10. CORY

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Fay Sampson’s Family History

This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines, and some go back 30 generations. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from my own as (1)



Cory Tree




THOMAS CORY. Because of the number of Thomas Corys in this extended family in Harpole it is not possible to trace the line of descent with certainty. The most likely father for the Thomas Cory who married Susanah around 1681 was himself named Thomas, and was the son of yet another Thomas Cory of Harpole and his wife Joan Harrys.

This middle Thomas, son of Thomas Cory senior and Joan, was baptized at All Saints, Harpole, on 21 May 1626. He was their third and youngest son, and had one surviving younger sister. When he was ten, his brother Richard died, leaving just three children from their mother’s seven pregnancies.

His father was a yeomen farmer and Thomas grew up helping him on the farm. He became a yeoman himself, which means that he either owned or rented a sizeable farm.


ELIZABETH.  We do not know where Thomas and Elizabeth married. It appears not to have been in Harpole. This means that Elizabeth was probably from another parish. We have no further information about her before her marriage.


Thomas and Elizabeth would have been teenagers when the Civil War broke out in 1642. The nearby town of Northampton was fiercely Parliamentarian, and it was from there that Fairfax marched out to the decisive victory at Naseby in 1645. There was more Royalist support in the rural areas. We do not know which side the Corys of Harpole took.

The picture of this couple’s marriage is complicated, not only by the large number of Thomas Corys in Harpole, but by the fact that two of them married a woman named Elizabeth within a few years of each other. Sometimes one is designated as Thomas Cory senior, or junior, but the designation for an individual can change over the years, so that he starts off as Thomas junior, but ends as Thomas senior, when other Thomases die or begin to raise families.

This couple appear to overlap with an older Thomas and Elizabeth. The latter have children John, William, Nathaniel, Sarah and Dorothy between 1640 and 1652. The older couple’s son Nathaniel was a gentleman of Spratton when he died in 1718. That part of the Cory family was evidently of some standing. For the first three baptisms, the father is designated as Thomas Cory junior. Following the death of the former Thomas senior in 1648, the father becomes the new Thomas senior (1651) or Thomas the elder (1652).

It was probably about 1651 that the younger Thomas and Elizabeth married. At 25, our Thomas was now designated as Thomas junior. The couple raised their family during the Commonwealth republic under Oliver Cromwell.

On 2 Feb 1651, Alice, daughter of Thomas Cory and his wife Elizabeth, was baptized at nearby Kislingbury. This is only six months before the baptism in Harpole of Sarah, daughter of Thomas Cory senior and Elizabeth. These are clearly two different couples. The remaining baptisms for the younger Thomas and Elizabeth take place in Harpole. It seems more likely that the Kislingsbury baptism is theirs, too, than that there was a third couple sharing these names.

On 6 April 1652, Mary, daughter of Thomas Cory and Elizabeth, was baptized in Harpole. This time it is two months after the baptism of Dorothy, daughter of Thomas the elder and Elizabeth. Their third child, and only son, is Thomas, son of Thomas the younger and Elizabeth, baptized 13 January 1653. Two more daughters followed. Sarah was baptized 7 May 1659. The father is simply Thomas Cory. Thomas the elder seems to have completed his family by now, and may be dead, though the burial in 1648 of Thomas senior is more likely to refer to the one before him.

Our Thomas appears to have died between June 1661 and March 1662. The baptism of their final child, another Mary, took place on 6 February 1662. The parents are recorded as Thomas Cory, deceased, and Elizabeth. No burial has been found for Thomas. He would have been 35 or 36. He lived just long enough to see the Restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660.

Assuming that the first Mary had died, Elizabeth was left a widow with three little girls and a boy.

The family may have left Harpole. There is no identifiable burial for Elizabeth there. But a Thomas Cory, who is possibly her son, raised a large family there and probably died as a grocer with the designation ‘Mr’, which was accorded to the gentry.






Cory Tree