Yep, I have been immersing myself in the glorious www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk. Just online in the last couple of weeks I am gentling paddling around in the shallow end, searching for Stadens and Culpins. Thank 'eavens for some unusual names!
And what did I find? A couple of divorce cases, both on the grounds of adultery; both adulterers being the spouses of my relatives. See, pure as the driven snow, my lot!
Well, not quite...... There's Thomas Culpin, found guilty in 1800, of sheep-stealing (sentenced to death, but reprieved), and William Flavell sentenced to 6 months in 1823 for stealing ten pigeons, not to mention William Culpin who went on the run in 1835 after stealing from, and attempting to kill, his aunt. Arthur Ernest Culpin distinguished himself by stealing in Kings Cliffe and earned himself nine strokes of the birch.
By sheer coincidence, I found two rellies (one Staden, one Freeman) in the same edition of the Bury & Norwich Post in 1861. And, for a change, neither had done anything wrong!
Did I mention the young Culpin who was found guilty by a coroner's court of 'Murder of a bastard child' but acquitted by the magistrate? Or another horribly young Culpin who attempted to take her own life?
Fortunately, I have also found some marriage and deaths dates, none of which will cause a scandal. Even better, one of the marriages showed that the spouse was a widow, and I was able to dig around on FreeBMD and find her maiden name.
Anyway, I'm going back to the archive now and will attempt to publish more little snippets, both here and on the website.