Birds of a Feather

John BIRD, born in Hunmanby towards the end of the eighteenth century, waits for ancestors on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. He married Mary LOWSON in 1828 and they brought three children into the world. After the appearance of John junior in Hunmanby, the family moved to Gateforth near Selby where Mary Elizabeth and Richard William were born.

John married at the age of 24, Richard at 32 – and Mary when she was 52 years old. Her husband, John MABBOTT, was about eight years her senior and had been married twice before. He was described in censuses variously as a Herbalist, Patent Medicine Dealer, Seedsman and Druggist but seems to have started out as a Smith (1861 census). In 1891 they were living in Hope Street, Filey, most probably at No.14.

2 May 2021

Two years later, after not quite ten years of marriage, John died, leaving Mary to a widowhood that would last for 23 years.

The more odd one imagines a couple to have been, the more one wonders how their paths crossed.

John was born in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, but a less than clear census record places him in Chorlton, Lancashire with an illegible occupation and a wife called Emma. Their ages are not given but a number of later sources indicate an unhappy marriage. They may have had just one child, a daughter Elizabeth who didn’t make it to a second birthday. On census night in 1861, John is a lone visitor, claiming to be married, at the home of a handloom weaver in Warrington. Some miles away, Emma Mabbott is a lodger in the Chorlton home of an elderly couple, John and Elizabeth BERRY. She tells the enumerator she is a widow. Whatever her true status, she died two years later, aged 37.

John gave up metal working and turned to selling drugs. There is no evidence that he did business with Openshaw druggist Abraham MASON but seven years after Abraham’s death in 1863, John married the widow Mason. Ruth (nee GREEN) had given birth to Abraham’s eleven children but John became stepfather to just three of them. Seven children had died in their first year of life and the eighth, Sarah, in her second. In 1881, eleven years into the marriage, John and Ruth, given ages 57 and 56, were enumerated at 80, Ashton Old Road, Openshaw.

Meanwhile, over the Pennines in Yorkshire…

In 1851, Mary Elizabeth worked as a Bonnet Maker from the home of her parents in Selby. Her father, schoolmaster John, died in 1855 and by 1861 Mary Elizabeth had become a teacher in the the “family school”. (Her mother was described as “School Mistress” at this census.)

Both of Mary Elizabeth’s brothers had forsaken Yorkshire for the red rose county and in 1871, aged 39 and described as a “Governess”, she was living in Manchester with younger brother Richard William, his wife Mary (nee WEBSTER) and their two infant daughters. John Mabbott was living with Ruth and her children Amos (16) and Martha (12) less than a mile away. Mary Elizabeth, “formerly Governess”, was back in Yorkshire in 1881, sharing 14 Hope Street with her cousin Mary Bird, a single woman aged 75 and the illegitimate daughter of Elizabeth Bird. Elizabeth was born in Hunmanby in 1783, making her a likely older sibling of schoolmaster John. Mary died shortly after the census was taken. One now has to suspect that Mary Elizabeth had met John Mabbott when she lived for a while in Openshaw, or perhaps he was a friend of her brother, Richard William. Whatever, eighteen months after the death of his second wife Ruth, John Mabbott married Mary Elizabeth in Selby Abbey and they settled into the little house on Hope Street. He was enumerated there in 1891 as a “Retired Druggist” and died two years later, in July 1893 aged 70.

Richard William returned to Yorkshire and in 1901 he was farming at Burn, near Selby – and widow Mabbott was visiting him on census night 1901. In 1911, aged 79, she was back in Hope Street, at No.6, with a servant, Frances WOODALL, born in Barlby, near Selby. Mary Elizabeth died in that village four years later and it seems likely that she was brought back to Filey to be buried with her husband.

I know it is a stretch to suggest that Mary Elizabeth sharing accommodation with a cousin and a probable aunt is akin to “flocking” but, in the absence of more reliable sources, the relationships noted in census returns seem to offer opportunities for “tree growth”. I’ll see what I can do over the next few days.

