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  © Copyright  Romanygenes 2007--2020 Design and Web Layout  © 2007-2020 S.J.Day All Rights Reserved


Copyright RomanyGenes 2007-2020 Design and Web Layout S.J.Day All Rights Reserved

Windsor Coopers in the USA

Although I never intended to research the English Romanies that went overseas whether by choice, or were sent there by way of punishment ! But while looking for certain folk who were missing from the English Census I came across many familiar names! so much so that I thought it would be remiss of me not to include them in the History and stories of the English Romanichals.

As I have followed the South Country Cooper's and Wells/Stanley and many other families that married into the families mentioned I was caught straight away by a family of Wells who were in my files already as in the Dorset Census and  then by the Stanley family as of course the well documented Owen Stanley who hailed possibly from Dorset although(its only my theory!) as I have found early baptism's for Owen in Dorset also the burial of Sarah Stanley in 1821 Puddletown "Ye Gypsy Queen" and many Stanley’s and Wells seem to have gone between Hampshire/Dorset/Somerset Devon and Cornwall and along the way married into the Buckland/Penfold/Isaacs/Hicks/ Lee and many more , they seemed to have followed the same pattern in America ! with same Christian names being used for their children so the names :-

Nelson Plato/Mizelli/britannia/Reginia/kenza/Dangerfield/Valentine/Synfie/Lemontina and many more can be seen in the American records. The 1854 passenger list for the ship Try departing from Scotland !(must have been a long trek!!) bound for New York is Robert Wells and family along with a Stanley family (Benjamin and Mary son of Owen & Harriet) which also connects again to Dorset for the origins of Owen snr. Between then and 1861 Robert returns home and is in Warnbrook Dorset with his family , but later census in America find sons William ,Thomas and Henry so obviously they must have returned to the States as did the Buckland /Stanley families and also the Cooper family seemed to have gone back and forth several times which I found quite surprising.


This in turn led me of on yet another tangent ! As I always look out for any information and references to the "Windsor Coopers" as I have always thought that John "Stumpy" Cooper was part of this family but have never managed to find the missing link .

There are two likely Johns that fit the details for stumpy both baptised together in what appears a triple family outing

Stepney St Dunstan

Ada Tryphena Stevens 20 Feb 1842 John Stevens Victualler Trinity Stevens ( Trinity daughter of Lusha Cooper)

0/2/1842 John s/o Oliver/Genty COOPER, dealer of Stepney. (This (and only my hunch) may be Stumpy's parents)

0/2/1842 John s/o Duke/Eliza COOPER, lamp lighter of Stepney.


Elisha cooper b 1795 son of Elisha Cooper and Truffeni Lovell (according to the T. W .Thompson's Papers at the Bodleian Library, Oxford Truffeni Lovell and as the name Tryphena (Truffeni) reappears in the family I have no reason to doubt it) I haven’t got all the siblings or indeed the children from their siblings but I'm pretty certain that the Cooper's who appear on the passenger lists and in American census are from this Cooper family .

The problem as always being the fact they all used the same names for their offspring! In the USA we have Elisha Cooper b 1854 to Elisha Cooper and  Defiance(Caroline) two of their children are born in Wales , Perrin a good Cooper name! baptism for  Perrin 05 NOV 1843   Llantillio Crossenny, Monmouth so seems Wales was right ,maybe Caroline (Defiance) came from Wales ?

 The passenger list for the ship "The ISAAC BELL" arrived at New York on 6th Sept 1856 and  has  Elisha Cooper b abt 1856/ Angelina?(I think Tryphena) born abt 1856/Kerga?(Keziah?) abt 1833/Leonard abt 1833/Oliahana? (female) abt 1830/

Henry abt 1819/Eve abt 1830 (wife of Henry as I found them in the Census ) and Francis Cooper b abt 1800 , now this I think is the Francis Cooper brother of Matty Cooper as Matty mentions a brother Francis going to America several times when talking to Charles Leland ,and making alot of money !

As no relationships are mentioned on the ships log in this instance one has to guess as to what Cooper Henry belongs ? I think Elisha is the son of Elisha and Caroline but why arnt they on the list? or did they follow later? Or could he be yet another Elisha ?  Patience Cooper who later married Richard Stanley in America said in a newspaper article:-


Transcribed by S.Cole


I am Reginald Cooper gypsy she replied I am 7th daughter of 7th generation born and raised in a tent but a short remove from London My Aunt  Eliza Cooper told fortunes for Royal Family and received valuable presents from them , Queen Victoria came to my Aunts Tent and it was there she learned she would become Queen of England. My Aunt was a great palmist never used cards  she never told fortunes on a Sabbath I am here as a girl aged 15 with my Uncle and grandfather and at an early age married Richard Stanley he comes from a famous gypsy family tribe of England my name since then is Patience Stanley, Jack Cooper the middle weight champion of England is my own blood cousin .

I have seven children, yonder stands my wagon it cost $500 ,Bessie my daughter sleeps in it and was born in Baltimore and will take her mother's place someday when she's gone. I came here when I was 15 with my uncle and grandfather old Gentilla Cooper was my great Aunt she was a famous gypsy fortune teller of Devil's dyke near Brighton.

