The Culbert Family Genealogy Project:
 Connecting a Migratory People


  Marion, Smyth County, Virginia, U.S.A. This road is likely named for William Francis Culbert, b. 1859, Tennessee, who came to Smyth County just before 1900 and operated a mining company there. (image contributed by Clarissa Culbert)

Introduction

In the mid-1990s, I renewed my interest in learning more about my earliest known Culbert ancestor, Moses (I00162), who emigrated from Ireland to Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A. in 1828. Since our family had no information about Moses' family left behind in Ireland, and because of the paucity of relevant records for that time period still remaining in Ireland, it soon became obvious that the only realistic avenue to find more information would be to collaborate with Culbert researchers and family members worldwide. Thus, the CULBERT One-Name study was initiated in 2004.

This TNG database was established 25 Jan 2015. The study is progressing in the data collection stage, currently focusing on the survey of birth, marriage, death, and census records worldwide to establish a basic foundation of linkages between the various Culbert family branches before undertaking more detailed research on individuals.

This study is considered medium in size compared to other surnames. I have more than 27,000 individuals in my database so far, which includes the parents of the spouse of a Culbert, and the descendants of a Culbert regardless of surname.

This study is challenging because:
1) The history of the surname includes abundant evidence of migration from Europe to other parts of the world;
2) The surname is also used as a given name (e.g. Culbert L. Olson, Governor of the State of California, 1939-1943), which hampers broad searches of this name 1; and
3) Although the origins of the surname are in Europe with a Caucasian ancestry, there is a growing population of African Americans carrying this surname who may or may not be related by birth.  For this latter challenge I have yet to find any evidence of how these people became CULBERTs.  [Note: In this database, those known to be Negro are indicated with an asterisk following their surname.]

The oldest record I have found to date about a CULBERT is that of Mutton Culbert, who married Alice Legge on 27 Mar 1554 at St. Nicholas, Ipswich, Suffolk, England. 2

I am indebted to the following persons who have made extensive contributions to my CULBERT research: Jena Burstein; Debbie Camejo; Johanne Quesnel Colbert; Maureen Culbert; Susan Statter Culbert; Margie Forsythe; and Patricia Teaze. I welcome CULBERT researchers in Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand to make contributions and or help me with this study. If interested, please contact me.

A NOTE ON SEARCHES ON THIS SITE - Living individuals have been privatized so that only a given name first initial and full surname are visible.

Footnotes:
1 The earliest use of Culbert as a given name that I have found is for the baptisms of William Platt of Dayn pish [Deane Parish?], son of Culbert, 1 June 1602 (p. 19) and Margreatt Platt of same, daughter of Culbert, 13 Februarye 1603 (p. 25. Also note this year begins on April 1 and ends on March 31) 3
2 International Genealogical Index (R), Marriage of Mutton Culbert & Alice Legge (1554), Patron ordinance submission sheets, 1969-1991, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, FHL Film No. 0820453.
3 The Registers of the Parish Church of Bolton, Archibald Sparke, Ed. (1913, Tillotson & Son, Bolton, England, U.K.) Available at FamilySearch Books.


Feature Articles

feature 1 CULBERT (WIKIPEDIA) External link to the origins of Culbert, places named Culbert, and Culbert people.

feature 2 CULBERT SURNAME CHANGES In Ireland, I have found that the CULBERT, CULBERTSON and CUTHBERTSON surnames are sometimes used interchangeably. During a time when literacy was not common, these changes can be expected. As a result of my research on the CULBERT name, I have come to believe that those who bore the CULBERT name in Ireland, and those other closely related names, came originally from Scotland. Despite traditions indicating that these immigrants to Ireland were from Covenanter stock that came from Scotland in the late 1600s, it is more likely that the CUTHBERTSONs from Scotland settled in Ireland in a much earlier time, and they were the ancestors of many of the later Irish CULBERTSONs.

One researcher told me a story about CULBERT origins in Ireland, which has been passed down in her family. As the story goes, a CULBERT (or more likely a COLBERT) from France, possibly named Eugene, was on a French naval ship that was sunk in a battle with the British off the northwest coast of Ireland (in the region of County Donegal). This seaman was able to swim to the coast in the fog, was held captive for awhile, and was later released. He settled in Ireland and never returned to France. 1

I also have two documented reasons for these surnames having been purposely changed in subsequent generations. One is Edward CUTHBERT from Cumberland, England, who migrated to Oldpark, North Belfast, Ireland in the mid-1800s. He found that the surname CUTHBERT was virtually unknown in Belfast, but that there were plenty of CULBERT families. He eventually gave up trying to correct folks about his surname, and when he married a Belfast girl, he did so as Edward CULBERT. This family continued to use the CULBERT surname in Ireland, and switched it back to CUTHBERT when members returned to England. 2 The other story concerns Robert CULBERT, born in County Armagh, Ireland, who served in the British Army and left with his family for Canada in 1847. However, Robert died en route, and his children were taken in by French Canadian families in Quebec. In a effort to better assimilate them into their community, their surnames were changed to COLBERT and CUTHBERT. 3

All instances of name changes to and from CULBERT in subsequent generations can be found by going to my reports section.

Sources:
1 Story provided by Debbie Camejo [Email: deb at camejo.com] in April 2001.
2 Dennis Kennedy, 2006, Climbing Slemish: An Ulster Memorial, Trafford Publishing, Victoria, BC, Canada, ISBN 1-4120-9943-9.
3 Provided by Johanne Quesnel Colbert.

feature 3 CULBERT MYSTERY PORTRAIT (internal link)

feature 4 DATA SETS INCORPORATED The following significant data sets have been incorporated to date:
Australia - New South Wales Births, Marriages & Deaths (1788-1960).
Canada - Federal Censuses (1851, 1881); WWI registrations; Ontario Marriages (1801-1928).
International Genealogical Index
Ireland - 1740 Householders List; 1796 Flax List; 1823-1837 Tithe Applotment Books; 1848-1864 Griffith's Primary Valuation; Civil Registration Indexes: Births (1864-1995), Marriages (1845-1993), and Deaths (1864-2013).
U.K. - 1841 Census.
U.S.A. - 1790-1900 Federal Censuses; Immigrations; Marriage index (extracted from FamilySearch May 2014); Military records (Civil War, WW I Registrations, WW II Enlistments); Social Security Death Index (to 2011).

 
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