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Introduction / Families


The Cooper surname does not appear in the 1810 rental, the Old Parish Records or the censuses for Pharay. However, the 1851 Westray census indicates that a Barbara Cooper who was born in Pharay, albeit it is the married name of Hewison that is given.

North Hammar, Westray

Relation Status Age Occupation Born
William Hewison Head Married 68 years Under miller Westray
Barbara Hewison Wife Married 62 years Pharay
William Gray SinL Married 37 years Fisherman Westray
Margaret Gray Dau Married 38 years Westray
Robert Gray G. Son 10 years Scholar Westray
William Gray G. Son 8 years Scholar Westray
Thomas Gray G. Son 6 years Scholar Westray
Barbara Gray G. Dau 4 years Westray
James Gray G. Son 2 years Westray
Jean Gray G. Dau 4 months Westray

The death register recording Barbara’s death substantiates the place of birth.

She was born about 1789 to William Cooper and Christy Fergus. It should be noted that the Old Parish Records for Eday and Pharay only start in 1789.

It is thought unlikely that this is the Christian Fergus who was married to David Hourston. Their son, also David Hourston, was born around 1773. This would have been some sixteen years earlier than the birth of Barbara Cooper to William Cooper and Christy Fergus.

No other records relating to Coopers on Pharay during this early period have been found. It is not known where William Cooper and Christy Fergus lived, how long they were there, or if they had any children other than Barbara.

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