Copestake and Mountney Newsheet 1a


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Mounteney Research Newsletter Number 1a - Never Published - 16 Dec 1995

EDITORIAL - Are we descended from William the Conquerors brother.

COMPUTER - Has not been working sorry for any ommisions.

Kayley, a girl was born to Lee Richardson and Sue on the 20th July 1995, Congratulations to Sue and Lee.

On the 31 July 1996 Simon and Lorraine Hughes had a baby boy. I have not found out his name yet!!!

Jill Martin and Iain McKinstry were married whilst on holiday in Lindos, Rhodes, Greece

NEW ADDITIONS TO OUR MAILING LIST and addresses for direct contact with the contributors.

Edith Barry

John Duval Brochet
Mountenay of Westmeath Ireland 1720-1987

Frank Dunn
Cousin of Eve Parry, descended from Large Mountney & Sarah Stone,of Snelston

Rosemary Anne Garner
"Rose Cottage"

H. Garratt
Florence Elizabeth Copestake m. Fred Turner 10 July 1920

Mary Jane Greaser
Interested in Joseph G. Mountenay adopted of Philadelphia

Roger Jennens

Geoffrey Levesley
Interested in Ecclesfield Priory and descendant of George Greaves.

Diane Lindsay
Searching for the Ancestors of Jane Copestick a fellon in Stafford Gaol. Contacted us via the internet.

Jill McKinstrey left of the list last time.

Eve Parry

Fred Rance

Susan Stepp

Lynn Taylor

Joyce White

I have also decided to send copies of the newsletter to Lichfield Joint Record Office and Derbyshire Record Office


The main Copestake line that I have been searching originates in the Parish of Snelston on the Derbyshire side of the Derbyshire/ Staffordshire border. I believe that William Copestake (c.1730-1818) moved from Ellastone across the County boundary to become the first Snelston Copestake. I am still working on the Ellastone link to try and prove this. It is also possible that some if not all the Copestakes came from this area. There are also some earlier references in Yorkshire, the earliest being Geoffrey Coupstak in the Register of the Freemen of the City of York in 1295.

Spelling Variant missed out of last newsletter:
MOUNTNEY Spotted by Eve Parry
COPESTICK Missed by Simon Martin, but spotted by John Pleydell who says he also thinks it is a phonetic spelling of COPESTAKE.


An article has appeared in the September Issue of Derbyshire Family History Magazine from which Rosemary Garner and Elaine Copestake made contact with me. In addition Annie Glass from the USA contacted me re the Holloways of Snelston and the state of the Snelston Parish Registers and Bishops Transcripts.

"The Flowing Stream" published an article form which Rosemund A. Du Cane contacted me. She is interested in the STANIFORTH family and in the 1614 Will of Nicholas Mountney. If any one has any further details contact her via Simon Martin.

Update on last time


ESSEX Mountnessing Yes 1851 Census Index Mention in August Journal
Directories, MIs


The following members are also watching their local family history societies for Mountneys and Copestakes:

Channel Islands FHS - Eve Parry
Derbyshire FHS - Eve Parry, Joyce White, Anne Garner
Devon FHS - Eve Parry
Federation of FHS - Simon Martin
Gloucestershire FHS - John Pleydell
Guild of One Name St - Simon Martin
Gwynedd FHS - Eve Parry
Isle of Wight FHS - John Pleydell
Liverpool & SW Lancs - Simon Martin
Manchester & Lancs - Simon Martin
Nottinghamshire FHS - Joyce White


A 'Margaret Copestake' played the piano on "Classic FM" during the week preceeding 10th September 1995 [Heared by Myra Mainey]


Aberdeen & NE Nil
Clyde Valley Nil
Derby 19
Glasgow 1
Leicester 6
Liverpool Nil (6 Mountaine only)
Manchester S. 8 including N. Cheshire
Norfolk 2 (Crockfords Clerical Directory)
Nottinghamshire 13
Rotheram Nil
South West Scot Nil
St Helens Nil
Stafford 1
Wigan Nil

Aberdeen & NE Nil
Clyde Valley Nil
Derby 26
Glasgow Nil
Lancashire 1 (Crockfords Clerical Directory)
Liverpool 6
Leicester 8
Manchester S. 18 including N. Cheshire
Nottinghamshire 12
Rotheram 5
South West Scot 1
St Helens Nil
Stafford 17
Wigan Nil

The Derby Directory has been done a few times by different people and the figures above reflect various adjustments as regards that directory [mainly people who do not have a phone!]

Profile of Joyce White

Mountney Book

Dict Nat Biography, Robert & Odo

Fairbairns crests

Leicestershire Mounteneys

Main line as is

Holiday in Derbyshire

Ecclesfield Priory article

Snelston, got to see the inside of the church but no Copestake or Mountney memorials

Photos Frank Dunn have permission

Obtained a copy of the book by Rev Bowyer (1953) The Ancient Parish of Norbury (Map of the parish) includes Snelston, Derbyshire


One-name studies collect lots of information, many thousands of records about, individuals, families and places.

