O Oxley – gift or embarrassment?

It’s almost 40 years since our first child was born, so 40 years since we had to have ‘the talk’.

The talk that decided whether our offspring should be blessed, or lumbered, with the family middle name.  All of the boys in my other half’s side of the family have the middle name Oxley, and no-one really knew why.  After much discussion we opted for registering the both with the Oxley, but christening the boys without it – hopefully giving them a bit of choice about whether or not they used it.

Fast forward a quarter of century, and I finally worked out why successive generations of Cooper boys sported the middle name Oxley. Way back in April 1797 Margaret Oxley married Thomas Cooper, in their home town of Rotherham.  The marriage seemed to be a bringing together of two local businesses, and from that first generation it was clear that they didn’t intend to lose their Oxley link.

Margaret and Thomas are my other half’s 4th great grandparents, so my boys are the seventh generation to be landed with an Oxley.

At least now we know why……


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