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My mother’s maiden name was Tarling. There are not many Tarling families, in fact they seem to come from 3 main areas. There is large amount of them to be found in Gloucestershire, some more in London, and my Tarling’s, who come from Epping.

My Tarling ancestors lived in the village of Coopersale, which was part of an area, called Theydon Garnon. It occurred to me one day how funny it was that my two main areas of my employment with Nortel Networks should be at New Southgate, where the Harris’s lived for many years and then Harlow, close to Coopersale where the Tarling’s are found. In fact I pass Coopersale everyday on the M11 whilst heading towards Harlow.

The Parish of Theydon Garnon is mainly rural, with a section of the town of Epping as the main center of population, in all numbering about 1600 people. The rest of the parish is farmland with isolated houses. The Parish of Coopersale is situated between Epping and North Weald, encompassing Stonards Hill just north of Epping to Roughtalleys on the B.181.

Their local church would have been St. Albans. This was built in 1852 with land and funds given by Miss Harriet Archer-Houblon (the Vicarage also given by her was sold by the Diocese in 1993). The same benefactor gave land and monies (approx. £47!) to have the Parish Room built, and the Parish used it until 1985 when it was deemed ‘beyond repair’ and closed. This decision was re-assessed in 1994/5 and it was refurbished and re-decorated at a cost of approximately £30,000

St Albans Church

The building is now used for Sunday School; with a Mother & Toddler group on Mondays, a Pre-School group on Tuesdays and Wednesdays both run on behalf of the Church. It is also used by private individuals and groups for parties, meetings, etc.

St Albans Church

The local community comprises all level income households, and whilst Parklands was built by the Council for renting, many have now purchased their houses. Coopersale Village is bordered by Green Belt, and boasts a small parade of 4 shops – but no Post Office! However, the site of the Nurses Home (Ivylands) and Oak Cottage on the Plain, together with the closed part of St. Margaret’s Hospital are scheduled for housing development. Part of the Essex Way goes through the Village.

The following text regarding Coopersale is taken from Fred Brown's publication Fred Eyes Coopersale. fred passed away in 2005 but the following is shown with the agreement of  Pamela Bishop.

Coopersale is now a part of the Epping Forest District, and before this, a part of the old Urban District. This came about in the early 1900's and prior to this Coopersale belonged to the large parish of Theydon Garnon, which was part of the Ongar Hundred.

The derivation of a Hundred is not actually clear. It is said an area which provided a hundred soldiers to the King's Armies, a hundred families in an area, or a hundred freemen.

The parish took its name from two families amalgamated by marriage, Theydon and Gernon who held the capital manor from the 13th century. (Gaynes Park?). The name Coopersale sounds like the name of someone's beer. Not so. In 1474 it was Coupereshale; in the 1570s Cobershale, later Theydon Gardens; in 1612 Copershale, and in Golton's Topographical Dictionary as lat as 1833 Cappersall. So there is a wide choice as to its name. Quite possible that Cobershale is nearest. The name Cober or even Coober and Hale means Nook, corner, retreat or secret place.

The boundaries of the parish of Theydon Garnon went from the north end, the Garnon bushes (not the public house), along the left hand side of the plain going towards Epping, and along the left hand side of Hemnall Street, which held at one stage a manor house, one of three which included Gaynes Park and Garnish Hall.

The boundary continued up towards the common; down the Theydon Bois road along almost to Abridge; and back along to Passingford Bridge, the Roding being the boundary here. It then encompassed land adjoining Mount End, Theydon Mount, included Gaynes Park and so back to Garnon bushes, roughly an oval in shape and approximately seventeen miles in length. You can see what a large area this parish had, and with, as yet, no mention of Coopersale. In fact, this did not really exist as we now know it. A large common certainly, but very little habitation. A main road which started in Newmarket did come via Thornwood through the forest (The Stump, crossing the Epping - Ongar road, and took the path roughly as of now, down to the Merry Fiddlers Hamlet, then straight on to Abridge and thence to London. It was a road composed mainly of gravel, and it is of interest here that in the Garnon Bushes and Forest Glade area was called forest waste land had a quarry where gravel was worked, and we must assume, used to maintain the stretch of road over the common.

