The Errors of Our Ways

A couple of days ago, in the process of tidying up a spreadsheet of “Stone People”, I revisited the family of Benjamin Simpson and Ann nee RICHARDSON. I had left them in November 2019 with five children on the FamilySearch Shared Tree and noticed they had been given another child.

The late arrival of a bundle of joy is sometimes described as “a surprise”. That would have been an understatement for Ann, giving birth at age 60 when her youngest son Benjamin junior was 22 years old.

FamilySearch attempts a rescue.

The single source attached to Hannah M is the 1891 Census, which clearly shows her to be the daughter of Ann.

Grandson Benjamin is the third child of Richard Richardson Simpson (the Second) and Christiana BULMER. You may have twigged that Hannah M is his older sister.

SIMPSON, Hannah Maria, Mother’s Maiden Surname: BULMER. GRO Reference: 1878 S Quarter in SCARBOROUGH Volume 09D Page 356.

GRO Births Index

Curiously, the “System” declares there are no Possible Duplicates for Hannah M, but she flourishes elsewhere as Hannah Maria.

The single source for Hannah Maria is the 1881 Census. It correctly identifies her place in the scheme of things and introduces us to younger sister Elizabeth Ann. The source for Lilly of the screenshot is the 1891 household of Charles Bulmer and Rebecca nee ELIOTT. I haven’t found a birth registration for her and suspect she has been mistaken for Elizabeth Ann, who went by “Lizzie” according to a note in Filey Genealogy & Connections.

Hannah Maria married Francis Davidson Forrest GOODWILL in St Mary’s Church, Scarborough, on 19 February 1900. Both died in their fifties, Francis in York in 1930 and Hannah in Scarborough in 1934.

Sea 39 · Swimmer

Filey Bay

Garden of Earthly Delights

Another case of mistaken identity made me think of the FamilySearch Shared Tree as a domain where vital record sources are flowers. Many family plots are carefully and lovingly tended with beautiful floral borders. (We won’t look to see what is going on in the shrubbery.) But some gardens have unsightly and annoying weeds in them. Flowers in the wrong place.

Filey Genealogy & Connections has two boys called Robert JENKINSON, both baptised in 1819, the first in February to Thomas and Mary nee CASTLE, and the other in August to George and Mary nee SCALES. The two fathers were brothers.

A few days ago I turned to the elder Robert, to prepare for the placing of his headstone as a memory on the Shared Tree. I had done some work on the family a couple of years ago and was surprised to find that “my” Robert had been cast into outer darkness and replaced by this fellow:-

Usurper Robert has five sources attached to his record. Let us sort the weeds from the flowers. In chronological order:-

A weed
A weed
A flower
A flower
A flower

The birth of Elizabeth BARRICK was registered in Scarborough in the December Quarter of 1844. In 1841 her mother may have been enumerated twice in York as both Barrick and Barwick. A female servant, given age 20, was in two places in York on census night – in St Michael Le Belfrey and Minster Yard with Bedern. After 1851 I have found no trace of Robert and Ann Jenkinson. “Builay” is not a recognizable Yorkshire place name but a couple of sources give a glimpse of young Robert in the Doncaster area. There is an outside chance that “Builay” is Bawtry. I have not found the registration of his death in Durham.

The parish marriage register entry names the fathers of “Filey Robert” and Elizabeth Cole.

And here is the headstone remembering Robert, Elizabeth, and six children of their children.

In memory of MARY ELIZABETH JENKINSON, daughter of ROBERT and ELIZABETH JENKINSON, who died February 25th 1850, aged 2 years.

Also of five of their children, ABRAHAM, JANE, MARY ANN, ROBERT, and THOMAS, who died in infancy.

‘These lovely buds so young and fair

Called hence by early doom

Just came to show how sweet such flowers

In Paradise would bloom’

Also the above ELIZABETH JENKINSON the beloved wife of ROBERT JENKINSON

who died Oct 20th 1900 aged 79 years.

‘Died in peace’

Also of the above ROBERT JENKINSON, who died March 12th 1904, aged 86 years.

‘His end was peace’

Townscape 71 · Food Fair

Crescent Gardens

Monkeying Around

In April 2019 I put a headstone on the Shared Tree that remembered Robert STORK, his two wives, Margaret CHAPMAN and Rachel HUMPHREY, and Margaret’s second daughter Elizabeth, who died aged six in 1857.

