AS A COURTESY .. PLEASE SIGN THE GUEST BOOK THE FIRST TIME YOU VISIT OUR FAMILY WEBPAGE - THANKYOU.
Welcome to the SHEARS family history website. I am Neil Handisides, and my mother was Miriam Shears born in West Hartlepool in 1908, and her father, John Shears was born in Whitby in 1850. Some of the family, who were employed in the Whitby jet industry, re-located to West Hartlepool in the 1880's to take up work in the booming shipyards. Since those early years members of the Shears family have scattered over the globe. Slowly but surely their lives are being traced, added to this ever growing tree, and re-uniting them with their ancestors.
I have taken great pleasure from finding new relations and I would like to thank you for your help in building up our family tree. I must reserve a special mention for Bill and Nora Shears, whose knowledge of the Whitby Shears was invaluable, saving me hours of searching in the various archives! Fortunately they didn't get sick of me, but it must have been a close run thing!! Sadly Bill died early in 2004, but I had the pleasure of knowing him, if only for a short time.
St Mary's Church sits high on the cliff top overlooking the sea and is reached by climbing the famous 199 steps. In 2004 the church, in conjunction with the Whitby Gazette, ran an appeal to raise money to undertake urgent maintenance work on the steps. Families and businesses with Whitby connections were invited to "purchase" a step for £1000. The money was raised in just 14 weeks!!! ....and thanks to the generosity of the Shears family we are now the proud "owners" of Step 159.
The remedial work was completed in 2006 and the official "opening" took place on the 1st October. The Bishop of Whitby, the Right Reverend Robert Ladds conducted the service of thanks, which began at the bottom of the steps and culminated in a Communion service in St Mary's Church. Over 500 people attended the service of which 29 were Shears family members!
At the top of the steps is a brass plaque which records the names of all the 199 contributors. Also, inside the church there are three books which contain a short family history of some of the families involved, which are available for viewing by anyone who visits St Mary's.
So, the next time you visit Whitby, go and stand on "the step", and pay your respects to your ancestors, who doubtless climbed the same steps many times.
I hope you enjoy browsing through the lives of our Shears family. If you have anything you wish to add about anyone on the tree, have a special memory or photograph, or if you notice any incorrect information, please let me know so I may correct it.
Keep well, and best wishes.