Nancy Elizabeth Cook, who married
William Henry Grimes,
was a granddaughter of Martin Cook, b. December 14, 1798, and Catherine (Katie)
Murchison, b. November 11, 1802.
Martin Cook and Katie Murchison were married in Wayne County, Tennessee, in
1820. They established their home on a farm known later (1900) as the Rich Moore
place, near Olive Hill. The writer is in possession of old deeds to three
different tracts of land which were purchased by Martin Cook and which
apparently formed a part of this farm. Two of the deeds were from John
Hollingsworth for tracts of 50 and 80 acres and were recorded September 12,
1844. The price specified was $750.00. The third deed, for 25 acres, was from
Martin Cook's father-in-law, Kenneth Murchison. It was recorded February 18,
1853, and the price was $250.00. The land was described as being situated on
Hardin's Creek in Wayne County, District 7, Range 11, Section 5.
Katie Murchison's father was Kenneth Murchison who emigrated to this country
from Scotland. In the settlement of Kenneth Murchison's estate in 1868, the
following parties signed as his other heirs: John McCarin Hood Murchison, Robert
Murchison, Mary Harris and Tipsie Baughman. Apparently these were his children
or grandchildren. The name of his wife is not available.
Martin Cook, according to a letter written in 1922 by his
grandson, Dr. K. L. Cook (193), a practicing physician of Clifton, Tennessee,
was a descendent of Mordecai Cooke of Virginia. Dr. Cook's letter was published
in 1923 in a book, "Two Families of Virginia, Cooke and Booth," by Dr. and Mrs.
W. C. Stubbs. I quote from this letter:
"My great grandfather Cook either came from Virginia or South Carolina, and it
is my understanding that he was a son of Mordecai Cooke. My great grandfather
Martin Cooke came to Wayne County in 1812. His family consisted of three boys,
Martin, John and Daniel, and two girls, Katie and Elizabeth, and by second
"Martin, Jr. married Katie Murchison and had three sons, John L., Kenneth, and
William, and two daughters, Elizabeth, married Thos. Moore and had six children,
and Nancy, married B. S. Hardin, and had five children. John L., (my father),
married Mary Ann Johnson, and had 10 children, ...."
There were many Mordecai Cookes in Virginia during the 18th century, and we do
not know which of these was Martin Cook's father. However, they were all,
according to history, descended from Mordecai Cooke, the immigrant, who was
recorded in Greer's "Immigrants to Virginia" as being in Elizabeth City County,
Virginia in 1639. Several descendents of Mordecai Cooke, the immigrant, are
reported in Dr. Stubbs' book as having settled in Kentucky and Middle Tennessee
between 1790 and 1820.
Martin Cook referred to in Dr. Cook's letter as Martin, Jr., and John Cook,
probably his brother, were recorded in the U. S. census report for Wayne County,
Tennessee, in 1820. They were both reported to be young married men without
children. The only other Cooks recorded as being in Wayne County in 1820 were
Jonathan, Christian, and William Cook, all young married men with children under
10 years of age, and John Cook, Sr., over 45, with a wife under 45, two sons
over 16 and a son and a daughter under 10.
If Dr. Cook was correct about his great grandfather being named Martin, then
Martin must have died or moved away from Wayne Co. before 1820. There appears to
be some reason, based on age and family status, for thinking that the man
recorded as John Cook, Sr., may have been the person referred to as Martin.
The author has no information on the descendents of Martin Cook's brothers, John
and Fred, or of his sisters, Katie and Elizabeth, but his brother, Daniel, may
have been the Daniel Cook who settled in Camden, Alabama, about 1820. Mrs.
Carrie (Cook) Rouse now living in Camden, Alabama, informs me that her
grandfather was named Daniel Cook and that he was born Feb. 14, 1795, in
Chesterfield, Darlington District, South Carolina. (Martin Cook was born 1798).
She states that he grew up in Camden, S. C., fought in the War of 1812, passed
through west Alabama, liked the country and after the war married Martha Norwood
of Darlington District, S. C., and settled in what is now Camden, Alabama, about
1820. Several years later Daniel's wife died and about 1844 or 1845 he married,
second, Caroline McWilliams. By his first wife he had several children who grew
up and moved to Louisiana and Texas. Frank Cook, Mrs. Rouse's father, born Jan.
