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Why “The Flock” ?

Courtesy www.tomjoe.com

How did this blog get its name ?

The occupations of Tuppens past include a wide variety of professions, callings or just plain jobs.  They include a lot of butchers and sailors/mariners, some military, a few farmers, the occasional clergyman or publican, a variety of other things, and many, many agricultural labourers.

However, quite a few of my direct ancestors were Sussex shepherds. But none these days, as far as I am aware.  However, though by no means a country boy, I did marry a sheep farmer’s daughter !

What I am doing in the One-Name Study is trying to herd a large number of Tuppens into one place and to nurture their stories.  I see them all as my “flock” !

Back On The “Job”

It feels as though I have done virtually nothing on this One-Name Study for months !  Unfortunately, a check of my records confirms this is true.

It is always a busy time before, during and after Christmas but that is all over now, the grandchildren are back at school, and I need to leave holiday mode behind and get back on the job.  Although busy volunteering etc I have no paid employment, so this project is my “job” now.

I always set myself a list of goals for the year (don’t always get them all done, sometimes not even nearly all, but ambitious/challenging is good).  These are my genealogy goals for 2018:

  • maintain contact with and extend my network of other Tuppen researchers
  • record and process all UK GRO Civil Registration Indexes
    • Births             (1,671)
    • Marriages      (1,374)
    • Deaths           (845)
  • record and process all US data available online
  • continue to add data to the Tuppen ONS website
  • start a Facebook group
  • get at least myself DNA tested  (this may well open up a whole new bag of work)

That’s quite a list and there are lots of bits and pieces to find and put together to get to my goals, so I had better go and make a start.

The Latest Headstone

Ashley’s Headstone

As part of my research we have been to a the odd cemetery or two and found quite a few relatives’ headstones.  But the latest in my collection is very special.

Way back in 1971 my parents had a stillborn son, Ashley Michael Tuppen.  Unfortunately our financial situation did not allow for a gravestone, but recently Sue and I determined that this needed to be remedied.  We arranged for a headstone to be crafted and installed.

Early in November 2017 we had a family gathering at the cemetery in Merredin, Western Australia.  My mother, brother and sister-in-law, three sisters and one brother-in-law, along with Sue and I, were able to be present for the blessing of the headstone by the local Catholic priest.

It was a very moving ceremony and Mum was really pleased to have all of her children together in one place at the same time, albeit for a sad occasion. 

At the headstone blessing

After the ceremony we adjourned to John and Leah Tuppen’s house to enjoy their wonderful hospitality again.  Although Sue and I had met up with them in June, my mother and siblings and their partners had not seen John for many, many years.  It was wonderful to be reconnecting old family ties (and making new ones) and we have vowed to be closer and in touch much more often.

Family Group at John and Leah’s

We Finally Meet Again

John and the Shepherd’s Crook

At the end of June my wife Sue and I took the opportunity of being on the other side of Australia to visit my father’s cousin John Tuppen and his wife Leah.  John is my first cousin once removed, his grandfather Frederick is my great-grandfather.  My family initially stayed with John and his parents and sister when we first migrated to Australia in 1963, but I had not met with John for about 45 years prior to June.

The connection started again in late 2013 when Leah confirmed some “Smart Matches” on a brief tree I have on My Heritage.  We made contact by email and continued to email sporadically over the intervening years.  It took until mid-2017 to actually meet again.

It was great talking to them as John and I have a few things in common, like coming out from England to country Western Australia as young boys, growing up without contact with grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins etc, and a mutual interest in aviation (John as a pilot and me as an air traffic controller).

John’s father, Frederick Charles Tuppen, wrote his memoirs longhand in several exercise books until it got too hard for him and then recorded the rest on cassette tape.  He later gave all this to John and asked him to write a book.  The resulting autobiography “Shepherd’s Progress” is now in several libraries.  John very kindly gave me a copy of the book that I had been waiting to read for so long.

John has also started a book about his own life and gave me a copy of his manuscript so far.  Perhaps I should start mine !  Have any of you started yours ?  I’d love to hear about that.

