‘Baltic’ and ‘Noran’

In a Filey Genealogy & Connections note, Kath says that George Whiteley BOYNTON acquired his by-name following his experience of fighting in the Crimean War. Little more than a boy, he was seemingly a combatant in a distant theatre of that conflict – the Baltic Sea. When the Anglo-French fleet attacked Kronstadt in 1854 he would have been just twelve years old, and a few weeks short of his 14th birthday at the war’s end. He gave his occupation as “Mariner” when he married Ann SAYERS in 1864.

Richard Duke ROBINSON, known locally as ‘Noran’ or ‘Dickie Noran’ (for a reason unknown to me), was 47 years younger than George. He made a useful prop for the older man when they were photographed on a quayside with five other fishermen.

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This undated photo was kindly donated to the Looking at Filey blog by Suzanne Pollard and several names were usefully provided. If you reckon ‘Noran’ to be about 14, that would make ‘Baltic’ sixty-one years old, and the year 1903 or thereabouts.

At the 1911 census, George is still working at age 69, but as a general labourer, and living at 4 Spring Road, Filey, with Ann. The couple had six children, two of them failing to reach the first birthday. Three married and two of the boys would acquire distinctive by-names of their own – ‘Boysher’ and ‘Rammy’. More about them some other time.

I have a vague memory of hearing an amusing story about Dickie Noran. I’ll chase it up and, if recovered, share it here.

It appears that George acquired a lasting taste for violence in the eponymous northern sea. Married four years and with third child Annie’s appearance imminent…

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In November 1877, the Scarborough Mercury reported: –

Fighting at Brid Station

At the Bridlington Petty Sessions on Saturday, before Lieut-Col Prickett and Mr C. Mortlock, George Boynton, of Filey, fisherman, was summoned for wilfully interfering with the comfort of the passengers at the Bridlington Railway Station on 13th ult. Inspector Craig of the North Eastern Railway appeared for the company. George Knaggs, porter, stated that defendant and a number of other fishermen were on the platform arguing about a boat, when defendant struck one of the others and a fight ensued. Defendant was turned out of the station but returned and renewed the disturbance. Fined £1 including costs.

George and Ann’s last child was born about three years later and if you think young Frank’s by-name, ‘Rammy’, has violent connotations, you’d be right. But it seems to have been confined to the football field.

George was eighty when he died in 1922 and Ann 86 when reunited with him four years later.

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Find them on the Shared Tree. George’s mother, Elizabeth SUTTON, is not on FST yet. I’m struggling to determine which of several Boynton men called Francis she married.

Action

Although I haven’t yet had a formal response to my message of a few days ago, there has been a great deal of activity in and around the families of the fisherman and the shoemaker on FamilySearch. I am very grateful to whoever has cleared the way for me to put the headstone of William SAYERS and Sarah CHADWICK on the Shared Tree as a memory. Not only has the awkward link between Tunstall/Catterick and Filey been broken, but Susannah and William SAYERS senior have been given their full complement of thirteen children. Four of these have memorials in the churchyard.

The screenshot I posted a few days ago cannot be taken now.

The Yawl ‘Ebenezer’

Captain Syd Smith’s database offers six fishing vessels named Ebenezer but only one yawl, registered as SH30, official number 14911. She was built in Scarborough in 1856 and was only three years old when she lost three of her crew. The Yorkshire Gazette of 9th April reported the tragedy.

Fatal Calamity at Sea

A deep gloom has been spread over Filey for the last few days, owing to the melancholy intelligence having been received on Saturday last that three fishermen, named Francis Haxby, William Sayers and Edmond Sayers, the two latter of whom were brothers, had met with a watery grave. This sad event occurred about four o’clock in the afternoon of Friday, the 1st inst., 30 miles distant from Flamborough Head. The particulars, so far as can be ascertained, are as follows:- The way in which fishing is carried on here, at this season of the year, is by proceeding out to sea a great distance, perhaps 50 miles, in large decked boats called yawls, manned with a crew of eight men. On reaching the fishing ground, two smaller boats called cobles, which are carried on the deck, are launched, three men getting into each. From these smaller boats the lines are put out, and will often extend for miles in length. The lines are taken in after a few hours, the cobles remaining attached to them. It was at this juncture the accident happened. There was a strong gale of wind blowing from the south-west, which, at this distance from the shore, brings on a dangerous sea. The yawl had broken its fore-yard, and whether the men in the coble had been directing their attention to this circumstance, not sufficiently regardful of their own perils, or from whatever other cause, must remain a mystery; but, sad to relate, on proceeding to the spot, nothing could be seen of the men,  –  the coble was there, and full of water. It is supposed a heavy sea had broken into her, or upset her, and that the coble had afterwards righted herself, – the poor fellows having been thrown out. It is to be regretted that the fishermen do not provide themselves with “life-belts,” to put on when following their dangerous calling; had these men had them their lives would probably have been saved. Edmond Sayers was an excellent swimmer, but this could be of little avail, encumbered as they are with clothing and heavy sea boots. William and Edmond Sayers are unmarried; Francis Haxby has left a wife and three young children. His widow will be entitled to some relief from the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners Royal Benevolent Society, he having been a member of that noble institution. The bodies have not been recovered. The coble, too, and all the lines were lost.

