…How It All Started

Many of us will have had those moments with elderly relatives when they wanted to talk about people in the family or their ancestors, and all you wanted to do was something else. That was certainly true for me but after the family history bug hit me I started to wish I had listened more when I was younger!

Our research started when we had a young family. A small page that looked as though it had once been the inside page of an old diary fell out of our old family bible when my wife was looking it with our eldest daughter. We had never seen it before. The words on it “Sarah Ann Middleton, my book and an address in Southsea.”, fascinated us. Questions like, “Who was she?”, “I’ve never heard of a Middleton in our family”, came up but it was months before we followed it up. Later on a rainy holiday in the New Forest, we decided to visit the location of the house, and to try out, if we could, who she was.

The woman turned out to be my grandad Culpin’s aunt and our research into who she was started and with it our interest in finding out about our family history.

Starting with only a vague knowledge of how to go about it, we visited the Portsmouth Local Studies Library and the very helpful staff started us on our way to a hobby that has engaged us ever since.

Alfred Culpin, my grandfather, and his small family were the start of our research and the origins of this one-name study.

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