Staithes is a small fishing village, on the North East coast of Britain. It is situated 10 miles North of Whitby on the A174, main road to Saltburn, Cleveland. It is now, with motorways, just 120 miles from Oldham, and can be reached in two and a half hours. The distance to Billericay is 280 miles and will take the best part of six hours to complete the journey. How long therefore, it would have taken Thomas Crooks, in 1889, to reach his brother George I cannot guess.

I had heard all about Staithes from different members of the family. I had in my own mind a picture of what this rugged village would be like. In 1997, I finally went there, in search of my 'roots', and I have never seen a coastline dominated by such precipitous cliffs.


"Houses, lying at all angles as if grabbing what little ground they could, they appeared to be standing one on top of the other as they tumbled down the cliff towards a tiny beach."


I remembered reading that description long ago, but as I stood at the top of the hill, looking down onto the old village, the description rang true. The only regret was that everything was newly painted and ready for the influx of tourists, what a pity, I expected a drab, but bustling fishing village, unchanged for many a year. I also expected everyone to talk with a Yorkshire accent, so thick, you could cut it with a knife. I thought, I'll struggle to understand these fishermen, these "foreigners," using plenty of "Thees and Thous," how wrong can you be? I was the "foreigner," the one born on the wrong side of the Pennines, but let it be known to the locals, that your roots lie in the village, and a more gentle, friendly and welcoming people you could not meet. So on a windswept day in June, but with the sun-shining, I went down the hill, I went "Home."



1. John Totman Mary Jane (Cissie)

Clara May Ethel Ann

Thomas Thompson Lucy Alice

William Dora

George Frederick



2. Thomas Thompson CROOKS b. 12 Feb 1854, Staithes, Yorks., Bap. 5 Mar 1854, Hinderwell, Yorks., occupation Blacksmiths striker, m. 7 Apr 1890, in Parish Church, Billericay, Essex, Hannah TOTMAN, b. 5 Jan 1867, Gt. Burstead, Billericay, Essex, occupation Servant, Shop assistant, d. 5 Jan 1943, Ronald St., Oldham, Lancs., buried: Greenacres Cemetery. Thomas died 4 Mar 1945, Ronald St., Oldham, Lancs., buried: Greenacres Cemetery.


3. Hannah TOTMAN b. 5 Jan 1867, Gt. Burstead, Billericay, Essex, occupation Servant, Shop assistant, d. 5 Jan 1943, Ronald St., Oldham, Lancs., buried: Greenacres Cemetery.


Grand Parents


4. John CROOKS b. 1821, Staithes, Yorks., Bap. 16 Mar 1821, Lythe, Yorks, occupation Master Mariner, m. 23 Feb 1847, in Hinderwell, Yorks., Mary Ann THOMPSON, b. 1828, Staithes, Yorks., Bap. 22 Feb 1828, Hinderwell, Yorks., d. 5 Sep 1918, Staithes, Yorks., buried: All Saints Churchyard, Easington, Yorks. John died 9 Apr 1879, Staithes, Yorks., buried: All Saints Churchyard, Easington, Yorks.


5. Mary Ann THOMPSON b. 1828, Staithes, Yorks., Bap. 22 Feb 1828, Hinderwell, Yorks., d. 5 Sep 1918, Staithes, Yorks., buried: All Saints Churchyard, Easington, Yorks.


6. John TOTMAN b. 1833, Prittlewell, Essex, m. 13 Apr 1861, in Independent Chapel, Billericay, Essex, Ann Sarah JOSLIN, b. 1837, Billericay, Essex, d. 1912, Billericay, Essex. John died 1876, Billericay, Essex.


7. Ann Sarah JOSLIN b. 1837, Billericay, Essex, m. (1) 13 Apr 1861, in Independent Chapel, Billericay, Essex, John TOTMAN, b. 1833, Prittlewell, Essex, d. 1876, Billericay, Essex, m. (2) 1878, in St Geo. East, London., Frederick WADE, b. 1853, Ingrave, Essex, occupation Groom. Ann died 1912, Billericay, Essex.


Great Grand Parents


9. Mary CROOKS b. 1796, Bap. 14 May 1796, Hinderwell, Yorks., m. 24 Sep 1823, in Hinderwell, Yorks., Christopher MARSHALL, Bap. 31 Dec 1794, Hinderwell, Yorks.


10. John THOMPSON b. 1792, Bap. 27 Dec 1792, Hinderwell, Yorks., occupation Fisherman, m. 10 Dec 1812, in Hinderwell, Yorks., Mary COATES, b. 1792, Bap. 12 Apr 1792, Hinderwell, Yorks., d. 17 Jan 1844, Staithes, Yorks., buried: All Saints Churchyard, Easington, Yorks.


11. Mary COATES b. 1792, Bap. 12 Apr 1792, Hinderwell, Yorks., d. 17 Jan 1844, Staithes, Yorks., buried: All Saints Churchyard, Easington, Yorks.


12. John TOTMAN


14. Joseph JOSLIN m. Hannah (JOSLIN).


15. Hannah (JOSLIN)


Great Great Grand Parents


18. William CROOKS b. 1774, Shields, Durham ??, Bap. 4 Feb 1776, St Thomas Aquino RC, Stella, Durham., occupation Cooper, m. 4 Feb 1795, in Hinderwell, Yorks., Mary THEAKER, b. 1777, Bap. 26 Dec 1777, Hinderwell, Yorks., d. Jan 1846, buried: 2 Jan 1846, Hinderwell, Yorks. William died May 1833, buried: 29 May 1833, Hinderwell, Yorks. Baptism still to be confirmed.


19. Mary THEAKER b. 1777, Bap. 26 Dec 1777, Hinderwell, Yorks., d. Jan 1846, buried: 2 Jan 1846, Hinderwell, Yorks.


20. John THOMPSON m. Elizabeth (THOMPSON).


21. Elizabeth (THOMPSON)


22. Richard COATES b. 1759, Bap. 27 Dec 1759, Kirkleatham, Yorks, m. 9 Oct 1787, in All Saints, Easington, Yorks., Rachel MARSHALL, b. 1764, Bap. 1764, Easington, Yorks., d. 2 Mar 1843, Staithes, Yorks., buried: All Saints Churchyard, Easington, Yorks. Richard died 7 Dec 1846, Staithes, Yorks., buried: Easington, Yorks.


23. Rachel MARSHALL b. 1764, Bap. 1764, Easington, Yorks., d. 2 Mar 1843, Staithes, Yorks., buried: All Saints Churchyard, Easington, Yorks.


3rd Great Grand Parents


36. Gulielmi CROOKS m. Sara THOMPSON. Gulielmi Latin for William To be confirmed.




38. Abraham THEAKER b. 1751, Bap. 11 Nov 1751, Hinderwell, Yorks., m. 8 Feb 1774, in Hinderwell, Yorks., Ann BROWN, b. 1749, Bap. 26 Sep 1749, Hinderwell, Yorks.


39. Ann BROWN b. 1749, Bap. 26 Sep 1749, Hinderwell, Yorks.


44. Thomas COATES b. 1732, Bap. 27 Oct 1732, Skelton, Yorks., m. (1) 1753, in Skelton, Yorks., Mary (COATES), buried: 1760, Easington, Yorks., m. (2) 19 Feb 1761, in Kirkleatham, Yorks, Myrial DUCK.


45. Mary (COATES) buried: 1760, Easington, Yorks.


46. Paul MARSHALL Bap. 14 Mar 1731, Hinderwell, Yorks., m. 3 Feb 1754, in Easington Parish Church, Yorks, Eleanor BROWN.


47. Eleanor BROWN


4th Great Grand Parents


76. William THEAKER b. 1723, Bap. 1 Dec 1723, Hinderwell, Yorks., m. 10 Jan 1750, in Hinderwell, Yorks., Dinah COLE, b. 1728, Bap. 5 Mar 1728, Hinderwell, Yorks.


77. Dinah COLE b. 1728, Bap. 5 Mar 1728, Hinderwell, Yorks.


78. Matthew BROWN b. 1723, Bap. 6 May 1723, Easington Parish Church, Yorks.


88. Robert COATES b. c1702, Bap. 1702, Skelton, Yorks., m. 23 Nov 1731, in Brotton, Yorks, Mary WOOD.


89. Mary WOOD


92. William MARCHILL Bap. 8 Jan 1692, m. 24 Jan 1720, Margaret HARRISON.


93. Margaret HARRISON


5th Great Grand Parents


152. William THEAKER m. 9 Nov 1717, in Hinderwell, Yorks., Mary MUSGRAVE, b. 1689, Bap. 15 Feb 1689, Hinderwell, Yorks.


153. Mary MUSGRAVE b. 1689, Bap. 15 Feb 1689, Hinderwell, Yorks.


154. Daniel COLE


156. Matthew BROWN(E)


176. John COATES b. c1672, Bap. 1672, Skelton, Yorks., m. 4 Dec 1700, in Skelton, Yorks., Elizabeth HUTTON. John buried: 1731, Skelton, Yorks.


177. Elizabeth HUTTON

6th Great Grand Parents


304. _____ THEAKER


306. Richard(us) MUSGRAVE b. 1662, Bap. 10 Aug 1662, Hinderwell, Yorks., m. Aug 1689, in Hinderwell, Yorks., Ann CAUSTON.


307. Ann CAUSTON


352. Richard COATES b. c1630, Bap. 1630, Skelton, Yorks., m. 1655, in Skelton, Yorks., Elizabeth HALL.


353. Elizabeth HALL

7th Great Grand Parents


612. Thoma(e) MUSGRAVE b. 1624, Bap. 25 Mar 1624, Hinderwell, Yorks.


704. William COATES b. c1590, Skelton, Yorks.


8th Great Grand Parents


1224. Thoma(e) MUSGRAVE Latin for Thomas



Although Staithes, as it is today, has only been in existence for about 500 years, communities of one kind or another, have made their homes in the area from times immemorial.

It would appear that the Crooks' came to Staithes about 1795 from Shields, it is believed they were in the coal trade, so we are really only interested in the history from the 18th. Century on.

A facet of the historical tradition of Staithes, is that of smuggling, which was at its height in the 17th. and 18th. Centuries. Its position on the coast made Staithes ideal for evading the Customs and Excise Officer, and its network of close packed houses, with cellars and adjoining passages, was fully exploited by the smugglers. The story is still told of how one of them, when paid a visit by the Preventive Officer, hung a leather bag full of sovereigns, out of his window overlooking the sea. Sadly, before he could retrieve it, the tide came up and washed it away. This is why, as visitors walk on the beach, they may be asked by a native of Staithes if they are searching for gold.

Cowbar Nab was originally called Colburn (coalburn) Nab. This was because before there was a full time Customs or Preventive Officer at Staithes, a travelling Officer used to visit outlying coastal villages, so whilst the smugglers were operating in the beck, a lookout was posted on the cliff. When the Officer was seen approaching, the lookout using coal, lit a fire, giving the smugglers ample warning to escape.

Staithes family names also have a historical background. Theaker is old Norse for a thatcher, an important person in a village of thatched houses, as Staithes was then. Verrill has a French origin, possibly from shipwrecked French sailors from the Napoleonic period. Unthank is from Cumbria, during the thirteenth century one of the Barons came from Cumbria, and brought with him his serfs, some of which came from the village of Unthank.

Religion, particularly of the non-conformist type, has figured largely in Staithes life, since the early 19th. Century.

If you visit Staithes today it is not very difficult to imagine what it was like 150 years ago. The sites of the buildings have not changed that much, although their outward appearance has. They are now nicely weatherproofed and painted white. I suppose this is to attract the tourists, as this is now the biggest single industry.

From the main Whitby to Middlesborough road, Staithes village is approached by going down a very steep hill, entering the main street that goes down to the beach. On the left just after the bend is the pub The Royal George and next door to it, separated on ground level by an alley, is the ancestral home. It is called The Cottage, house numbers are not used in Staithes, and it is where John Crooks and his wife lived, brought up ten children and died. More about where the house came from later. The top floor of the house abuts onto the Royal George. I wonder if in the days of smuggling, there was perhaps an adjoining door from pub to house?

Staithes is sheltered by two Nabs - on the west by Cowbar Nab, and on the east by Penny Nab, and it is a probability that at some time in the past the Nabs virtually met, and would form a natural cove. Down the valley in which the village is situated runs the freshwater beck. Without the beck we can assume that there would have been no village, for as recently as one hundred years ago, the only supply of drinking water was the freshwater beck. The daily supply of water had to be brought up from the higher parts of the beck, where it ran briskly. It was carried on the head in a wooden vessel called a 'Skeel.'

These Skeels were very much as Scandinavian buckets, wider at the bottom than the top, to stop splashing. They were generally made of oak and painted white on the inside and green, with the owners' initials on the outside. Great pride was taken in the skeels, they were made by the master coopers and painted by the sign writer, no do it yourself for them.

