Cufflin Family Tree

by Harold Anthony Cufflin


        The research on which this outline pedigree is based was carried out by two researchers, largely independant of each other. Harold Anthony Cufflin of 17, Llangorse Road, Cyncoed, Cardiff, CF2 6PF, United Kingdom was responsible for the research on the twentieth and nineteenth century families as far back as Thomas Cufflin 1746-1823, "the Shoemaker". William Henry Cufflin Jnr. of 1839 East Eckermann Avenue, West Covine, California, 19791, U.S.A. was responsible for much of the detail on Thomas Cufflin and his children and continued to trace the line back through two more generations to the end of the seventeenth century. The presentation of the research in this document, however is the work of Harold Anthony Cufflin and any errors in presentation are his.

        The two researchers are distant cousins. Both are decended from Thomas Cufflin 1746-1823, in the case of Harold Anthony Cufflin from his youngest daughter, Dorcas Cufflin 1819-1897, in the case of William Henry Cufflin from his third son, James Cufflin, 1812-1877, whose son, Arthur Edwin Cufflin 1850-1924, emigrated to the United States and settled in Massachusetts.

        The details for this pedigree are for the most part supported by documentary evidence in the possession of one or other or both of the two researchers. The evidence consists of authenticated birth, baptismal, marriage, death and burial records or certificates, copies of wills, census records, transcripts of inquests, entries in printed town or county directories, correspondence with official bodies and personal letters.

        Where any doubt or uncertainty exists, the item has been shown in the family group record with a query and an explanation is given in the notes that follow. Even in the case of these queried items, nothing has been entered which is purely speculative. Some evidence, albeit not wholly conclusive, exists to justify the inclusion of these details, which may be regarded at the very least as highly probable. In the nature of things genealogy can never be an exact science and will always contain an element of creative conjecture.

        The pedigree is incomplete for a number of reasons. On the one hand the relevant records may be missing, misplaced, badly indexed, illegibly microfilmed; or, the information to hand may be inadequate as the basis for an effective and conclusive search; until quite recently there was considerable variation in the spelling of names and our ancestors had a disconcerting habit of abandoning old names and assuming new ones. On the other hand some details are absent from the pedigree, simply because there has not been enough time or opportunity to make all the necessary searches, especially for those not relevant to the main line of descent.

Harold Anthony Cufflin
April 1992

Index Notes 1 - 22
  1. Thomas Capes Cufflin's birth date
  2. The knitting or stocking frame
  3. Capes Cufflin's will
  4. Thomas Cufflin's craft of shoemaking
  5. Thomas Cufflin's first wife
  6. Thomas Cufflin's second wife
  7. Thomas Cufflin's shoemaking business
  8. Thomas Cufflin's children and grandchildren
  9. William Shirt
10. Mary Ann Agnes Scott
11. Dawns
12. Change of name from Shirt to Cufflin
13. Charles William Shirt afterwards Cufflin
14. Emma Crosbie and the Crosbies
15. Suicide of Charles William Shirt afterwards Cufflin
16. Annie Cufflin and Roy Douglas Cufflin
17. Lindley Cufflin
18. Gilbert Ruay Cufflin
19. Leicester Cufflins
20. A note on the name Cufflin
21. William Cufflin and Capes Cufflin
22. Cyffin

        The following notes refer to family members who are descended from Thomas Cufflin of Glenfield 1747-1823. See also the Cufflin family files "Blaby" and the "London Cufflins" for the complete picture.

1. Thomas Capes Cufflin's birth date
        A Thomas Cufflin was baptised in Ratby, Leicestershire in 1697, the son of Thomas Cufflin and Elizabeth (surname not known). It is likely that this is the same person as Thomas Capes Cufflin, whose three children were baptised in Glenfield in 1719, 1720 and 1722 respectively and who was buried in Glenfield in 1765. The dates of birth of his children and his date of death suggest that he would probably have been born about 1695 and would probably have married about 1718. It is also possible that his mothers maiden name was Capes, but, as this is pure supposition, the name has not been entered on the record sheet.
        The village of Ratby is situated about 2 miles to the west of Glenfield, which is now a suburb of Leicester. The parish records of both Ratby and Glenfield are very incomplete due to the ravages of fire, neglect, etc. over the centuries.
[This note has since been amended in the light of new evidence See Note 21]

2. The knitting or stocking frame    Index
        Hosiery and shoemaking are two of the traditional industries associated with Leicestershire. The knitting or stocking frame was invented by William Lee of Woodborough Notts. in 1589. Later models improved on his original design.
        "Framework knitter = an operative in the hosiery trade, who weaves the worsted or cotten thread up into a knitted fabric" (Oxford English Dictionary, quoting Simmonds, IL. A dictionary of trade products...London 1858).
        It can be assumed that the work of framework knitting, in these circumstances at least, was a cottage industry, carried out in the homes of Capes Cufflin 1699-1765 and his son John 1720-1792.

