"Each has his own tree of ancestors, but at the top of all sits Probably Arboreal." - Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

F is for Feaster... Or is it?

So, this is a bit of an odd one, because today’s F actually comes from the Newby line that I have had to temporarily disregard. However, it’s really my only F, and it’s also not uninteresting. (I hope!)
Rachael Feaster (b. about 1819) marries George Newby on 4 Aug 1848 in Settrington, near Malton in Yorshire. Rachael, according to later census records, was born in nearby North Grimston. The record gives Rachael’s father as Thomas Feaster. For some time I was a bit confused, because there didn’t seem to be any Feasters in the area
And then it dawned on me: as this record comes from  the collection England & Wales Marriages 1538–1940 on Ancestry (and indeed on Family Search), I can’t see the original image, only the transcription. I’d had this problem before. George and Rachel’s son, according to the marriage record in the same collection, married a Jane Beadley, which turned out to be Jane Bradley when I located the marriage in the BMD. In this case, however, the BMD backed it up, giving Rachael Feaster as the name of George’s wife.
But North Grimston was a very small place. In the nineteenth century its population was approximately 139, according to the Genuki entry. I turned to the 1841 census initially, thinking ti would give me the most chance of finding Thomas Feaster alive. It didn’t take much hunting to establish that there were definitely no Feasters there. However, there was a Thomas Fewster (b. about 1779). He is listed as an ‘Ag Lab’ – unsurprising, given that North Grimston is described as ‘small and wholly agricultural’. (The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland, 1868)
Thomas is living with his wife Rachel (b. about 1785). Also in the household were Jane Fewster (b. about 1811), Isaac Fewster (b. about 1827) and John Fewster (b. about 1834).  The 1841 census, of course, gives no indication of the relationship between these people. Based on their ages I assume that Jane is a daughter, but John is very unlikely to be a son and Isaac could go either way. Further investigation would probably give me some clues, but I hadn’t started to work on it by the time I put the research on hold.
What I had established is that by 1851 the household only consisted of Thomas and Rachel, and both were still living in 1861, but did not appear in 1871. My best guesses, based on the BMD entries, are that Thomas died in the last quarter of 1861, and Rachel died in the first quarter of 1865.
Isaac Fewster married Ann Burrell in 1850 (BMD), and lived and worked in North Grimston, as census records show. There is a rather sad entry in the Malton Messenger in August 1864, which records the death of Isaac’s son William, aged three.
John Fewster proved slightly more difficult to pinpoint, as there are a couple of possibilities for him – most particularly a marriage to Mary Gill in Malton in 8153. However, this doesn’t then produce any likely census entries. Before I stopped research on this line I hadn’t progressed with John.
For Jane Fewster, I found a baptism record for 7 October 1810 at Settrington, but nothing else conclusive. I can’t find an obvious marriage for her, but as she isn’t at home with her parents by 1851, it seems most likely that she either married or died in the intervening period. There is a possible marriage in Leeds in 1846 to Stephen Gray, with Jane’s address on marriage given as Oswaldkirk. Though this is about 17 miles from North Grimston, it is just 2 miles from Gilling East, where her father claims to have been born. However, this means Jane would have been thirty-six, and while I’m sure marriage at that age was not unheard of, it does strike me a little unusual. Alternatively, there is death in the third quarter of 1841 that may be her. I haven’t narrowed either of these down any further as yet.
There is an interesting investigation of this family line here, which provides a bit more useful information, but I’ve chosen to focus only on my own research in this post.
I also found this rather interesting bit of early history that puts the Fewsters in the area of Gilling East and Oswaldwick from 1688 – Wasse presumably refers to Wass, Yorkshire, some 6 miles from Gilling East.
L x

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