Pilgrimage of William Cook II
Abt. 1725 VA
About 1725 - William Cook II was born about 1725 in Virginia, the only known son and child of William Cook I and Anne Griffin (Griffith). (The Cook Book by Eunice Cook Konold, p.29) There is speculation that William Cook II may have had a brother John Cook. Scroggins2-Cook File, p. 1)
The Cook Family Bible is an account on an old Bible fly leaf with the printed title, “Family Record”, subtitled “Miscellaneous”, gives us some very interesting information. The Bible has apparently been in the possession of descendants of Isaac Cook, second son of William Cook and Keturah Crutcher.
On the first page of the Bible narrative it reads that William Cook I emigrated from England in the beginning of the Seventeenth Century (Eighteenth). He married a Miss Griffin and reared one son William II. He married Margaret Jones about 1750, and reared 5 sons and 3 daughters. (Our Ancestors, manuscript by Merlyn Joseph Cook, p.26.)
William Cook II was taxed in Lunenburg Co. in 1748 and 1749. He appears to have been living with Matthew Talbot, Sr. in 1748. (Scroggins1-Cook File, p. 2) Abt. 1750 Lunenburg Co., VA William Cook II married Margaret Jones and they started their married life in Lunenburg Co. in the far western part of Virginia. In 1746, Brunswick Co. was split to form the county of Lunenburg. The present day counties of Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Halifax, Charlotte, Pittsylvania, Henry, Patrick and Franklin were in the original Lunenburg Co. (Our Ancestors, manuscript by Merlyn Joseph Cook, p. 6.)
In 1751 William Cook II was listed in the vestry book of Cumberland Parish as a lay reader for the Church of England at the houses of Joseph Rentfro and Mark Cole on the Blackwater River. (Our Ancestors, manuscript by Merlyn Joseph Cook, p. 19, 20)
1752-1767 Halifax Co., VA - They were living in Halifax Co. when it was formed from Lunenburg Co.in 1752, including all the territory that is now Pittsylvania, Henry, Franklin and Patrick Counties. (Scroggins1 Cook File, p. 4)
Children, Land Transactions, Other Points of Interest:
William Cook III
William Cook II was listed on polls taken at an election of burgesses on July 17, 1765. (Scroggins1-Cook File, p. 5)
Children, Land Transactions, Other Points of Interest:
William Cook II was taxed in Pittsylvania Co., in 1767. (Scroggins1-Cook File, p. 4)
On Mar. 16, 1778 William Cook II was appointed with others, to appraise the estate of Robert Hill, deceased. (Scroggins1-Cook File, p. 8)
Apr. 20, 1778 Sold 50 acres in Henry Co. on the Pigg River. (Our Ancestors, manuscript by Merlyn Joseph Cook, p.17)
Sept. 6, 1779 Sold 12 acres in Henry Co. on the Pigg River. (Our Ancestors, manuscript by Merlyn Joseph Cook, p.17)
Jun. 1, 1782 Patent granted for 107 acres on the North Fork of Pigg River. Patent granted for 187 acres on Hatchett Run Both transactions located in Henry Co. (Our Ancestors, manuscript by Merlyn Joseph Cook, p.18)
The 1782 Henry County, VA Personal Property Tax List has William Cook II with 1 tithe, no Negroes, 4 horses and 13 cattle. (http://www.is.netl~newriver/VA/henr1782.htm)
July 22, 1784 Sold 67 acres, 100 acres, 187 acres on the Pigg River at the mouth of Hatchet Run and both sides of river and said Run in Henry Co. The date of this sale taken with other evidence indicating the Cook’s intention to leave Virginia, as well as the extent on the sale, 354 acres, would indicate the Cook’s were selling off all their Virginia land just before moving. (Our Ancestors, manuscript by Merlyn Joseph Cook, p.18)
1784 Migration to KY - Helen Cook and her husband John Bohannon went to Kentucky in October 1779 where they settled at Wilson’s Station, which was also known as Fort Liberty. Rhoda Cook and her husband Joshua Bohannon may have gone out to the frontier about the same time. (Scroggins1-Cook File, p. 10)
William Cook and Margaret Jones and the rest of the children followed Helen and Rhoda to Kentucky. It has been reported that William and Margaret moved there in 1780, but they were still in Virginia in 1784. On September 26,1783 a group of their neighbors and associates in Virginia wrote a letter of recommendation for William, which was addressed to those with whom he might settle. (Scroggins1-Cook File, p. 10)
Henry County, Virginia: Sept. 26, 1783
This is to certify that William Cook has been resident in this place for near Thirty years; and has always behaved himself unblameable; and demeaned himself as a good Citizen, Patriot; and friend; to his Country & has faithfully Acted in the Civil department - and now being disposed to move to the Western Waters, we recommend him to the Inhabitants of that Country hoping he will meet with as warm a reception as the Merits of his Character intitles him to.
Joseph Anthony Jesse Heard J.P.
A. Hughes J.P. John Hall
Peter Saunders Col William Hall
John Dillard J.P. Swinfield Hill J.P.
Saml Hairston James Calloway Cty.
Lt. Moses Greer (Jr.?) Campbell County
Thos Cooper Thos. Hale Captn.
Jno. Rentrfro J.P. Acquilla Greer
Robt. Jones Senr. Jesse Rentfro
Robt. Jones Junr. Abraham Penn Colo.
Thos. Jones Junr. Henry Jones
It seems likely that the Cook’s entered Kentucky through the Cumberland Gap that was about 250 miles from their Virginia home. After crossing the Gap, they would follow Daniel Boone’s trail by Boonesboro, Lexington, and settling on a farm on the Forks of the Elkhorn, about four miles east of Frankfort, KY (Woodford Co., now Franklin Co.). This was approximately 300 mile trip from the Gap. (Our Ancestors, manuscript by Merlyn Joseph Cook, p.22)
When the Cook’s came to the Forks of the Elkhorn, there were only half a dozen families in the whole area. According to tradition, William’s death occurred within a few months after their arrival, and left Margaret with a large family responsibility. The remaining children ranged in age from nine to about twenty-two. Margaret had her hands full, with very little income and all the dangers of daily living on this frontier outpost. (Our Ancestors, manuscript by Merlyn Joseph Cook, p. 23)
In 1785 Franklin Co., VA, was organized from parts of Henry and Bedford counties with part of Patrick county being added to it later. (Scroggins1-Cook File, p. 4)
Since Franklin Co. was formed shortly after the Cook’s left from Virginia, they usually in after years, identified their place of abode in Virginia as Franklin Co. (Our Ancestors, manuscript by Merlyn Joseph Cook, p. 6)
Submitted: Chas. L. Cook, 3rd great-grandson
All information is the property of Charlie Cook. Please contact Charlie directly with any questions or comments.