Blazing a Trale

I chose William TRALE because his family name was new to me, and there is minimal information about his parents in Filey Genealogy & Connections. Initial searches on Free BMD and the GRO Index made me think of Spike Milligna, the well-known typing error.

More searching raised a few individuals bearing the name but they were distant in time and place to the young man I was looking for. So, with Spike in mind, I went to THE source – the St Oswald’s baptism register.

Catherine is the tell-tale. Looking in my Filey census spreadsheet picks up the family in no time, at 22 The Crescent in 1861. That Josiah is a lodging house keeper and not an upholsterer is a caution. And although he is a father of four, none are called William. I fear the boy has died already…

I now had enough information to find the family on the Shared Tree. Josiah has five “possible duplicate” IDs. I have linked to the one that shows him with the two Catherines – wife and daughter. And just to confirm that I am on the right trail…

(The mother’s maiden surname for firstborn Clara is “Leggott” in the GRO Index.)

Sarah Ann is one of three SHIPPEY children who lost their father to the Great Gale of October 1880. (John William is “Shippy” on the Fishermen’s Window in St Oswald’s Church.) Her mother would live to see all three married and to welcome at least seven grandchildren into the world. Sarah Ann had three of those children with Isaiah CRAWFORD but she has yet to marry on the Shared Tree. Her man is out there, a fisherman waiting to be caught [GS1G-N4P].

Today’s wedding anniversary celebrants may have travelled a great distance to make their vows at Filey St Oswald’s, only to disappear on their honeymoon, and never return to the town. But the groom having Mendelssohn as a middle name begged my attention. To begin, I knew little more than Joseph’s birthplace and occupation – Roehampton and merchant – and understood the bride to be a Skinner, by family name, not occupation. All praise to the Shared Tree for providing an extensive, illustrated pedigree. Joseph’s connection to the composer isn’t immediately clear but it is worth the time it takes to figure out.

Samuel TOWSE may have spent all of his fifty-six years in a small patch of Yorkshire around Garton on the Wolds. His namesake great-grandson (death anniversary 4 January) would become Filey’s postmaster.

Walter BUNTING is a singleton without a past  – except for the FG&C note that his ashes are at The Lawns (Filey Cemetery). I went there this morning to see if he had a stone but didn’t find one.    

Path 177 · Cleveland Way

Caring for Children

Old News

Friday 4 January 1884


On Wednesday evening, the Rev. J. F. Shafto, of Hunmanby, gave a lecture in the Wesleyan School-room, Filey, which was crowded, on “Outcast London.” The lecture was illustrated by diagrams, and the scenes on the canvas were so graphically described by the lecturer that the audience was kept spell-bound. A vote of thanks was enthusiastically carried at the close to Mr. Shafto. Mr. Shafto said that he intended giving the lecture at Hunmanby and North Burton, and the collections at all the places would go to the support of Dr. Stephenson’s Homes in London, without anything being deducted, as any expense he had been at he should give to the institution.

The Scarborough Mercury

Thomas Bowman STEPHENSON

FamilySearch Tree
My Methodist History

Now we expect children to be masked all day at school and injected with unknown, possibly poisonous, substances.


1879 · Harold BROWN · 94PX-M88

Harold was born in Leeds. His mother, Elizabeth Clay AYRTON, died when he was five years old and his father married widow Sarah Kearney, née PATTEN. Harold become a schoolmaster and lived for some years in West Avenue, Filey. The First World War was the death of him. He served with distinction and the following links give details.

Jesus College, Cambridge
Beck Isle Museum
War Memorial – The Hollies, Leeds

Three headstones in Lawnswood Cemetery, Leeds, remember Harold and members of his large family. Find him on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. (He married Dorothy Josephine ELLISON at St Oswald’s, Filey, in November 1904.)

1620 · Frances BUCKE · L71N-LWP

One of ten children born to Sir John BUCKE and Elizabeth GREEN. Filey Genealogy & Connections is more informative than the Shared Tree.

1837 · Charles NEWTON & Hannah CLOUGH · MP6H-X65 & MJ62-NB8

Charles was born in Helmsley and married Hannah in Hull, but descendants formed relationships with Filey families – including FENBY, SKELTON & STEPHENSON.

1916 · Samuel TOWSE · 909 Towse G769

Samuel was a grocer and sub-Postmaster in Filey. Born just a few miles from the town, he married a Lincolnshire lass in Scarborough in 1864. They had at least seven children, five of whom married but the grandchildren count in my database is currently stuck on eight. The Shared Tree offers a further three (from four marriages).

In loving memory of EMILY, daughter of SAMUEL AND EMILY TOWSE,

who entered into rest February 24th 1896, aged 25 years

‘With Christ which is far better’


In ever loving memory of SAMUEL TOWSE, died Jan 4th 1916, aged 76.

‘Forever Lord I abide with Thee’

Also of EMILY, beloved wife of SAMUEL TOWSE, died Dec 21 1922, aged 85.

‘At rest’

1939 · Tanton FELL · L7XG-6LC

Tanton the Second’s life began life in Huggate in 1880. His distinctive given name derives from his second great grandmother Mary TANTON.

I will put the Towse and Fell stones on FamilySearch as soon as I can.




Out of the rain, sucking chocolate. Two more imperfect books from work – Having Been a Soldier signed by the author (Colin Mitchell) and Lyall Watson’s Supernature with the first 30 pages missing. Dan had a large volume of Michaelangelo’s Drawings. The drawing on the front cover, he said, is in the Ashmolean but never on show. In the book it is wrongly numbered 336 instead of 363 which makes it, Dan said, an imperfect book. But of course, it’s miles above our cut off price of 3 or 4 pounds even if he hadn’t been joking.

Dan continues to be my only workmate. He had a book about George Eliot and related the fascinating episode of her honeymoon in Venice when her husband, twenty years or so her junior, leapt out of the bedroom window into a canal and was fished out by gondoliers. For Want of a Golden City prompted me to ask if he’d been to Scarborough and visited the Sitwell’s home there. He hadn’t but told me of a recital at the Oxford Town Hall when old Edith, vicious bitch by that time, was reading to Walton’s Façade. At the end of the performance, sitting in her invalid chair, she waved a walking stick at the audience. A friend of Dan’s was actually acquainted with Sachaverall and went walking with him, I think at Renishaw. On returning to the house he went to the bathroom and, in wet shoes, slipped and fell heavily, damaging his ribs. The doctor came and asked, “well, Mr Robinson, have you broken anything?” “Yes,” exclaimed the distraught man, “an Eighteenth-Century washstand.”

Mark of Man 79 · Jetty

South Bay, Scarborough