Francis was part owner of Ebenezer, with his brother Jenkinson, Robert JENKINSON and Francis CRAWFORD. Jenkinson HAXBY skippered the boat. The vessel was transferred to Hull in the summer of 1876 and re-registered as H1228.

Francis is remembered on his parents’ headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard, and on the stone below, which also names his wife, Susannah, and a fourth child, Mary, who died aged 5 years and 6 months, a year and a half before her father. Francis junior, the couple’s youngest child born in the spring of 1857, would drown from Eliza in October 1880.

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Francis and the Sayers brothers on FamilySearch Tree.

An Accident Revisited

John William Sumpton SAYER’s death was briefly reported in newspapers around the country under headings such as “Man Killed on Beach” and “Run Over by a Fishing Boat”. In not many more than fifty words it was explained that fishing boats in Filey were, in 1939, pulled down to the sea “on two wheels”. John had taken a boat to the sea’s edge when two men following with another coble shouted for him to get out of the way. “Sayers appeared to stumble and before the men could stop, one of the wheels went over his head.” He was killed instantly.

Trivial accounts like this are so unfair – in seeming to imply that the person who died brought on their own demise. John was 62-years-old, a husband and father of two girls, then in their thirties. He deserved better.

He is not, as yet, on the FamilySearch Tree but he has one of the more extensive pedigrees on Filey Genealogy & Connections.Kath Wilkie has attached a note to his record that gives the sad event some context – and the stricken man a measure of dignity that the newspapers denied him.

Severe weather conditions: raining cats & dogs – dark @ 6.30am on Weds. 18 Jan 1939. Had been helping to launch cobles, but had left his oilskins under a fishbox on Coble Landing.  Went off to get them after 3 cobles had been launched so that he wasn’t drenched to the skin. Put his oilskins on and bent his head against the wind and rain.  He couldn’t see because it was so dark, but he knew the way anyway – he’d done it often enough.  He didn’t hear them bringing the ‘JOAN MARY’ down, because of the wind, rain and the sea – and the others couldn’t see him either.   He was knocked down – but nobody saw – and the wheel ran over his head and he was dragged up to 20 yards before they realised what had happened. One of them ran to get Dr Vincent, but he was dead.  The verdict was ‘accidental death’, but the coroner recommended that they use a light when launching the cobles in the dark to avoid any such further accidents.  The inquest was held at the Police Station on Thursday evening.  He had a traditional Filey Fisherman’s funeral with a short service at home (85 Queen Street) and then on to Ebenezer Chapel. He was buried in St Oswald’s.   The two men who were launching the Joan Mary were Thomas & Robert Cammish, both of Queen St (49 & 70) – plus others.

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The tall house is No.85 Queen Street, photographed this afternoon. John’s grave has a kerb rather than a headstone and the inscriptions on such are often obscured by vegetation.

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In Loving Memory of my dear husband JOHN W.S. SAYERS

accidentally killed 18th Jan 1939 aged 62

Also of his dear wife ELIZABETH ANN died 27th Nov 1964 aged 87

‘Reunited            In God’s keeping’

John was a grandfather of William Johnson COLLING, one of the “Langleecrag Cousins” (see 15th November’s post). His somewhat unusual middle-name “Sumpton” had come to him from at least as far back as the late 17th century. His fourth great-grandfather, Henry SUMPTON, was born around 1685.

This post was written before I checked out Looking at Filey. I wrote about this accident on 18 January 2011.

I have created a page on the LaF Wiki for John and Elizabeth Ann’s Monumental Inscription record.

The Baltic Connection

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This is one of my favourite stones, with its dove flying from clouds on rays of light. And yet… It tells just a little of the sad story of this WILLIAMSON family. The inscription notes the father’s death in 1810 at 57, a reasonable “innings” in those days. But his youngest son died at 12 and the third of four children, John, drowned in the Baltic Sea, aged 19, in 1808.  Firstborn William drowned 10 years later, closer to home in South Bay, Scarborough. One of his sons would drown in Filey Bay in 1858, aged 50.

