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Archive for 'People'

A stolen hat

In searching the 19th Century English Newspapers for Maggie’s Gormans, we came across the following intriguing item in the Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle for July 13 1861: William Taylor a respectably dressed young man, was charged with stealing a hat on the previous Sunday, at the Independent Chapel, High-street, the property of Mr. George […]

William Eaton Rusher

A name that I occasionally do a search for is that of William Eaton Rusher. John Hughes Van Cooten was Mr Rusher’s “amanuensis” for about four years from about 1870 (when John would have been about 15) to 1874 (when John was about 18 and migrated to Australia). The collection of Van Cooten family letters […]

Annie Jones

Someone contacted me recently trying to determine if he was connected to the Annie Jones lurking in the Van Cooten tree. The information I had for her was sparse, so the contact prompted me to do a little more research. Annie was the first wife of William John Fraser Van Cooten. The only information I […]

A little bit more about Anna Maria

Anna Maria Van Cooten was the eldest daughter of John Van Cooten and Martha (nee Smithers). According to the 1851 census she was born in Newport, Monmouthshire, which is where her parents were married. Ida Gorsuch lists her as Anna Maria in a letter in 1893, and also mentions that “Aunt Maria (fathers eldest sister) […]

The Will of Anna Maria Van Cooten

Again with assistance from family in the UK, I have obtained a copy of the will for Anna Maria Van Cooten dated 6 September 1872. Anna Maria (or Maria Anna) was the sister of John Lucius Van Cooten. I have transcribed the will. In her will she appointed Sarah Jane Primrose as her executor. She […]

Smithers mini-update

With assistance from family in the UK (you know who you are!), I sent away for copies of the Smithers articles that I found in the online indexes to ‘The Cambrian’ newspaper. Unfortunately the text contains little more information than that revealed in the index. The entry from 28 January 1809 says: On the 21st inst. […]

Those Scandalous Smithers!?

John Van Cooten, eldest son of Hendrik, married Martha Keane Smithers. Ida Gorsuch wrote in 1893: He [John] married a London merchant’s daughter (rather to the disgust of his father & his royal mother). She his wife was a “Miss Martha Keane Smithers”. Miss Smithers was considered a great beauty. I never saw my grandmother. […]

John Van Cooten leaves Demerara

John Van Cooten was possibly the eldest son, or the eldest legitimate son, of Hendrik Van Cooten. By inference from English censuses, and from his death certificate, he was born in about 1775-1781, most likely 1780, in Demerara. This is not that long after Hendrik arrived in the colony. Ida Gorsuch says that John “was […]

Hughes/Hewes update 2

I ordered the birth certificates for John Hughes born in Reading in March 1853 (ref 2c 351) checking that the mother’s forename was Emma, and June 1855 (ref 2c 326) again checking the mother’s forename. Both drew a blank. Fortunately, checking that the details matched meant that the process was faster, and also cheaper as […]

Hughes/Hewes update

The birth certificates I ordered for the birth of John Hughes registered in Reading in the September quarter of 1856, and the birth of Margaret Hughes registered in the March quarter of 1859 turned up in the mail today. The one for John Hughes showed a birth date of 23 August 1856 to parents Thomas […]