The Donkin Sisters

Ten days ago, in Every Two Years,I wrote –

There is much still to do. Matthew [HALLAM] must be given his first two wives and Jane junior’s bereft husband (not yet named above) finds a second wife close to home.

Visit Matthew and click Mary Cooper’s caret and his first two wives are revealed. You will see in the screenshot above that the husband of Jane and Florence Mary appears twice.

I surmised last week that Jane may have died in childbirth and later discovered that her death was registered in the same quarter as John Robert Carter, her first and only child. The boy’s father, James Robert, waited almost six years before marrying Jane’s younger sister, Florence Mary.

The enumerator in 1901 found James working as a Foreman on a Carnaby farm. He was 29 years-old, single, and married Jane towards the end of 1904. She was 17, making the age gap between them fifteen years. When widower James married Florence, he was 19 years her senior.

History repeated itself, sadly, when James’ first child with Florence died within a few months. The couple had set up home in Octon, and with them on census night was George Allen Donkin, Florence’s youngest brother (described as “a relative”).

Just before the Second World War began, the 1939 Register located James and Florence at Castle House in Hunmanby.

Castle House Farm, Hunmanby

Photo credit: cc-by-sa/2.0 © Martin Dawes – geograph.org.uk/p/4812217

This is the house in which John William Donkin, elder brother of Jane and Florence, was born two days before Christmas, 1880. Fifty-nine years later, Jane Donkin nee Hallam was head of the household – at the age of 83.

Jane Elizabeth Carter was also at Castle House in 1939. The third daughter of James and Florence, she would marry James SEAMAN two years later. I have not been able to determine if James was born in Selby in 1916 or Pocklington in 1923. A husband nine years younger has a certain appeal – but he had the middle name William and the civil marriage record settles for plain James.

It is John William, born in Castle House, who is buried in St Oswald’s churchyard, Filey.

The parish register gives 10 Mariner’s Terrace as the last address of John and Ada.

10 Mariner’s Terrace photographed this afternoon

Water 32 · Martin’s Ravine

Every Two Years

Here are some of the rough ideas I have about human reproduction in Victorian Britain:-

The average age of women marrying for the first time was 25 (a year older for men).

The average woman therefore had about 20 years in which to deliver an average of 5 or 6 children.

The average rate of child production is one every 2 to 3 years.

The average woman buried 2 of her infants.

Jane HALLAM (yesterday’s post) was atypical on every count.

She married John DONKIN when she was seventeen. He was six years older. She gave birth to 8 children and watched four die in their first year. Twenty-three years passed between the birth of her first child and the last (when she was 41 years old), giving her a reproduction rate of a child every 2.9 years. What the crude figures don’t show is that Jane was an erratic bearer of children. When she married she was pregnant with Mary Jane. The child’s death was registered in the quarter following her birth. Six years would pass before John William was born and six more went by before Jane junior appeared. Feed these facts into the FamilySearch Tree “system” and “possible missing children” warnings are triggered.

I don’t think I have missed any children. Jane was 55 years-old in 1911 and she told the enumerator that she’d had eight children and five had died. Jane junior is the one who reached adulthood, briefly. Just like her mother, she married at seventeen but died two years later, in childbirth perhaps. I have found the birth registrations of all eight children (under variants of the Hallam name) and although I haven’t “killed off” Florence Mary yet it seems she made old bones, as did the other two survivors.

Out of curiosity, I trawled through Filey Genealogy & Connections looking for couples with eight children and calculated their “R numbers”. The results should not be taken too seriously.

The length of time taken to bring eight children into the Filey community varied from 10 to 25 years, yielding R numbers from 1.3 to 3.1. There are 20 couples in the sample and three had the “perfect score” of 2.0 – a child every two years, as regular as clockwork. In the course of the exercise I noticed a super-reproducer (no names no pack drill). Nineteen children in 22 years for an R number of 1.2. At least ten babies died but the mother reached the age of 74. She was, however, a stranger with only a tenuous connection to Filey.

I have made some progress on the Shared Tree today.

There is much still to do. Matthew must be given his first two wives and Jane junior’s bereft husband (not yet named above) finds a second wife close to home.

