Child ofJohn
Sibling ofMaria Anna, Sydney Silicae, Rosalie Virginia, Henrique, Eugene Celadon
Spouse ofFrancis Mary Theresa Kent, Emma Hughes
Parent ofJohn Rhodolphus, Lucius, Elizabeth Ida Mary, John Hughes, Margaret Hughes

Old family letters written to John Hughes Van Cooten in Australia from family in England (clearly in response to his questions of them) relate a variety of information regarding his family history.

In 1893 Elizabeth Gorsuch (John Lucius' daughter and John Hughes' older half-sister) writes of John Lucius Van Cooten:

Our father was the Eldest son & heir to all the property. The names of the Estates were "Better Hope, Sheet Anchor, Brides Lust ". I don't know the date of the year in which my mother and father were married but I believe it was in the November of 1835 or 6.

My mother was the eldest daughter and heiress of Dr R. Kent of Poole Reeve, Co. Waterford. She was married to my father Mr John Lucius Van Van Cooten at St Peters Church, St Peter Port, Guernsey by the Dean of the place the Rev David de Lisle Brock. It was considered a good match at the time as bride & bridegroom were well known and both moving in the finest society. And I have since been told that the Van Cooten family were reputed wealthy. I do not know the cause of the loss of property. The reasons have been variously stated by different members of the family (I mean our father's property). The Smithers branch always blame Grandpapa & our Dad as extravagant etc etc. But I once heard Grandpapa Van Cooten say to my mother that his Father in law (his wife's father) had led him into much money trouble & difficulty and that the Smithers had made a deal of mischief for him with his father (old Mr Van Cooten). He said "no doubt I may have erred in judgement" but he finished with the following words, "believe me dear Fanny I was more sinned against than sinning". And I know that my mother always believed him.

... Our father is the only of the sons or daughters who have left any children and on my mothers side it is the same. Believe me what monies come we will all share & share alike.

In 1903 Elizabeth Gorsuch writes:

He, your father and mine, was twice married first to Miss Frances Kent, eldest daughter of "Rudolphus Kent R.N." of Poole Reeve Co. Waterford, Ireland , and his second wife was a Miss Mary Hughes, "your mother", so that we own the same father & different mothers. Your brother Rudolphus or as he was always called Jack, "Jolly Old Jack", has left 10 children. of whom I have at previous times sent you word (from time to time).

An undated family summary, presumably sent with one of Elizabeth's letters, after 1889, says:

Henrique Van, Van Cooten married "Anna ----" of Madagascar and had issue Jan Van Van Cooten
Jan Van Van Cooten married Martha Keene Smithers *
issue of above
John Lucius V Van Cooten married Frances Mary Teresa Sarah Kent eldest daughter of R. Kent R.N. (M.D.)
Maria Anna Van Cooten died unmarried
Sydney Silicae Van Cooten died unmarried
Rosalie Virginia Van Cooten married a Mr Garnham (no issue)
Henrique Van Cooten twin brother died when a baby
Eugene Van Cooten married Emily Primrose of Ipswich, Suffolk, England

and another, presumably sent with one of Elizabeth's letters, after 1899, says:

Eldest son of above Dr Jan or John V. Van Cooten married Martha Keane Smithers - eldest daughter of Henry Keane Smithers - Merchant of London - residence Manor House, Wolworth (now the Police Station)
John Lucius V. Van Cooten - *(our father)
Sydney Silicae V. Van Cooten - died a bachelor Sept 1899
Rev Eugene Hampden V. Van Cooten - died West Coast of Africa - married a Miss E Primrose of Norwich England
Anna Maria V. Van Cooten died unmarried at Milton next Gravesend in or about the year 1875 or 6
Rosalie Virginia Van Cooten. Married a Mr L Garnham. Left no children she died 1889 in Guernsey
Henry twin brother of Rosalie died young
I believe there were four other children but they died when babies

John Lucius parents were married at St Woolas, Newport on 23-Jul-1808. The baptism transcripts for 1769-1837 show no Van Cooten births. The 1841 census records John Van Cooten as being aged 30 (rounded down to the nearest 5 year multiple he could have been 30-34, implying 1807-1811), and being born in England. The 1851 census records John Lucius as being aged 55 (implying 1796), born in Bristol. The 1861 census has him aged 44 (implying 1817), born in Sommerset. The 1871 census has him aged 49 (implying 1822), born in Somerset, Bristol, Hot Wells. The 1881 census has aged 68 (implying 1813), born in Bristol, Gloucester, England. His death certificate in December 1890 has him aged 83 (implying 1807). In a letter to his son John Hughes Van Cooten dated 23 April 1885 he says that he will be '76 if I see 2nd of next November'. This implies a birth date of 2 November 1809. John Lucius married in 1833, and if we assume he was of full age this indicates that his birth was before 1812. It seems reasonable to assume that 2 November 1809 is the most reliable birth date, and that Hot Wells, Bristol is his most likely place of birth. I have yet to identify his birth in parish registers.

John Lucius married Frances Mary Theresa Kent. Entry M/1833/401 of the Register of Marriages for the Parish of St. Peter Port, in the Island of Guernsey reads:

J. L. Van Cooten & F. M. T. Kent
John Lucius Van Cooten son of John Van Cooten of the city of Bristol in the county of Somerset, & Frances Mary Theresa Kent daughter of Rodolphus Kent, of the city of Bath in the county of Somerset, were married together on the 16th October 1833.

The UK Census 1841 for St Martins, Guernsey, (7 Jun 1841) lists residents of Courtes Falaize as

Island of Guernsey, Parish of St Martins
Names Age Sex Profession Where Born
John Van CootenMale30School MasterEngland
F. M. T. KentFemale20England
J. R. VancootenMale7Guernsey
E. V. VancootenFemale4Guernsey
L. VancootenMale2Guernsey
N. T. KentFemale16Independent MeansGuernsey

This must be John Lucius and his family. John Lucius is now a school master, and it is possible that N. T. Kent is his sister-in-law.

The 1851 UK census for Village of Portswood, Borough of Southampton, Parish of South Stoneham, Hampshire, England, HO 107 - 1670 - p4
John Van Cooten, Head, Mar, Male, 55, Bailiff Assistant, Bristol
Fanney Van Cooten, Wife, Mar, Female, 32, , Bath
John Van Cooten, Son, U, Male, 16,Clerk County Court, Gurnsey
Elizabeth Van Cooten, Daur, U, Female, 12, Scholar, Gurnsey
Louisa Van Cooten, Daur, U, Female, 10, Scholar, Gurnsey

'Louisa' would seem to be an error - it should be 'Lucius', male.

Slater's Directory of Hampshire, 1852, page 90 lists among Academies
Van Cooten, John, Shirley
This is quite possibly John Lucius.

By 1861, we find in the census for the Parish of St Mary Magdalen, Oxford, England
Beaumont Buildings No 9,John Cooten,Lodger,Mar,M,44,General Agent,Sommerset

This would appear to be John Lucius. It is probable at this stage that his marriage to Frances Kent has ended. Frances Mary Van Cooten was a witness in 1860 at the marriage of their son John Rodolphus to Fanny Attrill. I have not located any death details.

Child ofJohn
Sibling ofMaria Anna, Sydney Silicae, Rosalie Virginia, Henrique, Eugene Celadon
Spouse ofFrancis Mary Theresa Kent, Emma Hughes
Parent ofJohn Rhodolphus, Lucius, Elizabeth Ida Mary, John Hughes, Margaret Hughes