Of interest, and still in existence is the property known as Canister Hall (the first building on your left after the railway bridge) which was used as a stopping place by coaches using the road, and where a change of horses, some refreshment, and a well earned rest could be had. This was prior to the existence of the public house that we now know as the Garnon Bushes, which was formerly knows as the Rose and Crown.

In the early part of the last century about twenty houses existed on Coopersale common, with quite a lot of woodland in the surrounding areas, particularly on the North and Eastern boundaries; peopled by agricultural workers and little else. If anything, the centre of Coopersale was 'The Street' to the Fiddlers crossroads. The inn knows as The Merry Fiddlers was of 17th century origin and possibly earlier, and undoubtedly gave its name to the area around the crossroads.

Opposite the Theydon Oak public house stands a large timber framed house, formerly a farmhouse, dating from the 16th century. An annexe on the Eastern end of the building was formerly the Post Office, in recent years one of two, the other being on the Common.

Mr. Dowsett, who was a postman at Epping Post Office in the 30s' lived here and his wife was, I suppose, the Post mistress in charge. She ran it until its closure. Adjacent to this house was a large tithe barn, used by the clergy to collect tithes.

In the latter part of the 18th century development on the Epping side of Coopersale Street was continuing. Home Farm and the Elms opposite the Merry Fiddlers was built, as was Coopersale Lodge, lived in pre-second world war by Miss 'Georgie' Waters.

Now back tracking, we find that in 1801 the Theydon Garnon area had a total population of 517 persons, and this increased in 1851 to 1,237. On the extension of the L.N.E.R. steam railway from Epping to Ongar, the population had risen to 1,371 by 1891.

A census was carried out in 1901. The upshot of this was that parts of the parish were transferred to Epping. The population was then reduced to 317, although there were, in the total area, 1,746 persons. The parts transferred included Coopersale Common, The Street, and the Fiddlers Hamlet; also Hemnall Street, Ivy Chimneys etc. This brought about a change in the status of Epping.

An Urban District Council had been formed in 1896. Before this it had been know as the Epping Special Drainage Area. This, of course, enlarged the Epping area, and necessitated development and amenities to the people who moved into these acquired areas.

Thanks again to Fred for that overview of Coopersale and to Pamela for allowing me to use it.

I had traced my Tarling family back to 1817, but thanks to Nikki Sirkett and Barbara Smithies I now have another generation taking me back to 1790. Barbara provided the information and Nikki got me in contact with Barbara, so thanks to both.

Shown below, is the family tree as much as I have discovered so far, down to Arthur Henry Price Tarling, my grandfather on my mother’s side.

John Tarling Family Tree 4 Generations

Lets start at the top of the above tree. John Tarling, my great, great, great grandfather. He was born around 1790 in Harlow. He married Rebecca Boyton in Epping 12th October 1815. Rebecca was born in Moreton about 1791. They had at least one child, William Tarling, my great, great grandfather.

John's name is shown on William's marriage certificate, which can be viewed further on. At present the only evidence I have for this is Barbara's email but I am hoping for some other documentation.

On 14th November 1844, William, my great, great grandfather, married Amelia Lowen from North Weald. The certificate shows it to be in the Church of the Parish of Theydon Garnon. The local church there now, St. Albans was not built until 1852, so my guess is that it would have taken place in All Saints Church near Hobbs Cross, but this is not known for sure.

Amelia was the daughter of George Lowen who was a labourer in North Weald. On the certificate you can also see that William and his dad John were also labourers. With so much farmland around the area it is hardly surprising.

In 1845 the couple had their first child, and not uncommon for the time named him after the dad’s father. So John Tarling arrived on 25th December 1845.

Their second child, James, did not arrive until 5 years later in 1850. I do not have the actual date of birth but he is shown on the 1851 census. There could be a clue here to whether, as mentioned earlier, the John shown on the 1841 census was William’s father, as he has named his second son with the same name as the child listed on that census, which would have been William’s brother, and John’s uncle.

