19 December 2012

Voices from the past.....

Earlier this evening I saw a report on the news: the Museum of London (http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/) has played some recordings of a family (whose name escapes me) at Christmas in the early 20th century.

Fascinating and, oddly enough, the father of the family sounded ......well, like anybody one would hear today, with only the quality of the recording giving any clue to the time.  But I couldn't understand why it was attracting so much media interest.

And then I realised: my maternal grandmother, and her brother, both of whom I remember clearly, were born in the 19th century - like the people on the recording - and it didn't occur to me to think that it was unusual to hear people who were born so long ago.

But maybe it is unusual for someone my age to have grandparents (and all their siblings) born before the turn of the 19th/20th century....... 

.....or maybe I was just feeling grumpy and hungry.  Who can tell?

More soon.

28 November 2012

Quite odd, but not contrary.......

So there I was, waiting for the website to load up and passing the time by staring at the family tree chart on the wall......and I noticed something.

The name Mary.  On my tree.  Frequently.  To be precise it appeared twelve times out of the twenty-two great-great-great-great-grandmothers.  The others, to complete the count, were Elizabeth (five) and one each of the others.  Their husbands had a more diverse range of names, but even so there were six named Thomas and five called John.

By now, the website had loaded but I was intrigued.  First possibility - Royalty?  Unlikely, as the period in question (between 1730 and 1780) was completely George (I, II and III) and none of their wives was called Mary, or Elizabeth come to that.

So really, I'm left with what one might term the "minister's influence" for the Marys but........ doubting Thomas?

More soon.

19 November 2012

Check and check.....

There’s been a little bit of a gap since I last was here so I’ll cover my embarrassment with more embarrassment…

Having received an email from someone who taken the trouble to look at my website, I thought I’d better look at that side of the family before I replied.  And that’s where the embarrassment came in…

Not only did I have children who were born in one place in London with a birth registration in a district the other side of the river, I also had completely the wrong name for their mother!  And, unsurprisingly, completely the wrong marriage registration as well.  Oops…

Today, to take my mind off the above, I took a bus trip to Peterborough with the principal aim of finding the library and archives; Peterborough being an independent state these days within the northern boundary of Cambridgeshire.  Quite a long trip and, yet again, I almost got lost in the shopping centre but I was quite clear about how to find the library!  Looks like a useful Archives office and easy to get to so, a bit of research, and I shall return…

More soon

23 October 2012

A missed opportunity.....

Staying, loosely, with the theme of my last entry, I went to the Cambridgeshire Collection today to look at their newspaper collection on microfilm.  The focus of this search was a possible funeral report (I know how to have fun) which, sadly, appeared to be conspicuous by its absence.

I did, though, find a short article which would be a headline-maker's dream in the 21st century but was treated with much more respect in 1951, the year I was furkling through.....

"DOCTOR FOUND PATIENT DEAD" was the heading.

The patient's name?  LIVING.

Just think of the possibilities.......!!

More soon.

22 October 2012

Don't diss the Fens.......!

I may have mentioned before that I just *love* the British Newspaper Archive (although I am less than enamoured at the cost, given that their Australian counterparts don't charge at all); so you will understand that I enjoy a good search through the BNA's pages.

The following came up as a result of a search for Langfords in Stretham and I only really read all the way to the end because I was attempting to edit it.  Then, after a mild chuckle at the "..... followed to the grave...." I got a bit sniffy with the journalist who wrote it, for his somewhat back-handed compliment to my favourite part of the land....

The late Mr John Read of Stretham, whose death at the advanced age of 83 was noticed in our last paper, was on Thursday followed to the grave by, amongst other relations and friends, the four after-named persons—his widow, in her 84th year—Mr John Dimmock, in his 81st— Mr John Langford, in his 86th—and Mr Wingfield Hitch, in his 87th —Mr and Mrs Read had been married upwards of sixty two years, and had eight children, two of whom died in their infancy—the other six attended the funeral of their father.
—The above account may perhaps tend to shew that a residence in the fens is not altogether so prejudicial to health as many persons are inclined to suppose.
—Mr. Read for many years of his life had the management of the Drainage within Waterbeach Level, and this duty he performed with great zeal and activity; indeed it is well known that at this period he might be said during the winter seasons to have passed almost the whole of his time amongst the waters. Mr Read was also for a great length of time steward to the late and the present Sir Charles Morgan, Bart.

