Fishing for Hoppers

The first HOPPER in the Filey Census is widowed fisherman Timothy, age 75 and heading a King Street household in 1841containing five people I have classified as boarders/lodgers – four members of a WILLIS family and a widow, Fanny MORGAN. In 1861, Bridlington born Robert Hopper, sailmaker, is living in Hope Street with his wife Annie Elizabeth, three children and Annie’s sister Susan “BERRYMAN”. In Filey Genealogy & Connections there is a gathering of Patrington Hoppers. The connection of these folk to Filey isn’t immediately clear but their descendants increased greatly and scattered. You can follow them, some to the United States (in the 21st century) on FamilySearch Tree, starting from William and Mary Ann née FEWSON.

There is only one Hopper remembered in St Oswald’s churchyard but the first headstone of 2019 to which I’ve turned my attention has seen me dancing around other Hoppers for much of the day.


Thomas Holmes JOHNSON doesn’t appear to have representation on FST, neither does his father, or grandfather Frederick HOPPER. Frederick, a fisherman and lifeboatman, was born in Hull but enumerated in Easington in 1861 so I’m expecting to connect him to the Patrington branch. If I am to tag the above headstone photo on FST I will probably need to bring a large troupe of Hoppers together on the World Tree. It may take some time.

(Until this afternoon I didn’t know that you really fish WITH hoppers. It is a variety of dry fly that bamboozles trout.)

Out at Sea

Four big lights on Alfa Italia cut through the murk late this afternoon.  Sarpen and Thornbury remain at anchor in Bridlington Bay and a few miles further south two more tankers, Delta Star and Baltic Favour are awaiting orders. When I checked Ship AIS at lunchtime I noticed Happy Pelican was making good speed to Grangemouth and had to smile, its filthy cargo of LPG notwithstanding.

Down Under

Radio NZ reported yesterday that 2018 was the hottest year since New Zealand records began.

Veteran climate scientist Jim Salinger has calculated the mean annual land surface temperature in 2018 was 13.5 degrees Celsius, which was 0.85C above the 1981-2010 average.

This was “a smidgeon” hotter than the previous warmest year on record, 2016, which was 0.84C above normal.

January, March, July and December were all at least 1C above normal, with January being a massive 3.2C above average, the hottest month ever.

Overall, the country has heated up by 1.3C since records began in 1867, Prof Salinger said.

Read the article here.

I checked the Wellington International temperature data downloaded from Weather Underground and found that the capital’s 2018 was the hottest of the last ten years, and just 0.05°C warmer than 2016. A smidgeon. The Wellington average annual temperature was, as you might expect, higher than the national figure, at 14.25°C. Auckland would no doubt be warmer still, and Invercargill cooler. What will 2019 be like?

Another Man’s Wife


I initially warmed to the Reverend William when I discovered he’d been baptised at Mappleton Church, a mile or so north of his birthplace in Cowden. My parents had a caravan (of sorts) on the Mill Field at Mappleton and, when on holiday there, I walked past the church several times a day on the way to and from the beach. It seems neat that he should end his days in Filey, as I am likely to do.

I also learned that his grandfather had been one of William CLOWES’ first converts in my hometown, Hull in the 1820s. I attended the Primitive Methodist Chapel in Stoneferry as a child and, as a young man, went up to Mow Cop one wild, windy night after I learned of the early Ranters’ Meetings there.

I was surprised to find William had married three times – and taken aback when I looked for him on FamilySearch Tree and saw him hitched to a fourth woman, Elizabeth Ann ALSTON.

William’s birth family seemed to be all present and correct and at the time of the 1901 census, he was living only eight miles away from Elizabeth Ann and the cotton spinning William Moore.

“Our” William was in Wigan, mourning the death of his first wife Annie Elizabeth COWAN about six months earlier.  The other William and Elizabeth Ann were childless in Chorley.

Here is a newspaper report of the wedding of William and Annie Elizabeth just five years earlier.


Ten years later the Reverend was staying with his younger brother, James, in Hull. With him were second wife Margaret FISHER and their surviving child, William Henry, aged three. Margaret died about 18 months later, in West Derby – where William married Catherine NICHOLSON in the second quarter of 1916. They moved to Filey in 1919 and each died aged 78, William in 1944 and Catherine in 1955. Their last home, “Hilston”, was in Belle Vue Crescent.

There are photographs of William and Catherine, and more information, here.

Three Soldiers

Frederick Edmund Glanville SOUTHWELL was born in 1889, in Rothwell, Lincolnshire. His grandfather, Henry Glanville senior, was vicar there. To the family, he seems always to have been just Edmund. At the age of 21, he was with his widowed mother in Mitford Street, Filey, his occupation given as a Student of Law. The choice to follow his father into the legal profession must have been a difficult one to take. In 1908, Harry Glanville junior, a solicitor in London and estranged from his family, had died from a drug overdose. The coroner’s verdict was “suicide whilst temporarily insane”.

Edmund must have decided the law wasn’t for him and he became a schoolteacher instead. In short order, he found himself the head classics master at, arguably, the best grammar school in Hull. (As a Malet Lambert kid in the 1960s, I bowed the knee.)

