End of the Line: The David Ouston Line

· End of the Line Series


In our next end of the line sequence, we turn to one of several Ouston families that descend from the Owstons.  Over the years there have been three groups who have used the Ouston spelling of the surname and all three have been confined to the Sherburn family. Only one of the three groups, the Holderness Branch, exists to the present.  The surname in the Lake Ontario Segment of the Cobourg Line became extinct in 1969 while ten years later in 1979 the Kirby Misperton Branch ceased to exist.

Both the Lake Ontario Segment and the Kirby Misperton Branch will be featured later in this series. As for the Holderness Branch, it is alive and well with a number of lines and segments that exist to the present.  Sizeable enclaves of Oustons are found in Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada.  A smaller number exists in New Zealand.  None are currently found in the US.


Our next lineage in our “End of the Line” series is the David Ouston Line of the Holderness Branch which saw its final male pass in 1940.  It was a very short-lived line as it daughtered out in the 20th century.  The founder, as it would be noted from the name of the line, was David Ouston (1824-1882) from Kingston upon Hull.  He was the youngest child of Joseph Ouston (1784-1849) and Elizabeth Carter (1786-1882).  Like other family members, he was christened at a congregational church in Hull – the Fish Street Independent Chapel.


As an adult, David Ouston exuded an entrepreneurial spirit.  During his short life, he was a grocer, a tea dealer, and a wine and spirit merchant with locations in Hull and Bridlington.  Probably the most interesting occupation David is recorded as pursuing was that of “commercial traveler.”  While this title appears to create a bit of intrigue, it is more commonly known today as a vendor.


During the second quarter of 1847, David married Nancy Gleadow in Hull.  She was born in this same city; however, she was educated in Lincoln.  David died in Hull during the third quarter of 1882 and his wife passed in Bridlington during the first quarter of 1899.  The couple had six children who were named as follows:

  • Elizabeth Ouston Watson (1848-????)
  • Frederick William Ouston (1850-1921)
  • Charles Ouston (1851-????)
  • Edith Ouston (1861-1935)
  • Annie Ouston (1865-1938)
  • John Herbert Ouston (1871-1940)

Of these children, only two produced issue:  the eldest, Elizabeth Ouston Watson and the youngest, John Herbert Ouston.  Charles Ouston probably died as a child; however, no death record has been located for him and the family cannot be found in the 1861 census. He is not present with the family in the 1871 census and there is no further record of him in any of the commercial genealogical databases.

Brother Frederick William Ouston, who was at one time associated with the Wilson Shipping Line, bore the name until 1921.  Although he married Elizabeth Hunt in Nottinghamshire in 1900, the couple produced no children.  Frederick died on May 23, 1921 at Bridlington.  Sisters Edith and Annie, having never married, carried the Ouston surname to their graves in 1935 and 1938 respectively.

Even a nephew, Seymour Ouston Watson (1880-1935), advanced the Ouston name into the next generation as a middle name.  It appears the Seymour Ouston Watson also carried on in his grandfather’s footsteps, as the 1911 census records him as being a manager of a grocery, wine, and spirits store.

The final bearer of the Ouston surname in the David Ouston Line was David and Nancy’s youngest son, John Herbert Ouston.  Born in Hull during the third quarter of 1871, John Herbert Ouston would also carry on his father’s profession of a wine and spirits merchant for a short period of time; however, the 1901 census lists him as as brewer’s branch manager.


Later in life he was a contract officer for the National Telephone Company, Ltd. In 1912, the General Post Office absorbed the various telephone companies and John Herbert Ouston became a postal employee in their telephone division.  In 1912, he was appointed to Hull and later appointed to York in 1914.  His career path after this point is not currently known.

On February 26, 1901, he married Lillian Jones at the Newington Parish Church in Hull.   Out of this union, four daughters were born:

  • Lillian Mary Ouston (1902-1910)
  • Elsie Ouston Middleton (1904-1989)
  • Nancie Ouston Whalley (1907-1974)
  • Phyllis Ouston Church (1915-2003)

Of the sisters, only Elsie and Nancie had children.  Phyllis would bear the name the longest in this line as she did not marry until 1957.  Her mother, who gained the surname via marriage, died in 1959.  John Herbert Owston died in Hull during the second quarter of 1940 at the age of 68. He was the final male in the David Ouston Line.


1841 Census of England. FindmyPast.com

1851 Census of England. FindmyPast.com

1871 Census of England. FindmyPast.com

1881 Census of England. FindmyPast.com

1891 Census of England. FindmyPast.com

1901 Census of England. FindmyPast.com

1911 Census of England. FindmyPast.com

British postal appointment book for 1912.  Ancestry.com

British postal appointment book for 1914.  Ancestry.com

International genealogical index.  FamilySearch.org.

Ouston birth records.  Findmypast.com

Ouston death records.  Findmypast.com

Ouston marriage records.  Findmypast.com

Ouston, R. J. (2004). 2003 Directory of Ouston/Owston families. Highbridge, Somerset, UK: Roger J. Ouston.

Owston, T. J. (2011). Owston family: Sherburn based branch of the family East Yorkshire with links to other branches. http://freespace.virgin.net/owston.tj/owstonln.htm.

Re: Frederick William Ouston, deceased.  (1921, October 28).  The London Times, p. 8581.

Taylor, W. (1888).   Taylor’s business directory of Bridlington, Bridlington Quay, Hilderthorpe, and adjacent villages.  Hull, England:  M. Harland and Son.

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