More soon.

8 October 2012

Getting about a bit.......

First today a "big up", as the yoof say, to GRO Scotland.  I applied for a death certificate online and the small print said it could take up to three weeks, not including Royal Mail time.  So, expectation duly set low, I was more than pleasantly surprised to receive it in three days!

Actually, I have to say that the Scottish death certificates are a joy to behold for a genealogist as they give so much more information that their English counterparts.  Parents, spouse (all deceased too, on this occasion) and more maiden names that you can shake a stick at.  And the index includes maiden names too.  What's not to like?

Went back to the National Archives last week and found some more stuff.  Such an easy journey - down to Kings X, then underground, including the easiest train change ever - get off one, walk ten yards to the other platform and step on the next train.  And then, from Kew Gardens station to the Archives ..... signposts for the hard of thinking, and it's only about a six minute walk.  I discovered a hitherto-hidden side of my friend Mo as she stopped every few paces to ogle the planes coming into land at Heathrow..... :-)

Having pre-ordered some documents, I was a bit disappointed that the War Diary of the Suffolk Regiment was unavailable because it is being digitised.  I know that means I'll be able to see it online but nothing can really replace touching a document written nearly one hundred years ago.

Two officer files *were* available though and fascinating reading they were.  Both Culpins, both were sent to Officer Cadet Battalions - one in Oxford, one in Cambridge.  The Cambridge lad was coming up from the ranks and it was quite bizarre to read that one of the questions in his application form was: "Born in wedlock?"  He was, fortunately, so wasn't turned down!  The Oxford chap was a school teacher who had previously been turned down for poor eyesight but was plainly determined to join and got a more accommodating ophthalmic surgeon to approve him.  His application was accompanied by a letter from his school housemaster, clearing up a mild confusion: his "real" name was Karl but he changed it to "Charles" - the housemaster explained that his mother was German but his father was pure English!!

Sadly, but inevitably, Karl/Charles was killed in 1917 and I saw a list of his personal effects sent back to his mother.  Poignant to notice that it included "Pair of eye-glasses (broken)".

More soon.

22 September 2012

2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment

Before our next trip to the National Archives at Kew, I thought it might be an idea to transcribe some of the info I picked up last time ........ can't hurry these things!

My great-uncle Ben, the reason I started this family-history lark, served with the 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment in the Great War, sadly losing his life on 31st October 1914.  I'd worked out roughly what the regiment were doing but it was good, if somewhat sobering, to read the war diary.

So, in the unlikely event that any of my readers also had someone in the 2nd Battalion, here's what the diary said:

4th October
Embarked Southampton
5th October
Sailed at 0830
6th October
At Dover
7th October
Arrived Zeebrugge and moved to Bruges
8th October
Moved to De Haan and bivouacked
9th October
Returned to Bruges
10th October
Marched to Beermen
11th October
Remained at Beermen
12th October
Marched to Coolscamp
13th October
At Coolscamp
14th October
Marched to Ypres
15th October
21st Infantry Brigade in centre of line from east of Ypres to east of Halte; captured several Uhlars
16th October
Removed before dawn and reached Gheluvelt about 0800.  Took up line Ypres-Menin Road-Poezelhoek-Reutel-Nord Westhoek.  21 IB in the centre.
17th October
Trenches were improved
18th October
21 IB advanced to the line 10Kilo-Terhamd.  Entrenched. “During the advance the Bedford Regiment came under sharp artillery fire and had a considerable number of casualties, including one officer killed.”
19th October
21 IB fall back, re-occupy previous entrenched position. Nordwesthoek.  Position reoccupied about dusk.
20th October
Recce not carried out.  Enemy very strong.
21st October
Brigade HQ moved back from Chateau to farm house.  Very heavy shelling all along the line all day.  All ordered to hold on.
22nd October
Congratulatory message from GOC Division.
23rd October
At dawn, one company of Bedfordshire Regiment advanced to retake the trench evacuated by the Royal Scots Fusiliers on their right, supported by one company of Royal Scots Fusiliers.  The attack met a very heavy fire from machine guns and artillery and could not accomplish their objective but they were able at dusk to take up a line linking the Yorkshire Regiment and Royal Scots Fusiliers, this line was occupied by the Bedfordshire Regiment.  Heavy shelling all day.  Infantry attacks repulsed.
24th October
Bad communications.  Phones not working.  Heavy shelling.  Bedfordshires in same position.
25th October