They were usually carried by the women and small girls, and considering that they could carry between one half and four gallons there was indeed an art to balancing them on the head. It was usual to see the women stand around, gossiping or courting, with the skeels calmly balanced on the head. In spite of all the hard work needed in carrying these skeels, apparently some of the villagers fought against having water brought by pipes.




It is probable to suppose that fishing has always been the mainstay of the village; in its early stages, simply as a source of food for the earliest inhabitants, and later as an industry. It was at its height during the 19th. Century. The inhabitants of Staithes and Runswick, made their living principally by fishing and related activities. During the winter and spring seasons they would go out to sea in small boats called cobles, each carrying three men, flat bottomed and so constructed as to live in very tempestuous weather; and were generally so successful as to return fully loaded with choicest fish. This fish was then sold at very reasonable prices. In the summer season the fishermen would go out in larger boats, of from ten to twelve tons burthen, called 5 men boats.

In 1817, there were 14- 5 men boats and 70 cobles fishing from Staithes and by 1840 300 men were employed on the boats, fishing white fish -- cod, ling and turbot. About this time a proposal for the building of a harbour, published in the Whitby Gazette, was not well received.

By 1861 there were 120 boats of one kind or another, a number that was to remain the same until the end of the century. In 1885 this area had the reputation of being the best herring fishing ground in English waters, attracting boats from as far away as Aberdeen and Penzance. Staithes is thought to have been one of the most prosperous ports. Even those who did not own shares in a boat but worked as 'hirelings,' received a good wage of twenty shillings a week.

It was an interesting role the women of the village played in this industry. At a time when society thought a woman's place was in the home, they played a very strong and active part in village life. They collected and prepared the bait, attached it to the lines, and were responsible for the tanning and repairing of the nets. They pulled alongside the men in the launching of the boats and made it their business to be present at the auctioning of the fish. Since they also saw to all the domestic chores, and spent any spare moments knitting the men's Guernseys, their proud boast that they worked longer than, and as hard as, their menfolk cannot be disputed.

At the end of the 19th. Century the use of 'factory' nets instead of hand knotted ones became prevalent, and steam trawlers, coming from larger ports, began to take trade away.

As was explained at the time - "The steam trawlers take more fish in two hours than we take in twenty four, and frighten away as many as they catch." Thus sounded the death knell of Staithes as a major fishing port. Its decline was gradual at first but increased momentum with two world wars. In 1951, only one coble was fishing full-time, and five boats being used for the tourist trade. By 1971 the fishing trade was on an upward swing. The emphasis had changed from white fish, which was fished on a small scale, to salmon fishing - which is proving productive, and lobster fishing-, Staithes being in the top twenty lobster ports in England and Wales.

Tragedies and disasters at sea were almost monthly occurrences. Four yawls were lost with all hands in a storm of indescribable fury on April 14th 1815. Three of the vessels were from Runswick and one, the Richard and Sarah, from Staithes. Her master, was Robert Verrill, and his drowning left a widow and three children fatherless. Twenty-nine fishermen were drowned, sixteen wives were widowed and forty-eight children left without a father.

Over a few months in 1828, ten Staithes fishermen were drowned. Among them were the husbands of the four daughters of Abraham Brown. Twenty-one children were left fatherless. These were only two examples of many such catastrophes that brought grief to Staithes and these were particularly cruel because they brought sorrow to so many inter-related families. One squall on a coast noted for its freak and sudden storms could devastate the ambitions, sacrifices and savings of so many families and deprive them of breadwinners, as their vessels and gear were cast up on the shores that were strewn with the ruins of their hopes.

It seems hard to comprehend, living in a large town, that sometimes, men tragically lost at sea were not found for months and then suddenly a limb may be washed ashore identifiable only by the initials sewed on to the item of clothing. Of course sometimes the body was just never seen again. It is no surprise that these communities were such God-fearing people.




Although fishing was, the mainstay of the village, mining in the surrounding area also played its part.

Alum was the first to be mined at Boulby, on a commercial basis and recent workings can still be seen at the mine. Although the mining of alum at Guisborough began in 1595, the coastal refineries, such as the one at Boulby, were still working in the mid 19th century, long after the decline of the ones inland.

The alum industry was introduced into Cleveland by an ancestor of Lord Guisborough. Previous to that all alum was made in Italy and was a monopoly of the Pope. While travelling in Italy, Lord Guisborough's ancestor was struck with the similarity of the shale where the alum was being made with that of Cleveland near his home. He had it tested, and found it to be the same. The difficulty was how to get workmen to come over. They were afraid of the Pope, who forbade, under heavy penalties, the giving away of the secret of alum making. He did succeed in enticing some workmen away, by promising them great reward. Some say that he smuggled them over the frontier in casks. When the Pope found what had been done, he laid a heavy curse on the whole of the Chaloner family and their heirs. It does not appear to have done them much harm.

The alum was transported to Staithes in wagons, to be stored in warehouses on the north side of the beck, until it could be exported. Many boats used for this were also built in Staithes, ranging from the 'Industrious Farmer,' 46 tons, built in 1768, to the last one, built in 1835, 'The Ocean,' 88 tons.

Ironstone mining had a relatively brief, but no less important part to play in the latter half of the 19th. Century and early 20th. Century. The first ironstone was shipped from Harden Wyke (a small inlet on the Staithes side of Penny Steel), and later from both Staithes and Port Mulgrave. The ironstone was mined at various sites and it was transported to Port Mulgrave from Grinkle Mines along Seaton Hall Tunnel, on wagons hauled by ropes.

Jet was mined from the cliffs along the Staithes coastline, but was not carried on as a commercial industry on any large scale. It could sometimes be picked up from the beaches after a cliff fall, and it was not unknown for these 'falls' to be encouraged by the 'jetties' who then sold their finds to the local craftsmen or 'rough jet dealers.'

In recent years the mining of potash at Boulby has continued the mining tradition at Staithes. Potash was first discovered in the area in 1939, and work started in the Boulby site in 1969, the first potash being commercially produced in 1973. This has brought a new measure of prosperity to Staithes, bringing both new people into the village, and new jobs for the existing population.

Thomas Crooks was from leaving school to approx. 1889, when he goes to Billericay, an ironstone miner.

William Crooks initially went to sea, but after being shipwrecked near Archangel, Russia, and getting frost-bite he went into the mines.

George Crooks started his career as a blacksmith in the mining industry.




To counteract the general austerity of life in the village, much was made of any event out of the ordinary and great attention was paid to custom and tradition. A wedding would be celebrated by a volley of gunfire from the young men of the village and a race for the bride's garter would be held. This race started when the ring was placed on the bride's finger, and the first person to reach the bride's door was allowed the privilege of removing her garter. When the newly wed pair arrived home, a plate with bridal cake on it, would be thrown over their heads, the plate broken, and pieces of the 'Lucky' cake scrambled for.

The christening of a child was another event celebrated by the whole village. The baby would be carried round for inspection, and everybody would press some small coin into the tiny hand, for, not to do so would bring bad luck to both giver and recipient. The godparents presented the child with a silver christening spoon, so that all, rich and poor alike, could be said to have been born with a silver spoon in their mouth.

It was, perhaps the funerals, however, that demanded the greatest ceremony. If the funeral was that of a young virgin, the coffin would be preceded by white-robed maidens (or servers), holding a garland of coloured ribbons high in the air in their white gloved hands. For aged or married people, the servers would dress in black, with a broad black or white ribbon crossing over one shoulder. This custom is still observed today when a local person dies the servers - usually women, wearing dark suits with shawls and sashes over their shoulders - walk slowly in front of the now motorised cortege, as it moves slowly along the High Street and up the hill. The tradition of 'bidding' villagers to the funeral, unfortunately no longer take's place - this entailed the serving of wine and funeral biscuits to the people waiting outside the house before the corpse was brought out. In the days when a funeral required a lengthy walk up Church Street to the cemetery at Hinderwell, this was probably a welcome repast.

The high spot of the year was the Staithes Fair, held in the week following Trinity, usually late Spring or early Summer, with a reasonable chance of fine weather. Quarrels were settled at Fair time, by visiting the antagonists' houses, and eating a 'taste' of cake. Half yearly accounts were paid up and debts settled. The boats would be tied up and the whole village would set about to enjoy itself. Marriages were arranged - almost with exception amongst themselves - and the fisherman's wives would take the opportunity to don their best yellow and scarlet petticoats.



A notice announcing the annual fair is very interesting. The wording is as follows:


"Staithes Feast will be held on Tuesday, June 20th. 1797, when the prizes as advertised below will be offered to all those skilled in such matters, as well as divers others not herein stated, to wit:

- A fish skin purse, containing silver, will be run, or rolled for in sacks, a man and a boy in each sack, 25 yards; Eric Stanmer, Esq., will adjudge.

- A 50 yard race to be run for a hood and cloak each for maidens running in pairs, the right legge of one to be bound to the left legge of the other, below the knee and at the ankle. T. Metcalf will bind ye legges and adjudge.

-A crown piece for a man and wife race, ye wife to be hugged either on the backe or in the arms, or by any other device so as she be lifted clean of ye ground, husbands with right wives will be put back; Mr. Mat Petch will adjudge.

-The choice of a sark or petticoat, offered to best performance of skills in a skep and hole tryal, only for married women, one clean turn to be made; Thos. Hilltune, Esq., will adjudge.

-A coble race for 1 1s., a lyke sum will be given to the best kept coble, to be equally divided; W. Hymers to adjudge.

-A new crown piece will be given to ye maid under eighteen years who shall fyrst cleanly bayte a hundred hooks; Mr. W. Pickles will adjudge.

-Lykewise genning, throw a bar fan, smoaking, and other pastimes, for ye entertainment of all commers, will in no wise be found lacking. All friends and neighbours are diligently invited.

This was wrote by I. Storey, schoolmaster. "



The notice was not printed, but, as noted, was written very carefully and neatly.

This was published in the Whitby Gazette in March 1924.




The Crooks family of Staithes appears to begin in 1795 when William Crooks a native of Shields, comes to Staithes and marries Mary Theaker.

Our ancestors on the Theaker side of the family have been traced back to William born circa 1690. William marries Mary Musgrave at Hinderwell Parish Church in 1717. This is my first recorded finding of my ancestors living in the Staithes area of North East Yorkshire.

There is not a great deal known about William and Mary Theaker, except that they did own a boat, tonnage unknown, and they were a family of Master Mariners. They had a son also called William and he was to marry a village girl, Dinah Cole, in 1750 at the local church in Hinderwell.

William and Dinah would have been about the same age as a lad who was apprenticed to Mr. Sanderson to learn the trade of a grocer and general dealer. The boy's name was of course James Cook and he was to become one of the most famous navigators this country has produced. He was born at Marton but it was in Staithes that he spent his early life. The actual house where he lived has been moved three times to stop it being washed into the sea. There is no doubt living in Staithes strengthened the young Cook's determination to become a sailor. Living amongst the people and listening to the old salts' stories of deeds of daring would fire him with ambition to go and do likewise. He went and he did better.

William and Dinah had three sons Abraham, William and Edward. It is believed they had other children, but no record of them has yet been found.

William had a son whom he named Edward, after his uncle. He was to become a Master Mariner, and indeed live a very interesting life. His name carries on today, his full name Edward Theaker being used as Christian names by his blood relations.

Captain Edward Theaker, was master of the East Indiaman, 'Earl of Eldon,' that was shipwrecked on September 24th. 1834. His ship, loaded with cotton, was set alight by accident and was burnt down over eleven hundred miles from the port of Rodriguez, in Mauritius. In addition to his crew he had passengers, some army officers and their wives and children, one a baby under one year old. In two open lifeboats, encountering rough weather, thirteen days later he landed them safe, at Port Rodriguez, a distance of eleven hundred and forty miles. This indeed was a remarkable feat, and was it perhaps tales of these epic voyages, that spurred on a thirteen year old John Crooks to become a seaman instead of just a fisherman.

Abraham who was born in 1751 married Ann Brown in 1774 at Hinderwell Church. His exact occupation is not known, but as mentioned earlier, his family did own at least one boat.

Abraham and Ann had only one child baptised at Hinderwell Church and that is a daughter Mary, who, when she grows up, is going to meet and marry William Crooks a cooper from Shields.

Not until 1883 was Staithes linked by rail to the outside world. Only then, the line from Whitby, ten miles to the South, connected the port with the iron-stone mining area of Cleveland and three special fish trains ran each week from Staithes. All this was in the future. In the past, Staithes boats, several of which manned by Theakers - rowed the eighty miles to the Tyne each week in the summer months. After paying their harbour dues of one shilling at Newcastle, before unloading their cargoes of salt fish, for which Staithes was noted, they loaded cargoes of coal for the return voyage. A voyage by sea from North Shields to Staithes would have been inviting, to a young man looking for a new job and a bride. It has always been assumed that William Crooks came to Staithes and met Mary Theaker, but did she perhaps go to Shields on the boats and William smitten, followed her back?

