22 October 2009

And they said it would never last

All together now: Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday Rambling Genes, happy birthday to you!!!!! Yep, my little blog is officially one year old today . . . . . and still going.

So I thought I'd treat it to a bit of TLC and actually take some notice of some of the ramblings. Over the last year I've written "To do" list on a number of occasions, so I've just been through the entire thing and picked out what I said I'd follow up on.

The only thing I can confidently say I did was to find the definition of "Pig Jobber" so, although I have the list, I don't think I'll repeat the things I haven't done!

A quick sort through my database produced 101 infants who, sadly, only lived for one year (the criteria here being that they were born one year and died the next) and, not unconnected with this statistic, there were five ladies who died within one year of their marriage: three Elizabeth Culpins (nee Bishell, Taylor and Aspital in chronological order), Anne Johnson (nee Langford) and Susan Staden (nee Hutton).

Other than that, I can't find any further "one year" useless facts.

More soon.

20 October 2009

Virtual repeat

Today's first anniversary is the marriage in 1857 of Martha Flavell to her brother's wife's brother. My regular readers will be able to cast their minds back to yesterday when Martha's brother Joseph married Emma Leach . . . . . so it will come as no surprise when I say that Martha became Mrs Leach, the wife of Charles, in Landbeach.

Their marriage had many similarities with Joseph and Emma's so I will not bore you with the details. Chas was, at one point, a copralite digger; and the two of them produced eight children.

Moving on, join me in a quick chorus of Happy Birthday to Ada Culpin. She was born in 1882 to John & Susan (nee Glover) in the small fen village of Manea and remained there at least until her marriage to George Few in 1904.

And finally, meet Alfred William White Mackie, born today in 1877 in Dundee, who married Cecilia Annie Staden (daughter of John Thomas & Annie Marie (nee Erswell)) in Dundee in 1941. According to The Times, he entered the Indian Civil Service in 1900 and after much district service, was appointed Settlement Commissioner and Director of Land Records, Bombay, in 1924. He retired in 1936, having been a revenue commissioner for the previous five years.

Unusually for someone in my family database, Alfred Mackie made it into Who was Who as well!

More soon.

19 October 2009

It's all happening in Chesterton

Today's anniversary is the marriage of Joseph Flavell and Emma Leach in 1863 in Landbeach. Joseph was my 2nd cousin, 4 times removed and Emma was his sister's husband's sister (sister's sister-in-law didn't sound any less complicated!) so I think we can probably guess where they met. Their marriage, with the ten children they had over the next 28 years, then became a merry-go-round of the Chesterton registration district.

Joseph was a farm worker, which presumably meant that he went where the work was, so we shouldn't really be surprised to find him in Fen Ditton in 1871 (cow man), then Landbeach ten years later (horse keeper). Waterbeach was next (1891) where he was an ag lab (fewer legs to count, I guess) and finally, in 1901, he's graduated to Farm foreman and they're in Histon.

Ooops, I think I missed out a brief stop in Stow-cum-Quy in 1877, where Joseph & Emma's sixth child Frederick was born!

A quick bit of research this afternoon found spouses for sons Herbert and Benjamin and for daughter Janetta. This lady married George Branch and, wait for it, they did indeed "branch" out by moving to Little Shelford - not just the other side of Cambridge but, heaven forfend, outside the Chesterton district!

More soon.

17 October 2009

Three and one

Happy birthday to Samuel Rowland Robb, my g-g-uncle, who was born today in 1864 in St Ives, the seventh of fourteen children of George & Ann (nee Rowland). By the age of 16, young Sam had started to work in the family firm of ropemakers and, in 1892, he married Sophia Culpin, as reported in my entry of 24th June.

In 1928, the Hunts Post had the following article, under the headline "The New Mayor of St Ives, Head of a Century-old Business, Coun. Robb's Public Service":-

Coun. Samuel Robb, senior partner in the firm of S. Robb and Son, of East Street, St Ives, has been chosen as Mayor of St Ives for the ensuing twelve months, and the selection will meet with general approval. The rope and sack business to which he succeeded several years ago is one of the oldest businesses in St Ives. It was established by Mr Robb's grandfather a century and a quarter back, and has been handed down from father to son. The present head of the firm has his son in partnership with him. The business of harness makers and sports goods dealers is also carried on by Messr Robb and Sons in Crown Street.
The Mayor-elect first became a member of the Town council four years ago, filling the vacancy caused by the elevation of Coun. Joseph Radford to the Aldermanic bench. Twelve months afterwards he fought a contested election and was returned as head of the poll. As chairman of the Housing Committee of the Town Council he has done some useful work. Mr Robb is a manager of the council schools and is chairman of the Ratepayers Association. Seeing that about half the members of the Town Council are elected representatives of the Ratepayers Association, it is only fitting that one of their members should fill the high position of Mayor. A Nonconformist in religion, Mr Robb attends the Free Church. In politics he styles himself as an independent. Mrs Robb is also a native of St Ives.

