Life’s Challenges

John Oakden SWIFT was the second child born to Thomas Swift and Dinah SAMPSON, about a year after his sister Mary Alice died in Filey in June 1858.

He followed his father into the legal profession and for a while was a successful solicitor in St Helens, as his father had been before him. He did not, however, reach the heights of his half-brother, Sir Rigby Philip Watson Swift.

In early January 1885, John married Mary Adelaide OLDROYD in Dewsbury and Hilda Mary was born towards the end of the year in Prescot, Lancashire. The birth of an unnamed male child was registered in 1888 and Mary Adelaide died aged 28 two years later.

I have been unable to find what became of the motherless children but their father married again in the spring of 1897. The bride, Ruth Cecilia SIMPSON, was about ten years younger than John, born in Norwich, where her father was the City Treasurer. In the next six years they brought four children into the world, their births recorded in four different districts – Mutford, Wirral, Kingston on Thames (sic) and Wandsworth. Clearly, the family was unsettled.

As the twentieth century got under way the London Gazette carried notifications of the dissolution of two business partnerships. John first parted company with Edwin Pierce and, a year later, with his full brother, Ernest William (the fellow who consulted Louis Pasteur about a dog bite). And shortly afterwards –

John and Ruth’s marriage survived these setbacks, but not for long. On 21 April 1909 John died in Telford Avenue, Streatham Hill, London. Ruth Cecilia followed him to the grave a week later.

Two years later, three orphaned Swift girls are with their Uncle Joseph Francis PHILO, Aunt Julia and maternal grandmother Louisa Watling SIMPSON at 11 Tombland, Norwich. I don’t know where their brother Thomas Frederick was on census night 1911 but he died in that city in 1976, aged 77.

Find John Oakden Swift on the Shared Tree.

Sand 37 · Message

Muston Sands (maybe)

A Bigger Challenge

Set by the World Freedom Alliance (at Seemorerocks).

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.

HMT ‘Cobbers’

The Royal Navy requisitioned FV Cobbers at the beginning of the Second World War and on this day 1941 she was patrolling the North Sea, a few miles east of Lowestoft. German aircraft attacked and sank her and eleven of her crew were killed. The bodies of Second Hand Leonard Herbert BEAN of Milford Haven and Seaman Albert STRANEX were not recovered and are remembered at the Royal Naval Patrol Service Memorial in Belle Vue Park, Lowestoft.

CammishJ2Among those taken home for burial was John ‘Jack’ CAMMISH, baptized in St Oswald’s on 25th October 1916 His father’s name is not recorded and, given the year, it seems his mother, Winifred, may have had a brief encounter with a soldier billeted in the town.

Jack’s War Grave marker is associated in the Crimlisk Survey with plot F72 and the East Yorkshire Family History Society, Part Three, 1835,  page 18, adds the post-1977 burials of Winifred and her husband  Thomas NEWLOVE (Jack’s stepfather).

F72_CAMMISHjack1_20170521_fst

For reasons unknown to me, the CWGC memorial has been placed about 15 grave plots away in Area E, in front of the now fallen stone remembering Margaret, Robert, and Annie Elizabeth CAMMISH. Robert, known as “Chorus”, was Jack’s second cousin 3 times removed from common ancestor John CAPPLEMAN and third cousin twice removed from William CAMMISH and Elizabeth WRIGHT.

I went along to the churchyard this morning to photograph the family headstone.

F72_CAMMISHjack2_20180303_fst

I found Winifred on FST a couple of days ago and allocated Jack a PID [LBQL-H6S]. He has a number of living descendants so I will leave the family to add wife Evelyn and make the connections to her JOHNSON family.

I discovered this afternoon that Jack’s pedigree goes way, way back.  Though he may not have known who his father was, and died an “ordinary seaman”, he has some astonishing forebears – if the information presented on FST  can be verified, that is.

“History would be a wonderful thing – if it were only true.”

Leo Tolstoy

In a couple of previous posts, I have referred to hitting a motherlode pedigree on FST, and know that once you meet an ancestor from the upper echelons of society you will soon enter the realms of kings and queens. If you are curious and have an hour to spare, start with Jack and see where following your nose takes you. It will be more enjoyable if you don’t take your skepticism along for the ride.

I don’t want to spoil the adventure by suggesting who you should look out for but, if you have missed him by the time you arrive in the Holy Land at the time of Christ, you might want to backtrack to check out “El Cid”, Jack being a warrior and all.