Cutlock & Co on the move to new web location

This may well be the last post on this particular version of the Cutlock and Co website. A new package is now live at www.cutlock.co.uk and will be where new items will appear. Update, May 2015: The design has been changed (after several years of staying the same) to a mobile friendly style, which looks good on larger screens too.

This site will stay live for quite a while, but please update bookmarks and so forth to www.cutlock.co.uk and do let us know of any problems, suggestions, etc. Thanks.

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Site stats can help in odd ways

Sometimes I feel I get a bit obsessed with checking the statistics on this site. I like to see what visitors are searching for and what pages they read (or at least visit). This can be useful though – allowing me to respond quickly to my new Cullum cousin recently for instance. The stats can also prompt a tweak in the content, making me realise I haven’t quite got the content up to date or clear enough to answer a search phrase.

And sometimes a search term prompts me to check out what the hell they might be looking for, as its certainly not on Cutlock and Co. Today was one such, and after a while it led to a website new to me – the British Jewry Leeds Database. Leeds is where my Jewish Brookstone trail led, and yes there on the Database site was Jonny’s mother Toba Lazarus and the confusion of names around her two marriages and various offspring (see Finding that elusive Jewish connection).  There doesn’t seem to be any sources given for this lot of records,  so I can’t do my own check of the data or see if it might contain any more clues. But the additional marriage information (precise date, place: 10 Sep 1865, Belgrave St Synagogue for Toba and Isaac) is consistent with what you’d expect from a certificate or register entry, so good enough for the moment. The death date of Jonny’s father Isaac will be taken on trust – 25th April 1889.

Equally it is clear what is missing – and what is much more definite now I have a death for Isaac. The following appeared highly likely, given no other matching Brookstone in 1891, but was still a supposition. Jonny, or rather Jacob as he started out, was in the Jews Orphanage in Norwood, London at 1891 with two sisters, Annie and Eva, the youngest of the family. Presumably because Eva wasn’t born at the 1881 census, she isn’t on the Leeds database at all. I’ll have to get in touch to exchange notes.

That’s quite enough wordage for a quick update.

Keeping the family trees in sync

I started building my family tree using Ancestry.co.uk, but fairly quickly decided that my reference database would be using the connected Family Tree Maker software on my PC. A new version of this comes out every year, and the latest is due out soon – in America at the end of September and in the UK two weeks later (according to Amazon, which says release date is 14th October).

The differences between the annual versions can be quite small, such as minor enhancements to the reports available and customisable historical events for  the timeline view. This time though there is a key new facility – Tree Sync. At last the online and offline versions can be kept matched up without doing everything twice (or creating a new tree every time you want to sync).  There is a little information on TreeSync in Ancestry’s Customer Help FAQs.

If you haven’t started using FTM and/or Ancestry yet, it would be silly to buy the old version (the upgrade discount in the UK isn’t worth talking about). And for once I might not just be buying the new version, once I’ve found a decent discount, as a cheap way of getting an Ancestry subscription.

Also note

I’ve started a Family Tree Maker notes page – useful links and a few tips and on using the program.

Update

An email on the FTM 2012 upgrade has arrived from British distributor Avanquest (lunchtime 26th Sept). Seems like the upgrade is available right now if ordered direct from them for £19-99 (includes one month Ancestry Essentials membership):

NEW TreeSync™ – Synchronise Desktop and Online Ancestry.co.uk trees! Easily update your online tree from your desktop, laptop and even your iPhone or iPad – and then simply click to sync so your tree is always up-to-date, no matter where you access it next. Share your tree with other family members and choose who can view and update it.

NEW Blended (Combined) Families View – see stepfamilies, adoptees and other blended families at a glance.

IMPROVED Smart Stories™ – gives you new tools for adding and editing your family’s details. Include facts about the individual and his or her spouse and children.

NEW Customised Fact Sentences – Now when you create an Ahnentafel, descendant report, or Smart Story you can change the wording of the fact or event sentences and also choose what data is included.

IMPROVED Notes Report that lets you display person, research, relationship, or fact notes you’ve entered for individuals in your tree.

