30 August 2009

Four across & one down

Today would have been my maths teacher's birthday.

How do I know that? Was I such a swot that I knew my teachers' birthdays?

Well, no, although I did quite like this lady. Angela Mary Covey-Crump (nee Ayres) was born today in 1912 and married Leo, the son of William & Hilda (nee Porter) in Plymouth in 1941. I don't have many other details, save that Mrs Covey-Crump (she was my teacher - how can I call her by her christian name?) died in 2005.

My favorite memory of her? Well, I have two: firstly, that she trusted me, above all the others in the class (yep, I was that good at maths), to have the text book with the answers in the back. And, secondly, her habit was to write the homework questions on the board and it wasn't terribly difficult to distract her momentarily . . . . and then get her to answer what she'd written on the board!

The title? Well, Mrs C-C was the wife of my fourth cousin once removed.

More soon.

28 August 2009

What a day . . . . !

Just two birthdays today so meet my Auntie Katie.

Well, ok, she wasn't exactly my aunt; strictly speaking she was my mother's cousin & therefore my first cousin once removed. Anyway, she was born today in 1911 in Stretham (Cambs), the fourth of the six children of John Langford & Harriet (nee Sindall). Sadly both her parents died within two years of each other (1920 & 1918 respectively), so the four youngest children (all girls) were sent to live with relatives.

Although the boys, the two oldest children, were only 16 and 14 when their father died I have always assumed that they stayed in the village. But I digress . . . .

Katie went to stay with Aunt Kate (my grandmother) in Biggleswade and stayed with the family (or thereabouts) until she married Harry Marshall in Digswell (Welwyn) in 1935, with my grandfather as one of the witnesses.

Together she & Harry had five children and they eventually settled near Mortimer in Berkshire, where Harry died in 1968. Katie then became a "Ten Pound Pom" and joined her oldest daughter in southern Australia. And there she stayed until her death in 2003.

Oh, and one other birthday today . . . . . mine!

More soon.

27 August 2009


The more observant of you will have noticed a touch of digital-dyslexia in my last entry . . . .

Obviously I meant that Joseph died in the Tower Hospital in Ely (and I didn't really mean to put a "b" in "in").

I was going to say that I have no idea where George came from - but, actually, I do. George Langford was a grandson of Joseph's parents, living with them in the 1881 census, and I had tentatively assumed (there's that word again) that he was Joseph's son. I guess now would be a good time to see what I can find out about him!

The excitement, of having a computer talking to the internet again, obviously got to me. I shall now go and re-read the book about "concentration"!

More soon.

25 August 2009

I hate computers

I've spent the last few days glowering at this pc, trying to shame it into working properly again. Having realised, belatedly, that this approach wasn't working, I took a metaphorical hammer to it earlier this evening and, hey presto, it's working. Yippeeeeeeeeee!!

No anniversaries today so let's go back to yesterday, to the birthday of my great-great-uncle. Joseph Langford was born in 1860 in Stretham, the son of John Freeman Langford & Charlotte (nee Bigley) and was christened at the Parish Church (St James') on 16th September that year.

In the next four census returns he managed to be in four different places in the village - Back Street, East Street, High Street & Short Street - before he married Martha Cross (in 1898) and popped up in Broad Street, Ely in 1901, together with step-son William Cross & daughter Charlotte (and Martha, of course).

Martha died in 1923, when the family was living in Back Lane, Ely and George died ibn the Tower Hospital, Ely, formerly the Workhouse, in 1941.

Short & sweet. Don't want to overstretch the computer!

More soon.

20 August 2009

All Cambridge today . .

There is only one anniversary today so let's celebrate the brief life of Lucy Wolf, my second cousin four times removed.

She was born today in Girton (Cambs), the daughter of Thomas & Elizabeth (nee Flavel) and was christened at the age of just 22 days. In my experience this is usually a clue that the child is not expected to live very long and, sadly, this was the case with Lucy, who died in October that year.

So, let's move back a day, to the marriage of Lucy's cousin James to Elizabeth Radford at St Andrew the Less in Cambridge in 1852. James was the son of Thomas & Ann (nee Hudson) and grew up in Gloucester Place, Cambridge. As an adult he worked as a labourer on the Eastern Counties Railway and died in November 1861.

He and Elizabeth lived in Staffordshire Street (still near the railway) and they had four children. The first, Elizabeth, died at the age of three but her three brothers Frederick, Arthur & James all grew to be men. Frederick appears to morph into a blacksmith by the age of 44; James, at the age of 19, was a bath attendant . . . . . the mind boggles!