Elizabeth already had an ID [MGCB-W3S] but if you search for this now you get…


Searching for Elizabeth, born 1851 in Filey, delivers this Top 3…

Number 1 is our wee girl, with her parents and correct years of birth and death – but a different ID, GS79-JX2. Click to the Shared Tree…

Although heartened that this Elizabeth has the right dates, I am disappointed that her “memory” has been removed. And who is this “rachel Stork”? She has no sources attached and I don’t think any will ever be found.

It gets worse.

Number 3 on the search list (above) is Elizabeth Stork born in Flamborough in 1851, wife of George Henry WESTFIELD. On the face of it she is not our Elizabeth but click on her and, notwithstanding death in 1906 and the absence of forebears, she has a memory.

So much for little Elizabeth’s early death being written in stone – and affirmed on paper.

Finally, the Elizabeth currently tagged to the Stork headstone has a calculated age at death of 55. The GRO Deaths Index entry says Mrs Westfield was six years older than that.

WESTFIELD, Elizabeth, Age at Death (in years): 61. GRO Reference: 1906  M Quarter in SCULCOATES Volume 09D Page 156 Occasional Copy: A

I cannot find a Bridlington birth registration for Elizabeth Stork in 1844, 1845 or 1846. There is this in 1847 –

STORK, Elizabeth, Mother’s Maiden Surname: ULLIOT. GRO Reference: 1847 D Quarter in BRIDLINGTON Volume 23 Page 29.

And here is “wrong Elizabeth” in 1901, from FamilySearch records –

Found Object 58 · Monkey

The Ada Puzzle #2

Keen to put Frederick Herbert Horrabin’s gravestone on the Shared Tree, I created a second Ada WHEATLEY today. After marrying the couple and giving them six children, I noticed that the ensuing Blue Hints included a page image of the Crookes Parish Church marriage register.

This was all the evidence I needed to separate the other Ada Wheatley from George Henry. (He is “Meatley” in the FamilySearch transcription, understandably, but look at Ada’s signature.)

I have not yet found the parents of the Ada who married Henry APPLEYARD, but looking more closely at census returns for both Wheatley families shows that they lived in Sheffield within two miles of each other – and the Horrabins.

My fingers are crossed that the Findmypast contributor I messaged will have a solution to the puzzle, but you can see the Horrabin stone as a Memory here.

Path 145 · Long Lane

Bella, Bella

Using my godlike powers, I gave Isabella Bielby CAMMISH a FamilySearch ID last October, in advance of putting her gravestone on the Shared Tree. Alas, I have feet of clay and didn’t get around to doing this until yesterday. It was a shock to see that “my” Isabella had been “disappeared”.

In limbo, her six good sources are still attached.

I went to the churchyard to photograph the stone again.

The inscribed date and age at death tally with the FamilySearch deletion notice. Contributors to the Shared Tree move in mysterious ways sometimes.

But who would believe it? That two baby girls, born the same year and in the same neighbourhood, would be registered as Isabella Cammish. It is not unreasonable for someone to think I married “their” Isabella to the wrong man.

Mary Cammish, mother of the first Isabella to be born in 1894, probably didn’t give the middle name “Bielby” to help with future confusion. It was, more likely, a pointer to the father. But the ‘B’ is of assistance to the alert family historian.

Births (GRO)


CAMMISH, Isabella Bielby, Mother’s Maiden Surname: -.  GRO Reference: 1894 J Quarter in SCARBOROUGH Volume 09D Page 361.


CAMMISH, Isabella, Mother’s Maiden Surname: CRIMLISK. GRO Reference: 1894 D Quarter in SCARBOROUGH Volume 09D Page 373.

On the first two census nights of her life, Isabella B. was under the roof of her grandparents, George Simmons Cammish and Isabella nee HARRISON. Their dwelling in Swann’s Yard in 1901 had 13 Queen Street as its address. During the next ten years the household moved a short distance to Reynold’s Yard. In 1911, “the other Isabella” was with her parents, and younger brothers William and Francis  – at 14 Queen Street.

Filey Genealogy & Connections (in RootsMagic) shows the girls’ relationship –

Isabella B. married at age 21, Isabella at 25.