So on the 4th. February 1795 William Crooks, a cooper, from Shields was married to Mary Theaker at St. Hilda's Church, Hinderwell. It may seem unusual that they exchanged their vows, on a Wednesday but this was not so. The date of a wedding was governed by when the boats would be in port and not by which weekend was most convenient.

Just over one year later, on 14th. May 1796, the family were gathered once more in St. Hilda's, this time for the baptism of their first born, a daughter, Mary. They were to visit the church, during the next twenty years, on many occasions. Ten times for the baptisms of their children, 4 sons and 6 daughters, unfortunately they were to also bury 9 of these children before any reached their tenth birthday. Only Mary and Thomas were to produce grandchildren for William and Mary.

Mary was to bring shame on her family, not once, but twice, by having illegitimate children. The first was William baptised at Hinderwell Church 22 June 1817, in the records it does not spare the blushes of the unmarried mother. The entry for William reads: a son to Mary Crooks a single woman. Illegitimacy at this time was accepted, and indeed it would have raised no eye brows in the village, they would probably have joined ranks to protect the mother. Even the church had a very tolerant attitude to these indiscretions, perhaps due to the fact that the life expectancy of the male population was not very long.

However when Mary had John, again out of wedlock, the village and her family accepted it, but it would appear that the church did not. Mary had the infant John baptised three miles up the road in the next parish. Again the entry in the parish record reads: 16 March 1821 a son John to Mary Crooks, a single woman. Why did she take the child to Lythe?

I have always assumed that John was a twin, and this is borne out by most members of the family. We also know for a fact that twins run in the Crooks blood line, however, in searching parish records I cannot find a Richard baptised ten years either side of John Crooks' baptism. I am not categorically saying that John Crooks is not a twin, I'm just saying that I've not been able to say he is. Why did Mary not have the twin baptised with John?

The Parish Church, used for weddings, baptisms and burials, is St. Hilda's. It was originally built in the thirteenth century and was dedicated to Saint Hilda, the abbess at Whitby. In the grounds of the church is an ancient well, which was used for drinking water. Over many years the church became known as St. Hilda the Well, and as the village grew it became known as Hinderwell. Where you were Baptised, Married or Buried officially depended on whereabouts in the village you lived. 90% of Staithes falls in the parish of Hinderwell, Yorkshire, with the other 10% in Easington, Cleveland, the boundary was the beck. However, nearly all the villagers were baptised and married at Hinderwell, whilst it was probably an even split, being buried in either Easington or Hinderwell.

Some Theakers are buried in the churchyard at Hinderwell, but none could be found, who were our direct ancestors. The headstones, for people who could afford them, were made from the local sand-stone. This being a very soft material, years of battering from sea winds mixed with salt, has caused many of the inscriptions to wear away and become illegible. William Crooks from Shields, the original Crooks in Staithes, is buried here, in the same grave as his wife Mary (nee Theaker). However, whether through lack of funds, or other reasons there is no headstone.

Captain John Crooks, his wife Mary Ann and their daughter Jane are buried in All Saints Church, Easington. Also buried there, are ancestors on the Coates side of the family tree.


CROOKS baptised to WILLIAM and MARY


Mary bap 14 May 1796

Thomas bap 5 May 1798

William bap 6 June 1800

Eleanor bap 17 July 1802

John bap 2 Sept. 1804

Isaac bap 17 Sept. 1806

Isabella bap 21 June 1808 *

Ann bap 25 July 1809

Jane bap 16 Dec. 1811

Elizabeth bap 4 Mar. 1814

Isabella bap 26 June 1816


* First Isabella died 1815 and as the next child was a girl they named her Isabella. This was a common practice all over the country, when so many children died in infancy.


From the Parish Records of St. Hilda's, Hinderwell.



Two years after John was born, Mary married Christopher Marshall. I think it is very unlikely that Christopher was the father of John, because when he marries Mary, John does not go to live with them.

Mary was married to Christopher Marshall at St. Hilda's church, on 24 September 1823, their witnesses were Isaac Toase and Christopher's brother, Thomas.

Their eldest child, Thomas was baptised at St. Hilda's on 28th January 1824, a mere four months after their marriage.

Tragically, Thomas dies before he is one year old, but another son, again named Thomas is baptised on 18 April 1825. There are no entries of baptisms for the next twelve years, until a daughter, Mary Jane is baptised on the 8th May 1837, no more children can be found.

Mary, now a widow is alive in 1851. On the day of the census, she is living in Staithes, and has with her, her daughter Mary Jane, and her grandson John Richard Crooks. This is the eldest son of John Crooks. Where her son Thomas is, is not certain. Is he alive? He would be about 25 years old so he may be married. He does not show up on the census for the Staithes area, but he could very well be at sea, if his occupation demanded it.

On the 1861 census Mary, now 65, is still living in Staithes and has staying with her, William, Mary and Ann Elizabeth Crooks, her grandchildren. When the census of 1871 was held Mary Marshall is dead.

Nothing is known of Christopher Marshall and even finding out his date of death was difficult. Could he possibly have been married when he met Mary Crooks? The surname Marshall is a very common Staithes one and although we can trace his parents and even grandparents nothing is known of them.

When Mary married why did she not take the children? Indeed what happened to William? nothing has been found about him, except his baptism. Did he survive infancy? He does not show up on any censuses or any marriages in the area.

John was brought up by his grandfather, William Crooks, who had him educated and found him a trade, the sea. William, because he had lost nine children in infancy, treated John more like a son than a grandson. This is borne out when John Crooks marries Mary Ann Thompson.

On his wedding certificate under name and occupation of father he puts, William Crooks; Cooper, the exact name and occupation of his grandfather.


CROOKS baptised


William 22 June 1817

To Mary Crooks a single woman

From the Parish Records of St. Hilda's, Hinderwell.


John 16 March 1821

To Mary Crooks a single woman

From the Parish Records of St. Oswald's, Lythe.




Grateful thanks to John Coates for finding the Baptism in Lythe and gleaning information from people at Staithes.



Mary's brother Thomas Crooks was married to Mary Unthank on March 7th 1819. Mary came from a very old and well-respected family of Staithes. She was to have five children with Thomas. The eldest of these Isaac married Margaret Bell in 1841.

Isaac and Margaret had six children three sons and three daughters. The sea was to take a very heavy toll on this family.

The eldest son, Thomas married Margaret Theaker, no doubt related through Thomas' own great grandmother, in 1865. In 1886, Thomas competed in the great Ocean Coble race. Just one year later at the age of 42 years Thomas was drowned while at sea, fishing.

William, their second son, was also a fisherman and very little of him is known, except he was to perish in the sea and is buried in Rotterdam.

The third son was John who married Mary Verrill in 1874. He was also to be claimed by the sea, although, very close to home. He was out at sea in tempestuous weather, in the lifeboat, launched hours before at Staithes. Eventually the weather got the better of the boat and John was the third and last son of Isaac and Margaret Crooks, to be claimed by the sea. He was 41 years old when he died.

At the turn of the century Dame Laura Knight, the artist, stayed with John's widow at Staithes. Dame Laura in her autobiography, 'Oil paint, Grease paint,' mentions staying with Mrs. Crooks.



Mary Ann Thompson was the daughter of John Thompson and Mary Coates both from Staithes families, although the Coates family, had originally come from Easington, Brotton and Skelton, a few miles up the coast.

John Thompson was a fisherman, baptised 27 December 1792, at Hinderwell Church. His parents were John and Elizabeth Thompson both living in Staithes. John marries Mary Coates on 10 December 1812 at Hinderwell Church, and they have six children, all baptised Hinderwell church, Mary Ann being the fourth.



Thompsons, baptised to John and Mary


William bap 15 Feb. 1814

Jane bap 9 Feb. 1822

Coates bap 28 Aug. 1826 *

Mary Ann bap 22 Feb. 1828

John bap 27 Nov. 1828

Coates bap 23 Jun. 1830


* Coates died before 1830 and the next son was called Coates after and in memory of his brother.


Parish Records of St. Hilda's, Hinderwell.



Mary Coates is much more interesting but to tell her story we must start around 1590.

The date and place of baptism of William Coates are not yet known, but is probably around 1590-1610 at Skelton, Brotton, Marske, Easington, Liverton or Guisborough. His marriage still remains undiscovered.

There may be some connection with Tocketts (formerly spelt Tocotes) in the parish of Guisborough - does the name Coates derive from Tocotes?

Richard Coates was baptised at Skelton in 1630: from the parish record at Skelton "Richard the lawful son of William Coates." Richard marries Elizabeth Hall at Skelton in 1655. He is recorded on the 1674 Hearth Tax for Skelton: excused payment of tax - presumably excused because of poverty.

Richard and Elizabeth have a son called John baptised at Skelton 1672 and buried Skelton 1731. In 1700, at Skelton, he marries Elizabeth Hutton, who may have been related to John Hutton, who was very active in smuggling all over Cleveland in the 18th century. They have two daughters Ann and Mildrid and a son, Robert.

Robert Coates was baptised at Skelton in 1702 and married Mary Wood at Brotton in 1731. His occupation is believed to be that of a carpenter. They have two daughters, Mary baptised Skelton 1734 and Elizabeth baptised 1740 at Skelton. They also had a son Thomas. Thomas Coates was baptised at Skelton, in 1732, and married Mary ...... c. 1753 at Skelton. They lived at Ureby (now spelt Yearby) and Mary is buried in the grave yard at Kirkleatham.

Thomas' second marriage was to Myrial Duck at Kirkleatham in 1761. His occupation was carpenter (journeyman). Thomas signed his marriage entry in Kirkleatham parish register and although it was shaky, it showed he had had some education. There is no record of baptism of any child from Thomas' marriage to Myrial.

From his first marriage, like his parents and grandparents he had two daughters and a son. The daughters were Anne baptised Kirkleatham 1756 and Mary baptised 1757. The son Richard was baptised in 1759.

Richard Coates was baptised on the 27th December 1759 at Kirkleatham, but moved to and lived in Staithes from an early age. He married a local lass Rachel Marshall at Easington Parish Church on the 9th October 1787. In the Easington parish register they both put 'of this parish.'

A small part of Staithes lies in the parish of Easington, but the much larger part is in the parish of Hinderwell. Did they therefore live the other side of the beck?

Richard's occupations were:

Mariner (Greenland Whaling - Whitby)

Grocer (Baines directory - Staithes 1823)

Smuggling? (was shop used as a cover?)


In his will dated 1846 he calls himself a merchant.

Richard was impressed at sea from the "Volunteer" of Whitby, on 27th June 1801, as the ship returned from a whaling voyage to Greenland.

Richard Coates, was taken off the "Volunteer," and a daughter, Mary Coates, did not see her father for many a year. There were no separation allowances nor any other provision made for the men's families, who were left penniless to shift for themselves. It was left to the church to look after families whose breadwinner had been impressed.

While Richard Coates was impressed, his daughter (Mary) opened a shop, but it was merely a camouflage for smuggling. When he arrived home his wife Rachel, presented him with several cottages and a nice sum in the bank. Richard Coates on his wedding entry at Easington parish register signs fluently, so where was he educated? *

Rachel Coates (nee Marshall) died 2 March 1843 and is buried at All Saints, Easington. Richard died some three years later, on 7 December 1846, and is buried in the same grave as Rachel.

Richard in his will leaves the following:

To William Coates my son, the dwelling house now in the occupation of John Adamson, situate in Staithes and also my small chest of drawers.

To my son in law John Thompson, a fisherman, the dwelling houses that I have occupied myself and is now in my possession, situate in Staithes, with the whole of my residue, and my furniture, chattels etc.

To my granddaughter Mary Ann Thompson, the dwelling house in the occupation of Indiana Trufitt, in the situate of Staithes.

The latter is the property I earlier called 'The Cottage,' and indeed was the ancestral home next door to the Royal George pub.

John Thompson was a fisherman all his life. However, on the 1841 census he says his occupation is a farmer. Unfortunately, the address given is just Staithes, this is before his father in law leaves him the home in Staithes Village. In Richard Coates' will made the middle of 1846 he calls John Thompson a fisherman.

The entry in the 1841 census is the first real stage of being able to track down our ancestors of Staithes.


* From Robert Brown's book.




John THOMPSON 50 Farmer Y

Mary (COATES) 45 Y

John 20 Y

Mary Ann 10 Y

Coates 11 Y


On the 1841 census ages, are rounded up to the nearest 5 years after 15 years old.

Y means they are born in the county they are now living in.


This copy of the census was supplied by Frank Taylor of Port Mulgrave, Yorks.