3. Capes Cufflin's will    Index
        The importance of the knitting frame in their scheme of things is shown by the fact that in his will, dated 21 May 1759, proved in 1765, Capes Cufflin singled it out for particular mention. He bequeathed "my stocking frame or engine to weave stockings with the appurtenances" to his son John and on his demise to his granddaughter, Dorothy Cufflin.
        He also left his "cottage or tenement" and "twelve lands or leys lying and being in the open fields of Ratby" to his son John or on his demise to his grandson Thomas Cufflin. "My gray suit of cloaths and one other suit of my cloaths" were left John. "My brown suit of cloaths" was left to his grandson Thomas. "All the rest residue and remainder of my personal estate" was left to his eldest granddaughter Nancy (or Nanny), or if she did not attain the age of 21 years, to be divided between his other grandsons and granddaughters, viz. Thomas, Dorothy, Elizabeth, Fanny, Diana and James or their survivors.

4. Thomas Cufflins craft of shoemaking    Index
        We can only speculate as to why Capes Cufflin passed over his three eldest grandchildren, Nancy, Fanny and especially Thomas, in his will, in order to leave his stocking frame to Dorothy. A partial explanation may be that Thomas may already have been destined for, possibly already apprenticed to, his future trade of shoemaking.
        The Register of Apprentices of the Freemen of Leicester, 1770-1930 carries an entry:- "Richard Cufflin son of Richard Cufflin, cordwainer, apprenticed to George Everard from 26th February 1822". Cordwainer is another name for shoemaker. The entry proves that at least one branch of the Cufflin family in Leicestershire was engaged in shoemaking in the period. Most probably, Thomas Cufflin 1746-1823 learned his trade in Ratby or Glenfield from a kinsman, perhaps an uncle or cousin.
        Nothing is known of the date or the circumstances in which he came to travel south to London to seek his fortune.

5. Thomas Cufflin's first wife    Index
        Thomas Cufflin's first wife was named Susanna (surname not known). He had by her at least two children, Dinah, baptised on 25 March 1774 at St Giles, Cripplegate, London, and Mary born 13 June 1777, baptised at St Martin's in the Fields, London on 12 July 1777. Both Dinah and Mary are mentioned in his will, together with the six children of his second marriage to Margaret Stephens.
        Mary Cufflin, born 1777, married John Warr on 15 June 1806 at St Pauls, Covent Garden, London.
        Nothing is known of the date or circumstances of the death of Susanna.

6. Thomas Cufflin's second wife    Index
        Margaret Stephens, Thomas Cufflin's second wife, was born in the village of Nash in Herefordshire, within the parish of Presteigne, which is about two miles to the north over the border in Radnorshire. She was baptised on 5 December 1778 at St Andrews Church, Presteigne, the third of the ten children of Robert Stephens and Margaret Jones, of whom only eight survived infancy. her family had been resident in the district for many generations. She may have been originally Welsh speaking.
        One can only speculate as to how she came to meet and marry Thomas Cufflin. As one of a large family of many mouths to feed, she may have been packed off to London into domestic service. Or she may have formed part of the legion of Welsh purveyors of dairy produce in the capital, retaining links with her suppliers back home in Wales. It seems likely that she would have met Thomas Cufflin in London. At the time of their marriage on 19 June 1807, she was 28, her groom 60. In the course of the next sixteen years, until his death at the age of 76, she was to bear him six children.
        The London Directory, 1827, has an entry for:- "Margaret Cufflin, King and Queen Public House, Norton Folgate". Norton Folgate lies to the north of Liverpool St station. In 1834 she was living at 138 Shorditch High St. as attested by a letter from her son Thomas Stephens Cufflin, then working in Jamaica. She died on 30 May 1867 at 7 Osborn Villas, West Green Road, Tottenham.

