29 May 2009

Lots of greats . . .

Today's snippets come predominantly from my paternal side, starting with the wedding of Elizabeth Fordham & John Collier in 1800 at St James, Hemingford Grey.  I don't know much about this couple, other than her parentage, and the fact that she's my great-great-great-great-aunt.  I must put them on the "To Do" list.

And now another wedding - Charles Culpin, my great-great-great-great-grandfather, and Catherine Sutton, nee Watts.  Interesting, this one; Charles was born in 1787, christened in St Ives and married Elizabeth Aspital in 1809.  They produced Mary in 1810, but sadly Elizabeth lost her life in the process, with Mary living only six weeks herself.

There then followed seven Culpin christenings at the Parish Church in St Ives between 1811 and 1821, all children of Charles; then two more children, who weren't christened, in 1823 & 1825, and then Charles and Catherine get married today in 1828 . . . . at St Leonard's in Shoreditch.

In my experience, if a couple marries so far out of the parish, it's because they have something to hide from the locals, so I'd guess that they lived together for all those years without actually letting on that they weren't married.

Anyway, Charles Culpin was, of course, a blacksmith and he died in St Ives in 1852.  Catherine, who had previously been married to Joseph Sutton and produced Joseph Watts Sutton, lived on in the town as "widow and gentlewoman" until 1869.  Chas & Cat are buried together in Broadleas Cemetery, St Ives, with the memorial headstone: "Sacred to the memory of Charles Culpin, who died Sepr 2nd 1852, in the  66th year of his age.  The memory of the just is blessed.  Also  Catherine, his wife, who died Jany 5th 1869 in the 87th year of her age.   She lived a life of faith in God and her end was peace."

And, just to round off today so I can watch Andy Murray with a clear conscience, let me present Miss Margaret Smith, born in 1823 in Chatteris.  She was my 1st cousin 4 times removed, the daughter of Nicholas & Susannah, and the only other thing I know about her is that she was in Slade End, Chatteris, in the 1851 census, working as a farm labourer.

More soon.

27 May 2009

Three, two, one . .

I've got four weddings today; three in 1822 and three in Landbeach, two on the same day in the same church and one in Suffolk.

In 1822 today, I have Elizabeth Flavel & Thomas Wolf, Edmund Freeman & Hannah Boggis and Thomas Webb & Sarah Wayman.

In Landbeach, there's Elizabeth & Thomas, Thomas & Sarah and James Webb & Anne Cowling.

And in Suffolk, there's Edmund & Hannah.

So, working backwards, we'll start with Edmund Freeman & Hannah Boggis, my 4xgreat-grandparents who were joined in holy matrimony today in Brandon.  They begat three children (a girl and two boys) and then moved to London, where they produced another daughter.  Last seen, as it were, in Westminster in 1861 at the age of 65, g-g-g-g-grandpa was listed as a corn and coal dealer.

The Landbeach crowd are all from the Webb branch and between them produced seventeen children and, at the last count, there were 31 grandchildren.  However, we're back at "head-count" again since William Webb, son of James & Anne (Cowling) married Mary Webb, daughter of Thomas & Sarah (Wayman) in 1843 and made the tree very complicated!

Hey ho!

More soon.

26 May 2009

Keeping it in the Family

One ancient anniversary today, so let's go back to the reign of Charles the Second (or, to put it more in context - just eighteen years after the Great Fire of London).

On 26 May 1684 in St James's Church, Stretham Rebecka Langford, my second cousin nine times removed, married Thomas Wright.  I have very little information about these two, except that Rebecka was christened in 1666 and the pair of them produced twelve children.

I set the computer to work on their "dynasty" and it counted over two hundred descendants - which intrigued me somewhat because I couldn't remember putting that much effort into this branch.  

And then I looked at the report; their granddaughter Rebecca married "back" into the Langfords in 1760 and their great-granddaughter Ann Riddle followed in her footsteps in 1789.  Ann, in fact, married the brother of my great-great-great-grandfather Benjamin.

I was thinking of putting the Langfords up on my website alongside the Freemans and Culpins, but I'm beginning to wonder if the resulting descendant trees will be too confusing to follow.  Gives a whole new meaning to "head count"!