NEW & IMPROVED Charts – Now you can display generation labels (such as parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents), add your own images and text and create a descendant chart that shows the relationship between two people whom you select.

NEW Index of Individuals Report that lists every individual in your tree and their birth, marriage, and death dates.

SIMPLIFIED Interface for Upgraders – A newly simplified interface integrating the best of previous versions.

Uncle William comes into focus

It has been rather a long summer break for this blog – time to get back down to the writing.

The only possible subject for this week is making contact with a genuine descendant of my great great grandmother Harriet Cutlock and her husband William Bishop Cullum (see Cutlock/Cullum page). Muriel’s daughter happened to stumble on this website as she was checking out the Cullum name and noticed that Muriel’s name was mentioned. We have been exchanging emails since Sunday 11th, and got as far as a Skype conversation by the Tuesday. This completes the wish list for the year three months early {1}!

Muriel Shephard, nee Cullum, is a (half) second cousin of my Dad and has great memories of visiting 12 Waller Road, his childhood home, and playing with Dad’s toy fort. She is now living in Canada. See her comment under Great photo sham about the documentation for more, including other current family.

It has been wonderful to learn of, and speak to, new living relatives. And having the “elderly uncle known for his care over money” being brought to virtual life has been a great pleasure too. I had speculated greatly how William John Cullum, one of the sons of Harriet and William, had moved from being a lowly Ledger Clerk age 23 living in Lowestoft at the 1891 census to a ‘fruit grower’ in Sussex 1933, while appearing in Catford, south east London as a clerk/cashier in 1901/1911. This is now much clearer (and I have amended the Cutlock/Cullum page accordingly).

Sharon, the Cullum relative still living in this country, and a (half) third cousin of mine, is sure that William made his money with Maconochies. The Maconochie Brothers company is probably best known in recent times as the makers of Pan Yan Pickle, which was first produced in 1907. Production had ended in about 2002 (having become a part of Premier Foods), but the pickle became the focus of a campaign to find the original recipe in 2008 after featuring on the Chris Evans radio show. Ignoring misleading information on Wikipedia, the Grace’s Guide website indicates that the firm was set up in Lowestoft, Suffolk in 1873.

It hardly takes a great leap of imagination, on discovering that Maconochie’s Millwall factory (Isle of Dogs, the Pan Yan Pickle source) was established in about 1896 {2}, to say that William moved with the firm.  The birth and death dates and places for William’s first unfortunate two children narrows the move down further – William Robert was born in the Mutford district, which includes Lowestoft, September 1893 and Henry Arthur arrives and departs in Greenwich district, October 1894 (dates from Sharon, places from FreeBMD).

Maconochies also had an office at 131 Leadenhall Street in the City by 1900, which may well be where William worked. The 1911 census, filled in by him, gives his work as ‘Cashier to Presd Provn Mnfr’. Here, a cashier would be the person in charge of the company’s cash, rather than a counter clerk – and the abbreviation is presumably for Preserved Provision Manufacturer. He could easily also be the Company Secretary, as Sharon suggests, and seeing significant financial reward (from shares?) as the company expanded.

At 1914, according to Grace’s Guide, Maconochies were “Manufacturers of pickles and sauces. Specialities: pickles, sauces, jams, marmalade, jellies, potted meats; preservers of fish, meat, vegetables etc”. They supplied rations to the troops in the Boer Wars and World War One. From Trench Food (Spartacus Educational): Food was often supplied in cans. Maconochie contained sliced turnips and carrots in a thin soup. As one soldier said: “Warmed in the tin, Maconochie was edible; cold it was a mankiller.”

William’s eldest son, Arthur, appears to have done his war service at home, quite possibly as an accounts clerk. So perhaps he didn’t have to endure the rations made by his father’s business. It is sobering to think, though, that part of our family did rather well out of the horrors of WW1. Uncle William, as Dad knew him, undoubtedly had a large influence, for instance almost certainly on where his half nephew Sydney (my grandfather) set up in London. And also helping Arthur Cullum set up a fruit farm in Newick, Sussex.

