Howdenshire History

The Nurse Family of Eastrington

My mother was born Joan Nurse at Eastrington; my father was Douglas Watson, born at Driffield. Although I have traced my father's side of the family, I have not included the information on this website as his family came from Driffield, Flixton and Sherburn (names Hall, Farthing, Bott and Watson) - in East Yorkshire but not in Howdenshire! I would love to hear from anyone who thinks they may have an interest in these families. However, I have concentrated here on my mother's family, who have lived in Eastrington since the seventeenth century and who have married into many other village families.

My mother's father was Robert Nurse, who was born in Eastrington in 1882. He married Elsie Davis from South Cave and worked as the village joiner and undertaker with his father, Robert Thomas Nurse [1853-1931], and later with his brother, William Clifford Nurse. He built his family a brick bungalow down Sandholme Road.

Click here to see the Nurse family tree.


Robert Thomas Nurse and Hannah Precious's family

Robert Thomas Nurse was also village postmaster and a shopkeeper. He married Hannah Precious from nearby Hive and they had seven surviving children: Alice Gertrude, Robert, Maud, Elizabeth, Isabel, Mabel and William Clifford. After retirement, he built himself a wooden bungalow down Sandholme Road, next to that of his son Robert.


old photo of Robert Thomas Nurse of Eastrington, East Yorkshire

Robert Thomas Nurse


Robert Thomas Nurse was one of the eleven children of Robert Nurse [1819-1875] and his wife Ann White [1821-1859], who came from Blacktoft.


Robert Nurse and Ann White's family

Ann died on 14th July 1859 after giving birth to her eleventh child, Agatha, who died on the 28th June aged 3 weeks. Of their eleven children:

Elizabeth, born 1839, married James Polden in 1870. She was a widow, living in Burley, Leeds by 1878.

Mary, born 1840, worked at the vicarage in Eastrington then married in 1871 William Jackson, a farm bailiff in Marshland; she was living with her family at Amcotts in 1881.

Hannah, born 1842, died in infancy.

George, born 1844, married Mary Ann Nurse, the daughter of his father's cousin George. For many years he ran a joinery business in Hessle and died in 1922.

Matthew John, born 1846, worked as a joiner and builder with his father and then on his own. He married Annie Drake in 1884 but then went bankrupt in 1888 and moved to Hull.

Sarah Ann, born 1849, married a rulleyman, Johnson Seller, and lived in Hull.

Hannah, born 1850, worked as housekeeper for her brothers.

Robert Thomas, born 1853, married Hannah Precious.

Isaac, born 1855, worked as a joiner with his brothers.

Henry, born 1857, worked as a chemist/drysalter in Hull.

Agatha, born 1859, died in infancy.

Robert Nurse also worked as the village joiner, beginning as apprentice to his uncle Matthew Thompson, and was one of the eight children of Isaac Nurse [1788-1842] and Hannah Thompson [1793-1864] who married in 1817. Their eldest son, Isaac Thompson, was born in 1816, before their marriage.


Isaac Nurse and Hannah Thompson's family

Isaac, born 1816, worked as a saddler in Howden and never married.

Agatha, born in 1817, worked as a housekeeper for her uncle and brother then married Francis Rennison of Gilberdyke.

Robert, born 1819, married Ann White.

Margaret, born 1820, never married, looked after her brothers in Howden and ended her days in the family home built by her grandfather on Station Road.

George, born 1822, emigrated to Ontario in 1856, returning only briefly to marry Hannah Holey.

John, born 1824, worked as a joiner and builder in Howden and had a large family with his wife Elizabeth Popple.

William, born 1827, emigrated to Canada with his brother George.

Joseph, born 1830, also worked in Howden as a saddler and never married.

Isaac Nurse had inherited land and a house from his father and also did some joinery work, but in 1827 he was appointed master of the village free school, known as the 'Old Thatched School' and remained its master until his death in 1842.

Isaac's father was George Wise Nurse [1747-1812], who was one of the most affluent farmers in the village. When he died in 1812, a 'gentleman', he left four houses and almost 100 acres of land to be shared amongst his six children. Sadly they lost most of it in the depression years of the nineteenth century.


