So That's Where I Get It From

May 24, 2015

Sentimental Sunday – Completion of Restoration of my ancestors’ Table Top Tombs

Having been away from my blog for such a very long time, which was never meant, looking after my 104 and a half year old Aunt has taken over our lives so I just haven’t been able to post here as I wanted to.

Today I had some wonderful news so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to post on my blog once again.  I can’t stop smiling 🙂

I am placing this under the Blogging Prompt of Sentimental Sunday because to me this is very sentimental.

I am sooooooooooooooooooooo delighted, excited, thrilled, happy and all sorts of things in that mood 🙂  🙂  🙂 Please bear with me while I explain and add lots of photos!! Many of you know I have been researching my family tree (for almost thirty years now) and have my Read family back to the 1500s. Many of my ancestors are buried in what I call the Read Plot at Nether Winchendon, Buckinghamshire and in the plot are three tabletop tombs. One contains my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read and his wife Elizabeth, another contains his son William Read, William’s Wife Mary, their daughter Mary and Mary’s husband John Moores. The third tabletop tomb contains another of Cozens Read’s sons, Michael Read and his wife Martha.

A few years ago, in 2007, my other half Paul and I visited the Plot and cleared and tidied up and repaired these and other Read gravestones – pictures of this follow. Two or three years or so ago, William Read’s tomb collapsed and I was informed that the church was going to restore it. I tried to get grants for restoring it but that took such a long time, waiting waiting waiting for decisions and in the meantime the church and the villagers managed to organise a Lottery Heritage grant.

Last year I was told they were going ahead with the restoration and asked my thoughts about it. I was very pleased of course. Anyway, today, I found out that yesterday the restoration is complete! They have restored all three table top tombs and here is a link to the BBC news item about it – They even mention me!!!! 🙂…/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-32829542

I am thrilled because they have found that Cozens Read has six children buried with him and his wife, these are those of their 20 children who did not survive to adulthood and I can find no burial record for them apart from that of their first child. I have searched for these children for years thinking they must be buried elsewhere as they are not in the Nether Winchendon parish register.

Now I know exactly where they are! These children were buried long before Cozens Read was buried in 1783 (the news item has the date wrong, they say 1720)!

I am so excited by all this as it means so very much to me 🙂

Here are some of the photos we took in 2007, before and after pics on that day, which can now be compared with the pics in the BBC News item.

This is how the table top tombs looked when we arrived that day in 2007.

The Read Plot - NW - 2007 - Before we cleared up a bit


This is William Read’s table top tomb. This one was the worst one for needing to be repaired and cleared of the plantlife and even small tree that was growing from the inside!  This is the tomb that eventually collapsed a few years later.

William Read and family - before clearing it up - 2007


This is Michael Read’s tomb which contains him and his wife Martha.

Michael Read - before clearing it up - 2007


Here lies Cozens Read with his wife Elizabeth and as I have just discovered, six of his children.

Cozens Read - before clearing it up - 2007


And here is how it all looked that day, after we had been clearing, cleaning and repairing the table top tombs and some of the graves.

The Read Plot - after clearing it up - 2007

I’m so so so so so happy and very very grateful to the villagers who took such an interest in long-deceased members of my family. So thrilled 🙂 🙂 🙂





July 11, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Write a Genealogy Clerihew

I know I am a little late for this as it is not Saturday, but Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings has suggested we write a Genealogy Clerihew as part of his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun series.

It seems that a “clerihew” is a four line irregular poem or verse which follows an AABB rhyming scheme and it has been named for the birthday of the inventor Edmund Clerihew Bentley who was also known as a writer and poet.  (More can be read about this at Jim Smith’s A Genealogy Hunt blog).

Randy asks us to add a post to our blog, or comment on his blog about our attempts at writing a Genealogy Clerihew!!

I have to warn you that I really am not a poet, and while I have had a look at some of the other GeneaBloggers’ own Clerihews (actually really very good), I somehow think my attempt is completely wrong from what it should be like.  But hey, I’m giving it a go and at the very least my attempts should cause some laughs!!  😉

And for those of you that know me and know of my great preoccupation with my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read, this attempt had to be about him!!

Here goes:   A Genealogy Clerihew –  “Ode To Cozens Read” 

For ten long years I searched the Baptism of Cozens Read, 

Now it’s the same for his Mum so of him I plead, 

Can you give me a sign please to show the parents of Elizabeth Cosens, 

And hopefully that will take me back many more years by the dozens! 