Sydney Howes rear left, William John Cullum front right. Fred and Dora in the centre. (Photo courtesy of Muriel Shephard)

The Cullum/Howes connection is most vividly seen in the photos from Fred and Dora’s wedding in 1926, as in the snap above. Also see Great photo, shame about the documentation for an action shot of Sydney throwing confetti over Dora. Who was the official photographer?

Many thanks to the ever helpful folk on the Ancestry.co.uk page on Facebook for their assistance on cracking Maconochie Brothers. And of course thank you to Muriel, Sharon and also Rachel. Hope to see you some time!

Note 1

See A Progress Check.

Note 2

See British History Online for more on Maconochie’s Wharf, Westferry Road.

Getting posted to the post office

Ancestry has just released the ‘British Postal Service Appointment Books’ data set which was transcribed by volunteers under its World Archives Project {1}, basically covering the period 1831 to 1969. I made a small contribution here, partly spurred by the knowledge that great uncle Arthur would appear somewhere in these records.

Sure enough, I can easily find four entries for Arthur W Howes (born 1885 Norwich), although one of these is a repeat (in the original records, not a  duplicate transcription). Here are the entries:

  • May 1901: appointment number 202009, to position of ‘Learner’, Norwich.
  • 1902, about March: appointment 129632, minute 8303, confirmation minute 4760/03, to SC & T, Norwich.
  • July 1913 (entered twice): appointment 137992, minute E22368, to SC & T (P), Ipswich.

That gives a clear date for when he moved to Ipswich. I had guessed that SC&T is something like “Service Counters and Telegrams” which ties in with family knowledge that he was something on the lines of a counters supervisor later on. UPDATE: I have found a record (in 1883) where ST&C is written as “Sortg Clk & Telst” – Sorting Clerk and Telegraphist.

See Note 3 below for more occupational code cracking.

At the 1911 census uncle Arthur gives his occupation as “letter sorter and telegraphist”, and he is also known to have worked on the Norwich to London night train, sorting mail on the way, early in his Post Office career.

There must be some more appointment entries relating to “uncle Arthur” somewhere though, moving to a job on Ipswich central post office counters and then, presumably, becoming a  supervisory role should be recorded. And I have been unable to locate any record for his wife-to-be Hilda Brock, who is believed to have been on the Ipswich post office counters, or her sister Dorothy. Perhaps junior counter staff aren’t in these appointment books?

Note 1 See The questionable pleasures of data entry for more on WAP. To see the transcribed records, you’ll need an Ancestry Premium sub, unless you took part in the transcribing.

Note 2 I expect Arthur William Howes retired at age 60, in 1945. A previous search for the record of this (in pensions archives held by British Postal Museum and Archive) drew a blank, but it is known that records from around the end of the war might have been poorly made. That’s from memory, as I don’t seem to have made a note. He died 1968, Hilda in 1976.

Note 3 ABBREVIATIONS in British Postal Appointments Books. I thought it might be useful to list what I know on abbreviations for these records. Also see the Glossary right at the end of the Family History Research Guide (pdf) available on the British Postal Museum and Archive website.

Location

  • CTO – Central Telegraph Office
  • LPR – London Postal Region
  • LTR/LTS – London Telephone Region/Service
  • MOO/MOD – Money Order Office/Department
  • SB/SBD – Savings Bank Department
  • SO – Sub-Post Office
  • TA – Telephone Area
  • TMO – Telephone Manager’s Office
  • TS – Telegraph Section
  • TSO – Town Sub Office
  • SWDO, NEDO, etc – South West District Office etc, London.

