Saturday, November 30, 2013

Turning Down The Empty Glass #2

#1 in this proposed 4-part series featured my paternal grandfather Edward James Scott and his forebears. His wife, my paternal grandmother was Mary, maiden name Midgley. I am fortunate that local genealogists linked to the Midgleys had already done much digging in the parish registers of East and North Yorkshire before I ventured down this family history rabbit hole. Thanks to them I've been able to delve much deeper into this particular part of my gene pool than I could manage in Grandad Scott's case.

MIDGLEY the name: Two possibilities:
1) an old Yorkshire name, probably first arising in West Yorkshire, where there's a village called Midgley; how, or if the East and North Yorkshire Midgley branch links to the village isn't clear.
2) A derivation of Michelson or Mitchelson. There is evidence that a Christopher Midgley on the Acklam Land Tax Assessments, in successive years, went from signing Chris. Michelson to Chris. Midgley. Christopher's father was John Mitchelson. I haven't yet connected John and Christopher to my direct line of Midgleys, but my forebears have clear connections to Acklam, so I'd say that it's highly likely that this is where my line of Midgleys got their name, rather than from a village in West Yorkshire.

My own relatives can be traced back to the mid-1700s; beyond that though, the families of several Midgley spouses, my 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th 8th 9th and 10th great grandmothers, can be traced back - and back - into the 1500s.

My Midgley line's earliest known character was a Richard Midgley probably of Sheriff Hutton, Yorkshire, born about 1734. His son Richard, born 1769 married Hannah Nichols on 6 December 1790 in Kirkby Grindlyth on the East Yorkshire Wolds. Richard the younger was Parish Clerk as well as being involved in some form of agricultural employment. He and Hannah had 10 children. Hannah, maiden name Hicks, hailed from Hutton Bushel, a village between Pickering and Scarborough.

Maps below show the general area involved in the family history included in this #2 chapter.
Click on an image for a bigger version.

Richard and Hannah's large family and their descendants formed a tangled Midgley network around the Wolds of East Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and the Moors. It was very easy to be led astray once entering this network, due to many similarities of first names in similar time spans. More than once I followed mistaken threads and had to start over.

Of Richard and Hannah's ten offspring, two are significant to my own line: Thomas Midgley born 10 June 1801, and Benjamin born 10 January 1812 - both recorded in Kirky Grindlyth parish, though the nearby village of Duggleby could well have been their home.

The reason I link to two members of Richard and Hannah's offspring: Benjamin's youngest daughter married one of Thomas's grandsons. That caused lots of confusion! Thomas Midgley and his wife Mary (nee Wallis) had a son, Abel. Abel and wife Elizabeth (nee Boyes) had a son, John Thomas who married Benjamin Midgley's youngest daughter Fanny.

John Thomas Midgley, born in 1861 in Acklam, and Fanny Midgley born 1863 in Duggleby are recorded as marrying in 1887. They became parents of William, born 1889, Emma Midgley, 1890, Ben Midgley, 1892, Tom Midgley, 1894, George Midgley, 1896 and Ida Midgley,1898. However, and it's a big however, in the census of 1891 there's another offspring listed as daughter of the couple, born 1885, before their marriage. This daughter, Mary, then aged 6, was my grandmother. By the 1901 census Grandma was listed as "servant to veterinary surgeon", and by 1911 she was married to Grandad Scott and mother of four, with six more to come.

Now - was Mary, my grandmother, the daughter of both partners, born before they married, or was she daughter of one partner only? Her name would still be Midgley either way. I'll never know this, it's a second brick wall in my family history, matching that of Grandad Scott's unknown father. The fact that Fanny and John Thomas were...(?) second cousins, or cousins once removed does mean that, in any event, the onward reach into the past, via Midgley spouses will remain relevant to my own genealogy. I think it more likely that Grandma Mary was definitely Fanny's daughter, if not also John Thomas's.

This was Mary Midgley/Grandma Scott:

I have hazy memories of her. She'd visit us during my young childhood, every Friday evening, never failed to leave a shilling for me. She was known as a sweet-natured, hard-working woman. She brought up 10 children of her own and several grandchildren whose parents were encountering difficulty. She attended "chapel" every Sunday, the strangely named Primitive Methodist Continuing Chapel. Grandma died in 1952.

I met Fanny Midgley, my great grandmother, just once when I was very young, around 4 or 5 years old I think. My only memory is of a lady in a long dark dress, and of feeling afraid of her. I was told by my parents, amid laughter, that my only comment to my great grandmother had been "I don't like you!" What a charmingly outspoken brat I had to be! I hereby apologise.