It seems he didn’t wait long to answer his country’s call, enlisting in the front line 4th Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment, and serving as a Lieutenant.

He may have seen a great deal of action before he was killed on day two of the First Battle of the Scarpe. This engagement was one of several that are subsumed under a longer campaign, and it is “Arras” that can just be made out on the base of the family headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard.


There is some contextual detail about Edmund’s last battle here. A local newspaper reported some brief details of his life and death.


Edmund was accepted into the British army as Frederick Edward Granville SOUTHWELL. He is buried at Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun.

Edmund’s brother, Wilfrid, is remembered on the family stone, and on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres. I will attempt a post about him on the anniversary of his death in June.

The third soldier is Thomas Glaves JOHNSON who died this day, 1918, in “Plugstreet”.  For part of the war, Ploegsteert Wood was a relatively quiet area where wounded soldiers recovered from heavier fighting elsewhere. In April 1918, though, it became a battleground. Thomas served with the 4th Battalion South Staffordshires and you can read the Regiment’s War Diary entry for the 10th April here. More about Plugstreet here.

Over 11,000 soldiers are remembered on the Ploegsteert Memorial and have no known grave. Thomas may be one of very few killed nearby. One has to wonder why his body wasn’t recovered for burial.

He is remembered also on the broken family headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard.


also THOMAS GLAVES, son of the above T.H. AND M. JOHNSON, killed in the Great War, April 10th 1918, aged 19 years.

The SOUTHWELL brothers and Thomas are all represented on the FamilySearch Tree.

Edmund: LRR1-8K5

Wilfrid: LRR1-NC9

Thomas: L8R4-XHM




Photographer: A. T. Spencer, Hull, 1931


My mother fell 31 years short of receiving a birthday card from the Queen. She would have been 100 today. She is thirteen years old in the photograph above, masquerading as a French peasant girl. This seems rather faux as the theme of the gathering appears to be the promotion of British Empire produce.

My mother went to Lime Street School in Hull. A Board School built in 1879, it was blitzed in 1941 and subsequently demolished. The numbers and age range of the children suggest they may have all come from that one school for an end of academic year treat.

They are in the Oddfellows Hall, Charlotte Street. The names on the Honours Board at the back made place identification easy – if I’m correct in my deduction, that is.The framed portrait collection to the right celebrates Workers of the Centenary Year. (The Friendly Society was formed in 1810.)

My Pavlovian response to the names was, obviously, to see who I could find on FamilySearch Tree. James William WINDAS was hiding in plain sight. He was a yeast manufacturer.

1931_OddfellowsMum2_4mDoris Lockett left school at fifteen and worked in a grocer’s shop. My dad was a shop assistant too, but I can’t remember if their eyes met across a crowded stock room. In their late teens, they went on holiday to Blackpool, chaperoned by my grandmother, Ruth Anna. I think the photo below may have been taken there in 1937. I miss her but we meet occasionally in dreams and talk nonsense.



The Well-Behaved Embezzler

Eight years separated Henry SPINK and his wife Martha DOUGHTY but a few months after he reached his allotted span in 1858 Henry died. Martha followed suit in 1867.Mid-way between their passings, in December 1863, daughter Sarah Doughty died in London. She is remembered on her parents’ stone but was buried in South Hackney, London.


Sarah left six children, aged five up to 20, and a husband in Wakefield Jail. Convicted of embezzlement in April that year, he was transferred to Portland in the summer of 1864.

Sentences for embezzlement in Victorian Britain varied from less than a year with hard labour to 7 years or more – with transportation.

John Hendry NORTH was sentenced to 5 years penal servitude and because of the rocky nature of Portland, I expect there was a hard labour component. His quarterly reports indicate that his behavior as a prisoner ranged from Very Good to Exemplary, which may account for him marrying Frances Ann Elizabeth SHAILER almost a year before he was due for release.

His sentence may initially have been a stiff one because he stole a lot of boodle. He had worked for the Hull Banking Company for 20 years, “had always borne a good character” and confessed to the crime the moment he was challenged about “the deficiency”. He wrote the following memorandum to his employers:-

Sir, With great regret and sorrow, I beg to inform you that my cash account as assistant cashier to the Hull Banking Company is deficient to the extent of £3163 15s. 2d., which sums I have at various times surreptitiously extracted from the company’s cash drawer, which is under my charge and control, and applied to my own purposes, – Yours, &c., J. H. NORTH.

The purposes specified were “the education of his children, the support of his family, and to meet losses by railway speculations”. The sum taken is today worth from about £260,000 (real price of commodities) to £2.4 million (income value).

I wonder if Sarah or her parents had any suspicions. Martha’s death was registered in the same quarter as John Hendry North’s marriage to a woman 23 years his junior. I hope the old lady was unaware of his liaison, 250 miles or so away in the Great Wen.

In 1871 John’s occupation was given as “Verger of St Paul’s Church, Old Brentford”. Ten years later he declared himself a “Retired Banker’s Clerk”. Frances rose a little from Milliner and Dress Maker to Dress and Mantle Maker, giving board to two dressmakers, who were perhaps her employees.

