A Sense of Belonging

I wrote about John MABBOTT in July 2011. The Looking at Filey blog is still inaccessible at The British Library’s Web Archive so I offer it below, in full, with some comments inserted in square brackets.

The stone has begun a glacial topple from the vertical but its position by the path in the churchyard guarantees that most people passing by will notice John MABBOTT – and perhaps wonder about the “of Filey” beneath the name.

In 1881 the census enumerator caught John with his wife Ruth at 80 Ashton Old Road, Openshaw, his occupation Herbalist & Patent Medicine Dealer. He was 57 years old and Ruth 56. Any children they may have had would have flown the nest.

Ten years later John was in Filey with another wife, Mary Elizabeth, eight years his junior. Checking Free BMD I found that Ruth, born MASON, died about June 1882 in Chorlton Registration District, which includes Openshaw. It would appear that John had no family to keep him in Lancashire because about eighteen months later he married a former Governess, Mary Elizabeth BIRD, in Selby. In 1881 Mary Elizabeth had been staying in Filey with a much older cousin, Mary BIRD, at 14 Hope Street.

Mary BIRD described herself as a ‘proprietress of houses’ at the 1861census and in 1881 as a ‘retired milliner’. Her retirement came to an end a few weeks later and perhaps Mary Elizabeth was a beneficiary of the substantial estate.

In 1882 or ’83, then, there were two bereft and maybe lonely people whose paths unaccountably crossed. Whether it was for love or convenience John and Mary Elizabeth married in Selby and set themselves up in one of cousin Mary’s houses in Filey. They enjoyed almost ten years together. Can we be sure they were happy? I think the “of Filey” is a clue. John seems to have been a wanderer – the 1841 to 1871 censuses might confirm this – but maybe his last years in Filey were his happiest and he asked Mary Elizabeth to let everyone know this by implication on his headstone. It is one thing to feel comfortable in a community though and another to be accepted by it. One wonders if old Filey family tongues wagged disparagingly when they saw the inscription. 

According to the Census John was born in Sleaford, Lincolnshire.  I haven’t found any other sort of record to confirm this but I did happen upon a PDF of burials in that town which prompted an intriguing thought or two. (Well done Sleaford Town Council for making this information freely available on the web.) [The URL for this PDF doesn’t work now.]

The first Mabbott on the list is Alma, aged 0 in 1859 when John was 37. Ruko Inkermann MABBOTT died the following year before reaching his (her?) first birthday. Other tiny Mabbott infants died in 1862, 1865 and 1867. And the father of at least some of these babies was almost certainly a John MABBOTT who married Mary POWDREL (or POWDIEL) on 18th October 1855 (Family Search England Marriages 1538 – 1973 Source Film 989862; Free BMD Dec Q Sleaford 7a 835).

It may not have been Filey’s John though. On the 30th May 1866 another John MABBOTT, born 1822, was buried in Sleaford and there had only been one of these Johns in the town at the1861 census.

Thirteen Mabbott burials are recorded in Sleaford in a hundred years. The modal age is 0, the median 3 and the average just 26 years so our John did very well to reach seventy, though I guess the herbal remedies and patent medicines helped.

After her husband’s death Mary Elizabeth moved back south, close to the places where she was born and married. She died in or near Selby on 22nd June 1915 and although she is remembered on the headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard it isn’t clear that she is actually buried there. [A record of her burial in St Oswald’s churchyard was found later.]

I have put John MABBOTT and his wives on the Filey Tree even though it is unlikely any other family groups will ever connect to them. I think it’s what he would have wanted. I have also opened a Wiki Page for him with blank tables for 1841 to 1871 census information that will help fill the gaps in his life journey.