Here are a couple of the highlights from our information sharing

  • I have an original newspaper clipping about my great-great grandfather’s obituary in 1915, but it is missing the last part which follows the line … “There were several floral tributes, which bore the following inscriptions…”. I have never been able to find out which newspaper it is from.
  • John also has the same newspaper clipping, also an original, but doesn’t know which paper it is from. However, his copy includes the last part which details the floral transcriptions !
  • Hanging in John’s home (photo above) is the shepherd’s crook that belonged to his grandfather (Frederick Tuppen, died 1951), my great-grandfather. It is pertinent that John now owns this because we no longer have any active shepherds but he is the last sheep-farmer in our line.  The photo above
  • and of course, from the book, all the details of his father Frederick Charles’ early life, military life in India after WWI, service throughout WWII and migration to Australia give me lots of things to research on
  • I am looking forward to more in the future

It took us a very long time to make contact and a long time thereafter to actually meet, but it was really great to catch up.  Thanks John and Leah !

If you are reading this and you know of any shepherds in your Tuppen family, then I would be thrilled to hear from you, via the contact page or directly at patuppen@bigpond.com please.


Making Contacts – and New Friends

Sue & Paul Tuppen with Mary Yacopetti

Over the last few months I have been making a concerted effort to contact other people who are researching their Tuppen family.

As well as people related to different lines of the greater Tuppen flock, I have emailed several people who are descendants of Henry Edward Tuppen (1843-1933).  Henry Edward was for many years the butler to Baron Dacre in Hertfordshire, England.  After that gentleman’s death Henry Edward moved to Northern Ireland as the chief butler for the Earl of Antrim, based at Glenarm Castle.

Shari Bruce from the USA has been especially helpful and generous in sharing information about the Northern Ireland connection and the sons who migrated to the United States.  I have also been contacted by Arthur R Tuppen (USA), son of one of those who migrated, who has done considerable research on the family.

Only a few weeks ago I was put in touch with Mary Yacopetti (maiden name Tuppen, born in Northern Ireland, great-grand-daughter of Henry Edward Tuppen).  The really exciting thing is that, because Mary lives in Perth and I am now visiting Western Australia to catch up with my family, my wife and I were able to spend a magic morning with Mary today !

One of Arthur R Tuppen’s Books

We had a lot to talk about and she showed me 2 volumes of books prepared by Arthur R Tuppen (Bob).  These contained a mountain of information and photos.  Bob has done an amazing job and is to be congratulated on the results of what is obviously an enormous effort over a lengthy time period.

I send a huge thank you to all of those who share their information and experiences with my study.

Henry Tuppen – In Two Places At Once ?

Staff at Frogmore House, including Henry and Charles Tuppen. Courtesy of Shari Bruce.

I had previously recorded a Henry Tuppen in the England 1851 Census, living at Frogmore House, Windsor Berkshire, where he was in Royal Service as a stableman in the household of Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent.  Despite being a 35 year old married man he was unaccompanied, on the same census page as many other servants.  Nothing too odd about that.

Interestingly, I have just found him again, living in Carlton Royal Mews, St Martin in the Fields, London, with his family.

The process was complicated by the transcriptions

  • At the Frogmore House address his surname was mistranscribed by Ancestry as Tappen and by FindMyPast transcribed him correctly as Tuppen
  • At the Carlton Royal Mews address his surname was mistranscribed as Tuffing by Ancestry, as were his wife and 3 children
  • Also at the Carlton Royal Mews address he was mistranscribed by FindMyPast as Tupping, as were his family,
  • At the Carlton Royal Mews address he was not on the same transcript record as the others, so I had a wife and children with no husband/father/head of household

However, I have been able to match them up because he appears in each record as married, age 35, born Sydenham, Kent, a stableman in the service of HRH the Duchess of Kent (whose title was also mistranscribed as “H R H H Tho Ducheardfield”).

This all fits with other data that I have previously compiled and has allowed me to merge two records in Legacy into one.

So Henry Tuppen was recorded in the 1851 Census in two places at once, both at work and at home.

