Mary Crancher (nee Abbott)

Posted in Uncategorized on May 21st, 2010 by admin – Be the first to comment

Back in 2002 I wrote to Mary Crancher (nee Abbott).  She is the Granddaughter of Agnes Mary Cullum (born 1901 in Chelsea, London).  At some point she emigrated to America along with her parents I would think.  Anyway, she did respond with a number of useful pieces of information:

More Cullum Photos!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 21st, 2010 by admin – 1 Comment

I recently made contact with Julie Lloyd.  She is the Granddaughter of my Great Grandfather’s brother John Cullum (confusing I know!).  Luckily we share equal enthusiasm for finding out more about this intriguing family that we are both part of.  After some initial groundwork and verification of facts, Julie started looking for the siblings of our Park House, Titchmarsh family to see if there were any living relatives.

One of James Fellowes Cullum’s sisters was called Dorothy May Cullum.  Through the records, Julie found out a little more about Dorothy May’s family and particularly the name of her Granddaughter and the man that she married.  I did a little further research and found a family with the same name living not far from where our Cullum family originate.  Julie tried to telephone them without success and instead wrote a letter.  Just a few days later she had a reply confirming that they were the right family and furthermore they had stories and photographs to share.  Julie paid them a visit this week and has added the following fascinating facts and photographs to our collection:

She didn’t now why Dorothy was listed as being born in Lambeth, whilst her brothers and sisters were born in Chelsea.

There was another sister called Marjorie Prudence Kay Cullum, she was born in the early 1900’s perhaps 1903-1906?  She lived only a few months and Miss Marshall the nurse came from Coulson Street to look after her. She was buried in  Titchmarsh Church yard and Dorothy said that she thought Agness Fellows mother could be buried close to the baby. The head stone for the baby had a lamb carved in it. I will go and search next week.

James Cullum, Dorothys father was against her marriage to George Sam Selby he said he was to old for her and on her wedding day, after the ceremony he said “now you have made your bed, you can lie in it” perhaps another reason he was against the marriage was because George has actually gone out with Agness Fellows before she got married to James himself

Dorothy had her honeymoon in London then lived in Lime Cottage East Road Oundle. George her husband worked at the Ironmongers in West Street and there only child George James Reginald Selby (Jim) was also born there. The dining room at Lime Cottage was used by a dentist and Dorothy was the nurse.

James Cullum (1852) Agness and all of the children would all go to Lilford Hall, to have dinner with Lord Lilford and they always had Venison and fresh Peaches. Lord Lilford would always say that AgnesMary (1901) was under nourished as she was very slim. Lord Lilford gave James Cullum (1852) a framed picture of himself holding a gun.
James Cullum did not get on with Cannon Luckock and when Betty (Elizabeth Lavinia Cullum) died James wanted an angel carved into her headstone but Cannon Luckock said no. James therfore went to the bishop of Peterborough where he was granted permission.

James (1852) and Agnes met at a wedding in Framlingham, she was a ladies maid to Lady Robinson who lived in Cranford Hall near Kettering. Nothing happened between then until James stayed at Cranford Hall to recover from an illness.

This is a photograph of my Great Great Great Grandfather James Cullum (born 1825):

James Cullum (born 1825)

What next?

Posted in Uncategorized on March 6th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

I Have reached a bit of a dead end for now with James Fellowes Cullum, so maybe I can open up a few more lines of enquiry by stepping one generation further back to his father, James Henry Cullum.

Coulson Street, Chelsea

James Henry Cullum was born in Bethnel Green or Chelsea in about September 1851. He was the son of James and Mary Ann Cullum who were both aged about 23 when James Henry was born. James Henry Cullum had one other known sibling born in 1859 in Chelsea – Mary Ann Phoebe Cullum. As far as we know, James Henry followed in the steps of his father James Cullum (confusing I know with all of these James’s) by running the family grocery business. It is alleged that the Cullum family grew produce in Northamptonshire and sent two lorry loads a week to London.

The firm of Lucas and Bailey Solicitors of Fleet Street London acted on behalf of James Henry and his father. The Baileys had three generations in law. After Arthur Bailey, his son did not wish to carry on in the law profession. The Bailey’s were also family friends and it is believed that James Henry had a brief marriage with one member of the Bailey family. It is not known if this ended through death, divorce or annulment.

In 1888, James Henry married Agnes Elizabeth Fellowes in Fulham. Earlier census returns do indicate that James Henry did however have an earlier marriage to someone called Mary A. who was like Agnes was also born in Islip, Northamptonshire. At the time of marriage, James Henry was aged 37 and Agnes Elizabeth was aged 23. Their first daughter Elizabeth Lavinia was born one year later.

By 1901, James Henry and his family are living at 5 Lincoln Street, Chelsea. At this time, James Henry is listed as a rent collector. Presumably he has another property at least that he is renting out. Could this be 18 Coulson Street where the family previously had their shop? 18 Coulson Street at this time is inhabited by Frank Baker and his family. Frank is recorded as a Guilder and Decorator.

