Migrating Birds

Robert BIRD ran a successful business as a tailor and woollen draper in Queen Street, Filey, for a quarter of a century or more. He seems to have had only two children with Ruth nee POSGATE; Mary Jane born in 1835 and Samuel Robert who arrived twelve years later. Both were with their parents when the 1861 census was taken. Mary Jane married in 1864 and built a nest with Alfred STATHERS. Robert retired from business not long afterwards and flew south to London where the enumerator found him in Hungerford Road, Islington, with Ruth and Samuel Robert, 24, who was working as a junior clerk in the Public Record Office. The trio had a lodger, a commercial traveller in the woollen trade called Adolph WEPPLER, who had been blown across the German Ocean by the winds of fate. The live-in servant, Elizabeth STATHERS, aged 40 and unmarried, was most probably Mary Jane Bird’s sister in law.

The older Birds may have tired of the Great Wen because ten years later they are enumerated in Westcott, just outside Dorking. They are living at The Lodge – and I want to believe they had a few contented years in this small property –

Nowadays, you would have to hand over about £600,000 to acquire ownership but, hey, it is only a couple of hundred metres from Nirvana Cycles.

Robert died in January 1885 and the homing instinct in Ruth was too strong to keep her in Surrey. She is buried in Filey – and her stone remembers Robert. I have put a photograph of it on the Shared Tree.

Path 127 · Headland Way

to Speeton Sands

Bird Watching

There are about sixty representatives of the family BIRD in Filey Genealogy & Connections but only three are remembered in St Oswald’s churchyard. One is Ann, who reached the grand age of eighty. I photographed her stone this morning.

The dedication to “our dear mother” suggests there were two or more children to mourn her loss. Ann did not marry and there are birth registrations for two girls, in 1867 and 1870, that could be her daughters. Ann Mary the First died before her first birthday. Ann Mary the Second was 9 months old when the 1871 census was taken, living with her mother and grandfather Thomas Bird in Murray Street. Thomas, a butcher and a baker, died in 1876. In 1881 mother and daughter are again found in Murray Street, with Ann senior described as a confectioner.

I don’t know what happened to Ann Mary after 1881 but Ann is living alone in Providence Place, working as a charwoman, in 1891, 1901 and 1911.

Ann Bird’s presence on the Shared Tree is minimal.

And so is her father’s –

Thomas had seven children with Ann BRUMPTON, and he was one of nine children born to Robert Bird and Elisabeth (or Elizabeth) JOHNSON. Most of these Bird children can be spotted on the Shared Tree, all but two of them unconnected to any of their siblings. I will attempt to bring them all together over the next few days but I will have a score of merges to do and at least five Bird descendant families to deal with.

Measure of Man 54 · Filey Promenade

A Request…

…for a headstone photograph arrived from Find a Grave a few days ago that I was able to  claim. God’s Acre in Hunmanby is close to a bus route and I made the short journey yesterday. As I searched for the target, I took the opportunity to photograph the war graves and a few memorials bearing familiar family names. I was pleased to find the Five Angels.

Having fulfilled the FaG order, I have just added the CAMPBELL family stone as a memory on FamilySearch. The three remembered were adrift on the Shared Tree but Agnes Octavia had a duplicate ID that facilitated connection to a well-populated pedigree that will take you back to the 15th century.

Bird 96 · Chaffinch♀

Still Missing

Four days into the year and it is clear that I have little hope of reaching my target of putting a profile a day on Wiki Tree (with a Filey churchyard headstone photo attached.) Six months ago (21 July) I pointed out the “bad marriage” of Ann TAYLOR to Richard MARSHALL. A contributor to the family has given Ann her rightful husband so that I can now honor the sacrifice of their grandson, Thomas CLARK, who went missing on the Western Front in July 1917. The work involved in preparing for his memorial to be put on FamilySearch and Wiki Tree has taken several days – mainly because links appeared to several previously unrecorded family units.

I put the stone remembering Thomas on the Shared Tree as a memory this morning and will attempt to create his Wiki Tree profile tomorrow.

On 19 July last year I wrote briefly about Thomas, owning up to not finding a record of his death on the Commonwealth Graves website. I have searched again but his disappearance is still a mystery. He has been confused online with a Thomas CLARKE who went missing in action in July 1918. His body was recovered and he is remembered at Pernes British Cemetery in the Pas de Calais – but his parents lived in Leicester, so he is almost certainly not our Thomas (the provided Filey connections notwithstanding).

Edmund, Ann Taylor’s younger brother, crossed the Pennines and married in Lancashire. His son James emigrated to Canada and some of his descendants (the children of Brian Taylor) traveled on to New Zealand. My thanks to Joan for this information – and for making it easy for me to add the remembrance of Thomas to the pedigree.

Townscape 65 · Scarborough

South Bay

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…