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July 2007
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Archive for July, 2007

Orphan Chambers

The Orphan Chamber (Weeskamer) was a Dutch practise that made provision for the collection and administration of the property of persons who died intestate and left heirs absent from the Colony or were under age and therefore unable to take the duty upon themselves. The existence of notices from the Orphan Chamber to creditors implies […]

Emma Hewes

I’ve now checked the 1851 census for a Hewes family in Colchester. At a household at 14 Eld Lane we find: Margaret Greggs, Head, Widow, Female, 62, Nurse. Almswoman, Essex West Bergholt Emma Hewes, Daughter, Married, Female, 30, Bakery Wife, Essex Colchester Emma Hewes Jr, Grand daughter, Female, Unmarried, 6, Scholar, Essex Colchester Isabella Hewes, […]


I referred to FreeBMD in the previous post. FreeBMD is an ongoing project, the aim of which is to transcribe the Civil Registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales, and to provide free Internet access to the transcribed records. It is a collaboration of thousands of people world wide transcribing to […]

Emma Hughes conundrum solved?

I think I’ve worked out who John Hughes Van Cooten’s mother was. The story so far is that John Lucius Van Cooten married firstly Frances Mary Theresa Kent, and secondly a Mary Hughes (according to one old family letter) or Emona Hughes (according to John Hughes Van Cooten’s marriage certificate). The first marriage ended in […]

Hendrik Van Cooten’s early years

I’ve been trying to think about what is knowable about Hendrik Van Cooten’s early years. I know that he was christened in Doorn Reformed Church on 5 Jul 1750. He was the son of a carpenter, and had six living brothers and sisters. He was the second child of the family, and the eldest son. […]

Utrecht Archives

The Utrecht Archives contains many online resources. In particular is the database of extracts and digitised images of certificates of notaries who resided in the city Utrecht. The database contains over 167,500 extracts for the period 1663-1783, all having digitised images. As Utrecht was the base of much commerce with the Demerara colony, many contracts […]


When I started family history research I just wanted to find out as much as I could, in a fairly vague sense. As time went on, three main goals materialised. They were: Finding Hendrik Van Cootens origin in the Netherlands Establishing contact with the descendants, if any, of Margaret Hughes Van Cooten Establishing contact with […]

London Gazette

Sources for British Guiana research are rather hard to come by. I’ve just (re)discovered the London Gazette archives. The London, Edinburgh, and Belfast Gazettes are the official newspapers of record in the United Kingdom and include notices relating to State, Parliament, Planning, Transport, Public Finance. A large proportion of notices published in the London, Edinburgh […]