What Happened to Henry?

In the May 19 post A Mystery Pearson, I mentioned my failure to find any online sources referring to Henry DUFFILL, other than the civil marriage registration in the 4th Quarter of 1874. This is slightly embroidered by a brief Scarborough Mercury notice, dated 10 October –

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.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve looked for him again and come up with nothing. I have no idea when or where he was born and know only that he died between 6 October 1874 and 5 April 1891 when his 44-year-old widow, Elizabeth Ann, was enumerated at the lodging house she kept in Trafalgar Square, Scarborough. Her lone boarder, John G. Brewin, 27, is listed as a “Certificate Teacher of Elementary School”. He would marry Ruth BURROWS later in the year and be a father of two by 1901, and Headmaster of a Scarborough Board School.

20190929TrafalgarSq70_GSVIn 1911, Elizabeth was still in Trafalgar Square (at No. 70, inset) with another lone boarder, Fred WRIGHT, 24, a Coal Merchant’s I didn’t find the Headmaster on the Shared Tree, but this link will take you to Fred. The Find My Past transcription of the census entry says he was born in “Beatlerton”. I have taken this to be Brotherton, which is just down the road from Ferry Fryston – in Selby Coalfield country. I wonder if he knew anything about his 17th-century forebears on his mother’s side.

Elizabeth may have been a handsome 44-year-old, and a merry widow. I must own up to wondering if she might have, erm, had a relationship with the teacher. I have just added her dates to the Shared Tree, and they triggered a “blue hint” recording John Brewin as the first beneficiary of her will. Over thirty years had passed…

Henry remains a mystery. I thought he might be hiding behind mangled spellings of his name, but registrars in Hull in the 1870s seem to have had no difficulty recording the children of half a dozen or more Duffill families. I have yet to see a government source pinning a Henry Duffill to Leeds, let alone Farnhill. Anyway, I have given him an ID and one day, maybe, someone will sketch his life.

A Comedian

1934_PEARSONmaude_flower containerMany years may have passed since flowers were placed in this marble container. Names on three sides remember Frank, Thomas C. and Maude PEARSON.

Maude, a first cousin three times removed to Wrightson Pearson but not blood-related to John of the Three Wives, (go figure), married a WILKINS from Essex. A recent additional stone remembers Ray, who died in 2006. Maude died eight years ago.

None of these St Oswald’s churchyard people has places on the FamilySearch Tree yet, so I set about putting their jigsaw pieces together. I found some of them in the nation’s capital.

Raymond Parker Wilkins was the son of Gerald Douglas Wilkins and Sabina UMPLEBY and grandson of Frederick Robinson Wilkins and Hannah Elizabeth GOLLEDGE.

In 1901, Gerald was three years old, living with his parents at 7 Cormont Road, Lambeth. Visiting the family and snared by the enumerator were Richard and Elsie DOUGLAS. Within minutes of wondering if Gerald’s middle name came from the Douglas family, I discovered Elsie was a Golledge. She was 28 years old and an actress. Her husband was the same age and an actor, but also a comedian. Elsie must have thought she needed a classier moniker for the stage and when she applied for the marriage licence…

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The registrar would have none of it – the civil marriage record has her as Elsie. They married in 1894 and registered the births of two daughters in ’95 and ’96. The girls were not guests of the Wilkins family and I found no trace of any of them after 1901, until 1960 when the older girl died aged 65. Her death is registered in her birth name, but she had married one Arnold WALKER as a 19-year-old. Both life events occurred in Salford, Lancashire, where her father was born.

Salford may not seem the most romantic place to enter the world or leave it, but Richard Douglas was one of at least eleven children. He was the first to be Salford-born but his older siblings took their first breaths in Ireland, South Africa or Japan. (Their father was a bandsman in the army and their grandfather a sergeant in the same regiment.)

The “disappearance” of Richard and Elise/Elsie might be explained by an urge to travel to distant lands.

