Cook Genealogy


Cook Genealogy

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 marriage, Fred.

"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 Hill".

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 William.

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

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