Marriages Jun 1915 (Free BMD)

CAMMISH Isabella B & WYVILL Crompton, Scarbro 9d 1066.

Marriages Mar 1919 (Free BMD)

CAMMISH Isabella & WRIGHT Allan, Scarbro 9d 697.      

The 1939 Register reveals that Mrs Wyvill remained in Filey.

Whereas Mrs Wright went with her husband to live in the Huntingdon.

At birth, 247 days separated the two girls; at death 14 years.

Deaths Jun 1974  (Free BMD)

WYVILL, Isabella, [Date of Birth] 13MY1894, SCARBROROUGH 2 2298.

June 1988 (GRO)

WRIGHT, Isabella, Year of Birth: 1894. GRO Reference: DOR Q2/1988 in HUNTINGDON (3331) Volume 9 Page 1013.

I must play God again and return Isabella B. to her husband.

I will do this tomorrow. Find the other Isabella on the Shared Tree.

(Mary Ann Wright, in the screenshot above, is not related by blood to Isabella’s husband Allan.)

Found Object 57 · Jewels

Queen Street

His Wife, Agnes

Husband One

FamilySearch Shared Tree

Husband Two

Husband Three is Cdr Edmund Henry Outram 1858-1937.

…and of AGNES, his wife, died June 3rd 1939, aged 70.

The grave in St Oswald’s, Filey is sadly undistinguished for a man who was awarded a DSO  for services in the Royal Navy Reserve during the First World War – a rectangle of granite kerb enclosing a patch of packed earth, gravel, grass and weeds.

I described Commander/Captain OUTRAM as an “old sea dog” in an earlier post that introduced the only son he had with Agnes, killed at the age of 21 in that terrible conflict. I mentioned that the family of three was proving difficult to trace but that I would continue searching. It has been a while…

You may have noticed that Cdr Edmund H. Outram, resting eternally in Filey, was born in in the same year as Husband One. The only source attached to Edmund Edward is the 1881 Canada Census and the page image offers just “Edmund” – no middle name or initial. Here is Edmund Henry’s Probate information.

It is beginning to look like another case of mistaken identity, both men seemingly born in Sydney, Cape Breton. The 1859 birth year of Husband One’s Agnes is ten years earlier than that of Edmund Henry’s Agnes – 1869 is indicated by the death registration and Monumental Inscription.. Agnes One’s parents are given as John Young and Jane Wallace Craig on the Shared Tree but there is a source for a two year-old Agnes Young with different parents in the 1871 Canada Census, residing in Sydney…

FamilySearch screenshot

The 1871 census also records a six year-old Agnes Young (Agnes Two?) in Nova Scotia but 400 kms away in Halifax. So, we may have three individuals of each sex, mixed up.

One of the men, Husband Two, died a bachelor. Edmund Healy Outram, Vicar of Ropsley, is single when the 1911 England & Wales Census is taken, and there is no mention of a wife in a newspaper account of his funeral in April 1929. One of the mourners attending the service was a cousin, Edmund Outram. Was it Husband One or Husband Three? See their relationship with Edmund Healy, the unmarried husband, on the Shared Tree.

I have not been able to find a birth registration for young Edmund, whose life ended on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Father Edmund’s address in 1937 was the same as that noted in the CWGC record – 41 West Avenue.

Photographed yesterday

Agnes downsized to an address nearby, shown on her Probate record.

Photographed this morning

The value of the Effects left by Agnes is about £109,000 in “today’s money”, compared with her husband’s £200,000. This is small beer compared to the value of Great Western Railway shares transmitted by Julia Maclean Outram to Henry Edmund (sic) Outram, Emilia Julia Evenett (widow) and Charles Alexander Outram. £154,893 3s. 0d in 1930 is worth over £7 million now. This shines a melancholy light on the grave plot in Filey churchyard – and upon the thrown away life of young Edmund.

Path 135 · Church Ravine

A Mainstream Media Disconnect

TV News in India recently reported the Modi Government’s plea to social media platforms in the West to remove “Indian Variant” references from their platforms – because it doesn’t exist. Oh, yes it does. In the UK the notorious mutant is more than likely to provide the excuse the UK regime needs to break the promise to release Brits from all lockdown restrictions in three weeks time. The BBC this morning was preparing us for the Great Disappointment.

