Re-arranged Marriages

A few days ago I messaged a contributor to the FamilySearch Shared Tree,and with David’s help the problematic PARROTT families have been reconciled.

Tom Parrott of Hemswell has had his marriage to Susannah GRAVES annulled and he is now happily married to Minnie HIDER. On the 1911 census form he stated that ten children had been born in the previous 25 years, of whom three had died.

The sudden emptiness in Susannah’s life was instantly filled by marriage to Tom PARRATT (sic) of Donington on Bain. I think David has already added to their family.

Because of the distant connection to Filey, through Emily Etta, I did a bit more work today on her father George, finding the marriage of his parents in Northorpe, a few miles from Hemswell.   George’s mother was 38 years old when she married and may have had a daughter with much younger Thomas Parrott before they tied the knot. I haven’t put Mary on the Shared Tree because I couldn’t find sources for her birth or baptism.

George and Elizabeth VICKERS have possible duplicate IDs linked to the baptism sof a daughter Elizabeth (MJB9-8QF) on 18 May 1859. Brother Tom was baptised on the same day, and firstborn sibling Sarah Elizabeth in May two years earlier. Alas, I haven’t been able to find a birth source for Elizabeth – and Sarah Elizabeth reaching adulthood and marrying puts a questionmark over Elizabeth and Tom being twins. I haven’t found little Elizabeth in census or death records either, so have not made the merge. Perhaps a descendant will find these Parrotts and offer a solution to this small mystery.

I took George Woodward Parrott from the other couple called George and Elizabeth but made up the loss by contributing other children and sources. Neither parent has ancestors on the Shared Tree, and only two grandchildren so far from their four girls and five boys. There’s plenty of work there for others to do!

Mark of Man 65 · Whitby Abbey

Rose window, north transept

A Confusion of Parrotts, Part 2

The parents of Emily Etta PARROTT have this minimal presence on the FamilySearch Shared Tree – but it is something I can build on over the next few days.

Making George Woodward Parrott the fruit of a union that had not yet formed is puzzling.

But I can make mistakes too and I must own up to tentatively marrying Emily’s brother Tom to one Annie SMITH, in Caistor in 1879. It was only the discovery of him at Thonock Hall in 1881 that has saved my blushes. He was an usher, servant to Elizabeth, Lady BACON. Also “living in” at the Hall was Minnie HIDER, a kitchen maid born in Belgravia, London. I had seen their names linked earlier in Free BMD Marriages. They married in St George’s Hanover Square in 1885. Their first two children were born in London but the family then moved back to the Parrott heartland. The births of their next eight children were registered in Gainsborough.

Minnie has a FamilySearch ID [LK4R-W1M] but her husband-to-be is otherwise engaged, so to speak.

The Tom Parrott tied up with Susannah GRAVES has a Hemswell baptism source attached and two census sources giving his birthplace in Donington on Bain, over twenty miles away. I must somehow free Hemswell Tom from this illicit marriage and give Donington Tom his real parents.

PARRATT, TOM, Mother’s Maiden Surname: POTTS. GRO Reference: 1858 S Quarter in LOUTH Volume 07A Page 501.

As for the third Tom who married Annie Smith… I think I’ll let him go. I have more than enough to do.

Stone 25 · Gravestone

A Confusion of Parrotts, Part 1

Reviewing my current list of “Stone People” this morning, I noticed that Emily Etta PARROTT was in need of a FamilySearch Tree ID.

This memory of her probably brings a smile to most people who notice the stone by the west wall of the churchyard.

Born in Upton, Lincolnshire, she was with Mary Elizabeth in Filey when the census was taken in 1901. They offered lodging to visitors at 4 Rutland Street.

Photographed this afternoon

That year, Emily was 27 and Mary 32. Some of Mary’s forebears were established in Filey before the end of the 16th century and it would be interesting to know how she formed such a strong bond with the daughter of an agricultural labourer from the other side of the Humber. The two women appear to have lived together to the end of their days, Mary departing first aged 91 and Emily following about fifteen months later.

About three years ago I found Emily’s parents on the Shared Tree, their record associated with the christening of their first child in 1856. Looking today for a more substantial pairing I happened upon Emily’s older brother George Woodward Parrott. Five years separate them, and both were born in Upton – but although they should have the same biological mother, George has been placed with  Elizabeth nee DOWLE.

This Elizabeth’s husband George died in 1911; “just Elizabeth”, mother of Sarah Elizabeth and Emily Etta, buried her George in 1885. The GRO Births Index shows her maiden surname.