Sam & Sophia had two children; Jessie, who sadly died in infancy, and George William, aka Bill, who followed his father into local politics and also held the position of Mayor of St Ives. Sophia died in 1934 and Sam in 1941; both achieved a decent write-up in the Hunts Post.

Moving on, a brief mention of a few wedding anniversaries:- Susannah Bullard (1st cousin, 5 times removed) married Richard Brown today in Godmanchester in 1825, and Sarah Culpin (3rd cousin, 5 times removed) married Robert Hill today in King's Cliffe, Northants, in 1831.

And, finally, Ann Langford married James Ellger today in 1836 in Stretham, and went on to have ten children with him, all born in the nearby village of Haddenham. I was surprised when I asked the pc to tell me how she was related to me as the answer came back in the plural. It's not unusual, in my database, for someone to be related to me twice - any amount of inter-marrying, so there must be a number of villages missing their idiot - but I thought I knew who they all were. So, here's Ann - my 2nd cousin, three times removed (the one I expected) and also my 7th cousin, 4 times removed. This one gives our mutual ancestor as Richard Langford, born circa 1556! That's a long way back - I really ought to check it.

More soon.

12 October 2009

Masses of matrimony

A bumper issue today - eight weddings and two birthdays, so we'd better just pitch in . . . .

Starting yesterday, let's wish happy 225th wedding anniversary to John Bullard & Ann Cole who married in Kimbolton in 1784. John was from a family of basketmakers and continued the tradition in Godmanchester. When he wasn't busy doing that, he and Ann found the time to produce ten children - the last one of whom they named "Jubilee". I'm slightly puzzled about this as I can't think of a historical jubilee in 1809, the year of her birth. Any offers?

Moving on, to John's niece Mary Ann Bullard who tied the knot twelve years later . . . . somewhere near. Could have been Pidley (centre of the universe) or Earith or . . . . . ! Guess I need to look it up when I'm doing more research into Mary Ann and her husband John Martin.

And then there's Wallace Goodwin Culpin and Annie Inwood Coubrough, who married at the Baptist Church in Hitchin in 1897. Wallace, unusually for a Culpin male, was neither blacksmith nor currier - but he sold boots instead! He & Annie had one daughter, Dorothy and, interestingly, had a one-year old child, Percy Matthews, living with them in 1901 together with a young domestic nurse. But he's not there in 1911 when Wallace, Annie & Dorothy are still living in Stevenage. Sadly Wallace died the following year; Annie & Dorothy emigrated to Canada, sailing on the "Victorian" from Liverpool to Montreal on 23rd May 1913, accompanied by Wallace's brother in law, Frederick Longney. The latter's wife, Charlotte, and their one surviving child Graham, joined them in Canada four months later.

Next up it's John Bigley & Mary Smith who were joined in matrimony at the church of St Nicholas in Great Yarmouth 202 years ago today. Mary was a Chatteris girl and that's where they brought up their ten children. In the interests of not going on ad nauseam, I refer you back to my 29th January entry if you wish to learn more about them!

Which leaves me free to move on to John Sparkes & Mary Freeman, whose wedding took place today at St Mary, Tuddenham in 1818, and stayed in the village for the rest of their lives. Just the seven children from this union.

Three more to go: Isaac Moore & Mary Culpin got hitched today in 1827 in Aldwinckle (Northants) and appear to have resolutely avoided the official record-keepers until their deaths. However, they cannot hide from me . . . . . !

Nearly done: meet Frederick William Hawkins and his bride Mary Peach, who married in Sundon (Beds) in 1891. I have found him in the 1901 census but not her so I need to do some more work there.