The 1851 census is not easy to copy and unfortunately goes over two pages for our family so details are listed below:

Census 1851 for Theydon Garnon
146 Coopersale Street

Name Type Sex Age Profession Birthplace
William Tarling Head M 34 Labourer Epping
Amelia Tarling Wife F 24 Epping
John Tarling Son M 5 Theydon Garnon
James Tarling Son M 7 m Theydon Garnon

Interesting thing to note here is that Amelia states her age as 24, which would have meant she was born in 1827. If this is correct she would have 17 years old when she got married, but on the certificate above she states she is 21. As we will find later on the ages did seem to go up and down through censuses.

William Tarling was born either at the end of 1853 or early 1854. He was christened in St Albans Church, Coopersale on 29th January 1854 So now we have the first son named after William’s father, the second, possibly, after his brother, and now the third after himself. Their 4th child was born around 1856 and this time a new name appears Henry. Henry was christened at the village church, St Albans, on 17th March 1856. Frederick follows him in 1859, when he is christened there on 17th April.

Now I believe that James Tarling, the second son, died in 1860 at the age of 10. He is not shown on the 1861 census and there is an entry in the Tarling Database of a death of a James Tarling in Epping in 1860.

So to the 1861 census which shows our family still in Coopersale Street, it is so much easier to research when they did not move around. William is still there as the Head of the household, his wife Amelia, who appears to have lost another year in age as she is showing as 33, last census 10 years before she was 24. She also appears to have changed her birthplace, now North Weald, previously Epping. Also shown are John, William, Henry and Frederick. John is shown as an Agricultural Labourer as is his dad.

The next couple of years seem to show some unhappy times for the couple. We have found the births of two children and boy, Walter, in 1862 and a girl Amelia in 1864. Both children died very young, certainly before either one of them reached the age of 1.

1864 saw the marriage of William’s first child John to Eliza White from Stapleford Tawney. They got married in the recently built St. Albans church at the top of road across from Adelaide Cottage. I do not know when they moved from Coopersale but in 1881 they show up on the census in Stamford Rivers.

On 29th April 1866 William's father John passed away aged 76.

At the age of 49 William sired his last child, my great grandmother Emily Tarling. She was born 6th June 1867. I do not have a copy of her birth certificate, but hope to obtain this soon. My mum remembered the birthday, and the year is confirmed by an entry on the Tarling database and future censuses. She was christened in St Albans Church, Coopersale 11th July 1867.

During the first half of 1871 William, passed away aged 54. He does not appear on the 1871 census, and Amelia is now the head of the household, now 46 years old, gaining 3 years from the previous census age. Interestingly her profession is shown as charwomen. Presumably she had to now go out to work following the death of her husband. There is also an entry of death for June 1871 of Walter William Tarling in Epping. I presume this to be him.

Son William 16 is still there, and so is Frederick 11 and the young Emily 3. However John is now not appearing at this address, whether he has already moved with his wife to Stamford Rivers I do not know, more interesting though is the fact that Henry is no longer shown on the census. He would have been around 15 years of age, maybe he was away working somewhere.

