Just Williams

I made another attempt today to discover where William ALDEN originated. In the 1881 census, he gives his birthplace as “Hornsey”, Yorkshire. I took this to be Hornsea. In 1891 he offers “Hatfield”, possibly Great Hatfield just four miles from Hornsea. In 1901 it is back to “Hornsey” and in 1911 “Hornsea”. Both William and Ann are wayward in giving their ages but a fuzzy search for William in Skirlaugh Registration District between the start of civil registration and 1843 doesn’t find him.

Looking again at the census, I was distracted by a William Alden working as a Carter in Skipsea with a calculated birth year of 1840, between one and three years older than Ann’s future husband may have been. He gave his birthplace as Thorpe, in Norfolk. The fact that Ann’s parents had married in Skipsea 29 years earlier gave me pause. (Perhaps she met him while visiting relatives and fell instantly in love.) After searching for this William in the Norwich area records, and coming up blank, I’m still wondering.

I also looked in newspapers for a Norfolk William who may have been driven from the county of his birth by a shameful deed. I found a William Alden, who could conceivably have been our man’s father, committing suicide by throwing himself from Whitefriar’s Bridge into the River Wensum. This was in 1856, the place of demise just a few miles from Thorpe. (It was suggested at the coroner’s inquest that “the deceased had suffered from a kind of religious fanaticism, and had also been much depressed in spirits”.)

I think I’ll let Ann’s William rest in peace, with his secrets buried with him in Filey churchyard.

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Lucy · Louise

I will get round to the old ladies of Roe’s Buildings eventually but my interest in the push and pull of migration prompted an investigation of their 13-year-old servant, Lucy COOK. I tumbled into a genealogical rabbit hole.

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Here she is in Filey in 1841, the census enumerator giving her an ‘N’ for No; she wasn’t born in Yorkshire. Ten years later she is a married woman with two children, living just around the corner from Roe’s Buildings. She gives her birthplace as Maldon Basin, Essex. Her husband, Robert CHEW, was a butcher and in 1861 she is with him in and five of their children at The Butcher’s Shop, 4 King Street. (A sixth child, Ann Elizabeth the Second, was with paternal grandmother Ann née HICK on census night.) Lucy gives her birthplace now as Heybridge, near Maldon in Essex. I suffer from poor short-term memory but Heybridge rang a bell. Within a few minutes, I realised I’d put a photograph of a headstone on FamilySearch Tree that remembered Lucy’s sister Elizabeth.

An hour or two later I had brought together Lucy’s entire birth family. Father Michael, mother Susanna, brothers John and William, sisters Ann, Elizabeth and Susannah. They are not found together in Filey Genealogy and Connections or on FamilySearchTree.

In my Roots Magic version of Kath’s database, Lucy is masquerading under a false name.

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Her “real family” is incomplete.

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Most of Lucy’s children have been picked up by the FamilySearch system. Yesterday morning the parents had about nine IDs each. I did the necessary merges (and gave  Just Lucy her family name), but she is still from a broken home on FST.

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I would like to put Lucy with her parents and siblings on FST but I’m waiting for the blessing of descendants/other contributors before doing so. Michael and Susanna didn’t baptise a daughter called Lucy.

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For the time being Lucy · Louise appears on FST like this.

So, Michael and Susanna’s last child, Susannah, was born in 1838. About three years later she was living in Church Street, Filey, 200 miles north of her birthplace, with widowed mother, brother John and eldest sister Elizabeth. Lucy is a stone’s throw away at Roe’s buildings and Ann, not found in 1841 in Filey, is a servant to Christiana LORRIMAN, mother of her uncle Richard, ten years later.

What happened?

The Two Elizas

Eliza HOW gave birth to ten children between 1835 and 1858 and she is clearly identified in eight of the nine registrations. (Thomas arrived too early for civil registration and her surname in the GRO Index for Joseph, in 1850, is “STOW”.) The ninth arrival, Henry, married Sarah Mary CHAPMAN in 1876 and the fourth of their daughters, Martha, connected Hertfordshire to Yorkshire when she married Robert Frederick COGILL in 1905.

I had to create records on FamilySearch Tree for both Robert and Martha in order to add the photograph of their St Oswald’s headstone as a “memory”. In the post Guesswork Wives a week ago I mentioned that  Eliza How’s husband Jacob CHILD is also hitched to Eliza HITINS on FST. I haven’t been able to find a source that identifies this other wife by her maiden surname but I cannot remove her without the blessing of CHILD descendants who have contributed to the pedigree.

For now, Robert’s wife Martha is a granddaughter of Eliza Hitins. And Martha’s father, Henry, as the son of Eliza HOW, is still without a wife and children. It would appear to be a simple matter to merge Henry’s duplicate IDs but it could create difficulties for those contributors for whom Eliza Hitins is still accepted as “theirs”.

The good news, though, is that giving Robert’s father an ID, and a wife who was already on FamilySearch Tree, boosted the COGILL pedigree back to the early years of the 17th century through the NELLIST and GREENLEY families.

Desert Rat, Desert Fox

Libya

This satellite view of a small square of Libya, where rock and sand meet the Mediterranean Sea, is in the vicinity of El Agheila (Al Uqaylah). After Operation Compass routed the Italians in North Africa, the Allied Forces rested in this area – until Erwin Rommel’s infant Afrika Korps arrived to send them packing on this day 1941.

Cecil SIMPSON was born at Cayton and baptized at St Oswald’s, Filey, on 6th March 1918. He was, therefore, 21 years old when the Second World War began.  I don’t know how soon he joined the army but he was with the 1st Battalion Royal Northumberland Fusiliers when a force commanded by The Desert Fox ended his life.

Cecil is remembered on the Alamein Memorial in Egypt (located about 1,000 kilometers from where he died), on the Gristhorpe Memorial in Filey Parish, and on his parents’ headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard.

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The pedigree of this branch of the Simpsons is not extensive on Filey Genealogy & Connections – and I have struggled today to find forebears on FST to whom he can be readily linked.