 Now fighting Jack (John) Cooper  was the son of Elisha and Truffeni and so this would seem to tally up with her statement, however I have yet to find a Patience or Regenia Cooper as she once referred to herself but as she said she was now called Patience Stanley as she married very young to Richard Stanley and there is a Patience Cooper the right age daughter of  Dukey Cooper who has also been suggested as father of Stumpy Jack? T. W. Thompson's Papers at the Bodleian Library, Oxford gives  Dukey as son of a ? Cooper  and Truffeni Lovall,  We now know that it was Elisha or “Lusha” Cooper.

Another reference to a Lusha Cooper was in a verse of Romanes that the reporter said to Patience ,unfortunately the page is very faint and I have put what I think the words are but one has to be open minded as Romanes was often spelt how a individual thought it was spelt from the pronunciation

and another little snippet that adds weight to this theory, is that when Patience is preparing to read his fortune,the reporter starts to say a verse in romanes ,as the article was very hard to read and some words I could not make out but the ones that I did manage to read were:-

 “Lusha Cooper  kaka kauloratt ??tute le lova di miri Coopers.miri  d?? pens diridye rummered a much navvered? Stanley was adora? Stanley as leled kellin to kurin booths paste? London bridge si tute adre Anglaterra “

Patience arose and said to him “For the first time in my life as a Gypsy I give you old Gentillas Cooper’s blessing” I have given it to no one  else since it was given to me., the reporter replies to her “ that was the famous fortune teller of the Devils dyke near Brighton”.”Yes”, she said eargerly.”How do you know that? She was my great aunt, he bade her good night “Cushta radi “.


 It would seem from the above story that her Aunt Eliza could be Eliza wife of Matthias Cooper “The Royal rat catcher “ as Gentilla Cooper of the Devil’s Dyke fame was Mattys sister that is certain, therefore Reginald ? (but in other articles she refers to herself as Patience) would have been his brothers daughter(unless a sisters daughter but I think not) but the problem is that often as was the custom many older relatives were called aunt or uncle when in fact they were not ! it was a term of respect used for the elder members of the tribe ,that they were related is definite but at this moment with out more information I am unsure wether the grandfather she mentions is Elisha (Lusha)Cooper who was in fact Matthias uncle his father’s brother, and so would make Patience Mattys 2nd cousin (I think!) but if there was a large age gap then to call him Uncle would also be acceptable!! So If Gypsy Jack was her uncle ,then Elisha was her grandfather. Yet another possibility is that the grandfather she mentions could of course be her maternal grandfather?. If this was the case then Matty would have been her uncle and the uncle she says brought her to America could be Mattys brother Francis who is mentioned in Charles Leland book ,where Matty recounts to Leland  that “my brother Francis has been several times to America and made a lot of money.


From the book  A historical survey of the customs, habits, & present state of the gypsies by John Hoyland - 1816:-

We know that Lusha had at least 10 children so this leaves many descendants to still trace and put together!!


**During the winter, a family of Gypsies, of the name of Cooper, obtained lodgings at a house opposite the school. Trinity Cooper, a

daughter of this Gypsey family, who was about "thirteen years of age, applied to be instructed at the school ; but, in consequence of the obloquy affixed to that description of persons, she was repeatedly refused. She nevertheless persevered in her importunity, till she obtained admission for herself, and two of her brothers.**


I think this could be the baptism of Trinity * *(Finnetta to Elisha and Ivyphena Cooper)  TRINITY? 1797*Christening:  26 MAR 1797   Littleton, London,


 Occupation and Residence.

Lussha Cooper, wife and 10 children, Rat-catcher, Tottenham-court-road,


1851* Census., HO107-1540-326-33 Bethnal Green, Middlesex.

Dukey Cooper 48 Hanaday Hill, Middlesex Head           Labourer

Eliza Cooper 33 Chingford, Essex, England Wife         Coster

Dellerifer Cooper 14 Woodford, Essex, England Daughter

Solomon Cooper 12 Woodford, Essex, England Son

John Cooper 10 Stepney, Middlesex, England Son

Elizabeth Cooper 3 Wanstead, Essex, England Daughter

Patience Cooper 1 Mile End, Middlesex, England Daughter


Frustratingly I have not found another census or record with Dukey in unless he used another first name ?

But also I have yet to find any children again? Did they go to America?

Interestingly on Oct 4th 1858 on the Ship Constellation ,is a family of Scamps with a child Regenia along with Elisha and Defiance(Caroline) Cooper ,so the Cooper children must have returned to England and are now going back with their parents see details below:-


John Scamp 35  England

Lucy scamp 38 wife  (possibly a Cooper before marriage?)

Thomas scamp 55     Tinman

Joshua Scamp 7

John scamp 6

James scamp 4

Chandries scamp 3 male

Reginia scamp 11 female "(Could this be the Patience Cooper and she was using her mothers name when talking to the papers? Which would mean Lucy was a Cooper ? but I have no record of a Lucy fror this Cooper Line but its possible as I do not have all the Siblings) if so then the grandad would be the Thomas Scamp and her uncle would be the Elisha  making Lucy and Elisha brother and sister and children of Elisha and Ann Lee"?)

Elisha Cooper 37   brazier

Defiance  Cooper   33  wife

Perrin   Cooper  15  male

Epsy Cooper  7  female

Mary   Cooper     5

Elisha   Cooper   4

Louisa    Cooper   3

Seth       Cooper  17  

Henry    Cooper   1

Nelson    Cooper  1

John jones   40  coppersmith

Mary          39


The Elisha b 1821 is I think the son of Elisha b 1795 which brings us yet again to Matty Cooper and as ever Stumpy Jack!


Windsor Coopers in the USA

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