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Page 5. Letters to the Editor

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Nick Balmer, Rickmansworth, UK
Dave Hagland, UK
Janice Morris, UK
Julie Moulds, London
Ian Richardson, London
Andrea Webb, UK
Kaye Winiecki, Australia


I just found your name tree by accident while I was looking for photos of Corinth Road, London N 7. What I am about to write may sound silly to you - I do not know. All I do know is that it's the truth!

One night in December 1978, in the early hours of the morning, my wife, who was seven months pregnant at the time, woke me up to point at the window. There was a long shadow outlined across the sill. It was the figure of man with a child standing by his right side. Our bedroom was on the ground floor at the back of the house and looked out over the yard. I grabbed a small chopper, which I kept under the bed, and rushed out of room, down passage to the back door. I opened it and looked out. No-one! They were gone. I went back to the bedroom. They were still there!! My wife said that they had not moved. I crossed the room to have a closer look. As I did gradually they disappeared and then there was nothing left.

The following day, I told my dad about it. He just laughed and said it was obviously a shadow.

I didn't mention the apparition again but then we were struck by tragedy. Later that month, my wife was rushed into hospital. Our daughter, Lisa, was born prematurely on December 20th 1978. She died the next day.

All this time I have wondered whether the apparation was a warning - someone trying to tell us something. And then I came across your pages for Mary Craxford and her brother James Cornelius. They were both born prematurely and both died within days of their birth (in August 1914 and May 1915). What was more amazing to me was that they were both born at 25, Corinth Road - the same house we were living in. Prior to reading your website, I knew nothing at all of the history of this house.

This story is not a sick joke or meant to be funny in any way. I wrote the story for our own family tree a long time ago - and it can still be seen here at [weblink]

Dave Hagland, UK
- October 21st 2012


I stumbled across your website as I was searching for information on my family history. I found the section you have on the Cox's coming to Australia very interesting as I am a descendant of William Hyland that you have mentioned.

So whilst not connected to the Cox's myself, Mary Turland/Cox certainly appears in our family line. I was wondering if you had any information on Emily Cox (Richard and Mary's daughter) in regards to who raised her. I have found no trace of Emily being raised as a Hyland and was wondering if she was raised by Charles and Sarah. If you have any information on her or her mother, I would be very interested in it please

You have put together a fabulous website, it was an interesting read.

Kaye Winiecki, Australia
(August 12th 2012)

Please contact us

email If you would like to comment on any of the articles we have published in the magazine or would like to add your own thoughts and reminiscences of any of the subjects, please send them to us with a note to say that you are happy for your letter to appear on this page. Do Get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.

Newfloridian - Site Administrator
(Alan D. Craxford)

Pge added: February 23rd 2008.
Last update: October 13th 2012

RE: REV G.D. COX (1849 - 1929)

I am seeking information about Charles Cox, journalist, who was born in 1836 in Borough High Street, Southwark, and who migrated to Adelaide in 1854. His mother, Sarah Cox, widow, and his brother, the Rev. F.W. Cox, later also migrated to South Australia. We have a copy of three photos of Charles at various stages of his life. Otherwise, all we know of him is that he died in Sherborne, Dorset in 1929 and the his wife's maiden surname was Allen.

The search of passenger lists from the Antipodes led me to a Charles Cox, journalist, who sailed from Wellington NZ to England in 1920 with his wife, Alice. According to NZ electoral rolls of 1905 up to 1920, they were living in Otago, NZ.

Looking at other Coxes in the Otago district, I turned up George David Cox, which led me (possibly astray) to your fascinating website and GDC's birth in London in 1849. The only George David Cox birth in London in 1849 I have found was registered in Hackney, Middx, according to Ancestry. The preacher Charles Spurgeon you refer to is a name with which I'm familiar, through our dealings with the Baptist archivist in Adelaide.

My mother was a Cox. Her Cox ancestors from Borough High Street, Southwark, produced the Rev. Francis William Cox, a Congregational minister in England who later moved to Adelaide where he became prominent in church and social matters. His biography can be found on the Internet. His daughter, Lois, was one of the first women missionaries to India with the London Missionary Society. In London, the Coxes were married and christened in St Saviour's Church (now Southwark Cathedral), but attended the non-conformist Surrey Chapel.

My great aunt Florrie Cox of Melbourne married an Australian Baptist minister in Calcutta in 1914, got caught up in a scandal not of her making, and is the subject of my book, God's Triangle.

I was interested to read that George David Cox's first posting in Australia was at the Aberdeen Baptist Church in Geelong. My great uncle, the Rev. Hedley Sutton, a Baptist missionary, preached there. A member of the congregation was Miss Olga Johnston, who became a missionary and is also a key character featured in God's Triangle. However, your Rev. George David Cox, with antecedants from Northamptonshire, does not appear to be related to my Cox family. A family bible states that my family once lived in Frome, Somerset, in the 1700s and were in distant Hull before settling in Southwark.