26th October
The Bedfordshires were to assist the Guards in their attack as soon as the 1st Guards Brigade passed their trenches, but the Guards did not succeed in doing this.  At dusk, Brigade relieved and assembled during the night in reserve at Veldhoek.
27th October
Brigade moved back to Hooge into bivouac in a wood to rest, but were moved out again at 5pm to take up a line from Vanvoordie Chateau to join with 1st Guards Brigade at about 9Kilo Menin-Ypres Road; which they did during the night, Bedfordshires on the left.
28th October
Held the line under heavy shell fire.  Enemy entrenching.  Bedfordshires filled the gap between Royal Scots Fusiliers and 7th Cavalry Brigade.
29th October
No attack against the Bedfordshire Regiment or 7th Cavalry Brigade.  General offensive ordered.  Bedfordshires on the right of Yorkshire Regiment.  Advance under heavy shellfire.  Casualties heavy.  Not far.  Prepare a further advance in the morning.  Welsh Fusiliers occupied the Bedfordshires trenches, the Bedfordshires came into reserve.
30th October
Movement of large bodies of troops heard during the night.  Further offensive action put off.  Germans occupied Zandvourdie.  Bedfordshires cover the withdrawal of 20th Brigade from salient.  Many casualties.  Line occupied by Bedfordshires on the right.
31st October
Heavy shelling early in the morning.  Germans seized Gheluvelt.  Bedfordshires (on the right) able to withdraw to new line at dusk.  Fighting very fierce.  Many casualties.  Bedfordshire Regiment also losing their CO and many of their officers.  Total Brigade strength reduced to 11 officers and 750 men.

More soon.

19 August 2012

Checking ancestry .....

So, domestic chores done, fan on, windows & curtains shut (it's stonkingly hot out) and let's settle down to some genealogy......

But first, let me recommend something to you ..... check everything!  I've just printed out the Fordham branch of my Culpin branch, so to speak, and thought I'd fill in a lot of source data which I knew was missing.

Then I discovered some anomalies which had .....er....slipped through.... For example, George Fordham born circa 1820 in Chesterton, Cambridge and christened in Hemingford Grey 31st July.  But his age on the various censuses suggests either 1827 or 1829.  Hmmmmm.  Made a note and determined to go back to the Huntingdon RO for to check the PR.

Dear old Ancestry very kindly tries to give one hints of where else to find info about the person you're searching for and sometimes they're right.  But sometimes they're very frustrating.....don't suggest George Fordham in the Australian Death Index when you *know* my subscription is only for UK records!!!  Or that his cousin Harry might've gone to the US, 'cos I can't search that one either!  

Two more things for the "To Do" list - go to the library and use Ancestry.com for free, after the new term starts.

Right, back to searching records which I *can* access.  Going to see some chums in September so I think I'll update their Westons and Yettons....

More soon.

5 August 2012

Static statistics?

Today, while watching Andy Murray beat Roger Federer, I was wondering if my ancestors and rellies moved around much.  So I downloaded the information on the people on my website and played around with it a bit....

What data would best serve this purpose though?  I thought about the early censuses and then discarded them; I know that some Cambs info is missing in 1861 and didn't want that to skew the results.  In the end I chose the 1881 and 1911 returns.

And?  The only significant conclusion to be drawn?  10% fewer people in Cambs in 1911 than there were in 1881.  The 4% drop in Huntingdonshire residents wasn't really surprising as the majority of those (in 1881) were Culpins and they had scattered by 1911.  I had expected a massive rise in those living in the Greater London area but there was only a 1% rise - proving the first rule of genealogy: Never Assume!