Some one-name studies use massive unwieldy card indexes.

Computers are now cheaply available and make this task a lot easier. All you often need to do is put in the name or place and the information appears on the computer screen. The information can then be printed out and sent out by post, or the information can be copied onto a small disc, which can hold the equivalent of a book, and can then be used on someone else's computer.

All the information still needs to be collected and then sent to someone with a computer for inputting. Often this involves visiting massive record offices and searching through hundreds of records till you find the one you are looking for, Great fun!!

Computers are only a tool, and like all tools need to be used in the right way to get the best results.

Specialists have now developed lots of computer programes for use by family historians. I will call these Genealogical Packages.

On a genealogical package people are linked in families as well as just by alphabetical sorts and dates. There are set pieces of information like date of birth. There is also a facility for adding notes about all sorts of different things.

All information needs be on the system so that it can be easily retrieved. It would be good if other people can also input information on their computer and then send in the disc so that it can all be compiled together. All the data can then be copied and all the contributors can then have a copy of all the information on their own computer system. All the members in the computer group need to have either the same software or to use a set information format to transfer information. The most used format is GEDCOM (Genealogical Communication). This has the information in a set way that the allows the computer to tell the difference between a date of birth and a place of marriage, so that it can reassemble the information in the correct order. There is also an index to most of the parish registers called the International Genealogical Index which is available on GEDCOM.

The package makes it easy to find information wanted e.g. ask the computer to find all the Sarah Pleydells born before 1848 living in Colchester, and it will. Very useful if you are decended from a Sarah Pleydell of Colchester born before 1848!

The information produced needs to be easily understandable by anyone receiving the information they asked for, this depends on how well the information is input to the computer without any ambiguous abbreviation, some words may also need translationg or explaining. Preferably it would be best if the information could be just printed straight out without having to be loaded into a word processor and then re-typed.

I thought it would be a good idea to look at some other one name studies and how they are computerised. The three I have come up with are:

1) The Mounteny One Name Study

I use Personal Ancestral File as the main genealogical package.

But it cannot produce the familiar charts like those in the Pedigree Book we have all been looking at.

Also people who are not yet linked into the family tree are kept on a very complicated separate database called SIMON INDEX which has to link people by name place, and date.

There is also another separate Bibliography, a list of articles and publications which have been used to compile the family histories.

I am at present transferring the data to Brothers Keeper in a similar way to Lindfield (see below)


Uses a database to record all records and then relates them to one-another using Brothers Keeper, genealogical package.


Uses Brothers Keeper to record everything, using some very clever tricks. This has the advantage of having everything in one place and stops things having to be typed in twice.


Lindfield, Alan
To Every Purpose There is a Program - Some Thoughts on Software for Family History
GOONS Journal Vol5 No.7 p209-213 1995,July

Tatchell, Jim
Helping a One-Name Study with a computer
Jnl of Guild Of One NS 1994,Octobe

These Mounteneys
Keep Cropping Up
From our South Yorkshire Correspondent - Lynn Taylor

Together with my cousin, the Editor, I have been involved in researching our family tree (The Copestakes) which has lead to the discovery of the Mounteney/Mortain connection. Whilst Simon with his vast knowledge to delve deeper I have found myself somewhat locking in gaining fresh information. Imagine my delight when by a mere chance I found that my daughter's friend lives in a house called "Mounteney House" and this was originally bought by a gentleman for his spinster daughters to live in.

Recently I have stumbled on some more information which again was by pure chance. At Sewerby Hall near Bridlington. Just on the point of leaving I caught sight of a plaque in the last room giving a list of previous omners and my eyes mearly popped out of my head when I read:

Previous Owners of the Manor of Sewerby

Carle & Torchil Saxon landlords prior to 1066
Robert, Count of Mortain - half brother of William the
Richard de Surdeval - confiscated by William Rufus 1088
etc etc
Presently owned by the Council

Robert, Count of Mortain owned vast tracts of North Yorkshire as a reward for helping William with his invasion of England. (See The History of Yorkshire [Phillimore] and The Dombesday Book for further details)

It just goes to show that the trail never goes cold and there's always some information just waiting to be discovered so don't give up hope.

Rosemary Gorner

28 Aug 1995
My maiden name is Copestake and I have recently begun to research my paternal relations. I have a book full of information of various things, but I am having difficulty tieing them together made worse by the fact that I know so little about my immediate family.
My recent family all lived in Derby, especially Marston Montgomery, Brailsford, Kirk Langley, Cubley and Ashbourne. My Great Grandad WALTER JOSEPH COPESTAKE (1865-1958) was a postman married to ROSANNIE BULL? when my Great Great Grandfather WILLIAM WALTER COPESTAKE and his wife ? SUSANNAH we know little about, but suspect contact with the Goodalls of Marston, as the name GOODALL-COPESTAKE appears in the Marston Parish Registers.
I would be grateful for any help. Please contact via Simon.