Happy birthday also to Ann.

More soon.

21 May 2009


Now then, today . . . less of a struggle than yesterday, and all birthdays.

First, meet the twins - Charles Henry & Thomas Sadler Molloy, the sons of Thomas and Sophia Kington (nee Culpin), were born today in 1858 in the village of Meopham in Kent, and christened two days later. Sadly, Thomas lived only until the first months of 1859 but his brother Charles plainly thrived. The family, by then augmented by a younger sister, had moved to the Isle of Wight where Thomas snr was a schoolmaster and Charles a twelve-year-old telegraph clerk. The 1881 census found Chas in Islington and in the Civil Service, shortly to marry Caroline Cobb (well, in the December quarter of that year).

With two young children, Chas and Caz reappear in Dovercourt, Essex, in 1891; by this time our birthday boy has become a Customs Official and so he remains until at least the 1901 census. And that's all I know, so far . . . .

The twins were my 1st cousins three times removed, and also the great-nephews of our birthday girl; my great-great-great-aunt Frances Culpin was born today in St Ives, the daughter of Charles and Catherine (nee Watts). After her christening on 20th June the same year, she next appears in the 1841 census as a 20 year-old bonnet maker . . . but then she breaks away and marries George Hardy in 1847 in Rotherham.

In 1851 she and George can be found in Kimberworth, both listed as British School teachers, and they have a guest in the house - one Sophia Kington Culpin (see above) who is described as a British School assistant but is also Frances' niece. Anyway, G&S then had two sons and moved back down south to London, settling for thirty-or-so years in Islington. George died in 1882 and Frances (and possibly her elder son) came back to her roots in St Ives where she stayed until her death in 1895.

And finally, one more birthday: Ethel May Culpin, born today in1899 in Peterborough, the daughter of George & Rhoda (nee Grammar). She was my sixth cousin twice removed and the only other thing I know about her is that she appeared in the 1901 census in Eastgate, Peterborough.

That's it for today - I feel the need to go and find out more about Ethel!

More soon.

20 May 2009

Slow day in the diary

I have to admit that I'm struggling today.  Our birthday boy is William Langford, born to William & Rebecca (nee Wright) in Stretham in 1862.  However, he had the shortest of lives - christened today, buried on 22nd.  In common with a number of ancestors on that side of the family, he's related to me twice - as my 1st cousin five times removed and as my 5th cousin six times removed.  The latter does seem rather distant and, according to the database, it means that our common ancestor is Richard Langford and he was born in 1556!!

So, let's go back a day and 244 years.  Francis Langford and Elizabeth Jackson (nee Knight) were married on 19th May 1765 at St James Church in Stretham.  This pair became my great-great-great-great-grandparents and begat five children together (plus Elizabeth had already had two daughters with her first husband Thomas Jackson).  I don't know much about them after their marriage except that Francis is described as "a poor man" in the Bishop's Transcript of the christening of their eldest son Benjamin in 1766.  Francis died in 1785 and Elizabeth in 1809, still in the village.

Short and sweet.  

More soon.

16 May 2009

One of each

So, let's start with a birthday boy:- John William Burrows (my 3rd cousin once removed) was born today in1885 in the Cambridgeshire village of Manea, the son of William & Jane (nee Crouch).  By 1901 he had become a signalman on the Great Eastern Railway (G.E.R.) - not very surprising given the proximity to the railway depot of March.  John was still in the village in 1911 and I think he married Nellie Amelia Topping in 1913.  And that's all I know about them.

So, let's move on to the marriage of Richard Culpin & Elizabeth Taylor in Woodnewton, Northants, in 1743.  Elizabeth was Richard's second wife and sadly died in September the following year, soon after giving birth to their son Charles.  Richard himself plainly married again as he leaves "All and singular the residue of my goods, Cattle and Chattel, I give and bequeath unto my said wife Rachel Culpin" in his Will.  I have Rachel Landen as her maiden name but I haven't been able to find the marriage yet . . . but give it time!

All for now, as I have a load of "treasure" (well, old photos and documents) to scan in and add to the archive.

More soon.

14 May 2009

Time travel . . .