By now I was fully into "statistics mode" and decided to download birthplaces (as you do).  For comparative purposes, I looked at "my people" born in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.  I'm guessing that paucity of information led to the highest 18th century figure being for "Place of birth Unknown".  Other percentages followed the pattern of the census places, in that Cambs has the most births, Greater London has 2% more in the 20th century than the 19th, and the Hunts figure goes down by 4% in the 20th century.

So, all in all, I don't know what to make of my little stats exercise.  Interesting, certainly; and it gave me the chance to correct some errors!  I'm sure I could find some significance if I were to sit down and look at it properly, without the distraction of the Olympics!!

More soon.

1 July 2012

Helping people.....

Sometimes, just sometimes, one's ancestors really help in the search for them, by leaving the odd (sometimes inadvertent) clue.....

I'm sure we've all got rellies whose middle name is their mother's maiden name - after years at this family history lark, I'm beginning to think that particular practice should be made mandatory; but today's subject, one Arthur Hinks, really knew how to leave a clue.

Arthur was born in Boothorpe, in Leicestershire (or Derbyshire, depending on who's writing it down) and is a distant relative of my friend Ann.  He was the seventh of nine children and the family moved to Huthwaite, in Nottinghamshire (I'm sure of this one!) soon after his birth in 1882.  I've had to work backwards, in the true genealogist way, to find much about him.

In the 1911 census, he's married to Florence, and living with her, and their son Wilfred, in Sutton in Ashfield.  He filled in the form and states, as required, that he and Flo have been married for four years.  Bless him, he also writes his wife's maiden name (Cotton) on the form and then crosses it out, presumably after realising that it wasn't asked for.

With such a lovely clue it wasn't hard to find out that Arthur Hinks and Flora (in the registration) Cotton were married in 1906.  Cheers, Arthur!

And how well did he do? Well, Arthur Hinks lived to the grand age of 101 years, dying in January 1984.  Impressive stuff; see what happens when you help people.....!

More soon.

23 June 2012


In the midst of Euro 2012, and watching Royal Ascot, join me in commemorating the birth of Jessie May Staden, born this day in 1897 - coincidentally, another Royal Diamond Jubilee year - the fourth of twelve children of Alfred Staden and his wife Catherine (nee Derby).

My second cousin twice removed, our common ancestor is my great-great-great grandfather John Thomas Staden, Jessie was born in Cambridge but moved with the family to Steeple Bumpstead in Essex before the 1901 census.  Within a couple of years, though, they were back in the metropolis and next appear (in 1911) in Sedgwick Street.  

Jessie married carpenter Reuben Rutter in Cambridge in 1928 and the couple moved to Reuben's stamping ground of Tottenham, where they lived in Seaford Road until his death in 1952.  Jessie returned to Cambridge and died in Cambridge in 1961.

Random find to finish: whilst researching a friend's family the other day I came across my "favourite" occupation so far ...... in the 1851 census, beside a single woman (no names, no pack drill!) were the words "Pauper-Prostitute"!!

More soon.

22 May 2012

It's behind you.....

Yesterday I was playing around with my new FlipPal scanner.  By this I mean that I was watching something on the tv whilst simultaneously scanning some photos..... 

Most of them were of the family - siblings, cousins etc, from when we were young.  A couple of them were from official school photos from Infants school. 

How very sweet, you're doubtless thinking, and yes, I was.  If you're my sort of age, then you'll know the type: in a small card 'wallet', tastefully decorated with Christmas markings. 

And then I looked on the back of one of them.  Photographer?   K.S. Culpin. 

You couldn't make it up...... 

More soon.

19 May 2012

Lost and Found.....

My niece Samantha married Matt today in Bath and I should have been there, but I had a slight set-to with a flight of Stagecoach stairs....and lost.  So I must rely on photos and social networking.  I hate buses!