Wave 40 · Steamy

Filey Bay

Good Neighbours

A couple of days ago I began searching for the forebears of John William DONKIN and Ada Isabella CAMMISH. They are buried in St Oswald’s churchyard.

John’s mother, Jane HALLAM, was the second of four girls born to Matthew, a Hunmanby fishmonger, and his third wife Mary COOPER. Matthew was 63 years old when he married Mary and 67 when Jane arrived in 1856. Mary was, of course, much younger than her husband – about 36 when she gave birth to Jane.

When Jane was just over a year old, the odd couple helped a young woman in distress. With other kind-hearted folk, they gave shelter and food to Betsy LYNES, shut out by her parents. I think Betsy was illegitimate, so perhaps a wicked stepfather was involved.

Three years after this sad event, the Hallam’s third child, Sarah, died aged eighteen months. A few weeks later, they buried six year old Elizabeth. In the summer of 1862 Anne Elizabeth joined the family. I have not yet discovered how long she stayed but Jane would live to see the first year or so of the Second World War.

Three of the four girls are on the FamilySearch Shared Tree but have yet to be brought together. Here is Jane –

Over the next few days, I hope to give Matthew his first two wives, and Jane her husband and their eight children.

(The doctor who carried out the postmortem on Betsy subsequently poisoned his wife and mother in law, deeds for which he was hanged on 28 July 1865.)

Mark of Man 55 · Coble Landing

Chalets and Tractor

A Bad Marriage

The paternal grandmother of Thomas CLARK, Sunday’s missing soldier, is Ann TAYLOR. On the FamilySearch Shared Tree she is married to Richard MARSHALL.

Ann has three sources: christening in 1838, 1851 census and civil marriage in 1856. Richard just has the marriage source; his parents are not given. That he is apparently eight years older than Ann isn’t much of a caution, but the bride being just eighteen should give pause. In Britain in the mid-19th century, both sexes could marry legally at puberty. Fourteen for males, twelve for females. Parental permission to marry was required if the parties were below “full age” (21). Widely accepted advice was for young women to wed between the ages of 21 and 25 and the average age at marriage for both sexes  in Victorian Britain was around 25.

Hindsight (after much research) is a wonderful thing, but let us begin the search for Ann’s Mr. RIGHT by accepting her birth in Bridlington in 1838 and that she was from a good, settled family that followed social norms. A simple query of Free BMD marriages in East Yorkshire between 1859 and 1863 gives just one result.

Bingo! A likely contender for Private Clark’s grandfather.

Expanding the search two years each way adds one other East Yorkshire “hit”.

The bad marriage.

Ann’s 1851 census source confirms that her father is Francis Taylor, as shown on the Shared Tree. The father of Ann who married first is another man.

It would be interesting to know if this John Taylor was a witness at the marriage of “our” Ann to William Clark.

I think this is evidence enough to end the Shared Tree bad marriage and unite Ann with her soldier grandson. A task for tomorrow perhaps. (I should point out that William is already represented on the Shared Tree with “Anne” and one child.)

I tried to discover what happened to Richard and Ann but their trail went cold after the birth of their first child.

William Clark had eight children with his Ann and when the 1911 census was taken he is living in Bickerton near Wetherby with daughter Sarah Ann, a Farm Manager’s wife. But William, now 74, is a widower and I don’t know yet when or where Ann died. William’s life ended in the Workhouse but not, it seems, sadly.

Insect 26 · Soldier Beetles

Rhagonycha fulva, Muston Cliffs

Missing

I have spent most of the past three days gathering scores of sources so that I can put several families in order. I found them in disarray on the FamilySearch Shared Tree – scattered, some with missing children and others with cuckoos in their nests. What they have in common are roots elsewhere but descendants buried in St Oswald’s churchyard – or lost in a foreign field.

In treasured memory of my beloved parents, SARAH ANN CLARK, died 11th Sept 1950 aged 55.

THOMAS CLARK missing on active service in 1917 aged 24.

And my Grandparents, KATE LANE died 26th May 1926, aged 69,

ROBERT LANE, died 18th Dec 1932, aged 76.

