The Georges Dove Made Respectable

At the beginning of the month, I made much of a farrago on the Shared Tree – where two husbands swapped wives and one wife gave birth to a child of the other. It has taken a while, but I managed to find a descendant willing to make the necessary corrections to the pedigrees. Judge for yourself how well “homebuilt” has cleared up the mess made of “Snaith George” and “Middleton George”.

I can now add a St Oswald’s headstone to the Shared Tree as a memory that somewhat remotely connects to George DOVE of Middleton on the Wolds. His granddaughter, Charlotte WARLEY, married George Toyn COLLEY, son of George Colley and his third wife, Sarah TOYN.


In loving memory of LOUISA, the beloved wife of GEORGE COLLEY of Cliff Terrace, who died May 21st 1860, aged 39 years.

Also, two children of the above who died in infancy.

Also of GEORGE COLLEY, who died April 10th 1866, aged 59 years.

Also of SARAH, relict of the late GEORGE COLLEY, who died Dec 6th 1866, aged 33 years.

You may remember posts about an earlier mistaken identity kerfuffle featuring Elizabeth WHITING, wife of George Colley’s brother William. Louisa is the servant who waited upon Charlotte Brontë when the author briefly took an apartment in Filey. Find the Colleys on the Shared Tree.

A Mystery Occupation

The two Georges DOVE are still in a tangle on the Shared Tree. There are enough sources on FamilySearch to make a sound case for a switcheroo but I’m still looking for a piece of gotcha evidence. As mentioned in an earlier post, each George heads a household in the 1841 census but “Snaith George” then seems to disappear with Rachel née BICKERTON. Of their five children, I have only found Harriet in 1851 – as a 13-year-old servant in Whitgift, (about 8 miles from Hook where her parents married).

Middleton George is a widower in 1871 and living with his married daughter Jane Elizabeth, son in law George WARLEY and three grandchildren, Jackson, Charlotte and Mary. He is described as an annuitant and at the given age of 67 is old enough to have given up blacksmithing. He is actually 74-years-old with eight more years to live.

Snaith George’s given age in the 1841 census is 35 – and I can’t make out his occupation in the page image accessed at Find My Past. Any suggestions?


Mary, Mary…

More contrariness in the Middleton DOVE family.


The wife of William NEWLOVE had an older sister called Mary who died in 1844. So, the above arrangement on the Shared Tree only needs a bit of tweaking to put things right. Change the birth date and connect her to the rest of her birth family – after Rachel BICKERTON has been replaced by rightful spouse Rachael SELLER.

In 1881 William and Mary’s household in South End, Middleton on the Wolds is of particular interest. In addition to their five children, they are sheltering two indoor male farm servants, John and Gilbert DOVE, and a thirteen-year-old female servant, Charlotte WARLEY. I haven’t yet discovered who the parents of the Dove boys are, but you may remember Charlotte as the beautiful but cruel sister of poor “feeble-minded” Floy.

A short distance away, at North End, are John Seller DOVE, his wife Mary SIMPSON and seven children. John, older brother of Mary and uncle to Charlotte, has taken his recently deceased father’s place as the village blacksmith.

Coronavirus Update

A third person in the UK has fallen sick to the novel Coronavirus. The BBC’s Health & Science Correspondent, James Gallagher writes –

This is not a surprise, not a reason to panic and not a reason to press the alarm bell.

For as long as the epidemic rages in China, there is a risk of people travelling to other countries, including the UK, before they become sick.

But there are crucial differences between the UK and China.

First is the scale of the problem. The UK has three confirmed cases, China has 28,000.

This may be fake news. Zero Hedge and The Taiwan News have reported the possibly accidental or whistleblown release, briefly, of much higher figures. 154,023 infections and 24,589 deaths, five days ago. The incubation time is now generally reckoned to be between six and seven days so by the weekend these higher figures will have doubled. If they are five times closer to the truth than the BBC’s numbers, there’s still no need to sound the alarm in the UK. The regime’s current Chief Medical Officer assures us everything is under control. (His predecessor believed baby wipes could see off the threat of Novichok.)

However, if you want to keep up with the pandemic there is English “old school” instruction and advice from Dr John Campbell and no-nonsense American opinion from Chris Martenson at Peak Prosperity.

When infection spots begin to appear in South America and Africa on the Johns Hopkins world map the panic should, perhaps, begin. For whom the alarm bell tolls… (At 20.45UTC today the map hasn’t yet updated the UK to 3 infections – and is still offering the possibly fanciful low numbers for Chinese infections and deaths.)