7. Thomas Cufflin's shoemaking business    Index
        A number of entries in printed town directories confirm the location of Thomas Cufflin's shoemaking business at 21, Panton Street. Panton Street runs from the east side of the Haymarket to the south west corner of Leicester Square. Golden Square was the former name of Leicester Square.
        Pigot's London Directory 1823/24:- "Thomas Cufflin, Boot and shoe maker, 21, Panton Street". Pigot's London Directory 1826/27:- "T Cufflin, 21 Panton Street, Golden Square". Kents London Directory 1828:- "T Cufflin, 21 Panton Street, Haymarket".
        All of his six children by Margaret Stephens were baptised at St Martin's in the Fields, which suggests that the family almost certainly lived "over the shop" at 21 Panton Street, about a quarter of a mile from the church.
        One of William Henry Cufflin's letters refers to Thomas Cufflin's "shoemaking establishment dealing in Cordovan leathers and catering to the Royal personages". The authority for the reference is not clear, but it may have formed part of an advertisement in a directory. However, it would seem likely that, given the location of the premises, it was in all probability a high quality business catering to a monied and in part aristocratic clientele.
        In his will Thomas left his wife a thousand pounds for "her own and absolute use and benefit. He instructed his executors to sell his shoemaking business and to invest the proceeds in annuities, the interest or dividends of which were to be used for the bringing up of his six children by his present wife, Margaret. Margaret also received the household furniture, plate and china. As each of his children reached 21 years of age, each was to receive a portion of the annuity fund. The details of his will, added to the location of his business premises, indicate a certain degree of prosperity.
        The St. Martin's in the Fields cemetery in Pratt Street, Camden Town, referred to as the burial place of Thomas Cufflin, is now a public garden.

8. Thomas Cufflin's children and grandchildren    Index
        The children of Thomas Cufflin 1746-1823 and their children came to form part of the increasingly prosperous Victorian London lower middle class. They became, or intermarried with, accountants, coffee merchants, commercial clerks, commercial travellers, confectioners and licenced victuallers, drapers, grocers, jewellers, laundry proprietors, potato salesmen, publicans, tailors, tallow chandlers, teachers. These are the occupations cited on birth and marriage certificates of Thomas' descendants over the following generations. Initially, they were concentrated in Islington, Canonbury, Clerkenwell and adjacent districts of north London.
        Perhaps the most prosperous of Thomas Cufflin's children was Robert Stephens Cufflin 1814-1878, who established his jewellery business in Upper Street, Islington. Two of his sons, Robert Stephens Cufflin 1859-1916 and Arthur St Patrick Cufflin 1862-, continued and extended the business, with branches in the Strand and in Westow Hill, Norwood, south London, adjacent to the Crystal Palace. These details are confirmed by entries in Post Office London directories over many years. For his many services to the parish church, St Mary's, Islington, a stained glass window was placed in the church in memory of the younger Robert Stephens Cufflin 1859-1916. Unfortunately, all the windows of the church were blown out during German bombing attacks in the course of World War II. On his death in 1916 Robert Stephens Cufflin left £10,000 to his widow, Florence, née Vass.
        Ada Blanche Cufflin, born 1866, the daughter of Robert Stephens Cufflin 1814-1878, became an actress under the stage name of Eileen Munro. She performed in the London theatre and in some early films and toured India and South Africa. The authority for this information is a letter from her niece by marriage, Marjory Cufflin, part of the South African branch of the family.
        James Cufflin 1812-1877 was successively a potato salesman, publican and confectioner and licensed victualler in Clerkenwell, Islington, Covent Garden and St Pancras. On 3 September 1837 he married Martha Hall and had a large family of ten children, of whom two died in infancy. After the death of his first wife in 1867, he re-married to Hannah Drewel on 15 November 1870. Family legend, as re-told by William Henry Cufflin, has it that Hannah was being courted by James' son, Charles Albert, born 1848, who brought her to the house to meet the family. Father took a fancy to her and she married him instead.
        Of the known émigrés Thomas Stephens Cufflin 1811- was known to be employed as an accounts clerk and bookkeeper on a plantation in Jamaica in 1834, but there is no trace of his later whereabouts. Three of James' sons went to the United States. Thomas born 1843, a sailor, spent the last years of his life on Staten Island, New York. Arthur Edwin 1850-1924 emigrated to Massachusetts and established the large contingent of American Cufflins of which William Henry Cufflin is part. Edwin Cufflin 1854-1886 is known to have died and is buried in Boston, Mass.
        Walter Frank Cufflin 1860-1922, another son of Robert Stephens Cufflin 1814-1878, emigrated to South Africa, where he married in 1900 Emma Lydia Baragwanath 1875-, second eldest daughter of John Albert Baragwanath. John Baragwanath 1839-1928, originally from Redruth in Cornwall, was a businessman and prospector and a pioneer in the development of gold-mining in South Africa. A suburb of Johannesburg and the hospital in Soweto are named after him. It is presumed that the link between the Baragwanath family and Walter Frank Cufflin was a common interest in gold. There remains an extensive branch of the Cufflin family in South Africa.
        In addition to these migrants William Henry Cufflin has corresponded with Cufflins in Australia, New Zealand and Canada and has identified the presence of a number of Cufflins on the island of Barbados. Many of these, however, will have been descended from Cufflins who emigrated directly from Leicester and its environs, not from Thomas Cufflin "the Shoemaker".

