It is in Shudy Camp Saint Mary’s Church that I have found some of the earliest family history records. The family members are members of the COOPER family.
The PRECIOUS family marry into the COOPER through a long and winding path. The first mention of the family is in 1680’s Thomas and Magdalen have nine children baptized between 1684 and 1701. The transcripts were accessed during a visit to Cambridge in 2015. Unfortunately the actual parish records where not accessible. it would be useful to be able to view them as three Robert PRECIOUS were baptized during this time and only one burial was found.
This is important as Robert PRECIOUS baptized in 1701 marries Ellen or Eleanor DISS in Shudy Camps on 17 April 1736. Three children have been found in the registers at Shudy Camps. It is the baptism of Robert PRECIOUS in 1738 that we are interested in. He marries Rosamond or Rose WILLIS or WILLOWS on the 19th October 1766 in Bartlow Hamlets. While the family lived at Steventon Ends, Bartlow Hamlet they were buried at Shudy Camps.
Elizabeth PRECIOUS baptized at Shudy Camps on 10th Mary 1777 married Edward COOPER in 1794 at Saint Marys Shudy Camp. The banns for the wedding state that Edward is from Castle Camps and Elizabeth from Shudy Camps. The births, deaths and marriages trail has the family being baptized in Castle Camps. This is further substantiated through 1841 Census where children of Elizabeth and Edward are living in Castle Camps and Endways Camp as agricultural labourers.
The families all lived close and if they moved away they only made a minor move, from Shudy Camps to Castle Camps to Helion Bumpstead and maybe back again. these are all places within walking distance of each other. The majority worked as farm labourers in Cambridgeshire and Essex where the county borders met. The work of a farm labourer was intense and large numbers were needed to run the estates and farms. This was all soon to change. The children of Edward and Elizabeth were the last generation to all live and work within the same area. Many of their grandchildren joined the great exodus that became the wave of migration to Australia and America.