1 March 2011

A restless man ...

Happy St David's Day to you!

I don't know that I have any Welsh ancestry, although I'm fairly certain that the Celts made their way to this part of the country, so I thought I'd follow up an entry I made in November 2008.  I've already explained how rubbish I am at filing info, so you won't be surprised at how long it took me to enter this stuff ....

Albert Hahnamann Culpin was born in 1860 in Ardley, Herts, the son of Benjamin & Sarah (nee Chaloner), and grew up in his father's Shillington (Beds) parish (Benjamin was a minister).  I found reference, in the Beds Archives, to some letters Albert wrote about his life in the Army in 1877 and now I can report the follow-up:

This time, the Shillington website (www.shillington-history.org.uk) comes up trumps ..... "letters survive from Albert Culpin, the son of the Congregational minister, in which he refers to Shillington men whom he met nearly everywhere he went.  He was a restless man who enlisted at one stage where he met some he knew.  He then deserted and stowed away to America, travelled the country extensively and later went to Australia."

How impressive is that!!  

Of course, as a stowaway he is unlikely to have left a trail but I have found him on the New South Wales Unassisted Passengers Lists, arriving in Sydney on 19 May 1890 aboard the vessel "Burwah".

There is a reference, again in the Beds Archives, to a letter written by him in 1892 about the Broken Hill strike and maritime disturbances but I need to work on how to read this, along with the correspondence from his (brief) time in the Army.

And then, courtesy of the wonderful Aussie BMD indexes, I found his death in Ryde, NSW, in 1932.

I'm really quite pleased with myself.  Now all I have to do is sort through the pile at my left elbow - heaven knows what I'll find in there!

More soon.

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