But another mystery remains. What relation was Elsie Golledge to Hannah Elizabeth? I haven’t found Elsie’s birth registration yet. Hannah’s father, Thomas Miles Golledge, was born in Shepton Mallet, Somerset. Five years after he married Eliza Watkins SHEPPERD in Marylebone, a William J Golledge married Anna M DALE in Lambeth. Thomas worked as a boot machinist, William as a bootmaker. And William had also been born in Shepton Mallet. There is a gap in the arrivals of William and Anna’s children, between Eleanor Sophia and Walter Thomas, where Elsie would fit. Cousins then?

The Shared Tree, however, does offer the Golledge male line through Thomas Miles back to Stephen, born 1578, but Hannah is waiting at the altar – and Elsie doesn’t appear as a child of William Joseph Payne Golledge and Anna Maria Dale. Still a mystery.

And I wonder if the Golledge girls ever visited Filey.

The Three Wives of John Pearson

John was the son of Charles PEARSON and Martha SIMPSON, and stepbrother to Wrightson who drowned from the yawl Integrity (Friday’s post). Today, on the FamilySearch Shared Tree, he is a single man.

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His brides-to-be can be found, though not easily.

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Filey Genealogy & Connections offers two wives, Elizabeth (with a ‘zed’) Baxter and Jane, but Kath notes the existence of Wife No. 2; “not sure which Elizabeth he was married to – choice of a few”.

Elizabeth Baxter was 30 years old when she married and 39 when she died in 1874. There are no indications in the records that she gave birth to any children. In 1871, the enumerator gave her age as 36, five years older than John, and her birthplace Filey.

Ten years later, John’s wife is Elizabeth, given age 43, but her birthplace is omitted. In 1891, the couple is living with John’s father and the transcriber of the enumerator’s book has all three born in Norfolk. This is a wilful misinterpretation of a blizzard of dittos, in the middle of which Charles’ birthplace stands out – Goathland, which we know isn’t in Norfolk but rather the Yorkshire birthplace of John’s mother, Martha. The 1901 census asserts that Elizabeth was born in Filey and again her given age is the same as John’s. This age consistency across three censuses bolsters confidence when we search for the Elizabeth JENKINSON John married in 1875. In FG&C there are three possibilities, born in 1839, 1841 and 1843. The younger two have married other men. The Elizabeth born in the same year as John is a Filonian and waiting for her Mister Pearson, so she must be our gal.

I continue to seek a “clincher” but have enough certainty to proceed with marrying John to all three women on FST over the next few days.

John was a Filey character. The Scarborough Mercury tells us so.

Friday 10 January 1908

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.

Friday 31 December 1909

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.

Poor John. Too unwell, perhaps, to enjoy the short time he had with Jane, a woman 21 years his junior.

It seems strange that a sexton for so many years at St Oswald’s does not have a marked grave in the churchyard.

The 1911 census caught Jane visiting retired coal dealer William WATKINSON at 3 Belle Vue Street, Filey, occupation dressmaker. The only death registration I have found that fits her closely indicates her passing in Pontefract, in 1934. (I did look for her marrying again, without success.)

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3 Belle Vue Street this afternoon

I suppose John’s “failure” to honour the genetic imperative accounts for his remaining a bachelor on FST for so long. However, one of his houses had rung with young voices. In 1901, he and Elizabeth the Second had two servants aged 11 and 12 – Rose and Melita OLDBRIDGE, born in Lincolnshire. I have looked, but have found nothing more about these girls.

 

Wrightson

The distinctive first name came from his paternal grandmother’s family. Jane WRIGHTSON was born in “Heartbeat Country” – Goathland on the North York Moors – and died at the beginning of the year in which her grandson was born.

Wrightson married Mary Jane SHAW in 1877. The newspaper report of his death says he left three children. Filey Genealogy & Connections has daughters Miriam Elizabeth and Mary Jane; the FamilySearch Tree just Miriam. (More work to do.)

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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.