He Lived in a Pigsty

While searching for stories about Robert CAMMISH, owner of the yawl Jane Elizabeth I found this affecting snippet: –

1877_COLEMANjamesh_NEWS

Poor lad.

The COLEMAN family presented themselves neatly in the Filey censuses of 1861 and 1871. The seemingly horrible father hailed from Suffolk and the mother from Scotland. They married in Beverley, about 25 miles or so from Filey. All seven of their children were born in Filey, in Chapel Street or on Scarborough Road. On John’s agricultural labourer’s wages, life must have been a struggle. It isn’t really a surprise that everything fell apart when the mother, Jane, died the June quarter of 1876, aged 42. And a month after James’ court appearance, his older sister Caroline died at just twenty. Their father must have been in despair.

The family fragmented. When the census was taken in 1881, Thomas, 22, was working as a general labourer in Whitby; Isaac, 16, was living in Reighton; the younger sister, Esther, was lodging in Silver Head Street, Scarborough. The undersized boy who had lived with pigs, now 15, was apprenticed in Bridlington to blacksmith Charles DOOKS. I wonder how much bigger and stronger he’d grown! About six weeks before the census was taken, James was in court again, but I’m happy to report it was a case of a biter bit.

1881_COLEMANjshMaulson_NEWS

Five shillings then equates to about £25 now.

This is the last bit of information I’ve found concerning James. Unable to find a marriage or death registration for him makes me think that he may have emigrated. But his name surfaces in the Coleman family in 1897 when Isaac named the second child he has with Ada JACKSON after his little brother. After a spell in the army, with the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, Isaac married in 1894, was a “steelworker” in 1901 and a “general worker labourer” in 1911.

Isaac’s father, John, was at the wedding and “made his mark” in the parish register as a witness. Curiously, the mother’s maiden name on James Harris the Younger’s civil registration is CUSTANCE. I can’t explain this. The mother of Isaac’s other children is, as expected, JACKSON – except for a second John William, whose mother is also given as CUSTANCE. On the 1911 census form, John states that he and Ada had produced nine children in their 17 years of marriage, of whom two had died. These figures tally with the GRO Index of Births (and Deaths) – if the Custance children are included.

The Filey Colemans are present and correct in Filey Genealogy & Connections but were scattered about on the FamilySearch Tree. I made an effort today to bring them together. I have held back from connecting the father, John Harris COLEMAN, to his forebears because he is currently absent from the list of children born to Jeremiah and Sarah née HARRIS. There isn’t much doubt that he belongs there but I’m hoping “family” will check the records and add the Filey branch to the world tree.

A Coincidence Chain

I wrote about Robert Jenkinson WATKINSON  back in August, on the anniversary of his death in 1917 on the Western Front. Eight months before his birth, his father had been lost at sea off St Abbs Head, about 140 miles north of Filey. That family tragedy happened 126 years ago today.

Looking more closely into the event this morning, I soon discovered that Robert Jenkinson senior had not drowned from a fishing boat but from the SS Bear, Master J. HAWRIE. The cargo ship was carrying pig iron from Middlesbrough to Grangemouth and sank after a collision with SS Britannia. Twelve of her crew of 14 drowned. (Sources: Canmore and Wreck Site.)

1891_WATKINSONrobtjenk_Death

I wondered…

1866_WATKINSONrobtjenk_Baptism

Reverend Thomas was the incumbent at Filey for 42 years (1831-1873). He has a memorial window in St Oswald’s but the sources readily to hand only reveal him making a speech now and again and “solemnly dedicating” the first Hollon lifeboat. He perhaps wasn’t a hard act for Reverend Basil K. WOODD to follow.

Basil, remarkably, had something in common with Mrs. NORFOLK – they shared the middle name Kilvington. It isn’t immediately apparent that the two were related. Sarah’s maiden name was BARSTOW and she was born in Acomb, about 16 miles from Basil’s birthplace, Aldborough. (Although The Driffield Times notice says the Reverend JACKSON was “of Acomb” he appears to have been a native of Beverley.)

KILVINGTON, as a family name, is surely derived from a geographical location. It is very much a Yorkshire name but there is only South Kilvington in the county. Nottinghamshire has Kilvington – but not many people bearing the name in the 19th century.

Whatever, this coincidence seems to beg further investigation.

FamilySearch is, perhaps for the first time in my experience, rather unhelpful. The Reverend Thomas has several PIDs but only this one gives a reasonable starting point. Others give him the “wrong” spouse and somebody else’s children. The system seems to be culpable, rather than human contributors to the World Tree, but it is still a mess to be cleared up.

I promised in August to “expand” Robert Jenkinson WATKINSON the Younger’s family on FST but seem to have done next to nothing since then. There are not enough hours in the day!