X marks the spot

Prime Minister from Liverpool to May

I have featured this coin before. These pictures were the first I took with a new lens that acts as a short range telephoto (90 mm) and macro, or close-up. But what was going on when it was minted two centuries ago?

As mentioned in my blog about the year without a summer, 1816, the country was suffering. Wages were in decline, harvests failing, the price of grain rising and with it the cost of daily bread. There remained a surplus of labour following the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. Continue reading “X marks the spot”


C is for …

St John the Baptist, Berkswell, Warwickshire.  A place my Carter ancestors would recognise.

From: Reany, P H, (ed. Wilson, R M), 1997, Oxford Dictionary of English Surnames, 3rd ed., OUP, Oxford, unless otherwise stated.

Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred (AK): William Carter, b. 1750, Knowle, Warwickshire.
A man who drives a cart. There is some more elaborate etymology, but this seems the most likely for my family, who were mainly agricultural workers.

Earliest in AK: William Chadburn, b. 1792, Overseal, Leicestershire.
From the hamlet of Chatburn, Lancashire.

Earliest in AK: Robert Clayton, b. 1815, Ketley, Shropshire.
Jordan de Claiton before 1191 Early Yorkshire Charter. Walter de Clayton 1332 Subsidy Roll Sussex. Richard Clayton 1452 Feet of Fines Essex. From Clayton, Lancashire, Staffordshire, Sussex, West Riding, Yorkshire.

Earliest in AK: Francis Cooper, b. 1703, Measham, Derbyshire.
Middle English couper, maker or repairer of wooden casks, buckets or tubs.

Earliest in AK: William Corns, b. 1804, Rugeley, Staffordshire.
Nickname from Old English corn ‘crane’ or variant of Old English cweorn ‘hand mill’ [modern quirn] metonym for user of.

Earliest in AK: Stephen Cowley of Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, married 1735.
I will consider this in more detail later.

Earliest in AK: Thomas Cox, b abt 1804, Gloucestershire, probably Hinton (today just south west of M4 J18).
There seems to be such a multitude of possibilities that trying to find any that applies more than any other to my Cox relatives seems futile.

Earliest in AK: James Craddock, b. 1728, Cannock Wood, Staffordshire.
This is so obviously Welsh that further comment seems superfluous, but for the record: Reany starts with cradoc (caradoc’) 1177 Pipe Rolls Herefordshire. Also cited: Welsh caradawc, cradawc, caradoc [like the mountain Caer Caradoc, perhaps], Caradog.

Earliest in AK: Susannah Cumberlidge, b. 1725, Cannock Wood, Staffordshire.
This is not covered by Reany. However, it seems reasonable to split into cumber and lidge. Comber – someone living in a valley [or combe]. Lidge – Reany suggests this has something to do with lych gate. Perhaps, then, “dweller by the lych gate in the valley”.