Christine Read  –  copyright 2010

Oh dear, not a very good attempt I feel, but I did try to do it quickly!!

June 16, 2010

Find-a-Grave: I’ve now joined and added my first memorial

Filed under: COZENS READ, General — Tags: , , — rootsresearcher @ 5:52 pm

Having done the Find-a-Grave Challenge a couple of weeks or so ago, I had decided that I would join so that I could add the graves of many of my ancestors.

I joined today and for the first added ancestor it had to be for the grave of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read!!  I only had time to add his, but over the next few days I intend to add a lot more ancestors.  The link to his memorial if anyone wants to visit is: page=gr&GSmid=47304706&GRid=53752951&

April 27, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Cozens Read

For my first addition to Geneabloggers’ suggestions of Daily Blogging Themes, I had to start with Cozens READ, my 6 x great grandfather.  It was his burial anniversary two days ago, 25th April 1783.

My own photo taken in 2000 of the Table Top Tomb of Cozens Read and his wife Elizabeth copyright 2010

 Cozens READ was baptized 24th May 1706 in Caversham, Oxfordshire and died in Lower Winchendon (I much prefer it’s ancient name of Nether Winchendon) in 1783.  From at least his marriage in 1734 to Elizabeth SHIRLEY they lived in Lower Winchendon and had 20 children.

He was my 6 x great grandfather and I discovered that he was a Churchwarden for a number of years and also the Overseer for the Poor.

The above photo was taken at what I call The READ Plot at the parish church in Lower Winchendon.  Cozens READ’s Table Top Tomb is one of three READ such tombs.  Two of his sons, Michael and William have their Table Top Tombs very close to their father’s.

Sadly, I was informed a short while ago, that Cozens READ’s Table Top Tomb has now collapsed!!  And because of new rules and regulations it has meant that much of the parts of this tomb will have been taken away and some laid flat for safety.  I have requested that none of the collapsed pieces should be thrown away, perhaps they could be stood around the wall edging the boundary of the churchyard?  I am hoping that as a direct descendant my wishes have been granted.

In the meantime, I have been trying to make enquiries as to what grants are available to allow restoration of a Table Top Tomb.  It seems these types of graves are historic so are part of our heritage, and because my 6 x great grandfather appears to have been very important to this village, I am hoping that we can restore his tomb.  But, the authorities that allow grants for historic monuments can take half a year to a whole year before they meet up to discuss whether to allow a grant or not.

So I am just waiting and really hoping that all the pieces haven’t just been thrown away.  Any Inscription on Cozens READ’s tomb was almost completely gone when we saw it in 2000 and then again in 2004.  But I did see myself the letters COZ and a gap and then READ (but very feint) with the name Elizabeth underneath it, so I know it is his tomb.  I could also make out a date that started 16.. on another side of the tomb, which suggests to me that another READ was also buried in this tomb first, as Cozens READ and his wife were born in the 1700s.  But it was all much to feint to make out.

There is nothing in the Parish Register to show another earlier READ being buried there, so I wonder if it was saying something about the family Cozens READ came from??  Now I will never know!!!

All the other gravestones that can be seen in this photo are for the children, grandchildren and later generations of Cozens READ and his wife Elizabeth SHIRLEY.

April 18, 2010


Filed under: BRICK WALLS!!!!!, COZENS READ, Cozens Read, EUREKA MOMENTS!! — Tags: , — rootsresearcher @ 5:43 pm

I suppose this has to be the main, worst Brick Wall that I have come across so far.

I mentioned in a previous post that it took me just short of ten years and a search of 300 or so Parish Registers and other documents before I found Cozens READ’s baptism and which then gave me his parents.  I already had an idea of who his parents might be, by going through a very long process of elimination (and through my various databases I have made to find who is who and where they are and so on).  I also mentioned that when at last finding Cozens READ’s baptism it threw up another little problem, just a little one, as he was called the daughter of William READ.  Daughter!!

I can remember the moment exactly when I found the baptism.  I was thrilled, delighted, excited, ooh there are just not words enough to explain it.

I had had what they called a small stroke a few months before this “find” and luckily it left me with no problems apart from a complete lack of motivation, which was just not me.  For quite a while I did not do any family history at all, just not motivated because of the small stroke.  I got a bit fed up with being like this, so decided to do something about it.  Although not motivated at all into doing any of my family history research, I decided that I was going to buy some microfiche and push myself into the search for the baptism of Cozens READ.  I hadn’t done all those years research for it to just give up looking because I wasn’t motivated!!

