23 December 2010

Respectability at last!!

Well, bless my soul, I've just discovered a "Sir" in the tree!

Say hello to Sir William Henry Clarke (1847-1930), land agent & bank manager of Chatteris, Cambs.  He married Helen Florence Smith, daughter of John & Elizabeth (nee Dunn) in Gosport, Hants, in 1874 and they went on to produce five children ..... who, between them, grew up into two doctors, a director of coal merchants, and the First Matron of the War Memorial Hospital in Gosport.  

This information leapt off the internet at me from http://morawel.com and I'd like to thank the compiler, William Walker, for such a wealth of detail.

Merry Christmas.

More soon.

19 December 2010

Piles & Piles

Ah ..... yes ..... now, you see .... I haven't abandoned you. honestly.  I've just been flitting around hither and thither and catching up on the pile of paper on the desk.  So far I've managed to decrease it by nearly a whole quarter-inch.

The problem is that I pick up a piece of paper - some of which, I'm ashamed to say, is months old - and read information that someone has kindly sent me.  And then put it down again.  Basically, I seem to ignore it.  "Embarrassed" just doesn't cover it.  My latest find in the "pending" pile was an email from a Freeman contact who gently pointed out a fairly glaring error in my research.

My gt-gt-gt-gt-gt-gt (six greats, I hope) grandmother Mary Armiger was actually a widow when she married William Freeman, having already married Francis Armiger and produced a daughter Mary.  Francis died a year or so before she remarried, in case you were wondering.  So, Mary Armiger was actually Mary Dean and I've known this since August and not done anything about it.  By the time you read this blog I will have changed the website ..... hopefully.

Thank you, Jennie, for the info - I've finally taken notice of it!  And, in the meantime, she also gave me a fairly major hint about Charles Freeman (1790-1875) which has sent me on another wonderful "journey" of research, claiming a few more Freemans for the tree.  Excellent!

And, just as exciting, I *may* have broken down a fairly major brickwall on my maternal side.  For quite a few years the tree stopped at Martha, who was the widow of John Bent when she married gt-gt-gt-grandpa Benjamin Langford in Chatteris in 1806.  Thanks to the new FamilySearch site, I have found that she was probably (no proof, remember) Martha Hatch.  

Mind you, I haven't managed to get any further back than her at the moment but at least the potential is there!

Onwards/backwards to the pending pile.

More soon.

27 November 2010

Had to share this one

It's a pretty brisk morning here with some of the white stuff on the ground - not much, but I checked and it's not frost.  

So, cup of tea in hand I sat down to find some more Culpins, as you do.  For that reason I was searching for  people with the surname of Cross (again, as you do) and I found the following entry in March qtr 1905 in Ely: 

Snowflake Emily Cross

Honest!  I'm not making it up.  Sadly, not related to us but what a wonderful name to find -  if not, perhaps, to have.  I followed it up and found that she married Mr Goodes in 1931 and died in 1981, all in Ely.

Can't think I'm going to beat that one today but who knows .....  maybe coffee will help?

More soon.

17 November 2010

Name of the week

So there I was, just searching around for some distant Culpins and I found a lady with the rather stunning name of Emmeline Euphrosyne.  Apparently she, Euphrosyne, was the Greek goddess of good cheer, mirth and merriment so .... not much for the lady to live up to!!  I'm quite impressed with the name and I went to school with a Tryphena.

The other impressive find of the week was again on the distant Culpin side and involved a couple called Wallace and Mary Thoday.  They married in 1909 and had a small child by the time of the 1911 census, when they were living in Cambridge.  

Wallace is listed as a Demonstrator in Botany, Cambridge University and his wife as Fellow & Lecturer in Botany, Newnham College.  Newnham, by the way, is one of the few remaining women's colleges.  I wasn't sure whether the Fellow etc bit referred to husband or wife; I consulted one of my friends who suggested it might have been possible for Mary to be the Fellow so, point taken on board, I then went to the Newnham website.  And there I noted the email address of the college archvist.

On the basis of "if you don't ask ......", I sent her an email asking the obvious question and, within two hours, got a superb response telling me that Mary had been a student at Girton college (at the time, also a women's college) and that she became a Research Fellow at Newnham in 1909.

So, a "big up" (as the kids say) to the Newnham College Archivist for her kindness and her rapid response.  And let's hear it for Mary Thoday, nee Sykes, my first female Fellow!

More soon.

5 November 2010


What a cracking time I'm having, in a genealogical sense!  More people reading this blog and taking the trouble to email me .... most chuffed with that.

And, best of all, I've just found my great-great-great-great (that's four greats) grandmother!!!!  To be fair, I've known for a while that her name was Bridget and that she was born in Leith (according to the census and they're never wrong, are they??).  But, as I've probably said, the chances of my finding her without a surname were somewhere between "slim" and "fat".

Until today that is.  

I have been searching on the Family Search beta site (see https://beta.familysearch.org/) and there she was ..... Bridget Turnbull, wife of Thomas Brown and mother of Walter Brown, Thomas Turnbull Brown et al.  Bless them for giving Thomas, their eldest (and new to me) his mother's maiden name as a middle name - it's something I would always encourage as it makes it sooooo much easier to link children to the right family that way!!

One of my faithful followers will shortly read this and smile (I hope) in recognition of a conversation we had over lunch this very day on just this subject.

Right, I'm still bouncing with joy and I'm going off to do some more searching while my luck is in.

More soon.

27 October 2010

Where are they hiding?

Firstly, a belated happy birthday to Rambling Genes. Yep, my little blog passed the two-year mark earlier in the week .....and they said it would never last!

So, to mark this momentous occasion ...... I'm going to complain. About the 1911 census. Or, rather, my complete inability to find a particular family therein.

All I really want to do is find the Williams family, comprising John Charles (Jack), his wife Elizabeth (Lilly) and their children John & Violet. Mother and children born in Hampshire, father in Brixton. Violet Lily Pinckney Williams, to give her full name, was born in Southampton in 1910.

I have enough info on them to find them ..... But they resolutely hide from me. I shall spend the next few days searching for every known variation of their surname!

More soon.

19 October 2010

New people

Well, I'll be ...... what an interesting couple of days I've had.  A couple of new contacts bringing forth masses of information to be sucked into the database.  Much fun!

Firstly I was contacted, through this very blog, by Val from Australia, who turns out to be related via the Debneys who emigrated in the 1850s.  Val has a very comprehensive tree which she has made available to me so I can gradually introduce you to some genuine Australians ...... stay tuned!

