Making Connections


After gathering more information today and merging a bunch of duplicate IDs I have managed to connect the nine people on the three “family resemblance” stones to folk on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. The connections between the representatives of Foster, Harland and Spink stretched my pitiful graphic talents beyond breaking point but I’m offering a couple of illustrations anyway, in the hope of clarifying their situations.

First, the nine with their “stone names” and dates of arrival and departure.


Now the nine with the names they were born with, and lines indicating their relationship links across the three stones.


I have found only three children born to William FOSTER and Jane HARLAND – and there is one of them on each stone, though I perhaps haven’t made that clear in a linear fashion. The couple may have had more children because there is a gap of 13 years or so between the births of Jane and Editha Sarah Ann.

Editha waited until she was 49 years old before marrying widower Thomas Jennings KNAPTON. She was a married woman for seven years and a widow for 7 more. Two potential stepdaughters had died before she met Thomas, but a stepson, John Barry Knapton, may just have made it to his 80th birthday in 1939. He was named after his maternal grandfather, John Barry SMITH, of Osgodby Hall. Not the Osgodby near Scarborough but the one “near Thirsk”.

The three Foster children who rest eternally side by side probably lived together in their old age. In 1881 Editha was with her husband in Alma Square, Scarborough. Thomas died the following year and Editha ended her days in Filey. In 1881 William, who never married, was with widowed sister Jane in Clarence Terrace, Filey. It seems likely that Editha would have been invited to live with them. The houses are big enough.

Clarence Terrace (now West Avenue) this morning.

Find Editha Sarah Ann on FamilySearch Tree. She may have been Thomas’ third wife. I have just noticed a duplicate record for him showing four other children by another wife named Sarah, but I can’t deal with the merge right now because the GRO Index is down for maintenance.


The first-named on the trio of stones (yesterday’s post) were seemingly rooted in different places.


This William, born in Gristhorpe, farmed Muston Grange for most of his life. His unmarried son, also William, continued to work this land after his father’s death. I have yet to determine who the parents of William Senior were. At the time Junior was at Muston Grange, so too was William Stilborn Foster, one of the farmer sons of Glaves. The two are not related by blood in my Filey Genealogy database, as presently constituted, so I’m wondering how the Grange came to be divided.


In most sources, she is “Edith” and was born in Kirby Misperton. In the 1841 census she is recorded as “Elizabeth” at Allinston Lane End, Barmston where, at the age of 84, her husband William was farming with the help of three male labourers and a female farm servant. Edith(a) died in Barmston in the first month of 1842, and William in the last, in Filey.



A Family Resemblance?


Even though their placement is out of step with St Oswald’s east windows, I have always liked these stones. Fondness at first sight.

Foster, Harland and Spink don’t shout “kinship” but surely all those who lie beneath are related somehow. Three people are named on each stone and they are not all connected yet on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. I’ll attempt to link them up tomorrow. (If you are British, or more particularly Northern Irish, you may immediately associate Harland with Wolff. Start here…)

The Well-Behaved Embezzler

Eight years separated Henry SPINK and his wife Martha DOUGHTY but a few months after he reached his allotted span in 1858 Henry died. Martha followed suit in 1867.Mid-way between their passings, in December 1863, daughter Sarah Doughty died in London. She is remembered on her parents’ stone but was buried in South Hackney, London.


Sarah left six children, aged five up to 20, and a husband in Wakefield Jail. Convicted of embezzlement in April that year, he was transferred to Portland in the summer of 1864.

Sentences for embezzlement in Victorian Britain varied from less than a year with hard labour to 7 years or more – with transportation.

John Hendry NORTH was sentenced to 5 years penal servitude and because of the rocky nature of Portland, I expect there was a hard labour component. His quarterly reports indicate that his behavior as a prisoner ranged from Very Good to Exemplary, which may account for him marrying Frances Ann Elizabeth SHAILER almost a year before he was due for release.

His sentence may initially have been a stiff one because he stole a lot of boodle. He had worked for the Hull Banking Company for 20 years, “had always borne a good character” and confessed to the crime the moment he was challenged about “the deficiency”. He wrote the following memorandum to his employers:-

Sir, With great regret and sorrow, I beg to inform you that my cash account as assistant cashier to the Hull Banking Company is deficient to the extent of £3163 15s. 2d., which sums I have at various times surreptitiously extracted from the company’s cash drawer, which is under my charge and control, and applied to my own purposes, – Yours, &c., J. H. NORTH.

The purposes specified were “the education of his children, the support of his family, and to meet losses by railway speculations”. The sum taken is today worth from about £260,000 (real price of commodities) to £2.4 million (income value).

I wonder if Sarah or her parents had any suspicions. Martha’s death was registered in the same quarter as John Hendry North’s marriage to a woman 23 years his junior. I hope the old lady was unaware of his liaison, 250 miles or so away in the Great Wen.

In 1871 John’s occupation was given as “Verger of St Paul’s Church, Old Brentford”. Ten years later he declared himself a “Retired Banker’s Clerk”. Frances rose a little from Milliner and Dress Maker to Dress and Mantle Maker, giving board to two dressmakers, who were perhaps her employees.

John and Frances had two children, Arthur Guildford and Ethel. The few records I have accessed so far give no indication that the children from his first marriage played a part in his life after release from prison.

John had a presence on FST already. I have added his second wife and a few sources but there are quite a few duplicate IDs to merge.

Today at Speakers’ Corner

Tommy Robinson hasn’t made the BBC News web pages yet but amidst a certain amount of chaotic pushing, shoving and shouting he managed to read Martin  Sellner’s speech, as he had promised to do. As far as I could tell from the rough video footage available (as I write), nobody was hurt, and nobody was arrested. A hard-won victory for Free Speech then. Thanks be to God, Allah, the British police, the government – and all the people who turned up to listen and support ‘oor Tommy’.

Meanwhile, the BBC is informing its viewers/readers that the Russians are stockpiling chemical weapons in Syria. Boris Johnson says so. Chemical weapons will be deployed in Gouta soon, I expect. Russia and Assad will get the blame but the perpetrators will, more than likely, be the terrorists that the Syrian government is trying to remove from the country. Something the United States is doing its worst to prevent.  What a crazy world we live in.