I bought about about ten microfiche from the Oxfordshire Family History Society and proceeded to work my way through them (I was working my way through all the parish churches in Oxfordshire to find the baptism).  I had to do this in the evenings to read from the microfiche reader better when the room was in near darkness.  I had worked my way through the fiche over several evenings and there I was, sat in the dark kitchen at the ironing board (just the right height for placing the microfiche reader on and with room for my notebooks etc)., and was on the very last of the ten or so microfiche I had bought.

I have no idea why, but as I put the first fiche into the reader I just felt that this could be good!  I had been through so many fiche and CDs and actual Parish Registers and never had a feeling like that although I always hoped I would come across the baptism I really wanted.

The first READs appeared in the very early 1600s (I note all those I come across wherever they are) so I noted those. Suddenly there was a baptism for a female READ in 1703 (I can’t remember the correct order as I write this) but when I saw the name Elizabeth I knew it was looking promising. From my process of elimination I had found a marriage of a William READ to an Elizabeth COSENS in 1703 but in a different place.  So this baptism wasn’t at the wrong time!!  Next came a baptism for Mary READ and because I had found a  Mary READ mentioned as the sister of Cozens READ on the huge ROSE Family tree book (details elsewhere on the blog later) this baptism also looked good.  I think it was 1704 0r 1705.  I thought to myself that if the next READ was Rachel then I knew I had the right family (because it was the Discharge of Legacy document I found in the huge ROSE Family Tree book (again details elsewhere on the blog later) for Rachel READ which enabled me to get her Will and then find Cozens READ’s other siblings), so I was getting just a tad excited!!

Well, it wasn’t Rachel READ that was next in the register, it was Coessens READ the daughter of William!!!  That’s when I got so excited, it was a real Eureka Moment, it was delightful and if I had been fitter than I am, my head would have been hitting the ceiling as I would have been bouncing about all over the place with excitement!  And, it certainly didn’t worry me at all that this entry said “Daughter”.

As mentioned in another post, I did search for the burial of this daughter and another baptism for a son, but there is none.  I put the error down to the Clerk not taking as much care as he should have done writing the entries, but then he knew no-one was really going to see anything he wrote.  He certainly did not think about those of us a few hundred years later looking at the Registers!  So this was the baptism of Cozens READ my 6 x great grandfather and the Brick Wall broken through after an almost ten year search.  Pheeewwww!

And, I got my motivation back!!  😉

April 17, 2010

COZENS READ – my 6 x great grandfather

Filed under: COZENS READ, EUREKA MOMENTS!! — Tags: — rootsresearcher @ 5:29 pm

Cozens READ has become extremely special to me.  It took me just short of ten years to find his baptism and therefore his parents after searching through over 300 Parish Registers and many different documents (for clues) and Wills and things.

When I found his baptism, it really did not matter at all that he was shown as the daughter of William READ!!

Because of the research I had done to find him I knew there was no other Cozens READ.  His name for his baptism was shown in the register as Coessens Read and I have a copy of that page, which hopefully I will be able to show on this blog soon.  But of course, I still had to prove that this daughter was in fact my 6 x great grandfather, so I continued searching for a burial of a daughter with that name and then another baptism after any burial for the son called Cozens.  Again, I have searched so many registers and not found a burial for the supposed daughter nor another baptism for a second Cozens READ.

Anything I have found regarding Cozens READ does only apply to my 6 x great grandfather so I am fairly sure that he is the daughter shown in this particular baptism entry.  What makes me think the Clerk made a mistake while writing the entry is that there were many daughters having their baptisms registered on that page so he must have just written the word daughter as he had done so many times already and then a couple of entries after the mention of Coessens Read, the Clerk has written about “Sary the the of “(and her father’s name – not a Read) so the Clerk doesn’t even say if she was a son or a daughter!!  (I refer to her as female because I am pretty sure that Sary is for the name Sarah).

Because of doing so much research on Cozens READ I now tend to relate all the ancestors to him, for eg. my 8 x great grandfather John READ does not really get referred to as that by me, instead I only refer to him as Cozens READ’s grandfather.  The same applies to other ancestors, they are referred to as whatever relationship they had to Cozens READ.  Makes life so much simpler, I know who I am talking about then!!  😉

You will probably find as you wend your way through my blog that Cozens READ gets a lot of mentions!!  Wouldn’t it be nice if he knew he had a 6 x great granddaughter who was so fond of him.

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