29 July 2009

Removed Cousins

I forgot to point you at a cracking article from Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter which explains the intricacies of "Cousin twice removed" etc.

Just go to:



One L or two . . . ?

Today's tale is of my 2nd cousin, 4 times removed; Ishmael Flavel was the youngest of the eight children of John & Elizabeth (nee Wakefield) and he grew up in the Cambridgeshire village of Landbeach. Where, today in 1867, he married Harriet Barker in the parish church.

With such a superb first name, you would think he'd be easy to find - but no, Ishmael lends itself to too many different spellings . . . . as does his surname.

I first saw this branch of the family with the spelling I've already used - that is, one L. But there is a major antipodean branch (Ishmael's uncle William took his family to Oz in 1855) who spell their surname with two Ls.

Not for the first time, I digress . . . back to Ish & Haz. They had eight children in the next eighteen years, mostly in Landbeach but they did have a brief stay out in the Fens - third child Lily was born in Chatteris, Charles in Mepal and the 1881 census finds them in March (the small town) where Lesha & Frederick had been born in the previous three years.

At this point Ishmael was listed as a police constable but by the next year, and the birth of Ellen, they seem to be back in Landbeach and Ishmael was a labourer by 1891. Interestingly, their address in both 1891 and 1901 is "Webb's Yard, Landbeach" - can only be named after the family to which they, and I, are related!!

Their oldest son John, born 1870, made a break for freedom - I found him in Hackney in 1891 with his wife Florence, daughter Ivy and his brother Frederick. However, I discovered that Florence died in 1907 in the Chesterton registration district even though John was in Edmonton in 1911 with both daughters (Myrtle was with an aunt in 1901) . . . . who subsequently married back in this area.

Maybe I should have called this episode "Here & Back Again" !!

More soon.

28 July 2009

East to West in 10 years

Nary a one. Nope, not one anniversary today. So I've had to delve into the depths of my stray Culpin file again . . . . . .

Let me introduce you to Biddy Culpin, daughter of Richard & Maria (nee Gostelow); she married yesterday. In Spalding. In 1832. To James Smith - honestly, could she have picked someone with a more . . . ahem, common name. I guess it could just about have been worse - he could have been John.

Seriously, tho', Biddy was born in 1812 in Spalding and her husband James was born five years previously in Sibsey (also in Lincs, according to Mr Phillimore). They appear to have produced seven children, all girls, between 1834 and 1850, all but the youngest two born in the county. In 1851 I found the family, after an amazingly long & inventive search, in Birkenhead - the other side of the country - where Emily & Elizabeth were born.

Interestingly, Biddy (who was christened thus) appears twice in the census as Bridget; they also named their third daughter Bridget, not Biddy.

By 1861, James & Biddy were back in Spalding, after their Cheshire sojourn, and James is a corn & coal porter. And that's as far as I have found them but I think more delving may take longer than a few minutes to produce results!!

More soon.

25 July 2009

Putting the pieces together

Sorry for the gap between entries - I've been continuing with my stray Staden file. And, my word, it is so like a jigsaw puzzle . . . without the picture on the lid. I think I've joined all my Southampton Stadens together (with each other, that is, not with the main file - I should be so lucky) and now I've started on the Derbyshire branch.

With hindsight, I should have written their details on small cards and shuffled them around on the floor; it would probably have been so much easier! My task is not helped by the fact that I don't really know which village belongs in Derbyshire or Cheshire or Staffordshire or Warwickshire, or any of the other surrounding counties. So in that respect I'm sort of working in the dark. I know I could consult my friend Phillimore - his Parish Atlas was a birthday gift a couple of years ago and it's wonderful - but sometimes you get so caught up in what's going on that it's difficult to break a train of thought.

Whatever, as the yoof of today say, I'm doing quite well with the strays and, despite my grumblings, I have made significant progress this week.

So, today's anniversary is the marriage of Isaac Murfitt and Louisa Bates, who tied the knot 141 years ago at Holy Trinity in Ely. Isaac was my 1st cousin three times removed, the son of Isaac and Alice (nee Langford, who was my great-great-aunt), and one of eleven children! Born and brought up in Stretham, I can only assume that he met Louisa (a native of Loddington in Northants) in Ely; certainly she was living in Back Hill at the time of their marriage. He was a tailor who, by 1891, had moved to Fore Hill in Ely, presumably with his own shop - Fore Hill being part of the "commercial centre" of Ely. By 1901 he was also the curator of the Conservative Club.

Isaac & Louisa had three children: Rose, born 1869, who married Fred Reeder in 1894 and moved with him to the Doncaster area; Gertrude, born 1873, who married in the Doncaster area in 1896 . . . . to either James Bailey or John Lister, but I can't decide which! And, finally, Reginald, born 1878, who sadly only lived for three years.

Final sight, as it were, of any of them to date is Louisa, who died in 1915 and is buried in the main City Cemetery in Ely. This cemetery, I discovered, is on Prickwillow Road and lies on a hill (well, it is, for the Fens area!) and, in the pouring rain, it can get awfully wet in there - a few years ago I went a-wandering around there in the aforementioned weather condition and got soaked right up to the knees.

