Another Mystery Pearson

John was the son of Charles PEARSON and first wife Martha SIMPSON. The parents and several of his siblings are remembered in the churchyard but John isn’t to be found there. This is surprising as he had been the sexton at St Oswald’s.

The Scarborough Mercury on the last day of 1909 informed readers of his passing.

Another misfortune was the death which took place yesterday of Mr. John Pearson, the old sexton. So well known was he that his death, which came suddenly at the end, was regarded as a town’s matter-for the sexton was almost part of Filey. Visitors to the Parish Church will have seen him frequently. He was an aged man, well on to 80 years, and was quite a character in his way. He had been poorly for some little time past, and had been medically attended. It is thought that he had had a fit during the night, and died. Just over a year ago he was married for the third time. It was thought, at first, that there would be an inquest, but as he had been medically attended, it was deemed that an inquiry was not necessary. He had been sexton for very many years.

John’s age at death is given as 71 in the GRO Index. In Filey Genealogy & Connections he has only two wives listed but Kath acknowledges Elizabeth the Second in a note, but is not sure of who she is, adding “[there’s a] choice of a few in 1908”.

I have also been unable to determine who won the heart of John after Elizabeth the First died in 1874. Twist my arm and I’d say it was Elizabeth JENKINSON, daughter of George and Elizabeth née SIMPSON (and not related to him by blood through his mother). I’m not sure enough to add this marriage to FamilySearch Tree. John has, as yet, a tenuous foothold on FST. His half brothers and sisters have a better representation.

On Friday 10 January The Scarborough Mercury had this:-

Mrs. Pearson, wife of the sexton, of the Parish Church, died on Wednesday evening at about seven  o’clock, at her home in Church  Hill. She had been ill for some time.

John married Jane GREEN on 21 November that year and died thirteen months later.

Today’s Image

Since receiving its award last year, Nuns Walk has been made more suitable for the tenderfoot. The path borders have been skelped and, it seems, dosed with weedkiller. I preferred it in a wilder, more natural state.

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A Mystery Pearson

Heading west along Church Walk, the headstone of William PEARSON is an eye catcher, (though you would have to be eight feet tall to see all that this photo reveals).

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The inscription tells us that William is “of Filey” but none of the four major censuses he lived through caught him in the town. I thought the mention of his daughter, Elizabeth Ann DUFFILL, who died aged 78 in 1928, would make the family easy to find. Not so.

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Filey Genealogy & Connections has William on his ownsome, with his death/ burial dates and a calculated birth year of 1797. The records say he was 76 when he died; the headstone begs to differ, asserting 72 years.

An hour or two searching available sources on FamilySearch and Find My Past failed to deliver a William I could wholeheartedly believe in. But I did have three or four possibles and one against whom I scribbled “best” on my notepad. There were several Williams that were on the FamilySearch Tree already but none were immediately convincing.

A little more cross-pollinating available online data brought me to an affirmation of “Best William” being the fellow buried by Church Walk, and I have added the headstone picture as a memory on FST.

Some scraps of mystery adhere to him nonetheless. Who was his first wife? He was 43 years old when he married Ann FENWICK and the Cloughton Church marriage register notes his widower status.

Somewhat related – how did a farmer from the Whitby area meet a farmer’s daughter born just outside Hull, over 60 miles away? You will find the answer in a ‘blue hint’ on FST. While William journeyed south, Robert FENWICK moved north to the Scarborough area enabling the connection that brought Elizabeth Ann into the world to be made.

Perhaps more mysterious than William is Elizabeth Ann’s husband, Henry DUFFILL. I have been unable to find a trace of him after this brief entry in The Scarborough Mercury of 10 October 1874.

On the 6th inst., at Murray-street Chapel, Filey, by the Rev. Stephen Cox, Mr. Henry Duffill, of Farnhill, near Leeds, to Miss Elizabeth Ann Pearson, of Filey.