[The “Filey Tree” was a database briefly hosted by FamilySearch but it disappeared in the major revamp of the Shared Tree some years ago. The “Wiki Page” is no longer easily accessible online. I offered some thoughts on the 1851 census last Friday ( John Mabbott’s First Marriage). In 1861, John “Mobbett” is visiting John BOWNS and family at Earls Terrace, Newton in Makerfield, given age 37, married, working as a Smith, birthplace “Sleaford, Lancashire” in transcription (RG09 2898 f99 p29). On census night ’61, Emma “Mabbott, widow”, age 39, “Cotton L Weaver”, birthplace Manchester, is a lodger at 55 Mulberry Street, Hulme, Chorlton (RG09 2898 f99 p29). In 1871, at West View, Openshaw, John heads a household containing second wife Ruth Mason nee GREEN and two of her three surviving children, Amos (16) and Martha (12). As the eldest, Mary at 19 was possibly in service somewhere in Manchester. (There is a Mary Mason of this age in a Manchester Prison but the receiving ledger gives her birthplace as York.)]

Path 133 · Martin’s Ravine

Birds of a Feather

John BIRD, born in Hunmanby towards the end of the eighteenth century, waits for ancestors on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. He married Mary LOWSON in 1828 and they brought three children into the world. After the appearance of John junior in Hunmanby, the family moved to Gateforth near Selby where Mary Elizabeth and Richard William were born.

John married at the age of 24, Richard at 32 – and Mary when she was 52 years old. Her husband, John MABBOTT, was about eight years her senior and had been married twice before. He was described in censuses variously as a Herbalist, Patent Medicine Dealer, Seedsman and Druggist but seems to have started out as a Smith (1861 census). In 1891 they were living in Hope Street, Filey, most probably at No.14.

2 May 2021

Two years later, after not quite ten years of marriage, John died, leaving Mary to a widowhood that would last for 23 years.

The more odd one imagines a couple to have been, the more one wonders how their paths crossed.

John was born in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, but a less than clear census record places him in Chorlton, Lancashire with an illegible occupation and a wife called Emma. Their ages are not given but a number of later sources indicate an unhappy marriage. They may have had just one child, a daughter Elizabeth who didn’t make it to a second birthday. On census night in 1861, John is a lone visitor, claiming to be married, at the home of a handloom weaver in Warrington. Some miles away, Emma Mabbott is a lodger in the Chorlton home of an elderly couple, John and Elizabeth BERRY. She tells the enumerator she is a widow. Whatever her true status, she died two years later, aged 37.

John gave up metal working and turned to selling drugs. There is no evidence that he did business with Openshaw druggist Abraham MASON but seven years after Abraham’s death in 1863, John married the widow Mason. Ruth (nee GREEN) had given birth to Abraham’s eleven children but John became stepfather to just three of them. Seven children had died in their first year of life and the eighth, Sarah, in her second. In 1881, eleven years into the marriage, John and Ruth, given ages 57 and 56, were enumerated at 80, Ashton Old Road, Openshaw.

Meanwhile, over the Pennines in Yorkshire…

In 1851, Mary Elizabeth worked as a Bonnet Maker from the home of her parents in Selby. Her father, schoolmaster John, died in 1855 and by 1861 Mary Elizabeth had become a teacher in the the “family school”. (Her mother was described as “School Mistress” at this census.)

Both of Mary Elizabeth’s brothers had forsaken Yorkshire for the red rose county and in 1871, aged 39 and described as a “Governess”, she was living in Manchester with younger brother Richard William, his wife Mary (nee WEBSTER) and their two infant daughters. John Mabbott was living with Ruth and her children Amos (16) and Martha (12) less than a mile away. Mary Elizabeth, “formerly Governess”, was back in Yorkshire in 1881, sharing 14 Hope Street with her cousin Mary Bird, a single woman aged 75 and the illegitimate daughter of Elizabeth Bird. Elizabeth was born in Hunmanby in 1783, making her a likely older sibling of schoolmaster John. Mary died shortly after the census was taken. One now has to suspect that Mary Elizabeth had met John Mabbott when she lived for a while in Openshaw, or perhaps he was a friend of her brother, Richard William. Whatever, eighteen months after the death of his second wife Ruth, John Mabbott married Mary Elizabeth in Selby Abbey and they settled into the little house on Hope Street. He was enumerated there in 1891 as a “Retired Druggist” and died two years later, in July 1893 aged 70.