The perils of genealogy that they don't tell you about . . . . !

More soon.

20 July 2009


So, there I was yesterday, wandering around Midsummer Common in Cambridge. Not purely on a whim, you understand, but accompanied by 3,699 other women & girls, all of us taking part in the Race for Life.

It was raining when we started and it threw it down after we finished but the sun came out for the majority of our perambulating. Lots of people to cheer us on and I finished in about 50 minutes, slightly slower (well, alright, a lot slower) than my niece Lucy who upheld family honour by running the whole thing! My other niece Sam took part in Coventry earlier in the year and also ran the race. Honestly, what is it with the younger generation - so full of energy!!! Well done to both of them, Pamela would be proud!

And today . . . . being somewhat uncomfortable after 5km on uneven ground, I moved my focus from stray Culpins to stray Stadens. I think I said earlier in the year that I am determined to link "my" Stadens, who I have traced back to London/Kent, to the Derbyshire branch or the Southampton branch. So I've started on the Southampton lot and hope to be able to report some progress soon.

Onwards, for the moment, to a bit more Staden-contemplation!

More soon.

15 July 2009

Forty days of rain . . .

Today is St Swithin's (or Swithun's) Day and, guess what, it rained. Standard British summer really.

So, first birthday boy is Sydney Albert Pates, my 2nd cousin twice removed, who was born in Biggleswade in 1892. The son of John & Emma (nee Huckle), he seems to have had one brother and both appear to have stayed close to their roots. Sydney married Rose Wildman in 1912 and they had one child, who sadly died in infancy. I don't know much more about him but it's probably fair to assume that he fought in the Great War.

There are two other St Swithun's birthday boys but both are just less than one hundred years ago and so I won't mention them.

Quite a slow day for anniversaries but I've kept busy trying to join up my two Culpin files. The main file starts, as it were, in the Huntingdonshire village of Elton and the "strays" file centres more on Ketton, Edith Weston and other small Rutland villages. Problem is that I still haven't been able to join them up - but, deep joy, I was able to transfer one small family (circa 1860s) into the main file! Excellent fun and quite satisfying to identify the similarity!!!

Anyway, I'm making plenty of typing mistooks in this entry so I'll finish now.

More soon.

9 July 2009

Well Groom-ed

Today is the 151st birthday, so to speak, of my 2nd cousin 4 times removed Frederick Street. Born in Old Warden, Bedfordshire, the youngest of ten children of Thomas & Rebecca (nee Pates), he lived in the village until he went into service as a groom.

The nearby village of Holme then became his . . . er . . home and he appears to have lived there until at least 1901. Frederick married Sarah (no surname available on the indexes) in 1881 and the only other occupant of their home seems to have been his nephew Arthur, who was a labourer at the cycling works in 1901.

The majority of my genealogical time today has been spent tracing the family of James Bullard, basketmaker, born in Bluntisham in 1816. He was my great-great-great-uncle (and uncle to Blanche Culpin's mother) and his entry in my database looked far too empty for comfort. All I knew was that he married Ann Stone in Hitchin in 1838 and also Mary Humphries (at some unidentified date); since I started on him, I've discovered his marriage to Mary (1850 - after the death of Ann in 1849) and his thirteen children. That's five with Ann and eight with Mary - plainly he didn't spend all his time making baskets!

To be brief, because I've yet to enter half of this lot - four of these children produced 26 grandchildren for him; Susan married George Saunders and they had five, Henry married Laura Logson and they had six, Thomas married Louisa Whitby and they had eight and, phew, Ernest married Frances Simmons, producing a further seven.

Best name out of all the grandchildren - Isaline Helen Bullard, born 1881 in Hitchin.

So, I'd better finish entering them into the database.

More soon.

7 July 2009

Something & Nothing

According to my "rules", I write here about whichever anniversary needs commemorating; so meet Emma Elizabeth Bygrave, my 2nd cousin twice removed, who was born today in Biggleswade (in Bedfordshire) in 1877. She was the middle of five children, with two brothers and two sisters, and was christened in March 1880 at the Wesleyan Methodist Church in the small market town. After that, I'm afraid she doesn't appear to have troubled the Official Record Keepers very much - appearing in the census until 1901 and then . . . . nothing. Another one, methinks, for the To Do list!

The other anniversary in the diary today is the marriage of Lydia Johnson and Ephraim Gunn at Histon Parish Church in 1806. I asked the database to give the relationship to me . . . and it said that neither of them are related (to me, that is - plainly they became related to each other!); and then I looked closer and saw that neither was linked into anyone else - no parents, siblings or children. Now normally these type of people (in a genealogical sense, I'm not casting aspersions) are given a different reference - by me, that is, I don't know why I suddenly went into the third person - because they're probably just "parked" until I can link them. I fancy that this pair have been "parked" for so long it's a wonder the wheels haven't been taken off!

Where's that To Do list gone??

More soon.