PARROTT, Sarah Elizabeth, Mother’s Maiden Surname: VICKERS. GRO Reference: 1857 J Quarter in GAINSBOROUGH Volume 07A Page 629.

PARROTT, George Woodward, Mother’s Maiden Surname: VICKERS. GRO Reference: 1868 S Quarter in GAINSBOROUGH Volume 07A Page 713.

PARROTT, Emily Etty (sic), Mother’s Maiden Surname: VICKERS. GRO Reference: 1873 D Quarter in GAINSBURGH (sic) Volume 07A Page 722.

The confusion doesn’t end here. The eldest brother of Sarah, George and Emily – Tom – is correctly pinned on the Shared Tree with his christening source but he has been married to the wrong woman and misplaced geographically in 1881 and 1891.

This will take some sorting out. I hope to offer my “workings” in Confusion Part 2 tomorrow.

PARROTT, Tom, Mother’s Maiden Surname: VICKERS. GRO Reference: 1859 J Quarter in GAINSBOROUGH Volume 07A Page 627.

Abstract 75 · Iron Stone

Seawall, Filey Sands

Birds of a Feather

John BIRD, born in Hunmanby towards the end of the eighteenth century, waits for ancestors on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. He married Mary LOWSON in 1828 and they brought three children into the world. After the appearance of John junior in Hunmanby, the family moved to Gateforth near Selby where Mary Elizabeth and Richard William were born.

John married at the age of 24, Richard at 32 – and Mary when she was 52 years old. Her husband, John MABBOTT, was about eight years her senior and had been married twice before. He was described in censuses variously as a Herbalist, Patent Medicine Dealer, Seedsman and Druggist but seems to have started out as a Smith (1861 census). In 1891 they were living in Hope Street, Filey, most probably at No.14.

2 May 2021

Two years later, after not quite ten years of marriage, John died, leaving Mary to a widowhood that would last for 23 years.

The more odd one imagines a couple to have been, the more one wonders how their paths crossed.

John was born in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, but a less than clear census record places him in Chorlton, Lancashire with an illegible occupation and a wife called Emma. Their ages are not given but a number of later sources indicate an unhappy marriage. They may have had just one child, a daughter Elizabeth who didn’t make it to a second birthday. On census night in 1861, John is a lone visitor, claiming to be married, at the home of a handloom weaver in Warrington. Some miles away, Emma Mabbott is a lodger in the Chorlton home of an elderly couple, John and Elizabeth BERRY. She tells the enumerator she is a widow. Whatever her true status, she died two years later, aged 37.

John gave up metal working and turned to selling drugs. There is no evidence that he did business with Openshaw druggist Abraham MASON but seven years after Abraham’s death in 1863, John married the widow Mason. Ruth (nee GREEN) had given birth to Abraham’s eleven children but John became stepfather to just three of them. Seven children had died in their first year of life and the eighth, Sarah, in her second. In 1881, eleven years into the marriage, John and Ruth, given ages 57 and 56, were enumerated at 80, Ashton Old Road, Openshaw.

Meanwhile, over the Pennines in Yorkshire…

In 1851, Mary Elizabeth worked as a Bonnet Maker from the home of her parents in Selby. Her father, schoolmaster John, died in 1855 and by 1861 Mary Elizabeth had become a teacher in the the “family school”. (Her mother was described as “School Mistress” at this census.)

Both of Mary Elizabeth’s brothers had forsaken Yorkshire for the red rose county and in 1871, aged 39 and described as a “Governess”, she was living in Manchester with younger brother Richard William, his wife Mary (nee WEBSTER) and their two infant daughters. John Mabbott was living with Ruth and her children Amos (16) and Martha (12) less than a mile away. Mary Elizabeth, “formerly Governess”, was back in Yorkshire in 1881, sharing 14 Hope Street with her cousin Mary Bird, a single woman aged 75 and the illegitimate daughter of Elizabeth Bird. Elizabeth was born in Hunmanby in 1783, making her a likely older sibling of schoolmaster John. Mary died shortly after the census was taken. One now has to suspect that Mary Elizabeth had met John Mabbott when she lived for a while in Openshaw, or perhaps he was a friend of her brother, Richard William. Whatever, eighteen months after the death of his second wife Ruth, John Mabbott married Mary Elizabeth in Selby Abbey and they settled into the little house on Hope Street. He was enumerated there in 1891 as a “Retired Druggist” and died two years later, in July 1893 aged 70.