Canadian Book of Remembrance – World War One

On the site of the Canadian Houses of Parliament, in Ottawa, there is a building called the Peace Tower.  It was constructed to serve as a memorial to those Canadians who gave their lives in World War One.  Among other memorials it now houses Canada’s seven Books of Remembrance, honouring those who made the ultimate sacrifice in WW1 and other conflicts.

The names of the fallen are inscribed in the Books of Remembrance and can also be found in the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.  It is easy to search.  The books themselves are on public display and there is a schedule that ensures that each page of each book is turned once a year.  You can also find out when a certain page is to be displayed.

In the First World War book, there is a listing for Joseph Lucas Tuppen.  This page will be displayed on 31 October.  The exciting thing is that you are able to request a copy of the page on which your person of interest is listed https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/books/book_form.

Online, I requested a copy of Joseph Lucas Tuppen’s page and received back from the Office of the Sergeant-At-Arms of the House of Commons a package containing a covering letter and beautiful, high-quality prints of the cover of the book and page 515.




Although not personally related to Joseph, he is one our our “flock” and I was very pleased to be able to access this tribute and to remember his sacrifice.

I will post a brief history of his life in a separate post shortly.

PLEASE TELL ME if you find one of your relatives in these books.

Uncommon Names Make It Easier


We have all looked for someone with a common given name, eg John, and been overwhelmed with the number of records who may or may not be our person.  However, uncommon given names, either alone or as a second given name, can make the task a lot easier.  So, I was quite excited to start looking for John Silvanus Tuppen.

As an aside, this handsome guy is Silvanus (or Sylvanus) the Roman God of forests, woodlands and herds.  Interestingly, from my ancestral perspective, he is said to be revered by shepherds.

How about that !  No wonder there are some Tuppens with this name.

Back to the search.  It was indeed easier to narrow down the field of possibilities, except that, even with such an uncommon name, there still seemed to be 3 different individuals.  And 2 of these have the same Mother’s maiden name, Hibbert, and they were born only 6 years apart.

Are these different families ?  Did 2 Tuppen men marry 2 different women named Hibbert ? There are other examples of Tuppen brothers marrying sisters.

A little more research using death and probate records reveals the answer.

John Silvanus Tuppen married Sarah Mary Ann Hibbert in the last quarter of 1858.

Their first son, named John Silvanus Tuppen after his father, was born in Q4 1861, but sadly died in Q2 1862, at a little over 2 years of age.

A subsequent son, their fourth, was born about 4 years later on 29 Oct 1867 and named John Silvanus after his father and deceased elder brother.  This man named his 3rd son (5th child) Ralph Silvanus/Sylvanus (spelling changes from record to record on many of these people).

It turns out that this was a lot easier than sorting through myriad Johns, but it had a little twist to make things interesting.  A key to this mystery was the new UK GRO Birth Registration Index showing mothers’ maiden names, which had previously only been available after 1911.


Time Flies When You’re Having Fun !

Wow ! Three months since my last post.  Where did that go ?

What have I been doing ?  Well, not posting blogs, obviously.  And not adding data to the website.

But, I have been

  • corresponding with new and old contacts, comparing the information we hold, adding to our data and swapping information and photos
  • meeting relatives, including ones that I have been out of contact with for many years
  • viewing records from the Family History Library of the Church of Latter Day Saints, either online or by viewing microfilm at my local LDS Family History Centre (I got some really old stuff from there)
  • chasing bright shiny objects (interesting people, records, documents, photos etc that I find)

It is all really interesting and useful stuff, but it’s not following the research plan.

I say again, “more focus, less distraction, Paul !”

It Only Took 176 Years !

Courtesy Marden History Group

After about 3 weeks experience in WordPress, I have finally posted a page with some real information on it.  It is not as ready as I want it to be and still needs some tweaking, but the only way to be able to look at the drop-down menu function is to have the relevant pages published.  You can’t (or at least I can’t), test this with Draft status pages.  All part of the learning curve.

I can see  now that the maps and charts are smaller on the final page and I need to learn how to set them up to be clicked and pop up as a larger, more readable window.  Another  rung on the learning ladder to be climbed.

Anyway, only 176 years later, here are the Tuppen UK 1841 Census results.  Tell me if you find someone you know.