Situation or post (alternative description with a /)

  • CC&T – Counter Clerk and Telegraphist
  • Clk – Clerk
  • COA – Call Office Attendant
  • CWO/CWW – Certificated Wireless Operator/Watcher
  • Engr Ldn/Prov – Engineering Department London/Provinces
  • EO – Executive Officer
  • Lr Cr – Letter Carrier ??
  • Mach Opr – Machine Operator
  • Pman – Postman
  • Rur Postn – Rural Postman
  • SA – Sorting Assistant
  • SC & T – Sorting Clerk and Telegraphist
  • Shtd Typist – Shorthand Typist
  • Skd Worker – Skilled Worker
  • Sub Pmss – Sub Postmistress (at Sub-Post Office)
  • TA – Traffic Assistant
  • Tel messr – Telegram messenger
  • Tlgst – Telegraphist
  • Tpnst – Telephonist
  • U/Unest – Unestablished (service ineligible for a pension)

I still need to crack the following code for an 1883 appointment – for someone who gave his occupation as “assistant in Gen Post Office” at 1881, and was appointed as Sorting Clerk and Telegraphist in 1890:

Alice arrives in Canada

A nice little update to a previous article about great aunt Alice Neal – Turning an absence into a presence – which traced her to Canada.

I have  now located her in the passenger lists arriving in Canada. It’s a bit of an odd record, as a form has been adapted slightly. But there’s little doubt this is her, accompanied by her uncle Henry, who had already settled in Canada.

This is a sailing from Liverpool to Halifax, Nova Scotia on the ship Mongolian, arriving 24th February 1894. On looking at this again, I can see that Henry and Alice’s ticket numbers are not quite consecutive – what happened to ticket 11114?  “Griswold Ma” must refer to their declared destination in Manitoba. Griswold is a few miles due south of Bradwardine, where Henry is living at a later census. At 1891 his address was Selkirk district, sub-district Daly.

It is good to know that Alice was accompanied on her journey by her uncle, but it begs the question of whether he made a special trip to England or perhaps Alice took advantage of a family visit. And what did Alice plan to do in her new country, and what did she actually do to start with? It was another eight years before she married Alexander Reid in Winnipeg, where the couple set up home.

Also see: Neal family, Abroad.

A progress check

At the start of the year, I set out family history research possibilities for 2011 in  Looking ahead to look behind. Half way in, I’m more than pleased with the results so far.

Here’s the tally

  • Visit to the Tonypandy area, and Trealaw cemetery in particular. Tick – gathering a useful bunch of photos and data while there, and a splendid visit to a key local relation. There is still one or two blog posts to come on this, but the start is at A quick look at family gravestones at Trealaw.
  • Digitally scanning old family photos. Tick – results scattered across Cutlock and Co. But now time to plan to locate and scan Mum’s old photos?
  • Keeping on finding material to blog about. Seemingly a tick.
  • New online records: still waiting for relevant Welsh parish records on Findmypast, and the fully indexed version of the 1911 census images on Ancestry. At least I’ve found some useful records on the latter without a proper index, and the outstanding material is clearly in the pipeline.
  • Finding living Cullum relatives, the Canadian branch of Neal, and Watkins cousins too: great success on the Neals, a little on the Watkins.

So the only real outstanding item is making contact with some Cullum cousins. Other than adding to what’s already on this website {1}, the rather minimal strategy at present is fingers crossed that somebody stumbles upon one of my notes about a relative.

Ancestry’s various connectivity features to help locate relevant family trees has been a great help (see recent In praise of  article). This blog has also come up trumps with new family contacts a number of times. I’d still keep writing even if it hadn’t, in expectation but also as I find it a valuable ‘sounding board’.

Working by myself on the tree can mean I miss the obvious through over-familiarity, or just losing track. Writing up a story here can see the narrative evolve and holes in the logic or gaps in the supporting data appear, as well as perhaps engaging another part of the brain in the thought process. It spares my brothers from receiving bunches of disjointed emails on the latest research, too, which no doubt quickly get buried in their inboxes with more urgent/interesting stuff.

I’m not now going to produce a new list of things to do for the next 6 months as it is summer and I want to stop adding to the time I sit in front of the PC! There’s already plenty of notes for further blogging, anyway.

Note 1

See Cutlock and Cullum page

One additional item: Muriel Cullum, born 1933 Lewisham (half second cousin once removed), probably married Roy Shephard 1956, and moved to Salisbury, with two daughters Rachel and Sarah?