Unattributed image from today’s UK Column News

A Jarring Mason

For about eleven years, John MABBOTT was stepfather to the three surviving children of his second wife Ruth MASON (nee GREEN). Of the three, I have so far found that only the boy, Amos, married. And while adding some sources to his family on the Shared Tree today I happened upon a particularly egregious case of mistaken identity.

Though four decades separate their births, they both marry Mary Ann FARROW and father Clara Annie. The FamilySearch ‘system’ is aware that this is a nonsense and issues a warning on Amos the Younger’s record.

I thought this problem would disappear if I ended the relationship with Mary Ann but it didn’t. Only the date of the spurious marriage was removed. More radical surgery is required – but I think I’ll leave it for “family” to do.

Insect 31 · Angle Shades Moth

Phlogophora meticulosa, Sand Hill Lane

A Mariner’s Daughter

I sailed an extra league this morning to make sure I could place Doris, in Goole, in the household of William AARON – and call out Doris Lynette, born 1918 in Athens, Georgia, as an impostor on the FamilySearch Shared Tree.

If you go to Doris Lynette’s details page you will find that one of her seven sources is the birth registration for Doris in 1895.

Just Doris married Thomas Palmer in 1921 and the census of 1939 (the Register) found the couple in Goole with three daughters. (The girls’ married names were added to the census document later. Winifred, for example, married Ronald BEEVERS in Goole in 1949.) Below is a screenshot of the Palmer household as presented by Findmypast.

Doris was 34 years-old when she received news of her father’s death in the Kattegat, en route to Copenhagen.

An Admiralty record gives William’s rank as “First Mate”, his date of death the 18th March, and the cause of death as “shock following immersion”. It also gives the location of the SS Irwell when the accident happened.

I will leave The Mystery of Doris Lynette for someone else to solve.

Mark of Man 60 · Lifeguard Training

Filey Sands

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

A Tale of Two Marys

Mary Ellen TOALSTER was sixteen years old when three of her eight brothers were killed on the Western Front. James came home from India and Arthur William survived the conflict too – as a mechanic in the infant RAF.

A couple of years after the war ended, aged 20, Mary Ellen married George Arthur DICK in their home town, Hull. The partnership was broken by Mary’s death in 1955.

I turned to the FamilySearch to see if George was represented on the Shared Tree.

This screenshot jumps the gun somewhat – in showing that the Mary E. Toalster who died in 1994 needs to be cancelled to make way for George’s second wife.

George was sixty-years-old when he married Mary the Second and it seemed likely that this was her second marriage also.

The GRO Index entry for her death was helpful in giving her middle name and year of birth.

DICK, Mary Elizabeth, [Date of Birth] 1909. GRO Reference:  DOR  Q1/1994 in HULL (5502B) Reg B51A  Entry Number 129.

It also confirmed the approximate date of her death so I then looked at the “possible duplicate” on FamilySearch to see if that offered any clues.

The two addresses for “Mary E. Toalster” were possibly supplied by a contributor with close family connections. I needed to find a birth family for the former Mrs Coultas before I could tackle the merge. Thanks to the 1939 Register data on Find My Past, this was more easily accomplished than I had expected.

A search in the Register for Mary Coultas born in 1909 found the home in Hull that she shared with husband William Henry, a Railway Signalman and two children. The younger child, Brian, had yet to celebrate his first birthday and his registration gave the mother’s maiden surname as HUNT. Mary’s birthdate was clearly written in the Register as “28/2/1908” but her birth registration and a baptism record confirm 1909 is correct.

All I needed now was to show William making way for George, which he did in the June Quarter of 1957, aged 58.

I haven’t found a marriage record for William Henry Coultas and Mary Elizabeth Hunt yet. Ten years older than Mary, William may have first married Agnes SMALLEY in Howden in 1920. But I think I have enough information to hand to do the necessary merge. Tomorrow perhaps.

Bird 97 · Titlark

I think this is a Tree Pipit but I am playing safe. Rock, tree and meadow pipits were all referred to as ‘titlarks’’ once upon a time. Birds Britannica (Mark Cocker & Richard Mabey) has this:-

Small, brown and streaky, pipits represent either an expansive pleasure dome for the hair-splitting expert or a baffling terra incognita to the tyro. Their dullness is legendary.