9. William Shirt    Index
        On William Shirt and Dorcas Cufflin's marriage certificate his fathers name and occupation are entered as "George Shirt, Farmer", place of origin not given. The surname Shirt is quite common in the north of England, especially in parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire. The 1841 Census entry for 68 Shepperton Cottages, Islington confirms that "William Shirt, Commercial Traveller", resident at that address, was not born in the county (of Middlesex). In the 1841 Census officials were instructed merely to ask residents if they were born in the county and to record their answers, N(o) or Y(es).
        William Shirt describes himself on his marriage certificate as "Commercial Traveller", then on his children's birth certificates as "Grocer" and finally as "Coffee Merchant". The Post Office London Directory for 1851 has the following entry:- "Shirt, William & Co., wholesale coffee dealers, 10 Arthur Street, West.
        The death Certificate for "William Lindley Shirt, annuitant, aged 69 years", dated 13 December 1874, is not conclusively that of William Shirt, husband of Dorcas Cufflin, but, in view of the very unusual middle name, later bestowed on William and Dorcas' grandson, it seems likely to be the correct one.
        Lindley Green is the name of a village north-east of Otley, Yorkshire. Lindley is the name of a village north-west of Huddersfield, Yorkshire. There was also a Lindley in Leicestershire. But there is no positive evidence to link William Shirt with any particular place of origin.

10. Mary Ann Agnes Scott    Index
        The birth certificate for Mary Ann Agnes Scott cannot be traced via the indexes of births, marriages and deaths at Somerset House (now St Catherine's House). If the ages given on her marriage and death certificates are correct, she would have been born between December 1842 and July 1843. We cannot, therefore, state with absolute conviction what her mother's name was, although from other evidence (see note 11 below), it seems certain that it was Sarah Watson.
        Her marriage certificate yields the information that her father was Richard Scott, a tailor. It has not been possible to find any more information about him.
        The marriage of Charles William Shirt and Mary Ann Agnes Scott is entered in two consecutive quarterly index volumes at St Catherine's House, June 1864 and September 1864. The wedding actually took place on the 10 July 1864, so that the September index entry is the valid one. The earlier entry is a rogue entry, due to an over-zealous registrar anticipating the wedding arranged for an earlier date that summer, but put back due to the illness of the bride. (Note that Agnes Scott died four years later, a month after the birth of her third child). It is sometimes reassuring to learn that the indexes of births, marriages and deaths at St. Catherine's House include records of events that did not take place, since they quite clearly exclude records of events that did take place.
        The Post Office London Directory for 1869 has an entry for:- "66 Windsor Street, Mrs Agnes Shyrt [sic], artist. According to family lore a number of paintings, formerly in the possession of Windsor Dawn Cufflin 1868-1929 and passed on his death to Laurie Gilbert Olley Cufflin 1914-1983, were the work of Agnes Shirt, née Scott.
        The surname Scott suggests that the family originated in Scotland or the Borders.
        There is absolutely no evidence to sustain Harold Marius Cufflin's claim that Mary Ann Agnes Scott was related to the celebrated architect Sir George Gilbert Scott 1811-1878, one of the prime movers of the Gothic revival in this country.

