Oh! Brother

James MEDD was a widower when he married Jane Hannah FERGUSON at St Oswald’s. Both were residents in Filey for a while but shortly after their marriage, they travelled to the West Midlands to set up their first home.

William doesn’t make a convincing brother for James. The boy is one of several children James had with his first wife, Elizabeth YOUNG. James has several duplicate IDs on the Shared Tree and Jane is waiting to be attached to him. Despite her relative youth, Jane does not appear to have borne any children. They are a couple on the census nights of 1881 and 1891 in Hull. I think William married and had several children but I haven’t had time to follow his progress.

Filey Genealogy & Connections doesn’t usually lead me astray.

Annie had two older sisters and a brother. Firstborn Emma possibly greeted the arrival of Mary Elizabeth and Annie Jane – and wondered why they didn’t stay for long. She herself gave up on life when she was eight. Only brother John lived long enough to marry and replicate, but he appears from nowhere on the Shared Tree.

John Baron WYRILL is another child brought to Filey from a great distance to be baptised, for reasons I can’t fathom.

Jane GOFTON was a widow for a quarter of a century after her husband was killed by an express train. She met her maker thanks, in part, to a flock of sheep.

George KIRLEW’s male line goes back to the 16th century and his people didn’t stray far from Hemingbrough for generations. George married Sarah Ann I’ANSON (or JANSON) in 1899 and worked as a railway clerk. Widowed in 1936, he was living in Queen’s Terrace with single daughter Edith when the 1939 Register was taken. (Edith married George FARLING early in 1940.) George and Sarah Ann are buried in St Oswald’s churchyard. There isn’t a headstone.

Row 16 | 2005 Kirlew F168 | Kerb

In loving memory of SARAH A. KIRLEW, died Oct 9th 1936.

Also of her husband GEORGE KIRLEW, died Sep 18th 1941.

Crimlisk Survey 1977

Path 181 · Long Lane


John KILLINGBECK was baptized this day 1813 in Carlton by Snaith. He was the sixth child of Thomas and Leah née BRITAIN and the paternal line for several generations seems to have stayed within a small area south of Selby containing the hamlets and villages of Birkin, Camblesforth, Cawood, Drax, and Ryther.

By the age of 24 though, John had forsaken his Killingbeck heartland,  marrying Jane GOFTON in Filey and raising four children. Ellen, the twin of their youngest, George, survived for just a month, a loss that may have prompted them to move further up the coast for a while. At the 1851 census, John was working as a brickmaker in Whitby. Ten years later the parents were back in Filey but living alone at 19 Church Street. Their daughter Nancy had died in 1856 and the boys, Robert and George had gone to London to seek their fortunes. (I’m not sure yet what happened to firstborn Elizabeth.)

In 1871 John and Jane were living in Chapel Street, Filey. In 1881 Jane was a widow of 65 giving her occupation as ’needlewoman’. The enumerator would find her living alone at No.3 Chapel Street at the next two censuses.

John was killed by an express train on 31st March 1880, while crossing the railway line in Filey.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother report describes John as a “hale and hearty man” and said he was going over an occupation crossing. There is at least one of those in the town still but where John met his end there is now a metal fence, six feet or so high and spiked, with a warning that trespass will bring a £1,000 fine. I think “Victoria Gardens” may refer to the area of land now occupied by allotments and imagine John may have been heading home after doing some gardening. Today, that route would take him past Carlton Road. Whether or not that short street of houses existed back then it is a coincidence of sorts – the only benign one I can offer.


On the 21st May 1881, the Scarborough Mercury reported a “Sad Occurrence”.

On Thursday, the 12 inst., a telegram was received at Filey, stating that Mr. Robert Killingbeck, son of Mr. John Killingbeck, who was killed on the railway a little over a year ago in Filey, had committed suicide by cutting his throat. His friends know of no reason prompting him to commit the rash act.

Robert left behind, in Kensington, London, a wife and three children aged 11, 7 and three. I was sure I’d find a newspaper report of his suicide but several combinations of search terms yielded nothing – until this appeared:-


(In the original  paper these two snippets were not juxtaposed.)


In September 1905, about two months before her 90th birthday, Jane KILLINGBECK stepped off the pavement in Mitford Street was knocked down by a horse-drawn cart. She died the following day from shock and concussion to the brain. The coroner recorded her death as accidental; no blame was attached to the cartman, Thomas Edward STEVENSON – not the Charles Edward SIMPSON of the following report.


The reference to “the level crossing at Filey” is misleading if it calls to mind the present day Muston Road crossing. The 1880 reports clearly state that John was killed a quarter of a mile from the Station.

Another newspaper report records the fact that Jane was taken after the accident to her son George’s house in Station Road. The wanderer had returned and was with his mother when she died. A small mercy.


John and Jane’s headstone has lost some of the inscription. Here is the Crimlisk’s attempt from the 1970s:-

In Affectionate Remembrance of JOHN KILLINGBECK who was killed

by an express train at Filey March the 31st 1880 aged 68 years

(eroded section)

who died        1902  aged 89 years.

Jane’s date of death should be 19th September 1905. She was buried on the 22nd.

The KILLINGBECKs of the West Riding have an extensive pedigree on FST going back to the 16th century, while Kath’s FG&C brings the family into the Twentieth.