Alice and Her Sisters

Alice COCKCROFT was one of the three widows left to “lament their bereavement” following the deaths of their husbands in November 1852. She was well practised in lamentation.

On the 29th August that year, her younger sister Esther had been laid to rest, aged 17. Ten days later, her elder sister Hannah was buried.

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Alice’s daughter Mary was about 9 months old at this time and her niece, Sarah Ann BIELBY, had recently celebrated her first birthday. There may not have been much discussion before the bereft man and woman, each with an infant to raise, chose to live together. (They would be inseparable for about fifty years.)

The 1861 census found Alice keeping house for George Bielby and Sarah  Ann in Foxroyd Yard, Flamborough. (Mary was with grandmother Sarah Cockroft in South Street.) Ten years later the two girls, now 19, were in Front Street, Flamborough, with their “single parents”.

Mary Stephenson flew the unusual but practical nest first, in 1874, to marry William Joseph GARDINER. The couple moved to Hull and lived in Terry Street for about forty years – without the “blessing” of children.

Sarah Ann married Richard Acklam BAYES in September 1876 and had four children, three girls and a boy who would play cricket for Yorkshire.

George William Bayes, as an amateur in a summer sport, would almost certainly not have given up his job as a fish buyer, or his home in Flamborough. In 1933 he made a short film of fishermen at North Landing and “the climmers” on the headland. You can watch it here. George William was not related by blood to George Stephenson but it would be surprising if he hadn’t been told stories about his “granduncle”.

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Screengrab from George William’s film.

I have made some connections on the FamilySearchTree that help to form a picture of the future denied to George Stephenson. I am unable to present his forebears because there are problems to be resolved.

I have found Flamborough Fishing Families to be a reliable online resource but in this instance, it doesn’t agree with FST.

FFF indicates that George’s parents are George and Mary née CHADWICK. I think this is correct.

FST marries George, son of George and Mary, to a “Mrs Stephenson”, with daughters born in 1857 and 1862. I think Mrs S is Jane DANBY, of North Frodingham. She married George there and they raised their family in Roos. Just to confuse matters further, FFF has the George who went to Roos marrying “Elizabeth”.

Of the three men who drowned in 1852, two families (Bailey and Major) have representatives buried or remembered in Filey St Oswald’s churchyard. If I find Flamborough Stephenson connections to Filey I may return to the difficulties with George senior and junior.

Fathers, Lost

William Hunter BAILEY was two years old when his father failed to return home.

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John BAILEY was 28-years old, George STEPHENSON 27 and John MAJOR 35. Their bodies must have been recovered because their deaths were registered locally, but I have only found a burial record for John Major.

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William and his mother moved the few miles to Filey, where Frances died in August 1870. A few months later William married Elizabeth CRAWFORD. At the 1871 census, the couple was enumerated in Mosey’s Yard and ten years later in Providence Place, having been joined by two children, John William and Sarah Ann.

William, undaunted by his father’s fate, worked as a fisherman. Like his dad, he didn’t make old bones but I have been unable to find the cause of his death at age 34.

His headstone in Filey St Oswald’s churchyard has been moved from his grave to the north wall.

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In remembrance of FRANCES, wife of JOHN BAILEY, who died Aug 14th 1870, aged 51 years.

‘Farewell dear son, do thou earth’s days employ

To fit thee for our Father’s home of joy

Sleep on dear Mother and take thy rest

God took thee when he thought it best.’

Also, WILLIAM HUNTER BAILEY, son of the above and the beloved husband of ELIZABETH, died 16th Sep. 1884 aged 34 years.

Find the three drowned fishermen on FamilySearch Tree: John Bailey, George Stephenson and John Major.

Today’s Image

I walked along the beach to Reighton this morning as a way of remembering the solar eclipse.

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