Bird 101 · Blackcap

A Mariner’s Daughter

I sailed an extra league this morning to make sure I could place Doris, in Goole, in the household of William AARON – and call out Doris Lynette, born 1918 in Athens, Georgia, as an impostor on the FamilySearch Shared Tree.

If you go to Doris Lynette’s details page you will find that one of her seven sources is the birth registration for Doris in 1895.

Just Doris married Thomas Palmer in 1921 and the census of 1939 (the Register) found the couple in Goole with three daughters. (The girls’ married names were added to the census document later. Winifred, for example, married Ronald BEEVERS in Goole in 1949.) Below is a screenshot of the Palmer household as presented by Findmypast.

Doris was 34 years-old when she received news of her father’s death in the Kattegat, en route to Copenhagen.

An Admiralty record gives William’s rank as “First Mate”, his date of death the 18th March, and the cause of death as “shock following immersion”. It also gives the location of the SS Irwell when the accident happened.

I will leave The Mystery of Doris Lynette for someone else to solve.

Mark of Man 60 · Lifeguard Training

Filey Sands

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

The Gamekeeper’s Daughter

Thomas William, the younger brother of Robert DENNIS (Monday’s post) married Mary Eleanor GORING in 1880. She was born at Beaumanor Park, Leicestershire, where her father was a gamekeeper to William Perry HERRICK. I checked on this representative of the landed gentry to see how distinguished he was and my spirits lifted to discover he had been photographed by Camille SILVY. When I first became entranced by the Art of Photography, Camille’s River Scene was an early favourite.

Courtesy J. Paul Getty Museum, Open Content Program

You can read about the photograph here. Camille Silvy spent some years in London and made many portraits, including this self-portrait with a young boy. William Perry Herrick is just William on the FamilySearch Tree, with the male line stretching back to the 13th century but he died without issue.

I don’t lnow why Beaumanor’s gamekeeper moved up to Yorkshire. In 1881 he is enumerated at the Keeper’s Cottage in Kirby Knowle with his wife, their recently married daughter, son in law and perhaps their first grandchild, Thomas Goring DENNIS.

In the next ten years Mary Eleanor gave birth to five more children but died in 1891, aged only thirty-three. Four years later, Thomas William married a widow whose husband had likewise died young, leaving her with three children aged two to five. All of these children have yet to be brought together on the Shared Tree.

Bird 93 · Wigeon♂

Filey Dams

Two Yorkshire Cricketers…

…with Filey connections.

In the summer of 1888, Ernest CREIGHTON played four games in two weeks for his home county. A slow left-arm orthodox bowler and lower order batsman, his figures were reasonable but he clearly wasn’t good enough for Yorkshire and he returned to Todmorden, his club at that time.

His father Edwin (some records have “Edward”) was a successful builder and Ernest followed him into the trade. In the 1881 census he is living with his parents and older brother Richard in Hemsworth, aged 21 and described as a Mason (journeyman). He is still under his parents’ roof ten years later but is now a “Professional Cricketer”. He married Mary HILL  in Hemsworth towards the end of 1896 and in 1901 they were living in Scarborough with infant son John and Mary’s widowed mother, Harriet. Ernest is still a Professional Cricketer at 42. He died aged 71 in Mountfields Nursing Home, Leeds but, it seems, was brought to Filey for burial. It is his grave that has been misplaced on Google Maps Satellite View (Friday’s post).

Ernest’s effects would be worth about £725,000 today.

His representation on the FamilySearch Shared Tree is not so rich.

Herbert SUTCLIFFE was an opening batsman and right-arm medium bowler for Yorkshire, playing 754 1st Class matches between 1919 and 1945. With Jack Hobbs he formed the “greatest opening pair in the history of Test cricket”.

Brief biographies of Herbert are easy to locate online but I could not find one that mentioned him living in retirement in Filey. I found the evidence for his sojourn here in an unlikely place.