Mary Coates died within 12 months of her mother, on 17th January 1844. Her son John was tragically claimed by the sea, aged 25 years, on the 10th March 1846, and her husband John, died later that same year.

All three are buried in the same grave, in the Churchyard at All Saints, Easington. The grave is next to Mary Thompson's parents and just in front of John Crooks. The inscription on the headstone is only for Mary and her son John, although the parish records state that husband John is also in the grave.



Erected in memory of



died December 7th. 1846 aged

87 years.


Also RACHEL COATES his wife

who died March 2nd. 1843 aged

81 years.



Erected in memory of



who died January 17th. 1844 aged 51 years.


Also JOHN, son of the above

who died March 10th. 1846

aged 25 years.







Husband: John CROOKS


Born: 1821 in: Staithes, Yorks.

Baptized: 16 Mar 1821 in: Lythe, Yorks

Died: 9 Apr 1879 in: Staithes, Yorks.

Buried: in: All Saints Churchyard, Easington, Yorks.

Occupation: Master Mariner

Mother: Mary CROOKS


Wife: Mary Ann THOMPSON

Married: 23 Feb 1847 in: Hinderwell, Yorks.


Born: 1828 in: Staithes, Yorks.

Baptized: 22 Feb 1828 in: Hinderwell, Yorks.

Died: 5 Sep 1918 in: Staithes, Yorks.

Buried: in: All Saints Churchyard, Easington, Yorks.

Father: John THOMPSON

Mother: Mary COATES


M Child 1 John Richard CROOKS

Born: 1847 in: Staithes, Yorks.

Baptized: 7 Nov 1847 in: Hinderwell, Yorks.

Died: 13 Oct 1938 in: Hinderwell, Yorks.

Buried: 17 Oct 1938 in: St. Hilda's Churchyard, Hinderwell, York

Spouse: Hannah GRAY

Married: 18 Jan 1871 in: Hinderwell, Yorks.


M Child 2 William CROOKS

Born: 1849 in: Staithes, Yorks.

Baptized: 25 Nov 1849 in: Hinderwell, Yorks.

Died: in:

Spouse: Hannah ADAMSON

Married: 5 Nov 1874 in: Hinderwell, Yorks.

Spouse: _____ (CROOKS)

Married: in:


F Child 3 Mary CROOKS

Born: 1851 in: Staithes, Yorks.

Baptized: 26 Oct 1851 in: Hinderwell, Yorks.

Died: 3 Qtr 1934 in: Thirsk reg dist, Yorks.

Spouse: Benjamin BUXTON

Married: 1873 in: Guisboro area


M Child 4 Thomas Thompson CROOKS

Born: 12 Feb 1854 in: Staithes, Yorks.

Baptized: 5 Mar 1854 in: Hinderwell, Yorks.

Died: 4 Mar 1945 in: Ronald St., Oldham, Lancs.

Buried: in: Greenacres Cemetery

Occupation: Blacksmiths striker

Spouse: Hannah TOTMAN

Married: 7 Apr 1890 in: Parish Church, Billericay, Essex


F Child 5 Ann Elizabeth CROOKS

Born: 1857 in: Staithes, Yorks.

Baptized: 5 Jul 1857 in: Hinderwell, Yorks.

Died: in:

Spouse: Stephen THEAKER

Married: 24 Feb 1879 in: Hinderwell, Yorks.


M Child 6 George CROOKS

Born: 1860 in: Staithes, Yorks.

Baptized: 3 Feb 1860 in: Hinderwell, Yorks.

Died: in: Coventry

Spouse: Lizzie MENNELL

Married: 22 Apr 1889 in: St. Stephens', Fylingdales, Yorks.


F Child 7 Teresa CROOKS

Born: 1862 in: Staithes, Yorks.

Baptized: 25 May 1862 in: Hinderwell, Yorks.

Died: in:

Spouse: Matthew ROBINSON

Married: 7 Mar 1886 in: Hinderwell, Yorks.


M Child 8 Coates CROOKS

Born: 1864 in: Staithes, Yorks.

Baptized: 2 Oct 1864 in: Hinderwell, Yorks.

Died: in:

Spouse: Elizabeth LONGSTER

Married: 1 Nov 1906 in: Hinderwell, Yorks.


M Child 9 Thompson CROOKS

Born: 1869 in: Staithes, Yorks.

Died: 9 Jul 1888 in: Staithes, Yorks.


F Child 10 Jane CROOKS

Born: 1875 in: Staithes, Yorks.

Died: 27 Feb 1878 in: Staithes, Yorks.

Buried: in: All Saints Churchyard, Easington, Yorks.






Apart from his christening, no records of John's whereabouts have been found. He is not mentioned on the 1841 census, nor are any other Crooks', in Staithes. There are many reasons for this:

1) He may have been at sea, only people who were 'on shore' had their names entered on the census.

2) He may have been in a port other than Staithes.

3) The record of the 1841 census was incomplete and his family entries are not where they should be.


Mary Ann, was, as mentioned earlier, with her mother and father, in Staithes


John Crooks was a sailor, when and with whom he served his apprenticeship needs to be ascertained.

On 23rd February 1847, the wedding vows of John Crooks a 26 year old sailor and Mary Ann Thompson, both of Staithes, were exchanged at St. Hilda's Parish Church, Hinderwell. The wedding entry in the parish register shows that John could write, and Mary Ann could not. Their witnesses were Mary Ann Brown and Richard Ward, the ceremony being performed by the Rector, W.H.Smith.

Within a short time the first of their ten children was born, a boy whom they named John Richard.

The name John Richard holds quite some significance. Could there have been some mistake in the tales passed down, through generations, and John and Richard have become twins? John is probably the most common Christian name on the Crooks' side, and Richard the most common on the Coates side, therefore it is quite understandable that John and Mary Ann should name their first born John Richard.

John and Mary Ann lived in the house left to her by her grandfather, the one next door to the Royal George. It is one of life's coincidence that 100 years later, one of their grandchildren Clara May Crooks would marry Ernest Smith and live 120 miles away, next door to a pub called the King George.

John and Mary Ann were to have 10 children in all, the last Jane, being born when Mary Ann was 47 years old. Alas Jane was to die at the age of 2 years and 8 months, she is buried with her mother and father in All Saints churchyard. Another son, Thompson, died at an early age, he was just 19 years old. An account of his death was in the Whitby Gazette, but did not state what he died of, or where he is buried. The rest of the family lived to enjoy a long life with the exception of George, who died in his mid fifties, in Coventry.


Staithes Record In Longevity.


Weather beaten Mr. Coates Crooks, blue-jerseyed fishmonger of Staithes, is probably the oldest "baby" in Yorkshire. He is 75!.

As he goes about his daily work in this quaint fishing village, the "youngster" is more or less under the solicitous eye of 89 year old brother William, 81 year old sister Elizabeth Theaker, and 78 year old sister Teresa Robinson.

His other brother, Tom who is 86, lives in Oldham, and occasionally drops a line to ask how "our lad" is going on. And, to be truthful, he's going on very nicely, but there is, perhaps, one regret in the life of Coates .... he thinks he might have done better if he'd carried on his original job of school teaching!

However, philosophically, he values the invigorating ozone of Staithes, the absence of rush and bustle, and the even tenor in which his life is pitched.


Mother Died at 90


Coates is one of 10 children, all born at Staithes. He lost his brother, Captain John Richard, who was 90, when he died in 1938. A ripe old age that, but longevity appears to be hereditary in the Crooks family, for the mother, Mary Ann Crooks, lived to be 90, though she had a foot amputated in the North Ormesby Hospital, Middlesborough, when she was 67.

Illness doesn't trouble the family much, Coates has had no sickness benefit, and his brothers and sisters enjoy good health.

Coates has been a member of the Oddfellows' Club since 1888.

William is a Methodist and a regular attender at Chapel, he was at two services last Sunday and expects to attend a great many more.


Whitby Gazette, Summer 1939




Where or when John Crooks met Mary Ann Thompson, has not been found. When they marry in 1847, John on his marriage entry is a sailor. He is to become a master mariner, passing his examinations and being awarded his master's certificate, at Whitby on 25th January 1851. The certificate number was 37218 and he was to hold this for 20 years. He was now on the Register of, Masters and Mates, Foreign Trade, (Board of Trade ref. BT 124/2). He was ready for his first command.

Before he obtained his certificate, Mary Ann had had, two children and a third one was on the way, so one would imagine the increase in pay, would be most welcome.

On his record of commands nothing is recorded between the years 1851 and 1861. This was not unusual as, the clerical staff, who had to fill in the forms by hand were very overworked.

The family must have been fairly comfortable because on the 1851 census, the Crooks' have a servant living with them, as well as Mary Ann's brother, Coates.


Typical pay for a voyage to Quebec would have been. (Ref.BT98)

Master 10 0s 0d

Mate 4 15s 0d

Carpenter 4 15s 0d

Cook 3 5s 0d

Seaman 3 0s 0d Monthly.


In addition the master could make money from the transporting of passengers.



John Crooks Head 30 Mariner Staithes

Mary Ann wife 23 Staithes

William son 2 Staithes

Coates Thompson BiL 21 Fisherman Staithes

Elizabeth Toase Serv 18 House Ser. Staithes



Mary Marshall Head W55 Char lady Staithes

Mary J. Dau 14 Scholar Staithes

John R. Crooks G/son 4 Staithes.


The census tells the Name of the head of the house, the age, married, etc., occupation, place of birth and relationship to the head of the house.


Between 1851 and 1861, the only things we know that happened to John and Mary Ann, were the births of Mary (1851), Thomas (1854), Ann Elizabeth (1857) and George (1860). Thomas was given the middle Christian name Thompson, thereby carrying his mother's maiden name all his life.

In 1861 John Crooks takes command of the brig, "John Brown," making 4 voyages that year. It would appear that the boat was involved in the Baltic Trade, mainly carrying wood from Russia back to Whitby, what his outward cargo was I've not been able to find out.

When the census was taken for 1861 both John and Mary Ann are at sea, with them is George, who is just 6 months old. John Richard also went with them, but he worked his passage. John Richard sailed three summers with his father, attending school in the winter months. Did Mary Ann go this time to make sure it was suitable for her 14 year old son?

The census of 1861 shows three Crooks children, William aged 11, Mary aged 9, and Ann Elizabeth aged 4, all staying with their grandmother, Mary Marshall, in Staithes. Although Mary is now 65 I'm sure she would have gotten help with the children from Mary Ann's brother Coates who with his wife Jane, lived a few houses away on High Street. Thomas is not staying with his grandmother, but is just around the corner with a very good friend of his father's, a John Adamson, a sailmaker.


From Richard Weatherill's book "The Ancient Port of Whitby and It's Shipping" on page 261 it lists the following entry: Schooner 'FAIRY,' 87 tons built in 1841 and re-registered in Whitby in 1857. Owners at the time were Jn. Adamson, Jn. Crooks and Will. Craggs. It goes on to say that one day John Adamson sailed the boat out of Staithes, hit bad weather, the boat foundered and was lost.


I have still to ascertain whether the John Adamson named above, is the same one with whom Thomas is staying when the 1861 census was taken.

Captain John Crooks, between 1862 and 1867 was in command of several boats, with the exception of 1862 when he made three voyages as mate on the "Susanna Dickson", a boat he was to command the following year. This boat was, in later years, to be commanded by John's eldest son, John Richard.

In 1867, he commanded the "John Lawson", on two voyages but in 1868/69 he was only the mate, for a total of eight voyages.

In 1870 he sailed as mate, aboard the "Arabian", and on the outward voyage, the boat hit heavy seas. The "Arabian", was lost on the Dogger Bank 24th March 1870, The cause of the loss, was a severe battering from gales which lasted 14 hours. One man was lost. With the loss of the "Arabian", Captain John Crooks lost his first master's certificate. Checking records for masters of different vessels, it would appear that it was nothing serious to lose your master's certificate and be issued with a second.


John Crooks summary of voyages on

certificate no. 37218

1861 Captain "John Brown" 4 voyages

1862 Captain "John Brown" 4 voyages

Mate "Susanna Dickson" 3 voyages

1863 Captain "Susanna Dickson" 3 voyages

1864 Captain vessel no. 1380 * 2 voyages

1865 Captain vessel no. 1380 2 voyages

Captain vessel no. 2632 2 voyages

1866 Captain vessel no. 15898 4 voyages

1867 Captain "John Lawson" 2 voyages

1868 Mate "John Lawson" 2 voyages

1869 Mate "JohnLawson" 6 voyages

1870 Mate "Arabian" 1 voyage

Lost at sea. 24th March.


This is a complete list according to his record at the Board of Trade. However, it was updated only once a year, by a clerk in Whitby, from information supplied by owners.

* All vessels were allocated numbers by Lloyds, sometimes these were used instead of the names of the boats.

Record ref. BT124/2, Public Record Office, Kew.