Elaine Copestake is interested in Arthur Copestake who was born 24.9.1880 to Thomas Copestake & Mary Ann Spencer Copestake Ne‚ Price at 'Dalton' in the registration district of Wigan. Arthur later moved to Derby where he stayed until he died.
Any info. for Elaine forward via Simon.

1881 Census


Progress being made using Brother's Keeper


Guy Stapleton is doing some work on this Branch.


I started looking at:

Hunter, J. Gatty, A. (ed)
History of the Parish of Sheffield
p 389-395 1869

The big family tree in this article does not match at all well with my provisional tree on the Computer and hence my GCSE Thesis. I have started the laborious task of inputting the entries from Hunter onto the Computer. Please take Hunter as a better authority than myself as my tree is seriously flawed.

Copy printed in this newsletter.


Guy Stapleton has sent in a very high quality tree for this family see the copy printed with this newsletter.


Guy Stapleton is doing some work on this Branch.


Simon Martin has a working copy of his own tree, please contact Simon if you need a copy.


Simon Martin has a working copy of the Copestake family of Ellastone if you need more details please contact Simon.


For Christmas Simon Martin has received a copy of a computer program called Brothers Keeper which can produce drop line charts (like normal family trees) rather than the boring lists at present. This is also easier to use. He has not been able to transfer the data from the old system with any success.

At the moment Brothers Keeper contains:
- Some micellaneous records
- A copy of the computer files of Frank Dunn to make up for my
own files not transferring Frank had put a lot of the
Mountney material on disc.
- International Genealogical Index [IGI] (1988 & 1992 ed.) for
the Copestakes and Copesticks of Cheshire
- Some Parish Register Entries regarding Copestakes and
Copesticks of Cheshire identified via the IGI
- IGI (1988) Copestakes and Copesticks of Lancashire which has
produced some interesting links with the Cheshire records.
- 1881 Census Index Mountney, Mounteney, Mountany, of
- Derbyshire [On going not yet completed]
- Elaine Copestakes resesarch
- Alan Bardsleys [Bardsley one name Study] research into a
Copestake who married a Beardsley in Derbyshire.

As time permits other records are being added and cross referenced.

If anyone has managed to transfer a file from a Personal Ancestral File [PCW] to Brothers Keeper [PC] I would be very interested to hear!! Help needed.


Whilst the computers were not well I started to compile an index of all the Mountney entries and files that are building up. This is a very simplified database. It contains mainly Leicestershire and London area information. If you want any specific information please contact Simon Martin. I can supply a copy to anyone who sends a 3.5" Marked Mountney Index. Tell me whether you want the file as ASCCI or Lotus 123/Symphony.


There are tthree projects that you may be interested in -no compulsion-

1) The records for Copestakes and Mountneys and their variants need transcribing from the Edlaston Parish Registers in Derbyshire Record Office, Matlock.

2) St Catherines House indexes, any entries, or offers to extract entries for a year or two would be appreciated. Also photocopies of any certificates would be very valuable.

3) Derby Central Library has a Census Surname index for Derby only, Needs Searching for Copestakes, Mountneys and variants. Also Derbyshire FHS published an index to the 1851 Census, Also the 1881 Census index for Derbyshire needs searching [CENSUS RECORDS]

Please tell me if you are doing any or a part of these projects to eliminate duplication, before work commences.

I repeat there is no pressure.

If you would be able to contribute to the above projects or any others of your interest, please tell me so that we can prevent duplication of work and distribute the results.

With Best Wishes


The Life of William James
Burgess, Sergeant in the
Cheshire Police Constabulary

William James was born in Fulbeck in Lincolnshire according to the 1881 Census and his enlistment with the Police. He was born about the year 1845 as he enlisted at the age of 27 on 23 August 1872.

We know very little about his early life, and it is very hard to find records of his baptism as the International Genealogical Index (an index to parish registers) does not index Fulbeck Church for the years around his birth.

We do know that he was married twice, as he married as a widower when he married Myra Clarke in 1877. He also had a child by his first marriage called Frank Burgess, born in Sheffield about 1869, the only reference to Frank is in the 1881 Census for Bromborough where he is a scholar aged 12.

Cheshire Record Office in Chester has an excellent collection of archives of the Cheshire Constabulary, including personnel records, pension records and a fascinating register of all their policemen's marriages, which records the marriage certificates presented by officers in this Constabulary.

On my visit to Chester a couple of years ago, I was handed the records with the last few pages tied up with string. This was to prevent me from looking at any records less than 50 years old. Very luckily for us, William James's records are all over 50 years old!

