Sarah’s Unfortunate Menfolk

Sarah was the middle child of five born in Flamborough to Tanton CHADWICK and Mary STEPHENSON. When she was eight years old, her father left home one day to fish and didn’t return.

BRIDLINGTON: – On Monday, the body of Tanton Chadwick, one of the fishermen who was missing from Flamborough in the late gale, was washed ashore at Filey bay, near the lighthouse.

Yorkshire Gazette, 18 October 1851.

Tanton was buried in Flamborough St Oswald’s churchyard the following day.

Ten years later Sarah was working in Driffield as a housemaid to Anna Stephenson, a grocer/draper recently widowed (at just 24) and possibly a relative. I don’t know how Sarah met fisherman William SAYERS, but she married him at Filey St Oswald’s in November 1865.

In January 1877, while pregnant with her fifth child, Sarah received news that two of her brothers had drowned.

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Baby Susannah would die on the fourth anniversary of the deaths of her uncles. She was old enough to have been excited about welcoming a baby brother into the world. The birth of Thomas was registered in the same quarter as Susannah’s death, but he lived for just nineteen months.

The gales of early March 1883 took the lives of four Filey men, one of them Sarah’s husband.

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(Horatio WILKINSON and George SCOTTER were the other two fishermen lost on 6 March.)

William’s headstone in Filey St Oswald’s churchyard has a fine carving depicting a yawl.

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Denison (SH88) survived the beaching at Spurn. Built in Rye in 1859, it had a long working life before being wrecked at Saltburn on 4 August 1904.

In 1911, widow Sarah was living in Hope Street with her son William, byname “Ginger Billy”, daughter in law Elizabeth née JAMES and six grandchildren. She had ten more years ahead of her, dying at Seadale in November 1921, aged 78.

I did a few hours of research into the Chadwick family of Flamborough before discovering they were well represented on the Shared Tree.

It isn’t a simple matter to marry Sarah off to William. As the son of yesterday’s fisherman, the union might raise the ghost of the shoemaker. I have messaged a contributor to the pedigree of William Benjamin SAYER and maybe the “issues” will soon be resolved. I will add a photo of William and Sarah’s headstone to FST as soon as I can.

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