Three Sisters

Sarah Ann, Mary and Grace were born to Arthur COULSON and Jane ATKINSON between 1825 and 1833. They had an older brother, William, but he died in 1860, aged 37.

GateHouseFarm_BingIn 1851 Arthur was farming 104 acres at The Gate House a little to the north of Lebberston village. The family unit was in residence, complete, with two farm labourers living in. A year after William’s death the Coulsons were still together, but Arthur had only 12 acres in Gristhorpe.

Arthur died in 1869 and his widow appears to have sold the farm. The 1871 census shows Jane at the same address as a “retired farmer” with two unmarried daughters. Mary had left home after marrying John SIXTON, a few months before her father died.

I mentioned in an earlier post that farmers married late. John, a bachelor, was 57 and Mary 41 when they teamed up to farm 56 acres at Gristhorpe.

By 1881 the sisters were orphans and the census indicates that Arthur’s land hadn’t been sold but rented out. Sarah Ann and Grace were living together as “Land Owners”. It seems unlikely that the rent from 12 acres would have kept the sisters so perhaps they had inherited the Gate House land too.

John Sixton died in 1885 and in 1891 the three sisters were living together in Londesborough Road, Scarborough. The exact address isn’t given but at the 1901 and 1911 censuses, Mary was resident at No. 28, three doors away from the CARR sisters (24 June post A Visitor).


Grace died in 1897 and Sarah Ann in 1899. The three sisters are together in St Oswald’s churchyard.


The inscriptions are difficult to read. Mary is with John on the left; Grace and Sarah Ann to the right. The graves of their parents are almost in the line of sight through the gap between the stones, near the church.


I have only just made a start on the Coulson pedigree on FST. I’ll put all four stones on as Memories as soon as I can but for now, you can find the family, in isolation and without the Sixton connection, here.

Finding a Jewel

On my walk this morning, I saw this insect –


I haven’t been able to identify it.



A Melancholy Suicide

Matthew COWTON was born in Reighton in 1808 but at some point moved to York where he was apprenticed to John DALE, Grocer and Tea Dealer. He married Jane JEFFERSON in York in 1830 and the first three of their children were born in that city. The next four opened their eyes in Scarborough, Jane’s home town before the family returned to York, where their last child and fifth daughter Frances was born in 1844.

Matthew gave his occupation as Grocer at the 1841 and 1851 censuses but also accrued wealth dealing in property. By some happenstance, he lost most of the property and, in some despair, turned to drink. Early in 1857, however, he managed to get some of his old properties back and was somewhat restored to health. In March he advertised the following Freehold Property in Reighton, near Bridlington:-

To be sold by Private Contract, Five Substantial Built COTTAGES, replete with every Convenience, and a Garden behind each; also a large Barn, Stable, and other Out-Buildings, with a Fold Yard adjoining the same, in the occupation of John Wood and others. The above Propery is situate in the centre of the Village. To treat for the same, apply to the Owner, Mr MATTHEW COWTON, 22, Goodramgate, York.

The following month, Matthew was appointed a Parochial Constable for Minster Yard with Bedern. In October he found himself accused, with several other policemen of assaulting two people he and a colleague were attempting to arrest – for being drunk and disorderly. Thomas and Mary Lyons put up a fight, using whatever implements came to their hands – a knife, a fender, a pan and a rolling pin. The constables called for reinforcements and eventually prevailed. By the time the Lyons reached the police station they were both bruised and bloodied and took out summonses against nine policemen, including Matthew.

The impending case must have driven Matthew back into depression and on Sunday before the case was to be heard, he got drunk by teatime, stumbled up to bed but hanged himself with a belt instead. Jane went up to check on her husband and found him awkwardly suspended. She called two men passing by the house and one pulled Matthew down. One of his sons saw he was still alive and a surgeon was called. Mr PROCTOR’s attempts to restore Matthew failed. After an Inquest in The Turk’s Head, the Coroner declared…

…the deceased hanged himself during a fit of temporary insanity brought on by anxiety about his property, and the habit of excessive drinking of intoxicating liquors.

A few days later three policemen were charged with assault upon Mr and Mrs Lyons and two others of damaging their property. Only Matthew’s colleague, HOLMES, was found guilty of assaulting Mary Lyons and was fined £2 plus costs. Matthew may well have been discharged with all the other defendants.

Only three months earlier, Matthew had witnessed the marriage of his eldest daughter, Christiana Matilda. He didn’t get to see the arrival of Joseph Edmund ELAND, his first grandchild, or to mourn the deaths of Christiana and her newborn fourth child a few years later. And, between these sweet and bitter events, his fourth daughter, Emily, died in Filey, aged 20. She is buried in St Oswald’s churchyard.


Find Matthew on FamilySearch Tree.

The Jackson Eight

Robert JACKSON, a butcher and farmer in Lebberston, had eight children with Elizabeth CLEMIT. Though both parents lived to a good age, the young ones fared less well. Three died before the age of ten, and two daughters reached their mid-twenties. Eliza seems to have been the only one to marry, and she died before her fortieth year. William’s last birthday was his sixtieth. I’m not sure yet when Charles departed this life, or if he married, but on FamilySearch Tree, he was trafficked to another couple in a distant part of the country. He was put there by “the system” so I had no compunction about rescuing him.

In St Oswald’s churchyard, there are three headstones, side by side, that remember six of the children plus their parents and Elizabeth Clemit’s father, Charles. Both FamilySearch and Filey Genealogy and Connections had records for just two of the children, so I’ve created IDs for “the missing” and put photographs of the headstones on FST as Memories.

There seems to have been nothing newsworthy about the deaths of the young Jacksons, but George and James died in the same month, December 1857, aged 7 and 4. Ann died in December 1869 and Mary Jane followed her to the grave less than three months later.

