In the Cunliffe Family Bible we find a couple of records which are difficult to place in the context of the Cunliffe family as we know it. These relate to the Fillinghams. I will try to outline what I know so far and then hopefully I will be able to crack this one with the help of other researchers. If you know anything that can help with this then please do write a comment bellow and share your thought. You are also welcome to email me using the contact form.
The first Fillingham I am going to mention is not actually mentioned as a Fillingham in the family bible. Hannah is only mentioned by her married name:
John and Hannah Cunliffe, 8th Aug 1908
In the Lancashire BMD there is only one record of a John Cunliffe married in 1908 and this is in Ince i Makerfield where the family lives – so it is probably him:
CUNLIFFE John / FILLINGHAM Annie / St. Mary,Ince / Wigan & Leigh / C20/3/162
You will notice that he marries a Fillingham although her name in the BMD is not Hannah but instead Annie. The reasons for this are numerous. Her actual name may be Annie but her family may just know her as Hannah. It could also be an error in the transcription or an error on behalf of the clerk.
The Family Bible gives us no mention as to where Hannah/Annie was born or even when. But if I suppose that she is not younger than 16 when she got married and not older than 36 there are the following possibilities in Lancashire BMD:
– Hannah Fillingham born 1884 in Wigan
– Hannah Fillingham born 1879 in Oldham
– Annie Fillingham born 1879 in Wigan
– Annie Fillingham born 1878 in St Helens
Seeing as the Fillinghams seem so intertwined with the Cunliffe’s as we will go on to discover below it is reasonable to think that she will be from the same area – so Wigan. Nevertheless, this leaves me with two possibilities, one Hannah and one Annie. There is no other option but to find the marriage certificate I fear.
In the Cunliffe Family Bible there are further mentions of Fillinghams:
Birth of Mary Ann Fillingham 27.12.1907
I can’t find this record in Lancashire BMD
Marriage of Fanny and William Fillingham, 02.09.1914
I have found a record of this on Lancashire BMD:
FILLINGHAM William / STUBBINGS Fanny / St. Mary,Ince Wigan & Leigh C20/3/461
Stubbings is another surname that pops up in the family bible with:
Jessie Moorfield Stubbings born 27.12.1907 but I have no idea who these 3 people are and how they fit into the Cunliffe family.
She is in the BMD:
STUBBINGS / Jessie Moorfield / Hindley / Wigan & Leigh / HNDL/169/105
Death of William Fillingham, 07.07.1916
Death of Mary Ann Fillingham, 02.04.1927
Neither of these deaths appear in the Lancashire BMD.
Again I have no idea how they fit in.
I guess this post leaves many questions unanswered. If you have any clues please feel free to comment or contact me.
Today I found a grave at Wigan cemetery on the Wigan World website which shone a light on the case. This grave contains people with all 4 surnames which appear in the Cunliffe family bible: Cunliffe, Fillingham, Norburn and Stubbings. This at least means that there is a connection. The question now is how they fit in.