March 20 – Is there a female ancestor who is your brick wall? Why? List possible sources for finding more information.
Ooooh yes, there certainly is!! My paternal 7 x great grandmother Elizabeth Read (nee Cosens) is most certainly a very hard brick wall to knock down. It took me just short of ten years to find out who the parents of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read were and so I was delighted when I found they were William Read (1679 -1752) and Elizabeth Cosens (c1679 – 1767).
I found they married at Bix, Oxfordshire, UK on 8th August 1703 and they had six children. I found out more about William Read but as hard as I have looked I just can’t find out more about Elizabeth! It’s a few years now since I found her and I reckon I’m on my way to a ten or more years search for her parents.
I have searched many parish registers for the surname Cosens and it’s variant spellings. I have been looking for a baptism for an Elizabeth for example between 1660 to 1688 just in case she was nearer forty when she married or very young at about fifteen years. I thought that was a fair coverage for a possible age she would marry. I haven’t found any baptisms for an Elizabeth in that time scale that just might be her.
My next step has been searching Cozens (and its variant spellings) Wills in the hope that a father, grandfather or uncle or someone just might leave her something and mention she is married to William Read. But so far, nothing that ties in with her at all.
I found the Will of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read’s sister Rachel. She never married and lived at Tiddington, Oxfordshire. In her Will she mentions that her cousin Anne Cozens is living with her! Wonderful, a clue!! When Anne Cozens died, she also left a Will with lots of names in it and some clues too.
From the clues I have worked out that Anne Cozens has a brother Moses and a brother John. And therefore that their father is a brother to Elisabeth Cosens my 7 x great grandmother. Neither of Anne’s brothers mention Anne in their Wills although they died before her. Their father is also John Cozens but although he mentions his sons John and Moses, he does not mention Anne.
I have tried to look for John Cozens senior’s baptism in the hope it will show his parents and hopefully I will then find the baptism of Elizabeth Cosens.
As it stands now, I don’t think I am anywhere near breaking down that brick wall called Elizabeth Cosens!!! 😦