I thought I would add some more graves from Ogley Hay to Find A Grave, but I like to find out something about those commemorated; there is a box for “Bio”. This time I found a name that I had not heard before: a local place that I know well, but never by the name Cullen’s Wharf.
On the face of it, this is a simple, if decorous memorial to a man named John Harris who died nearly 130 years ago. The inscription ends “Gone but not forgotton” (sic), and yet there are no flowers and no family trees online that I can find. There is not even a memorial to Mrs Harris inscribed in the space available. One day, though, someone might take up the story.
Lichfield Mercury 9 Nov 1888: DEATHS: HARRIS. — On October 30th, at Cullen’s Wharf, Ogley Hay, John Harris, aged 43 years.
Cullen’s Wharf? Ogley Hay?
Why had I not heard of this before?
Lichfield Mercury 10 Aug 1888: WANTED an Experienced GENERAL SERVANT, not under 20, comfortable home and good Wages to a competent person. None other need apply to Mrs Cullen, the Wharf, Chasetown, near Walsall.
The key link to the hapless Mr Harris is not that he died there, but that his wife was Elizabeth Cullen, from Somerset. They had been servants at the Vicarage in West Lydford and were married there. But what brought them to Ogley Hay?
The connection appears to be that a local colliery agent named Thomas Cullen lived by what we know today as Anglesey Wharf, probably at Jasmine Cottage, which has featured on BrownhillsBob’s wonderful blog, for example in The scent of Jasmine, and which stood on the west side of Wharf Lane, between Brownhills and the Triangle, Burntwood (it’s under the motorway, now).
Thomas Cullen was born about 1830 in Somerset and in 1841 lived at Ashcott, Somerset, about two or three miles west of Street. Elizabeth Cullen, the future Mrs Harris, likewise. I think both were born at Ashcott. They must have known each other and were almost certainly closely related.