And finally, and closest to home, the marriage of Henry Cross and Mary Ann Culpin, today, in Little Downham near Ely, in 1892. Four children later, they seem to have moved three miles up the road to Littleport by 1901 . . . and nothing since. Guess which list they're going on!

I did promise you two birthdays so a quick chorus of happy birthday to John Wiltshire, who would have been 201 today, and to Hannah Sparkes, 127 today.

Phew! A quick sum up - eight marriages, producing 32 children; two birthdays; two emigrations and a lot to go on the "To Do" list.

More soon.

8 October 2009


No, I haven't found any more criminal ancestors; today's entry is about the wife of PC Burglariously (see my 29th January entry for the explanation of the word - I didn't make it up!).

Selina Garland was her name and she married the aforementioned officer of the law, Richard Markham Culpin. Born yesterday (sorry to be late) in Bolton upon Dearne, Yorks, to Thomas & Ann, Selina was the sixth of their nine children and the family was in Attercliffe cum Darnell, still in Yorkshire, by the 1851 census.

Ten years on and she has, of course, left home; she appears in Headingley, part of Leeds now, as a nurse - which, as she is a servant in a private home, I assume is a child's nurse or something similar. I don't mean to do her down but there is no evidence that she is an official qualified nurse.

Although . . . . her next appearance in the public records, in the 1871 census, is as the assistant matron in "an Union", whilst living with her sister (& her husband) in Kingston upon Hull. And what do I know about Hull? Well, old family friends lived there when I was little and they told stories of Hull's own independent telephone network . . . . and my godson is studying there now. That is to say, he's a student there - I couldn't possibly assume he's working at this precise moment!

I digress again: back to Selina. In 1876 she & Richard (Culpin, for anyone who's lost the will to live in the midst of my ramblings) married at Baron St Martin, near Stamford (Lincs) and then moved to Skegness to become a lodging house keeper and his wife. They were there until at least 1891, before Richard died in the Belper (Derbyshire) district in 1895; sadly Selina died only 18 months later, on 27 December 1896, in the same district.

More soon.

4 October 2009


So, it's October already and the nights are drawing in . . . . .

And today's offering is another 150th wedding anniversary:

Charles O'Connell Culpin, last mentioned back in May on his birthday, was my g-g-grandfather's brother and he married Ellen Berridge today in 1859 in the small Huntingdonshire village of Brampton. She (Ellen) was born in Sawtry in 1826 and was in service in 1841 (in Ramsey) and also in 1851 (Brampton). Chas, as my regular readers might guess, was a blacksmith.

Five children came about from this marriage; sadly only two made it to adulthood - Ellen, born 1860) who went on to marry George Dellar, and Annie (1866-1950). Margaret Jane was born in 1862 and died in 1878; Joseph was born in 1863 and died the following year, and Charles, born a month after Joseph's death, died late in 1865.

I was going to say that the latter three children were all buried with their father, who died in 1867 but . . . . . . well, they weren't. The inscription reads: "Thy Will be done. In memory of Charles O'Connell Culpin who died September 23 1867 in the 33rd year of his age. Also Joseph Culpin, his son, who died October 25 1864, aged 11 months. Also Margaret Jane Culpin, who died August 30 1878 aged 16 years. Asleep in Jesus." This rather suggests that Charles was buried with his son. No sign of Charles, though, I wonder what happened to him?

In a similar economy of space (or gravestone) Ellen, her daughter Ellen and husband George Dellar, appear together in Broadleas:- "In loving memory of Ellen Mary, the dearly loved wife of George Dellar, who died April 27th 1916 aged 55 years. Safe home where evening shadows fall, where Thou, eternal light of light, art Lord of all. Also Ellen Culpin, mother of the above, who fell asleep January 3rd 1920 in her 94th year. At rest. Also of George Dellar who entered in rest February 6th 1939 aged 75 years. Rest in peace."

Incidentally, a story about Annie Louisa, the youngest daughter of Chas and Ellen, is that she went to live with her niece and family in the 1930s. Her great-nephew has recollections of her at Somersham, helping with the children, and living at a chemist shop opposite the Chapel in the High Street. Annie, too, is buried in Broadleas (Cemetery, at St Ives) under the following inscription: "In loving memory of Annie Louisa Culpin who died June 1st 1950 aged 83 years. Love never faileth."

Now I shall go off and consider what on earth happened to Charles Joseph Culpin . . . . most puzzling.

More soon.