During the early 1900s, James Henry moved with his family to Northamptonshire. This was apparently due to the fact that James Henry had contracted T.B. and the Northamptonshire air was healthier for his condition than the London smog.

James & Agnes Cullum

By the time of the 1911 census, James Henry and Agnes are living at Park House, Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire. The same census reveals that James Henry and Agnes had a total of 8 children but only 7 were surviving at this point. James Henry is listed as a farmer and employer. The family also had a servant called Edith Clara York living with them.

Apparently James Henry and Agnes used to buy £6.00 of fireworks each year for the village and hold a fireworks event at Park House, Titchmarsh. On a similar vein, Agnes is alleged to have bought joints of meat on a weekly basis and hung them in the kitchen named for the paupers of the community.

- 1851, James Henry born in Bethnell Green
– 1861, James Henry is living with his parents at 18 Coulson Street, Chelsea and is listed as a scholar
– 1871, James Henry is living with his parents at 18 Coulson Street, Chelsea and is listed as a Green Grocer
– James Henry marries Mary A. ?
– 1881, James Henry and Mary A. living 25 Draycott Place, Chelsea. James is listed as a Greengrocer’s Assistant
– Mary A. dies
– 1888, James Henry marries Agnes Elizabeth Fellowes in Fulham
– 1889, daughter Agnes Elizabeth born in Chelsea
– 1891, son James Fellowes born in Chelsea
– 1891, Living at 18 Coulson Street in Chelsea and listed as a Greengrocer
– 1894, son Henry William born in Chelsea
– 1895, daughter Dorothy May born in Lambeth
– ?, son John born
– 1899, daughter Madeline Emily born in Chelsea
– 1899, Listed in the Post Office Trades directory at 18 Coulson Street, Chelsea
– 1901, Living at 5 Lincoln Street, Chelsea. Listed as a rent collector living on own account
– 1901, daughter Agnes Mary born in Chelsea
– 1906, Listed in Kellys Directory at Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire
– 1910, Listed in Kellys Directory at Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire
– 1911, Living at Park House, Titchmarsh. Listed as a Farmer
– 1914, Listed in Kellys Directory at Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire
– 1915, son James Fellowes Cullum marries Phoebe Ane David in Chelsea. James Henry is listed as a Gentleman on the marriage certificate.
– 1920, James Henry dies at Watford, Northamptonshire

- Confirm where and when James Henry was born?
– What was £5.00 worth in 1873
– Who was James Henry’s first wife?
– How did James and Mary A. meet?
– How were the family connected to the Baileys?
– Where did James Henry and Agnes Fellowes marry?
– Who was James Henry and Agnes’s 8th child?
– When did James move the family to Northamptonshire?
– Where did the family first move to in Northamptonshire?
– What were the symptoms/causes of T.B. and was fresh air a cure?
– Does Mary Anne Phoebe Cullum have any descendents?

Unlocking the past

Posted in Uncategorized on March 5th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

To continue the detective work on the lives of my ancestors, I went ahead and ordered the marriage certificate of my Great Grandfather James Fellowes Cullum. Immediately, this has lead to one correction in my data. I had always spelt Fellowes without the second ‘e’ but now the marriage certificate confirms what some of the census returns also indicate that in fact there should be the additional ‘e’.

James & Phoebe Marriage Certificate

James and Phoebe were married at St Saviour’s church in Chelsea on July 29th 1915. Far from answering all of my questions, the marriage certificate opens up more lines to be investigated. Firstly, James’s address at the time of marriage is given as 80 Walton Street. On further investigation, this address is also in Chelsea. I really don’t believe that James lived at this address in the true sense and my best guess is that an address would have been needed in the parish in order for James and Phoebe to marry at the local church. So the question is, who lived at 80 Walton Street, Chelsea in July 1915. I don’t believe that James had any relatives living in the area by this time as his Grandparents died shortly after the turn of the century. The 1911 census shows a family living at 80 Marlborough Buildings, Walton Street and I’m assuming that this is the same address. This census return shows Albert Jones living there with his wife Emma and their son Albert. Albert is shown as originating from Stafford. It is possible that James and Albert could have been acquinted as Albert would be around ten years older than James but James and his family would have left Chelsea a good ten years previously when James would have been in his early teens. From the 1901 census return it appears that Albert’s family were still living in Stafford at this time so would not even have been in the Chelsea area at the time James’s family were there. I dubiously expected during my research to reveal that 80 Walton Street was some kind of hotel or boarding house!

I have my own theories on what may have happened but the challenge will be in validating them. Maybe there is a grain of truth in the story that James and Phoebe eloped. I imagine that James may have been considered somewhat a cad for his generation – he avoided any military service and did not have a clear career. I imagine this would have been challenging for Phoebe’s strict, discliplined Welsh family and so I can well imagine them seeking escape from this in the form of elopement. The fact that there are no family members listed as witnesses to the marriage also seems to support this – Albert Simpkins and Jane Marshall are the witnesses to the marriage. Interestingly, James’s father is shown as being a Gentleman on the marriage certificate whereas on the 1911 census return written by James’s father himself, he describes himself as a farmer.

