Cumpston Research

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John Cumpstone New Zealand

Jenny Edwards contacted me from New Zealand to tell me about her ancestor Francis  & Martha Cumpstone and this page has been specially designed for her.  Thanks Jenny!

17 October 2009.  


[Another researcher, Bert in Wales's   also descends from Francis and Martha and this main line is called  Midlands Tree 2 Francis & Martha].


Francis and Martha are numbered 5/1/ and each descendent has a personal descending code]  - so his first son Francis 5/1/1/.


This is Jenny's email to me in October 2009:


Francis Cumpstone 5/1/married 1/2/1768 Shrewsbury


'We are related to Francis Cumpstone married Martha Williams  1/2/1768 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England.    He was my paternal grt x 6  grandfather.  His great grandson John Cumpstone [5/1/1/6/] b 1855 Worthen,  Shropshire came to NZ with his new wife Emma in 1882 on  "Coromandel" and settled in Waikato region.  John Cumpstone's 5/1/1/6/2/ parents were Edward Cumpstone and Eleanor Owens 1/1/6/of Aston Piggott/Rogers. They brought out a huge  family photo album, which is held by Kathleen Sisley (nee Cumpstone)  of Kiokio, King Country, New Zealand.  It has old photos of people, family home/farm etc.  and some photos are labelled.   The old family farm/home in Shropshire still exists.  


The Cumpstone family in NZ are all related to this John, and most of them  and their extended families live in the Waikato - King Country,  Auckland and Bay of Plenty in North Island.  Various members of the  extended family are doing family history research and have drawn up some family trees, I came to NZ with my parents David Francis  Edwards and late Judy nee Radburnd (a NZ'er) in 1967 as a  pre-schooler.  My Dad's brother John Compston Edwards and Annita  Phyllis Malins (also a NZ'er and my mum's good nursing friend) and  family came to NZ  in 1976.  My Dad goes back to UK every 2 yrs for a  holiday, and always does some family history research.  The last  Cumpstone in my direct family line was Jane Ellen Cumpstone born 1876 Westbury /Winsley /Winthury, Shropshire (a teacher) who married my  paternal great grandfather Alfred Edwards (engineer) born 1873 Lincoln Hill, Ironbridge, Shropshire, England.   We still have direct relatives around the Shrewsbury/Westbury area in Shropshire, although me and my family were born in London, England'.  


Edward was the 6th son of Francis and Mary 5/1/1/.  Francis was the first son of Francis and Martha 5/1/



1815 Shrop 5 1/1/6/ Worthen Montgomery Cumston Edward parents Francis Mary  5/1/1/ farmer of Aston Rogers christened 12 Feb 1815. [M. Eleonor Owens d. 1882] Edward D. 1875.  Farmed at Aston Piggott


Edward and Eleonor's children were:


5/1/1/6/1/ Mary

5/1/1/6/2/ John emigrated to New Zealand with his wife Emma.  This is Jenny's line which is recorded on this page.


5/1/1/6/3/ Joseph

5/1/1/6/4/ Ellen

5/1/1/6/5/ Jane

The area around Ironbridge is described as the "Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution" because it is near the place where Abraham Darby I perfected the technique of smelting iron with coke, allowing much cheaper production of iron. The grandson of the first Abraham Darby, Abraham Darby III, built the famous bridge - originally designed by Thomas Farnolls Pritchard - to link the two areas. Construction began in 1779 and the bridge opened on New Year's Day 1781. Soon afterwards the ancient Madeley market was relocated to the new purpose built square and Georgian Butter Cross and the former dispersed settlement of Madeley Wood gained a planned urban focus as Ironbridge, the commercial and administrative centre of the Coalbrookdale coalfield. The Iron Bridge proprietors also built the Tontine Hotel to accommodate visitors to the new Bridge and the industrial sights of the Severn Gorge. On the hillside above the river are situated the stone-built 16th century hunting Lodge at Lincoln Hill, many 17th and 18th century workers cottages, some imposing Georgian houses built by ironmasters and mine and canal barge owners, and many early Victorian villas built from the various coloured bricks and tiles of the locality.


St Luke's Church (1837) in simple Commissioners' Gothic by Samuel Smith of Madeley, has stained glass by David Evans of Shrewsbury. The living was endowed as a rectory when the parish was created from Madeley in 1847 and is now a united with Coalbrookdale and Little Wenlock, in the Diocese of Hereford. The former Iron Bridge and Broseley railway station, on the Severn Valley line (GWR) from Hartlebury to Shrewsbury, was situated on the south side of the Iron Bridge until 1966.

In a further email dated 23rd October she said that in Shropshire Archives in July this year her father had found in the book entitled "Index of Shropshire and Montgomery Wills 1858-1940" references to the following Cumpstone wills:

- Susannah Crumpstone of Ironbridge, made in 1890, reference 1893/84

- Edward Cumpstone (farmer) of Aston Piggott, made in 1865,reference 1876/87

- Joseph Cumpstone of Ironbridge,made in 1880, reference 1885/637

- William Cumpstone (police constable) of Ironbridge, made in 1928, reference 1936/275 (see his own page) Jenny went on to say that 'William's (b. 1841 Minsterley, Shropshire, will referred to above is listed next to our family on Barbara Judd's Francis Cumpstone's family tree.  His brother John Cumpstone was my paternal grt x2 grandfather. '


Jenny's father got information from Edward Cumpstone's will to try and understand what happened to his son John who married and came to NZ in the same year that his brother Joseph married his wife's sister then died.


"Last Will and Testament of Edward Cumpstone (farmer) of Aston Piggott.