I loved Filey which was a little seaside town. One day walking along the promenade I saw a loose boxer dog. I had seen a dapper old gentleman walking two of them on many occasions and I had seen where he lived. I caught the dog and used my whistle lanyard as a lead. I knocked on the door and got a real shock! It was the great England and Yorkshire opening bat, Herbert Sutcliffe. He invited me in and I spent a wonderful half hour talking to him with a cup of tea while he sipped his scotch Next day on 4 to 12 shift the sergeant told me the chief inspector wanted to see me. I thought, ‘what now?”

He told me that Mr Herbert Sutcliffe had called him about the dog and wished to say what a caring and observant constable I was…

My Life by David Garland

Herbert lived in an apartment in Belle Vue Street, above what is now CoCo.

I am still looking for Herbert’s family on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. He married Emily PEASE in North Bierley in 1921 and the couple had two children. Their daughter, Barbara, became a teacher, married Albert WILCOCK in 1948, and when she retired was given an appreciative write-up in the Craven Herald & Pioneer.

Townscape 63 · Scarborough

South Bay

Doubting Another Thomas

I happened upon a Shared Tree mix-up a few days ago and it has taken a lot of source searching to resolve.

Thomas, son of Thompson, had been married off to the wrong woman. This situation seems to have been allowed to stand for a few years and, as this Thomas had no sources attached to him, I made some changes. You will now find Rose Hannah’s children with a different father.

If enough living representatives of the families SAWDEN and SAWDON were to be DNA tested it might be found that they are quite distinct lineages. In the imperfect world we inhabit, the variant spellings are haphazardly applied. “Screenshot Thomas” married Florence SAWDON (Free BMD). She had two daughters and the GRO Index entries both give “Sawdon” as the Mother’s Maiden Surname.

Florence signed her name in the St Mary’s register –

The witnesses were siblings of Thomas. The full entry gives us their father’s name.

If you look for Thomas in FamilySearch Sources you will be given this –

Look further down the list and you will see the other Thomas tied to Rose Hannah – and with parents Thomas and Ann, not Thompson and Rachel.  (The illustration below is generated by a search for Thomas born in Towthorpe and three of the children listed in the top hit have the family name SODON in the GRO Births Index. Thomas is clearly a Sawdon in the Wetwang cum Fimber baptism register. On 21 April 1867, the family was resident at Dale Cottages, Wharram Percy. Towthorpe is mid-way between this village and Wetwang.)

Florence is buried in St Oswald’s churchyard and the inscription remembers her first child, Pearl.

Townscape 61 · Crescent Gardens

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Only Connect #3: Thomas Thackrah Cortis

Thomas was about twenty months old when his mother died. His father chose not to marry again so Thomas was raised by older sisters.

As mentioned in an earlier post, of the six Cortis boys who reached adulthood, one emigrated (eventually) to Australia and the other five to America. Thomas seems to have had the greatest difficulty getting to grips with the New World.

He has four Personal IDs on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. Only one gives him parents.

Two show him married to Helen Isabel (or Isabella) WHITTEMORE. Here is one –

Though lacking detail, these two screenshots “tell the truth” – but only part of his story. Helen was his second wife. The fourth ID reveals his marriage to Sarah Jane HERRICK and the three sons they brought into the world. (Two didn’t stay long and Richard died aged 19.)

Poor Sarah. Her pedigree is astonishing – if the Shared Tree is to be believed. Forebear Henry Herrick Snr. arrived in Salem. Massachusetts aboard Lyon and married in the village three years after its foundation in 1626. His son, Henry Jnr., was a member of the jury at the Witch Trials. Her European ancestry is replete with aristocracy and a sprinkling of royalty. I feel sure Sarah would have been told stories at her mother’s knee of the Puritan Plantation – but that she was related to King Henry III of England? Maybe not.

