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The Cooper/Williams Family

The Cooper/Williams Family

Some  of the  Cooper family who descended from "Norwwod Sam " took the name Williams after their maternal line of Sylvia (Silver)William's who married Robert Cooper the son of "Norwood Sam" this line  ended up in

Croydon, the area known as "Banghole" many can be found in census in Wilford Road and Forster Road.


One of these descendants Max William's who is the Ggg Grandson of  "Norwood Sam"


Extract:-The Croydon Chronicle & East Surrey Advertiser

22 March 1856 Death of the King of the Gipsies 

On thursday last, Mr W Carter, coroner for the eastern division of Surrey, held an inquest at the George the

Fourth Tavern, Gipsy Hill, Norwood, on the body of Samuel Cooper, aged 62 years, well known in almost

every part of the country as the king or chief of the gipsies, being the last of the 11 sons of the last king, who enjoyed a very unenviable notoriety, especially in the county of Surrey. The deceased was married twice, and

the second wife, who died some time since, was, it is understood, the widow of one of Cooper's brothers, who

was killed by another brother. From the evidence given at the inquiry, which lasted some time, it appeared that

the family of Coopers had been located at Norwood for many years, on a small piece of land, where they lived

in tents and carts, and they never proceeded on any of their wanderings without leaving one of their children or a horse or a dog to hold posession of the land, which they claimed as their freehold. The land, however, was

required by the Crystal Palace Railway, and only lately some arrangement had been come to by the company

with the family"

Norwood Sam's parentage is as yet not proved but most who have researched these lines are 99% of the

opinion that he is descendant from the other well known Cooper family known or referred to as "The Windsor Coopers" and of course the well known  "Matty Cooper " the royal rat catcher to Queen Victoria and mentioned

in the young Princess's diaries and sketches.


Samuel COOPER, son of Robert COOPER and Silvia Wiliams was born on 6 November 1856 in Norwood.He

was baptised on 1 June 1858 in Ham, Surrey.42 He appeared in the census on 2 April 1871 in Croydon. He married Rebecca FAIRMAN in 1894  Croydon.

Rebecca FAIRMAN was born 1864 in Croydon.44 She and Samuel COOPER had the following children:

Alice Rebecca WILLIAMS (1891)                      (below baptism for Samuel)

Samuel WILLIAMS (1892 )

William WILLIAMS (1894 )

Sylvia WILLIAMS (1896 )

Elvia COOPER (1898 )

Mazella WILLIAMS (1901 )

Robert Williams (1906)



(Thanks to Jackie Backman for her famiy Information)

My 5x ggrandfather was Samuel COOPER (aka Norwood Sam) He was born abt1794 in Eltham Kent

(census data)  He was married to Florina, (no other info, other than the suggestion from the Gentleman's

Magazine in 1856 that she was the widow of Samuel's brother). Sam died in 1856 in Upper Norwood Surrey. Samuel and Florina had at least 7 children plus a possible 3 others that I know of, these were:


Faurnity (baptised 1823 at Eltham Kent)

Vanslow (baptised 1825 Ewell Surrey)

Robert (baptised 1827 Lewisham - he married Siloa and had at least 3

children; Flora 1852, Mazally 1854, Samuel 1856)

Nelson (baptised 1829 Eltham Kent)

William (baptised 1831 Upper Norwood)

Lucy ((baptised 1836 Upper Norwood)

Mary (abt 1836, data from 1851 census)

Dick Cooper (married Liz BUCKLAND - information from Robert Dawson)

Harry Cooper (Information from Robert Dawson)

Levi Cooper (married Kunsaleti HILTON - They had a son; Billy Bundle

COOPER information from Robert Dawson). However, Betty Golding has the Levi COOPER who married

Kunsaleti HILTON as the brother of Norwood Sam.


Vanslow COOPER married Urania SMITH, daughter of Joseph (no other info) in 1848 at Hammersmith I have

only found one child for them: Daniel born abt 1847 in Putney and I have not found this couple in any census.

