innocuous as degrees and minutes, the coordinates are fiendish when converted to decimals.


The inscription on John’s red granite memorial in St Oswald’s churchyard tells us he “died in a gale at sea”, a description that paints a fuzzy, uncertain, picture of his final moments. The Register provides shocking clarity, giving the cause of death as “Hemorrhage of the Lungs”.


John’s grave is just a few yards from that of his older brother, Edwin, after whom the southernmost Filey Ravine is named. The 1881 Census reveals that Edwin, age 32, was a “Woollen Manufacturer of Martins Sons Employing 930 people”. Ten years later he has passed the running of the factory to John. Perhaps it was too great a burden for the younger brother.

In 1881 John had married Lily, daughter of Benjamin HANSON, another Huddersfield Woollen Manufacturer, employing 372 hands in 1871. John and Lily had two children, Kenneth born 1883 and Gwynneth  Adrienne in 1888. After her husband’s death, Lily moved with the children to Eastbourne on the south coast. In 1911 Gwynneth remained single but Kenneth, 29, “Company Director, Financial Corporation (Private Means)”, was married to Clarisse Lillian nee MELLIER and they had two boys, Patrick Kenneth and Jack Mellier.

For all their wealth and social standing, the Martins were poorly represented on FST. I put in a shift today but there is a lot more still to do.