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The Conn Family of Pickering

Researched and Contributed by David Conn

Further information is available from David Conn  Email him

 

Geography of the area.

Pickering is a market town in the Vale of Pickering in North Yorkshire, England. The Vale runs from York in the west to Scarborough in the east, with the North York Moors to the north and the Yorkshire Wolds to the south.
Fylingdales is a parish northeast of Pickering, just to the south of Whitby, on the coast of Yorkshire.Its principal villages are Thorpe, Raw, and Robin Hoods Bay, which is an important fishing village along this coast.
Lythe is a coastal parish to the north of Whitby. It has several small hamlets within its borders, but is centred around Mulgrave Castle, the home of the Earl of Normanby.
Loftus lies about 10 miles north of Lythe and was an important market town on the road to Whitby. Since the 17th century it has been a mining town, initially potash, laterly ironstone.

Summary of the family.

The earliest records for this family are in Pickering dated about 1620. Exactly where they lived in Pickering, or what their occupations were is not known. About 1690 the family moved to Fylingdales, a parish on the east coast of Yorkshire. The main town of Fylingdales is Robin Hoods Bay, usually just called Bay, which was one of the main fishing centres along this north east coast. Fish was landed at Bay and transported along a sailors trod to Pickering, and it is likely that the family moved to Fylingdales along this trod. It is clear that they were a poor family, for at least two members were buried from the Poor House. Towards the end of the 1700s they were on the move once again, this time to the parish of Lythe, just to the north of Whitby. The farms at Hutton Mulgrave and Moorgate where the children were born are still standing. In about 1822 another move was made to Lofthouse (Loftus). The Tithe map of 1838 shows that George Conn was renting three small cottages immediately to the rear of the parish church of St Leonards. He was also renting a small strip of land just outside of Loftus from Lord Dundas. This was the same Dundas family that features in the Conn family of Upleatham.

Of George's nine children the descendants of only three have been traced. John and William still have descendants in this part of England, whilst George's descendants are to be found in America. William's son ,John, married Mary Jane Hansell of Staithes and had four children. Shortly after the birth of the last child, Grace, John was killed on the Railway at Sandsend, near Whitby. Mary Jane subsequently married John Bennison, the local carrier in Staithes, where they lived in Poplar House. In the 1930s this became a guest house, where I spent many happy holidays.

In the following records those from the parish registers are coloured blue: all others are black.

It seems probable that the Conn family had been living in the Pickering area from at least 1301, because the Yorkshire Lay Subsidy of that year showed that Alicia Conn paid 5 pence. This was a tax of one fifteenth raised by Edward the 1st. on the "temporal" assets of each person. That meant that Alicia had assets of 75 pence, and because the cut-off point was so low - possibly set at 2 pence - this was almost equivalent to a poll tax. Alicia was the only Conn mentioned in the whole of Yorkshire, although at this early date only about half the population had recognisable surnames.

7 Feb 1432. Probate of the will of John Conn of Thornton in the parish of Foston. This is just to the west of Pickering.

Records from Pickering, St Peter and Paul.

bullet27 Dec 1619. Baptism of Richard son of Robert Conne.
bullet20 Apr 1623. Baptism of Matthew son of Easter Conne (widow).
bullet10 Mar 1647. Baptism of John, son of John Conne (senior).

Comment:-it is assumed that Richard and Easter were married and that John Conne (senior) was their third son.

bullet20 Jun 1665. Marriage of John Conn (junior) and Dorothy Harding.

They had six children, but the records of only one of them, Robert, can be traced. Dorothy died in 1682 and John married Jane Wilson later in the same year. They had one daughter called Jane who, along with both parents died in 1683.

bullet18 Nov 1685. Marriage of Robert Conn to Rebecca Hardwicke in Pickering.
bullet21 Nov 1686. Baptism of Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Conn.
bullet7 Oct 1688. Baptism of Ann, daughter of Robert Conn.
bullet19 Dec 1694. Baptism of Maria, daughter of Robert Conn.
bullet14 Jul 1697. Baptism of Rebecca, daughter of Robert Conn.
bullet3 May 1702. Baptism of Robert, son of Robert Conn.
bullet1686-88.(??) Baptism of Thomas, son of Robert Conn has not been found.

