After the Workhouse

I returned to the John Stork Problem this morning. It isn’t going to be resolved anytime soon.

I did some more delving and found a snippet of pedigree that gave the cuckoo in the Filey Stork nest the correct parents – Henry and Hannah NETTLETON – but hasn’t yet married John to Hannah STEEL.

I also found “Right John” (after the system had initially denied his existence and I’d created an ID for him). This seems to do a good job of the children he had with Sarah HARPER but also gives him an earlier wife called Sarah TWINHAM. She has borne three children after her death but there’s another reason for her being “iffy”. I think she married a Thomas PICKERSGILL in York.

John’s true first wife, Sarah HARPER, gave birth to eight children before dying in 1864 aged just 37. FamilySearch Tree gives her mother’s name as “Mrs Margaret Harper”. In looking to confirm this, I turned up several christening records of Sarah and siblings being born to Robert Harper and Rebecca.

Five Harper children were born in Bridlington between 1818 and 1830 but I have only been able to find two of them in the 1841 census. Sarah, 15, and her younger brother Richard, 12, are in the Bridlington Workhouse. They are not listed together in the enumerator’s book, but their ages fit very well with their christening dates. What became of the parents and other children?

Sarah may have been resourceful, or perhaps life dealt her some better cards in her later teenage years. She met agricultural labourer John Stork and married him in 1849 when she was 23 years old. At the 1851 census, they are recorded in High Street, Bridlington, with their first child, Emily.

Their youngest child, Sarah, was only two years old when mother Sarah died. John married again the next year. Ann CHAPMAN may have been a good stepmother, and in 1871 she was also caring for Fanny CHAPMAN, a nurse child. This may have been the daughter of a brother because a birth registration for Fanny gives the infant’s mother’s maiden name as WATKINSON.

John and Sarah Harper’s seventh child, Rebecca (perhaps named after her grandmother), married John MOORE, a fisherman who later worked as a brickmaker’s labourer.

They had eleven children, of whom nine reached adulthood. John and Rebecca are remembered on a handsome stone in St Oswald’s churchyard. It stands quite close to the grave of Rebecca’s Uncle Robert Stork. Her father, “Right John”, has a Filey burial record but no known grave.

G277_MOOREjohn_20170429_fst

A Companion for Today’s Robin

5_20190405Chaffinch1♀1_7m

I snapped this chaffinch in Crescent Gardens this morning and didn’t notice its warty feet until I processed the photo. It seems finches of several species are prone to Fringilla papillomavirus (FPV). The condition is also called papillomatosis or, colloquially, fur foot or bumblefoot. The “warts” don’t seem to affect the general health of the birds but may accumulate to such a degree that perching becomes problematic – and feet are sometimes lost.

Brother John

Robert STORK, son of Luke and husband of Margaret CHAPMAN and Rachel HUMPHREY, (and Filey’s Bellman for 28 years), had a younger brother, John.

John appears on the FamilySearch Tree as Robert’s brother and married to Anna STEEL. In Kath’s database, Filey Genealogy & Connections, brother John has two wives, Sarah HARPER and Ann CHAPMAN.

(There is another pedigree in FamilySearch Genealogies supplied by James Mutzelburg that favours John marrying “Hannah”.)

In the Bridlington Parish Church marriage register, the father of Hannah Steel is given as William, a miller. John’s father is Henry, a labourer. If this record is accepted at face value, this John is not Robert the Bellman’s brother.

1843_STORKjn&STEELhannah_mar

Eight years after the wedding, in High Street Bridlington, William Steel is living with his daughter and son in law, and two of their children – George and Jane Ann. William gives his birthplace as Eastrington. I think he is the William christened at Laxton, near Goole, in January 1794, the son of Robert and Elizabeth. A Burton Agnes marriage in 1817 to Elizabeth MASSENDER is possibly the union of this John’s parents.

The other John married Sarah HARPER in 1849 and two years later she gives her birthplace as Haisthorpe, near Burton Agnes. Sarah’s parents were possibly Robert and Rebecca.

To give you the two sets of children now would be confusing. I’ll just say that FST John may have had more children than he is given and some of those listed appear to have wayward birth years. Kath hasn’t given Luke Stork’s son John all his children either. I found two more.

The two Johns had one thing in common. They were both familiar with the inside of the same magistrate’s court.

FST John first…

1874_STORKjnTheft_NEWS

1873_STORKjnCourt_NEWS

In 1871, John and Hannah gave their address as “The Hall, Haisthorpe”. Thirteen miles away, John is enumerated in King Street with five of his children and a nurse child, Frances CHAPMAN. His second wife, Ann Chapman, (not the mother of Frances), was away on census night. The household also contained a lodger, John McGURK, an Irish bootmaker.

And just down the street lived brother Robert and second wife Rachel Humphrey.

Private Abbott

AbbottGAThe first name on the Filey War Memorial seems to be a mistake. A search on the CWGC website brings a George Alfred, Manchester Regiment, and a gunner with the initials G A who served in the South African Field Artillery. I think the initials should be ‘E A’.

Private Ernest Alfred ABBOTT enlisted in the Huntingdonshire Cyclists when the battalion was formed. Posted to Filey early in 1915, he courted local girl Mary Ann STORK and the couple married on 11th December 1915 at St Oswald’s.

When the Hunts Cyclists were disbanded in 1916 he was transferred to the 683rd Agricultural Company, Army Labour Corps (Service No. 434613). He died in Cambridge Easton General Hospital on 18th November 1918, a week after the Armistice. The exact cause of his death is not known. He is buried in St Oswald’s churchyard.

Dan Eaton, In Flanders Fields…The men of Filey who fought and died during the Great War for Civilization (1914 – 1919)

His birth registration, though, gives his name as Arthur Ernest, and for some records of his short life he omitted the middle name and just answered to Ernest.

When I looked him up on Lives of the First World War, two people were remembering him. A photograph of his headstone has been added but there isn’t much detail about his life.

Filey Genealogy & Connections has very little about Ernest’s origins, and Mary Ann was illegitimate so her pedigree is difficult to research. FamilySearch Tree was more helpful, providing a start with his birth family – a father and eight siblings. The mother was given as “Ann M. ABBOTT” but the GRO quickly supplied her birth name – GAVINS – and four more children. Ernest was the youngest, then, of thirteen. Ernest’s father and eldest brother had the middle name “FAVELL” and it was no surprise that this proved to be the maiden surname of his paternal grandmother.

Most of these Abbotts and their spouses were landed peasantry from a small area of Huntingdonshire. Initially, I had the notion that it had taken a war to push Ernest out of his family heartland but research unearthed an earlier migration of some Abbotts to Yorkshire. Ernest’s Aunt Rebecca married agricultural labourer Joseph ROBINSON in Alconbury cum Weston in the mid-1850s,  and the childless couple moved to the Howden area of East Yorkshire sometime between 1871 and 1881. They both died in 1910 before Ernest was sent to Filey with the Hunts Cyclists. Rebecca departed first, in July, and was buried in Howden. Joseph, in his mid-seventies, had no family to care for him and was dispatched to the workhouse where he died before the year was out.

After Ernest’s death, Mary Ann didn’t fare well. Their only child was two years old and another boy was born in late 1919. Life must have been a great struggle for her and she died in the North Riding Asylum in York in 1924. The Borthwick Institute in York probably has details of her last weeks or months there, and maybe a photograph. I hope she wasn’t certified as a lunatic – and that the Abbott boys did well after their difficult start in life.