In 1851, Daniel was living with his grandparents, Norwood Sam and Florina


Daniel married Urania GREGORY at Yateley Hampshire in 1876, she was the daughter of

Alfred GREGORY - no other info, although there were GREGORY families living at Yateley in several census

I have not found Alfred or

Urania. Daniel died in Kingston Hospital, Surrey in 1925 and Urania died in the same place 5 years later.

They were settled by that time in West Molesey Surrey.


Daniel and Urania's known children were (all info from the 1901 census,except Vanslow which was from his marriage cert):

Vanslow (aka Alfred) 1879

Aaron (? Peron) 1884

Cadalia 1885

Counselleti 1888

Celentia 1892

William 1894

Nelson 1896


Vanslow was my gg grandfather and he married Ethel Maud PAYNE (non Rom) It is said in the family that they had 13 children, but only 7 of them are known to my uncle, who is my only surviving relative of that generation. By

1913 Vanslow was known as Alfred and he and Ethel had settled, first in Claygate, Surrey and then in West Molesey in Surrey.

They married in West Molesey in 1916. He died in 1935. My grandfather Alfred, was their eldest son and he

was born in 1902. Phew!! Sorry it is so long, but I wanted to give as much detail as possible

Best wishes Jackie Blackman (nee COOPER)



Robert COOPER, son of Samuel COOPER and Florinia COOPER UNKNOWN, was born in 1826 in Norwood, Surrey.13  He was baptised on 17 July 1827 in St Mary's Lewisham, Sydenham Common.8  

On 26 February 1851 he was a Basket Maker.14  On 2 July 1854 he was a Labourer.15  In 1871 he was a Hawker.13  He appeared in the census on 2 April 1871 in Croydon, Surrey.16  On 2 April 1871 he was a

Hawker in Croydon.16  On 3 March 1891 he was a Hawker.  He appeared in the census on 5 April 1891 in Croydon.17  On 14 March 1897 he was a General Labourer.18  He died of Senile Decay on 14 March 1897 in

The Workhouse Infirmary Croydon.18  He was buried in March 1897 in Queen's Road Cemetary, Croydon, Surrey.19


From his death certificate he appears to have been born in 1823. However, given that the informant was the

deputy superintendent of the workhouse infirmary then the age could well be wrong.


Returning to Robert and Silvia Williams direct family

Name: John Cooper: Baptism : 25 Jun 1865 Father's name: Robert Cooper -Hawker

Mother's name: Silvy Cooper

Parish or Poor Law Union: Battersea St John

Robert Cooper Baptism 19/1/1868-:West Croydon,Christ Church, Surrey-Father:Robert Cooper Mother:Silvie Cooper

Ham Surrey Born 10 Feb 1850 Baptism-30 May 1853 Janie to Robert and Silvia COOPER -Gipsey


To summerize:- Children found*

Janie Cooper 1850–

Elizabeth Cooper  1851–

Flora Cooper  1852–1890 (Married Aaron Mills)

Micella Cooper 1854–

Samuel cooper 1856–(Bap found)

Sophia Cooper  1858–

Counselletta Cooper 1860–

William Cooper  1864–

John Cooper  1866–(Bap found)

RobertCooper(Bap found)











Pictured left to right  Robert Williams son of 2nd left Robert Williams ,son of 3rd from left Samuel Cooper who was the sone of yet another Robert Cooper who partner of Silvia Williams


Below Is left to right a young Robert 1st and 2nd  and the Roberts brother Peter and far right Max's nan's brother Kruger .

robert and silvia cooper having sam baptised
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Cooper/Williams cont

1871*Croydon Surrey

Robert Cooper45 hd Basket Maker  

Sylvia Cooper 43 wife b Norwood, Surrey

Counselletta Cooper11

Flora Cooper19

John Cooper 5

Micella Cooper17

Samuel Cooper15

Sophia Cooper13

William Cooper 7

Aaron Mills 22 visitor b Mitcham, Surrey

little ditto wagon line art