Instead of a trip south to Bath, I spent some time searching out George Francis Hardy.  My 1st cousin four times removed, he was born in Islington in 1856, the elder son of George and Frances (nee Culpin).  Last time I "saw" him was in the 1881 census and I determined that this was far too long ago.

And there he was, in 1911, in Pall Mall, a consulting actuary, together with his wife Jane.  Most likely him, as he was cited as being born in Barnsbury, which is pretty much Islington.   Backwards, then, to 1901 and he's in Bloomsbury Square.  Married in 1883, to Jane Ann Lester.  So far, so good.

Then I started looking for his death (it's a genealogy thing; no sooner do you find someone, than you're trying to kill them off) and found a George Francis Hardy in the Probate Index.  But it surely couldn't be mine, as this one was a Sir.  That's most unusual for my family!!

But, lo, a comparison of occupations seems to confirm him as mine after all.  There can't be that many George Francis Hardys born in Islington in 1856 who turned into an actuary, surely.  And, checking back to what I already had for 1881, he's an actuary then too.  

I found a brief comment about Actuarial work and India connected with his name but he received his CBE in the New Year's Honours List of 1914 as Chairman of the Actuarial Advisory Committee to the National Health Insurance Joint Committee.

But, alas, he didn't live much longer to enjoy it: he died at the age of 58 in October the same year.

Imagine, though.  A Sir in the family......

26 April 2012

Big fairs....

So last weekend was the Big FH Fair at the Burgess Hall in St Ives and how much fun was that..... Sue collected me from the MisGuided Bus and delivered us both to the hall; and then, with much anticipation, we settled on "coffee in an hour" and split up.  

I started small - and must apologise to the Herts FHS stall for only spending 50p on a parish map, but that was all I needed; I don't know much about the county so just a basic map to find out what belongs where!

And then.... I found a stall selling the FlipPal scanner.  Now I'd heard & read all the hype about them but I wanted to see one in action.  And I did.  And it was pretty dashed clever.  So I .....er, bought one.  As you do.  

Then I met up with Andrew Martin, otherwise known as @FamilyTreeUK on Twitter.  Always good to put a face to a name and, I'll own up, I was a little bit mean to identify myself as "carrying a Hunts FHS bag" - because everyone was.  Sorry, Andrew, I was trying to be funny.

Then I found the Beds FHS stall and parted with even more money, this time for various Biggleswade registers on CD.

Finally, all spent out, it was time to meet Sue again and have a good catch up over the coffee cups.

Excellent morning!!

More soon.

18 April 2012

Where is he?

You know how sometimes your ancestors hide from you?  Well I'm still looking for quite a few but the one on my mind at the moment is William Layton.

He's my 3xGt grandfather and all I know for "certain" is that he, or someone with his name, married Hannah Lowton in Dry Drayton, Cambs, on 21 April 1823.  He probably died before 1851 because Hannah is listed as a widow in the census of that year; but he doesn't appear to be living with them 10 years earlier either, so who's to tell?

I know that there were a conclave of Laytons in Cherry Hinton at the time but I can't understand what a Cherry Hinton lad would be doing in Dry Drayton......

Anyway, just thought I'd put this problem out there.  Any clues/thoughts gratefully received!!

More soon.

6 April 2012

Tidying up

For the first time for ages I thought I'd have a look at my Freeman ancestors, so I sat down this morning to do some sorting/tidying.  It's shown me that I have changed some of the ways I record my info; I use The Master Genealogist (TMG) because it's a powerful database which produces good reports, but I also keep a copy of Family Tree Maker for the times when only a graphical tree will do.

And I saw that I started out giving GRO Births/Marriages/Deaths their own field in TMG.....and now I simply record them as the source for a birth etc.  So I'm changing them as I see them - which is why you will see loads of entries in the Recent Changes Index on my website.  I've also been chasing a few random Freemans round Suffolk.

But at the back of my mind is the sad news I received last night: Joyce Christie, my second cousin, and I shared Millice Campbell Culpin as an ancestor.  My great-grandmother, Blanche, was his seventh child and May Naomi, Blanche's youngest sister, was Joyce's grandmother.  May married John Harrison in Fen Drayton in 1906 and the couple emigrated to Canada, settling in Manitoba.

