Week 31 #52ancestors 52 weeks
When looking at this title I wondered should I write about the oldest person I have found during my family history searches. Although it is possible that is topic ha already been covered during my longevity stories. So I trawled through the Family Data Sheets to see what was the oldest record that I had.
The oldest records I have focus around the COOPER Family. The family lived in the agricultural villages of Castle Camps, Shudy Camps, Bartlow, Helions Bumpstead. The majority of the area is in Cambridgeshire, while Helions and Steeple Bumpstead are a part of Essex. Good records exist for both counties. For Cambridgeshire there are indexes and transcripts to be accessed. Unfortunately, the actual records have not been digitized. Findmypast has a lot of Cambridgeshire records that have been transcribed and the transcriptions are available, as does Family Search. For the Essex Records if you have the parish then you can search the Parish Records online at Essex Record Online at http://seax.essexcc.gov.uk.
The record I have found is for the baptism of Elizabeth DAY on 29th March 1681 in Castle Camps. Elizabeth’s parents were John DAY and Ann. Unfortunately Ann’s maiden name is not listed. Elizabeth married Samuel HODSON in 1711. There son Nathaniel was born in 1713 and married Mary HILLS. Nathaniel and Mary had a number of children and it was there daughter Ann who married Thomas COWPER in 1740. This was the
COOPER male line that has passed down over the following 2 centuries to Henry George COOPER my maternal grandfather. The COOPER family until the 1850’s did not venture very far from the Barltow, Shudy Camps, Castle Camps and Helions Bumpstead, when some of the family decided to try their luck by emigrating to the new world and South Australia. Migrating to Australia did ensure a better life for the COOPER family. As farm labourers little is known about the family and nor is there much if anything published in the newspapers of the day.
As we move further away from 2018 in time the records we are looking for become harder to find and are less likely to be found on the internet. The Parish Chests that have survived as the places to find out ancestors. You need to be onsite to do this. So for those of us in far away Australia, we are very thankful of those records that are digitized and accessible to us.