11. Dawns    Index
        An unexplained problem has to do with the reason why Lindley Dawn Shirt, Helen Dawn Shirt and Windsor Dawn Shirt all bore the same middle name, Dawn. It was, and still is, the convention to continue the use of a family name in this way, often the wife's maiden name or maternal grandmother's name etc.
        Unfortunately, Mary Ann Agnes Scott's birth certificate cannot be traced, so that we cannot be absolutely sure of her mother's name. However, the information can be teased out by the following roundabout method.
        The Post Office London Directory for 1869 has an entry:- "Mrs Scott and Miss Jessie Scott, professor of music, 24 Cannonbury Road". It seems reasonable to suppose that these are the mother and sister (or possibly aunt) of Mary Ann Agnes Scott. Jessie Scott also features in the 1871 Census entry for 2 Beresford Road, Islington:- "Jessie Scott, unmarried, teacher, aged 32". This suggests a birth date of 1838/39 and in fact a birth certificate has been traced for:- "Jessie Caroline Scott, born 12 July 1838, father, Richard Scott, tailor, mother Sarah Scott formerly Watson, 12 Church Street Kensington". On this evidence it seems very likely that Sarah Scott, formerly Watson, was also the mother of Mary Ann Agnes Scott.
        This simple straightforward picture is clouded somewhat by the evidence provided by the Census records of 1881 and 1891. The Census record in 1881 for 2 Beresford Road lists "Sarah Dawn, widow, 67, head of household" and living with her are "Sophie E Scott, daughter, 45" and "Lindley Cufflin, 15, grandson". Sophie Emmeline Scott, born 1835/36, died 1 January 1923, aged 87 years, is described on her death certificate as "spinster, daughter of ----- Scott, a tailor" and her role as "Aunt Emmeline" in caring for Lindley Cufflin is attested by Ruth Margaret Cufflin 1905-.
        Again in the 1891 Census entry for 2 Beresford Road are listed "Sarah Dawn, widow, 77, head of household" and "Sophia E Scott, daughter, 55" and "Helen Cufflin, 23, granddaughter" and "Windsor Cufflin, 22, grandson".
        The most likely conclusion to be drawn from these scraps of evidence is that Sarah Watson, born in Marylebone in 1813/14, married Richard Scott, a tailor, and had by him at least three children, Sophia Emmeline Scott, born 1835/36, Jessie Caroline Scot, born 12 July 1838 and Mary Ann Agnes Scott born 1842/43. Richard Scott died, probably before 1869 and Sarah Scott, née Watson, subsequently re-married to a Mr Dawn, who also died, before 1881. This seems the most likely of many possible explanations.
        The fact that the 1871 Census record shows that Lindley, Helen and Windsor Cufflin were being cared for in the home of William Dawn suggests a close relationship between Scotts, Watsons and Dawns.

12. Change of name from Shirt to Cufflin    Index
        A search at the Public Record Office has revealed no trace of a change of name from Shirt to Cufflin by deed poll within the period 1867-1885.
        According to family lore, as recounted by Harold Marius Cufflin, a certain Mrs Shirt so detested her married surname that she prevailed upon her husband to change the family name from Shirt to Cufflin. This version of events is not supported by the evidence.
        The prime mover in the change seems to have been Charles William Shirt 1839-1884, the son of William Shirt and Dorcas Cufflin. He was born and married under the name of Shirt. His three children, Lindley, Helen and Windsor, were all registered at birth as Shirts. The death of his wife, Agnes, shortly after the birth of their youngest child, Windsor, was also recorded under the name of Shirt. Evidently,although she may quite possibly have disliked her husband's name, the change was not effected in her lifetime, before her death in 1868.
        However, when Charles William Shirt re-married in 1875 to Emma Crosbie, he gave his name on the marriage certificate as "Charles William Cufflin", the son of "William Shirt Cufflin, deceased". This might suggest that there was some truth in the story in that he changed his name to suit his new wife's preferences, but for the fact that there is evidence from census records that the change had already taken place by 1871.
        The 1871 Census return for 2 Beresford Road, Islington shows that the three children of the first marriage were being cared for in the home of William Dawn, who may have been their great-uncle, with their two aunts,Sophia Emmeline Scott and Jessie Scott, the sisters of the by now deceased Mary Ann Agnes Shirt, née Scott. On the census return the three children's names are recorded as:- "Lindley Cufflin, Boarder, aged 5", "Ellen [sic i.e. Helen] Cufflin, Boarder, aged 3" and "Windsor Cufflin, Boarder, aged 2". The change of name from Shirt back to Cufflin, therefore, must have taken place between 1868 and 1871.
        In addition there is evidence that some of the other children of William Shirt and Dorcas Cufflin adopted their mother's maiden name as their surname. Dorcas Shirt, born 1842, is described on her death certificate in 1894 as Dorcas Shirt Cufflin. Annie Shirt, born 1845, is described on her marriage certificate in 1881 as:- "Annie Shirt, otherwise known as Annie Cufflin". Dorcas and Annie were both sisters of Charles William Shirt.
        The conclusion must be that between 1868 and 1871 Charles William Shirt began to use his mother's maiden name as a surname for himself and his three children, Lindley, Helen and Windsor, who all used it henceforth. Some of his sisters and possibly some of his brothers did likewise.
        We can only guess at the motives for the change, which may have been partly snobbish, partly commercial. It may have been thought that the name Shirt had plebeian overtones. However, it must be said that both names, Shirt and Cufflin, are rich in comic possibilities and lend themselves easily to inventive distortions. The explanation for the adoption might lie in a wish to be more closely associated with the other upwardly mobile, increasingly prosperous children and grandchildren of Thomas Cufflin. The surname Cufflin may have been judged to be more distinctive, more memorable and therefore more useful in the world of business.