The only daughter of Francis and Ann CAMMISH, married “awd Marky” BAXTER and they brought six children into the world. She died aged 49 and Mark lived on for thirty more years.

But back to John. Filey Genealogy & Connections says he was a fisherman but the Baltic, as far as I’m aware, is beyond the normal range for a yawl, let alone a Filey coble. The war with France had a way to go and I’m wondering if John was pressed into the Royal Navy.

Last month I wrote about the Battle of Flamborough Head, which ended with Captain Pearson surrendering ignominiously to John Paul Jones,  but successfully ensuring the safety of the Baltic convoy under his protection. Roll on twenty years and the Royal Navy is in the Baltic Sea safeguarding its trade routes, thwarting Napoleon’s efforts to cut Britain off from the continent.

If you are not convinced by this scenario, I offer you another Filey fisherman, George Whiteley BOYNTON, who was given the byname “Baltic”. As a teenager, he sailed that sea when it was a theatre of the Crimean War.

I haven’t found “Baltic” on FamilySearch Tree but his parents are there, and his wife, Ann SAYERS.

This WILLIAMSON male line on Filey Genealogy & Connections ends with a grandfather going back in time but brother William leads the way to the mid-twentieth century. (William was baptized in 1779, four days before the Baltic fleet dodged Bonhomme Richard’s cannonballs.) The pedigree is not yet as extensive on FamilySearch Tree.

Family Gash

This day 1829 David GASH [LCMS-6D5]was baptized in Boston, Lincolnshire.

Lincolnshire and Yorkshire make up the heartland for British Gashes. Of 208 people born with that name and enumerated in the two counties in 1881 69.7% were yellowbellies. The tykes were fairly evenly allocated to the three Ridings. Only 4.3% had been born outside the two counties; 74.5 % of the 208 were born in Lincolnshire implying a limited migration to Yorkshire. I haven’t tried to find exactly when David made that move. He is in Sutterton, Lincolnshire in 1841 with parents and four siblings and  Kath’s database has him marrying Ann LANCASTER in Scarborough when he was 24 years old.

Here he is on the FamilySearch Tree (FST) the eldest of nine children born to Edward and “Mrs Mary Anne GASH”.

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But wait, David has a duplicate ID. Here he is shown with some of his descendants and his parents Edward and Mary Ann.

 

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This second fragment of pedigree is low on children  and the maiden names of wives. Kath’s Filey Genealogy & Connections (FG&C) is richer in Yorkshire coast Gashes and identifies at least one of the wives.  It also links the younger David to three mtDNA generations where FSToffers none.

Yesterday I hunted around for the GASH wives and had some success, finding names that have evaded the compilers of several Ancestry public trees. (I don’t have an Ancestry account so cannot inspect those pedigrees closely or readily contact the owners.)

My perfunctory research needs to be checked but I discovered that “Old David” (born 1829) married the widow Ann LANCASTER. Born Ann GLENTON her marriage to William LANCASTER was registered in Scarborough  in March Qtr 1847 (Vol 24 Page 506).Here’s the GRO entry for David and Ann’s son Edward George.

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I found seven GRO records for children of Edward George and Mary Hannah SAYERS. They did not include an elusive Annie who FST has being born some four years before her supposed parents married. The 1911 Census reveals that Edward George and Mary Hannah had nine children of which four had survived  thus far. I will try to find the two that are missing.

What of “Old David’s” mother, Mary Ann(e) born 1811. The eldest of her four children on FG&C was fortunately born after Civil Registration began and the GRO gives her maiden name as DAMM. GRO Reference 1838 Dec Quarter in Boston Volume 14 Page 222. (There were just 6 Lincolnshire DAMMs enumerated in 1881.)

Both FST and FG&C leave “Young David” single and without issue. He married Henrietta CROMPTON in the first quarter of 1914 (Sculcoates 9d 201) and enlisted about the time his daughter Phyllis was born in 1915. The wee girl died in 1917 aged 2. David died the following year, a couple of weeks after the armistice, while on active service in Hull.. He is buried in Hull Western Cemetery, remembered in St Oswald’s, Filey and online here.

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David’s younger brother, Edward was killed in action about two months before the armistice. He is remembered on the family stone in St Oswald’s churchyard and at the Ploegsteert Memorial, south of Ypres.

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Today’s Image (previous post)

If I hadn’t seen Michael Kenna’s Wave, Scarborough, 1981 I probably wouldn’t have thought of taking a photo like this.  Michael’s website.