Richard William returned to Yorkshire and in 1901 he was farming at Burn, near Selby – and widow Mabbott was visiting him on census night 1901. In 1911, aged 79, she was back in Hope Street, at No.6, with a servant, Frances WOODALL, born in Barlby, near Selby. Mary Elizabeth died in that village four years later and it seems likely that she was brought back to Filey to be buried with her husband.

I know it is a stretch to suggest that Mary Elizabeth sharing accommodation with a cousin and a probable aunt is akin to “flocking” but, in the absence of more reliable sources, the relationships noted in census returns seem to offer opportunities for “tree growth”. I’ll see what I can do over the next few days.

Bird 101 · Blackcap

Fishing for Thomas Mackrill

I have cast my net into the sea of sources in the hope of catching Thomas, husband of Margaret, the second daughter of Barnet MURPHY and Susanna nee CHAMBERS (see A Childhood Memory).

The marriage of Thomas MACKRALL (sic) and Margaret was registered in Tadcaster in 1857. The 1861 Census places them at the same address as Margaret’s widowed mother but separates the two households. Thomas is 32 years-old, working as a flax dresser and his birthplace is given as “Holden” in the Findmypast transcription. In the page image it looks like “Hebden” to me – a small settlement near Pateley Bridge. Margaret is nine years younger than her husband and a winder in the flax mill. The couple have two children already, Mary Ellen and Francesca.

By 1871 they have moved to Selby. Margaret has enough work at home with six children aged between one and thirteen. Thomas is still a flax dresser. The transcription does not give birthplaces but the page image clearly shows Thomas entering the world in “Beverly”. In 1881 this becomes “Bewerley”, half a mile south of Pateley Bridge. The family has returned to Clifford, just outside Tadcaster, and four children have been added to the roster.

Something happens in the 1880s. It isn’t possible to determine how long Thomas lives apart from Margaret but on census night 1891 he is in Clifford with two of his youngest children and with Margaret’s elder sister Ann, 56 years old, a seamstress and unmarried. Thirty miles to the west, at Northowram near Halifax, Margaret, 53, shares  her home with four of the older children.

Thomas dies before the next census. His young sons move to Halifax to live with their mother. Ann lives alone in Clifford and her death is registered soon after the census, in the June Quarter of 1901.

I had yet to find a record of the birth or death of Thomas. Then, this christening in Pateley Bridge appeared.

Thomas MACKRILL: son of James of Wath in the Parish of Kirby Malzard (sic), Miner, & wife Elizabeth, daughter of Humphrey & Hannah HANNAM. Born 21 December 1830; baptized 7 April 1831.

A shock awaited me on the FamilySearch Shared Tree.

I didn’t doubt for a moment that this fragment of pedigree was correct. Two children with middle names honouring maternal grandparents were clinchers. I had come within a whisker of making the kind of mistake on FamilySearch that I have previously spent hours correcting.

Somewhat ironically, I then found the death registration of “not my Thomas”, in Halifax in 1887, aged 56.

I have lost hope of catching Margaret’s husband but will add his children to the Shared Tree when I find the time.

Found Object 50 · Memory Stone

Royal Parade

What Happened to Peter?

Elizabeth MURPHY was sixteen years old, single, and a yarn winder in 1861 (Sunday’s post). Ten years later she was mother to four children and working as a “baller in a flax mill”. The birth of the first child, Mary, was registered in Malton in the same quarter as her marriage to John NASH.

For a few shocked moments, I contemplated a Free BMD record being wrong.

Bramham is just a mile from Elizabeth’s home in 1861. On census night that year, Peter was about fourteen miles away, an apprentice “living in” with Spurriergate butcher John JUDSON. John’s eldest daughter, Ann Elizabeth, was a year older than Peter but fate (or passion) connected him to Elizabeth Murphy.