And another new contact who, like me, is a great-great-grand-daughter of Millice Campbell Culpin.  This contact, who shall remain anonymous, also brings info to the party.  Excellent stuff.

Welcome to both of you and thank you for reading the waffle I put out!!

Today, in the course of looking for something else, I have discovered two more files about the Culpins.  Again, I had filed them "somewhere safe" ..... you'd think I would have learned by now!

So, I'm going to read them now and see what I've been missing.

More soon.

12 October 2010

Most appopriate ...

Just meandering through the London Banns & Marriages Index on ancestry and I noticed:

Frederick Purle, of full age, bac, bowyer, of 4 Fletcher's Row ...... you couldn't make it up!

Well, it made me smile ....

More soon.

10 October 2010

So far, so good

So it's 10:10:10 .... and no computer virus has hit us (that I know of).  And I had to search for hours to find any sort of anniversary in my files involving 10th October.  

The results included my first cousin 3 times removed, Ann Murfitt, who was christened today in 1841 and then disappears after 1851.  To be fair, I suspect that I found a choice of Ann Murfitts and gave up.  First one for the "To Do" list.

Then I found Susanna Garka, third cousin 3 times removed, who was also christened today, but nine years later than Ann; she went on to marry Robert Bullard in Godmanchester and have three children.  Her trail runs down in 1891, so plainly I found her a bit easier to track!

Add to the "Christened today" list Emma & Alice Lowton, sisters, who were born in Landbeach, daughters of John & Elizabeth (nee Wayman).  You will unsurprised when I tell you that they are related to me twice - first cousins 4 times removed and second cousins 3 times removed.  And they were removed to the southern hemisphere, arriving in Melbourne in 1853.  When I say "were removed" I don't mean to imply a lack of choice on the part of their parents . . . . there is no suggestion that their emigration was anything other than voluntary!

And finally, as Cyril Fletcher used to say on That's Life, let me introduce Hannah Sparkes, my fourth cousin 3 times removed.  Born today to Edgar & Jane (nee Webb) in 1882 in Herringswell (Suffolk), she went on to marry John James Lloyd in 1905.  I need now to find the couple in the 1911 census ....!

So, not a bad turnout after all.

More soon.

3 October 2010

Gotta love them ....

So, here we are; it's definitely autumn - I have conkers in my pocket to prove it.  In the pocket of my waterproof, that is.  And the sun is shining, to give us an idea of what we're going to be missing for the next few days, I think!

This morning I was living up to the title of this blog and "rambling" around the internet with a cup of tea beside me, when I came upon the familysearch beta site.  If you have a look here ..... https://beta.familysearch.org/ then you may well be lucky, like me, and find something new.

I have to admit that searching for the name Millice Culpin makes things easier as, let's face it, it's not the most common name (either of them, let alone together) in the world.  And what did I find, I hear you ask ....

New Zealand Immigration Passenger Lists 1871-1915, Wellington (inwards) 1891 (Jan-Jun): Culpin, Millice, surgeon, adult, bound for Brisbane.  Complete with: Culpin, Mrs and six offspring: Florence, 19; Millais, 17; Rose, 13; Clarence, 11; Ernest, 9 and Rose, 7.

Just as I was mentally grumbling about the lack of ship's name I remembered that I *know* the ship's name.  Dredged up from the depths of memory is "New Zealand vessel Ruapehu".  Result!

I must acknowledge that I had no idea the Mormons (for 'tis they) had all this information - but I'm pleased to find it.  I shall search again later.

Onwards - alas, the washing won't do itself.

More soon.

24 September 2010

Where there's a Will

Those of us with a subscription to Ancestry (other websites are available) will doubtless have discovered the recent addition of the "England & Wales National Probate Calendar, Index of Wills & Administrations, 1861-194" . . . . to give it the full title.  And much fun it is too!

I've got one in front of me now for a chap who worked as a plumber & grocer in what is now Greater London, between 1871 and 1929.  Somehow he managed to leave effects to the value of £4310.  Now that's not bad.  I'm guessing, though, that it's before tax . . . ?

I do have a few in the family who left effects worth wondering about but mostly I come from a long line of ag labs so I'm not holding my breath!  I've joked before about following a silver teapot through one branch because it must have been worth a bob or two - why else would it be mentioned on its own?  

The most remarkable thing, though, about this Index is the language.  I've seen any number of individual Wills before where there is a serious lack of punctuation.  Well, these entries are the same.  Nary a comma or full stop to be seen.  Quite a challenge to read if, like me, you're daft enough to obey the rules and not breathe until the end of a sentence!

Still, don't suppose that'll stop me looking at it again - for the more unusual names, you understand; I'm not sure I'm up to looking for the more . . . . shall we say, prevalent surnames!

Back to sorting out a corrupted file.

More soon.

14 September 2010

Learn from me . . .

So here I am, trying to work out why my laptop is playing games with me, and I start looking through the files that are shared with the desktop.  Well, it passes the time while I think of what to do next . . . .

And there's one I should have looked at a long time ago.  Plainly I thought I was being clever when I transcribed a number of entries from the IGI and then put them "somewhere safe".  It was simply a list of christenings and one marriage but it has taken me about 30 minutes to work out who links to whom.

I can now report that Mary Sandby, my great-great-great (pauses to check) grandmother was the daughter of Richard & Mary (nee Thompson), and she had two sisters.  She married John Quince in 1808 in Doddington, Cambs, and they begat seven children in the nearby village of Benwick.  John died in 1827.  And that's all I know about her.

But I can go back even further, thanks to my newly-discovered habit of filing things away without remembering: Mary's mother Mary was the daughter of Isaac & Anne (nee Nicholls), born in Farcet in Huntingdonshire, along with five sisters and three brothers.

And now I *must* go back to contemplating this wilful computer.

More soon.

6 September 2010

Not Forgotten

Hello dear reader. Please don't think I've forgotten about you - it's just that I've been having problems with the computer & it's lucky not to have been thrown through the window! It's this interweb-thingy causing the grief, but I shall give it all a serious talking-to.

More soon.

24 August 2010

Completely distracted

Hello, I'm here; it's just that I've been all over the place. Not literally, alas. In genealogical terms I've spent some time in the beautiful county of Durham and then went, with the family I was looking at, across the pond to Salt Lake City (as you do).

I was looking into the "Sherry Glass Puzzle" . . . trying to discover the owner of the said glass and his/her relationship to the friend who set the problem. Fortunately it was a reasonably unusual name and it wasn't too difficult (if you have the right subscriptions).

