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.

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