McClear is an Irish family name and McLEAR Scottish. Representatives of each clan seem to be few and far between in England but there is this birth registration fifty miles away from Bramham in the quarter following Peter and Elizabeth’s marriage.

Nine years later, Elizabeth and John Nash named their sixth child James. James McClear/McLear was not with them in 1871 but I haven’t found a record of his death.

I have been unable to find a source for Peter’s death. The 1861 census gives his birthplace as Liverpool. A Peter McLEARY was born in 1843 (mother McCONNEL) and a Peter McCLARY the following year (mother McDERMOTT) but I could find neither boy in the 1851 census in Lancashire or Yorkshire. (I tried “fuzzy searches” and all the variant spellings I could think of.)

Another Peter McClear did, however, appear. Born in Ireland in 1802, he was enumerated in York in 1851, living less than a mile from Spurriergate, and for a moment I wondered if he was the father of “our Peter”. But he is listed as an unmarried Master Mariner. That he is the uncle of the Head of the household, one Thomas HUSBAND – a flax dresser! – could help further investigation but all I have so far is that he was still a boarder in St Clement’s Place twenty years later, aged 69, and single. (Peter McCLERE, Retired Mariner). He died in York aged 76 in 1879.

I searched newspapers for all the people mentioned in this post and only found this possible reference to Peter the Elder.

Another snippet gives Malabar’s weight as 1,372 tons. William Clark may have painted her.

With so few of the McClear clan crossing the Irish Sea to seek their fortunes in Victorian Britain, it seems unlikely that I’ll hear any more of young Peter – but I would like to know what happened to him. He seems real enough to be given a place on the Shared Tree. (Two Blue Hints appearing on his record suggest “the system” concurs.)

Water 42· Martin’s Ravine

Cascade

The Three Wives of William Welburn

William is the father of Alfred and therefore grandfather to Elizabeth of Picturesque Terrace (last Wednesday’s post).

Elizabeth Strangway, you may recall, was close in both age and geography to Elizabeth Strangeway – about six months younger and at one time a ten-minute walk away from her almost namesake. But which of them was the daughter in law of William Welburn?

FamilySearch screenshots tell stories.

WELBURN_wmHarriett_FSTscreenshot

This is rather sketchy but I believe Alfred’s mother was indeed Harriett. I’m still not sure that his mother in law was Sarah MATTHEWS because not only were the Two Elizabeths close in age at birth, they seem to have died within a year of each other. Geography again has a part to play. The Elizabeth pictured above, (let’s call her Elizabeth I), registered the births of six of her nine children in Hull but died in Selby in 1912 aged 71. Elizabeth II died the previous year in Hull, aged 72. Had she been the daughter of Frances Gibson her age should have been given as 70.

On second thoughts, because Alfred’s birth had been registered in Selby, and his father was born in a village only five miles away from there, the screenshot above may indeed be true in every respect, as far as it goes. A doubt lingers though because Elizabeth I was enumerated in Francis Street, Hull in 1911.

Here is another screenshot story.

WELBURN_wmAnn_FSTscreenshot

This is Alfred’s father. He really did marry Ann Thickett, just not when he was eleven years old. (This William would have been only a year old when he made Harriett pregnant for the first time.) Spare a thought for Ann having four children in her fifties. Mary J had fourteen children. Would Ann have lived long enough to dandle any of them on her knee?

1852_WelburnLaycock_Marr

Ann married as the widow Laycock in 1852, bringing along Vincent and Eliza for William to step-parent.

Fourteen months earlier, William had married his second wife in Selby.

1851_WelburnFish_Marr

She too had been married before but appears to have been childless. She was a stepmother to Ann/Hannah (13), Alfred (8) and Alice (1) for less than six months before dying aged 34.

The children’s mother, William’s first wife Harriett CUNDELL, had died in the September Quarter of the previous year, aged 37.

