Welcome to my genealogy blog. Ancestors I Wish I Knew is a combination of genealogical information and stories about individuals in my family tree. The focus is on those from my Cochrane, Eitelbach, Merrett, Minarcik and Richards lines and their descendants.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019


This week’s theme is thief and I found one in my family. 
One day while looking at the cases in the Old Baily in London I discovered this transcript of testimony in a trial for theft which involved my great great uncle, Andrew George Cobbett Cochrane. 

Andrew George Cobbett Cochrane was born on May 12, 1809 in London, England.  His parents were The Honorable Andrew James Cochrane and Ann Morgan.  Andrew had two brothers, William and George, and one sister, Anna Maria, all born in London.   In 1828, he married Emma Shaw at St. James Church, London, England.  According to the baptismal records for his daughter Emma, in 1830, the family lived on Museum Street, in London, and from the records for his son, Charles, in 1832, on Court Street.  Both records indicated that Andrew was an assistant overseer.

Here is the record from the Old Bailey from 1832

Mr. Thomas Adams is one of the directors of the poor of St. Giles' in the Fields and St. George, Bloomsbury - the prisoner was employed there as a schoolmaster, and to superintend the making of books and eyes ; he had for that, in addition to his keep, 12s. a month.
Old Bailey
WILLIAM WOODS . I am a wire-worker - I furnish the parish of St. Giles' with wire, to be worked up into books and eyes. On the 24th of August the prisoner brought this bill to me for 5l. 18s., for making books and eyes in the rough state, for which I found the materials - I paid him by a cheque on my bankers, Messrs. Young and Co., in Smithfield; this is it - it was returned as paid; on the 8th of October he brought me another bill, which was incorrect, but upon a second application, I paid him five sovereigns and 12s. in silver.
ROBERT WAINWRIGHT . I am master of the work-house. The prisoner ought to have accounted to me for these sums, but he never did.
COURT. Q. Was he employed by you to bring sums of money to you? A. The directors of the poor employed him, and he was to account to me as their agent; I used to pay him the 12s. a month.
PHILIP RILEY . I am beadle of St. Giles'. I took the prisoner; he said he understood he was wanted, that he was very glad, and had he met any of us in the street, he certainly should have given himself up.
GUILTY. Aged 26.
Recommended to Mercy . - Confined Six Months”

Erie County Savings Bank
Shortly thereafter Andrew George Cobbett Cochrane and William Cochrane along with their families migrated to the United States and settled in Buffalo, New York.  From what I could find about Andrew in Buffalo, he was an outstanding citizen.  The City Directories for Buffalo list the associations, organizations, and churches as well as the individuals who held offices in them.   In 1837, Andrew was the recording secretary of the Young Men’s Association, a literary society, which i  A year later, he was still the recording secretary, but also on the library and by-laws committees.  In 1847-48, he was the Assistant Secretary of the St. Andrews Society, a group for those of Scottish descent; a notary public,  and the Deputy District Grand Master of Erie District #3 of the Odd Fellows.  From 1847 to 1849, he was a trustee of the Unitarian Church.  Beginning in 1855 and until his death, Andrew was the general account for the American Merchants’ Union Express Company, which I believe was the forerunner of American Express.
s described as having a “well-selected” and large library of books and was the forerunner of both the Buffalo Public Library and the Buffalo Museum of Science.

I would like to talk to Andrew and find out more about incident.  Did he really think he would get away with it?  Why did he need the money?  Where was he confined? Did the arrest lead to his coming to the United States. 

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