What made it even more interesting was finding that the Sherry Glass owner's father had enrolled the entire family (himself, wife & seven children) with the Mormons in 1847 and then, in 1867 set off, with wife and two youngest, to Utah.

Alas, he caught something unpleasant on the ship and only survived for six months in his promised land but the rest of the family appeared to thrive. Thanks to some immaculate record-keeping (no surprise there) there are some accounts of their life online - including one intriguing tale of the polygamy for which their chosen religion was/is famous!

Must finish now as I need to de-fragment this computer.

More soon.

10 August 2010

Well it could be . .

A few years ago I first set eyes on a naturalisation agreement which named father & son (being naturalised) and father's parents. But not the son's mother or, to put it another way, not the father's wife.

Intriguing, no? Wife/mother might well have been dead; or separated from her husband; or British already.

The document is dated 1898 and the 1901 census shows that the father is married. Now, why put that on the form if you don't mean it? So, wife/mother isn't dead then.

A chance find last week *may* have cleared up the matter: found on ancestry.com (in the library, you may recall, as it's free) a marriage between Herman and Adeline. Adding to the "possibility-quotient" was that Herman's parents had the same names as those cited in the naturalisation document.

And the marriage took place just before (well, a year before) the birth of the aforementioned son.

So, the PQ has just zoomed up higher. And there it will remain, hovering, until I can think of a way to confirm it. Good find, I thought!

More soon.

8 August 2010

Males of the line . . .

I'm back from a quick trip up to the land of Tartan and ready to get stuck in again.  So let's meet Reginald Storey Beasley, the younger son of Henry & Mary (nee Storey) and my second cousin twice removed plus my third cousin three times removed.  Yes, he's from that side of the family!

Ronald was born on 11 July 1900 in Cambridge and was christened at St Barnabas, on Mill Road, today 110 years ago.  The family lived in Tenison Road at the time and, by 1911, had moved a little way down Mill Road to Gwydir Street.  He married Nellie Louisa Edwards at the church of St Mary & St Michael in Trumpington in 1923 . . . . and that's all I know about him.

So we'll move on or, rather, back, to my first cousin three times removed William Murfitt, who was born in 1833 in Stretham.  The oldest of the eleven children of Isaac & Alice (nee Langford) he was christened today at St James' church in the village and, unsurprisingly, grew up to become an ag lab.  And then he disappears.  

Well, maybe not exactly but I can't find him again.  I guess he's got to be there somewhere - I'll keep looking.

And finally, for today, meet my great-great-great-uncle Richard Fordham, the fourth of five sons of John & Mary (nee Taylor) who was christened today in 1821 in Hemingford Grey.  Sadly, he died on August 16th and was buried two days later in the same church.

Still waiting for the certificate which should help with the details of the previous blog entry.

More soon.

30 July 2010

Press the button

He's only gone and done it again!

It started out with a conversation about the Old Boys Newsletter with the uncle (who's the editor, lest you wonder) then, business complete, we moved on to the music festival and then, as you do, onto family history.

Any regular readers of this blog will know by now that it is aptly titled and that its author (that'll be me, then) can Ramble up to degree-level standard. So, I started to describe to the uncle the steps I had so far taken to discover some info about a particular person (hopefully still alive, hence the cloak & dagger).

I reminded him of previous conversations, then picked apart the semantics of the phrase 'vicar's daughter'. And then I said the trigger word . . . . in this case a scrawled name that I'd read at the bottom of a page of the births index.

'That's it - that was the name!' 

 And, believe me, it's not the type of name you'd randomly make up, but plainly it's memorable . . . . if you hit the right buttons.

And that's all you need for a Eureka moment. Oh, and an uncle who has secreted these details at the back of his mind!

Further searching today has uncovered even more detail so . . . watch this space.

More soon.

24 July 2010

Confusion in Stretham

Yesterday's blog entry looked, at first sight, as though it was going to "write itself" (as the saying goes).  But then I realised it was a bit more complicated than that.  Feel free to offer suggestions to help me sort this lot out . . . . .

Dramatis Personae:

Thomas Langford x 3
Jane, Richard, Robert, Elizabeth & one unbaptised child - all Langfords
Elizabeth Bent
Jane Sunman
Ellen Densone

Setting the scene: it's Stretham in the years between 1645 and 1679.  All my information comes from the registers of the parish of St James in the aforementioned village.

Thomas Langford #1 (b. 1622) married Elizabeth Bent on 10 January 1645.  So far, so good.  He seems to be about 23, reasonable age.  One child, Thomas #2, was born in 1646.  Although I can't prove it, Elizabeth must have died because there's a marriage between Thomas and Jane Sunman on 23 July 1659.  Thomas #1, methinks.

Thomas & Jane, according to the register, go on to have Jane (1669-1669), Richard (1671-1671), Robert (1672-) and Elizabeth (1674-1674) prior to Jane's death in 1675.  Incidentally, she was buried a day after her unbaptised child.

And then there is the marriage of Thomas and Ellen Densone on 6 March 1679 and the subsequent birth of the third Thomas; with history repeating itself, only this time, Thomas's wife was buried the day before her child.

Problem is, who's the daddy?  I think Thomas #1 was too old really; this is the 17th century and I have no reason to suppose that he was anything other than an ag lab so he'd be unlikely to live to a grand age.  So, I think it was Thomas #2 at the altar this time.

One of those times when I'd like to borrow the Tardis!  Now all I have to do is sort it out on the database . . . . may take a couple of minutes.

More soon.

16 July 2010

An unfortunate coincidence

Back again; I've put aside the Sadlers and their various travels in Canada and the US and I've come back to "anniversary" mode.

Today's first mention goes to a pair of sisters who share a name (no, not just the surname) and a birthday.  Meet the Misses Frances Sutton, both of them.  Second and third of the five children of Joseph and Catherine (nee Watts) they were born today in 1803 and 1805 respectively.  Thinking about it now I see that, although these days were taken from the Parish Registers of All Saints, St Ives, there is no mention of a christening date.  The only dates were birth, death and burial and it is unusual, in my limited experience, for the minister to put the date of birth in a burial entry but . . . . maybe he was unusual!  As you will have worked out, both girls only lived a short while; the elder Frances lived from July 1803 to October 1804 and the younger from July 1805 to June 1806.

They each rate as my great-great-great-aunt and their mother Catherine went on to marry into the Culpin family, achieving the elevated position of my great-great-great-great-grandmother.