Please come with me into the time machine and we'll go back a few days . . . 

So, it's May 9th and Benjamin Ephraim Lamartin Culpin was born today in 1848 in Buntingford, the son of Millice & Sarah (nee Barrett).  He appeared, with the family, in Fore Street and then Railway Street (both in Stevenage) in the next two censuses and then married Eliza Matthews in the town in 1870.  

Although he didn't grow up to be a blacksmith, this particular apple didn't fall far from the tree - he became a boot & legging manufacturer and seems to have trained half his children to help him!

He & Eliza produced six or seven children (I'm not sure who Mildred Clara belonged to) over the next twelve years; Agnes, Herbert Miall, Wallace Goodwin, Ewart Gladstone, Charlotte Ellard & Ellen Matthews . . . plus or minus the aforementioned Mildred Clara.

Herbert appears to have joined the Admiralty as a clerk; he married Kate Norton and lived until 1954.  Wallace married Annie Coubrough in 1897 and died of meningitis in 1912.  Ewart Gladstone (cracking name) became quite well known within the London County Council but you'll have to wait until his birthday to hear more about him.

Charlotte married Frederick Longney and I last "saw" her coming back from Montreal in 1921 with her husband and one surviving son.  Ellen tied the knot with William Sharp in 1908 and . . . that's all I know about her.  Another one, methinks, for the long list of "when the 1911 census comes under my Findmypast subscription"!

I found Ben again in a trade directory in Ilford in 1914; he & Eliza ended up in Sussex, where both of them died in Battle - Ben in 1928 and Eliza in 1943.

Back to the present now . . . . 

More soon.

13 May 2009

Rising Bollards

No significant anniversaries today so I'll just live up to the title of this blog.

One of the drawbacks of travelling by bus is that you end up waiting . . . and waiting . . . for buses to arrive. Therefore you need patience - and the curiosity to look around you to pass the time. Now this is fine for someone like me because I'm a card-carrying people watcher and you do, indeed, see all sorts.

Today, for example . . . in Cambridge we have a number of sets of "rising bollards" to stop joe public driving to places that the council don't want them to go. Only buses & taxis (and bikes, of course) have carte-blanche to pass through these bollards and hours of entertainment can be found if you just watch people ignoring the signs and driving up to them, wondering why they can't get through. They almost will the bollards down.

This doesn't happen and woe betide anyone who tries to tail-gate a bus or taxi and try to get through in their wake . . . it only ends in tears. And oil all over the road. And sometimes a car levitating on top of the bollard.

However, today was excellent. The long distance coaches also have to get through these bollards to get to and from the bus station and I watched as a Liverpool-bound National Express coach came along. It stopped about ten yards short and the "spare" driver, a man of considerable girth, got out. He then started to throw his arms around with gay abandon.

Closer inspection (squinting) showed that he had a transponder in his hand, with which he was trying to catch the attention of the magic eye which lowers the bollards. After a few seconds - success, and the coach was able to continue through to stop about thirty yards further on, the bus stop where I was waiting.

Then came the spare driver, who could see that I was grinning at the spectacle. He was also laughing (fortunately, eh) and called to me, in a broad scouse (liverpudlian) accent "there's a fat guy in here (pointing to himself) who really isn't built for jogging!"

Much amusement!

More soon.

12 May 2009

Two for the price of one

A double wedding celebration today . . . for the same person.

Elizabeth Essex, my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother (that's five greats), was born in the Cambridgeshire village of Cottenham in 1737, the daughter of John & Judith (nee Norman), and married her first husband on 14th May 1762. Francis Deacons, said husband, was already a widower, according to the Parish Register, and died six years later. However, they managed to pass the time by producing a couple of children (Ann & Judah).

Then, with remarkable slowness for the time, Elizabeth married William Webb (this one's my relative) today in 1770 in the nearby (-ish) village of Landbeach. This marriage produced four children (two girls then two boys) prior to Elizabeth's death in 1782.

Alas, I know very little else about her, mainly because this was before the advent of the ten-yearly census which gives us to much information. So we rely on the parish registers and other snippets. I need to get back to the records office to look for some more snippets!