Dove Tale

One George DOVE was a grandfather of the WARLEY girls of Middleton on the Wolds.

Last month, I deliberately titled a post Floy Warley, so that this blog might take the top spot from Rootspoint – should one in a billion people Google-search for the poor woman.

I was tempted to play the same card today with George, but there are two Yorkshiremen with this name, contemporaries, who found their wives, both called Rachael, in villages only twenty-five miles apart. I didn’t want to flummox the crawlers.

Over at FamilySearch the bots (whatever) can be fooled into offering inappropriate hints – though human agents must unwittingly contribute false data to make this happen.

I will call the men George of Middleton and George of Snaith, after the places where the census enumerators found them in 1841. In real life, only one was the grandfather of Charlotte and Floy. On the Shared Tree, both of them are. It is a complicated tale.


The only significant error here is George of Middleton’s birth date. The absence of Rachael’s family name is made good by the next screenshot.


Note the date and place of the marriage.


Same date, different place. This is George of Middleton with his correct dates of birth and death, his parents and his youngest daughter Esther (sometimes Easter) – but married to George of Snaith’s wife. Now, a further complication.


The two Rachaels fledged a number of baby Doves before civil registration began but, fortunately, they then had several children that are readily found in the GRO Births Index.

In the first quarter of 1839, George of Middleton registered the birth of Jane Elizabeth, Charlotte and Floy’s mother-to-be, in Driffield Union.

In the last quarter of the same year, George of Snaith registered the birth of George Wesley in the Goole Union. Middleton is in the Driffield Registration District, and both Hook and Snaith are in the Goole RD.


DOVE, Jane Elizabeth, Mother’s Maiden Surname: SELLERS (sic). GRO Reference: 1839 M Quarter in DRIFFIELD UNION Volume 23 Page 30 Occasional Copy: B.

DOVE, George Wesley, Mother’s Maiden Surname: BICKERTON. GRO Reference: 1839 D Quarter in THE GOOLE UNION Volume 23 Page 213.

The 1841 households of the two families are found in the FamilySearch sources.


“Elizabeth” here is Jane Elizabeth.


Young George is George Wesley.

George of Middleton has at least five IDs. I haven’t rounded up all the IDs for George of Snaith but suspect he has a similar number. The wives ditto. So, there is a lot of merging to be done. The mixing of the marriages, evident in the screenshots, won’t make this straightforward.

One day, perhaps, the FamilySearch “system” will be smart enough to red flag the data entry errors that have caused this mess – rather than acquiesce by offering a Census hint for the “wrong” family.


One George and Rachel duo has the birth and death dates of the other, ensuring this hint points to the wrong clutch of Doves. Not a Match.

Floy Warley

At the Coroner’s inquest into her death, cruel sister Charlotte said that Floy had been an imbecile all her life. “I liked to keep her for company. She was no good to me, but she was not quite helpless.”

If you search for her name on Google, you will find our Floy in a Rootspoint offering.


Floy was once a fairly popular unisex name, though 18 times more girls were given it than boys. One of its meanings is “flourishing” – sadly inappropriate for an imbecile. But how were the parents to know?

Records show that they, and their horrid daughter Charlotte, should perhaps have known better than to have ended up diminishing and degrading Floy.

In 1883 the Middleton School Admissions book records her name, and in the 1891 census, aged 13, she is a “scholar”. In this and the previous census, nothing is noted in the Infirmity column. But in 1901 this appears –


This was a new label to attach to unfortunate people, arguably less harsh than “imbecile”, but it caused the government some problems when compiling statistics. Had the “insane” population risen between 1891 and 1901? You can get a handle on the dilemmas of statisticians by reading the appropriate section of the 1901 Census Report.

In 1901 Floy was 23 and single, and her parents both 63. In the Chapel Lane house with them was a “nurse child”. One wonders how capable either woman was to care for this infant. “Nancy Cresey” was 11-months-old and born in Loughborough Junction, London. How did she fetch up in Yorkshire? Her birth registration indicates that she was legitimate; her mother’s maiden surname FOSTER.