The final view of the family was in the 1901 census - still in Staffordshire Street; Elizabeth was the head of the household, a 68 year old widow, and Frederick was also living there.

More soon.

11 August 2009

Re-introducing . . .

Another day with no anniversaries so I thought I'd borrow from today & yesterday, as it were, to expand upon a family we've already met.

By a remarkable coincidence my great-great-grandfather George Staden (1843-1928), who married twice, did so within two days. Plainly, these events were separated by more than just a couple of days - twelve years, in fact - but it struck me as quite odd that both weddings should take place in August.

Having said that, though, maybe his wives were both born in August . . . . 'scuse me while I check . . . . . No, not the first one but maybe the second. Equally, the ladies in question were sisters so maybe it's a family thing. And, I've also just checked - I don't think there was any particular need to hurry, if you get my meaning. So . . . just a coincidence then.

But we don't believe in coincidence!

What else can I tell you that you don't already know? Well, I haven't made much mention of George & Sarah's oldest son Carter:- born in St Ives in 1869, he moved to London and married Kate Burrows in Hampstead in 1925. He died in Peterborough in 1939.

Then there's John Thomas, born in 1870. He became a draper's assistant, being found in Buckingham Palace Road in 1891 and Leamington Priors in 1901. He married Edith Daniels in 1903 and by 1911 he, Edith & their young son Charles, were in Wimbledon. Charles, by the way, brought a bit of respectability to my whole database by becoming a Methodist Minister!

The other three children (Eleanor, George & Fanny) have already had a decent mention in this blog so I won't bore you with them.

George senior & Fanny (first wife's younger sister, remember) married in Islington and then lived in St Ives (Hunts not Cornwall) until George died in 1928. One excellent thing is that they left some superbly detailed Wills, so that's been useful!

More soon.

9 August 2009

Quite short & not terribly sweet . . . .

Three anniversaries in the diary today - starting with the most recent.

Happy birthday to Herbert Frank Culpin, oldest child of Herbert Miall & Kate (nee Norton), born in Stevenage in 1897. I don't know much about him really; the family was still in Stevenage in 1901 and had moved to Hitchin by 1911, when he is listed as Frank. And finally . . . he married Eleanor Day in 1924.

Even shorter . . . Happy birthday also to Rebecca Wing, third of the nine children of William & Emma (nee Bigley), born today in Chatteris in 1865. In 1881 Rebecca is to be found in the North Witchford Union workhouse as a 15 year old scholar and then she joined her mother in Nottingham, where she married James Langham in 1887. I haven't found any children of this marriage before Rebecca's death in early 1890 at the age of 25.

And now for the shortest-lived marriage in my file:- today in 1890 John Henry Staden, my 1st cousin three times removed, married Susan Hutton in Cambridge. As with Rebecca above, I can find no children, and Susan died in January 1891.

Not a very informative day really, and quite depressing in its way. As before, though, doing this blog encouraged me to find out more about Rebecca Wing - even though there was little more to find. It's quite a useful exercise to keep the database as up to date as possible!!

Onwards to the Blaydon family who caught my eye as I was furkling around this morning.

More soon.

4 August 2009

Another cracking article

Mind the gap . . . .

Sorry, been away for a few days. And while I was travelling, I was idly perusing the latest edition of "Ancestors" magazine . . . there was a superb, nay cracking, article by Dave Annal about accounting for people abroad in the census . . . and he quoted an example of a soldier in the 1911 census. In South Africa.

And his name was Harry Culpin! Obviously, because of copyright issues, I can't quote from the article but suffice to say it gave me some very useful info about this 'ere Harry. He married Benedicta Rhydderch in Colchester and they begat six children. Their first, Joe Rhydderch Culpin, was easy to find but he died at age 1. Four other children appeared on the census return but there is still one missing. The census info gave me the 6 children, 4 still alive but I have no idea who the other child is . . . . !

A-n-d I have since been able to link Harry and co into the main family file; my investigations suggest that Harry is the son of John & Elizabeth. John, born in Ailsworth, Northants, circa 1843, was also the son of John & Elizabeth but I do know that his mother was Elizabeth Dunton.

So, I've been able to move another nine people, plus Harry's family, out of the stray Culpin file and I am a pretty happy bunny!

Lucky, or what?

More soon.