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Thomas Cope, Hanley, Staffordshire c1824-1861

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Deirdre Report 26 Apr 2013 14:42

Hi, I've been looking for the death of my 2* great grandfather, Thomas Cope, for over a year, but I'm struggling to find it and would appreciate any help or suggestions.

Thomas’ marriage certificate (Dec 1845) says he was 21 and his father was George Cope. The 1851 census says he was born in Alton in 1822. I've found a baptism in St Peter’s, Alton (Staffordshire) on 15 Feb 1824, of Thomas, son of George and Sarah Cope (though I’ve no proof this is him).

He was possibly living in Land St, Hanley (Staffs) in 1841 though there are a number of other Thomas Copes of a similar age. However I believe his father and step-mother (and young children) are living in Alton, and he is not with them. This rules out a lot of the other Thomases as they are with family.

Thomas married Hannah Elks on 29 Dec 1845 in the parish church in Cheadle (Staffs) [certificate gives details: Thomas is 21, a labourer from the parish of Kingsley, father George, labourer. Thomas was the only one to sign his name].

In 1851 he was living in Albert Place, Hanley (Staffs) – census says age 29, born Alton (Staffs), apprentice chandler, with wife Hannah and daughters Elizabeth (3) and Mary Ann (1)

It’s possible that further children were born after Mary Ann (Thomas in 1851 and Ambrose in 1854).

On 26 June 1858 my great grandfather Thomas Augustin(e) Cope was born in Charles St, Hanley to Thomas, tallow chandler, and Hannah formerly Elks. Registered by Thomas.

His younger brother William Bernard Cope was born in Jan 1861 (birth registered in March quarter).

In the 1861 census Hannah, still living in Charles St, Hanley, is listed as widowed, and baby William is 2 months old (death registered in June quarter 1861).

The most likely death for Thomas appeared to be in June quarter 1861 in Stoke on Trent (assuming he’d died early in April before the census) but I’ve applied for that and been told that while he was 36 (about right), it wasn’t in Hanley, nor was he a chandler (and there’s no mention of Hannah). The death was registered in Fenton (Staffs) by an unrelated person present at death. These details are from Stoke on Trent register office, I’ve not got a copy myself. I guess it could be him, perhaps I should have asked what his occupation was, in case it was totally different. The baby’s birth certificate might also help with that. Or the date of death, which may have been too late in the quarter.

I don’t know if it’s relevant but Thomas’ children Thomas Augustine and Elizabeth were both married in the Catholic church (St Mary’s and St Patrick’s) in Hanley. Thomas Augustine’s certificate (1881) lists his father as Thomas but gives no occupation, nor does it say ‘deceased’, but Elizabeth’s in 1865 lists him as Thomas Cope (deceased), chandler. But being older, she would have known her father, and her mother was still alive.

Thomas Augustine and his wife and children left Staffordshire and moved to Cardiff via Yorkshire in the late 1880s. My mother didn’t know her grandfather as he died the year before she was born but his widow lived with the family until her death in 1943. Mum has no recollection of any mention of any family members on her mother’s side so presumably they lost touch, though I am now in contact with a descendant of Thomas Augustine’s sister Elizabeth.

If anyone can find Thomas’ death I would be really grateful. I’ve sent off for baby William Bernard’s birth certificate as that might give additional info and will update here asap.

Thanks for reading.


Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 26 Apr 2013 15:27

The2nd death here is the one you've checked I think ?

Deaths Dec 1860 (>99%)
Cope Thomas Stoke T 6b 90
Deaths Jun 1861 (>99%)
Cope Thomas Stoke T 6b 108


Deirdre Report 26 Apr 2013 16:08

Hi Rambling Rose,

Yes, that's the one.

Have just re-read my info - trying to find why the June 1861 was suggested elsewhere as the most likely - and found that I was going on the info on the Staffordshirebmd site which had Thomas Cope 1860 deaths aged 3, 22 and 61 (Thomas should have been around 37) so ruled it out.

It was then pointed out that Hanley deaths are not on the Staffsbmd site yet. But it didn't dawn on me that the Dec 1860 could therefore be him until just now! I hadn't been doing my tree very long at the time. Will apply for that cert too, giving the age / wife / residence / occupation info.

Thanks, have a few other 'dead ends' so I'll be posting again soon.