It would appear, although it is not certain, that Mary Ann did not go to sea again, with her husband.

However, John's second son, William, followed his brother's footsteps and sailed for one year with his father. The following year, William was shipwrecked, very close to Archangel, in Russia. The passengers, including children, and the crew, had to walk over frozen wasteland to arrive at safety. In freezing temperatures, they eventually made it, but William was to suffer severe frostbite. When he arrived home, he vowed never to go to sea again. He kept his word, and became a miner in the nearby ironstone mine.

None of the other children showed any inclination to follow their father and make sailing the sea their livelihood. During the 1860's there were three additions to the family, Teresa born 1862, Coates born 1864 and Thompson born 1869.

The last two, had interesting Christian names. Coates is the maiden name of Mary Ann's mother (Mary Coates) and Thompson of course is, Mary Ann's maiden name.

On the 1871 census for Staithes, Mary Ann is at home with 8 of her children. Husband John and son John Richard are at sea and therefore are not on the census. William and Thomas are miners at the ironstone mine, while Mary is on home duties. The other children apart from Thompson, who is only 1 year old, are scholars. This just means schoolchildren, and does not necessarily mean anything grand. Sadly, by studying the census, we find that Mary Marshall, John Crook's mother, is no longer alive. When exactly she died, or where she is buried I have not been able to find out.

The 1870's were to be happy and sad times for the Crooks'.

The start of a new decade saw John lose his first certificate, but within 9 days he had been re-examined at Middlesborough and on 6th April he was issued a new certificate, number 75702. He was to make 4 voyages that year, none as captain.

1871, was to prove a happy year for John and Mary Ann, with the wedding on 18 January 1871, of their eldest son, John Richard, to Hannah Gray of Hinderwell. At the end of the year John R. and Hannah presented John and Mary Ann with their first grandchild, a girl, they had named Hannah, after her mother and grandmother.

In 1871/72/73, John made at least 12 voyages, mainly to the Baltic states, Archangel, Riga, Malmo and Stockholm to name some of his ports. Of the twelve voyages only on 2, was he in command of the vessel. This was the "Areta", a vessel he was also mate on, 7 times.

Also in 1873, John R. and Hannah have another girl whom they name Mary Ann, after his mother. In later life this daughter is to marry a Mr. Thompson and her name will be Mary Ann Thompson the exact name her grandmother was born with. To complete a happy 1873, at the end of the year Mary Crooks marries Benjamin Buxton.

1874 brings another wedding in the family, this time William marries Hannah Adamson from Easington and Mary and Benjamin have a daughter, whom they call Mary Ann, again after Mary's mother.

John makes 4 voyages, the last two as commander of "The Berdinkha", a boat John Richard commands the following year.

The first lifeboat came to Staithes in 1874, Coates, in 1955 aged 91 recalls this in the Evening Gazette.




When the first lifeboat went to Staithes by road from Loftus in 1874, one of the boys in Easington schoolyard, Coates Crooks, slipped away to go with the lifeboat to his native village. Now the oldest man in Staithes, Mr. Crooks of the Royal George Yard, High Street, has just celebrated his 91st birthday.

Shortly after his escapade at Easington school, he left there to become one of the first pupils at Staithes school, where he was bound as a pupil teacher for 20. His father, a sea captain contracted malaria on a voyage, and after his death Mr. Crooks left teaching on completing his five years as a pupil-teacher (his salary was 20 per year) to join the fish business as a fish-monger.

He remembers when 18 yawls from Staithes sailed to fish, each carrying a crew of ten. His long-distance customers received their fish by train, but Mr. Crooks delivered in the district by horse and cart. He retired from the fish trade when he was 70 years of age.

Mr. Crooks is active, enjoys his pipe and an occasional drink and has an exceptional memory. He still recalls the 100 lines he had to write out after running away to see the lifeboat.


Extract from the (Yorkshire) Evening Gazette, 1955.



1875 was a happy year, although it was tinged with sadness. John, who had contracted malaria on an earlier voyage, was troubled with ill health, only making one voyage, that being in command of the vessel "Berdinkha". However, Mary Ann, already with four grandchildren and at the age of 47, presented John, now aged 54, with a baby daughter Jane. After becoming a father, later that year, his children were to produce three more grandchildren.

John Crook's record at the Board of Trade only goes up to 1877, whether this is because no more voyages were submitted, or perhaps he did not sail after this date, is not known

In 1876 he completed 6 voyages, all as mate, all in the "Susanna Dickson", a boat he had been both mate and captain of, in 1862/63 and a boat his son, John Richard had commanded.

John still suffered ill-health , and after being made a grandfather again in 1877, tragedy was to hit the family on 27th February 1878, with the death of his daughter, Jane, just 2 years and 8 months old. It would appear from the records, that John Crooks, made just two voyages after this, both as mate of the "Rosella".

He was to see his remaining two daughters married, Ann Elizabeth to local fisherman, Stephen Theaker in February 1879, and in March Teresa married another local fisherman, Matthew Robinson. This was the last happy occasion the whole family enjoyed together.

On the 9th April 1879, John Crooks, Master Mariner, aged 58 years, passed away. He was buried in All Saints Churchyard, Easington, in the grave that had been bought for himself and Mary Ann, but at that moment only contained baby Jane.




In affectionate remembrance of


JOHN CROOKS of Staithes, Master Mariner,

who died April 9th. 1879

aged 58 years.

Also JANE,

Daughter of JOHN and MARY ANN CROOKS

who died February 27th. 1878 aged

2 years 8 months.


Copied from Gravestone


John Crooks summary of voyages on certificate no. 75702

1870 2 Mate "Harriet" 2 voyages

Mate "Vernon" 2 voyages

1871 Mate "Craggs" 1 voyage

Mate "Elsinore" 3 voyages

Captain "Areta" 1 voyage

1872 Mate "Areta" 2 voyages

Captain "Areta" 1 voyage

1873 Mate "Areta" 4 voyages

1874 Mate "Areta" 2 voyages

Captain "Berdinkha" 2 voyages

1875 Captain "Berdinkha" 1 voyage

In Staithes rest of year.

1876 Mate "Susanna Dickson" 6 voyages

1877 Mate "Rosella" 2 voyages


This is a complete list according to his record at the Board of Trade. However, it was updated only once a year, by a clerk in Whitby, from information supplied by owners.

Record ref. BT124/2, Public Record Office, Kew.

The information from the PRO, Kew, was obtained for me by Harry Armstrong, Genealogist and Record Agent.




1881 Census Staithes


Mary Ann Crooks Head 53 Sailors widow Staithes

Thomas son 27 Miner Staithes

George son 21 Blacksmith Staithes

Teresa dau 18 Domestic serv. Staithes

Coates son 16 Pupil Teacher Staithes




John R. Crooks Head 33 Master mariner Staithes

Hannah wife 30 Hinderwell

Hannah dau 9 Scholar Hinderwell

Mary A. dau 7 Scholar Hinderwell

JohnR. son 5 Scholar Hinderwell

Margaret L. dau 1 Hinderwell

William Gray FiL 73 General lab Whitby




William Crooks Head 30 Ironstone miner Staithes

Hannah wife 29 Staithes

John W. son 5 Scholar Staithes

George son 3 Easington

Adamson son 9s Easington

Hannah Adamson MiL 71 Easington


Sowerby in Thirsk


Benjamin Buxton Head 33 Plate Layer Billingford

Mary wife 29 Housewife Staithes

Mary Ann dau 6 Scholar Loftus

Thomas son 5 Scholar Loftus

Jane dau 2 Sowerby.


Holy Trinity School, Kingston upon Hull


Thompson Crooks Inm 11 Scholar Staithes


The 1881 census shows where Mary Ann is living and which children are at home with her.

Ann and William although married still live in the village, John Richard just up the road in Hinderwell.

Thompson is away at boarding school at Hull, he is 11 years old. Unfortunately he dies on 9 July 1888 aged just 19 Years.

Over the ten years 1878-1888, Mary Ann lost her husband and two children, and it may have been some comfort that as well as having her own children around her, her elder brother William and her younger brother Coates, also lived in the village.

Mary Ann in 1895 was to have an accident on the allotment, by the side of the beck. She was chopping wood, when the axe she was using, slipped and went into her leg. A few weeks later gangrene set in and she had to have her leg amputated, just below the knee. The operation was performed at the North Ormesby Hospital, Middlesborough, Mary Ann, was 67 years old. When she was discharged from hospital, she was given a false leg, but refused to use it, preferring a carver chair. She would push the chair in front of her, using the arms for support, and anything she wanted to carry she would put on the seat.

In the house, next to the Royal George, on the front room wall, Mary Ann had a "Magic" mirror. If you were to look in it from one side the name THOMPSON could be seen, and if you looked in it from the other side the name CROOKS showed. It was to be a great source of amusement to the young children, running from side to side of the house looking in the mirror.

When the census was taken in April 1891, only Coates, of her surviving eight children was still at home. Teresa's eldest child, John aged 4, is also with his grandmother. Teresa, husband Matt and 2 year old Lavinia live two houses away, just off the High Street.

In November 1906, Coates, just in his forties, marries a widow Elizabeth Longster, at Hinderwell Church. Mary Ann had finally, at the age of 78 years, seen all her children married.

On the 5th September 1918, aged 90 years, Mary Ann Crooks died. She is buried in the same grave as her husband and infant daughter, at All Saints Churchyard, Easington. I wonder why the family, who obviously arranged the funeral, did not have her name engraved on the headstone? One explanation could be that the local sandstone used, was very soft, and had begun to erode away.



The following, is information I have acquired about John and Mary Ann Crooks's children, during my research. Thomas for obvious reasons I have left until the last.


John Richard Crooks 1847-1938


John Richard was to follow in his father's footstep's and become a Master Mariner. He sailed with his father in the brig "John Brown", during the summer months, going to school in the winter when the vessel was laid up. He was then a bound apprentice for four years, to Mr. J. Cole.

On the 18 January 1871, he was to marry Hannah Gray, the daughter of William and Hannah Gray of Hinderwell. This marriage produced eight children, and lasted a remarkable 67 years.

Following his marriage, he was to become master of the "Conqueror", the "Berdinkha" and the "Susanna Dickson", the last two vessels had also been commanded by his father. On 1st January 1877, he took command of the clipper barque "Charlotte Young", a vessel of 500 tons. This boat was to become very dear to him, dear enough for him to name one of his daughters after it, Charlotte Young Crooks. He sailed the Atlantic to both North and South America in this vessel, before it was wrecked at Pernambuco, South America.

On the occasion of the diamond anniversary of their wedding, John R. and Hannah were presented with the bell from this vessel. In May 1914, after 37 years with the company, he retired and was to have an active life in local politics, being a member of Hinderwell Urban District Council for many years.

In 1936, John R. and Hannah celebrated 65 years of marriage, the highlight was receiving a telegram from the King and Queen. Another telegram from the then Prince of Wales, later to become Edward the Eighth, was also received.

John Richard, died aged 90 years on 13th October 1938, at his home in Hinderwell. Four days later, he was buried at Hinderwell graveyard, a ceremony attended by well over two hundred people, showing what a popular and respected man he was.


Extract from John Richard's will.

To Charlotte Young Crooks, my daughter, my house in Station Road, Hinderwell.

To Mary Ann Thompson, my daughter, my house known as Cleveland House, Hinderwell, providing she pays into the estate the sum of 600.

To John Richard Crooks, my son, my house in Staithes.

To Dorothy Elizabeth Crooks, my granddaughter, my house in West Terrace, Hinderwell. Also an annuity of 36 8s. so long as she remains unmarried.

When these bequests have been made the estate is to be divided into 7 equal shares.


The following clause shows John R. had a strong feeling for fairness.:


I direct that if at the time when the share is payable under this my will, if my son John Richard shall still be indebted to my daughter Mary Ann Thompson, my trustees shall discharge the debt from my said son's share.


Will dated 30th September 1937



William Crooks 1849-c. 1948



William was to be the second son to follow in the footsteps of his father and go to sea. However, after being shipwrecked at Archangel, Russia and suffering severe frostbite, when he arrived home he vowed never to go to sea again. He was to find employment at the local ironstone mine and indeed never did go back to sea.

On 5 November 1874, William marries Hannah Adamson, the daughter of the schoolmaster William Adamson and his wife Hannah. William's boyhood friend Thomas Adamson was one witness, while his sister Annie was the other. The ceremony was at Hinderwell Parish Church, although in later life Bill was to become a staunch Methodist, giving up both tobacco and strong drink.

Bill was to live in Staithes all his life, and on the death of his wife, Hannah, he employed a housekeeper. This lady always addressed him as Mr. Crooks, and years later, after they had married, she still called him Mr. Crooks! At the age of 96, and having the distinction of being the oldest man in Staithes he found himself another occupation.