William, a millwright by trade, was clearly a man of action – if what I have told you about him is true.

My narrative of the Three Wives cannot be followed on the Shared Tree. There are some vital pieces of the puzzle to chase down and when I have them, I’ll make the necessary changes on FamilySearch. I think the travesty of the William and Ann Thickett screenshot was largely the result of “the system” going haywire, rather than a human contributor losing their mind. None of these people is a blood relative, and they only connect tangentially to Phyllis, my first cousin once removed, but I feel I should make an effort to set things straight.

Clouds 40 · Filey Bay

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The Widow Precious

Elizabeth BEAN was born in Newland, near Drax, in 1817. She married John PRECIOUS, of Selby, in February 1841 and, as far as I have been able to determine, bore him just one child, Annie. The girl died in March 1856, just thirteen years old. Five years earlier, the census caught the small family visiting farmer Timothy KNOWLES and wife Sarah in East Retford, Nottinghamshire. John, described as a Spirit Merchant in 1841, was now an “Independent Gentleman”. Five years after the death of his only child, he was a schoolmaster, enumerated at the school in Hensall, near Pontefract.

In the early 1860s, something happened to turn John from a pedagogue to someone who supplied footwear to Filey folk. In October 1865, one of his workmen at the “shoe warehouse” in John Street stole three pairs of shoes. Richard BENTLEY, 40, was taken into custody, charged, found guilty and sentenced to three months in jail. Before he was released, his employer died. The body of John Precious was taken for burial in Selby but his widow stayed in Filey and kept the business going for another fifteen years or so. In 1868 she advertised her wares as follows:-

PRECIOUS, 4,   John  Street,   “Begs  most  respectfully   to  inform   the Inhabitants and Visitors of Filey that a first-class stock of FRENCH and ENGLISH boots and shoes are always on hand, which for beauty, style and elegance cannot be surpassed. A visit to this Emporium of Fashion will be esteemed a favour.”

 

And in March 1878:-

E. PRECIOUS, 4, JOHN STREET, NEW FILEY, keeps a first-class Stock of French and English BOOTS and SHOES, and Berlin and other Fancy Wools, are always on hand, which for Style and Elegance cannot be surpassed.

This morning, the sun shone upon Lilly’s Sandcastle, 4 John Street. (I’m assuming that there hasn’t been a renumbering of the street’s properties.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At the 1871 Census, Elizabeth was living here with her “grandson”, George BEAN, aged 14 and described as an “assistant teacher”. He would later get a real job, and in May 1892 drown from the fishing boat Unity.

In 1881 Elizabeth shared 4 John Street with her “granddaughter”, Elizabeth BEAN, age 15 –  the eldest of George’s four sisters.

There is much work still to be done on the BEAN pedigree but, as it stands today, Elizabeth was not related by blood to these young people.

Widow Precious decided to relinquish the John Street business in March 1882. An auction notice in the Scarborough Mercury described some of the house contents:-

BEDROOMS.-Iron and wood Tudor and French bedsteads and hangings, prime feather beds, bolsters and pillows, mattresses, palliasses, blankets, sheets, counterpanes, cane-seated chairs, carpets, washstands, dressing tables, mahogany chests of drawers, and other chamber requisites.

SITTING-ROOM.-Drawing-room suite in green rep (walnut frames), very handsome marble-top walnut chiffoner, plate-glass back and panels; splendid inlaid walnut whatnot, mahogany loo centre table, mantel glass, carpet and hearthrug, fender and fire-irons, pictures, &c.

BACK SITTING-ROOM and KITCHEN, &c.-Couch, arm chair, rocking chairs, tables, kitchen utensils, and all the pots, pans, and other articles too numerous to mention.