Fanny Midgley's father, as mentioned above, was Benjamin Midgley. Her mother was Mary, maiden name Bogg, born in Duggleby 1821. Mary Bogg's parents were Jonathan Bogg and Margaret Vasey. Whereas most of the later Midgleys were agricultural labourers of one sort or another, several of the Boggs, from various census entries, appear to have been tradesmen, such as grocer, postmaster, joiner.

Margaret Vasey, Jonathan Bogg's wife and my 3rd great grandmother was born in Allerston, North Yorkshire. Her family line is capable of being traced way back, via her father William Vasey.

 Ruins of Rievaulx Abbey
Vasey the surname (and its several alternative spellings) is said to have originated with those involved in the Norman invasion of England. First recorded spelling of the family name is, it is thought, that of Robert L'enveiset, dated 1131, in the register of Rievaulx Abbey, in North Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry 1st of England (1100 - 1135). Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. Surnames in every country have continued to "develop" resulting in variations of the original spelling. L'enveiset became De Vesci; De Vesci became Vasey, Vasie or alternative spellings.

At a website 1066 Medieval Mosaic in the section titled THE BATTLE ABBEY ROLL. WITH SOME ACCOUNT OF THE NORMAN LINEAGES, the Vesci chapter outlines the De Vesci family's tangled ties with lands in a newly Norman England. My interest is in a particular area of Yorkshire, and place names there are mentioned as having been, at some point in the mists of time, in ownership of some member of the De Vesci family. Allerston, Hutton Bushell, Pickering Marishes are mentioned - all villages or areas which turn up regularly in relation to my Vasey connection.

It'd be good to feel fairly confident that the Vaseys named below had some kind of family link to those De Vesci characters from Norman France, but I have no proof. How the surname might have appeared in this area otherwise is puzzling though:

My Vasey line proceeds via: Margaret Vasey (my 3rd great grandmother), her father, William Vasey (1756-1823), his father Matthew of Marishes Vasey (1690-1784). Matthew's father was Thomas of Marishes Vasey (born between1640 &1665, died 1704). Thomas's father was Matthew of Boswell Moor Vasie (1603-1664) and his father was another Thomas Vasie, born 1580.

Place names involved are in a tightly bounded area around Allerston and Pickering (see map above). I haven't yet been able to identify "Boswell Moor", but suspect it could have been the name of a single farm or piece of land in the same general area as Marishes - on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors.

The last mentioned Thomas Vasie is my 8th great grandfather. There the direct Vasie name trail ends. Before leaving the Vaseys though, there's this (click on it for a bigger version). It must refer to the Matthew Vasey noted as "of Boswell Moor", due to the date. Which could be a clue that the location of Boswell Moor was really the same as Marishes, as in the name of his grandson Matthew.

 King Charles II

Restoration of the Monarchy, after the Civil War and Oliver Cromwell's time in power, occurred in 1660. Prince Charles (King Charles the Second)whose father had been beheaded, had been in exile until 1660 by all accounts. I guess he could have slipped into England from Europe, to a quiet port on the Yorkshire coast - there were many - and made his way inland across the area near Allerston.


Another name of interest, linking to the Vaseys, comes via the wife of my 6th great grandfather Thomas of Marishes Vasey, she was Elizabeth Owston.

The name Owston almost certainly refers to a location. There's a village of Owston in South Yorkshire.

Some of the modern Owston family have taken their genealogical investigations to extreme levels - DNA testing. An article titled Owston DNA Studies: Another F2642 Y-DNA Mutation Reported refers. There has, so far, been no definite conclusion as to origins. A recent test shows links to France. That's not surprising because William the Conqueror, after victory in 1066, gifted his many royal relatives, nobles and hangers-on with big chunks of England to play with. Reference the De Vesci's (aka Vasey) above!

The Owston's history is tied up with the Vaseys:

Earliest known Owston is Peter, my 10th great-grandfather, and his wife Petronel my 10th great-grandmother. (Taken from THIS website)
Peter Owston the husbandman of Sherburn, died in 1568 leaving quite a young family made up of three sons, all minors (under twenty one years)....... Peter lived through interesting times. He would have probably been born during the reign of King Henry VIII, seen the abolition of the Monasteries, the rise of Protestantism, possibly heard of the Pilgrimage of Grace and known about the other risings in the North. Petronel survived at East Heslerton with her second husband and was probably the "Widow Borman" who was buried on the 7th April 1594 at West Heslerton.
In spite of misty notions that "we" (via Owston and Vasey connections) could possibly have roots originating in characters involved in the Norman invasion of England, most of my ancestors have remained within the levels of, at best yeoman (owned own farm), or husbandman (tenant or smallholder); the majority, pre-World War 1, were just lowly agricultural labourers, the females domestic servants to the gentry.

