The Coates family in Tingewick

I recently received an enquiry about Henry Coates, baptised in Tingewick in 1864, the third son of William Coates and Ann Stuchfield, who married on the last day of 1854.
[UPDATE: a Thomas Coates was appointed one of the Parish Overseers of the Poor in March 1838 – see vestry minutes page 82]
Ann was born in Tingewick in September 1834: her father was born in Tingewick in 1797 and her grandfather was buried there in 1813.  Her father was a saddler / harness maker and so far has not appeared in the Overseers Records of 1829.  She was 20 when she married William Coates, only a couple of years older than her but already a widower.  I haven’t found his first marriage, but he appears on the 1851 census of Syresham with his wife Elizabeth (who was born in Claydon, Oxfordshire), living in his father’s household along with his two unmarried aunts and his cousin, daughter of one of them.  There is a possible death for Elizabeth in the 4th quarter of 1851.
I’m not aware of any connection between the Coates family and Tingewick: there was a Humphrey Coates, farmer, listed in the 1847 Post Office Directory for Tingewick, but he doesn’t appear on the 1851 census there (there is a death in Q2 of 1851 in Buckingham District that may be his) – perhaps William’s father (also William) inherited Humphrey’s property?
There are no Coates entries in the Tingewick section of the 1854 Post Office Directory, or Kelly’s in the same year:  the 1861 census records the whole family  in Tingewick – William and Ann with their first two sons and Ann’s father living with them; and – in another house – William senior, with his two unmarried daughters and his grand-daughter.
William and Ann baptised four sons in Tingewick: Richard James, in 1858; William John in 1861; Henry in 1864; and Nathaniel in 1868.  I also wonder if Isaac and Rebecca – presumably twins, born in January 1867 and buried barely a month later in Tingewick churchyard – were also their children.  And there was a Harriett Mary whose birth was registered in Buckingham District in the final quarter of 1856, and her death in Q1 of 1857.  Was she their first child?
Ann died in early February 1869,  followed in April 1870 by baby Nathaniel, not yet two years old.  A year later, at the 1871 census, Richard – the oldest boy, now 12 – is still living with his maiden aunts and cousin in Tingewick (his grandfather had probably died in 1867).  The two surviving younger boys – William and Henry – are in Union Workhouse in Buckingham.  I have not been able to locate their father William anywhere on the 1871 census – did he go abroad, perhaps to America, to seek his fortune?  I only have a handful of copies of the Post Office and Kelly’s directories, but each (1869, 1877 and later) continue to show William’s name, and in 1881 he is back in Tingewick, living  again with his surviving sister (one died in 1875) until her death in 1894.
Meanwhile, it may be that the young boys did not stay in the workhouse for long.  In 1873, Jackson’s Oxford Journal of February 22 reported that:
“[at] BUCKINGHAM … DIVISIONAL PETTY SESSIONS, SATURDAY … Before the Hon. P. Barrington and Chas. Higgins, Esq. …

Martin Lucas, of Tingewick, baker, was charged with assaulting Henry Coates, a lad ten years of age.  It appeared that defendant had some snow-balls thrown at him, and believing the compainant was the lad who threw them, he sent his small dog after him, which complainant alleged bit his leg.  The Bench dismissed the case.”

However the older boy William, died in 1878, when he was still only 17.
The remaining boys married: Richard was still in the parish in 1901, with his wife and six children: Henry also married a Tingewick girl but I think moved away – hopefully my enquirer will fill in some more of the details.

“From Tingewick to Tioga” – a history of James Holton (1831-1917)

James Holton was born at Tingewick  in 1831, eighth child of James and Maria.  At around the same time, his uncle Thomas emigrated to Tioga in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.  Twenty years later, James joined him.


Some years ago, two of  his 3-great and 4-great granddaughters took a family history written by his son and collaborated on turning it into a book.    We transcribed the diary – exactly as it was written – then I checked and wrote footnotes about all the people mentioned.  Mary Holton Robare assembled a wonderful selection of family and local photographs: Jan Ezell Anderson cross-checked my notes and tracked down nearly 1,000 direct descendants.

The result was, though I say it myself, rather impressive.


Today I learned – thanks to Sue Dudley – that it appears in the National Library of Australia online library list.

If anyone is interested in a copy, I believe they can still be bought from Creative Continuum.