Moving on to a slightly more distant relationship, meet my eighth cousin three times removed Betsy Langford, who was christened today at St James, Stretham, in 1843.  In common with so many of that side of the family, she is related to me twice so she is also my third cousin twice removed - there, now, that's a bit closer!  The daughter of William and Rachel (nee Murfitt) she went into domestic service and moved to London (not sure of the order, there) and in 1874 she married John Reed, a railway engine driver from Durham, in Islington.  They went on to have one daughter, Maud, and I last found B&J in Pembroke Street, Islington, in 1901.  I really must look to see what happened to them.

*STOP PRESS*  Frances Sutton(s) were christened, on 5 May 1804 and 7 August 1805 respectively, which would explain how I know their birthdays.

More soon.

4 July 2010

Across the pond

So, all chores done, let's talk about the Sadler family.  Rhoda (nee Smith, my 1st cousin 4 times removed) married Stephen Sadler in Chatteris and they quickly emigrated to Canada.

And there, thanks to a fairly large hint, I found them in 1861 - in Lambton County, Ontario - living in Bosanquet Township.  Stephen, a farmer, & Rhoda and their nine children.  And, as if nine weren't enough, they went on to have a further four children before 1867.  They stayed in the same place, according the the Canadian census (same years as ours, but slightly different dates) until Rhoda's death on 30 December 1900.

Before I go on, I have to commend the Ontario record-keepers; in the present day, for putting their records online and, in the past, for some wonderfully detailed information!  Best of all is their 1901 census - there's a column for date of birth and it's been faithfully filled in.  How good is that!!

So, back at Rhoda & Stephen's children - 13, if you recall.  Can't find much about Henry, the oldest, but I was able to track Abram across the border into the US of A.  Wonder if he went across the lake (Ontario) or around the lake and across at Niagara?  He married Mary and they had three children - who seemed to have crossed back into Canada by the time they got married!

Six more of Abram's siblings married, in Ontario at least, and produced a further ten grandchildren for Rhoda & Stephen.  Thanks, again, to superb Canadian record-keeping and their willingness to embrace modern technology, I can even tell you that grandson Martin Molitor served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the Great War . . . . and returned home again, to marry Vera Dewar in 1919.

In all, a further 44 people for the family archives (so far) and much fun both had and to be had.

More soon.

28 June 2010

Above the parapet

I'm still here (obviously) and torn between overdosing on the World Cup & Wimbledon (glorious weather!) and doing some follow up on on the Saddler half of my 9th May entry "Saddlers & Shoes".

I reported then that Rhoda and Stephen Saddler married in 1841 and then, quite frankly, just disappeared.  Well, thanks to Ellen, I have now found them in Canada and am spending a bit more time than usual in the Central Library to get onto Ancestry.com, the worldwide version, which is free in the aforementioned library!

So, I will report back with my finds - my first serious research in Canada, it's very exciting.

Don't go away.

More soon.

19 June 2010

Dentist at war

No attempt to find any anniversary today; instead I'm going to tell you about my great-uncle Millice Albert Freeman, the "dentist at war" of the title.

The second son of Albert (Bert) & Blanche (nee Culpin), Millice was born in Manor Park, London in 1908.  I'm not entirely sure when the family returned to Cambridge but they were still in Manor Park in the 1911 census.  I *do* know that Millice and his older brother Eddie both went to the Cambridge & County School for Boys, in Hills Road and one of the reasons I'm writing about Millice is that I received another photo of him last week.  Taken in 1924/1925, it shows the school rugby team of that year and Millice is proudly sitting second right.  (I will put the photo up on my website later - it probably won't be very clear here.)  According to his son, Millice was a keen rugby player - something else I learned this week.

He qualified as a Dental Surgeon and, by 1933, was practising at Scroope Terrace in Cambridge.  Also in that year, he married Rosamond Allman in Streatham (that's the London one, not the one just down the road) and that merited a short article in the Cambridge Daily News:-
A wedding of considerable interest to Cambridge took place at the Church of the English Martyrs, Mitcham Lane, Streatham, on September 16th, when Mr Millice Albert Freeman L.D.S., younger son of Mr and Mrs AJE Freeman, of "Seatoller", Hills Road, Cambridge, was married to Miss Rosamond May Allman, younger daughter of Mr and Mrs FJ Allman, of 50 Copley Park, Streatham.
The service was conducted by the Rev. Father Mason, who celebrated the Nuptial Mass.

The bride, who was led to the altar by her father, was charmingly attired in a dress of shell pink satin with a wreath of orange blossom and veil to match. She carried a sheaf of Madonna lillies and white heather. The train bearers were Master Robert and Miss Jean Adamson, both being dressed in pale blue satin. Miss Sylvia Allman (sister of the bride) acted as bridesmaid, her dress being of ice blue satin and silk net. She carried a bouquet of pink carnations.
The duties of best man were ably carried out by Mr Leslie Diblin.
After the service a reception was held at St Leonard's Hall, and was attended by about 100 guests and later the happy couple left for their honeymoon, which is being spent in Scotland.
They were the recipients of numerous useful presents.

I love that last sentence . . . . !  

And then we get to the war and Millice joined the Royal Army Dental Corps serving, it turned out, in the Far East.  In 1944 he was awarded the Military Cross (MC) and I will finish today's entry with the citation:-

On the 15th May, while conducting Stretcher Bearers down a track, leading from the Kohima Naga village area to the Zubza vally, mortar fire was opened on the party. Captain Freeman might well have taken cover with others, but he immediately attended to the freshly wounded patients and bearers instead, moving from one to another with complete disregard of personal safety while mortar bombs continued to fall on the track. I witnessed Captain Freeman's behaviour on this occasion and undoubtedly by his action he prevented further casualties. Captain Freeman is strongly recommended for the award of the MC in recognition of his gallant behaviour on 15th May 1944.

More soon. 

7 June 2010

Ernest Mendham

Ordinarily, you may recall, I don't commemmorate deaths; but in this case I will make an exception.

Ernest Tom Mendham was my third cousin four times removed and the eighth of nine children of Thomas & Mary (nee Freeman).  He was born in East Wretham, in Norfolk, in 1886 and, like so many of his generation, he went to war.

And, also like so many of his generation, he didn't come home again.  A librarian's clerk in the 1911 census, he enlisted in the 23rd London Regiment on 26 April 1915 and was promoted within two years.  He died today in 1917 and is commemmorated on the Menin Gate at Ypres.  From this, I would assume that he lost his life at the Battle of Messines which started on this day.  

