Getting excited by an obituary


As is quite often the case, a quick tidying up exercise of my Family Tree Maker records this weekend led to some interesting discoveries and a longer research session than planned. Plus the first helpful online British obituary.

The extension to the probate calendar on Ancestry (now to 1966, rather than 1941) meant that it was worth checking through all fairly close cousins of about the right birth year. This threw up that one Cullum cousin hadn’t even been put through the process to check for offspring. This was either because I had finished a research session with her sister’s records and had forgotten to return, or I hadn’t been convinced about her possible marriage. Time to put that right.

Jessie Cullum was one cousin that, when this family surname was identified, Dad had managed to find referenced in gran’s birthdays notebook – 2nd March 1915. However this does appear to be a year out – the registration record is in April/June quarter of 1914, in Norwich. The likely marriage was 1939 in Fakenham district to Harry K Worship. A couple of Ancestry trees suggest a death in 2009, but of course that is too recent for there to be a record in the site’s database. But perhaps I could strike lucky with an online obituary – I wasn’t all that hopeful as I’d only found American examples so far. But yes, familynotices24 had a copy of the obit which appeared in the Eastern Daily Press/Evening News for 6th August 2009. Even better, the site also showed a linked ‘birthday memory’ notice dated 2nd March 2010, much diminishing any doubt about having the correct person or marriage.

Of course any death is sad, but Jessie was well into in her 90s and had seen great grandchildren born and grow to almost adults. It still seems a little perverse to take a delight in finding this obituary. Particularly as it contained the following example of why obits can be so fascinating in family history:

Beloved wife of the late Ken, loving mum to Josephine and Pauline, much-loved gran and great-gran to Naomi, Jake, Rachel, Emma, Helen, Callum, Jim, Yasmin, Zak, Tatty and Eddie.

How could I not then see if I could identify all those names? Ken was obviously the usual name for Harry, and Josephine and Pauline were easy.  Matching marriages for these latter two (a double wedding in Norwich, 1965) led to 4 grandchildren with surnames Glanville and Rushmer, and on from there to 4 of the great grand-children.

Still leaves another three I can’t work out, though. Perhaps some were born abroad, or too recently for the records to show online.

As ever, if any of those mentioned here happens across my scribblings, it would be great to hear from you (via comments or contact form).

Notes

1. More on the Cullum (and Cutlock) families.

2. The obituary on familynotices24 disappeared for a while, but is back. Here is an extract of the copy we made anyway:

WORSHIP JESSIE MARJORIE (nee Cullum). On August 1st, 2009 peacefully in sleep. Beloved wife of the late Ken, loving mum to Josephine and Pauline, much-loved gran and great-gran to Naomi, Jake, Rachel, Emma, Helen, Callum, Jim, Yasmin, Zak, Tatty and Eddie. Reunited with her loved ones. Those we love don’t go away, They are in our hearts every day. Sleep peacefully.  …. cremation at St. Faiths Crematorium.

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