- Where did James and his family go to school in Chelsea and Northamptonshire?
– When did James leave Chelsea
– Who lived at 80 Walton Street Chelsea in 1915
– Where did James and Phoebe live after their marriage?
– What qualified as description of Gentleman in 1915?
– Who were Albert Simpkins and Jane Marshall?

Parent’s Evening

Posted in Uncategorized on February 27th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

James’s nursery held his first parent’s evening last night. It was a flexible event allowing parents to turn up at any time between 7.00 and 9.00. I turned up shortly after 7.00 thinking that other parents may well be later after putting their little ones to bed. I was so wrong, the car park was full and I just managed to find a parking space at the end of a dark footpath leading alongside the church.

Once inside the nursery, parents were greeted by one of the nursery managers and offered a selection of drinks. I could then sit down and browse through James’s progress folder whilst I waited for his key worker to be available. As I read the comments in the file I went from chuckling to myself thinking ‘typical James’ to fighting back the tears when I saw a picture titled ‘Someone I love’ with a picture of me. During nursery hours they note developmental milestones on post-it notes and attach them to the child’s folder. In typical James style, he had comments such as “James played on a ride on tractor in the playground and attached a pushchair to the back, pretending it was a trailor”, “James made a plough complete with engine that turned the plough to sow the seed”, “James used imaginative play to serve drinks in the playground including mango and guava juice!”. It was also lovely to see many pictures of him involved in nursery activities.

James’s key worker said that he was progressing well and was very surprised to hear that he was often hesitant about attending nursery. As a plan of activities for the next stage in development she intended to spend more time teaching James to hold a pen and begin to write letters. It was good to see that the typical James personality that we see at home is also evident when he is at nursery.

Snow Business

Posted in Uncategorized on February 3rd, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

Yesterday the garden looked as though it had been scattered with a very thick layer of icing sugar. We had hoped that the snow was sticky enough to roll a giant snowball around the garden to construct a monster snowman. Sadly our snowman attempts were a little more modest.

Snowman in garden

Neither James or Alice seemed to really enjoy the snow. They were cold after a few minutes and wanted to come inside. It was only the promise of making chocolate biscuits once we came inside that kept James out in the fresh air a little longer that he would have liked. I must admit that it was a relief though to retreat to a warm spot in front of the open fire.

This morning Alice demonstated a first in her growing milestones – the ability to go down the stairs unaided in about 10 seconds flat. She is a very confident climber and apparently a very confident descender as well! Although she is very happy to crawl around (albeit in semi-crab style) and cruise around furniture, she hasn’t so far plucked up the courage to go it alone. We thought that with her being on her feet well before Christmas that she may be walking by now but she’s happy taking things at her own pace and will get there in good time.

Alice braving the snow


Posted in Uncategorized on February 2nd, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

We woke up early this morning (around 5.00am) due to an alarm going off outside. There was also a good layer of snow outside which was unblemished by footprints. We returned to bed and got up a little later. James just wanted to sit in the breakfast room and stare at the snow coming down. As we listed to the radio, it became clearer that there were many schools in the area closed and sluggish traffic on many of the roads. James was very glad to hear that his nursery was closed for the day (he’d much prefer to stay at home at the moment rather than go to nursery). It seems like one of those fun days for children with no school and lots of snow to play with. This is the view from my home office window as local children have a snow ball fight in the car park next door. It looks like it ought to be a good day for snowmen although colleagues assure me that it’s not the sticking kind of snow that you need to build snowmen (shame).

Snow from the window

It’s good to see Alice chirpier today after she started to cut her seventh tooth on her left hand side yesterday. She spent most of yesterday feeling really sorry for herself and with a slight temperature.

Last day of January

Posted in Uncategorized on January 31st, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

We woke up on Saturday morning (the last day of January) thinking that spring may have arrived early. The sky was mostly blue and the sun was even shining a little warmly. Right, time to do some jobs in the garden we all thought. We moved the asparagus roots to the new vegetable area and dug up the remains of beetroots and carrots which had overwintered as we had neglected to dig them all up last Autumn.

James and Alice amused themselves on the transport in the garden. Alice seems to like riding on and in things right now. She loves to sit on the floating motorbike and horse in the swimming pool even though she is freezing cold and she enjoys being pushed around on the land based toys. Both of them are making their best effort to smile here but have ended up looking like they have cheekily done something naughty!

James and Alice enjoy their first rides of the year

New York 6th March 2003 – 11th March 2003

Posted in Uncategorized on March 6th, 2003 by admin – Be the first to comment

Arrived at Heathrow terminal 4 to board BA flight at 3.30pm to find that all BA flights are delayed due to baggage handling problems earlier in the day.  Nick called to say that the earlier flight they were due to board was also delayed.  They were waiting in the Weatherspoons bar but by the time we had checked in and gone through security, their flight had already been called.  We caught up with them just as they were making their way through the gate.  We said ‘see you there’ sometime later today.

Cairns & Cape Tribulation, Australia

Posted in Uncategorized on October 16th, 2002 by admin – Be the first to comment

Spent an extra couple of days in Cairns and then travelled to Cape Tribulation.  (16th – 20th October 2002)