Sarah gave birth to her boys in three different Iowa towns – De Witt, Fulton, and Davenport. Infant Herbert died in Davenport and Harold the following year in Fulton. Thomas was a physician, and clearly an unsettled one. However, the strength of his bond with sister Jane is indicated by these places being between ten and forty miles from the DANNATT family at Low Moor.

Over on Ancestry Sarah has been given an extra child.

Mabel was, of course, Helen’s child and if you look again at the second of the screenshots above you will see Mabel’s son Richard Cortis GREEN.

Richard, nicknamed “Cort”, exchanged letters with the Australian branch of the family and Peter has given me permission to share some of what he wrote about his grandparents. Poor Thomas and poor Helen. The following is part of a 1968 letter transcribed by Peter. Some of it may be fanciful family lore (not true) but this section is so vivid I offer it unedited. (Cort’s handwriting is difficult to read.)

“Cortis Fam. History – very little do I know really —SAM, RICHARD (White Star Line Boston, Hamburg American, NYC). JESSIE (married [Alvey] of US WORLD (Newspaper NYC & Almanac). Carrie Cortis (Sam’s daughter) Daunett –all familiar names.

MUCH EMOTION AND PROBLEMS FOR my mother as [the] penniless daughter of [the] youngest boy (THOMAS THACKERAY CORTIS), by 2nd wife , A WHITTEMORE (family split by US Civil War & impoverished).

Thomas Thackeray had wife & son RICHARD when came to U.S after service as an army surgeon in Sepoy Mutiny & Crimean War. [indeciph]:-siege of Balaclava -who knows – maybe he sparked [could be “spanked”] Florence Nightingale!! (One Brother skipper of R.N vessel in that show).

Next we see him a widower with a teenage son in N.Y.C courtesy of older brothers who got him a job as the port health officer –on strength of fantastic language skills –7 proficient [14 speaking].

We see him making classic mistake of trying to find a foster-mother for son & himself a wife. He married Helen Whittemore. She has social aspirations. Debts mount up. His brothers pay. He gets out of town. Goes to DeWit CLINTON IOWA. Has daughter (my mother) born approx. 1876 (mother always said she was born 1880 & records burned in DeWit Club). Moved Municipalities [indecipherable] again 1882/83. Wife took herself to her room & [never] was seen again –pining for lost gay life in NYC. RICHIE, the son dies of measles and pneumonia about 1885 age about 18. T.T Cortis keeps stiff upper lip. Puts rose in button hole every morning on way to office -wends way on rather faithful mare [indecipherable]. He has 2 strokes and dies in 1896. Mother and her mother Helen Whittemore Cortis =>Chicago. My mother aged about 18? Works for Marshall Field Store. No money. Brothers pay to put H. Whittemore in home (we will never know what her real trouble was), mother went to NYC. $500 were left from Dr T.T’s estate –that kept by SAM –much anguish as mother thought was for her education – wanted to be a Dr. (Father fixation etc etc etc).

You see why I’m ready to dump the whole U.S part of the clan. EXCEPT FOR ONE THING –old T.T tried & did KEEP THE FAITH. His illustrious eldest bro. was obstetrician to the old Queen VICTORIA herself & trained T.T. He T.T did most of his doctoring before [indecipherable] & GOD [indecipherable] Penicillin—which event –so help me have wielded as a giver of life & [kept?] death away from my crew.”

“Eldest bro” was William Smithson, who left Filey after 1861 and was enumerated in Kennington, less than three miles from Buckingham Palace in 1871. If the then fifty year-old doctor followed his journey-to-royal work today he would pass the Florence Nightingale Museum, which has re-0pened in, spookily, St Thomas’ Hospital. I doubt anyone would ever have spanked Florence, or Mary Seacole, but in a long report on 1856 New Year celebrations in Crimea that mentions both Angels of Mercy, there is this –

Cort’s memory of young Richard doesn’t fit the Shared Tree information but it is interesting that Thomas returned to Iowa after a spell in New York City. Jane’s place must have been a refuge for him. Richard died in St Peter, Minnesota; his father not far away in St Paul.