Mr. William Crooks, who, at 96 years of age has the distinction of being the oldest man in the village, has found a new occupation. At Christmas he began to make rope mats again, using an 80 year old needle, and since then he has finished sixty of them for his friends. He was born and bred in Staithes, and proudly showed an oil painting of a graceful sailing-ship, with the inscription beneath "Susanna Dickson, of Whitby. Commander, John Crooks."

He followed in his father's footsteps and served four years in sailing vessels, before turning to the mines at Boulby Cliff. His most graphic memory is of a shipwreck during a voyage to Archangel, and the subsequent escape of the crew and two child passengers over the ice to Lapland.

Mr. Crooks swears that the reason why he is still hale and hearty at 96 is because he never drinks alcohol, and gave up smoking long ago - since when, he declares, he has felt a much fitter man.


Evening Gazette (Yorkshire) 30th May 1946


Mary Buxton 1851-1939

Very little has been found out about Mary. She marries a Benjamin Buxton, in 1873 in Loftus.

From the 1881 census I found that Benjamin was born in Billingford, Norfolk and was a plate layer on the railways. They have three children, Mary Ann born 1874 in Loftus and Thomas born 1875 also, in Loftus. The third child, Jane was born 1878 at Sowerby in Thirsk. Mary is mentioned in a newspaper cutting as dying aged 88 years.


Ann Elizabeth Theaker 1857-1950

Like Mary, very little is known about Ann Elizabeth (called Annie), one reason is when women get married they change their names.

Ann Elizabeth married fisherman Stephen Theaker on 24th February 1879 at Hinderwell Parish Church. He was the 29 year old son of fisherman Rodger Theaker and his wife Agnes. Within one year of their marriage they had a daughter, Hannah, and are living with his aunt, next door to his father.

Ann is mentioned in a newspaper as being 93 years old when she died.


George Crooks 1860-c. 1915

George showed no desire to follow in his father's and brother's footsteps and go to sea. Instead he decided to follow the trade of a blacksmith, first at the mine then as the railways expanded he worked on these.

On the 22 April 1889, George married Elizabeth (always known as Lizzie) Mennell, at St. Stephen's, Fylingdales, a village about 16 miles down the coast from Staithes. George now a fully qualified blacksmith, suggests to Tom about working with him, Tom at first declined.

Whilst working in Billericay, for a firm of civil engineers called "Holne and King," George sends a telegram, again asking brother Tom if he would come and be his 'striker.' This time Tom agrees and eventually meets and marries the girl from the Post Office.

1890, is to be a happy year, Tom marries Hannah Totman, and Jane, George and Lizzie's first child, is born. It also signals a bond between the two brothers that sees them travel all over the country in the next 18 years.

George and Lizzie have four children, each one born in a different place but when they are in Garston, Liverpool, they decide to settle down and stop the travelling. Tom and Hannah chose Oldham, but George and Lizzie decided on Coventry.

George did still carry on travelling locally and this still involved staying in "digs." He was to die of pneumonia in about 1915, brought on, he always maintained, by sleeping in a damp bed.


Teresa Robinson 1862-c. 1940

Teresa marries Matthew Robinson at Hinderwell Parish Church on 7 March 1886, her brother William is one of the witnesses. Matthew is a 23 year old fisherman, the son of Simeon Robinson, also a fisherman and his wife Lavinia. All that I know about Teresa is that she lived her whole life in Staithes, most of it, in a house, just two away from the one in which she was born.

It is mentioned in a paper she lives to the age of 78 years, which means she would have died around 1940.


Coates Crooks 1864-c. 1957

Coates acquired his unusual Christian name from his grandmother's maiden name. He was not the first however, to have this name, his mother had a brother called Coates Thompson.

Coates was to be a fish-monger for 50 years all but two of them spent in Staithes. The two years not spent there were when he lived at Annfield Plain. He did not, when young, envisage this life, he actually trained as a teacher.

On 1st November 1906 a 40 year old Coates, married a widow, Elizabeth Longster, the daughter of Richard, a fisherman who had drowned a few years earlier. They were to have just one child, a daughter called Florence.


"Mr. Coates Crooks, 82 year old, told me he was one of the first pupil teachers at the school in Staithes. For his first year there, he received 10 for his services, rising by yearly increments of 2 10s. until in his fifth year he received 20.

Thereafter, as a qualified teacher he was offered 50 per annum, and was forced to the conclusion that it was an uneconomical proposition! He abandoned it in favour of fish retailing.

He remembers: home-made kippers four pairs for 3d., salmon trout at 1s a lb., and herrings five for 1d were his prices."


Whitby Gazette 1946


When his brother William died, Coates aged 83 years, took over as the oldest man in the village, a distinction he was to hold for a further eight years till his death around 1957.



Thompson Crooks 1869-1888

Thompson was born in 1869 and was for some time, around the age of 11, a boarder at Holy Trinty School, Hull.

He was to die on 9th July 1888, at the age of 19 years.



Copy of mourning card for Thompson.


In Loving memory of



Youngest Son of the late John Crooks,

Master Mariner, of Staithes.


WHO DIED JULY 9 th. 1888

Aged 19 years.


"Not my will O God, but Thine be done."




Jane Crooks 1875-1878

All that is known of Jane is she was born in June 1875 when her mother was 47 years old and her father was 54.

Just 2 years and eight months later she had died, I believe from some epidemic of childhood disease, this could have been measles or chicken-pox.



Copy of mourning card for Jane Crooks.

Actual card has intricate pattern around edge.



In Affectionate Remembrance of



Who died at Staithes, Feb. 27th, 1878,




She's gone the one we loved so dear,

To her eternal rest:

She's gone to heaven, we have no fear,

To be for ever blest.


Weep not for me my parents dear,

God has recalled his own,

The few short years I've lived on earth

The less of sin I've known.




John Richard CROOKS = Hannah GRAY

Married 18 January 1871, Hinderwell, Yorks.



Hannah = RODHAM

Born 1871, Hinderwell, Yorks



Born 1873, Hinderwell, Yorks


John R.

Born 1875, Hinderwell, Yorks


Margaret Lilly = STEPHENSON

Born 1880, Hinderwell, Yorks


Charlotte Young

Born 1882, Hinderwell, Yorks

Winifred = GREENAWAY

Born 1883, Hinderwell, Yorks


Florence May

Born 10 May 1884, Hinderwell, Yorks

Baptised 13 June 1884, Hinderwell, Yorks

William Gray

Born 1886, Hinderwell, Yorks





William CROOKS = Hannah ADAMSON

Married 5 November 1874, Hinderwell, Yorks.




John W.

Born 1875, Easington, Yorks



Born 1877, Easington, Yorks



Born 1880, Easington, Yorks



Benjamin BUXTON = Mary CROOKS

Married 1873, Guisborough area


Mary Ann

Born 1874, Loftus, Yorks



Born 1875, Loftus, Yorks



Born 1878, Sowerby, Yorks





Stephen THEAKER = Ann Elizabeth CROOKS

Married 24 February 1879, Hinderwell, Yorks.




Born 1880, Staithes, Yorks.






George CROOKS = Lizzie MENNELL

Married 22 April 1889, St. Stephens' Fylingdales, Yorks..




Jane = William ELLINSON

Born 10 May 1890, St. Pancras, London


George Mennell = Doreen

Born 5 March 1892, Wymondham, Leics.


Margaret = Frank POPE

Born 29 April 1894, Coppull, Chorley, Lancs


Elizabeth Victoria = Henry OBERHOLZER

Born 18 June 1897, Letterston, S. Wales





Matthew ROBINSON = Theresa CROOKS

Married 7 March 1879, Hinderwell, Yorks.





Born 1886, Staithes, Yorks



Born 1888, Staithes, Yorks







Coates CROOKS = Elizabeth LONGSTER

Married 1 November 1906, Hinderwell, Yorks.




Florence = Matthew VERRILL





Thomas Thompson Crooks 1854-1945

Thomas was the fourth child of John and Mary Ann Crooks. He was born on the 12th February 1854, and following the tradition in Staithes, he would have been taken around the village, where the villagers would press a coin into his palm.

Three weeks later he was taken to St. Hilda's Church, Hinderwell, where he was baptised Thomas Thompson, the latter name being his mother's maiden name.

Tom, as he was to be known, even though born in a fishing village, and of parents with sea in their blood, wanted nothing to do with sailing or fishing. Whether this had anything to do with his older brother being shipwrecked I don't know.

At the age of thirteen, which I presume is the age they left school, he went into the mines at Boulby Cliffs, just 1 mile up the coast. I do not know much about Tom's early life in Staithes, in fact nothing really, until he leaves the village in late 1889.

He had attended his brother George's wedding but had refused his first offer to become his striker. However at the end of 1889, when George asked him again, he accepted.

Tom goes to join George, at Billericay, Essex, where the Company he is to work for is building the cutting. The forge is between the firms' offices and the Post Office. Every morning the girl from the Post Office, delivers the mail to the firm, having to pass the forge where Tom and George are working. Tom and the girl, become very friendly and within a few months, although there is an age difference of 13 years, Tom Crooks and Hannah Totman, become man and wife.

Tom and Hannah were married on the 7th April 1890 at the Parish Church, Billericay, and surprisingly, neither George nor his wife were witnesses, at the wedding. With the ceremony being nearly three hundred miles away from Staithes, it is doubtful that any of the family attended. Tom and Hannah, and George and Lizzie were to spend the next 18 years travelling around the country, sometimes sharing rooms, with just a curtain dividing them.



Hannah Totman 1867-1943


Hannah Totman was born on the 5th January 1867, the second child of John Totman and his wife Ann Sarah, nee Joslin.

John had been a cattle drover, but had settled down and was, on the 1871 census, a green grocer, at 40 High Street, Billericay. John and Ann Sarah, had two other children, Lucy Ann born 1864, and George Frederick born 1875. George Frederick died, aged just two years old and Hannah 10 years old takes this very hard, but she is never to forget him and 30 years later she names the last of her children after him.

The blow of losing George, was made so hard, because only 12 months earlier her father, John, had died aged 43 years.

In 1878, Hannah's mother married Fred Wade, a local man, who was 16 years her junior. They live at the shop and have a daughter, Clara, whom Hannah adores.

Hannah, was to name three of her own children, Clara May, Lucy Alice and George Frederick, after her brother and sisters.

In 1881, Hannah is a 14 year old domestic servant in the household of a corn merchant, William Beall, but at 18 she goes to help in the Post Office, and at her mother's shop.

While working at the Post Office, she had to deliver the mail to a firm of civil engineer .... the rest we know.

Hannah I believe during her married life, was the dominant partner. I have from talking to many people, reached the conclusion that the Crooks are very 'laid back' folk, who sometimes need to be pushed, Tom was no exception. I don't want to upset or contradict people who are still alive so I will just stick to facts.

Hannah, on her 76th Birthday, 5th January 1943, at Ronald Street, Oldham, sadly died.

The two brothers and their wives, travelled wherever the work on the railways dictated, and nearly all the children were born in different places. It would appear that about 1910, Hannah wanted to settle down, as in fact did, Lizzie. How George and Lizzie came to choose Coventry I don't know, nor do I know the reason why Tom and Hannah chose Oldham, although I believe their choice involved a map and a pin. So finally for Tom and Hannah the travelling finally stopped when they acquired lodgings at Cow Lane, Oldham. They finally moved the few hundred yards to Ronald Street where Tom, on 4th March 1945, aged 91 years, died. His final resting place was to be with Hannah, in a grave, their daughter Cissie had bought for her late husband, in Greenacres Cemetery.










Died Sept. 1st 1930 Aged 42 years.

also MARY JANE his beloved wife

Died Decr. 9th 1983 Aged 91 years.


Died March 4th 1945 Aged 91 years.


Died Jan. 5th 1943 Aged 76 years.


Died Jan. 1st 1956 Aged 59 years.



From the following list, of births, when and where they travelled can be seen.


7th Apr 1890 St. Pancras London Tom's address at marriage


10 May 1890 St. Pancras London Jane born **


2 Qtr 1891 Wymondham Leics. John Totman Born


5 Mar 1892 Wymondham Leics. George Mennell born **


4 Nov 1892 Wymondham Leics. Mary Jane (Cissie) born


29 Apr 1894 Chorley Lancs. Margaret born **


16 May 1894 Chorley Lancs. Clara May born


4 Mar 1896 Birmingham Ethel Ann born


18 Jun 1898 Letterston S. Wales Elizabeth Victoria born **


3 Qtr. 1898 Chesterfield Derbys. Thomas Thompson born


1 Feb 1900 Catcliffe Yorks. Lucy Alice born


24 Oct 1902 Brighouse Yorks. William born


12 Oct 1904 Cragg Vale Yorks. Dora born


20 Jul 1907 Liverpool Lancs. George Frederick born


** George and Lizzie's children.

On the following pages are a list of children and all relevant dates where known. I don't propose to say anything about the children, there are too many people alive whom I may accidentally offend by omissions, mistakes, etc. There are two exceptions:

It is so sad that in a family, that has a record of longevity, that little Thomas Thompson Crooks, obviously named after his father, died before reaching his first birthday. Little Thomas is buried somewhere in Catcliffe, near Sheffield, Yorkshire.

