Children of the Sampler – Murkin

In the possession of my cousin Hilary is a “sampler”,  embroidered by Ruth Spooner in 1838 with the names and dates of birth of her brothers and sisters, the children of my Great-Great-Great Grandparents Elizabeth (nee Murkin) and Robert Spooner.

On the reverse, handwritten, is a list of names and dates of birth of Ruth’s aunts and uncles, the brothers and sisters of her mother Elizabeth Murkin. It is a most unusual and remarkable record. Continue reading

Who was William Cooksey?

Christmas is a time for family games and puzzles. Mine centred on William Cooksey, the second husband of Hannah Miller (nee Mallin), who was himself a widower. Having trawled trade directories for Staffordshire (concentrating on West Bromwich, Wolverhampton, Dudley and Tipton), I had begun to develop a theory about William’s business activity as, at first, a Nail Ironmonger and, later, a Grocer and Tea Dealer.  There were other Cooksey businesses, too: Samuel Cooksey and Joseph Cooksey. Were they all three related? Continue reading


An important task yet to be undertaken is to indicate here on the family tree, the sources of all the data. That is a mammoth task, but one that must be undertake if others are to place any reliance on the accuracy of it all.

I do, of course, have sources of most of the data, listed as footnotes in the written ‘stories’ of the various branches.

As always, small steps must be the start of that long journey.