Elizabeth moved a short distance to the Crescent and experienced some aggravation. In 1885 she introduced a Mr. Haxby, probably Frederick (1830 – 1910), to Judge BEDWELL at Scarborough County Court. The reporter for the local paper described the case thus:-

PRECIOUS v. HAXBY.-This was an action brought by the plaintiff, Mrs. Elizabeth Precious, The Crescent, Filey to recover damages from the defendant, Mr. Haxby, joiner, of Filey, for damage done to her property which she holds as tenant under a two years lease, granted by Messrs. Rowntree and Sons, of Scarborough, the then owners of the property.-Mr. Richardson, of Bridlington, represented the plaintiff, and Mr. Royle the defendant. It was stated by Mr. Richardson that the property in question was subsequently conveyed to the defendant. The property was situated in the Crescent at Filey, and was rented at £75. The defendant and his men came one day, and in spite of all remonstrances of the plaintiff pulled down a wall, which act, it was alleged, interfered with the privacy of the house. The defendant had several times asked the plaintiff if she would have the wall down, but she, said that on no account would she consent to it-Mr. Royle raised the question of jurisdiction, and the case was ousted, being struck out of the list.

This unhappy experience may have been enough to drive Elizabeth from Filey. In 1891 the enumerator found her in Bilton, just outside Hull, living with her “sister”, Ann, eight years younger and also a widow. Elizabeth defined herself as a “retired lodging housekeeper”. Ann was still working the family farm.

When Ann married James ENGLAND in 1846 she gave her last name as BOULTON, not BEAN. She was only 21 when she married and unlikely to have been a widow. I don’t have the proof yet but I became fairly sure that Ann and Elizabeth were full sisters when I discovered their father was called John Boulton Bean (Source: marriage record for John Precious and Elizabeth). He is represented on the FamilySearch Tree as the illegitimate son of Ann BEAN, a case perhaps of the family accepting the father was a Mr. BOULTON.

Elizabeth didn’t make it to the 1901 census. Thirty-five years of widowhood ended on the farm at Bilton in the September Quarter of 1900.

Duckling Update

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Spot the mother! (The boating lake in Glen Gardens this morning.)

An Occupational Hazard?

Frederick Andrew CULLEY and Annie LANGFORD married in 1881 and brought nine children into the world. The first three births were registered in Somerset, the others in Scarborough. I think only the last two, Walter Edgar and Sydney Horace, were born in Filey. The family headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard is a sad one. Both parents died at 86 – having mourned the deaths of at least five of their children. One boy died at 14 months, the Great War took two young men, “middle age” two more (though we would say 37 and 43 are “young”). The first name on the headstone is  Sydney Horace who “died as a result of an accident”, a few months before his 19th birthday.

I couldn’t find a newspaper report of the fatal accident but towards the end of 1916, The Driffield Times offered a snippet of Filey news –

Sydney H. CULLEY, son of Mrs. Culley, Vernon House, aged fourteen, has been successful in passing a railway clerkship examination.

Earlier that year Annie had received letters informing her of the two who died “on active service”, so perhaps seeing her youngest making good progress raised her spirits. Did you wonder about the absence of Mr. Culley? Annie and Frederick were still married at the 1911 Census but, it seems, living apart. Annie was a “Clothier” at 1, Union Street, aged 50. Ten years later she was given the honour of opening the Memorial to the Fallen in Murray Street.

But back to Sydney. His death was registered in Selby, a small town of no great distinction. My only memories of it are of the Trans-Pennine train rumbling slowly over the old bridge spanning the River Ouse, and the sight of the Abbey – rare beauty on this rather grim northern journey. Of course, I’m jumping to a conclusion thinking Sydney died on the railway. Perhaps somebody reading this may know what happened to him.

There were three Culley girls. Rhoda Susan died aged 74 in 1969. She did not marry. I haven’t researched Edith Madeline or Dorothy Winifred yet.

There are only three Culleys on Filey Genealogy and Connections and they are not “joined up”. I have added a few sources to the FamilySearch Tree. The casualties of war have had LaF Wiki pages for a while but I haven’t had a chance to update them.

TwoCulleys

Reginald Vernon CULLEY 1882- 1916

Thomas Joseph CULLEY 1888-1916