Richard William returned to Yorkshire and in 1901 he was farming at Burn, near Selby – and widow Mabbott was visiting him on census night 1901. In 1911, aged 79, she was back in Hope Street, at No.6, with a servant, Frances WOODALL, born in Barlby, near Selby. Mary Elizabeth died in that village four years later and it seems likely that she was brought back to Filey to be buried with her husband.

I know it is a stretch to suggest that Mary Elizabeth sharing accommodation with a cousin and a probable aunt is akin to “flocking” but, in the absence of more reliable sources, the relationships noted in census returns seem to offer opportunities for “tree growth”. I’ll see what I can do over the next few days.

Bird 101 · Blackcap

Ancestral Trials

The Misses Mary TOALSTER on FamilySearch (IDs GZMR-29J & 9QVZ-N86) could not, of course, be merged, being different individuals. I had two choices. Declare them “not a match” and then change the name of “Mary E.” to create the person Mary Elizabeth HUNT. Or I could make this change first, thereby removing the “potential duplicate”. I thought it better not to break the chain of data custody and go the “not a match” route. I started the clock to see how long this would take me. After four hours yesterday I had most of the information I held on the two Marys uploaded to the Shared Tree but hit some obstacles along the way and didn’t get as far as connecting Mary Elizabeth to her forebears. The most interesting puzzle involved Sarah ODLING, a grandmother of Mary Elizabeth Hunt. She has this toe-hold on the Shared Tree.

And here she is, usurped –

Sarah UNDERWOOD/HUNT has six sources attached to her record. Two census returns, three baptism records for daughter Sarah Ann and one reference to the baptism of Mary Jane the Elder. None of these sources identify mother Sarah as a born Underwood.

It seems unlikely that there were two Mary Jane’s living together as sisters. I have not found a record of the younger Mary. Here are the birth registrations of four children –

(Roger, Mary Elizabeth’s father-to-be, is usually “Rodger” in subsequent records.)

It appears we should accept Sarah ODLING as the wife of James Crowther Hunt. Here is the parish marriage register record –

Grimsby is in Caistor Registration District and the family crossed the River Humber after Mary Jane was born to settle in Hull. I found it interesting that Sarah could write and her husband couldn’t. Sarah’s childhood had not been easy. In 1851, given age 9, she was descibed as a pauper inmate of Boston Workhouse, with her mother Ann, (married, 48), brother Benjamin (15) and younger sisters Elizabeth (6) and Mary Ann (3).

It gets worse. On the Underwood screenshot above the “real” Mary Jane Hunt marries William AARON and if you look on the Shared Tree they have (perhaps) seven children. The youngest, Doris, has an attached record showing her baptism in 1895 in Goole, which is about thirty miles from Hull. By some genealogical legerdemain, she transforms into Doris Lynette, born in Athens, Georgia in 1918. It should not come as a surprise that Mrs Mary Jane Aaron, aged fifty when Doris Lynette was born, was not in real life the daughter of James Crowther Hunt.

I’m not sure I want to bite the bullet. It feels as if I’ve been put through a cement mixer.

Found Object 51 · Primrose Valley

Not a Single Man

I wrote about John OAKDEN over two years ago (Leader of the Band) and remarked that my “diligent searching” had failed to come up with a helpmeet in his short Filey retirement. I thought that the Mary Oakden residing on The Crescent may have been his wife – and a couple of days ago discovered that she was, and not his first.

I had taken another look at John because of his connection to Thomas SWIFT, the lawman on the side of injustice in the Maybrick Case. I had long wondered what circumstances turned a bachelor (on the face of it) into the great uncle of little Mary Alice Swift? Of course, I suspected Mary’s niece Emma SAMPSON held the key but without the elusive marriage source…

Marriages Dec 1853  

OAKDEN John & SAMPSON Mary, Manchester 8d 398.    

Free BMD

How had I missed this?

Mary was 45 years-old and single when she married but may have known John for many years if, as seems likely, he had been a “brother in arms” to Thomas Swift. Mary was an aunt of Dinah Swift nee Sampson, and great aunt to Mary Alice.

I then found another report of John’s retirement from the 1st Royal Dragoons that contained information cut from the Staffordshire Advertiser’s account shown in my earlier post.

John Oakden and Hannah TRAVIS were minors when they married. John’s guardian, Robert Wagstaff, and Hannah’s father, Samuel, gave their permissions and William was born the following year (1825), when Hannah was just nineteen. If they had more children I have yet to find them, though it appears Hannah may not have died until 1851. If that had been the case she would surely have attended William’s wedding in 1848 and perhaps her daughter in law Emma’s funeral in the spring of ’51.

