This newspaper story made me smile.
I wanted to find this chap.
The coarse mesh of the census netted only one BURNETT in Filey town between 1841 and 1891 – widow Mary Jane, born MUNRO in Valparaiso, Chile, about 1857. She was living with her mother in 1891 but would marry Richard GRICE later that year.
Filey Genealogy & Connections offers only one likely lad, born 1841 in nearby Muston. I couldn’t find a birth registration for him and, aged 10 in 1851, he is described in the census as the grandson of William and Hannah Burnett. When Thomas married Ann CARR in 1863, he gave his age as 23 and owned that his father was the aforementioned William. If this is the correct relationship, it would indicate his mother Hannah was 46 years old when she gave birth to him.
Thomas and Ann had a daughter in Filey in 1865, Hannah, and then moved up to Durham to live. Two children were born to them in Stockton on Tees in 1868 and 1871. The only indication I could find that this Thomas returned to Filey is the account of drunkenness and unwise words in court.
Is rover Thomas the miscreant? I can’t find him, or wife Ann, in the 1881 census, nor death registrations that fit them comfortably. However, in 1881 their son Christopher was under the roof of George and Mary BRAMBLES in Muston. He is described as the couple’s grandson and with him is William Burnett, who we met earlier. Now an 86-year-old widower, William is still working as a bricklayer. Unhelpfully, his relationship to the head of the household is given as “Boarder”.
I then became entangled in a thicket of Brambles. Jonathan BURNETT, the son of William and Hannah and possibly an older brother of our Thomas, had married Martha, the daughter of George and Mary Brambles. Christopher Burnett is clearly not related by blood to the Brambles but may have been thought of as their grandson. It is more likely that “grandson” in the census refers to Christopher’s relationship to William.
Some help is at hand on FamilySearch Tree. Old father William has a Y-line pedigree going back to the early 17th century. This link doesn’t acknowledge paternity to either Jonathan or our Thomas of interest and I’m reluctant to add either chap, partly because there seem to be two Martha BRAMBLES born 1838 in Muston. One appears to have been illegitimate – there is no Mother’s maiden surname in the GRO Birth Register Index. She married Robert Joseph STABLER in 1857 and the couple migrated to North America. Curiously, FG&C has more detail about her mother, also Martha, than FST, giving her death in Ontario, Canada in 1880 (though no source is offered). It seems very likely that Martha the Elder was the abovementioned George’s sister, but neither FST nor FG&C joins all available dots.
On this morning’s walk, I noticed a familiar name in Hope Street, only temporarily prominent and another smile generator.