I though it would be an interesting exercise the pick a few people from my family tree and write what I know about their lives. It will help identify where there are holes and may even give new paths to explore. I’ll start with my Great Grandfather James Fellows Cullum.
James was born in Chelsea in June 1891. He was the second child of James Henry Cullum and Agnes Elizabeth Fellows. He always maintained that he was born within the sound of Bow Bells. I’m not sure that the peel of bells would have been audible from Chelsea! James also maintained that the Cullum family had Scottish origins but I am not able to find any evidence of this so far!! At the time of his birth, his father would have been 40 years old and his mother 25 years old. His older sister, Elizabeth Lavinia Cullum, would have been 21 months old. They all lived just near the King’s Road in Chelsea on a road called Coulson Street. In the 1891 census when James is just 1 month old, they are shown as living at 18 Coulson Street. James’s Grandparents, James and Mary Ann Cullum were also living locally at 14 Coulson Street. They are both shown as 63 years old at this time. Now, there is no sign of a number 14 Coulson Street but we suspect that the whole street has been re-numbered in the intervening years.
By the time of the next census in 1901, James and his family are shown as living just around the corner from Coulson Street at 5 Lincoln Street. James and Agnes have four additional siblings by this point – Dorothy May aged 8, Henry William aged 6, Albert John aged 4 and Madeline Emily aged 2. They also have a servant called Kate Austin living with them at this address. James’s father is shown as a rent collector living on his own account at this time. Presumably he had other properties that he rented, giving sufficient income for the family to live on. In 2006, this property changed hands for £2,260,000!
By the time of the census in 1911 when James is aged 20, the family is living in Northamptonshire. At one time they lived at Park House, Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire.
In 1915, James returned to Chelsea to marry his wife Phoebe Ann David. At the time of their marriage, James and Phoebe were aged 24 and 23 respectively. It doesn’t appear that they eloped to Gretna Green as family stories would have you believe. As a wedding present he was given Watts Lodge, Northamptonshire by his parents.
Phoebe must have fallen pregnant with their daughter shortly after their marriage as Leah was born in June 1916. She was followed by a further six children – Agnes Dorothy in June 1918, sadly a stillborn girl in March 1922, James Gordon David on 6th March 1924, Marjorie Olive on 15th April 1925, Elizabeth Mary on 1st October 1927 and Albert William in December 1930. Leah and Agnes were both born in Thrapston Northamptonshire and all of the subsequent children were born in Market Harborough, Leicestershire. Not that there are are little over 13 months between James Gordon David and Marjorie Olive! Between at least 1922 and 1930, James and his family lived at “Hawthorn”, Kettering Road, Market Harborough. This house is no longer standing but was believed to be positioned on the land where The Greyhound pub now stands in Little Bowden.
James did not serve in the first world war (we believe due to the fact that he was a land owner in Northamptonshire).
Sadly, James’s wife Phoebe Ann died on the 8th January 1937 aged just 45. Their youngest child Albert William would have been just 6 at this time.
– June 1891, Chelsea – James Fellows Cullum born
– 1891, Living at 18 Coulson Street, Chelsea
– 1901, Living at 5 Lincoln Street, Chelsea
– 1911, Living Northamptonshire and described as a farmers son, working on farm
– July 1915, Chelsea – Marriage to Phoebe Ann David
– June 1916, Thrapston – daughter Leah Prudence born
– June 1918, Thrapston – daughter Agnes Dorothy born
– March 1922, Market Harborough – stillborn daughter born
– March 1924, Market Harborough – son James Gordon David born
– April 1925, Market Harborough – daughter Marjorie Olive born
– October 1927, Market Harborough – daughter Elizabeth Mary born
– December 1930, Market Harborough – son Albert William born
– January 1937, Market Harborough – James’s wife Phoebe Ann dies
– January 1976 – James dies
Writing this entry has provoked a few questions about the life of James Fellows Cullum:
– Which property was 18, Coulson Street, Chelsea?
– Where in Chelsea did James and Phoebe marry?
– Is the family portrait shown above taken at Park House, Titchmarsh?
– Where did the family live in Thrapston?
– How did James and Phoebe meet?
– Did James and Phoebe live at Watts Lodge immediately after their marriage as Leah is shown as being born in 1916 in Thrapston?
– Are there any photos of “Hawthorn”, Kettering Road, Market Harborough?