The other person to get a mention is the eldest of Tom and Hannah's children, John Totman Crooks. As a young man of 24 years John (Jack) joined the army, just after the outbreak of the first world war, after leaving his job as a guard on the railways. He was sent to France in September 1915, and from there to Flanders. At Ypres, on March 2nd 1916, John Totman Crooks gave his life for King and Country. His mother was to receive three letters, one from his commanding officer, one from the Padre and one from his sergeant, all gave him the highest praise. However, although the letters helped, his mother never really came to terms with the loss of her eldest son.

John Totman Crooks is remembered as follows:

Corporal JOHN CROOKS, 15944

"B" Coy. 8th Bn. King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regt.)

Died 2nd March 1916



Panel 12

Additional Information Age 25

Son of Thomas and Hannah Crooks,

of, 28, Ronald St. Oldham

Ypres (now Ieper) is a town in the Province of West Flanders. The memorial is situated at the eastern side of the town on the road to Menin and Courtrai, and bears the names of 55,000 men who were lost without trace during the defence of the Ypres Salient in the First World War.


This a copy of the mourning card for John Totman Crooks.


In Loving Memory of


(K.O.R. Lancaster Regiment)


Son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Crooks.


Killed in Action near Ypres, March 2nd, 1916


Aged 25 years


He is looking down from the golden land, Only 'Good-night' beloved-not farewell,

Our beloved is looking down; A little while and all His saints shall dwell

He has done his work, he has borne his cross In hallowed union-indivisible-

And received his promised crown. "Good-night"



32, Ronald Street,



CROOKS Family Group Sheet


Thomas Thompson CROOKS = Hannah TOTMAN

Married 7 April 1890, Parish Church, Billericay, Essex.



John Totman

Born 1891, Wymondham, Leics

Died 2 March 1916, Ypres, Belgium

Killed in action.


Mary Jane (Cissie) = John TAYLOR

Married 1915, Oldham.

Born 4 November 1892, Wymondham, Leics.

Died 9 December 1983, Greenfield,

Buried Greenacres Cemetery

Clara May = Ernest SMITH

Married 29 April 1916, Christ Church, Glodwick, Oldham.

Born 16 May 1894, Coppull, Chorley, Lancs

Died 10 August 1982, Oldham

Buried Oldham

Ethel Ann

Born 4 March 1896, Birmingham

Died 1 January 1956, Oldham

Buried Greenacres Cemetery


Thomas Thompson

Born 1898, Chesterfield, Derbys.

Died 1899, Rotherham, Yorks


Lucy Alice = John Holt WHITEHEAD

Married 31 March 1923, Townfield Cong, Oldham.

Born 1 February 1900, Catcliffe, Yorks.

Died 6 October 1986, Oldham


William = Phyllis REEVES

Married 14 June 1930, Heyside Cong Church.

Born 24 October 1902, Brighouse, Yorks

Died 9 April 1988, Oldham


Dora = John HURST

Married 1938, Oldham.

Born 12 October 1904, Cragg Vale, Yorks


George Frederick = Vera E. HICKS

Married 1936, Uxbridge, Midd.

Born 20 July 1907, Garston, West Derby, Liverpool



1630 Richard COATES baptised at Skelton, Yorks.

1655 Richard COATES married at Skelton, Yorks.

1656 Elizabeth COATES baptised at Skelton, Yorks.

1672 John COATES baptised at Skelton, Yorks.

8 January 1692 William MARCHILL baptised

4 December 1700 John COATES married at Skelton, Yorks.

1702 Robert COATES baptised at Skelton, Yorks.

1704 Mildrid COATES baptised at Skelton, Yorks.

1707 Ann COATES baptised at Skelton, Yorks.

9 November 1717 William THEAKER married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

24 January 1720 William MARCHILL married

1 December 1723 William THEAKER baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

5 March 1728 Dinah COLE baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1731 John COATES buried at Skelton, Yorks.

14 March 1731 Paul MARSHALL baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

23 November 1731 Robert COATES married at Brotton, Yorks

1 January 1732 Thomas BROWN baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

27 October 1732 Thomas COATES baptised at Skelton, Yorks.

8 January 1734 Mary COATES baptised at Skelton, Yorks.

12 March 1737 Thomas MARSHAL married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

29 July 1740 Elizabeth COATES baptised at Skelton, Yorks.

13 October 1741 William WESTLAND married at Skelton, Yorks.

10 January 1750 William THEAKER married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

11 November 1751 Abraham THEAKER baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1753 Thomas COATES married at Skelton, Yorks.

3 February 1754 Paul MARSHALL married at Easington Parish Church, Yorks

1756 Anne COATES baptised at Kirkleatham, Yorks

28 August 1757 Mary COATES baptised at Kirkleatham, Yorks

5 October 1757 Christopher MARSHAL baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1758 Simeon ROBINSON born at Staithes, Yorks.

1758 William THEAKER born at Staithes, Yorks.

27 December 1759 Richard COATES baptised at Kirkleatham, Yorks

1760 Mary (COATES) buried at Easington, Yorks.

1761 Jane TRUEFITT born at Staithes, Yorks.

19 February 1761 Thomas COATES married at Kirkleatham, Yorks

8 June 1761 Jane SANDERSON baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1763 Joseph BROWN married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1764 Rachel MARSHALL baptised at Easington, Yorks.

1765 Sarah UNTHANK born at Staithes, Yorks.

7 September 1768 John BROWN baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

28 February 1770 Joseph BROWN baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1 January 1772 George CALVERT married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1774 William CROOKS born at Shields, Durham ??

8 February 1774 Abraham THEAKER married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

4 February 1776 William CROOKS baptised at St Thomas Aquino RC, Dur ??

26 December 1777 Mary THEAKER baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

7 June 1778 Sarah CROOKS baptised at St Thomas Aquino RC, Stella, Dur.

1 January 1781 William CALVERT married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

5 July 1782 Elizabeth CALVERT baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1 January 1783 Matthew TRATTLES married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

17 February 1783 John CALVERT baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

9 December 1783 Elizabeth TRATTLES baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.
7 February 1786 Christopher MARSHAL married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

5 March 1786 William THEAKER married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

25 November 1786 Edward THEAKER born at Staithes, Yorks.

9 October 1787 Richard COATES married at All Saints, Easington, Yorks.

1788 Jane THEAKER born at Staithes, Yorks.

3 January 1788 Thomas MARSHAL baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

18 July 1788 William COATES baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1789 Harriot JOB born at Falmouth, Cornwall.

26 June 1789 Margaret MARSHAL baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1790 Jane THEAKER died at Staithes, Yorks.

1790 William THEAKER born at Staithes, Yorks.

23 July 1791 Dorothy MARSHAL baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

7 November 1791 Simeon ROBINSON married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

5 December 1791 John BROWN married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1792 Isaac THEAKER born at Staithes, Yorks.

12 April 1792 Mary COATES baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

27 December 1792 John THOMPSON baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

31 December 1794 Christopher MARSHALL baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1795 Ann THEAKER born at Staithes, Yorks.

1795 William THEAKER died at Staithes, Yorks.

4 February 1795 William CROOKS married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1796 Jane THEAKER born at Staithes, Yorks.

14 May 1796 Mary CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

5 May 1798 Thomas CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1799 Dinah THEAKER born at Staithes, Yorks.

6 June 1800 William CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1801 Margaret PEARSON baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

13 July 1801 William CROOKS buried at Hinderwell, Yorks.

17 July 1802 Eleanor CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

21 August 1803 Joseph BROWN married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

23 August 1804 John CALVERT married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

2 September 1804 John CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1805 Susanna (ROBINSON) born at Staithes, Yorks.

1806 William ADAMSON born at Hinderwell, Yorks.

17 September 1806 Isaac CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

2 October 1806 Isaac CROOKS buried at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1807 Hannah (GRAY) born at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1807 William GRAY born at Whitby, Yorks

21 June 1808 Isabella CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

3 December 1808 Robert BROWN baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1809 Hannah (ADAMSON) born at Staithes, Yorks.

25 July 1809 Ann CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

24 August 1810 Ann CALVERT baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

16 December 1811 Jane CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

10 December 1812 John THOMPSON married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1813 Rodger THEAKER born at Staithes, Yorks.

6 February 1813 Edward THEAKER married at King Charles the Martyr, Falmouth

15 February 1814 William THOMPSON baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

4 March 1814 Elizabeth CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

11 November 1814 Elizabeth BROWN baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

26 June 1816 Isabella CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

22 June 1817 William CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

20 November 1817 Hannah BRIERLEY baptised at St. Thomas', Friarmere, Delph.

1818 Agnes SCARR born at Staithes, Yorks.

7 March 1819 Thomas CROOKS married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

7 June 1819 Isaac CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.
1 January 1820 Edward Theaker WEATHERILL born at Leeds, Yorks.

1821 John CROOKS born at Staithes, Yorks.

16 March 1821 John CROOKS baptised at Lythe, Yorks

6 September 1821 William CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1822 Hannah ELLERBY died at Staithes, Yorks.

1822 William COATES married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

9 February 1822 Jane THOMPSON baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

24 September 1823 Christopher MARSHALL married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1824 Lavinia BROWN born at Staithes, Yorks.

1824 William COATES married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1824 William TRUEFITT born at Easington, Yorks.

28 January 1824 Thomas MARSHALL baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

20 August 1824 Thomas CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

10 December 1824 Richard COATES born at Staithes, Yorks.

18 April 1825 Thomas MARSHALL baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1826 John COATES born at Staithes, Yorks.

28 August 1826 Coates THOMPSON baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1827 Mary Jane WEATHERILL born at Leeds, Yorks.

22 February 1828 Mary Ann THOMPSON baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

27 November 1828 John THOMPSON baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1829 William COATES born at Staithes, Yorks.

23 June 1830 Coates THOMPSON baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1831 John WEATHERILL born at Leeds, Yorks.

6 May 1831 Robert BROWN married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1832 Rachel COATES born at Bishopswearmouth, Sunderland

1832 William WEATHERILL born at Leeds, Yorks.

24 January 1832 Mary CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1833 John TOTMAN born at Prittlewell, Essex

May 1833 William CROOKS died

29 May 1833 William CROOKS buried at Hinderwell, Yorks.

3 October 1833 John CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1834 Margaret COATES born at Sunderland

1835 Ann WEATHERILL born at Leeds, Yorks.

1835 Simeon ROBINSON born at Staithes, Yorks.

1836 Richard LONGSTER born at Staithes, Yorks.

1 March 1836 John WEATHERILL died at Leeds, Yorks.

1837 Ann Sarah JOSLIN born at Billericay, Essex

1837 John Richard VERRILL born at Staithes, Yorks.

1837 Lavinia (ROBINSON) born at Staithes, Yorks.

1837 William THEAKER died at Staithes, Yorks.

8 May 1837 Mary Jane MARSHALL baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1838 Dinah (LONGSTER) born at Staithes, Yorks.

1838 Dorothy GRAY born at Hinderwell, Yorks.

20 February 1838 William THOMPSON married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

30 November 1838 Ann Brown THOMPSON baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1839 John THOMPSON born at Staithes, Yorks.

1839                                                    William ADAMSON born at Staithes, Yorks.

1840                                                  19 February 1839 Rodger THEAKER married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

17 June 1839 William BROWN baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1840 Hannah GRAY born at Hinderwell, Yorks..

1840 James THEAKER born at Staithes, Yorks.

1 January 1840 Mary Ann COATES born at Sunderland

1841 John GRAY born at Hinderwell, Yorks.

21 December 1841 Isaac CROOKS married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

9 November 1842 Thomas CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.
1843 George F. ADAMSON born at Staithes, Yorks.

1843 Margaret A. GRAY born at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1843 Mary A. THEAKER born at Staithes, Yorks.

2 March 1843 Rachel MARSHALL died at Staithes, Yorks.

17 January 1844 Mary COATES died at Staithes, Yorks.

8 September 1844 William Bell CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

26 December 1844 William CROOKS married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1845 David THEAKER born at Staithes, Yorks.

