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.

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