I first "met" Joyce via the numerous Culpin research messages online and we discovered our shared ancestor.  Since then, and despite our twenty-year age gap, we became good friends over the email; not only a Culpin expert, Joyce had a fine line in funny emails!  She also kept me up to date with what her family was doing, including the grandsons of whom she was so proud.

Joyce had been ill for some time but her death, on Wednesday, was quite sudden and I feel not only sad, that we never met, but also stunned.

More soon.

26 March 2012

First time.....

A few months ago I saw an announcement in the Cambs FHS info about a coach trip to the National Archives, so I promptly booked two seats - one for me (obviously) and one for my friend Mo; we've been meaning to go for years (literally) so this was a no-brainer (as the yoof say).

Up early, picnic lunch packed, and off to the pick-up point, courtesy of Mo's husband, and then onto the coach and off to the great metropolis.  Inevitable delays due to "weight of traffic" (what does that mean?) but we got there and picked up our Reader's Tickets.

And into the Archives....... Oh my, how simple.  Sit at a computer, swipe your brand new Reader's Ticket, and enter the reference of the document (spent a few hours earlier in the week doing my homework).  And, voila, the promise of delivery of said document in 40 minutes.  So I went to have a cup of coffee first.

First one I looked at was the War Diary of 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, in the Great War; my great-uncle Ben Langford, whose death was the first "family history" I investigated, served with them and I wanted to know where, precisely, they were when he died at the end of October 1914.  Very sobering feeling as I read it, surprised at its almost-narrative entries, but my curiosity was satisfied even as I "lived" his last few days.

The next document was another War Diary, this time to get info for a friend whose great-uncle had also died in the Great War.  A similar, but not as intense, feeling as I gathered the details.

And, finally, the Officer's Service Record for Harry Culpin (1877-1948) - a career soldier who was promoted from Sgt Major to 2nd Lieut. in 1914.  Gotta thank the Army for filling in his marriage details and, bless them further, their children's births and baptisms.  Plus, at Harry's request, a complete list of his service details.  Complete result!

And all so simply achieved.  Beautifully organised.  Allowed to take photographs with the phone, no flash and no camera noise - so I took a few pics, just because I could.

And back to Cambridge, a lift home.  What's not to like?  We've decided we *will* go again.....

More soon.

22 February 2012

Excellent names

This week I thought I'd work on my Freeman heritage and follow the Moore line in Norfolk.  Little did I know that it would lead to Balls.  And, it has to be said, one of my favourite names so far: Widdup.  How good is that?!

This line starts in Ashby in Norfolk - back to 1796 so far; it's an offshoot of the main line (James Moore->Ann->Mary Ann Brown->Albert J E Freeman) and goes down from James' brother Abraham.  He and his wife Elizabeth had three children and, save for their son Abraham, the line comes to a grinding halt at the 1851 census.

Luckily, young Abraham reappears in the 1861 census and remains pleasantly visible for the rest of his natural.  He and his wife Sarah (nee Larkins) had seven children; Elizabeth (b. 1846) was last seen at age 4, Daniel (b. 1849) disappears from view at age 23, Maria sadly died at age two, and Sarah Ann (b. 1855) similarly fails to trouble the scorers much, vanishing from public record after 1871.

Christiana, born in 1853, is the one who married Mr Balls, of the weak attempt at humour at the beginning.  She and David Balls had four children before David's death in 1900.  I have yet to find any grandchildren for them.

Maria, 1858-1893, married Free Easter and, with him, produced three children.  Free junior sadly/inevitably died in the Great War but is registered on the Commonwealth War Graves site (www.cwgc.org) as H. Easter which puzzles me greatly, but there's no doubt it's him as there is also a Probate entry for him, where the death dates are the same and he names his sister as executor.

Youngest son of Abrahan & Sarah was George.  Born in 1861, this particular apple didn't fall far from the tree, living two doors down from his parents in both the 1891 and 1901 census.  He married Sarah Chilvers and they had two children.  Their daughter Frances married William Widdup.  Excellent name, as I've already said; I have yet to see if there were any offspring.

