Flight of Fancy 54 · Filey Militia

I don’t think the Yorkshire family NUTBROWN ever chose to live in Filey but the nine representatives in my database, and those they decided to marry, came quite close – to Reighton and Hunmanby for instance. FG&C  has birthday celebrant Ann Elizabeth marrying William Anderson RAYLOR in Bridlington in 1854 and I wanted to know what happened to them. It was an absolute pleasure to find on the Shared Tree so many Nutbrown forebears, Raylor descendants – and Ann reaching a great age.

Kate Mary LONG, sadly, didn’t make it to her eighth birthday. She was baptised at Filey St Oswald’s and buried nearby.

Row 20 | 1433 Long D230

‘Suffer little children to come unto Me’

‘K M L’

In loving memory of KATE MARY LONG, daughter of WILLIAM GEO. & HANNAH LONG, who died Oct 22nd 1877, aged 7 years.

‘When the archangel’s trump shall sound

And souls to bodies join

Millions will wish their life on earth

Has been as short as thine’

Crimlisk Survey 1977

Mary Elizabeth SKERRY was the daughter of James (AP 407 · death · 9 March) and sister of Robert (AP 1585 · birth · 17 September). Neither she nor her husband Robert DOBSON has met their maker on the Shared Tree. Some years older than her spouse, Mary died on the Wirral in 1914, aged 85. Robert appears to have crossed the Mersey after Mary’s passing. His death was registered in Liverpool in 1923. He was 87. During his sojourn in Filey, he was a wine and spirit merchant in Murray Street and on census night 1871 was sheltering both James and Robert Skerry. See Playing Catch-up.

John RUDDOCK is the father of John junior (AP 461 · death · 18 March). He has a low profile on the Shared Tree. FG&C says he was born in Pickering on Christmas Day 1776 to unknown parents and married Ann WILTON in Hinderwell on 5 January 1796. Ann is also without parents and John junior is her only known child. John senior died in Whitby and was buried there on 26 September 1831. I have not checked these details.

The Shared Tree offers a probate source for William WHEELER’s death on 27 July 1863. FG&C reckons today is the anniversary of his burial.

FG&C also takes issue with his wife being Mary WALKER, born Riby in Lincolnshire in 1799. It goes instead for Mary DENT, born Riby in 1802. Mary Wheeler was a boatman’s widow in 1871 when she is with her daughter Eliza and son-in-law John ROSS. The enumerator says she is 69 and her birthplace is Riby. She died the following year.


1694 Filey · Birth  Ryther is a small village between Tadcaster and Selby, about fifty miles south-west of Filey. It is the birthplace of Thomas KILLINGBECK, a second great grandfather to John of that ilk whose life ended violently in Filey. Some Filey Killingbecks have London connections but, on a whim, I Googled “Killingbeck Ryther” and this was the top hit –

What larks! Birthday Thomas is one of Ellen’s older brothers. (That’s if you believe Helena Wray could have been 52 when she gave birth to her last child.)

The new ancestor discovery page has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a fun family activity or detailed information about an ancestor’s life.


On the brink, we should all grab some fun when it is offered, but you will need to have a free account at FamilySearch to follow the links on Ellen’s page. Even then, you won’t be able to navigate to the above-mentioned John. His connection back in time currently breaks at grandfather George, brother of Thomas born 1758. I will recall the anniversary of John’s death on the last day of this month but, if you can’t wait, read about his passing here.

Returning to Birthday Thomas – the records indicate he was baptised on his second day of life. Perhaps he wasn’t expected to live. Well, he married Mary FOWLER on May Day 1725 and their only child (found thus far) made the later move of some Killingbecks to Filey possible.

1804 Filey · Baptism  Rachel HOTHAM married a sailor, Robert WILLIS in 1835 when she was 31 years old. They had two children. I am not sure what happened to firstborn Sarah but in 1871 their son William was living with them in Church Stree. He was 35, single and working as a carter, but less than two months later, he married Emily GRANGER at St Oswald’s, Both couples are remembered on this headstone –

(Rachel’s younger sister, Nancy, beat her to the altar, marrying Robert Willis’s younger brother, John.)

1818 Filey · Marriage  Sally THEAKER, born in Staithes, also married a mariner at St Oswald’s but Richard RICHARDSON left her a widow in 1834 when she was just forty years old. He is buried in the churchyard, in an unmarked grave – unless Sarah is buried with him. There is plenty of room on her stone for him to be remembered.

1863 Filey · Death John RUDDOCK was also born in Staithes but before he settled in Filey he went with Commander PARRY to the Arctic.

Landscape 152 · Cleveland Way

Near Robin Hood’s Bay 54.397819, -0.480368

With Parry to the Arctic

JohRUDDOCK_ParryVoyage2A gathering of  Filey folk 158 years ago demonstrated the esteem the town had for John RUDDOCK. They were most appreciative of his efforts for the Lifeboat Service and his support for the Harbour of Refuge scheme, but a newspaper report of the event didn’t mention his two adventures in the frozen North with Commander PARRY. I like to think he may be one of the men shown playing cricket on the ice, him being a Yorkshireman and all. (Inset picture: HMS Fury and Hecla in winter quarters near Igloolik,1822-23. Frontispiece to vol. 1 of Parry’s account, ‘Journal of a second voyage for the discovery of a North-West Passage…’ [BL: G.7394]; see Farthest North Cricket and other Arctic sports).

I wrote about John in a Looking at Filey post – Arctic Dreams. He married widow Mary Ann Dunn née RICHARDSON when he was 32 years old and the couple doesn’t appear to have had any children. They have limited pedigrees on Filey Genealogy & Connections and the FamilySearch tree.