Others linked to my Midgleys, through marriage and reaching back into the 1600s, include surnames Fiddis, Belt, Hopkin, Smartfoot and Lawne.

So...concluding my paternal family history wander, a photograph from a Scott family wedding at which both Grandma Scott (Midgley) and Grandad Scott were present, though oddly standing apart, he at the back of the group, she at the front. (Click on photo for a bigger version). In other wedding pictures the same thing happened - Grandad was obviously camera shy! The wedding here was of my father's younger brother, George, just after World War 2, so mid-1940s. My Dad is on George's left and my Mum, whose family history will follow in chapters #3 and #4, is the one in the snazzy hat behind Dad's left shoulder. Grandma Scott is to my Mum's left. Where's Grandad Scott? Hiding: back row second from right. See the Scott likeness, Grandad and sons? I'm not familiar with most others in the photo, relatives of Uncle George's wife, Nan, whose father was the guy in military uniform. I think Dad's youngest sister, Mary, is present but almost hidden behind Grandma; the rest of the Scott clan must have been about their business elsewhere on that occasion.

For Grandma Scott, the Midgleys, Boggs, Vaseys, Owstons, and all others who made up this branch of the family, I turn down an empty glass.
And when Thyself with shining foot shall pass
Among the guests star-scatter'd on the grass,
And in thy joyous errand reach the spot
Where I made one - turn down an empty glass!

Helpful sources on Midgley family history:

Bonson History - Midgleys of the Wolds

Midgley Webpages, East Yorkshire.


mike said...

Piece by little piece...I told you in a prior post that my sister originally started the family tree to find my father's father. From there it mushroomed into a multi-year project for her. She was so excited when she was finally able to put my father's ancestors in place, but this didn't occur for a number of years from the start of the project.

My sister has been utilizing website and their software...essentially a subscription service and any other means possible. She's tired of paying for the subscription and has declared that she's finally moving-on from the hunting of our family's ghosts. A problem with is once the subscription is cancelled, there goes the family tree and it exists no more. They have a peculiar method of printing the genealogy, and my sister can't copy-paste by their software. So, after many dollars spent on the subscription, she's very limited in her ability to get the data on her own computer.

This is the sister that I purchased a copy of "The Luminaries" for her birthday. I have hope that someday she will disentangle herself from our gene line.

It has always struck me as so peculiar that as time goes forward, so much information of all kinds is lost. Genealogy for one, but the origin and meaning of words, styles, historic information. It's as if, at the time, it was so ubiquitous that it could never be forgotten...but forgotten it always becomes. It's difficult enough simply going back several decades to determine information and data.

Good luck on putting the leaves on your tree...I'll look forward to entry #3!

mike (again) said...

P.S. - I feign enthusiasm when my sister lets me know the latest gene connections...lucky for me, she's finished, so those days are over! I simply accept the fact that we're all connected genetically, somehow or other. LOL

Twilight said...

mike ~ My husband has a subscription to, it was he who got me started on this trail around four years ago. It can be addictive (I can understand your sister's fascination) until all available information has been extracted and put in (hopefully) accurate order. Their way of displaying one's pedigree/tree is so spread out that it feels awkward to me. That's one reason I decided to put some of the info into these blog posts. I get a better feel for it doing it this way.

I've wondered about buying some genealogy software onto which I can import all the info I have stored on, so that it'd be on my own computer, rather than online - in case one day decides not to .com any longer...or is somehow prevented from doing so. But I shall have to ditch this computer soon, with its old XP operating system, carrying many scars from previous virus attacks. Microsoft will no longer support XP from next spring. So I decided to wait until I change computers before contemplating any new software. My astrology software might well fall by the wayside as being non-compatible with Win7 :-( I shall try installing it though.)

I enjoy looking into the background of the times involved, as much as discovering each leaf on the tree.

If I were really really keen I might look into family astrology links using the birth dates available - but I'm not feeling keen enough for that at present. I know how I link to my parents astrologically, and maybe even my grandparents - that'll have to suffice.