In fact, I shall check now, while Adele continues to blast out from my computer.

More soon.

10 February 2012

Check and check again

Every now and then I find myself going back to people I haven't "seen" for a while and that's what I did today.  I read something online which made me wonder and so I looked at Catherine Culpin.

She was was born in Stevenage in 1850, the daughter of Millice Culpin & Sarah, nee Barrett, and married Francis Joshua Kirby in 1879.  For some reason I gave them two sons, using only the index to the 1901 census as proof; the note I read online suggested that they had an adopted daughter, as they had no children of their own.  So, I followed Catherine and Francis through the available censuses and guess what - I was wrong!

But there the thot plickens: yes, the 1911 census says Elsie Bertha B Culpin is the "adopted daughter" of Francis, the head of the household, which also included, on that night, wife Catherine, mother in law Sarah Culpin, sister Kezia Kirby and one servant.  I don't doubt that Francis & Catherine adopted Elsie but she is the natural daughter of Catherine's brother Charles and his wife Clara (nee Barrett).  Clara died in 1894 and Charles disappears off the radar after he was declared bankrupt in 1892.

However, I've just sorted one thing out: the Elsie Kirby, listed as cousin & was living with Millais Culpin and his grandmother in West Ham in 1901, is clearly Elsie Bertha B (for Barrett) Culpin, the aforementioned adopted daughter.  How odd that, away from her "new parents" she's listed as Kirby yet, whilst living with them, her surname is Culpin.  

Anyway, it's getting dark and I really ought to get up and turn the light on.  So I shall do so and then continue to sort out the Culpin/Kirby conundrum.

More soon.

3 February 2012

Records Offices

..... or Archives, depending on what they wish to be called, are places of joy & wonderment for many a genealogist.  So I paid a return visit to the new-ish Huntingdon Archives this week.

Previously based in an old building, the main problem was the stairs - the steepest in Christendom.  And woe betide you if you needed to go to the loo 'cos it was downstairs.  And then back up again.....  I'm feeling tired just thinking about it.

But the new office, based in the Huntingdon library, is one simple floor up; there are "conveniences" which are quite ..... well, convenient and there's a caff on the ground floor.  And it's lovely and warm in there - very important when the temperature outside, for the last few days at least, has barely risen about zero.

I went to look for Elton.  The village, that is, not the hair-transplanted mega-star.  It's in Huntingdonshire , somewhere (well, I suppose that was a bit obvious really) and I wanted to look at their Parish Registers which have been transcribed.

So I sat there for a while, bits of paper in the book marking indexes etc, and I found quite a few Culpins.  oddly, though, not as many as my database has in Elton.  That could take some sorting out.

And, it's just occurred to me, I didn't actually find out the name of the church.  How daft is that?  The info must've been in the indexed register but did I write it down??

I shall go and look it up now.

More soon.

12 January 2012

New Year, New Finds?

Well, hello 2012.  Let's hope you're good to everyone.  And for genealogical finds.

So far I've found a couple of good names whilst looking at a friend's family; in 18th century Ely I found a Miss Kerching in the marriage registers - there's a joke in there about "ringing a bell" but I won't do it!  19th century Norfolk gave forth the wonderful name of Ualah, who liked it so much that she gave it to her daughter as well.  And, finally, Philomon.  Spelling-wise it's a Greek name but, on the basis that his 17th century parents are unlikely to have nipped over to Rhodes for a holiday, it's a fair bet that the vicar (who, after all, was the one who wrote it in the register) meant it to be Philemon, to whom St Paul wrote an epistle.  Yep, I can Google with the best of them!

I'm coming to understand my new laptop but there are some elements of Office 2010 which continue to get up my nose.  However, on the positive side, I have downloaded the newest version of The Master Genealogist, otherwise known as TMG, and it's got some useful improvements from last time.  Particularly the ability to add multiple children at the same time or, alternatively, to add a complete new family at once.  Much better! 

Anyhoo, dear reader, I plan to be better at this blogging lark this year.....

More soon.