I've just discovered some Army papers on Ancestry which relate both to his enlistment and also to his death.  The collection of seven pages include a receipt, signed by his widow, for the British War Medal and the British Victory Medal, both sent to her in 1922.  There is also a "Statement of the Names & Addresses of all the Relatives . . . ." which lists Ernest's wife & children, together with his parents & siblings.  Not quite sure why but, from a genealogist's perspective, it's gold-dust as the qualification is " . . . that are now living."

One thing I did notice was that whoever completed the form - and I think it was his wife Lily - made a point of entering all his siblings, even though his brother Bertie died just three weeks (I'll say that again, just three weeks) after him.

More soon.

30 May 2010

And the difference is . . .

A brief entry because I've finally found a reason for some people being marked "boarder" in the census, whilst others are marked "lodger".

I found this at britishgenealogy.com: a boarder gets his food (his board) as well, whereas a lodger just pays for the room.

Makes sense, I guess.

More soon.

29 May 2010

More coincidences

Today's offering introduces two ladies, christened on the same day in adjoining counties, each of them my 1st cousin 4 times removed. How spooky is that?

So, meet Sarah Pates, oldest of the eight children of Henry & Elizabeth, christened on 30 May 1819 at St Andrew's, Biggleswade. Sadly she had only a very short life and was buried in the same church almost a year later.

Let's move now to Landbeach for the christening, on the same day remember, of Hannah Lowton; not only my 1st cousin however many times removed but also my great great grandmother - I'm not entirely sure how this can happen but, hey, when has technology ever been wrong?

Hannah was the second of the five children of William & Mary (née Norris) and spent her whole life in Landbeach, marrying James Webb on 7 December 1841. Ten children later and I can contradict part of my last sentence! The 1881 census shows the family at Poor Fen Farm in Burwell but after a few years James took his clan back to their more natural hunting grounds in Landbeach and Hannah died there in 1886 at the age of 67.

I wonder what some of our ancestors would have made of that which is in front of me on the tv at the moment? That's the Eurovision Song Contest . . . . I'm not sure I have the will to watch all of it but I'll try a couple of songs.

More soon.

23 May 2010

Memorable names?

Just a very brief entry today after I saw the following entry in a marriage register:-

1858: BULL, David to GATES Sarah

Well, it made me smile. And then I started flicking through to see if I could find any other "unusual" names or amusing combinations. I grant you that this is a rather mindless occupation but, in my defence, it is a stonkingly hot day and my brain is slowly turning to mush.

And I found Miss FETNEYCOCK and Miss RABBIT, young Miss CALVERLY whose surname was amended in the BT (Bishop's Transcript) to CALVARY and, multiple times, the family CRUST or CURZENS who should "properly be COUSINS in all places where it occurs". How can you hear "Crust" when someone says "Cousins"?? Must have been one deaf vicar!!

More soon.

16 May 2010

What's in an I?

Yesterday we ended up in Caistor, in Lincolnshire; today we lose the I and go south a bit to Castor, near Peterborough, to mark the christening of Wright Culpin.

My fourth cousin four times removed, Wright was the son of Richard & Elizabeth (nee Wright), and was christened today in 1830 in the village of Castor - between Peterborough and the A1 (altho' the A1 probably wasn't there then!). A farm servant in 1851, Wright married Ann Wadkin in 1853 and they went on to have seven children over the next twenty years. As far as I can tell, Wright & Ann stayed in the village whilst their children ventured slightly further.

Oldest son Alfred, born 1855, even ventured as far as Yaxley . . . before the Constabulary caught him "stealing a cigar and some pence in all of the value of 6d". And then, in typical 19th century understatement, sentenced him to 14 days hard labour, followed by a compulsory return to Castor. A sort of "don't darken our doors again", I guess.

Courtesy of the "Victorian Crime & Punishment" website and Cambs Archives, I also have a photo of this hardened criminal:

According to the description with it, he was only a short'un - 4ft 10ins at the age of 18. Shouldn't think he was too difficult to catch! I'm pleased to report that he seems to have mended his ways, and married Elizabeth Graves in 1881, going on to have two daughters.

Second son George married Emma Middleton and then became a railwayman; Selina married her second cousin Harry Culpin.

And that's really all there is to tell. The other daughters haven't distinguished themselves yet - more research required. Wright died in 1907 and Ann in 1915, at the grand age of 85.

More soon.

15 May 2010

All at sea again

Quite a coincidence - I'm sat here listening to the Navy Lark on the radio and today's anniversary boy was a sailor, albeit of the Merchant variety. Spooky!

So, meet Arthur Freeman, my second cousin five times removed, who was christened today in 1853 in the village of Tuddenham St Mary, Suffolk, the eleventh of thirteen children of William & Eliza (nee Sparrow).

Young Arthur has been a little elusive but I've done a bit more searching; in 1861, his parents appear to be running the Half Moon pub in Mildenhall and he's an eight year old schoolboy. Move on twenty years and he's the Master (ie the Captain) of the Vessel "Rechale", off Caistor, in Lincolnshire and he's a married man. All useful stuff, except it doesn't, of course, give us any useful information about his wife . . . .

So, a bit of searching backwards, which is a skill that all genealogists acquire: there was a marriage in 1878 in the Caistor district between Arthur Freeman and either Emma Robinson or Ada Smith.

Then there's an Ada Freeman, age 25, fisherman's wife, living on her own in Grimsby in the 1881 census. Possible . . . .

But Arthur went and died in 1890 before the next census, drat him, so where to go from here? On the assumption that Ada is our girl, the search was for Ada Freeman in the 1891 census. Zilch.

Did she get married again? That quickly? Possibly . . . .

A marriage, in the March quarter of 1891 in the Caistor district again between Ada Freeman and Arthur Illingworth or Richard Chapman. No sign of an Ada Illingworth in the 1891 census but there is an Ada Chapman, married to Richard. Definite possible, that one.

Not just Ada and Richard but also two sons, Fred (7) & Charles (4). Now, Ada and Richard have only just got married so one of them's been married before. Fortunately, the 1901 census finally confirms the guesswork: Richard & Ada, still married, and Fred is living with them - this time, handily given the surname of Freeman!

Now to prove it: there's a Fred William Freeman & a Charles Freeman, both born at the right times, and in the right district. Result!

Left hand down a bit!

More soon.

10 May 2010

Buy one, Get one free?

Yippeee - it's finally happened. For years I've joked about my ancestors getting married with a whiff of cordite in the air and maybe the minister making the booking for the christening. And now, I've found one . . . . .