I usually begin these family tree posts thinking - eewww - but I won't be able to write more than a couple of paragraphs on this branch.....then I get carried away down the rabbit hole of time. ;-)

Thanks for reading it, mike. I do realise that the topic isn't really of general interest. I shall be able, though, to send links to a couple of my cousins once all 4 parts are completed - or maybe copy the 4 posts to a new blog and direct them to that.

mike (again) said...

Please don't infer from my second comment that I don't have interest. I don't mind ancestry in story-telling form. My sister will mention that she's finally located our 3rd cousin, five generations back, then proceed with every nuance of her discovery and how it relates to our great-great-great-great aunt on my mother's side. Half an hour later I'm more confused, but afraid to inquire for further explanation! I sense that my sister feels she is doing all of us, her relatives, a tremendous favor and saving each of us tons of future work. Not me!

I enjoy story telling...that's what and how history is typically presented. My sister is full of "tree" charts with no stories. I am interested in our genealogy, but only a couple of generations back...the relatives that I heard about from my parents.

My sister has said many times that makes it virtually impossible to export data from their system. Maybe you can crack their code.

Yes, my old computer caused tremendous havoc until it finally croaked and took everything with it. I lost lots of outdated software that couldn't be installed on my new computer...the software companies want customers to upgrade...just makes them more money.

Now through January is typically a good time to purchase computers. I've heard that tablets and other devices have made computers passe, which is driving down the computer prices. I have a "new" notebook that was given to, I can't complain too much...but, I sure wish I had my old tower computer back (we had a relationship, I tell you! LOL). I don't like the notebook...not like I go anywhere and need portability!

Twilight said...

mike ~ I know what you mean. I fight with that each time I start preparing these Empty Glass posts, trying not to sound like the Old Testament slurping out so-and-so son of-son-and so, son of so-and so.....
until even my own eyes cross. lol

Yep - desktops are on the way to redundancy, if not there already. It was with that thought in mind that months ago I found what I needed, a tower with WIN7 installed, after noticing that nearly all desktops had Win8 installed (I didn't fancy WIN 8 at all). So before machines with WIN7 disappeared I bought one and it's still in the box. I want to get as much as I can out of my old Dell. The new one is Lenovo, first time I haven't gone with Dell (except for my first one in the UK).

I've lost mare material on hard drives over the years than I dare think about, all due to virus and malware. Since I got Norton 360 though no more problems. I spent lots on online tech guys n the past who'd entered the gubbins of my computer remotely. I now suspect they were doing more than I had paid for, setting up the next job?? That's probably unfair - one or two were really helpful and I think genuine.

I wouldn't be able to write more than a few lines on a laptop or notebook, so the new 'puter will have to see me out. :-)

PS - Are you going to watch The Last Emperor on PBS (if it's on your PBS in Texas that is?) It's a long film starts at 9pm here until near midnight. Sounds interesting.

mike (again) said...

In my sister's defense, she originally endeavored knowledge of my father's father. It took five (or more) years, but she finally plugged that black hole. BUT, once that link was in place, many additional hours followed filling-in that gene line backward in time. All information about my father's father obliterated when my father's mother died when I was six. My father was never told much more than the fact that he did have a father! Knowing the details of my paternal grandfather hasn't changed life in any fashion for me, but I do have to give my sister kudos for a job well done...the information about that side was always a mystery to my family.

mike (again) said...

I wasn't expecting to cross-post. "The Last Emperor" isn't on my PBS station tonight. You people in OK get all the good stuff, I guess...LOL. My station is showing "Texas Tenors" from 9 to 10, then "Home for Christmas: Chris Mann"...oh, well. I'll check PBS at 9 just to make sure...sometimes my HuffPo TV listings don't match reality...maybe I'll be treated to "Last Emperor" (though I doubt it).

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Yes, well done to your sis! I wish I could tear down some brick walls in my lines, there's at least one in each line, sometimes more. Not much hope of it now though.

Awww - Pity about Lost Emperor! We enjoyed the movie - but I dozed off unintentionally about 10 mins before the end - lol. You'll probably get it in TX at some point, keep an eye on the schedules. BJ Wexler who introduces the Saturday movies here was a bit... erm.. patronising (?) or maybe I should say helpful, towards Okies - he kept reminding us that there are flash backs and flash forwards and not to get confused, and to stick with it because it'll all make sense.....

I'd have like the Texas Tenors though - I shall keep an eye out for that here. :-)