25 February 2015

.... And thanks to...

.... The Northamptonshire Baptisms, newly discovered on Ancestry, I  able to revise Charles and Sarah's offspring total to ten - seven girls and three boys. 

Sadly I suspect that the newest-discovered children will also be on the Northants Burials index....so I'm off there next. 

More soon. 

Once they were lost.....

But now I am pleased to welcome Charles Culpin, his wife Sarah Manley and their descendants into the family!

That is to say, they have been sitting patiently in my 'Culpin Strays' file awaiting their chance to make a break for the main database. And, finally, they've convinced me that they belong....

I believe Charles to be the grandson of Charles & Sarah (nee Monk), via Thomas who also married a Sarah. 

Chas and the former Miss Manley begat six children between 1839 & 1859 in Warmington, Northants, then moved closer to Peterborough. 

And now I must continue to add their details....

More soon. 

7 February 2015

Out from under.....

I've just realised that I've been absent from here for far too long. As previously mentioned, I've been tidying up and trying to fill in missing references.....and getting sidetracked, of course!

My genealogy Christmas present to myself was another set of parish registers; well, ok, two sets. Whittlesey, in Cambridgeshire, has two parishes and thus two sets of registers!  A surprising number of people form different parts of my tree seem to have passed through the place so there is plenty of scope for useful finds. 

I've also discovered a line of the Bigley family which went to Canada in the late 19th century and settled in Ontario, whose online records are available on Ancestry. 

So, all this together with my usual end of year tidy-up has kept me away from here. But I hope to be back more regularly now. 

More soon. 

11 November 2014

Great War Centenary: George Culpin

On this Armistice Day let me introduce you to my sixth cousin twice removed George Frederick Culpin.

Fifth of the six children of Thomas & Emma (nee Carter), George was born in Thornhaugh, near Peterborough in 1888.  In the following two census returns he is shown at home with the family and presumably, as soon as he was able, he followed his father and older brothers into life as a farm labourer.

But not for long as, by the 1911 census, he was serving in India as a private in the 2nd Battalion, The Black Watch, having enlisted in Edinburgh.  The battalion returned from India at the outbreak of war and George, by now promoted Sergeant, was killed on 11 November 1914.

He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Menin Gate and the Thornhaugh War Memorial.

We will remember them.

31 October 2014

Great War Centenary: Ben Langford


Ben Langford was my great-uncle, born on 4 June 1891 in Stretham, Cambs, the youngest of the eight children of Isaac & Emma (nee Quince) and christened on 25 July 1894 at St James’ church in the village.  In 1896 he and two older siblings, Kate & Freeman, went to live with their aunt Rose Ann Vaughan (nee Bigley) in Newnham Road, Ely.  By July 1897 all three were enrolled at the Market Street School and, in the 1891 census, the Vaughan family plus the three Langfords were living in Nutholt Lane, in the house next to the Vicarage.

In 1911, Ben was a 19-year-old bricklayer’s labourer still living with his aunt, and he completed the census form – which at least proves he could read and write, so that education wasn’t wasted!  And then came the Great War…….

Ben was living in Stretham but enlisted in Bedford, joining the 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment.  On 4th October 1914 the 2nd Battalion embarked at Southampton, arriving Zeebrugge on the 7th.  After a lot of marching, they arrived at Ypres on 14th October and joined the 21st Infantry Brigade on the front line.  There followed ten days of heavy artillery and the brigade was ordered to “hold on”.

On 26th October the Brigade was relieved and moved back to rest….for one day, after which they moved forward again.  Much more shell fire and the Bedfordshires were ordered to cover the withdrawal of the 20th Brigade from the Ypres salient.  On 31st October there was more heavy shelling and the Bedfordshires withdrew to a new line at dusk.  The fighting was very fierce and there were many casualties, with the Battalion “losing their CO and many officers”.

And 23-year-old Lance Corporal 9921 Ben Langford.  The story is that he was in the trench and lifted his head to get a cigarette out of the breast pocket of his tunic.  He was shot by a sniper.

Ben has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate in Ypres and the Stretham war memorials.


We will remember them.

26 October 2014

That's entertainment??

Found in the Chelmsford Chronicle, 15 December 1922:

The Chingford Fire Brigade had just sat down to the annual brigade dinner when the fire alarm sounded. Hurriedly leaving the table, the firemen discovered that the outbreak was at Low Hall Farm, of which the owner was Mr J Soper, one of the guests at the dinner. It was a haystack fire, and the brigade were kept busy until after midnight. Portions of the dinner and liquid refreshments were sent to them at the farm, while their guests, after waiting vainly for the brigade to return, proceeded with the function at the hotel.


Charged with setting fire to a stack, the property of Mr Soper, and doing damage to the extent of 300 pounds, James Webb, of Stewardstone, was committed for trial at the Essex Assize.

I suspect that Mr Soper would've preferred a string quartet as entertainment, but I like the idea of sending some of their dinner to the firemen!

More soon.

19 October 2014

Speechless, for once.....

Last weekend was one of those rare genealogical moments when I was struck dumb by the events unfolding in front of me.

I was idly researching a Culpin branch:  Sarah Jane Culpin married William Thomas Pridmore in Thornhaugh, Northants, in 1877 and they moved to Sheffield.  Over the next twenty years or so they begat eleven children (including nine sons), raising all but one to adulthood.  And then came the Great War.

To sidetrack slightly, when I find sons of military age I first look to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, but I couldn't be sure what I'd found.  So Ancestry helpfully gave me De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour of the Great War and I found a young Pridmore in there......

Topped and tailed in the index by three of his brothers.  And, as if it could get any worse, two of them died within four days of each other.  Speechless is one of the words you could have used to describe me.

John Thomas Pridmore, third son, was born in 1881 and enlisted in the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) in 1899, serving in the Boer War and then with the Expeditionary Force in France in 1914.  Married to Harriet, with whom he had two children, he died on 14 October 1914.

Arthur Edward Pridmore, fourth son, was born in 1883 and followed his brother into the KOYLI, also serving in South Africa and France. He died on 18 October 1914.    Neither brother has a grave, but both are commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial.

Albert Pridmore, second son, was born in 1879.  He was married to Margaret and they had four children.  He enlisted in the Yorks & Lancs  Regiment in 1915 and died in Bradford hospital on 22 June1917 from wounds received in May that year.

George Harry Pridmore, presumably named after his brother George who died in infancy, was the eighth son. Born in 1896 he too joined the KOYLI before the war, enlisting in January 1914.  He served in France in 1916 and then returned to Blighty to train as an officer.  Gazetted as a 2nd Lieutenant in the West Yorks Regt, and by now married to May (nee Foster), he was sent back to France in January 1918.    He died on 31 August 1918.

No more words....