Banbury's St Mary's church records date back to January 1558; the year that Elizabeth I came to the throne. The earliest Cox records are:
- 1st Cox Burial: 12th Sept 1577 COCKES Thomas
- 1st Cox Marriage: 8th Oct 1586 COX Thomas and Written Ann
- 1st Cox Baptism: 12th Feb 1587 COX Edward s of Thomas
As the Cox records start within 19 years of the earliest record it would be reasonable to assume that Tudor Coxes were living in Banbury prior to 1558.
Thomas Cox and Ann Written had seven children of whom only two died in infancy. Apart from an Elizabeth Cox who was baptized in 1591 and was of unknown parentage, all of the remaining six Cox baptisms, up until 1662, were to a "Mr Charles" who had not married in Banbury.
After Thomas and Ann there were 16 Cox marriages in Banbury up until 1675. Two of Thomas's sons, Edward and William, and Mr Charles's daughter Mary were all married in St. Mary's but none had any children baptised there. The remaining marriages were primarily couples from surrounding villages treating Banbury as the county town of "Banburyshire" and choosing the cathedral-like St. Mary's for their weddings rather than less prestigious local parish churches. Why this practice ceased after 1675 isn't clear because with the monarch restored in 1660 church marriages were again normal practice. However, St. Mary's fell into disrepair and was damaged during the Civil War, so maybe by 1675 it was no longer the desirable wedding venue that it had once been.
Of the 16 burials in the years up to 1690 a high proportion were neither born nor married in Banbury. Examples include:
- 1646 January the 25th Coxe Mr a trooper
- 1651 October the 20th Coxe Mrs (blank) wid
- 1684 April 20th Cox William a strainger (sic)
- 1690 September 7th Cox blank wid.
This suggests a dynamic transient population rather than a close knit community which would surely have know the first names of the Cox widows!
We then have a period of inactivity with no Cox baptisms from 1662 - 1715, no Cox marriages from 1675 - 1713 and no Cox burials from 1690 - 1716.
It would seem that Cox habitation in Banbury ceased between 1690 and 1713, roughly coinciding with the reigns of William III and Mary II and Anne. This makes it impossible to trace the Cox family tree using a top down approach as we can not determine if later Coxes were descendants of Thomas and Ann or of "Mr Charles".