Family Group Sheet
Subject* William TARLING (199)
Birth* __ ___ 1817 Epping, Essex.
Marriage* 14 Nov 1844 Theydon Garnon, Essex.
Death* __ ___ 1871 Epping, Essex.
Father* John TARLING (436)
Spouse* Amelia LOWEN (200)
Birth* __ ___ 1826 North Weald, Essex.
Death* __ ___ 1900 Epping, Essex.
Father* George LOWEN (434)
Eight Known Children
M John TARLING (431)
Birth* 25 Dec 1845 Coopersale Street, Theydon Garnon, Essex.
Marriage* 9 Oct 1864 Eliza WHITE (438) (b. 1847, ), daughter of Thomas WHITE (440); Theydon Garnon, Essex.
Daughter: __ ___ 1869 Eliza TARLING (439); Stapleford Tawney, Essex.
M James TARLING (432)
Birth* __ ___ 1850 Coopersale Street, Theydon Garnon, Essex.
Death* __ ___ 1860 Epping, Essex.
M William TARLING (202)
Birth* __ ___ 1854 Coopersale Street, Theydon Garnon, Essex.
Baptism: 29 Jan 1854 St Albans, Coopersale, Epping, Essex.
Death* __ ___ 1938 Epping, Essex.
M Henry TARLING (203)
Birth* __ ___ 1856 Coopersale Street, Theydon Garnon, Essex.
Baptism: 17 Mar 1856 St Albans, Coopersale, Epping, Essex.
Marriage* 5 Feb 1882 Rose PRIOR (780) (b. 1863, d. 1948); St Albans, Coopersale, Epping, Essex.
Daughter: 23 Jan 1883 Emily Ethel TARLING (939); Coopersale, Epping, Essex.
Son: __ ___ 1885 Percival Stanley TARLING (781); Coopersale, Epping, Essex.
Death* __ ___ 1934 Epping, Essex.
M Frederick TARLING (433)
Birth* __ ___ 1859 Coopersale Street, Theydon Garnon, Essex.
Baptism: 17 Apr 1859 St Albans, Coopersale, Epping, Essex.
Death* __ ___ 1939
M Walter TARLING (967)
Birth* __ ___ 1862 Coopersale, Epping.
Baptism: 23 Dec 1862 St Albans, Coopersale, Epping, Essex.
Death* __ ___ 1862
F Amelia TARLING (968)
Birth* __ ___ 1864 Coopersale, Epping.
Baptism: 13 Mar 1864 St Albans, Coopersale, Epping, Essex.
Death* __ ___ 1864
F Emily TARLING (14)
Birth* 6 Jun 1867 Coopersale Street, Theydon Garnon, Essex.
Baptism: 11 Jul 1867 St Albans, Coopersale, Epping, Essex.
Son: 23 Feb 1891 Arthur Henry Price TARLING (10); Coopersale Street, Theydon Garnon, Essex.
Death* __ ___ 1953 Hendon, Herts.
Burial* __ ___ 1953 Coopersale Church, Epping, Essex.

There is not much that I have been able to found out about the next 10 years, so it is straight onto the 1881 census. Amelia is still there head of the household, 55 so only 1 year difference this time, and still working as a charwoman, William is still at home, aged 24 and Henry has arrived back from wherever he was 10 years ago. Emily is there as well aged 13.

I have found a map of the area taken around about 1880 and the approximate location of Adelaide Cottage would be just left of centre at the bottom.. I know Emily was here in 1940’s and there is no reason to think that the family did not always live there. Although the 1901 census does show that Emily worked as a servant in Islington.

Map of Coopersale

Shown below are some photos taken a few years ago. The first one shows Adelaide Cottage, and the one further down shows the Road Junction which is opposite the Cottage.

Adelaide Cottage

The picture below, shows the Road junction, which is just above the arrow on the map above. Turning left here, takes you up Houblons Hill towards the St. Albans Church. The Cottage would to your right of the photo and straight in front you can just make out the Theydon Oak Public House.


A little under a year after the 1881 census, Emily’s brother, Henry, weds Rose Prior. 5th February 1882 to be exact. The following January 1883 Emily Ethel Tarling is born. Presumably named after his sister, our Emily. Dave Tredgett, who descends from this Emily, provided this information. He is my 3rd cousin. Emily Ethel Tarling, married Walter Tredgett in 1902. From this marriage they produced a son, William, who married Winifred Archer. Winifred and William are David’s parents. David tells me that some of his cousins still live in Coopersale, and he himself is not far from it in Harlow.

Anyhow, back to my direct line. In 1890, our Emily at the age of 23, fell pregnant. As far as we know, it is pretty certain Emily never married. To this day we do not know who the father was, maybe someone at the house she was working at, maybe there is a clue in the name Price, as this does not appear anywhere else in the family. Anyhow, the following year, on 23rd February 1891 Arthur Henry Price is born. He is christened in the local church, St Albans on 29th March 1891.

Also in that year, actual date is not known, our Emily’s brother Henry and his wife Rose have another child, Percy. This was found from the 1901 census. Although his age could be 16 on the census and not 10, as there is a Percival Tarling baptised 16th Aug 1885 in Coopersale to parents Henry and Rose.