Today we celebrate the christening of Levi Langford, my first cousin six times removed, in 1815 in Stretham. So far, so very ordinary. And then it happens:

14 August 1815 is definitely a date for the diary; it's the day that Levi married Sarah Wheeler AND, oh joy, the same day their oldest son William was christened!! I assume, from the way both register entries are written, that the marriage took place first and then the wedding party adjourned to the other end of the church for the second ceremony.

Levi and Sarah went on to have a further nine children before Sarah's death in 1848; Levi married again, to Jane Clarke, and he died in 1879 - presumably in Stretham, but there's no evidence of his burial there, unless he'd turned Noncom by then.

I then decided to do a bit of a count from the birth of William to the youngest great-great-grandchild (Tom Money, born in 1926), Levi & Sarah's dynasty contained:

Ten children
Thirty six grandchildren
Thirty two great-grandchildren
Thirty one great-great-grandchildren

I make that 109 people - phew! They scattered to Soham, Haddenham & Cambridge and further afield to Yorkshire, London, Lancashire and Suffolk.

And that's the end of the stats, I need to find out where "Wincobank" is.

More soon.

9 May 2010

Saddles and Shoes

When I looked at the list of today's anniversaries I saw an opportunity for a bit more research; Rhoda Smith, my first cousin four times removed, was born in Chatteris in 1825, the daughter of Nicholas and Susannah, and all I had for her was the 1841 census entry, when she was a labourer, and a marriage entry with a choice of husbands.

So, cup of tea to hand, I set to . . . and first of all discovered that she married Stephen Saddler on 18 July 1841 in Chatteris and . . . and . . . and . . . . disappeared! That's probably why she didn't get a mention last year but I was most disappointed. Now I'm wondering how one normally spells Saddler? No problem guessing the derivation of the surname but one "d" or two??

I'll put her on the "To Do" list and move on . . . . Clara Rolls.

Now, Clara has nothing to do with my family, she is part of my research for the Papworth Heritage Centre (http://www.papworthhospital.nhs.uk/content.php?/about/papworth_heritage_centre), and was the daughter of Alfred Rolls who was born in Papworth Everard in 1840.

I was idly following the family after they left the village and ended up in Liverpool; Clara was born in Birmingham, the oldest of Alfred & Mary Ann's children, and I found her in the 1881 census (in Liverpool), aged 20 and with her occupation as "Gutta Percha (unemployed shoe maker)".

Now first of all, I thought this was the enumerator having some scouse fun with us - a play on her being unemployed; then I turned to Mr Google and it turns out to be some sort of latex used, amongst others things, in the manufacture of shoes. Mind you, it also seems to have been used in some very unpleasant dental work too - yuk!

So, today's entry has increased our knowledge! I wonder if I can get Gutta Percha into a conversation this week . . . . . ?

More soon.

1 May 2010

Across the sea . . .

I'm always looking for new reasons to write about someone and here's a first:- today is the 113th anniversary of Isaac Greenall's first step towards naturalisation as an American citizen. Yes, I know it's a bit of a tenuous link but . . . hey!

Isaac was my first cousin three times removed (and also my third cousin twice removed) and was born in 22 December 1878 in Landbeach, Cambs, the son of Walter & Henrietta (nee Webb). By 1891 he was a blacksmith's apprentice, still in Landbeach, but plainly the wider world called to him and he & his brother Henry departed for the US of A on 24th April 1897, arriving at Ellis Island one week later.

According to the Ellis Island website, they arrived on the "Lucania" and planned to go on to Upper Falls, NY (no, I don't know where it is either). It seems, though, that Massachusetts was to be Isaac's destination and he received his naturalisation certificate whilst living at 56 Lawn Street, Boston, on 7 December 1908.

During the Great War, US Draft Registration Cards found him living in Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass and we finally get to see what he looked like, courtesy of the US Passport Applications online.

In 1921 and again in 1924 he applied for a passport to travel to the UK and, here's his application:

How good is that! And, having seen other members of his family, I think I'd recognise him as a Webb. I've managed to crop the photo itself and it's probably easier to see on my website.

The other anniversary is the christening today, at St James' Church, Stretham, Cambs, of perhaps my most distant relative so far . . . . Laura Langford, like Isaac above, was related to me twice; firstly she was my fourth cousin once removed - the common ancestor we share was born in 1737 - and, are you sitting down? She was my ninth cousin twice removed. Now that's quite impressive; the common ancestor there was born in 1556. 450 years ago! I think you can say we're not close!

More soon.

25 April 2010

The Physicist & the Actor

One of the things about living in Cambridge is that you quite often get to see famous people; so yesterday, while I was doing my tourist-guide impression, we did. See a couple of famous people, that is. Over the years I've seen more than I can recall in town . . . . no, really, I can't recall them, I only know what today is because I had to look it up before starting this entry :-). Yesterday, my friend Ann and I saw Philip Franks (out of Darling Buds of May, Heartbeat and many others) and then, the piece the resistance (cos it really did feel a bit special), just after we'd come out of King's College Chapel, we were nearly run over by Stephen Hawking!! Well, we were quite impressed.

Moving on . . . . three anniversaries today. The first one goes against my self-imposed rule of not reporting burials (on account of it's a bit morbid) but Archdale Bullard leapt at me for his marvellous name. And then for his terribly short life. Young Archdale was my second cousin five times removed, son of William & Elizabeth (nee Leonard), and lived in the Hertfordshire town of Hitchin. Born, christened, died & buried within the space of five days in April 1812, according to the records of St Mary's church.

Then there's his second cousin, John Bullard who married Mary Sutton today at St Mary, Newington in 1813. John, my first cousin 5 times removed, was the son of John & Ann (nee Cole) and I don't know much about him. I have a date for his christening, but no place, and I know that he and Mary had at least one son, William James born 1820. This one leapt off the page at me because I used to work with a Mary Sutton.

And finally . . . come with me to the village of Sutton (good link, eh?) in Cambridgeshire, for the christening of my third cousin once removed today in 1869. Walter Whiting, son of John & Elizabeth (nee Owen) was the oldest of six children and moved with his family to Bedford around 1876. He became a harness maker, married Carrie Haynes in 1899 and two daughters were begat. And, having just looked him up in the 1911 census, we can also add two sons. As there is a five year gap between second daughter Ethel and oldest son Owen, it's likely that Walter & Carrie lost a child - and this is confirmed by the census return which, apart from telling us that they've been married for 12 years, also shows that there were five children of the marriage, of whom four are still alive and one has died.

That was quite a useful addition, genealogy-wise, to the census but I can't help wondering what future genealogists will make of the thousands of Jedi in the 2001 census!

Did I mention that I saw Stephen Hawking yesterday . . . .