13. Charles William Shirt afterwards Cufflin    Index
        The Post Office London Directory for 1874 carries the entry:- "Charles Cufflin, public accountant, 114 Great Portland St. W". This may have been a reference to Charles William Shirt afterwards Cufflin 1939-1884. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales has no record of the membership of a Charles Cufflin.

14. Emma Crosbie and the Crosbies    Index
        Charles William Shirt afterwards Cufflin's second wife was Emma Crosbie 1849-1896. They were married at St Stephen's Church, Paddington on 3 November 1875. Both gave the same address at the time of marriage, 9 Hatherley Grove, Paddington, which was probably an accomodation address for the purpose of qualification as residents within the parish.
        The groom described himself as:- "Charles William Cufflin, 34, widower, accountant, father, William Shirt Cufflin, deceased, gentleman". The bride's particulars were:- "Emma Crosbie, 24, spinster, [no occupation given], father, William Adolphus Crosbie, deceased gentleman". Their ages were in fact 36 and 26 respectively. No great significance should be attached to the epithet "gentleman". It was commonly used on certificates and signifies no more than that the person in question was of independent means or had retired and was living on an annuity. An astonishing number of grocers, publicans and commercial travellers ended up as "gentlemen" in the nineteenth century.
        Emma Crosbie's birth certificate shows that she was born on 11 February 1849 at 23 St Michael's Place, Brompton, father, William Adolphus Crosbie, merchant, mother, Lucy Crosbie, formerly Hilborne.
        Despite extensive searches, the marriage certificate for William Adolphus Crosbie and Lucy Hilborne has not been traced and it has not been possible to identify the death certificate of William Adolphus Crosbie. Lucy Crosbie née Hilborne's death certificate has been traced and shows that she died on 21 September 1888 at 57 Minford Gardens, Hammersmith at the age of 62, the widow of William Adolphus Crosbie, commercial traveller.
        In addition to Emma, there were at least three other children of the union, Lucy born 5 August 1847 at Jesmond Gardens, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne, Adolphus, born 4 April 1862 at 64 Westbourne Park Road, Paddington and Evelyne Bessy, born 27 January 1867 at 3 Alexander Terrace, Paddington. There were probably others born in the period 1850-1861, which have not been searched for.
        Other members of this branch of the Crosbie family served with distinction in the Army and the Diplomatic Service. (See Gentleman's Magazine, passim; for an obituary of Sir John Gustavus Crosbie, see Gentleman's Magazine, 1843, p544; for an account of the marriage of William Adolphus Crosbie, see Gentleman's Magazine, 1842 p536).
        The most likely explanation is that there were two people of the same name, William Adolphus Crosbie. The combination is uncommon, but not that uncommon. If, however, we hypothesise that these references all relate to the one William Adolphus Crosbie, then we are in the realms of Victorian romantic fiction, not to say high melodrama.
        No death certificate has been traced for Margaret Crosbie, née Evans, in the period 1842-1849. As previously stated, no marriage certificate has been found for William Adolphus Crosbie and Lucy Hilborne. The rest is speculation.
        The solution to this particular conundrum awaits the attentions of another researcher.