The next census, 1911, finds Floy with her mother in Middleton on the Wolds. Her father has been dead for five years and mother Jane Elizabeth, now in her seventies, has an occupation – “midwife”. Does this caring profession explain the nurse-child? Does it make a mockery of Jane Elizabeth, in her own hand, describing her youngest child’s infirmity thus:


Jane died in 1913 and Floy was shipped down to South Norwood, which just happens to be about six miles from Loughborough Junction. Her last few years may have been different if her sister Mary, closer to her in age, had still been alive. She had married James Frederick WING in 1889, given birth to four children but died aged 28 when her youngest was a month or two old. This child, Ellen Elizabeth, was living with her uncle George Toyn COLLEY and aunt Charlotte as an adopted daughter in 1911. It was she who assured the Coroner that Floy had been well-cared for. (So why did the doctors at Croydon infirmary describe her as verminous and not so clean as she might have been”?)

Floy’s eldest sister, Rachel Esther, married a carpenter and wheelwright Thomas Robinson FISHER. They had just three children together and appear to have strayed no more than three miles from Driffield until their deaths in the 1930s. Why didn’t they take Floy in?

I wonder what Floy looked like. Was she as beautiful as Charlotte? Did she have more about her than her nearest and dearest gave her credit for? I hope she experienced some happiness in her life.

I merged Charlotte’s IDs today so click this link if you want to see the family on the Shared Tree.

Deaths by Pandemic and Natural Causes

Alan, my source for Skipsea COLLEY information, explains how George Toyn met Charlotte WARLEY.

My great grandfather, George Toyn Colley, now orphaned at the age of three, was packed off to live with his cousin, Robert Pape of Beverley. He was a Master Builder and the £600 G.T.C. had inherited from his father was left in his trust. Robert Pape brought G.T.C. up as if he were his own child. At age 21 then, my great grandfather came into his father’s bequest, and set upon moving to London to start up a bicycle business. Before leaving Yorkshire, he had occasionally to stay the night at Middleton on the Wold. He was unable to find lodgings and was directed by staff at a local public house to try at the grocers. Here he met the daughter of the house, Charlotte Warley. He fell instantly for her, exclaiming that she was the most beautiful lass he had ever seen. He stayed much longer than intended, and eventually leaving for London, vowed that once his business had been established, he would return to marry her. This he did, marrying on 26 December 1885 at Middleton on the Wold. They returned to London and had four children, adopting another: George (born 11.05.1886).


Alan has provided this photograph of a portrait painting of Charlotte. The artist is unknown and one can only guess at the painting’s date.

Charlotte married at eighteen, gave birth to her first child aged 20 and her fourth (and last) at 35. If a hundred people were asked to guess her husband’s occupation on the evidence of this image, I would be surprised if any would hazard “bricklayer”, his trade in 1901 and 1911.

In 1911, the family is at 103 Whitehorse Lane, South Norwood, Croydon. It seems that the house has been demolished to make way for a Sainsbury’s supermarket and petrol station, but other properties in the immediate vicinity are modest – two up, two down at a guess.

The most lethal pandemic in human history, until now, began in military camps in the United States and came to Europe in the lungs of soldiers. It seems odd, though, that Spain was the first old-world country to be seriously infected. The “Spanish ‘Flu”, soon spread to Britain where peak deaths occurred in October and November of 1918.

Charlotte was 51-years-old when she succumbed to the infection. Find her on the Shared Tree.

The “most beautiful lass” (and handsome woman) was, perhaps, not all that she seemed. In the last year of her life, she was a witness at a Coroner’s inquest into the death of her younger sister.


An Inquest was held by the Croydon Coroner on Tuesday on Foly Warley, 40, a spinster, who died in Croydon Infirmary. Mrs Charlotte Colley, of Whitehorse Lane, South Norwood, sister of the deceased, said she was an imbecile, and had been so all her life. Witness had not been advised by any doctor to send her to the infirmary. “I liked to keep her for company,” said the witness. “She was no good to me, but she was not quite helpless.” The Guardians contributed 4s. weekly to her maintenance. By Dr. Passman’s directions she was taken on Saturday to the infirmary, and died the next day. Ellen E. Wing, an adopted daughter of the last witness, assured the Coroner that the deceased was well cared for. Dr. R. W. Wilson, medical superintendent of the infirmary, said he received her as an imbecile. She was in a verminous condition, and had bronchial pneumonia, to which death was due. The Coroner thought the deceased was not so clean as she might have been. Dr. Wilson added that the deceased was well nourished and apparently had not been treated unkindly. A verdict of “Natural causes” was returned.

Norwood News, 25 January 1918