1 July 1845 Edward CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1846 Mary A. ADAMSON born at Staithes, Yorks.

January 1846 Mary THEAKER died

2 January 1846 Mary THEAKER buried at Hinderwell, Yorks.

10 March 1846 John THOMPSON died at Staithes, Yorks.

10 October 1846 Margaret CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

7 December 1846 Richard COATES died at Staithes, Yorks.

1847 Dinah THEAKER died at Staithes, Yorks.

1847 John Richard CROOKS born at Staithes, Yorks.

1847 Matthew THOMPSON born at Staithes, Yorks.

23 February 1847 John CROOKS married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

17 October 1847 John CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

7 November 1847 John Richard CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1848 Edward TRUEFITT born at Staithes, Yorks.

1849 Stephen THEAKER born at Staithes, Yorks.

1849 William CROOKS born at Staithes, Yorks.

1849 William THOMPSON born at Staithes, Yorks.

23 September 1849 Thomas CROOKS married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

25 November 1849 William CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1850 Ellen TRUEFITT born at Staithes, Yorks.

20 January 1850 Mary CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

4 November 1850 Mary Jane CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1851 Elizabeth Lavinia WEATHERILL born at Staithes, Yorks.

1851 Hannah ADAMSON born at Staithes, Yorks.

1851 William COATES married at Woolwich

26 October 1851 Mary CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

7 December 1851 Sarah CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1852 Maria COATES born at Halifax, Nova Scotia

14 November 1852 Ann CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1853 Frederick WADE born at Ingrave, Essex

1853 Jane TRUEFITT died at Staithes, Yorks.

1853 William COATES died at Sunderland

21 September 1853 Thomas CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

12 February 1854 Thomas Thompson CROOKS born at Staithes, Yorks.

5 March 1854 Thomas Thompson CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

12 April 1855 Margaret CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

6 October 1855 Lavinia CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

5 July 1857 Ann Elizabeth CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1858 John LONGSTER born at Staithes, Yorks.

26 March 1858 Hannah CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1860 Mary Anne COATES born at Warley

1860 Robert LONGSTER born at Staithes, Yorks.

3 February 1860 George CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

24 August 1860 Elizabeth CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1861 George THURBECK died at Staithes, Yorks.

13 April 1861 John TOTMAN married at Ind. Chapel, Billericay, Essex

1862 Frederick COATES born at Warley

1862 Matthew ROBINSON born at Staithes, Yorks.

25 May 1862 Theresa CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks..
1863 Mary LONGSTER born at Staithes, Yorks.

24 May 1863 Isabella CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1864 Emma COATES born at Warley

1864 Lucy Ann TOTMAN born at Billericay, Essex

1864 William BROWN married at Staithes, Yorks.

2 October 1864 Coates CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1865 Ann BROWN baptised

1865 Edward Theaker VERRILL born at Staithes, Yorks.

1865 Robert BROWN born

5 November 1865 William CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

2 December 1865 Edward THEAKER died at London

19 December 1865 Thomas CROOKS married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

7 January 1866 William HARRISON married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

30 September 1866 Elizabeth BROWN baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

7 October 1866 William CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1867 Richard LONGSTER born at Staithes, Yorks.

5 January 1867 Hannah TOTMAN born at Gt. Burstead, Billericay, Essex

17 January 1867 John William VERRILL baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1 February 1867 Esther VERRILL born at Staithes, Yorks.

19 June 1867 Edward Theaker VERRILL died at Staithes, Yorks.

15 December 1867 Margaret Anne CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1868 Alice COATES born at Warley

1868 Harriot JOB died at London

1868 Isaac LONGSTER born at Staithes, Yorks.

1868 Lavinia BROWN born

1869 Thompson CROOKS born at Staithes, Yorks.

1870 Elizabeth LONGSTER born

1870 William COATES born at Dover

13 November 1870 Margaret Ellen CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1871 Hannah CROOKS born at Hinderwell, Yorks.

18 January 1871 John Richard CROOKS married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1 May 1871 Harriet Theaker VERRILL born at Staithes, Yorks.

1872 Arthur COATES born at Nuneham, Oxford

1872 James LONGSTER born at Staithes, Yorks.

1873 Benjamin BUXTON married at Guisboro area

1873 Mary Ann CROOKS born at Hinderwell, Yorks.

23 May 1873 Harriet Theaker VERRILL died at Staithes, Yorks.

5 August 1873 William VERRILL married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1874 Annie Elizabeth COOK born at Oxford

1874 Edward Theaker WEATHERILL born

1874 John Walter COATES born at Oxford

1874 Mary Ann BUXTON born at Loftus, Yorks

1 March 1874 Edward William VERRILL born at Staithes, Yorks.

13 March 1874 Edward William VERRILL died at Staithes, Yorks.

13 July 1874 John CROOKS married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

5 November 1874 William CROOKS married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1875 George Frederick TOTMAN born at Billericay, Essex

1875 Jane CROOKS born at Staithes, Yorks.

1875 John R. CROOKS born at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1875 John W. CROOKS born at Easington, Yorks.

1875 Thomas BUXTON born at Loftus, Yorks

1875 William LONGSTER born at Staithes, Yorks.

1876 Charles COATES born at Oxford

1876 John TOTMAN died at Billericay, Essex

1877 George CROOKS born at Easington, Yorks.

1877 George Frederick TOTMAN died at Billericay, Essex
1878 Frederick WADE married at St Geo. East, London.

1878 Clara WADE born at Billericay, Essex

1878 Jane BUXTON born at Sowerby, Yorks

1878 Sarah Ellen LONGSTER born at Staithes, Yorks.

27 February 1878 Jane CROOKS died at Staithes, Yorks.

24 February 1879 Stephen THEAKER married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

9 April 1879 John CROOKS died at Staithes, Yorks.

1880 Adamson CROOKS born at Easington, Yorks..

1880 Hannah THEAKER born at Staithes, Yorks.

1880 Margaret Lilly CROOKS born at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1881 Margaret PEARSON buried at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1882 Charlotte Young CROOKS born at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1884 Winifred CROOKS born at Hinderwell, Yorks.

10 May 1884 Florence May CROOKS born at Hinderwell, Yorks.

13 June 1884 Florence May CROOKS baptised at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1886 John ROBINSON born at Staithes, Yorks.

1886 William Gray CROOKS born at Hinderwell, Yorks.

7 March 1886 Matthew ROBINSON married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

1887 Edward Theaker WEATHERILL born

1888 John CROOKS died at Staithes, Yorks.

1888 Lavinia ROBINSON born at Staithes, Yorks.

9 July 1888 Thompson CROOKS died at Staithes, Yorks.

22 April 1889 George CROOKS married at St. Stephens', Fylingdales, Yorks.

20 August 1889 John William VERRILL married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

7 April 1890 Thomas Thompson CROOKS married at, Billericay, Essex

10 May 1890 Jane CROOKS born at St. Pancras, London

1891 John Totman CROOKS born at Wymondham, Leics.

5 March 1892 George Mennell CROOKS born at Wymondham, Leics.

24 November 1892 Mary Jane (Cissie) CROOKS born at Wymondham, Leics.

1893 Annie Weatherill CRISPIN born at Staithes, Yorks.

26 June 1893 Ernest SMITH born at Cranberry St., Oldham

29 April 1894 Margaret CROOKS born at Coppull, Chorley, Lancs

16 May 1894 Clara May CROOKS born at Coppull, Chorley, Lancs

4 March 1896 Ethel Ann CROOKS born at Birmingham

18 June 1897 Elizabeth Victoria CROOKS born at Letterston, S. Wales

1898 Thomas Thompson CROOKS born at Chesterfield, Derbys.

1899 John Walter COATES married at Fulham

1899 Thomas Thompson CROOKS died at Rotherham, Yorks

1900 Walter Arthur COATES born

1 February 1900 Lucy Alice CROOKS born at Catcliffe, Yorks.

1902 Harry Frederick COATES born at Hackney

24 October 1902 William CROOKS born at Brighouse, Yorks

1903 Hilda Annie COATES born

12 October 1904 Dora CROOKS born at Cragg Vale, Yorks

1 January 1905 Edward Theaker WEATHERILL died

1905 Frank Jeffrey COATES born

1905 William WEATHERILL died

1 November 1906 Coates CROOKS married at Hinderwell, Yorks.

20 July 1907 George Frederick CROOKS born at Garston, Liverpool

1909 Bernard COATES born at Ashford

1909 Edward Theaker WEATHERILL born

1911 Ethel May COATES born

1912 Ann Sarah JOSLIN died at Billericay, Essex

1915 Edward Theaker WEATHERILL died at Dardanelles

1915 John TAYLOR married at Oldham, Lancs.

March 1916 John Totman CROOKS died at Ypres, Belgium

29 April 1916 Ernest SMITH married at Christ Church, Glodwick, Oldham
30 October 1916 Herbert SMITH born at Fulham St., Oldham

8 June 1918 Hilda SMITH born at Fulham St., Oldham

5 September 1918 Mary Ann THOMPSON died at Staithes, Yorks.

10 March 1920 John Crooks SMITH born at 6 Fulham St., Oldham

23 January 1922 May SMITH born at Fulham St., Oldham

31 March 1923 John Holt WHITEHEAD married at Townfield Cong., Oldham

29 September 1923 Dora SMITH born at Fulham St., Oldham

1926 Daniel COLE died at Bilbao, Spain

6 July 1926 Roy SMITH born at Fulham St., Oldham

6 December 1927 Ernest SMITH born at Fulham St., Oldham

21 January 1930 Margaret SMITH born at Oldham Hospital, Oldham.

14 June 1930 William CROOKS married at Heyside Cong. Church

1932 Harry Frederick COATES married at Oxford

1933 John COATES born at Oxford

1934 Edward Theaker WEATHERILL died

1936 George Frederick CROOKS married at Uxbridge, Midd

1936 Margaret COATES born at Oxford

23 October 1936 Hilda SMITH died at Birch Avenue, Oldham

1938 John HURST married at Oldham, Lancs.

13 October 1938 John Richard CROOKS died at Hinderwell, Yorks.

17 October 1938 John Richard CROOKS buried at Hinderwell, York

1942 David COATES born at Oxford

1942 Robert BROWN died

22 January 1942 John Crooks SMITH married at St. Johns', Oldham.

5 January 1943 Hannah TOTMAN died at Ronald St., Oldham, Lancs.

15 July 1943 Ian Vernon SMITH born at Hollins Road, Oldham, Lancs.

19 January 1944 Joan ROBINSON born at Ashton Hospital, Lancs.

1 April 1944 Herbert SMITH died at Hawich, Scotland

4 March 1945 Thomas Thompson CROOKS died at Ronald St., Oldham, Lancs.

16 August 1947 Roy Edward SMITH born at Hollins Road, Oldham, Lancs.

22 September 1949 Clara WADE died at Billericay, Essex

19 November 1949 Bernard Charles CHALLEN married at St. Pauls' , Oldham

29 December 1953 Susan SMITH born at Oldham Hospital, Oldham.

30 December 1953 Susan SMITH died at Oldham Hospital, Oldham.

1950 Barbara CHALLEN born at Oldham, Lancs.

11 January 1956 Ethel Ann CROOKS died at Oldham, Lancs.

1956 John Walter COATES died at Oxford

7 December 1960 Tanya Claire SMITH born at Oldham Hospital, Oldham.

26 July 1963 Ernest SMITH died at Hollins Road, Oldham, Lancs.

21 January 1967 Ian Vernon SMITH married at Beulah Baptist, Oldham

18 October 1969 Roy Edward SMITH married at St. Georges', Mossley

1972 Annie Weatherill CRISPIN died at Staithes, Yorks.

1979 Harry Frederick COATES died at Oxford

8 January 1979 Roy SMITH died at Lansing, Sussex

10 August 1982 Clara May CROOKS died at Oldham, Lancs.

9 December 1983 Mary Jane (Cissie) CROOKS died at Greenfield,

16 November 1985 Robert MARSHALL married at Limeside Methodist, Oldham

6 October 1986 Lucy Alice CROOKS died at Oldham, Lancs.

9 April 1988 William CROOKS died at Oldham, Lancs.

3 October 1993 May SMITH died at Oldham, Lancs.

4 July 1994 John Crooks SMITH died at Oldham, Lancs.

4 July 1995 Ian Vernon SMITH died at Hambleton, Blackpool



Notes: Women ALWAYS keep their maiden names.

On marriages only the man is mentioned as getting married, sorry ladies.





Parish Records of St. Hilda's, Hinderwell. at Whitby Library.


Census Records at Whitby Library and Oldham Local Studies Library.


Naval Records at PRO Kew, London, obtained by Harry Armstrong.


Staithes Heritage Centre, Staithes.




Life and Times of Captain Edward Theaker. by John Howard


Staithes in Olden Times by Robert Brown.


Staithes by Jane Brown and Ian Croden.


Oil Paint, Grease Paint by Dame Laura Knight



Individual help from:


John Coates - Somerset. The wording on his records of the Coates family is

used here nearly verbatim.


Frank Taylor - Port Mulgrave.


All relatives who gave me information.


And last but not least Joan who did all the boring bits.