So That's Where I Get It From

March 20, 2011

March 20 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

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!!!   😦


July 12, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: The Will of Ann Cozens

Filed under: Amanuensis Monday, DAILY BLOGGING THEMES — Tags: , , — rootsresearcher @ 10:06 pm

I have noticed several fellow geneabloggers are contributing to the Amanuensis Monday blog theme that was started by John Newmark on his blog Transylvanian Dutch, in which he is transcribing letters, newspaper articles, audio tapes, and a war diary etc., concerning his family.

John explains Amanuensis as “a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another”.

I think the idea of Amanuensis Monday is wonderful and is going to be so good for me to actually get down to transcribing all the Wills I have collected and been meaning to transcribe for ages (for years in fact)!!  So I am going to have a go and join in and try to add a transcribed Will each Monday!

My first transcription is for the Will of Ann Cozens.  She is a cousin of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read and lived for a number of years with his sister Rachael in Tiddington, Oxfordshire.  Both Ann Cozens and Rachael Read’s Wills are a delight as the two ladies mention so many members of the family.

I am a little stuck with Ann Cozens, not yet knowing who her parents are, but as you will see from the Will, there is a clue and I will comment on this in the Notes at the end of the transcription.

Here is a copy of Ann Cozens’ Will that I received from the National Archives and please don’t tell me off for the pink highlighter all over it!!  I did that with several Wills as they were so difficult to read and so I could easily pick out names etc., but I did this a long time ago and realise now that I should have maybe done the highlighting on a different copy!

Ann Cozens’ Will

This copy in my private collection - copyright 2010

and here is Page 2  – the Transcription follows the second page

This copy in my private collection - copyright 2010

and here is my Transcription of this Will for Amanuensis Monday

Transcript of the Will of Ann Cozens

In the Name of God Amen I Ann Cozens of Great Hazely in the County of Oxford Spinster being in health of body and of sound mind memory and understanding praised be God for the same do make this my last will and testament in manner and form following First I will and desire that I may be decently buried in the parish Churchyard of Great Hazely aforesaid near as maybe to Mrs. Rachel Read And I give and bequeath unto Edward Read of Brimstone house in the parish of Albury in the County of Oxford the sum of three pounds for his trouble and care of me during my natural life Also I give and bequeath unto John Cozens of Berwick in the County of Oxford laborour son of the late Moses Cozens my nephew the sum of forty pounds Also I give and bequeath unto Mary Cozens sister to the said John Cozens of Berwick Spinster the sum of ten pounds Also I give and bequeath unto Elizabeth Read of Great Hazely Spinster the sum of five pounds Also I give and bequeath unto William Read the elder batchelor the sum of two guineas Also I give and bequeath unto my three God children Thomas Read Ann Read John Lovegrove now living in Hazely aforesaid Thomas Read the elder (additional wording the elder crossed through) the sum of one guinea each Also to Ann Read the daughter of the said Thomas Read the sum of one guinea And also to John Lovegrove the sum one guinea all now living in Hazely aforesaid Also I give and bequeath unto Rachel Clifford widow the sum of one guinea Also I give and bequeath unto Elizabeth Read daughter of Stephen Read and Elizabeth his wife of Cuddington in the County of Bucks the sum one guinea Also I give and bequeath unto Thomas Read the son of the aforesaid Stephen and Elizabeth Read the sum of one guinea Also I give and bequeath unto Stephen Read the son of the aforesaid Stephen and Elizabeth Read the sum of one guinea Also I give and bequeath unto Elizabeth Burges wife of William Burges of Hazely the sum of two guineas And if the effects at the time of my decease should not arise to the amount or sum of (additional wording of crossed through ) the above legacies herein above bequeath’d it is my request that all the legacies shall take in proportion to what the effects may amount to in the pound after all depts and demands are discharged by the named executor herein mentioned of this my last will and testament Also I direct and appoint Edward Read my Executor to pay all my just depts and all the expences and funeral charges within one month after my interment All the rest and residue of my, of money goods chattles estate and effects of what nature or kind soever I give and bequeath unto Mr. Edward Read of Brimstone house in the said parish of Albury in the said County of Oxford And I do nominate constitute and appoint the said Edward Read of Brimstone house aforesaid sole Executor of this my last will and testament hereby revoking and making void all and every other will and wills at any time (sweartofore?) by me made and declare this to be my last will and testament In Witness whereof I have, I the said Ann Cozens Spister(sic) have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty ninth day of April one thousand eight hundred and five.  Mark Ann Cozens  X    Sign’d sealed declared and published by the said testator Ann Cozens as and for her last will and testament in the presence of us who at her request in her presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto Elizabeth Billing  Sarah Scriven
This Will was proved at Oxford on the twenty eighth day of March 1809 before the Rev’d William Brown clerk M. A. Surrogate of the Rev’d George Turner clerk M. A. Official Principal of the Rev’d Archdeacon of Oxford lawfully constituted by the Oath of Edward Reade the sole executor therein named to whom admon was granted being first sworn duly to administer.


Notes:  Ann mentions that she is bequeathing to John Cozens of Berwick the son of the late Moses Cozens “my nephew” … and this has caused me a bit of concern with regard to who Ann Cozens actually belongs to!  I have taken this part of the Will to mean that John Cozens is her nephew, therefore the late Moses Cozens is her brother.  I have the Wills for Moses Cozens and his brother John Cozens and their father John Cozens, but not one mentions Ann.  I don’t know when Ann Cozens was born, so it could be the Will of John Senior was made before Ann was born and maybe the two brothers John and Moses were more concerned with leaving their legacies to their children.

On the other hand, is Ann Cozens referring to the late Moses Cozens as her nephew (hence his son would be her great nephew)?  If so, that would make John Senior her brother and as mentioned before Ann is not mentioned in his Will whether as sister or daughter!  I would be interested to hear your views about who you think she is referring to as “my nephew”.

Brimstone house in Albury is where Rachael Read lived with her cousin Ann Cozens until she died.  Living with them both was Edward Read and it appears that he continued living there after Rachael died and until Ann Cozens died.  I have tried to find this place.  For Rachael it appears to be in Tiddington but for Ann it is in Albury.  Tiddington was/is in the parish of Albury and I believe the two villages are very close together.  I have also discovered that this particular property is now a government experimental farm and when we were in Oxfordshire in 2000 we could not find anything that could have been Brimstone house or even an experimental farm!  I have tried to find the house on old maps and have seen in other documents that it is referred to as Brimstone Farm also.  I have also seen in other documents mention of Brimpton House in Albury or Tiddington and think that this is one and the same as Brimstone House.  I’m sure I will find it one day!!


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