Arthur is shown on the 1891 census as living with his grandma and mum at the same address. Emily is now shown to be working as a domestic servant. William 34 and Frederick 29 are also still there.

So we move now to 1901 and the census this year strangely finds Emily away from her son and is working as a Cook servant for Mary Sharwood at 47 Highbury New Park, Islington, London. Now whether she was live in servant or commuted I do not know, but her 10-year-old son is not with her on Census night. She is shown as aged 29.

Not sure who Mary Sharwood was but she is the head and there is no profession mentioned, and she is shown as Widowed.

Instead Arthur is found in Epping with his uncle’s Frederick and William, on census night. The details shown on the census appear to show incorrect information. It has Frederick as aged 30, yet on the last census he was 27 and William who was 34 on 1891 census is now shown as 46. The other piece of incorrect data is that Arthur is shown as Fred and William’s brother when he was, in fact, their nephew. Maybe the data was collected at the end of a long day for the census collector.

Arthur’s Uncle Henry and wife Rose are still in Epping in 1901. Working as a cowman they still have Percy at home. Not sure where Emily Ethel is as she did not marry until the following year.

With the easier search facility on the 1901 census we managed to find William and Amelia’s first son John, who if you remember married Eliza White, and who were both found living in Standford Rivers on the 1881 census.

The search shows John, now aged 54, working on a farm in Theydon Mount employed as a Horseman. An additional search of the database finds his wife, Eliza Tarling aged 52, but living in Hove, Sussex. Quite why they are apart I do not know.

Arthur is found on the 1911 census still at his Unlce Frederick house in Coopersale. Now aged 20 he is an unemployed Labouer. Details below

1911 Census - Coopersale Street, Epping

Frederick Tarling  Head         Single    M     53    Labour General    Coopersale Essex
Arthur Tarling       Nephew     Single    M    20    Unemployed General Labour Coopersale Essex

Arthur's mother Emily is still working as a servent in Islington. At this time I have not obtained the census record so do not know if she is still with the Sharwood family.

Moving on now some 14 years to, January 1915, Arthur at the age of 23 joined the Army to serve his country in the First World War. His rank was Private and he joined the 3rd Battalion of the Duke of Cambridge’s Own Middlesex Regiment, his Army number was 43079. He entered the Theatre of Operations in France on 2nd May 1915 with his battalion who were part of the 85th Brigade of the 28th Division. There is no evidence of what action he saw but the following are records of what battles his Division were in.

This Division for some reason was then disbanded and it appears that it was now that Arthur joined the Middlesex 4th Battalion who were serving with the 8th Brigade of the 3rd Division.

On the 13th July 1916 Arthur transferred to the 8th (Service) Battalion of the North Staffordshire Regiment as a Private. The battalion was part of the 19th (Western) Division and again follows the battles they took part in. What Arthur's role in these were we will never know.

At the end of the First World War, Arthur had received the 1914-5 Star, British War Medal, the Victory Medal and the regular army medal, given to those soldiers already in the Army when war broke out. His medals are shown below, with the regular army service medal he received when he was discharged.

Arthur Tarlings Medals

On the 8th March 1919, following the end of World War 1, Arthur enlisted at Lichfield, again with North Middlesex Regiment as a Private. This time his Army number was 6190016. At the age of 28 he served as a Private in the North Middlesex Regiment 2nd Battalion stationed at Abassia, Egypt.

The Battalion principally occupied until January, 1922, dealing with the widespread unrest in the country, and formed part of the force used in suppression of riots and hooliganism. Whilst in Egypt Arthur received the Good Conduct Badge 2 on 4 January 1920.

In January 1921 Arthur's occupation was Storeman for North Middlesex Regiment. The 2nd Battalion, including Arthur now aged 30, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel F. E. Swainson, left Egypt and was ordered to Singapore, and arrived there on 31st January, 1922.

