Alan March’s Family History

This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines, and some go back many generations. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from Alan’s as (1)

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WILLIAM CULLIP/CALEB. We read from the 1851 census that William was born in the Cambridgeshire village of Croxton and was aged 87, giving him a birth date of 1763-4. Either he or his son-in-law was vague about his exact age. His true age is given at his burial, again as 87, though this is six years later. This gives his birth-date as 1769-70, which leads us to the following baptism.

Baptism. St James, Croxton.
1769 Jul 30  William son of John and Sarah Cullip.

His mother was Sarah Risely.

A sister had been born before him, but died within two weeks. William was the oldest of the ten subsequent children: six girls and another three boys.

They were a family of agricultural labourers.


ELIZABETH PETERS. While William had come to Yelling from the village of Croxton, 3 miles south, Elizabeth was born there.

Baptism. Yelling.
1772 Sep 20  Elizabeth daughter of Thomas and Isabella Peters.

Her mother was Isabella Warren, from Bythorn, 16 miles from Yelling, but her parents brought up their family in Yelling.

Elizabeth was the eldest of ten children.

Yelling is in the former county of Huntingdonshire, which is now the Huntingdon District of Cambridgeshire. The village is 5 miles east of St Neots.

It is noted for its 17th-century houses and cottages, many of them in the High Street.

Yelling High Street

It was here that William and Elizabeth were married in the church of the Holy Cross.

 Marriage. Holy Cross, Yelling.
1792 Dec 17  William Caleb and Elizabeth Peters

 There are multiple spellings of William’s surname. When we first meet them in the register, it is written as Caleb, but after the baptism of their fifth child, it changes to the more usual Cullip. The shift probably coincided with a change of vicar or parish clerk, who heard the surname differently. William himself was probably unable to read either spelling.

Baptisms. Holy Cross, Yelling.
1794 Feb 9  Mary
1795 Sep 27  John
1797 May 7  William
1798 Sep 30  Isabella
1804 Sep 30  Thomas
1807 Mar 29  Elizabeth
1809 Sep 15  James
1813 May 9  Sarah
1820 Sep 24  Susan and Anne

The Cullips were thus attending the Church of the Holy Cross in Yelling when the noted evangelist Henry Venn was vicar from 1771 until his death in 1797. He was a friend of John Wesley. In his previous ministry in Huddersfield his preaching and teaching had brought multitudes to the Christian faith. But ill health and exhaustion led him to seek the quieter living at Yelling, where he stayed until he died.

William and Elizabeth raised their family during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. They would have shared the general rejoicing at the Navy’s victory in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, but mourned the death of the national hero Lord Nelson.

William’s sons followed him as agricultural labourers. The soil around Yelling is heavy clay, making it difficult to work on. The principal crops were cereals and beans.

 In the 1841 census, William and Elizabeth are living with two of their sons, their married daughter Sarah, grandson James and one other person.

1841 Census, Yelling.
William Cullip            70               Ag lab        N
Elizabeth Cullip          65                                  Y
James Cullip                 30               Ag lab        Y
Sarah Bars                    25                                  Y
James Bars                    1                                   Y
Susan Hodge               20                                  Y
William Cullip              20                                  Y

 N means that William was not born in Huntingdonshire. His birthplace of Croxton was in Cambridgeshire.

By now, the young Queen Victoria was on the throne.

 Four years later, Elizabeth died.

Burial. Holy Cross, Yelling.
1845 Jul 18  Elizabeth Cullip aged 71

The widowed William went to live with his married daughter Susan and her family. His unmarried son James was also living with them. 

1851 Census. Rectory, Yelling.
James See            Head      Mar            34          Ag labourer                   Yelling
Susan See            Wife      Mar            31                                               Yelling
Ruth See              Daur                         5          Scholar                            Yelling
Luke See             Son                           3           Scholar                            Yelling
James Cullip                      U                42          Ag labourer  Lodger       Yelling
William Cullip                 Widowr      87          Pauper  Lodger                 Croxton

William is no longer an agricultural labourer. No doubt he was suffering from some infirmity that made him unfit for work. In an age before state pensions, he became a pauper, receiving poor relief from the parish.

He died before the next census.
Burial. Holy Cross, Yelling.
1857 Apr 21    William Cullip  aged 87




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