Thomas is also represented on WikiTree ­with a variant middle name. I signed up to be a “WikiTreer” yesterday so that I could connect him to his folks in Hull – and marry him to Sarah Jane.

Path 106 · Old Tip

Nature Reserve and Parish Wood, evening

An American Cuckoo

On the face of it, Sarah Lucrecia APPLEBY appears to be the middle child of seven born to John and Jane in this FamilySearch screenshot. Viewers quick on the uptake will notice immediately that she has taken the place of the one true Sarah.

APPLEBYsarah4759_20200223

Sarah Lucrecia was born in Salem, Illinois. We are asked to accept that John, a wheelwright, had three children with Jane in Filey Parish, sailed to America and, after SL’s birth, sailed back to Filey Parish and brought three more children into the world. Amazing.

There is an entry in the St Oswald’s Church burial register showing that plain Sarah was laid to rest on 11 December 1859, aged just twelve. There isn’t a stone to remind us of her brief stay, nor a newspaper notice of her death (that I can find). It isn’t right that she has been pushed out of her nest in the Shared Tree.

Fortunately, it will be a relatively simple matter to set the records straight. Sarah Lucrecia’s American family is extensive and distinguished, one forebear marrying in Virginia nine years after the arrival of Mayflower. Trace her roots in Europe and you may bump into William the First of England. And plenty of others who would have looked down on a journeyman wheelwright.

APPLEBYpreferred_20200223

Job done. Find Sarah in her rightful place on the Shared Tree. Perhaps someone else will kindly take the trouble to cut the other John Appleby loose.

Lonesome Dove

If I take “Snaith George” away from his parents on the Shared Tree he will have no-one in his past. After several hours of searching, I’ve yet to find his real ma and pa. Based on geography alone, there is a good chance he is the son of John and Elizabeth DOVE. They christened their boy in Bubwith, about ten miles from where “our George” married Rachael Lansdon née BICKERTON. Alas, the few sources that give his age all disagree. The 1841 England & Wales census says he is 35, the 1851 Canadian census offers 47. So, calculated birth years of 1806 and 1804. The Bubwith christening took place on 8 September 1802.

Rachael Bickerton’s birth year is an equally moveable snack – 1806 (1841census), 1801 (1851 census) and a very precise 16 April 1796 attached to her christening in Howden, attended by parents John Bickerton and Jane RICHARDSON. FamilySearch gives eleven hints for Rachel/Rachael and only one is duff – the 1851 census, which makes her the wife of “Middleton George” and mother of three children not her own. In that year, of course, she was over 3,000 miles away in Ontario.

I am waiting for replies to messages I sent a while ago to two contributors to the Doves from Hook/Snaith/Goole. I would prefer it if descendants made the needed corrections.

I wonder how much Snaith George knew about his ancestry. Was he able to tell his children about their roots? Some days ago I discovered that his fourth daughter Harriet married Benjamin F. CHEESBRO in Norfolk, Ontario on 11 September 1858. Today I discovered that this union is peculiarly represented on the Shared Tree.

DOVEharrietCHEESBROben_FSTss

The marriage date is wrong and this Benjamin’s birthplace is given as Saginaw. His two brothers were born in Methley, Yorkshire, a few years later. But, the parents of the Benjamin F. CHEESBRO who married “our Harriet” are given as Joseph and Jane in the Norfolk marriage source. A quick look at the growing Methley CHEESBROUGH family in England looks right, hence the ticks. Its Y-line goes back to Robertus, born 1586, but if you explore the Shared Tree further it becomes clear that Harriet married into a family of great distinction – assuming the earlier generations have been assembled with greater accuracy than those in the 19th century.

For now, in truth, poor Snaith George is bereft of forebears.