Posts Tagged ‘Cooper family’

A string box

March 29, 2016

String seems to have the ability to get in tangles all on its own. No wonder people use string boxes to help keep the stuff in order. We have recently been given such a box. It belonged to the Cooper family of Parsonage Lane.

For one reason or another, the name Cooper crops up quite often in this blog. It was a common local name and as far as we know there were several unrelated families about. Coopers, of course, were barrel makers and the prevalence of the name probably indicates just how important and useful barrels were. These days we think of them as holding beer, but in past times all sorts of goods were stored in barrels. There were lots of barrel makers (coopers) and their trade gave them their surname – Cooper.

The Coopers on Parsonage Lane were, amongst other things – farmers and coal merchants.

But back to the string dispenser.

Victorian string box which belonged to the Cooper family of Parsonage Lane

Victorian string box which belonged to the Cooper family of Parsonage Lane

Our research into this simply lovely wooden object suggests that it is lignum vitae. This is a very hard and dense wood – dense enough, we understand, to make it sink in water. But fear not, we have not tried that out with this item. It dates, we think, from about 1870. It is in two parts. The lid unscrews so a ball of string can be put inside with the string coming out through the hole in the top.


The box is open so string can be put in

We can see in this picture that the passage of time has taken its toll with a crack down the body of the box. Another crack in the base has had a neat little repair made.


A repair to the base

These faults will, no doubt, drastically cut the cash value but we have no real interest in that. What we like is the thought of old Jacob Cooper pulling string from this for all sorts of tasks associated with his job as a farmer – or Mary his wife cutting off some string to tie a cloth lid on a pudding basin back in the 1880s.

A generation later, perhaps Jacob’s son James had this item up at New Farm on Salisbury Plain and maybe it came back to Parsonage Lane when his son George returned to the old family home.

We are delighted to be able to show our visitors this lovely piece of treen.

Family History in a short news item

March 19, 2016

We think it was once believed that names in newspapers sold copies. Certainly, back in 1964, the local paper seemed to like to get as many names in as possible. This is a sad item about the death and funeral of Elsie Cooper. But it is also a grand resource for anyone studying Cooper genealogy.

1964 news item about Elsie Cooper's death and funeral

1964 news item about Elsie Cooper’s death and funeral

The brothers and sisters are all named, albeit mostly just with an initial. Some nephews and nieces are added and even great nephews and nieces. Elsie, herself, had no direct descendants.

We have met wheelchair bound Elsie before on this blog, along with her brother Stan (click here). We have also met Lawrie (click here). Harry has featured as well (click here). Frank Cooper crops up here (click here).

It’s this news cutting that links the family together. Thanks to Tessa for sending it.

Actually it came with a photo in an envelope which said ‘Elsie Cooper’ but the photo is not Elsie.

Nellie the dog?

Nellie the dog?

We think this could be a Cooper family dog from the 1930s called Nellie!

Mr and Mrs Walter Cooper

December 1, 2015

We met Mrs Cooper about three weeks ago. She was born Florence Moore and was the daughter of Samuel Moore of the jam factory in Easterton. This photo shows her with her husband, Walter James Cooper. They have posed by their house which was in Market Place in Market Lavington.

Mr and Mrs Walter Cooper of Market Place, Market Lavington

Mr and Mrs Walter Cooper of Market Place, Market Lavington

Walter Cooper was born in about 1883. He was the son of Robert Cooper and his wife Sarah (née) Burden. Robert was Market Lavington born. Sarah came from Easterton.

The couple seem to have made their home and raised their family on Northbrook in Market Lavington. Robert was a labourer and in 1901 he was working at the brick works. By this stage Walter, then around 18, was a labourer working on the railway. It is possible he was involved in its construction.

By 1911 Robert had become a foreman at the brickworks. Walter, still living at home on Northbrook, had become a gardener.

Walter married Florence Moore in 1912. The couple set up home in the Market Place where they lived until Walter died in 1948. Florence lived until 1966.