These web pages are dedicated to the memory of my maternal Grandfather, Norman Coyston, who passed away on December 10th 2000. Without his help and knowledge these pages would never have been written.
Within these pages I will be exploring the origins of my maternal Grandfather's family - the Coystons.
Arthur Henry Coyston was my Great Grandfather and his generation of the family was the first not to be involved with farming. We think that all his ancestors back to 1700 lived at what is now called Rooks Farm, Little London, Berden. We do not know when the farm got that name but the Victorian census records just refer to it as The Farm, Little London. Since there was only one farm in Little London it must be the same place. We think that before 1700 the family came from Manuden, a village a few miles away.
Little London is a hamlet, only about a dozen houses, about a mile from Berden and that is a fair sized village which used to have a pub, a shop, a post office and a blacksmiths, none of which have survived. It still has a church and when my Grand-Dad was a schoolboy the graves of his Grandfather, James, and his father Isaac were easily identifiable in the churchyard. One cannot find them now because the churchyard has been tidied up, but the 18th century organ is still in the church - James used to pump the bellows for Sunday services. The village is roughly mid-way between Bishops Stortford and Saffron Walden.
My Grandfather's ancestors were all listed in the records as farm labourers, farm managers, stockmen and so on, but the farming connection ceased in 1905 when James died. His widow moved to Waltham Cross and my Great Grandfather used to take my Grandfather to see her and her numerous family in the 1930s. We are still in touch with most of them.