At some time, perhaps around 1710, Thomas migrated to the parish of Ugglebarnby, probably using the path that the fishermen of Robin Hoods Bay used to take fish to Pickering. Whether he went alone is not known. The following records have been provided by a Mr Richardson of Whitby and have not been checked. Ugglebarnby registers prior to 1720 have been lost, and these records may have been taken from the Bishops Transcripts.

bullet1711. Marriage of Thomas Conn to Jane Chapman.
bullet1712. Baptism of Robert Conn.
bullet1715. Baptism of Thomas Conn.
bullet1720. Baptism of Rebecca Conn.

It is possible that these three children were born in Ugglebarnby.

Robert, the first son, must have formed some association with the sea, for the next record we have of him is in Fylingdales, where he married Jane Storm in 1738, one of the daughters of perhaps the largest maritime family in the North East of England. They then move to Sunderland where they had four children.
Thomas, the second child, may have also gone to Sunderland, married a Hester, and had a son who died in 1740.
Jane Chapman, the wife of Thomas, must have died in the early 1720s, for in 1728 we find Thomas marrying a Barbary Richmond in Whitby. They had one son called Robert, buried in 1731. Thomas himself died in Thorpe (Fylingdales) poorhouse in 1776.
 

bullet12 Aug 1728. Marriage of Thomas Conn of Sleights to Barbary Richmond in Whitby.
bullet4 Dec 1731. Burial of Robert, the son of Robert Conn.
bullet21 Dec 1760. Burial of Barbara, wife of Thomas Conn of Thorpe.
bullet14 Jan 1776. Burial of Thomas Conn of the Poor House, Thorpe.

It is through the third child, Rebecca born in 1720, that the family line continues.

Parish of Fylingdales, St Stephen.

bullet1738. Marriage of Robert Conn to Jane Storm.
bullet13 Apr 1755. Baptism of Robert, the illegitimate son of Rebecca Conn.
bullet14 Jan 1776. Burial of Thomas Conn, buried from the poor house, Thorpe.
bullet13 Nov 1794. Burial of Rebekah Conn, buried from the poorhouse, Thorpe

The returns of the Overseer of the Poor show that Rebecca Conn was receiving sums of money each year between 1776, when the records begin, and 1783, presumably to maintain her in her own home. It is assumed that after this date she moved into the poor house, where she eventually died.

Robert, the illegitimate son of Rebecca Conn, married Mary Garbut about 1788, although no record has as yet been found. There follows a 20 year period of moving from one farm to another. The records are incomplete, so a certain amount of speculation is neccessary.

Children of Robert Conn and Mary Garbut.

bullet14 May 1780. Baptism of Jane, the daughter of Robert at Raw, parish of Fylingdales (born 4 March).
bullet18 Apr 1781. Burial of Rebecca, the infant daughter of Robert at Fylingdales.
bullet18 Jul 1782. Baptism of William, son of Robert Conn at Lythe.
bullet3 Oct 1784. Baptism of Sarah, daughter of Robert Conn at Pickering.
bullet3 Nov 1788. Baptism of George, son of Robert Conn at Lastingham.
bullet25 Sep 1791. Baptism of Mary, daughter of Robert Conn at Kirbymoorside (born 4 Apr).

Mary is called the seventh child of Robert Conn, but only six can be accounted for. The family line continues through George: what happened to the other children is not known.

bullet3 May 1805. Burial of Mary Conn aged 52, wife of Robert at Lythe.
bullet21 Dec 1812. Marriage of George Conn and Eliza Duck in Fylingdales.

The children of George Conn and Eliza Duck.

bullet8 Jan 1813. Baptism of Mary, daughter of George and Eliza at Roxby.
bullet10 Oct 1816. Baptism of John, son of George and Eliza Conn of Hollin Tree House at Lythe.
bullet11 Apr 1819. Baptism of William, son of George and Eliza Conn of Hutton Mulgrave at Lythe.
bullet16 Jun 1821. Baptism of George, son of George and Eliza Conn of Moorgate at Lythe.
bullet17 Oct 1823. Baptism of Grace, daughter of George and Eliza Conn of Moorgate at Lythe.
bullet3 Jan 1825. Baptism of Sarah, daughter of George and Eliza Conn of Handale at Loftus.
bullet23 Apr 1829. Baptism of Alice, daughter of George and Eliza Conn at Loftus.
bullet4 Apr 1833. Baptism of Thomas, son of George and Eliza Conn at Loftus.