It was in time to provide guards of honour at Kuala Lumpur and at Singapore for the new Colonel-in-Chief when he visited Malaya in H.M.S. Renown during March, 1922. Guard duties at Government House, and guards of honour for important visitors, although they made the Battalion’s stay in Singapore one of interest and variety, did much to interfere with the normal routine of training, since it was only on rare occasions that the Battalion was together as a whole. But a move to India during October, 1923, gave an opportunity to catch up with arrears.

The Battalion, and 32 year old Arthur was quartered at Ahmed-nagar and for the next five years settled down to a steady routine of battalion, brigade, and divisional training. Major H. P. F. Bicknell, the Second-in-Command, was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel during September, 1924, and relieved Lieutenant-Colonel Swainson as Commanding Officer of the Battalion at the end of the latter’s tour of command.

Whilst in India Arthur received the Good Conduct Badge 3 on 4 January 1927. In December 1928 and at the age of 37 Arthur returned home to Mill Hill Barracks, the 2nd Battalion remained in India. Why he returned home I do not know. Back at Mill Hill Barracks, known as the "Depot", Arthur was employed as a Butcher. Not sure where the picture below was taken but could be at the barracks.

Army Photo

Maybe one of the reasons he returned home was in order to get married. This he did on 25th December 1930 when he married Norah Martin at St. Peter Le Poer Church in Friern Barnet. An interesting point to note on the certificate is that he states that his father is Arthur Tarling (Deceased). I can only presume that this was to save embarrassment of not having known his dad.

On the 4th January 1931 Arthur received his good conduct badge 4.

In 1933 the couple had their first child Anthony born 17th May 1933. The army as shown below records the birth.

Tony Tarling Birth

The above are the Daily Orders from the Middlesex Regiment for 23rd may 1933

The Army released him from active duty 4th January 1936. For most of his service he worked as a storeman and from all the evidence was a good honest worker. The testimonial below seems to support this. 


Next are his discharge papers,

Arthur Tarling Discharge Papers

and finally below is his army certificate, showing his service.

Army Certificate

On leaving the army, Arthur joined the sorting office at Mount Pleasant, and on the 7th April 1937 his wife presented him with their second child, Avis Muriel Harris, my mother. Their final child arrived 7th February 1940 when another girl, Audrey Amelia was born.

During the 2nd World War Arthur’s mother Emily took evacuees into Adelaide Cottage in Coopersale Street. I am not sure who these were but certainly her grandchildren were amongst them as Avis Tarling told me in June 2003. Emily was posted a certificate in thanks for this from Buckingham Palace. The Certificate and Envelope are shown below.

Envelope  Post Mark

The envelope is, addressed to Adelaide Cottage, and displays the posting mark of Buckingham Palace. It has been enlarged on the right to display it better.


Emily passed away in 1953 aged 86 years of age, the death is registered at Hendon, so it is quite likely that she had been staying with Arthur at 51 Cromwell Road. She is buried back in Coopersale. The picture below, not a great copy, was taken in the back garden of 51 Cromwell Road. Emily is with her grandchildren, Tony at the back, Avis to the left and Audrey to the right.

Emily Tarling

The next picture shows the family again but this time with Arthur and Nora in the photo, I assume both these photos were taken on the same day, as the girls are seen holding the same dolls, and Emily is wearing the same dress. These are the only two photos we have of Emily Tarling.

Emily Tarling

Arthur retired from the Sorting office in 1956 and enjoyed 9 years of retirement before he sadly passed away on 15th June 1964, aged 73. Shown below are photos showing both Arthur Henry Price Tarling and his wife Nora Martin, late in their respective lives.

Arthur Tarling Nora Martin

The family was due to go on holiday to Kent but Arthur was not feeling well. So Avis and Audrey with their husbands Ken and Ron, and children Janet and Sharon had travelled down to Whitstable, Arthur and Nora followed later on a coach.

Unfortunately he fell ill on the coach on the way down to Kent, he was taken to Whitstable Hospital but was found to be dead on arrival. Needless to say once all the formalities were dealt with, everyone returned home. The death is registered in the District of Bridge in the County of Kent. His wife Nora, is the informant on the certificate and she survived another 24 years before passing away in Barnet Hospital on 4th March 1988 at the age of 81.

Arthur Gravestone

John Tarling Descendants Chart