William’s second wife, Anna WAGSTAFF, hailed from Derbyshire and his father’s guardian had farmed at Snelston in that county until his death in February 1851 at the age of 81. Robert’s relationship to Anna has yet to be determined. William prevailed upon Anna to give two of their children, John and Louisa, the middle name ‘Travis’ and they christened their fourth child William Robert. John Oakden may have dandled three of his grandchildren upon his knee.

William buried his firstborn child, Elizabeth Gray, in the summer of 1875 and Anna buried him at the end of the following year.

Anna carried on William’s “music dealer” business for a while, assisted by daughter Louisa Travis, and then sailed to the other side of the world with two of her sons. Anna died in Auckland in 1917, Frank in Dunedin (1931), and Harry Percy in the Waikato (1941).  Harry married into the VALPY family in New Zealand, bringing distinction to the Oakden/Wagstaff pedigree. I wonder if there are any among them who had a hand in condemning an innocent woman to death.

Bird 95 · Tufted Duck♀

Glen Gardens Boating Lake

A Bright Boy

Farmer  John Would PARKER looks a rather gloomy character in the photographs I posted of him just over a week ago. He possibly made a habit of hiding his light under a bushel.

courtesy The Morrice Collection

This is the “envelope” containing a letter John wrote  to his mother, on or about his fifteenth birthday.

Here are a few lines of its contents –

The cost of a postage stamp for your thoughts Mrs Parker, regarding your son’s penmanship. The execution is not perfect – there are three blemishes at least – but I would be surprised if any teen today could match the elegance of this hand, even if they had a mind to try.

Here is a full transcription of the letter, with the above passage highlighted.

Louth, May 6th 1845

Dear Mother,

Although this is the third letter that I have written to you, I think I have not told you how I am going on with my studies. I have got as far as Decimals in accounts, and in a very few days we shall commence Mensuration. I am learning poetry for practice in parsing and English Grammar. In Geography, I have learnt England and Wales; and I am now learning Scotland. In dictation exercises, I am writing a course of lessons on Natural Science, and I find them very interesting and full of useful information. We have begun surveying, and we are now taking a survey in Stewton Parish, and a very pretty plan it will be, when it is finished.

What a miserable Fair day it was! We had a half holiday and I went to my sister’s to dine, where I enjoyed myself very much.

About the time of the Fair, we went one evening to see an exhibition of Mechanical views, with which we were much entertained, especially with the last, which was the representation of a storm at sea. Shortly afterwards, we had another treat in an exhibition at the Mansion-house, consisting partly of beautiful dissolving views, of cities, ruins, remarkable buildings, etc. and partly of objects, wonderfully magnified by a powerful microscope with an oxy-hydrogen light. By this means we saw the animalculæ in the water, and insects of the size of a flea magnified to the size of a sheep.

P.S. Mr & Mrs Rogers desire their kind regards to you all.

The sister he mentions was probably Sarah Elizabeth, aged 22 in 1845.

With the letter, Peter sent a photograph of John’s widow, Jane Maria née CORTIS, in the sunlit garden of her home in Manly, New South Wales. She was sixty-five years old when she died in 1911 and may not have been long for this earth when the picture was taken.

Found Object 44 · Beach Leaf

wind-blown and sandblasted

A Memorial to My Childhood

A question prompted by The Brothers Cortis (last month) sent me to Ashby Cum Fenby in Lincolnshire over the weekend, to see if I could find more information about the parents of Richard Cortis, the brothers’ father. At the moment “John & Elizth” are on the FamilySearch Shared Tree with Richard and eight other children, none of whom are yet connected to each other.

“Elizth” seems to be Elizabeth SMITH. A February 1765 marriage in Ashby is well-timed for the couple’s first child, Ann, christened in January 1766 and buried two months later. The Ashby Parish register can be found at Lincolshire Archives. The ink has faded but most of the Cortis events can be discerned. John first appears in Ashby in 1761 (as far as I can tell) and is intermittently the churchwarden over the next three decades. At most of his own events he is referred to as “John junr.” His father would, therefore, seem to be John senior whose origins are obscure to me but who dies at the end of the year in which John and Elizabeth marry.

Reading the register carefully, I found all the Cortis children on the Shared Tree and several more. I also noticed that there was a second John Cortis, referred to as “John of Laceby”. This is all well and good – until the entry in December 1791 for the burial of John Cortis, aged 0, son of John junr and Elizabeth of Laceby. A John Cortis married Elizabeth BASNIP of Laceby in February 1791 but without seeing the death of Elizabeth nee Smith recorded some doubt remains. (In 1799 there is a list in a newspaper of subscribers to the Caistor Association in which John and William Cortis of Laceby AND John Cortis of Ashby appear.)