The first record is that of his enlistment, where he is described as follows:

Religion p

All that this record gives is the letter "p". Well, what does this mean? In prison records, it is well known that "p" is used to denote "parish", that is, "Church of England". As his son, William James Burgess was baptised in Bromborough Parish Church, this also proves that he was Church of England.

Country E

- which I expect is England or English. This Constabulary, of course, operated on the England/Wales border, so this might have been an important consideration, as nationality still is within the Home Office.

Height 5 foot 9 inches

Hair DK
Complexion DK

I take these to be an abbreviation for "dark".

Eyes Hazel

We have a photograph of him in his police uniform which is forms the cover to this booklet. The number on his lapel even matches that in his personnel records.

His personnel records also record his wages. He started in 1872 on a salary of 20s per week which rises gradually over the years to become 28s in 1876, 29s 2d in 1886, 32s 8d in 1891 as Acting Sergeant, and finally 34s 5d as a Sergeant in 1896. His finishing salary was œ87 6s 3d, giving him a salary of œ54 2s 8d, which is about the 2 guineas remembered by family tradition. There is also a family tradition that his brother, who we don't have a name for, received 1s a week out of his wages, but this we have not been able to prove.

His police career seems to have started with some training between August and September 1872 as he seemed to be posted to Reserve? Division. In September 1872, he is posted to the Wirral Division, where he remains for the rest of his career. In 1890, in a directory for Cheshire, he is the Police Sergeant at Eastham Police Station. Bromborough Police Station seems only to be commanded by one police constable. This is a bit like the situation in the TV series "Heartbeat", where there is a main station, and little substations. It is not known where he was based when he was just a constable, but we do know from the 1881 Census that, at that time he was living on the Birkenhead and Chester Road, Bromborough. However, he is not listed there or anywhere else in Bromborough, on the 1891 Census.

There are two main incidents in his career, which are described in his personnel records. One is a very good incident, and the other seems to be the only black mark on his otherwise "exemplary" career. The incident for which he received commendation from the Chief Constable, as well as 5s, is described as follows:

"Capture of two men after a determined struggle for robbing a woman at Tranmere" on 6 April 1874.

The earlier black mark was at Christmas, 1872, when he was found drunk at 1 am Christmas morning. A misconduct report was filed and he was fined 15s for this!

William received three awards for service, the first in 1880, when he was given a Good Conduct Badge. The second was in 1882, when he was given an additional Good Conduct Badge, and finally, in 1886 for long and meritorious service, he was given a Merit Badge and a pay rise. I have in my collection one of these badges, but which one we do not know!

One major incident in his life was obviously his second marriage to Myra Clarke. This was performed on 7 October 1877 by the Revd. T. A. Gurney at Wibbenhall Church, Worcestershire. A copy of their marriage lines has been taken from the Cheshire Constabulary's marriage register, which gives the following details: William was 29 years old, a constable and widower of Tranmere, whose father was William Burgess, Labourer of Lincolnshire. Myra Clarke is only 21 years old, a spinster and servant also of Tranmere, whose father was Jas. Clarke, Labourer of Worcestershire.

At their marriage, Myra was presented with a family Bible by her father. This is now in my possession, but very unfortunately, the dedication plate had been ripped out, and the family records and photographs had never been put into it. I could just about make out the bookplate, but got their marriage date wrong, and for years I have been searching for their marriage certificate for 1873, which is obviously now the wrong date. I was beginning to plan a trip to Scotland to see if they'd been married there, as the Bible had been published in the North East of England.

They had two children, the first was, William James, born 19th June 1877, in Bromborough; but the date of their marriage is 7 October 1877 and his mother describes herself as "Myra Burgess formerly Clarke" on his birth certificate. Is the date in the police records therefore wrong? or where they not married? Their other child was Irvine born about 1880 also in Bromborough.

William James Burgess junior, became an engine fireman and later an engine driver for The Midland Railway. He married Jane Harris and lived in Liverpool. They had four children: Myra, Irvine, William James and Florence. More details are given in the enclosed family tree.

The last episode of William's life is his time as a pensioner. He was a pensioner for 23 years 59 days, having served in the Police Constabulary for 25 years and 70 days. He was paid a total pension of œ1,253 15s 10d as a pensioner, which is a pretty good deal, I am sure! He died according to the pension records on 29 December 1920, at the age of 75 years and 3 months.

During his retirement, he received visits from his grandchildren, Aunty Bett (Florence) used to visit him in Eastham Ferry, Rosedale Road. Also, Aunty Myra used to visit him in Tarporley, Eastham, where his garden went down to the canal.

Latest 31 Aug 2001: Birth Certificate of Irvine Burgess 1880



Last updated 31 Aug 2001 - Web Master - Simon Martin [email protected]
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