15. Suicide of Charles William Shirt afterwards Cufflin    Index
        Sadly, the following account is fact not fiction, attested by the transcript of the inquest. On 11 November 1884 Charles William Cufflin committed suicide by ingesting cyanide of potassium at his place of business, 26 Bartlett Buildings, St Bride, City of London, where he was employed as chief clerk and accountant to John Manger & Co., watch manufacturers. At his inquest an enquiry agent reported that he went to the offices with a warrant for his apprehension for libel.
        "Lindley Dawn Cufflin, 2 Beresford Road, Cannobury, Clerk and Traveller to Trinity College" gave evidence to the effect that he had quarrelled with his father some years previously and had not seen him to speak to for 6 years at least and did not know where he resided. "Benjamin Webster Crosbie, 205 Euston Road, Accountant" gave evidence that the deceased had been "in great domestic trouble. He was married 8 [sic] years ago". The verdict of the inquest was "Temporary insanity".
        An approach to the Central Criminal Court for details of the charge of libel has proved fruitless. If the case never reached court, there would probably be no record anyway.
        The Trinity College referred to as the employer of Lindley Cufflin was the Trinity College of Music, Mandeville Place W1, founded in 1872, known until 1904 as simply Trinity College. The College has not retained records of staff of this period.
        Benjamin Webster Crosbie is presumed to be a relative of Emma Crosbie, second wife of Charles William Cufflin.
        The inquest transcript refers in passing to the deceased's daughter, Helen Cufflin, also resident at 2 Beresford Road Cannonbury, at that time a student teacher at Lewisham

16. Annie Cufflin and Roy Douglas Cufflin    Index
        The birth and death certificates of Annie Cufflin, born 1895/96, who died an infant, cannot be traced via the indexes of births, marriages and deaths at St Catherine's House. The birth certificate of Roy Douglas Cufflin cannot be found in the indexes. The details of his birth given on the family record sheet are taken from his death certificate.

17. Lindley Cufflin    Index
        Lindley Dawn Cufflin's death certificate cannot be found in the indexes at St Catherine's House under all possible variants and mis-spellings in a number of the quarterly index volumes following his date of death, 6 February 1914. This date is cited in a letter from his eldest son, Gilbert Ruay Cufflin, to his second son, Harold Marius Cufflin, dated 15 October 1914. It is clear from the letter that their father had been estranged from his family for some time and that Gilbert did not hear of his father's death, via his uncle Windsor, until some months after the event. Thus it is not possible to give any information about the place or circumstances of his death. It is possible that he may have died abroad. According to Harold Marius Cufflin, he is buried in the City of London Cemetery, Manor Park, London E12.
        From the documentary evidence available Lindley Cufflin's jobs included Bookseller's Assistant 1881, Commercial Clerk August 1889, Police Constable October 1889, Mercantile Clerk 1890, 1891, 1892, 1905 and Gunsmith 1895. According to family legend (Harold Marius Cufflin) he spent some time in the Army, supposedly in the 5th Queen's Royal Lancers, served in the Sudan, was ship-wrecked in the mediterranean on his way home and was employed in the wine-trade at the time of his death, but it has not been possible to confirm or refute these details.

18. Gilbert Ruay Cufflin    Index
        Private Gilbert Ruay Cufflin, 28668, 13th Battalion East Surrey Regiment, was killed in action at Bourlon Village, France on 26 November 1917. He has no marked grave but his name is included on Panel 6 of the Cambrai Memorial at Louverval, France.
        No explanation has been found for the very unusual middle name, Ruay, borne by Gilbert, which is also bestowed on his grandson, Martin Gilbert Ruay Cufflin 1948-.

19. Leicester Cufflins    Index
        This pedigree has been largely devoted to the descendants of Thomas Cufflin, who migrated from Leicester to London in the late eighteenth century.
        Today the greatest concentration of people with the surname Cufflin is still in Leicester and its environs. Two streets in Leicester, Cufflin Close and Cufflin Drive, were so named in 1953 after a family of butchers, who traded in the Glenfield area in the nineteenth century. The records of Hereditary Freemen of Leicester include the names of eight Cufflins enrolled during the nineteenth century.

