The Three Wives of John Pearson

John was the son of Charles PEARSON and Martha SIMPSON, and stepbrother to Wrightson who drowned from the yawl Integrity (Friday’s post). Today, on the FamilySearch Shared Tree, he is a single man.

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His brides-to-be can be found, though not easily.

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Filey Genealogy & Connections offers two wives, Elizabeth (with a ‘zed’) Baxter and Jane, but Kath notes the existence of Wife No. 2; “not sure which Elizabeth he was married to – choice of a few”.

Elizabeth Baxter was 30 years old when she married and 39 when she died in 1874. There are no indications in the records that she gave birth to any children. In 1871, the enumerator gave her age as 36, five years older than John, and her birthplace Filey.

Ten years later, John’s wife is Elizabeth, given age 43, but her birthplace is omitted. In 1891, the couple is living with John’s father and the transcriber of the enumerator’s book has all three born in Norfolk. This is a wilful misinterpretation of a blizzard of dittos, in the middle of which Charles’ birthplace stands out – Goathland, which we know isn’t in Norfolk but rather the Yorkshire birthplace of John’s mother, Martha. The 1901 census asserts that Elizabeth was born in Filey and again her given age is the same as John’s. This age consistency across three censuses bolsters confidence when we search for the Elizabeth JENKINSON John married in 1875. In FG&C there are three possibilities, born in 1839, 1841 and 1843. The younger two have married other men. The Elizabeth born in the same year as John is a Filonian and waiting for her Mister Pearson, so she must be our gal.

I continue to seek a “clincher” but have enough certainty to proceed with marrying John to all three women on FST over the next few days.

John was a Filey character. The Scarborough Mercury tells us so.

Friday 10 January 1908

Mrs. Pearson, wife of the sexton, of the Parish Church, died on Wednesday evening at about seven  o’clock, at her home in Church  Hill. She had been ill for some time.

Friday 31 December 1909

Another misfortune was the death which took place yesterday of Mr. John Pearson, the old sexton. So well known was he that his death, which came suddenly at the end, was regarded as a town’s matter-for the sexton was almost part of Filey. Visitors to the Parish Church will have seen him frequently. He was an aged man, well on to 80 years, and was quite a character in his way. He had been poorly for some little time past, and had been medically attended. It is thought that he had had a fit during the night, and died. Just over a year ago he was married for the third time. It was thought, at first, that there would be an inquest, but as he had been medically attended, it was deemed that an inquiry was not necessary. He had been sexton for very many years.

Poor John. Too unwell, perhaps, to enjoy the short time he had with Jane, a woman 21 years his junior.

It seems strange that a sexton for so many years at St Oswald’s does not have a marked grave in the churchyard.

The 1911 census caught Jane visiting retired coal dealer William WATKINSON at 3 Belle Vue Street, Filey, occupation dressmaker. The only death registration I have found that fits her closely indicates her passing in Pontefract, in 1934. (I did look for her marrying again, without success.)

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3 Belle Vue Street this afternoon

I suppose John’s “failure” to honour the genetic imperative accounts for his remaining a bachelor on FST for so long. However, one of his houses had rung with young voices. In 1901, he and Elizabeth the Second had two servants aged 11 and 12 – Rose and Melita OLDBRIDGE, born in Lincolnshire. I have looked, but have found nothing more about these girls.

 

Another Mystery Pearson

John was the son of Charles PEARSON and first wife Martha SIMPSON. The parents and several of his siblings are remembered in the churchyard but John isn’t to be found there. This is surprising as he had been the sexton at St Oswald’s.

The Scarborough Mercury on the last day of 1909 informed readers of his passing.

Another misfortune was the death which took place yesterday of Mr. John Pearson, the old sexton. So well known was he that his death, which came suddenly at the end, was regarded as a town’s matter-for the sexton was almost part of Filey. Visitors to the Parish Church will have seen him frequently. He was an aged man, well on to 80 years, and was quite a character in his way. He had been poorly for some little time past, and had been medically attended. It is thought that he had had a fit during the night, and died. Just over a year ago he was married for the third time. It was thought, at first, that there would be an inquest, but as he had been medically attended, it was deemed that an inquiry was not necessary. He had been sexton for very many years.

John’s age at death is given as 71 in the GRO Index. In Filey Genealogy & Connections he has only two wives listed but Kath acknowledges Elizabeth the Second in a note, but is not sure of who she is, adding “[there’s a] choice of a few in 1908”.

I have also been unable to determine who won the heart of John after Elizabeth the First died in 1874. Twist my arm and I’d say it was Elizabeth JENKINSON, daughter of George and Elizabeth née SIMPSON (and not related to him by blood through his mother). I’m not sure enough to add this marriage to FamilySearch Tree. John has, as yet, a tenuous foothold on FST. His half brothers and sisters have a better representation.

On Friday 10 January The Scarborough Mercury had this:-

Mrs. Pearson, wife of the sexton, of the Parish Church, died on Wednesday evening at about seven  o’clock, at her home in Church  Hill. She had been ill for some time.

John married Jane GREEN on 21 November that year and died thirteen months later.

Today’s Image

Since receiving its award last year, Nuns Walk has been made more suitable for the tenderfoot. The path borders have been skelped and, it seems, dosed with weedkiller. I preferred it in a wilder, more natural state.

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