Another Poisoner

Today’s list of anniversaries offered two fellows by the name of WHITE and both rest eternally in St Oswald’s churchyard. I would have been remiss not to look at them both.

John Henry was no trouble at all. He was born in Wakefield and married Christiana LORRIMAN there in 1883. (Christiana is the brother of Frederick, a sailor on Prince Eugene and the birthday celebrant on 3 June.)

In 1911, John Henry was the postmaster at Ringwood in Hampshire. Following retirement, the couple moved to Filey and lived in Victoria Avenue. Christiana died in 1928 and John just made it to his eighties.

James Ward WHITE was born in Coundon, County Durham and followed his father down a coal mine. I don’t know what brought him to Filey but he married Margaret WILLIS at the Ebenezer chapel on this day in 1912. James took his catch back to Durham and five children were born to them in quick succession, though they lost one, Thomas, before his first birthday. Because of his occupation, James did not have to go to the First War and I looked in the Register at the beginning of the Second, hoping to find the family well-set and comfortable. I found James a widower, living with his as yet unmarried second daughter Ethel in Leeholme. James was still working below ground as a “colliery filler” and Ethel seems to have been a volunteer at a First Aid Post.

Margaret had died six years earlier and I was distressed to learn she had been poisoned. Her killer did not arrive at her door in human form.

James Ward’s death was registered in Scarborough and his last address was given as West Vale, Filey in the St Oswald’s burial register. The Probate notice gives a different address.

Margaret’s mother in Filey Genealogy & Connections is Ann KIRBY, one of Kath’s “guesswork wives”. These are usually correct, as in this instance, but Ann has different parents on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. The muddle is easy to spot in Ann’s sources, but clearing it up would take more time than I have to give. Why not have a go yourself? Start here. I think Margaret’s grandparents are the couple below – but I could be wrong. 

Beach 167 · Filey Sands

Coble Landing

The Disconsolate Widow

Margaret COWLING was baptised at Filey St Oswald’s on this day in 1815. On Christmas Eve 1842 she married fisherman Thomas HUNTER in the same church. The couple is together on Filey Genealogy & Connections but not yet on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. They are childless on FG&C and this morning I didn’t know how long they lived. I couldn’t find them in any England & Wales census and had little hope that they had emigrated – it isn’t what fishermen do in my experience. Disappearing from the records usually means that they have died – and their widows have married again.

Margaret had been married for forty-one days (by my reckoning) but I am quite sure that she is the disconsolate widow. I will make an effort to find her in happier circumstances. The drowned brothers appear to have been the sons of John CAMMISH and Elizabeth EDMOND. FG&C doesn’t give them marriages, children and dates of death. Just a brief note for Robert – “1841: at home with his parents”.

I have little to say about the other anniversary people. Elizabeth DAVIS was the greatest challenge – a singleton on FG&C with a one-word note. “Married?” The date of her burial and age at death ), didn’t help much.

Dog 37 · Willow

Parish Wood