Find William on FST here.

A Fishing Family

A younger sister of Rachel EDMOND (yesterday’s post) married fisherman Charles PEARSON in 1873. Mary Ann had five children with him before he died at the age of just 32. His early death didn’t make the news in any of the newspapers I am able to access, so I am assuming he died from ‘natural causes’. I added his headstone as a memory to FamilySearch Tree this morning.

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Also remembered are their son Robert, who died in Hull aged 25, and daughter Mary Ann who lived for only five months.

Their youngest child, George, was only fifteen months old when his father died but he became a fisherman too. He married Milcah HOPE in 1901 and they had nine children. The parents’ grave in St Oswald’s was bounded by a kerb, so I didn’t have a photograph of it. Kerbs are not photogenic and are readily overwhelmed by grass and accumulations of soil. But on a whim this afternoon I went to see the plot and found the kerb had been restored and a headstone erected. The stone remembers all the children, as well as the parents.

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I created an ID for George on FST this morning and will marry him to Milcah before I post this. She was baptised in Millington on 16 February 1879 and took her mother’s name. Jane HOPE married John William DYKES before that year was out, connecting Milcah to an extensive pedigree.

Three Soldiers

For three young men with Filey connections, a 30th of May would be their last day.

SpionKopSAStephenson Warcup CAPPLEMAN was born in the town in 1872 and, at the age of 28, found himself in “Zululand” with the King’s Royal Rifles. I’m speculating that he was on Spion Kop and at Ladysmith in January but the inscription on the family headstone in St Oswald’s places him at Vryheid at the end of May. Like so many other British soldiers in the Boer War, he succumbed to the enteric fever. (Regimental history online.)

Stephenson is on FST but the system has given him the wrong mother. FG&C seems to be more reliable.

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In loving memory of JOHN P. CAPPLEMAN, who died Feb 26th 1899, aged 57 years.

Also SUSANNA his wife, who died May 24th 1898, aged 60 years.

‘Kind thoughts shall ever linger

Round the graves where they are laid’

Also STEPHENSON W. CAPPLEMAN their son, late King’s R. Rifles, died of enteric fever at Vryheid, South Africa, May 30 1900 aged 28 years.

‘Oh how hard not a friend of his own to be near

To hear his last sigh or to watch his last tear

No parting, no farewell, no fond word of love

To cheer his last moments or point him above’

Richard Haxby PEARSON was born in Chapel Street, Filey in 1895. He has a quite extensive pedigree on FG&C but has yet to be linked to scattered forebears on FST. In the Great War, he served with the second-line 5th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment and died before he was sent to France in July 1916. I have not found his service records online and he has a civil death registration. I photographed the modest cross in a grey, damp churchyard this afternoon, with the following inscription (in part):-

In loving memory of RICHARD HAXBY PEARSON, the beloved son of FRANK AND MARY PEARSON, died May 30 1916, aged 20 years.

‘Too dearly loved to be forgotten

Died for his country’

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Harry GRANT completes the trio.

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“With pride we remember son of above” has to be set alongside Harry’s very sparse Index entry at CWGC, given that both parents “fell asleep” in the 1950s.

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The family isn’t recorded on FG&C and initial research suggests that Harry was one of three children born to Tom TOWNEND during Hannah COULSON’s first marriage. On the 1911 Census return, he is given as Sam’s son but named as Harry TOWNEND. His birth was registered, as Henry, in Holbeck in the summer of 1899.  Samuel had two natural children in 1911, James (2) and Edna (newborn). Edna would almost make her century.

Even if you have only a short-term memory, the date of Harry’s death may remind you of George DOUGLAS. The 1st Lincolnshires took part in the Third Battle of the Aisne and  Harry GRANT is remembered on the Soissons Memorial. I wonder if Harry met George and swapped Filey reminiscences.