I have followed three of Elizabeth's children; Martha Webb goes on to marry Thomas Flavel and some of her children went off to the antipodes . . . . voluntarily. Thomas Webb married Mary Gunn and continued the family line downwards towards me. James Webb married Anne Cowling and died in 1861 in Landbeach, "without issue" as they say.

More soon.

7 May 2009

Mc Culpin . . . ?

In all the excitement of finding another ancestor in court I missed the birthday of Charles O'Connell Culpin, my great-great-grandfather's brother.

He was born yesterday in 1836 in the village of Hemingford Grey, the son of Charles & Sophia (nee Kington) and grew up in St Ives. By the age of 14 (the 1851 census) he was already a member of the family profession - a blacksmith, and in 1859 he married Ellen Berridge in nearby Brampton (next door to Huntingdon, now got a race course). Between 1864 and 1867 local trade directories show him as an agricultural implement maker, in Darwood Terrace in St Ives.

Sadly he died young, at the age of 31, on 23rd September 1867, leaving his widow, Ellen, and four surviving children. He's buried in Broadleas cemetery, together with two of the children.

His eldest daughter Ellen (Nellie), born in St Ives in 1860, went on to marry George Dellar in 1887. They produced four children and stayed in St Ives until Nellie's death in May 1916. Fortunately she died just before her eldest son George, who died in December that year of wounds received in the Great War.

Rumour has it that George Dellar senior married again but I haven't found any confirmation of that yet.

The "McCulpin . . ." of the title? Well, Charles was Charles O'Connell and his brother was Millice Campbell. Both these middle names have Scots implications and don't appear anywhere else in the family; besides, I always understood the the origins of the Culpin name came from the Huguenots . . . . . although I'm open to other ideas!

More soon.

6 May 2009

Crime & Sweet Shops

Never mind birthdays, today I made a most interesting find . . . .

I was on this website Victorian Crime and Punishment from E2BN idling entering surnames from my main file when I found an Isaac Langford.

Exactly the same age as my great-grandfather, the place of committal (Ely) was in the right area and this chap was up before the beak for deserting his children (isn't that what the CSA is for now?). Funnily enough, great-gramps also did a runner after his wife died and that's why the youngest children are in Ely.

So, I've scheduled a trip to the local library to look in the Ely Standard for the time to see if I can find anything. I'm pretty sure that it's my Isaac so maybe his sister, who was looking after the littlests, was able to get him charged.

He was found guilty and sentenced to 2 months hard labour. Stay tuned for more information!

That got me looking at his family and I focused on the two daughters who went/were sent to Nottingham. Ellen married Ernest Webster in 1900 and I found them on the 1911 census in the town, with five of their children; they had already lost their eldest at the age of two and had another couple before 1916. Ernest was a baker who was to die in 1921 and Ellen was listed as a Lace Hand. Although I could be accused of leaping to conclusions, I checked for the births of their offspring and was able to identify them by their middle names - the first three I found had their great-grandfather, grandfather & grandmother's names respectively. I wonder if that counts as one of the genealogist's proofs?

And then there's Ellen's younger sister Lilian, also in Nottingham, who went on to marry William Brittle, a lace maker, in 1905 and together they produced twelve (yep, twelve) children over the next 17 years. Their eldest was born . . . . er, a little early but, hey, who's counting? And their youngest, Thomas, in 1922.

All I really knew about Lilian was that she lived in Little John street in Nottingham and ran a sweet shop - and there she is in Little John street in 1911. Good to have a family story confirmed, eh?

More soon.

4 May 2009

More Bultitafts . . . .

Memo to self . . . . remember to turn the piece of paper over!

Sooo, continuing the Bultitaft story - not only did Rhoda and Henry have a Henry, they also had two Ellens.  Young Henry appears to have stayed at Bedwell Hey Farm, having married Mary Jane Cross and producing three more Bultitafts (can't you tell that I just love the name!).  His younger sister Ellen married John Mitchell and was last seen in Cawthorpe in Lincs in 1891.

That's it; there's no more paper to turn over today.