28, 1847, was Daniel Cook's oldest child by his second wife. There were two
other children by this marriage who lived and died in Camden, Alabama. Daniel
Cook died in Camden, Alabama, in 1878.
From Dr. Stubbs' book, mentioned above, we learn the following facts about
Mordecai Cooke, the immigrant.
He came to America, from England where his relatives lived in the counties of
Suffolk, Norfork, Essex, and Hereford. He was recorded as an immigrant in
Elizabeth City County, Virginia, in 1639, and was in York County, Virginia, in
1646. In 1648, Susan Peasley, widow of Michael Peasley, of Roccosin, York
County, Virginia, was known as his wife. The story handed down through many
generations that his first wife was scalped by the Indians and that his second
wife was Joan Constable, a redheaded Jewess, brought over among the "Virgins"
for wives of the colonists has been proved to be a myth. Mordecai Cook patented
1174 acres of land on Mock Jack Bay, in Glocester County, Virginia, on October
20, 1650. Here he established his home and raised his family. The place was
named "Mordecai's Mount". This place remained in the Cooke family for more than
100 years. Upon the death of Mordecai 5 Cooke (Mordecai 4 - Mordecai 3 -
Mordecai 2 - Mordecai 1) in 1769 "Mordecai's Mount" passed by will to his
mother, Sarah Smith Cooke Throckmorton, and the name was changed to "Church
Mordecai Cooke, the immigrant, died before 1667, but he and his wife Susan
Peasley Cooke, left four sons, Mordecai, Thomas, Giles, and John, and a daughter
Elizabeth. All of these children married and had issue. The four boys had a
total of twelve sons who became the progenitors of a large number of Cookes who
were prominent in Virginia and the Carolinas during the 18th and early 19th
centuries. Law and medicine were favorite professions of this line of Cooks.
Many of the male descendents bore the name of Mordecai, John, Thomas, Giles and
In the first edition of Dr. Stubbs' book, published in 1896, the following
statement is made regarding Mordecai Cooke and his descendents: "Settling in
Glocester in 1650 at 'Mordecai's Mount', the Cookes have always been large
landholders. 'Wareham', 'Woodlawn', 'Woodbury', 'Cedars', 'Beechly', and 'Chalk
Level', are also old homesteads of this family ....
"The Cookes have always been a brave, hospitable, and peace loving people. They
have filled prominent places in parochial, State and National governments. They
have intermarried with the best families of the country, and today their blood
may be found co-mingled with that of hundreds of other families in almost every
State in the Union, but notably in the Southern and Middle Western States.
Wherever found, the gentle, persistent, hospitable, sport-loving spirit of the
Cookes is apt to reveal itself."
The following notice which appeared in a local paper in Glocester County,
Virginia, in 1888 regarding the death of Francis Whiting 5 Cooke (Mordecai 4 -
John 3 - Mordecai 2 - Mordecai 1) will give some idea as to the prominence of
the Cooke family. "Mr. Cooke was born at the 'Cedars', in this county, on the
9th of July 1802, and died at the place of his nativity. Mr. Cooke at the time
of his death was one of the most respected and perhaps oldest citizen of this
county. He was of the ancient family of the Cookes of 'Wareham' at which place
he was laid to rest with his ancestors on the 6th day of the month. His family
have been conspicuous in this county and in the state for more than two hundred
years, holding many offices of trust and confidence, and they always by their
high character, domestic virtues, and lavish hospitality, deserved the respect
and esteem of the people among whom they lived. His father was Col. Mordecai
Cooke, who for some time represented this county in the Colonial House of
Burgesses. One of his brothers was Col. Giles B. Cooke, a distinguished citizen
of Norfolk, a leading lawyer of that city and her representative in the General
Assembly. Another brother was Col. Mordecai Cook, of Portsmouth, perhaps during
his life the most prominent citizen of that city. He was known over the
Commonwealth as a member of the Legislature and as the Grand Master of Masons,
and his portrait now adorns the Grand Lodge rooms at Richmond. One of his
sisters married Mr. D'Arcy Paul, of Petersburg, so well known for his piety and
good works, and whose memory is so dearly cherished by the Methodist Episcopal
Church, of which he was for the most of his life a leading member. One sister,
Mrs. Rose, of Portsmouth, survives him."
Descendents of Martin Cook