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.