More soon.

23 April 2010

Comings & Goings

St George's Day today and I thought I'd look up a few other famous anniversaries. So . . Roy Orbison was born today in 1936; Rupert Brooke died today in 1915; and William Shakespeare did both - he was born and died today.

Roy Orbison? Famous for "Oh Pretty Woman" and he joined the Travelling Wilburys. Rupert Brooke? Quite appropriate, really, that he should die (of sepsis, on his way to Gallipoli) on St George's day. A few years ago I was wandering around Grantchester, as you do, waiting for the pubs to open and so went to look at the War Memorial in the church yard. I was initially surprised to see Brooke's name there . . . . how stupid can you get! And then there's Will. Surely everyone's heard of him! Must have written very quickly . . .

Anyway, on to today's excerpt from the family file: the marriage of Elizabeth Bigley (my first cousin three times removed) and Matthew Wadlow, in 1855 in Chatteris. He & Elizabeth produced eight children over the next 22 years, all the while remaining in the town. In common with so many in the file, Matthew worked on the land and he died in 1917.

Of their children, I have found that eldest son Henry married Isabellina - isn't that a wonderful name - in 1882 and had begat four children by 1901. His brother David, living just up the street from Henry in 1901, was married to Mary Ann, with two children. Third brother Fred married in 1892 but I don't know who to . . . . sorry, to whom, and the others resolutely elude me after 1891. C'est la vie, I guess, but I shall continue looking.

That's all for today as I need to prepare for "Tourist Guide" mode tomorrow.

More soon.

20 April 2010

The inscription . . .

We can't know why the lily

has so brief a time to bloom

in the warmth of sunlight's kiss upon its face

before it folds its fragrance in

and bids the world good-night

to rest its beauty in a gentler place

But we can know

that nothing that is loved is ever lost

and no-one who has ever touched a heart

can really pass away

because some beauty lingers on

in each memory in which they've been a part

New Picture

This morning I rediscovered the photo on the left. No words are necessary from me.

More soon.

17 April 2010

Oh heck . . and phew!

This time last week I was happily reporting that I'd found a solution to the conundrum that was Harriet Furniss/Braybrook/Culpin. And I then went on to boast about the information I'd found and finally updated my database with.

Sometimes, just sometimes, I really really hate my computer.

Because I was trying to be clever in the way I transfer the information to my website (www.praeteritus.co.uk lest you forget!) I managed to confuse the database so completely that I had a few moments where I thought I'd lost the lot. The few minutes when I couldn't get the backup version to open were particularly scary . . . anyone in the area listening very carefully would have heard some quiet whimpering (well, it's not as though there are any aircraft to drown out the noise . . . !).

However, I'm pleased to report that all is well and I have now managed to get everything working again. But I have lost a few days worth of input.

So, lesson to be learnt: keep more than one backup copy and don't try to be too clever with new gadgetry.

Must go, as I have to re-input all that lovely detail about Harriet and her families.

More soon.

14 April 2010

Mended it!

Talking about the Webbs yesterday reminded me that my computer program took against George Webb a few weeks ago; that is, his name and all his details disappeared when his reference number reset itself to 0:0. Bizarrely tho, his info all printed out in the report I used last night!

So, having tried a couple of potential cures, I gave in to the inevitable, created a "new" George Webb and have disconnected his alter ago from the family. Heaven only knows how I delete the shadow copy properly . . !

Rather than let that effort go to waste, let's meet George. I just asked the machine how he's related to me and you won't be surprised that it's "more than once". Pin your ears back for this one . . . . he's: 1) my great-great uncle, 2) the husband of my 2nd cousin twice removed, 3) my 2nd cousin 3 times removed AND 4) the husband of my 4th cousin once removed. Phew!

Interesting bloke, tho, as he was a farmer in Swaffham Prior, then Reach and then Burwell. With his second wife Ivy, he begat seven children, and his death in 1934 merited a front page article in the Cambridge Daily News of 2nd April:

Well-known Farmer & County Councillor.
Many people in town and county will learn with regret of the passing of Councillor George Webb, of Burwell. He had not enjoyed good health for some time, but with constant care and attention he had partially recovered. On Friday he was taken suddenly ill and his condition rapidly became serious, and he passed away at his residence, Berkeley House, Burwell, on Saturday evening. Mr Webb, who was in his 80th year, was a typical British farmer of the bluff old school and one of the oldest members of the Cambs County Council. He was a native of the county, having been born at Landbeach. Of a genial and kindly disposition, he was much liked and respected. As a great supporter of the Congregational Church, he will be greatly missed. On the County Council he was not given to much talking, but on occasion expressed his views vigorously and his shrewd remarks were always listened to with respect. He was never a dull speaker, and generally contrived to put the Council in a good humour by his lively sallies and interjections. He was a strong supporter of the Liberal cause in the days of the late Mr E S Montagu. He leaves a widow, fours sons and two daughters.