FV ‘Joan Margaret’

It is thought that HMT D. V. Fitzgerald triggered an enemy mine in the River Humber on this day, 1941. The explosion sank the motor fishing boat Joan Margaret, and the herring drifter Gloaming, with the loss of eight lives.

There are two posts about this event on the archived Looking at Filey:-

‘Joan Margaret’

‘Joan Margaret’ Revisited

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‘Joan Margaret’ about 1934, Grimsby New Fish Dock, courtesy Martin Douglas

Wreck Site gives the location of the event, details about the vessels and their crews. Joan Margaret, Gloaming.

Below is a list of those killed with links to their Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) web pages and, for the Filey men, links to their pedigrees on Filey Genealogy and Connections (FG&C). At the time of writing, only George WILLIS can be found on FamilySearch Tree. (I haven’t looked for the Gloaming men on FST.)

 

Richard HAXBY, CWGC, FG&C

Thomas Edmond PEARSON, CWGC, FG&C

George Robert PEARSON, CWGC, FG&C

John William POWLEY, CWGC, FG&C

George WILLIS, CWGC, FG&C, FST

Charles A. LITTLE, CWGC

William S. REDGRAVE, CWGC

Robert SWANN, CWGC

On Another Coast

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© David Dixon shared under Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0 licence

These two cast iron iterations of Antony Gormley’s body gazed across the Elbe estuary for a while and now look from Brighton le Sands over the Crosby Channel towards North Wales.

In these waters 77 years ago, HMT Relonzo struck a mine and was sunk. There is a photograph of the vessel and a list of the nineteen crew at Wreck Site. The trawler went down near C10 Red Buoy and it seems that all the men aboard were lost. Relonzo had taken part in the Dunkirk evacuation the previous summer and in 1941 was engaged in The Battle of the Atlantic.

Frank HUNTER was one of the seamen who died on Relonzo.He was born in Hull in December 1908 to Filey-born parents George William and Elizabeth Ann née PEARSON. His memorial is in St Oswald’s churchyard and the stone also remembers his wife Lillian.

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Lillian was also born a PEARSON but I haven’t been able to determine her parentage. The following brief item appeared in The Driffield Times on 25th July 1941.

Filey Man Killed

Mrs. Hunter, of Ebenezer House, Queen Street, Filey, has received word that her husband, Frank Hunter (32), has been killed by enemy action at sea. He leaves three children.

The record for one of the children is “closed” on the 1939 Register and so may still be alive. I added Frank and his siblings to FST today but will leave it to his family to enter more recent information.

The Brothers Chow

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Eight years after Elizabeth Richardson searched the Filey shore for her husband’s body, the family CHOW sought two of their own – brothers, Francis and James. Robert and Mary née PEARSON have ten children listed in Kath’s database, Filey Genealogy & Connections but only three had PIDs on FamilySearch until today.

FG & C has Robert drowning with his sons on 14 January 1808 but I have yet to find an official record to confirm this. This headstone offers circumstantial evidence that Robert lies beneath with  Francis and James, and that two months of searching separated discovery of the brothers’ bodies. The following verse is mostly hidden now but it was recorded by George Shaw in his book,  Rambles Round Filey, 1886 and is included in the East Yorkshire Family History Society transcription.

Most epitaphs are vainly wrote;

The dead to speak it can’t be thought;

Therefore, the friends of those here laid,

Desired that this might be said.

That rose two brothers, sad to tell,

That rose in health, ere night they fell –

Fell victims to the foaming main;

Wherefore awhile they hid remain.

Friends for them sought, and much lament,

At last the Lord to those them sent.

So child and widow may bemoan

O’er husband’s and o’er father’s tomb.

The EYFHS transcription adds the burial records for the brothers; James being interred on 24 January and Francis on March 25th, 1808.

The family unit isn’t complete on FST yet but here is the link to husband and father, Robert CHOW. By the time George, his youngest son, died in 1864 the family name was CHEW.