‘Reunited’

Thomas was born in Hunmanby in 1893 to James Taylor CLARK and Maria nee HUMPHREYS. In 1911 he is with his parents in Bridlington Street, working as a “letter carrier” (over-written “postman” on the census form). James, a joiner and wheelwright, writes that he is father to six children, four of whom are living. I found seven registrations and three deaths. Two children died within a few days of birth without receiving first names.

Thomas married Sarah Ann Jenkinson LANE in St Oswald’s, Filey, at the end of July 1915, and their only child was born in early spring the following year. I don’t know when he volunteered for the army (or was conscripted), or in which regiment he served. His name is on the War Memorial  in Murray Street but not on the plaque in St Oswald’s, where regiments are indicated.

Dan Eaton offers this information on his Angelfire website:-

Reported MIA 20 Jul 1917 and was a joiner and wheelwright by trade. Had a wife and a daughter. Pte. Clark’s body was not found until the end of the war, and he was then pronounced deceased.

On the day he was reported missing, 623 allied servicemen died. A close reading of the list might offer clues to his unit and where he went missing. I have not found him on the CWGC website. The stone in St Oswald’s churchyard may be his only memorial.

Found Object 39 · Comforter

Fir Tree Drive

Another Guesswork Wife

The mother of the Sellers boys (yesterday’s post) is Sarah McLAREN on Filey Genealogy & Connections. This Sarah is given the same dates and children as Sarah WILSON, the rightful wife of Robert senior.

The McLarens offer wider horizons than the Wilsons. This isn’t immediately apparent if you have clicked the link to Sarah M. Three other children of David McLaren and Jane SMURFOOT married, but it is Hannah who connects to several Filey families with interesting, though not extensive, pedigrees. She married into the BRAMBLES, which lead to COULTAS and WATKINSON. And one Thomas COULTAS married a Sarah Jane SELLERS, born only two years or so before a daughter given the same name by Robert Sellers and Sarah Wilson. Most of these connections appear to be reliable.

I wondered this morning who Sarah McLAREN married, if anyone, and was surprised to find her contributing to future generations on the Shared Tree.

Although FG&C has again been found wanting with a guesswork wife fail, Kath offers more people in these families than FST. I will add as many as I can, as and when…

Little Maggie and Her Great Aunt Richard

I have not been able to find Maggie in public records. Perhaps the only evidence of her short stay on earth is the inscription on a St Oswald’s gravestone.

20190806MaggieLittleChild

Her parents, William ALDEN and Mary Elizabeth AGARS, had four children together. The last, Lilian Wilhelmina, was born after her father’s death. Mary Elizabeth, four years a widow, wrote on the 1911 census form that she had been married for fourteen years and had given birth to four living children. Two had subsequently died.

The births of four children can be found in the GRO Index. For a reason that probably nobody knows, first-born Hester may have been remembered after her death as Maggie.

G172_ALDENwm_20180501_fst

In loving memory of WILLIAM EDWIN, the dearly loved child of WILLIAM and MARY E. ALDEN of Gristhorpe, who died Aug 8th 1901 aged 13 months.

Also MAGGIE their little child who died in infancy.

‘Suffer little children to come unto Me’

Also of WILLIAM ALDEN, dearly beloved husband of MARY E. ALDEN

of Gristhorpe, died Sep 12th 1906, aged 37 years.

‘Gone from memory to…’

The AGARS are well represented on the FamilySearch Tree but I had to add Mary Elizabeth to the six children of William and Mary. She lived below the census radar, being with her grandparents in 1871 and working ten years later in the service of Registered Physician and Surgeon Alexander BREDON.

Little Richard appears in the Find My Past transcription of the 1851 household of gardener John AGARS.

AGARSrichard

Any consternation is quickly dispelled (?) by the page image –

AGARSrachel

A foul but no harm is done, though one occasionally finds someone on the Shared Tree for whom the only evidence is just one census household of uncertain veracity.

We know what Maggie’s great aunt Rachel looked like. She was 45-years-old when Maggie made her brief appearance, I wonder if they met.

If, dear reader, the name Alden rings a bell – I posted four times about the family in May. The past rolls up like a carpet behind me. I’d forgotten!

24 The Impossible Wife, 27 Cant, 28 A Missing Marriage, 29 Just Williams.

 

Another Tale of Two Sisters

Catherine and Selina TOCK were born to George and Ann née PARISH  in Burringham, Lincolnshire.

