A Request…

…for a headstone photograph arrived from Find a Grave a few days ago that I was able to  claim. God’s Acre in Hunmanby is close to a bus route and I made the short journey yesterday. As I searched for the target, I took the opportunity to photograph the war graves and a few memorials bearing familiar family names. I was pleased to find the Five Angels.

Having fulfilled the FaG order, I have just added the CAMPBELL family stone as a memory on FamilySearch. The three remembered were adrift on the Shared Tree but Agnes Octavia had a duplicate ID that facilitated connection to a well-populated pedigree that will take you back to the 15th century.

Bird 96 · Chaffinch♀

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

A Childhood Memory

The Number 30 bus to town would drive slowly down a long, straight street of small shops with its pavements thronged with people not socially distancing. I looked forward to the turn at the end for the glimpse it gave of a church that seemed out of place. It was not drab. There was just time to take in its pastel colours, the stone figures in their niches and, on the pediment two curious words in gold, DOMVS DEI.

The seven or eight year-old me probably asked my mother what “domvers” meant. She may have told me, but puzzled fascination persisted until I started doing Latin at secondary school.

Google Street View

I set out yesterday on the trail of a front line worker’s forebears, this being more of an appreciation than clapping on my doorstep. “A” is not a doctor, nurse or care worker but someone putting themselves in a place of danger most days to preserve something of the “old normal”. Where would we be without cheerful checkout ladies at the supermarket?

On 28 April 1811 Susanna CHAMBERS was baptized in the Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Jarrett Street, Hull.

Fifty years later she was a widow, living in Tadcaster with two unmarried daughters and mother Ann, who is described as an agricultural labourer (aged 81). Susanna’s husband, variously Barnet, Bernard, Bryon or Bryan MURPHY, had been an overlooker in several Yorkshire Flax Mills until his death in 1858, aged 52. His younger daughter, Elizabeth, was sixteen in 1861 and a yarn winder in a Tadcaster mill. I have yet to prove beyond reasonable doubt that she is A’s great grandmother. Elizabeth has, so far, made the slightest of impressions on the FamilySearch Shared Tree.

Returning to the House of God. The front page of the Register in which Susanna’s baptismal record appears indicates that the “Chapel” of Saint Charles Borromeo was founded by the “Reverend Peter Francis FOUCHER” in 1798. About twenty years later he returned to France, his homeland. There are two men of the right vintage on the Shared Tree that share his name. One is the father of Adèle, wife of Victor HUGO, but he was getting married in Paris when his near-namesake was overseeing the building of a church in Hull.

Measure of Man 50 · Coble Landing

Farmer, Publican, Farmer

Samuel Nesfield was born in 1811, the eldest son of Samuel GOFTON and Sarah. When his firstborn daughter Henrietta was baptised in 1836, his occupation was given as Farmer in the St Oswald’s register. Five years later, the 1841 census describes him as a Publican.  Samuel’s wife, Catharine, gave birth to four more girls and it seems likely that they were all born at The Bull Inn, Gristhorpe.

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Catharine died in 1845 when youngest daughter Juliana was about 18 months old. Samuel might have been expected to find a second wife to help with the raising of his family but he chose to remain a widower – and return to farming.

In 1851 he is working 110 acres at Colton near Tadcaster. The return says he is employing no labourers but his widowed mother Sarah, 66, is his housekeeper and Henrietta, 15, is “employed at home”.

Ten years later the census names the farm as Colton Haggs where he employs 1 man and 2 boys on 108 acres. There are two farm servants living-in,  both carters, aged 18 and 19. Big boys! Two nephews, Samuel Gofton and John Henry SELLER(S), are there on census night and one is described as a farmer.  Samuel’s four daughters are still unmarried and presumably helping around the farm.

Colton Haggs is a working farm today, with Bed & Breakfast being a supplementary generator of income. The farm name on an old census return is perhaps flimsy evidence that this place was once owned by the Goftons – but there are photographs on the Internet that may be of interest.

Samuel seems to have returned to Gristhorpe to die – in 1867 aged 56. His headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard also remembers Catherine but does not tell us that they are “Reunited”. It is next to the grave of Rachel Swales, his father’s first wife.

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Find Samuel Nesfield on FamilySearch Tree.

Today’s Image

After photographing The Bull Inn this morning I walked back to town along the cliffs. I have long thought of “North Cliffs” running from Carr Naze to Gristhorpe Wyke but Googling brought up Newbiggin Cliff for the ramparts heading east from the Wyke.