Hollin Tree House, Hutton Mulgrave and Moorgate are all farms in the parish of Lythe, whilst Handale is a farm just south of Loftus, originally the site of a Franciscan priory. About 1826 George and his family moved into the township of Loftus, probably living in the group of old cottages immediately to the rear of St Leonards Church. Certainly the Tithe map of 1838 shows George occupying three of the four cottages, along with a strip of land, probably of about half an acre, along the road to Handale.

March 1840. Burial of Sarah, daughter of George and Elizabeth Conn. Monumental inscription in St Leonards graveyard at Loftus.
6 Jun 1840. Burial of Mary, daughter of George and Elizabeth Conn. Recorded on the same gravestone as the above burial.

bullet10 May 1848. Marriage of William Conn to Margaret Toase at St Leonards, Loftus.
bullet12 Dec 1849. Marriage of George Conn to Ann Cuthbert at St Leonards, Loftus.
bullet1851. Marriage of John Conn to Elizabeth Willis (provided by Mr Richardson).
bullet14 Aug 1854. Marriage of Grace Conn to John Porrit at St Leonards, Loftus.

The children of three of the marriages can be traced, although several of John's children are called Cown, not Conn. Indeed, George Conn is called George Cown in the census of 1881, and on his grave he is also called Cown, despite the fact that his brother William, buried in the next grave, is still called Conn.

bullet20 Jan 1856. Burial of George Conn at St Leonards, Loftus.
bullet3 Jul 1864. Burial of Elizabeth Conn at St Leonards, Loftus.

Children of William Conn and Margaret Toase.

bullet7 Oct 1849. Baptism of John, son of William and Margaret Conn at St Leonards, Loftus.
bullet2 Dec 1860. Baptism of William George, the son of William and Margaret Conn of Rosedale at St Hildas, Hinderwell.

29 Jun 1862. Burial of William George, son of William and Margaret Conn of Hinderwell. Monumental inscription at East Loftus Cemetery, grave plot 4B.

Records provided by the Registrar of Guisborough Registration District.

bullet17 Aug 1871. Marriage of John Conn and Mary Jane Hansell.
bullet27 Feb 1872. Birth of William George, son of John and Mary Jane Conn.
bullet9 Feb 1875. Birth of John Thomas, son of John and Mary Jane Conn.
bulletMarch 1876. Birth of Margaret Elizabeth, daughter of John and Mary Jane Conn.
bullet22 Nov 1878. Birth of Grace, daughter of John and Mary Jane Conn.
bullet2 Aug 1879. Death of John Conn, age 30.

Monumental inscription of John Conn at East Loftus Cemetery, grave 4B.
John Conn was killed on the railway at Sandsend; details of the accident in Whitby Chronicle, dated 4 Aug 1879.

Children of John Conn and Elizabeth Willis.

bullet10 Apr 1853. Baptism of Sarah, daughter of John and Elizabeth Conn at St Leonards, Loftus.
bullet1854. Baptism of Louisa, daughter of John and Elizabeth Conn
bullet1856. Baptism of Harriet, daughter of John and Elizabeth Conn.
bullet1859. Baptism of Maria, daughter of John and Elizabeth Conn.
bullet5 May 1864. Baptism of Edith, daughter of John and Elizabeth Conn at St Leonards, Loftus.
bullet3 Sep 1870. Baptism of Elizabeth Mary, daughter of John and Elizabeth Conn at St Leonards, Loftus.

Children of George Conn and Ann Cuthbert.

bullet1850. Baptism of Elizabeth, daughter of George and Ann Conn.
bullet1852. Baptism of Sarah, daughter of George and Ann Conn.
bullet1853. Baptism of Margaret, daughter of George and Ann Conn. [USA]
bullet1855. Baptism of Eliza, daughter of George and Ann Conn.
bullet1857. Baptism of William, son of George and Ann Conn.
bullet15 May 1859. Baptism of George, son of George and Ann Conn at St Leonards, Loftus.
bullet16 Mar 1861. Baptism of Jane, daughter of George and Ann Conn at St Leonards, Loftus.

Of these children, only Margaret can be followed up. She married John Tansley in 1874 and they emigrated to America at the turn of the century.

For 20th century family connections, contact the author.

 

 

   
 

 

 

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