By the age of 25, Catherine, now “Kate”, had moved just five miles from her birthplace to work as a housekeeper to William CAMPBELL at Ashby Grange. The farm’s 250 acres would later be swallowed up by industrial Scunthorpe. It took employer and employee four years or so to decide that they should marry. Two more years passed and Kate had to to say a final farewell. William is remembered in Filey churchyard, on a stone that is very slowly falling backwards.

G768_CAMPBELLcath_20190724_fst

In loving memory of CATHERINE, widow of WILLIAM CAMPBELL, late of Ashby Grange, Lincolnshire, who died April 21st 1894 aged 59 years.

Kate took on the running of the farm and although she didn’t have a child of her own, the house rang with a little girl’s voice in 1871. Her niece, Kate Edith HOCKNELL, 4, was there on census night, having crossed the Humber from her home in Hull. (Both were recorded as “Catherine” by the enumerator.)

Little Kate was the daughter of a third Tock sister, Jane (sometimes Alice Jane), who may have been responsible for encouraging the other two to move to Yorkshire. She married John HOCKNELL in Hull in 1864.

Selina crossed over the river soon afterwards, marrying Robert Lamplough BROWN in Bridlington in 1866. Family history repeated itself. She buried him two years later.

As she grew older Kate seems to have gone back to being Catherine. She continued to farm at Ashby Grange but in 1881 held only 142 acres, the address now “South Grange”. Ten years later, and a widow still, she was living in Melville Terrace, Filey, with Selina. The youngest of the Tock sisters was a widow for the second time. About ten years after her first husband died she had married William HALL. In 1881 he farmed 262 acres near Hunmanby and the household included his son with Selina, John Hall (1), and “son in law”, George Hudson Brown, (14).

William died in North Burton in 1890 and a year later Selina had moved to Filey. I don’t know for sure if the two sisters lived together for the four years remaining to Catherine but at some point, Selina left Filey. I haven’t discovered her whereabouts in 1901 but in 1911 she was with a son, Thomas, in  Southport, Lancashire. (After John’s arrival in 1880 Selina had given birth to three more sons as regularly as tockwork, each June Quarter until 1884.) Thomas, 29, worked as a Grocer’s Assistant. I can only find one death registration that fits Selina – in 1921 in Ormskirk Registration District, which includes Southport within its boundaries,. She was 79 years old.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Melville Terrace this afternoon

Love’s Old Dream

I don’t have the figures to prove it, but I have long thought that farmers and their offspring marry late. Later than around age 23 for women and 25 for men, that is.

In 1851, William SMITH was farming 160 acres just outside Hunmanby. The census declares he employed 4 indoor and 4 outside servants. His household comprised wife Sarah née POOL, three unmarried daughters between the ages of 34 and 38, his only son Robert, 30, his 70-year-old unmarried sister Ann, four farm labourers, a shepherd and one female house servant.

William was 27 when he married Sarah. Robert, their only son, waited until his 46th year before making an honest woman of Zillah Agar SUGGIT and farming in Filey at Church Cliff.

Three of Robert’s five sisters married and the last to tie the knot was Mary when she was 56 years old. Her husband, Matthew STAINTHORPE, was nine years older. The church register indicates that neither had been married before.

Matthew was some sort of gentleman. About six months after the wedding a census enumerator gave his occupation thus: –

STAINTHORPEgent

Ten years earlier, he had been a butler to Grace Trumbull at Hunmanby Hall, a large country house with a live-in staff of eleven, eight of them unmarried women. Male companionship for Matthew was provided by a groom and a page, aged 24 and 16.

In 1861, possibly no more than a five-minute walk from the Hall, Mary, a Farmer’s Assistant, was living at Rose Cottage with her 19-year-old niece, Elizabeth HOOPER.

After the wedding in 1870, Matthew moved into Rose Cottage with Mary, but he had to share the property with sister in law, Sarah SMITH, 61. He didn’t quite make it to the 1881 census when the enumerator found Mary at Howe Farm, just outside Hunmanby, with sister Sarah and a servant, Anna POOL, possibly a relative.

Mary was a wife for just over nine years and a widow for 22. She died aged 89 in the summer of 1902.

Find the old married couple on FamilySearch Tree.