Bullard & Bultitaft

Today's birthday girl had a brief mention in this blog back in February, so let me re-introduce Rebecca Bullard, my great-great-great-aunt.  Born today in Earith (Hunts) in 1823, she was the daughter of James and Sarah (nee Silk); she married Ephraim Thoday in 1847 in nearby Willingham and lived in the village until her death in 1864.  Having produced one son in 1845, she went on to have a further three children with Ephraim but sadly did not live to see them produce her thirteen grandchildren.

Marriage of the day is that of Rhoda Langford and Edward Bultitaft in 1824 at St James, Stretham.  Rhoda is another one of my ancestors who is related to me twice; in this case, she's my first cousin four times removed AND my sixth cousin five times removed.  Bit of inter-marrying there, methinks.  They went on to produce three children, of whom only the youngest, named after his father, survived to adulthood.

Anyway, she and Edward weren't together terribly long as, according to the Parish Register, Edward was "accidentally killed" in November 1828.  I wonder if there was an inquest?  Must look in the papers.

Rhoda, though, wasn't deterred from keeping that awesome surname - I mean, how many Bultitafts do you know?  So, she married Henry at St Martin's Ludgate in 1835.  And, in a bit of symmetry, they too had a son who they named after his father.

Rhoda lived in Stretham, with her various Bultitafts, until 1871 when I found her, as a 71 years old widow, living at Bedwell Hey Farm, near Ely, with her youngest son Henry.  She died in Stretham in 1876.

It's a cracking surname, though; I've found no indication of where her husband Edward was born but records suggest that Henry senior came from Stow Bardolph in Norfolk.  That said, there was quite a colony of Bulititafts in Stretham so maybe it's an East Anglian name.  Maybe I'll do some research into it.

More soon.

2 May 2009

Near & Far

Today's most prominent anniversary is the marriage of Millice Campbell Culpin & Naomi Fordham at St James', Hemingford Grey, in 1864.  However, I notice that this pair, my great-great-grandparents, have had a fair bit of exposure in this blog already so I'll say no more about them today and move on, instead, to a newbie.

John Cherry was my g-g-g-uncle and was born today in Biggleswade, Beds, in 1797.  The second of six children of Thomas and Sarah (nee Bennington), he was christened at St Andrew's Church later the same year, returning to the said church in 1819 to marry Ann Pair.  In the course of the next 20 years, they begat a mere 13 (thirteen) children, all of whom appeared to have survived into adulthood.  The last appearance, so far, of John & Ann was in the 1851 census when they lived in Palace Street in Biggleswade.  I must look at them afresh.

And finally for today . . . the "far" of the title is Elizabeth Bullard, my second cousin four times removed, who was married today in Godmanchester, Hunts, to Joseph Allen.  Alas, I don't know a lot about this couple, other than that Joseph was a shoemaker and they had a son called Harry.  Another name of the "look again" list.

More soon.

1 May 2009

May Day!

No, not a cry for help, but an emphatic statement of the day.

Moving on . . . today I'd like to introduce my first cousin five times removed's husband.  Or, to put it another way, my great-great-aunt's husband.  There, that made it clearer, didn't it.  Don't blame me, blame this confusing state of affairs on a bit of cross-breeding in the county.

Henry James Lowton, the birthday boy, was born in Grantchester in 1835, the son of William and Elizabeth (nee Stittle) and all was relatively (no pun intended) simple until he went and married into the family.  To be fair to him, he may not have known that his wife, Elizabeth Layton, had a sister (Ellen) whose second husband (my great-great-grandfather) was also her first cousin once removed.  Also, Ellen's first husband was a Lowton, who probably came from this branch, and their son was also Henry James.

Paying attention?  I'll be asking questions later.

So, back at today's main man - Henry James and Elizabeth, together with their first child, moved down to Greenford in Middlesex before 1861, staying long enough to produce two more children in the borough.  Elizabeth died in 1867, presumably in childbirth and Henry, with three young children to look after, wasted no time . . . he married Sarah Rolph the following year.  The family then moved on the Newington and soon after the 1871 census Henry died in Southwark at the age of 36.

Phew!  That was complicated.

So, a brief mention only of William Wright, born today in 1706 in Stretham, the son of Thomas and Rebecka (nee Langford).  He was my third cousin eight times removed - that's what I call a distant relative!!

More soon.