The boots business has been in my family for a number of generations. The family business can be traced back to more than 170 years ago. Hi, my name is Owain Couch and I bring you Couch The Boots.
I must clarify that the name is pronounced “Cooch” and not “Cowch“. The name for the site, Couch The Boots is taken from an ancestor of mine.
But who am I? What is this site all about? And what can you expect from this site? Find out as I tell you my story. Please, continue reading.
THE ORIGINS OF THE SHOEMAKERS
Making boots for a living has been a Couch occupation since the first half of the 19th Century. My 3rd great grandfather, John Couch, was a shoemaker, or to give it its’ proper title, a cordwainer.
This word derives from the word “cordwain” or “cordovan” and was the leather that was used in Spain during the Middle Ages.
My ancestors originally came from the county of Devon in southwest England. As the trade in the area where he lived was leather he naturally learned the trade as shoemaker. The family before had worked the land as agricultural laborers.
John Couch and his wife Ann had a very large family. They had twelve children. Can you believe it?
Three of their sons, Thomas, William, and my 2nd great grandfather Henry Couch all took up the profession. They would also all make the move from the north of Devon to south Wales, to the bustling town of Swansea.
A NEW START FOR THE COUCH FAMILY
Henry had migrated to Swansea with his wife Elizabeth in about 1870. He probably relocated because as Swansea was a rather large industrial town he probably thought that he would find a lot of work, rather than staying in Devon.
After all during this time Swansea was known as Copperopolis as it produced 90% of the world’s copper. The town’s population dramatically increased from 17,000 in 1851 up to 65,000 in 1881.
Henry would pass on this trade to his two sons, John Couch, (my great grandfather), and George. Henry’s sons would continue to work as shoemakers for the rest of their lives.
THE ORIGINS OF COUCH THE BOOTS
John set up a shop in Union Street in Swansea and was affectionately known by the locals as “Couch The Boots“. There are a number of family stories that have been passed down to me by my father regarding my great grandfather. I’ll have to write a post one day to recite them, as well as more of my family history.
Incidentally if you are curious about your own family history you may want to check out my other website, The Genealogy Guide. You will find many guides and tips on the site that will help you to begin your genealogy journey. There are also many reviews on there that look at what products and services are available that can assist you on your journey.
Anyway, I have digressed.
Unfortunately, that is where the family trade ended. My grandfather, John Couch, (sorry there are a number of John’s in my family), decided to not continue this tradition as the shoemaking businesses was starting to dry up.
WHY I WANT TO HELP YOU!
My keen interest in genealogy has inspired me to create a second website where I can help you to find the boots that you are after. I want to continue the family trade.
I will be reviewing many different kinds of boots and show you where you can buy them. I will also be writing many how-to guides on subjects such as how to care for your boots and even how to tie up your boot laces. Just what is the best way?
After an absence of 100 years the Couch family are back in the boots business. I want to do my Couch ancestors proud by helping you get the most from your boots!
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM COUCH THE BOOTS?
As I have pointed out before the goal of this site is to review the best boots, in all different categories. And also to give you plenty of how-to guides on areas which can help you.
If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
All the best,