John and Frances had two children, Arthur Guildford and Ethel. The few records I have accessed so far give no indication that the children from his first marriage played a part in his life after release from prison.

John had a presence on FST already. I have added his second wife and a few sources but there are quite a few duplicate IDs to merge.

Today at Speakers’ Corner

Tommy Robinson hasn’t made the BBC News web pages yet but amidst a certain amount of chaotic pushing, shoving and shouting he managed to read Martin  Sellner’s speech, as he had promised to do. As far as I could tell from the rough video footage available (as I write), nobody was hurt, and nobody was arrested. A hard-won victory for Free Speech then. Thanks be to God, Allah, the British police, the government – and all the people who turned up to listen and support ‘oor Tommy’.

Meanwhile, the BBC is informing its viewers/readers that the Russians are stockpiling chemical weapons in Syria. Boris Johnson says so. Chemical weapons will be deployed in Gouta soon, I expect. Russia and Assad will get the blame but the perpetrators will, more than likely, be the terrorists that the Syrian government is trying to remove from the country. Something the United States is doing its worst to prevent.  What a crazy world we live in.

Wonderful Amy


photo: Wikipedia

Amy JOHNSON died 77 years ago today when the Airspeed Oxford she was ferrying from Scotland to the south of England crashed in the Thames estuary.


I knew from an early age that she was special. The headmistress at Stoneferry Junior and Infants School told us about her friend and described some of her achievements as an aviatrix.

Listen to an affectionate praise song (30s style) and find the (incomplete) family on the FamilySearch Tree.

When the Census was taken in September 1939 Amy’s parents were living in Cardigan Road, Bridlington, and in 1958 they donated a collection of her trophies, mementos to Sewerby Hall.

Difficult Births, Problem Children

I mentioned a while ago that the discovery of the GRO Online Index had changed my research life. No more waiting until 1911 for Free BMD to begin offering the maiden surnames of mothers.

Taking a break from Filey people, I looked at some of my own folk a few days ago. I have two grandaunts, Annie and Daisy ELSOM, who married fellows called WARD. Charles Edward was born in 1882 and Dick in 1889, both in Hull. But, like the STORMs mentioned a few days ago, they were not related by blood.

Dick was the son of William Edward WARD and Lizzie King HODSON and the GRO Index readily served him up with eight siblings.

Lizzie’s birth family is a different story. I will try to keep this simple. A composite picture of the HODSONs can be stitched together from the three censuses – 1861 to 1881. There are eight children born to Henry Hawkesley HODSON and Elizabeth King HANN. A ninth, Emma, is revealed by the GRO Index to have arrived and departed midway between 1861 and 1871. There is a cuckoo in the nest in 1861 – Henry’s 9-year-old stepson “George J. DRUMMEY”, who subsequently disappears, possibly into the navy and across the pond to the United States.


The Census gives George’s birthplace as “Baston”, Lincolnshire. The GRO records him as George DEVANNEY, born December Qtr 1851 in Glanford Brigg, Mother’s Maiden Surname “KINGHAN”. (Barton upon Humber is in that registration district.) Elizabeth King HANN had married John DEVANNEY in Hull the previous year.

I have been unable to find a record of John’s death, but Elizabeth DEVANNEY marries Henry HODSON in Hull in 1860. A few months later they are at 3, John’s Place, St Mary Sculcoates, with George and three HODSON children – Ann Mary (age 5), Maria (3) and Harriet (0); mother’s maiden name for all three is HANN. Was Henry their father?

Lizzie King HODSON is the next child to happen along, in late 1863; birth registered in Driffield to mother DEVANNEY.


1865, Emma (KING)

1866, Charles (KING)

1868, Annie Helen (HANN)

1870, Harry (KING)

1873, Ada (DEVANNEY)

So, Elizabeth offered her maiden surname to the registrar for just four of her ten children (plus KINGHAN). Why she would give her first married name when registering her last child is a puzzle. Or at least it was until I dipped into Mark D. Herber’s Ancestral Trails and discovered that it wasn’t “a duty”  for those present at a birth to report it to a registrar at all until almost forty years after the civil registration system was established.  Hardly surprising, then, that in some parts of the country  15% of births were not registered between 1837 and 1875. (Neither was a registrar entitled to request sight of a marriage certificate or license.)

Parents misdirecting registrars in this way is a bit annoying – and it has a curious effect on Find My Past’s ability to deliver useful Hints. FamilySearch isn’t knocked out of its hint stride but there is some explaining to do when adding GRO sources to the World Tree. It took me the better part of two days to set up the Hodsons and Wards who were brought into my fold by grandaunt Daisy.

Elizabeth King HANN was already on FST but I had to create records for most of her children and WARD grandchildren. Other than Dick and Daisy’s son Reginald none of these people are related to me by blood, but I persevered because my headmistress at Stoneferry Junior & Infants in the 1950s was a Hodson, and a fellow pupil one Maurice Devanney, so I hoped to make connections! (I haven’t, yet.)