1.  Dwelling place and 12 acres at Aston Hill to son John Cumpstone and 150 pounds and 100 pounds


2.  2 dwelling houses at Aston Rogers to son Joseph Cumpstone


3. All farming stok and household furniture and personal effects and to carry on the farm at Aston Piggott to wife Ellen Cumpstone


4. 500 pounds to daughter Mary Ellen


5. 500 pounds to daughter Jane (Note at bottom of 3 handwritten pages of will "under 4000 pounds") The will was proved at Shrewsbury 8/2/1876 by J Price Solicitor"

Jenny's father has previously found Joseph's gravestone which has an incorrect spelling of the surname (Crumpstone) located at Little Fernhill, Whittington, near Oswestry, Shropshire.,


Jenny notes that Barbara Judd's Francis Cumpstone/Martha Williams family tree

includes a note in brackets under a few names stating "will" - including Joshua Cumpstone (b 1810/11 d 1885) and his wife Susannah (b 1809 Stourbridge, Worcestershire d 1893 Madeley, Shropshire)   - she will be the 1st will reference above.'  


Jenny's father also found a gravestone for John Cumpston 3/10/1842-2/1/1884 in St John's churchyard in Ruyton XI Towns, Shropshire - while he was looking for other family gravestones.  This John has still to be linked with his family


Jenny has a photo of JOHN and Emma Cumpstone's gravestones in NZ - the first of the family to arrive/die here.  Most of the family in NZ who died are buried in this cemetery in Otorohanga.


Jenny refers to a booklet "Aston Rogers & Aston Piggott - the Millenium" - A Short History" by Robyn Trimby, a limited edition publication, including old maps, printed by Shropshire promotions, 24 pages.


Jenny's grandfather Alfred William Bernard Edwards (son of Alfred Edwards and Jane Ellen (nee Cumpstone) came across a reference to John  Cumpstone as an early settler who got along well with the native people (Maori's) in a new history book, but he did not make a copy, nor have they come across a reference to it since.


The first NZ born Cumpstone boy Tom married the daughter of a maternal Gerrand.  He has typed up 4 generations of 76 people on the Cumpstone side, in a 7 page (A4 size) descendency list.

Jenny has originals or copies of the following documents which I hope to be able to showcase here:


  • 1833 baptism certificate for Jane Jones of Shrewsbury who was 2nd wife of John Cumpstone(1837-1924 of Aston Rogers, varied jobs)

  • 1882 marriage certificate of John Cumpstone and Emma Jones (farmer and domestic)

  • 8/1/1876 letter from Shrewsbury to John Cumpstone (horseman)

  • 16/5/1895 letter to Miss Cumpstone re employment, lodgings from M Meredith?

  • Passenger arrival form dated 8/11/1882 for John and Emma Cumpstone to Auckland, NZ from London on "Coromandel" barque, published in local newspaper  on 4/12/1882

  • photo of old Cumpstone  family farm and farmhouse "Little Fernhill", Whittington, Gobowen, near Oswestry,Shropshire.

  • photos of old Cumpstone family farm and farmhouse "Little Fernhill" and "Bank Farm" at Kiokio, New Zealand - both of which are no longer in Cumpstone family ownership, although Kathleen Sisley (nee Cumpstone) lives on her husband's family farm next door to one of old Cumpstone family farms.

  • extracts from a recent publication for the centennial of Kiokio School in NZ, which includes a whole section on and various other references to NZ Cumpstone family, who were original European settlers in the area.


Jenny has a copy of some extracts about NZ Cumpstones from a recent softcover book

 published for the centenary of Kiokio School where John and Emma Cumpstone settled - called "The Kiokio Story" (March 2005).  It includes a photo of Kath Sisley (nee Cumpstone) the matriarch.  At the centenary a photo of all attendees was taken, and in it was most of the NZ Cumpstones.  It is a large photo which Jenny has seen a few times, but does not have a copy of it.  CAN ANYONE HELP SUPPLY US WITH A COPY?

In further correspondence from Jenny on 25th October 2009 she makes the following points:


My great grandmother Jane Ellen Cumpstone, her husband Alfred and her parents John Cumpstone and 2nd wife Jane Jones are referred to in various entries on your website running under the Francis Cumpstone/Martha Williams family tree.


The Cumpstone family tree I have from Barbara Judd pertains to Cumpstone's in following parts of Shropshire:Chirbury,  Shrewsbury, Aston Piggott/Rogers/Mill, Worthen, ironbridge, Shifnal, Brockton,Wrockwardine, Wellington, Minsterley, Worthen, Whittington, Coalbrookdale, Madeley.  Some names relate to other counties/countries: Staffordshire (Great Barr, Burton upon Trent, Durham, Poole in Dorset, Canada, USA, NZ, Thiepval (war) ,    Canwell, Breaston, Sutton Coldfield Four Oaks, Norton.

Jenny wrote on 2009-11-27



Have just looked up NZ Cumpstone's on "Archway NZ" the NZ govt's website of official records on NZ'ers.  There are 9 entries on Cumpstone's, all of which are in our family line - being John who originally came to NZ and his 2 sons and their wives, comprising wills, military service and land tenures.


The probated wills they have recorded are for:

- John Cumpstone (farmer of Kiokio) who originally came to NZ, died 1922  

- his son Joseph Edward Cumpstone (farmer of Otorohanga (near Kiokio - where the cemetery is)) his son

- his other son Tom Cumpstone (farmer of Otorohanga) who also had a military record in the army in WW1

- 1 of these son's wives Alfreda Elma Cumpstone (widow of Te Awamutu)

- the other son's wife Mary Agnes Cumpstone (nee Colhoun from memory) (widow of Otorohanga)


Jenny Edwards  




Catherine Cumpstone wrote to me



Just googled my name and this comes up so I thought I might try and help. I am 19 and in Nelson in NZ, my dad is John Cumpstone, who is the eldest son of Artie - Edward Arthur I think is his proper name. Catherine