I have enjoyed reading your family history. My wife's family lived in the village of Aldwincle, Northamptonshire before migrating to Geelong. Her great-great grandfather helped set up the other Baptist church in Geelong.

Ian Richardson, London
(August 2nd 2012)


With regard to Doris and Harry Marks, my family lived next door to them in Chingford during their marriage. Doris was the daughter of Frederick Craxford and Caroline Tolfree and married Harry in 1940. I believe that they moved to Kimberley Road, Chingford in the 1950s and my parents moved next door to them in 1960. Harry passed in the early 80s as far as I can remember. I don't really know much about him as I'd left home a couple of years beforehand.

Doris died in 1997. They had no children, but I know that Dot had a niece who used to visit quite a bit, especially after Harry passed on. I have some family photographs that the family may wish to have. Obviously I don't want to just dispose of the photographs as they could mean something to someone out there.

Andrea Webb, UK
- June 17th 2012


I am just writing to say thank you very much for the information on your family site.

We are Borrows (my mum's maiden name) decended from William Borrow, Sarah Lane and Charlotte Borrow's father, and your site has helped us immensly in piecing together that part of our history. William Borrow (b 1831), the brother of Charlotte and Sarah, would be my Great Great Ganddad! He married Celest Stephan (born in Paris) who was a dancer at the Brittania Theatre.

There was a copy of the "Sam and Sallie" book in our family a while ago but we have lost track of it, I have never seen it and would love to find a copy.

I don't think there is any information that I can give you at the moment that you don't already have as William is where our tree stops at the moment but should we obtain further details of that line involving Charlotte we will of course pass it on. Thank you once again for allowing us to 'tap into' your work - isn't family history fascinating!

Julie Moulds, London
- February 23rd 2008


I was searching the internet trying to find my great grandfather's house in Uxbridge when I found your website. My great grandfather was William Ashton Hancock, and my great great grandfather was Henry Hancock, vets who lived in Rochester House, Uxbridge. Other documents refer to the Red House, but both seem to be in Cowley Road, Uxbridge. We have been going through old papers and have found my grandfather's photographs. He was given a camera when he was about nine and seems to have taken a lot of pictures. Most show the back of the house and the "field" down to the River Colne which he calls the bottom of the garden.

I have been looking at the Ordnance Survey maps of Uxbridge at this period and I am struggling to make it all fit. There are several canals and rivers in Uxbridge so it is hard to work out which is which. Family tradition says that the house was strategically placed at a bend in the road, and this brought my great grandfather a lot of business, because coming down the road every day wwere many wagons heavily loaded with hay and straw for the stables in London. The carters would have a few beers in the Buckinghamshire farms as the waggons were loaded, and then sleep off the effect on the top of the load as the horses took the wagons back along the familiar route into London. At this bend from time to time they would come to grief right outside the vets surgery.

Another tradition has it that the house has gone and is the site of a roundabout. I went on a site visit yesterday between Maidenhead and West Drayton. I drove through Uxbridge up the Cowley Road. It is almost certain that my great grandparent's house is now the site of a Kwik Fit tyre depot. In some ways this is fitting, if a bit sad. After all my ancestors main business was sorting out horses pulling wagons into London. No doubt the feet of the horses featured in their work.

I will scan some photos shortly because I have pictures of the house, the river and several of the people who worked next door to your ancestors. They must have been familiar faces to your ancestors.

Nick Balmer, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, UK
(May 30th 2012)


The question of why Faxton failed as a village is also something which I would like to resolve. I have a theory that it is linked to the fortunes of the the Langham estates and I wonder if Cottesbrooke, where the family had their home, prospered at the expense of Faxton. Some of the Faxton men went to work in the iron quarries at Loddington. I noted, specifically, that Charles Cox went to Draughton to work and someone recently mentioned a connection between that village and the Hales family, so that needs looking at as well. Perhaps Draughton was also in the hands of the Langham family.

There was the decline in agriculture after WWI as well. I know that the 11th baronet, James Langham, was of unsound mind and was committed to an asylum. His brother Herbert ran the estate on his behalf and then when James died in 1893 took over. Apparently Herbert had been living beyond his means and finacial difficulties led to the sale of the estate in 1911. Cottesbrooke village was more than twice the size of Faxton in 1848 and some of the other villages surrounding Faxton that were owned by the estate were also larger and better served with roads. So I am inclined to think there was no money to improve Faxton, but I may be using certain facts to prove a theory rather than looking at matters objectively.

I am still pursuing whether there is a connection with your part of the Cox family and the Cox Stonemasons at Kettering. The firm was founded in the 1890s. I only found a reference to Mary Cox born 1812 a widow and her son Thomas born 1834 in the Raunds book. It says Mary's husband James was deported to Australia in 1836 for theft of of a lamb. There was one other child of the marriage. There was no reference to a stonemason named Cox in the book, but it is one of these histories more based on photographs than wider research. Now I am mobile again I am going to Kettering soon to see the stonemasons and maybe get some further information from the director who told me they had stored the Faxton font.

Janice Morris, UK
- May 1st 2011

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