23 December 2010
19 December 2010
27 November 2010
17 November 2010
5 November 2010
27 October 2010
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!
19 October 2010
12 October 2010
10 October 2010
3 October 2010
24 September 2010
14 September 2010
6 September 2010
24 August 2010
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.
10 August 2010
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!
8 August 2010
30 July 2010
24 July 2010
16 July 2010
4 July 2010
28 June 2010
19 June 2010
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.
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.
7 June 2010
30 May 2010
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.
23 May 2010
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!!
16 May 2010
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.
15 May 2010
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!
10 May 2010
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:
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.
9 May 2010
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.
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 . . . . . ?
1 May 2010
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!
25 April 2010
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 . . . .
23 April 2010
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.
20 April 2010
We can't know why the lilyhas so brief a time to bloom
in the warmth of sunlight's kiss upon its facebefore it folds its fragrance in
and bids the world good-nightto rest its beauty in a gentler place
But we can knowthat nothing that is loved is ever lost
and no-one who has ever touched a heartcan really pass away
because some beauty lingers onin each memory in which they've been a part
17 April 2010
14 April 2010
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:
DEATH OF MR GEO. WEBB
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!
13 April 2010
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!