History of our Cooper Family

The Cooper family orginated in a small village called Aston Juxta, now a part of the sprawling city of Birmingham. Joseph Cooper married Maria Bluck and together with their young son William Bennett Cooper they emigrated to Victoria in 1856, settling in the Geelong/Colac district. They moved to Tasmania after the children had grown and died in Hobart. Two of the sons, William and Tom remained in Victoria although Tom died in 1891 in Colac.

Ada Bessie Cooper (1892-1975)

Ada Bessie Cooper was the eldest child of Harry and Elizabeth (Bessie) Cooper (nee Barlow). She was born in Hobart on the 2nd July 1892 and spent her early life living in the southern area of Tasmania. During 1910-1915 her parents Harry and Bessie Cooper ran a boarding house called "Hillcrest" which was located on the Huon Main road at Geeveston. The family then moved to Stonor where Harry became a farmer. She was called Adie, this was probably to distinguish between her from an aunt (Ada Cooper).
Ada Bessie Cooper
Adie lived a middle-upper class life while she was growing up, the Cooper family owned land that now forms New Town (inner Hobart suburb) and it appeared they had money to enjoy all the best of Hobart social life. From diaries I have read, life seemed to be an endless round of morning teas, drives to town, picnics and race meetings. Adie loved to read and write letters, collect stamps and post cards.

She joined in the war effort by becoming a voluntary aide (VAD) and assisted by nursing in army camps in Tasmania (see picture c1921). This is probably where she met her future husband Harry Ewart upon his return from France. One of these camps was in the Lower Midlands of Tasmania, called "Ellesmere".
At the time of her marriage in 1923 to Harold Ewart she was living at 177 Main Rd., New Town, her occupation was listed as domestic duties and she was a spinster.


After Harold and Adie were married they moved house many times, mostly in and around New Town and Glenorchy. Their first child, my mother, Margaret Isobel Ewart was born on 8th December 1924 at Queen Alexandria Hospital in Hobart. Their son Harry Jnr was born on 10th June in 1926. Perhaps to distinguish between he and his father he was called "Boy" throughout his life.

The Ewart family continued to move house quite frequently, Mum said she used to spend no more than about 4 months in any one school. I don't know what Harold did to earn a living although I do know he was good at making things as we have a teddy bear that was made by him. But that dosen't keep a family of four! My grandmother Adie certainly did not go out to work. The family moved to Northern Tasmania in 1931 and settled at "Coombe Lodge" at Prossers Forest. A fairly impressive name for what was just a rough timber building placed in the middle of nowhere, no neighbours in sight and just rough tracks for access to and from Launceston.

Harold operated a trucking business in and around Prossers Forest from 1935 until c1950 when they moved to Evandale and then to Bakers Beach (near Port Sorell) to a property called "Brentwood".

Later years

Harold died on 11th April 1957 at Devon House Hospital in Latrobe at the age of 66 years. Adie moved to a house in Pitcairn St., Port Sorell where she spent the rest of her life, apart from a time living with us at Bakers Lane, Northdown. She was heavily involved with the Country Womens Association (CWA), being awarded life membership in the early 1970's. She spent her final years writing letters and notes and receiving visitors whenever she could. One of her favourite visitors was Dr Malcolm, Port Sorell and Latrobe districts family doctor. Whenever he was doing his rounds he would call in to see her and have a cup of tea. She died peacefully in hospital at Latrobe on 19th July 1975. Harold and Adie are both buried at St George's Church of England Cemetery, Newground, Tasmania.

Harry Cooper (1860-1923)

Harry Cooper was born in the Geelong district of Victoria in 1860. His parents were recent emigrants from Birmingham in England. Harry Cooper
Harry moved to Tasmania sometime before his marriage there in 1890 to Elizabeth (Bessie) Barlow. He was a member of the New Town Council in 1897 and then established a horse coaching company with his brother Joe. It was known as Cooper Bros and operated in and around Hobart and as far south as Geeveston. Horses always played a big part in the Cooper family with Joe being "Clerk of the Course" at Elwick Racetrack and he and sister Ada competing in horse racing events at local Tasmanian agricultural shows.

Joseph Cooper (1833-1903)

Joseph was one of seven children born to Joseph and Ann Cooper in Castle Bromwich, Birmingham, England, early in the 19th century.Joseph Cooper

In 1855 Joseph married Maria Bluck who was from Bishops Castle in Shropshire. I went to visit this area on a trip to the UK in 1995 and found a lovely little market town built on the side of a hill, deep in the Shropshire countryside and very close to the Welsh border. Family documents contain post-cards from the area so someone must have maintained communication over the years.

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