Eliza had three daughters with Police Sergeant Henry ALDEN and the middle girl, Bridget, was living with grandparents Robert and Elizabeth in 1891 when she was seventeen. I don’t know what became of her, or her sisters, Emily and Elizabeth.



Find Robert on FamilySearch Tree.

A Visitor

In September 1842, the Reverend Charles CARR and his young wife brought their infant daughter to the coast. They had to make the thirty-mile journey back to Burnby Rectory without Emily Charlotte Frances, having chosen to let her rest eternally in St Oswald’s churchyard. The burial register notes her age, 4 months, and her status – “a visitor”.


With little information to go on, it seemed idle to wonder what sort of life Emily would have had, given time. Some possible scenarios opened up after a bit of digging in the archives.

Elizabeth Agnes LUNDY was Charles Carr’s second wife, and 22 years his junior. His first wife was also called Elizabeth and she died in Winchester at the age of about thirty, when Charles was Rector of Headbourne Worthy. I haven’t found evidence of her birth but her family name may have been BOYNTON, on the flimsy evidence of her only child (perhaps) being baptised Elizabeth Rachel Boynton CARR.

Nine years after Elizabeth the First died, Charles married the Second, a daughter of Lockington’s Rector, Francis Lundy. Charles’ origins are uncertain but I think he was born in Knaresborough, so by returning to Yorkshire he was, in a way, coming home.

Emily was preceded by Agnes Marianne, and followed by Charles Francis and Amy Elizabeth Emily. The boy was less than six months old when he died but the sisters made it to their sixties. Neither of them married.

Charles died aged 67 in 1861. Somehow, he had turned the shepherding of his Burnby flock into a lucrative business. He left what appears to have been a remarkable art collection.

[To be sold by by AUCTION] on TUESDAY, the 2nd Day of July next, at BURNBY RECTORY, near Pocklington, the whole of the Choice and Valuable Collection of OIL PAINTINGS, by Italian, Flemish, and Dutch Masters of the Old Schools, formed with great taste, care, and judgment, by the late Rev. Charles Carr, embracing fine examples of many of the most eminent Ancient Masters, including “The Holy Family” by Julio Romano, a magnificent production; a “River Scene by Moonlight,” – Vandermeer, a pleasing transparent cabinet gem; a “Grand Mountainous Landscape, with Cattle, Goats, and Figures near a Fountain,” on the banks of a stream, by Berghem; a “Sea Piece”, by Backhuysen, with all the fine silvery tone of the Master; “Landscape and Figures,” by Zucharelli; and many highly important Works by


Whatever the sum raised by this sale, it seems to have been enough to keep three ladies in comfort for the rest of their lives.

Ten years after her husband’s death, Elizabeth II was living in Albion Place, Scarborough, with Agnes and Amy, then aged 30 and 24 and without occupation.

By 1881 the trio had moved the short distance to 4, Princess Royal Terrace, where they now formed a quartet with Elizabeth’s unmarried sister, Agnes Eliot Hamilton Lundy, who had “income from house property”.

The four ladies clearly enjoyed living together on their own means and were still resident in Princess Royal Terrace in 1891. Death split up the group in 1900. Elizabeth Agnes was the first to go. Her daughters moved to 34 Londesborough Road, and their Aunt went to live a ten-minute walk away, with her younger sister, 74-year-old Emily Henrietta Lundy, now the widow PAIGE. These two were still together in 1911 but the younger Carr sisters had died by then, Agnes Marianne in 1905 and Amy Elizabeth Emily in 1910.

Our little visitor, had she lived, may have found a good man to love and be loved by, but I think the odds are that she too would have chosen comfortable independence in the Queen of Resorts, free of the messiness of marriage and children. Just a thought.

Find Emily on FamilySearch Tree.

Coltas Continued


Both sons born to Christopher COLTAS and Elizabeth ATKINSON married. Christopher would surely have attended the wedding of Edwin to Bridget CLARK but he died before Herbert married Mary WRIDE. It seems that both happy couples remained childless.

Christopher’s second wife, Mary HILL, must have been ten or more years younger than he was. Their first two children died before their first birthdays. Two more boys followed and were given the same names as their predecessors. The younger, Alfred Hill COLTAS, left Scarborough while still in his teens. The 1871 census finds him boarding in Janet Street, Manchester, working as a glass blower. In 1875, aged 23, he married Elizabeth SMITH, daughter of a Warehouseman. Ten years after Christopher’s death they brought Christopher’s first grandchild into the world. Thirteen years after Clara Hill’s birth they named their fifth child Christopher.

Alfred’s older brother, Frederick Hill Coltas, lived with half-brother Edwin and Bridget in Scarborough and may have helped to work their deceased father’s farm for a while.  But he too crossed the Pennines into Lancashire and, at the age of thirty, married Ellen DOLAN in Salford. The 1881 census gives his occupation as “Bricksetter”. He was still a bricksetter in 1901, and by then a father of sixteen children, though only eight were living. Ellen had three more children after the 1901 census, all girls – and only one of them was recorded in the 1911 census. Ellen filled out the form as a widow and stated she had borne 19 children in 30 years of marriage, and ten had died.

Two of Alfred and Elizabeth’s five children had died before 1911 so, in total, Christopher Coltas the Eldest had 24 grandchildren he didn’t live to see, and twelve reached adulthood. A quick search reveals five marriages but I have no intention of looking for Christopher’s great-grandchildren. I’m content that my gloom of a few days ago – that his two sons with Elizabeth Atkinson may have been the last of his line – has lifted now. I hope some living descendants of Christopher COLTAS and Mary HILL will find the extended pedigree on FamilySearch and add to it.