George Wise Nurse and Margaret Hall's family

George Wise Nurse married Margaret Hall of South Cave as soon as he was 21. They lived initially at Staddlethorpe near Blacktoft but then moved to Eastrington, where George built a fine house on what is now Station Road. It is now called Laurel House (picture below) and the gable end facing the road still bears his initials G N.

Laurel House, Eastrington, YorkshireThey had 14 children but only six survived to adulthood.

Jane, born 1774, married Martin Ward, a farm worker. They had six daughters, one of whom, Agatha, married George Ellis, a shoemaker and another, Margaret, married John Stather, who was the miller down Mill Road, now Sandholme Road.

Rosannah, born 1777, married Jewitt Lister and had six children, two of whom died at the ages of 19 and 23. Rosannah's father disapproved of her husband as he left her property to be adminstered by her brother William with instructions that Jewitt should not get his hands on it!

Robert, born 1780, married Ann Robinson and had seven children. Robert was left a house and land in his father's will but could not make farming pay and briefly took on the Black Swan pub. He emigrated to Port Hope, Ontario in 1832 with his wife, youngest son Richard and daughter Sarah and the Nurse family Bible. Son William and his new wife Jane Goundrill soon joined them. Robert died in 1834 at Port Hope and daughter Sarah in 1841 aged 14. Richard settled in South Monaghan and married Matilda Hall. Robert and Ann's eldest son George, who had married Ann Jackson, stayed farming in Eastrington. George and Ann's eldest son John also emigrated to Ontario in 1849 and married Margaret Smithson.

William, born 1782, married Elizabeth Bucktrout of Wakefield and spent part of his life as a farmer in Eastrington and part as a merchant in Wakefield where his descendants remained.

John, born 1786, never married and farmed 15 acres in Eastrington until his death in 1845.

Isaac, born 1788, was George and Margaret's youngest surviving child. He inherited the family home after the death of his father in 1812.


gable end of Laurel House, Eastrington, Yorkshire

Close-up of the initials G N on Laurel House, built by George Wise Nurse.


George Wise Nurse was the son of Robert Nurse [1717-1757] and his wife Agatha Wise [1723-1789] who was from Wawne.


Robert Nurse and Agatha Wise's family

Robert married Agatha in 1742 at Wawne in Holderness. Their first son, Robert, was born the following year but died when he was nine. George Wise Nurse was born in 1747. Unfortunately, his father, Robert, died in 1757 when George was only ten. His mother, Agatha, married again the following year. Her second husband was Francis Turner and Francis and Agatha had one daughter, also Agatha, who married Robert Snarr of Blacktoft.

Robert was one of the three sons of Robert Nurse [1691-1758] and Ann Peart [? -1759]


Robert Nurse and Ann Peart's family

Robert and Ann, who was from Laxton, married in 1716. When Robert made his will he described himself as a yeoman of Staddlethorpe (which is near Blacktoft) and his son as 'of Eastrington'. It appears that for several generations the Nurses had land in both parishes.

Robert died in York Castle, where he had been imprisoned on a charge of treason. He had taken part in the East Yorkshire militia riots of September 1757. He died the following June; his fellow prisoners were released soon afterwards.

Other than Robert he had sons William [1726-62] and Isaac [died 1776]

Robert was the son of Robert [died 1715] and Elizabeth Nurse [died 1702]


Robert and Elizabeth Nurse's family

This couple are possibly the first of the family to move to Eastrington. No Nurses appear in the parish registers before them and their origins are only conjecture. A Robert Nurse was born at Holtby near York in 1664 and married Elizabeth Atkinson at Holtby in 1688.

The baptism of their child Elizabeth Nurse appears in Eastrington registers in April 1690. This child died 3 months later. Their second child Robert was baptised in November 1691 and his sister Mary the following year.

Elizabeth Nurse died in 1702 and her husband in 1715. He had sufficient assets for an inventory to be made of his possessions after his death which showed him owning goods worth almost £100 and including a silver cup. This cup appears in Nurse family wills through several generations but is not mentioned after George W Nurse left it to his son Robert.



My grandfather was the last Robert Nurse to live in Eastrington and the Nurse name no longer is represented there. However Nurse descendants still live on Nurse land in Eastrington and we hope this will continue.

The Nurse family was connected to many other Eastrington families and their descendants are scatttered around England, Australia, USA and Canada. If you are one of them or think you might be, I would be delighted if you would get in contact with me.

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