Elizabeth Basnip has issues of her own and it was a relief to be distracted by intriguing entries in the register that cried out to be investigated.

1753 David Langley, a stranger killed by a Fall from a Sycamore Tree as he was taking Rook nests, May 7th buried.

1796 Aug 25th buried Edward Condock aged 14 years. The above Edward Condock received his death by an accidental shot from a Gun in Mr Scrivener’s House. [A Thomas Scrivener shared churchwarden duties with John Cortis.]

And the entry that took me back to my childhood?

The Number 30 bus in Hull used to go to and from Stoneferry along New Cleveland Street, and maybe still does. I was always particularly drawn to the mysterious (in name and nature) Marble and Stone Merchants, Anselm Odling and Sons. One had only the merest glimpse of what went on behind the tall fence but it was the name that fascinated me. And here, perhaps 150 years before the company set up a branch in Hull, I find the forebears (surely) in a small Lincolnshire village. Thanks to the Interweb, I now know it was a large company of diverse activities – and it is still trading on New Cleveland Street, but disappointingly just as “Odlings”.

Another name in the Ashby register that caught my attention – Hewson. The Hewsons may have been the preeminent family in the village and in Louth in 1862 John and Elizabeth’s grandson, William Smithson Cortis, widower, married Susanna of that ilk.

Flight of Fancy 26 · Emoji

Filey seawall

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

A Grocer and His Servant

Alfred Burley TOWSE was born on 12 September 1866. I planned to mark his 152nd birthday last Wednesday with a short post but his family proved to be rather demanding. I have done a few hours work on them each day and have a way to go before I have his birth family all present and correct on FamilySearch Tree.

Alfred didn’t cause any problems, for me at least. He married Annie Maud JENNINGS in Grimsby when he was 25 but their three children were born in Filey. He described himself at the 1891 census as a Grocer’s Assistant, presumably working for his father. Samuel Towse was a Grocer and Sub Post Master in Filey.

In 1893 he got on the wrong side of Constable HARRISON.

1893_TOWSEarthurb_NEWS

In today’s money, 21 shillings is about £95.

Eight years later he was a Grocer’s Manager living at 11 Union Street. Samuel was clearly still “the boss”, and would remain so until shortly before his death in 1916.

Before the next census, Alfred had moved south, crossed the River Humber and changed trades. In Scunthorpe in 1911, he is described as a Tobacconist Manager.  With him at 74 High Street were Annie Maud and two of their children, Eric Alfred (17) and Ethel Mary (16). Annie Maud was a Lincolnshire lass and that may be the only reason for the family’s move.

During the next 28 years, Alfred changed his occupation again. In the 1939 Register, at 63 East Street, Grimsby, he is listed as a retired House Agent.

Alfred and Annie made what seems to be a sensible decision, forsaking the fishing port for  Louth, some miles inland. Alfred died there at the beginning of 1954 aged 87 and Annie followed him into the good night a year later.

You can find them on FamilySearch Tree.

Turning the clock back to 1901 finds the couple in their mid-thirties and their children aged 6, 7, and 8. They have a live-in servant, a young widow, Mary Jane HANSON, 32.

I expected to find that Mary Jane’s husband had been a fisherman, but no, he worked as a joiner, not a particularly dangerous trade.

There are only twenty Hansons in Filey Genealogy & Connections and of those, I only had death information for eleven of them. Two boys and a girl didn’t reach their first birthday and only one of each sex passed three score and ten. It is a small sample so nothing can really be read into the average lifespan of those born a Hanson: men 35 years and women 34. I recalled adult, gossipy conversations throughout my childhood during which my mother would say, “Oh, they’re not long-livers.”

Widow Hanson didn’t marry again and died aged 81 in January 1950. There are a lot of Filey Cowlings and calculating their average span will have to wait.

G700_HANSONfrancisE_20120807_fst

In loving memory of FRANCIS E. HANSON, the beloved husband of MARY JANE HANSON (of Filey), who died July 29th 1894, aged 31 years.

‘His end was peace’

Also of the above MARY JANE HANSON, who died Jan 31st 1950, aged 81 years.

‘Re-united’

Find Mary Jane on FamilySearch Tree. Her pedigree is more extensive on Filey Genealogy & Connections.