Researching individuals named Charles COLE with Islington associations

A witness on the marriage certificate of John Thomas Cole (c1844 - c1916) flagged the existence of a previously unknown Cole line. This page outlines the current status of the investigation into that line, which has so far identified a Charles Cole, brickmaker, who worked alongside our own ancestor, Daniel Cole, in early Islington. The hope is that an exploration of his life may lead to an extension of our own Cole family line.

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Charlotte Catherine Cole and her father, Charles Cole

While John Thomas Cole (c1844 - c1916) was a potter at Walthamstow, he married Louisa Hill on 29 April 1872 at the local Church. One of the witnesses was Charlotte Catherine Cole, who was presumably a member of his wider family, but who was unknown to current descendants. As it seemed likely that her ancestry might shed light on our own, I set about exploring it.

I found her in IGI marriages as marrying a George Colley at Walthamstow. Both the location and the Colley name were beyond coincidence.

As Charlotte Colley, she was readily located in the 1881 census. This provided her date and place of birth, around 1840 and St Pancras. The St Pancras location again looked beyond coincidence, being the parish in Islington where our early Cole ancestors had plied their pottery and brickmaking trade. The date of 1840 was exciting as it was close to the beginnings of the excellent record-keeping of central registration of births, marriages and deaths. The earlier censuses were unhelpful in identifying her family because she turned out to be a servant working away from home.

Her full birth certificate confirmed what I had gathered from the IGI: that she was the daughter of Charles Cole and Mary Ann (born Mary Ann Farnell or Furnell or Turnell) and that Charles was a bricker - ie someone who makes bricks. The certificate was in the name of Charlotte (no Catherine, so she obviously added that later - certainly before she witnessed the marriage of John Thomas Cole and before her own marriage and the 1871 census.) The certificate also confirmed the IGI record that she was born on 18 Nov 1840 in St Pancras - and baptised there on 23 Jan 1841.

The IGI and various census records give the following children of Charles and Mary Ann Cole:

Tantalising the IGI also gives the following as children of a Charles and Mary Cole, who may or may not be 'our' Charles and Mary Ann.

In line with the ages and locations given in the census, Charles' birth and baptism were probably the ones in the IGI: 4 August 1806 and 28 September 1806 respectively, at St Pancras. The parents were William Cole and Esther which is again in line with the practice of passing on names to the next generation. (The eldest son Charles named after himself and next one William named after Charles' father.)

Sadly there is not anything in the IGI or Pallot's marriage index about Charles' marriage to a Mary Ann. That might have produced some useful names as witnesses.

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How helpful is Charles for tracing the line back?

The name of Charles does not provide much of a lead in tracing back 'our' Cole line. There was a Charles Cole who married at St Pancras the day after Daniel Cole on May 14 1792, who could have been the uncle of this Charles or even the father of Daniel himself, but we have no idea of his age. We know only that when he married Horte Marshall and was a widower. The witnesses were unhelpfully William Gabell and R Mence.

The next step was to look in the 1841 census for Cole in the St Pancras area with special attention to South Row, New Road, Somerstown where the Cole family was living at the time of Charlotte Catherine's birth. South Row turned out to be a 'strip' of dwellings that ran from St Pancras (New) Church, Euston, east to Mabledon Place along the south side of the New Road, re-named Euston Road in 1857. The South Row dwellings have long disappeared but the site today would be the stretch of Euston Road between Dukes Road and Mabledon Place; the church is still very much in existence.

The 1841 Census did not include 14-16 South Row. Three dwellings between 13 and 17 were marked uninhabited, so probably No. 14 was one of them. The 1851 Census showed an unrelated Thomas Taylor living there with his family.

So once again, the investigation to take the Cole line back has drawn a complete blank. and no other line of enquiry presents itself at the moment.

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This website Potteries and brickyards worked by the Cole family is Pat Cryer. For applications to reproduce text or images, click here.