Audrey New (née Harrison) of Badsey has loaned these lovely photographs of her grandparents, John and Ruth Cull. John Cull set up his bakery business in High Street, Badsey, in the 1880s (in what is now No 18 High Street). In this house, John and Ruth raised their ten children, with the bakehouse being situated at the back. Today, the house is uninhabited, but the bakehouse has been converted to residential accommodation and is lived in by a grandson of the Culls.
Is anyone able to help with Ruth Cullís family history? These are the facts:
She was born Ruth Silvester (or Sylvester as the name sometimes appears) in about 1858 in West Bromwich, one of three children of Edward and Sarah Silvester (the others being Naomi and Alfred)
In 1880, she is recorded in a Household Directory as being the National School Mistress in Badsey
It was presumably whilst living in Badsey that she met John Cull, who, at that time, helped his father in his bakerís business in Port Street, Bengeworth
At the time of the 1881 census, Ruth was working as a teacher in Coventry, where she was boarding at a public house in Bishop Street
Ruth married John Cull in about 1883 and went on to have ten children
John Cull died in 1929 and Ruth Cull in 1939
What is intriguing is that there was another family of Silvesters living in Badsey at the end of the 19th century. It is believed that Ruth was connected in some way, but how? This is the information about the other Silvesters:
In 1861, 56-year-old Elizabeth Silvester, was staying with her 80-year-old mother, Elizabeth Oldaker, and her unmarried sister, Mary Ann, at the blacksmithís in Badsey. Elizabeth and Mary Ann had been carrying on the work of blacksmith since Richard Oldaker, Elizabeth Oldakerís son, had died in January 1860. Possibly Elizabeth Silvester had returned home to help out. Also staying there was an eight-year-old visitor, Elizabeth Gardner, from Birmingham, and a lodger, Joseph Clements, a 50-year-old tailor
Elizabeth Silvester was born at Badsey in 1804, the daughter of Elizabeth and Samuel Oldaker, the village blacksmith
She married Robert Silvester at a date unknown and not in Badsey
Robert Silvester was born at Cleeve Prior, Worcestershire, in 1806
They had at least one son, Charles, born at Cleeve Prior in 1839
Did they also have a son, Edward, who was Ruthís father?
In 1871, Robert Silvester, a 65-year-old gardener, was living in Badsey, lodging with Joseph Clements (who had been lodging with the Oldaker family in 1861) at what is now No 16 High Street; it is not known where Elizabeth, his wife, was living
In 1881, both Robert and Elizabeth Silvester were living at what is now No 16 High Street; Antoinette Marsden, the successor to Ruth Silvester as National School Mistress was lodging with them
Robert Silvester died in September 1885 and Elizabeth Silvester died in March 1891
Elizabeth Silvester was buried on 17th March 1891. Just under three weeks later, the census took place on 5th April, when one Alfred Silvester (pictured below), a canal agent by profession, was staying with his sister Ruth Cull at what is now No 18 High Street. Had he been in Badsey for the funeral?
If you have any information at all about these families, particularly the Silvesters, please contact email@example.com