20. A note on the name Cufflin    Index
        The name Cufflin does not figure in any of the standard works consulted on the origin and meaning of surnames. Some dictionaries of surnames, however, include the name Cuff.
        "Cuff: English metonymic occupational name for a maker or seller of gloves or nickname for wearer of particularly fine gloves, from ME Cuffe=glove (of uncertain origin); attested in this sense from the fourteenth century with the modern meaning first in the sixteenth century". (Hanks P & Hodges F A dictionary of surnames, OUP 1988)
        "Cuff: nickname 'cuff, mittens' ME from Low Latin and first recorded about 1375". (Cottle P The Penguin dictionary of surnames, 2nd ed. Allen Lane, 1878).
        This superseded meaning, "cuff= a mitten or glove", appears in the current Oxford English Dictionary with the note "obsolete".
        In the Oxford English Dictionary the above mentioned entry is followed by the two usual meanings of cuff (ie. a blow or a fold or band on the end of a sleeve or garment) and then a number of slang useages:-
        "Cuff: slang, a contemptuos expression for an old man, especially a miserly old fellow".
        "Cuffin: thieves' cant, a man, a fellow, a chap= a cove; eg. queer cuffin= a churlish fellow, also a justice [of the peace]".
        "Cuffee, cuffy: a negro, US Colloquial; a personal name formerly common among negroes".
        The suffixes -in and -ing have been commonly used as terminations for many names. The form -in is said by most authorities to be Norman French in origin, the form -ing to be Anglo-Saxon, with much confusion and overlap between the two forms.
        The name in the form Cufflin appears to have been in use since the sixteenth century at least. The earliest record traced is for Ralph Cufflin who married in Blaby in the year 1600. (Phillimore's Parish Registors, Leicestershire).
        Although there has been much variation in the spelling (eg. Cuffling, Cuffley, Cufflye, Cufflen,etc), the first element, Cuff, appears to have been used consistently. There seems to be no connection between the name Cufflin (and its variants) and the name Coughlan (and its variants,, Coughlin, Coghlan, Coglin,Coughan, etc), which is Irish in origin.

Harold Anthony Cufflin
April 1992

Additional notes 21, 22

21. William Cufflin and Capes Cufflin    Index
        Since the foregoing was drafted in April 1992, further information has come from Dorothy Hubbard (née Cufflin) of 58 Long Furrow, East Goscote, Leicester LE7 3ZN, who has carried out extensive researches into the genealogy of the Cufflins in association with her cousin Brian McNeill of 7 Wycliffe Avenue, Melton Mowbray, Leics. LE13 1UB.
        Their account differs in some important respects from the pedigree given in the preceding pages in that it identifies the parents of (Thomas?) Capes Cufflin as William Cufflin and Mary Wood (not Thomas Cufflin? and Elizabeth ------?, as shown in the family record sheet No.1) and gives a definite birth date for (Thomas?) Capes Cufflin as 1699 (not 1697? as shown).
        In addition, their records indicate that Thomas Capes Cufflin, as he is referred to in this family history, was in fact simply Capes Cufflin. The error may have arisen for the following reason. The opening passage of his will reads:- "I Capes Cufflin of Glenfield...". The witnesses declare the document to be the "last will and testament of the above named Capes Cufflin". However, the will bears at the foot an ambiguous inscription, which may be interpreted as either "The mark of Capes Cufflin" or "mark of Tho. Capes Cufflin". The first interpretation, Capes Cufflin, seems the more likely in view of the fact that this form is used twice earlier in the will and in the light of the records identified by Dorothy Hubbard and Brian McNeill.
        The amended pedigree is set out in Additional Family Record Sheets A & B, which should, therefore be read in the sequence A-B, 2-9. References to Thomas Capes Cufflin in the notes should be read as simply Capes Cufflin. Return to text

22. Cyffin    Index
        Since the preparation of the family history, it has been suggested (by a professional tutor of Welsh) that the name Cufflin could be derived from the Welsh name Cyffin. At first sight the derivation seems extremely fanciful, but closer examination suggests that the proposal cannot be completely ruled out.
        The dictionary definitions of the Welsh word cyffin are "boundary, border, limit, frontier, vicinity, precinct". The word is used as the name for four streams in Caernarfon, Caerfyrddin, Ceredigion and Gwent and by extension has been used as a surname and, in some instances,as a forename, eg. the painter Kyffin Williams with the letter "c" anglicised to "k". (The letter "k" forms no part of the Welsh alphabet). The name is still current, notably in the border counties, and appears in the form Cuffin, which corresponds very roughly to the Welsh pronunciation.
        For centuries Welsh drovers took their cattle to markets over the border in England. Leicester is less than 100 miles from the border. The possibility of a link cannot be dismissed out of hand. However, it would be necessary to explain the intrusive "l", which forms no part of the Welsh name, the apparent absence of any Welsh forenames in the early records and the presumed change of occupation from drover to glovemaker/framework knitter/cobbler in a period when the same occupation tended to stay in a family for generations.
        (See TJ Morgan & Prys Morgan Welsh surnames, 1985, p77 and Heini Gruffudd Enwau Cymraeg i blant: Welsh names for children, 1980, p26).

Harold Anthony Cufflin
February 1993

Reproduced by kind permission of the family of Harold Anthony Cufflin. BMc 2004.