This Newsletter was the first to be issued and it had no pictures nor other embellishments. There are one or two minor presentation adjustments to bring it into line with latter editions but the basic text remains the same.

As a record it shows how the first pieces of CUF(F)LEY information was distributed with the annual Christmas cards.


CUFLEY FAMILY HISTORY                                  Christmas 1983. Issue No. 1


Since my early researches into the family history (1966) as something to do in my lunch hour; I was working at St. Paul’s Churchyard at the time; the seeking after information has meant that I1ve contacted a lot of Cuf(F)ley’s. All have given some information while raising as many questions (if not more) as they've solved for me.  It's always been my intention to keep them informed of the progress into the Family History.  Now I've set out this Newsletter as the easy way out of letting you all know something of our backgrounds.


The simplest way to give you some idea of the family will be to give a short biography of each generation on my direct line noting other members of the family as I go.


My Grandfather was William Cufley born 1890 at Charlton he married Sarah Morrell in 1915 at Woolwich and had four sons.  He was a Labourer in the Royal Arsenal then a Coil Winder.


Henry Benjamin Cufley was born in 1845 at Enfield then moved South of the River to Woolwich and married Catherine Picton; a Shipwrights daughter; in 1874 at Bethnal Green.  They had seven children.  William was the youngest son.  The third child Henry John married his cousin Rebecca Cufley.  Henry Benjamin was employed as a Gas Stoker at Enfield then again in Woolwich, the conclusion being that he followed his trade to Woolwich and eventually brought his family (brothers and sisters) to the area.


The previous three generations can become confusing in that they were all Johns.


John Cufley (12) was baptised in 1817 at St. Andrews Church Enfield he married Sarah Ann Taylor from Essex in 1840 at Islington, they had eleven children.  Henry Benjamin was the fourth child.  John's profession was variously given as Sawyer, Rat Destroyer; quite a few Cufleys of this period were either/and Sawyers and Rat Catchers; Labourer and Game Keeper. 


An interesting article under the title "Jim Shaw" by Henry Mayhew originally published in 1851 as 'London Labour and the London Poor' and more recently reprinted as 'Mayhew's Characters' refers to Enfield as a kind of headquarters for ratketchers.  Jim Shaw describes "the poor people who supply me with rats are what you may call barn-door labouring poor, for they are the most ignorant people I ever came near." "Really you would not believe people could live in such ignorance."  He also reported that, "From Enfield I have a great quantity (of rats), but the ketchers don't get them all there, but travel around the country for scores of miles, for you see, 3d a-head is money; besides, there are some liberal farmers who will still give them a halfpenny a-head into the bargain."


John Cufley (14) was baptised in 1793 at St. Andrews Church he married Mary Ann Gale a neighbour’s daughter in 1814 at Tottenham and had two children, the second was John.  The elder; a daughter; Anne married John Street. Anne appears frequently on certificates as 'present at the death' or as a witness obviously someone with a strong family commitment.  This John Cufley was a Sawyer by trade.


John Cufley (16) was baptised in 1770 again at St. Andrews he married Isabella (maiden name unknown) and had nine children. Isabella's surname and parentage still eludes me except that she was born outside Middlesex.  This John Cufley was also a Sawyer.


William Cufley baptised in 1738 at St. Andrews was married to Mary Hooper in 1764 at Twickenham they had seven children.  William was a Market Gardener and his biography appears in "Now turned into fair garden plots" by J.G.L. Bumley & A.E. Robinson which was produced as an occasional paper (No. 45) for the Edmonton Hundred Historical Society.  William had a son William who was Beadle of Enfield for fourteen years.  William the Beadle was reported in the "Times" of 1820 as the capturer of some thieves who had stolen black cloth from St. Andrews Church. The crime of sacrilege was punishable by death from hanging.


The previous generations are at present merely names with little background.  The background will eventually be sketched in but with most Record Offices only opening Monday to Friday it is difficult to find the time within ones annual holiday.


The Cuf(F)ley name up to this point frequently appeared with two f's and sometimes with an '0' instead of 'U' (careless writing.') now the name can appear as Coffley, Couffley, Cofflew, Cuffeley or even Cafli.


John Cuffley baptised in 1698 at St. Andrews was married to Ann they had nine children of which the first two were twins who died within twelve days of their baptism.


John's father was Edmond Cuffley whose wife was Dorothy.  The parish records also give an Edward Cuffley married to Dorothy having children during the same period; possibly the same couple.


Edmond's (Edward's!) father has not been discovered but I think it may well have been William son of William Cufley baptised in 1644 again at St. Andrews.  Finally I'm guessing but William (the elder) was likely the son of Thomas Cuffley and DORRIT Fisher who were married at St. Andrews in 1616 and had at least three children Dorothy (1617), Jayne (1621) and Margaret (1624) all baptised at St. Andrews. Was the fourth child William baptised in 1619??  A question to be answered.


               Thomas Cuffley appears in the 1642 protestations for Enfield Town quarter.  In the 1664 Hearth Tax returns there is recorded a Thomas and a William Cufley both in the Bulls Cross quarter, which lies north of the Town quarter.



My next researches involve checking and rechecking the Parish Records for 1550 to 1700.  Looking at deeds and tax returns for a similar period and also checking Wills.


To conclude may I quote William Cuffley the Beadles Poster of 1827 which he prepared as "A copy of Verses humbly presented to all my Worthy Masters and Mistresses, in the Parish of Enfield, in the County of Middlesex."




'Kind Masters take my tributary lay,

Which, with a grateful heart, I yearly pay,

With gratulations - would I could appear,

And hail the prospects of the coming year'



David, Carole, Aaron, Sasha and Fabienne.


 CUF(F)LEY Newsletter 1983. Issue No. 1, Pages 3 of 3 

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Copyright © David Cufley 1983-2002

December 1983 original publication date. This version August 2002.