Revisiting a brickwall: Mary Couling – my 2 x great grandmother

I’ve been searching for details about Mary Couling (born c 1840) for some time.   From her marriage certificate I knew that her father was John Couling, deceased, and the 1871 census gave her place of birth as Oxfordshire.  Another researcher suggested some possible leads, so when I had time I started to follow the trail.

In 1861, before his marriage to Mary. my great great grandfather Thomas Brittain was lodging at 7 Spanns Place, St Pancras, in the household of Joseph and Rebecca Constable both of whom were born in Oxfordshire.  I finally found a possible marriage for this couple, in Headington Oxford in 1844 and then found them both in London in 1851;  with them was  an Elizabeth Cooling born in Oxford!

So could I prove a connection between this  Elizabeth Cooling, and my Mary Couling?

Here’s the family in 1841:


John Cowling 40
Rebecca Cowling 30
Rebecca Cowling 17
Henry Cowling 14
Elizabeth Cowling 7
Edward Cowling 2


And this seems to be the same family in  the 1851 census:


John Couling 53
Rebecca Couling 44
Edward Couling 11
Mary Couling 9
Now a dead-end street off Osney Lane, this was part of a historic road from the High Street to Osney Abbey. The present buildings date from 1868.  © Copyright Stephen Craven and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

SP5006 : The Hamel, Oxford by Stephen Craven

So I reckon there’s a reasonable chance that Mary Couling was  the sister of Rebecca Constable, in which case her parents were John and Rebecca.

My next  tasks are  to find a marriage between John Couling and Rebecca, and to establish where John was born. In 1841 he says he was born in county (i.e. Oxfordshire) but the 1851 census states “Ireland”.

I shall probably have to buy a birth certificate for one of the Couling children as that will give me more information.

On with the search!






About familyhistoryfootsteps

I'm enjoying early retirement! I have been researching my ancestry for several years and am interested in all aspects of family history especially local and social history.
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