Neither I nor professional genealogists have been able to find John’s baptism details but it is most likely he was born about the time of the 1st English Civil War (1640.) Pucklechurch/Westerleigh Parish Registers for the early 17th century are
in a bad state of preservation due to damp and infestation. Strangely the Bishop’s transcripts are no more helpful, as there are a couple of missing pages at the crucial period - whether by accident or design is not known.
In my quest for his ancestors I have discovered many documents referring to John Cope as follows:-
1. John Cope of Dyrham (From his will of 20th May 1549 - See under Wills). He had
sons John and William. According to the Military Survey of Glos. 1522, a John
Cope had a Bow & Arrows; was this him or his son (next listed) I wonder? His birth date is likely to have been in the very late 1400’s.
2. John Cope - son of John Cope of Dyrham & Agnes (Source - Will of 1549)
3. John Cope (s/o Joan & William, Husbandman of Hinton). This information is
gleaned from William Cope’s Will of 1573.
NOTE We also know that according to the Hearth Tax Return for 1675, JOHN
COPE of Dyrham was assessed for 2 hearths. If this is the same family as the
First 3 mentioned above, then there are likely to be several more generations
of Copes in Dyrham that appear to be “missing”. In January, 2010 we had to
rule out this large family which is a great pity as I was looking forward to saying I could trace our family back to the 1400’s!
4. John Coape - of Mayes Hill, Westerleigh - mentioned as the son of Nathaniel
Cope, Tanner of Mayes Hill in Nathaniell’s Will of 1631 - see Wills). He
inherited his Father’s house, outbuildings and Tanpits.
5. John Cope of Mayes Hill, Westerleigh - father of Nathaniel Coape who was
buried on 4/8/1672. This is another family that has yet to be properly explored.
6. John Cope married Ann Frauncis 9/11/1590 in Bitton.
7. John Cope married Katherine Dolman 13/10/1606 also from the Bitton Registers.
8. John Cope - Wareman of Westerieigh (?? - buried 3/8/1664). Where did he
spring from? And is it a co-incidence that we found an Inventory for a John Coape
of Westerleigh who died in 1664 (see below)? Are they the same chap?
9. John Cope - baptised 14/5/1615, son of John Cope of Bitton.
10. John Cope, Householder, of Westerieigh (?? - buried 27/4/1617). As there is
a definite link between the Parishes of Westerleigh and Pucklechurch, it maybe that
this man was an ancestor of the John Cope of Pucklechurch, assessed for Hearth
Tax in 1672.
11. John Cope (?? - buried 24/1/1638/9) s/o Nathaniell Cope & Precilla of Bitton.
12. John Cope. Farmer, of Bitton married Mary Jones on 28/11/1663 in Bitton.
13. John Cope of Sodbury, Feltmaker, in 1665 married Sarah Lloyd of St. Michael
(Listed in the Bristol Marriage Bonds.)