The CDN of 6th April gives us even more good stuff:
The funeral of Mr George Webb, of Berkeley House, Burwell, took place at Burwell on Thursday afternoon. Mr Webb was a well-known agriculturist and Cambs. County Councillor. The funeral service was held in the Congregational Chapel, of which Mr Webb was a great friend, and the interment followed in the chapel yard. The Rev R C Jude officiated, and the hymn “Give me the wings of faith to rise” was sung. Mrs Percy Doe was at the organ. In the course of some remarks, the Rev R C Jude said, “We are suffering a great and deep sense of loss today in the departure of our beloved friend. I am sure there is not one here but what has some reason to regret his loss from our midst. We who belong to this Christian fellowship and church in Burwell, and the friends who are associated together at Reach, feel we have lost one who has been a great friend and helper during the greater part of his life. He went in and out among us with his good feelings and sympathies and wise advice, always in his place on the Lord’s Day, constant in attendance and devotion to us in all our efforts and organisations, taking a great interest in us all personally, always meeting us with cheer, always looking on the bridge side of things, and always ready to encourage us on our way. The members of the Church, and the children in the Sunday School looked upon him with very real affection. They had cause to be grateful that God had spared his life so long. He was always ready to help all denominations and to recognise all Christian efforts. They felt his loss would be felt far beyond anything they could measure. Within the sphere of business life they had lost one who had been known for his industry, uprightness and consideration for those dependent on him. He had been taken to God like a shock of corn gathered in due season. They all joined together in the true sympathies to his wife, children and members of his family. The coffin was of polished oak, with oxydised silver fittings, and bore an engraved plate with the inscription: “George Webb, died 31st March 1934, aged 79 years.” The brick grave was lined with evergreens and flowers. The immediate mourners were: Mrs Webb (widow), Mr George Webb (son), Mr Fred Webb (brother), Miss Webb (niece), Mr and Mrs W D Greenall (nephew and niece), Mr and Mrs Herbert Webb (nephew and niece), Mr and Mrs Ernest Webb (nephew and niece), Mr W Greenall (nephew), Mrs Stokes (niece), Mr Albert Orpwood (nephew), Mr F Greenall (nephew), Mr L Greenall (nephew), Mrs Johnson and Mr Driver. Six employees, Messrs S Millard, C Fletcher, G Bowyer, S Sturgeon, T King and C Millard, acted as bearers, and other employees, headed by two foremen, Messrs H Bowyer (Kirtling) and F Bowyer (Reach), followed the cortege to the church. The Burwell branch of the British Legion was represented by Messrs P Grainger, J Clack, B Warren and W Fuller. Among others present at the church were the following: Mrs J Avis, Mrs C Adams, Miss Adams, Mrs Audley, Mr C R Bennett (County Agricultural Officer), Mrs H R Buck, Mr and Mrs W Blackwell, Miss Bourton, Miss Bowyer (Reach), Mrs O Badcock (Reach), Mrs Burrell, Mrs Bonnett, Mr and Mrs G Blackwell, Mr and Mrs E Butler, Mrs Black, Mrs F Blackwell, Mr E Bond, Mr W Clark, Mrs EW Cornwell (Reach), Mr L J Chater (Cambridge), Mrs J Dunn (representing Senior School Managers), Mr W Dunn (superintendent of Swaffham Commissioners), Mr and Mrs A Deny, Mrs Dean, Mr EWH Diver (Isleham), Mr G Edwards, Mr C Edwards (Hauxton), Councillor EO Fordham, Mr J Fuller, Mr and Mrs WP Fuller, Mrs H Fuller, Mr G Fuller, Mr J Friend (Cambridge), Mr and Mrs A Fuller, Mrs Flack, Councillor HW Game, Miss O Game, Mr DB Ginn (Cambridge). Mr and Mrs W Hales and Mr Hales jun (Linton), Mrs J Hatley, Mr H Howard (Newmarket), Mr I Harries, Mr C Hawkes, Mr S Holttum (Linton), Mrs G Heaton. Ald WC Jackson (Chairman, Cambs County Council), Miss Jennings, Mrs A Johnson (Reach), Mrs King, Mr T Lawrence, Mr Lenoir, Mrs Mole, Mr and Mrs G Mansfield, Mrs T Martin, Mr W Mason, Mr B Murfitt (Impington), Mr O Mason, Mr and Mrs BC Mitcham, Mrs Neale, Mrs Nunn, Mrs R Palmer, Mr H Peachey, Mr and Mrs FG Parker (Mildenhall), Mr GE Palmer, Mrs Parr, Mr and Mrs G Parr, Mr R Ready, Mrs Redgell (Reach), Mrs Rose, Mrs H Roe (Reach), Mr F Sayers, Mr JG Sayers (Cambridge), Mrs E Stinton (Reach), Mrs N Saunders, Miss Stevens, Mrs W Stevens, Mr J Turner, Mr Ashley Tabrum (Clerk to Cambs County Council), Mrs Treleven, Mr F Thompson, Mr Vincent, Mr W Varney Webb (Chief Constable), Mr M Warren, Mr Healey Wilson, Mrs Ephraim Warren, Supt. W Winter, Mr J Wilson, Mr and Mrs FG Watson, Mr EP Wedd (Meldreth), Mr and Mrs J Wheeler (Newmarket), Mrs J Watson.

Stunning turn-out, you have to agree.
I'm glad I put him back in properly!

More soon.

13 April 2010


Let me introduce you to my great-great-great grandfather James Webb. He was the son of Thomas & Mary (nee Gunn) and was born in the Cambridgeshire village of Landbeach in 1814. In 1841, he and his brother Charles married on the same day at the parish church, to Hannah Lowton and Ann White respectively.

And, yet again, this complicates my family tree. He's another one who is related to me twice - in his own right and as his wife's husband or, more correctly, as my great-great-great grandmother's husband. But before you start worrying about this family, we're almost sane . . . . .well, no-one has a certificate to prove otherwise!

Moving on . . . James appears in the 1851 and 1861 census returns as a publican, then moves across to Burwell as a farmer of 147 acres, which he increased to 177 acres by 1881. He and Hannah produced nine children between 1842 and 1864 and Hannah died in 1886. She's buried in Landbeach.

Leaving a reasonable time, James remarried in 1889 - this time to widow-woman Sophia Levitt, who happened to live just up the High Street in Landbeach. They married at the Register Office in Cambridge, both giving the same address in Thompson's Lane in the city. Why? Maybe the locals, back in Landbeach, weren't terribly keen on the idea? Who knows?

Interestingly, though, for a man who had been a blacksmith, farmer and publican, he doesn't appear to be able to sign his name as that part of the marriage certificate bears his mark X. Amazing the things that leap at you from a piece of paper!

Of his offspring, oldest son James moved to Cambridge, became a blacksmith, married his first cousin once removed and produced five children; Frederick, born in 1845, died at the age of twelve; Henrietta married blacksmith Walter Greenall and had seven children - including one who was born four years after his father's death (good trick if you can do it!); Susan married farmer's son Jabez Peachey who became a missionary after Susan's death in 1885; Walter, born 1853, seemed to spend his life as "lodger" or "boarder" in and around his siblings, and died in 1916; George (1855-1934) married twice - first to Rose Peachey (1856-1916, quite possibly the sister of the aforementioned missionary Jabez) with whom he doesn't appear to have had any children, and then to Ivy Greenall , with whom he has eight. Oh, and just to complicate the tree further . . . . Ivy was George's great-niece.

Back to James and Hannah's children - Ann (1859-1916) married Henry Orpwood who was a prison officer and, four children later, they're in Shepton Mallet in 1901, returning to Cambridge by 1911. Her sister Ellen had the shortest life, being born in 1861 and dying 2 years and 11 months later in Landbeach. And finally, the youngest child, Frederick, was born in 1864, married Mary Ann Thulbourn and followed his father's trade of brewer/farmer in Landbeach. In 1929 Kelly's Directory lists him as a farmer, living at Glebe House in the village.

So, there you have a potted guide to James Webb and offspring; I think I managed to mention twenty three people by name and referred to a further twenty four. Not a bad few minutes work!

More soon.