Friday, September 14, 2007

John Cooke comes to Oceana, Wyoming county West Virginia

In the autumn of 1799, John Cooke brought his wife, four sons and a daughter-in-law to the cabin on Laurel and Clear Forks. He had come a long way from the day in 1772 when he and a girl named Nellie Goodal (or Pemberton) had been shanghaied aboard a vessel on the Thames in London port (Cooke was born in London twenty years before) and started on his adventures in the New World. Apprenticed to a planter in the Valley of Virginia upon his arrival in some American port, Cooke was a victim of that system of slavery-with-a-time-limit that was used to provide England's colonies with white labourers. The girl he had invited to dinner aboard the ship of a supposed friend was also apprenticed. Cooke served out his apprenticeship, and then helped the girl serve out hers, feeling obligated, no doubt, because he was responsible for her misfortune. Misfortune, it must surely have seemed at first, but the opportunities of the frontier world soon became obvious to Cooke and Miss Goodal (Pemberton). As soon as their term an bonded servants ended, John and Nellie were married and established their home in Shenandoah County, Virginia, where their five children were born. His daughter married in Virginia. Indian uprisings in the western part of Virginia and along the Ohio River called John Cooke to military duty in 1774. A member of Captain Buford's Bedford County Riflemen, he marched with General Andrew Lewis to meet the forces of Cornstalk, Chief of the Northern Confederacy, at Point Pleasant. Before the actual fighting began in this battle, however, John, and others were dispatched to Fort Clendenin for supplies; nevertheless, he is listed on the Point Pleasant Monument as a soldier in that battle. In January, 1777, John Cooke enlisted as a private in the American Revolutionary Army, serving under Captains Jonathan Landon, Abraham Hite, and George Waite in Colonel James Wood's regiment, the Eighth Virginia Continentals. Cooke was in the battle of Monmouth, New Jersey, and was later with "Mad Anthony" Wayne in the storming of Stony Point on the Hudson. He was discharged from the army on December 29, 1779. At the close of the Revolution, seeking greater opportunity and freedom, Cooke moved his family to the Narrows of New River. While there, he and his sons served with the Rangers, an organization for protecting the frontier against Indian attacks. On May 27, 1793, John and his son Thomas, a boy, from Montgomery County, Virginia, were with Captain Hugh Caperton's Company of Rangers at Fort Lee on the Elk and Kanawha Rivers, guarding the Kanawha Valley settlements. "Mad Anthony" Wayne's victory over the Indians in 1794 ended the Indian menace of the Ohio, and permitted white settlement to move westward almost unmolested. The rich hunting grounds of the wilderness called to Cooke, who found life at the Narrows too tame after his military service. In 1799, he resisted the call no more, but with his small family moved into the region his children later named Wyoming County, after the Wyoming tribe of Indians.

Source:

Oceana and the Cook Family

Number 6 - Folk Studies

August, 1940

COMPILED AND WRITTEN BY WORKERS OF THE WRITERS PROJECT
WORK PROJECTS ADMINISTRATION IN WEST VIRGINIA
Sponsored by
State Department of Education
W. W. Trent, State Superintendent of Free Schools
Co-Sponsored by
Wyoming County Board of Education
Wyoming County Court

15 comments:

carl said...

hi im carl e cook i live in ashland ky .and was borned in logan co w.va my dad was howard j cook ,i ran across john m cooke when i was working on my family history ,he was my great grand father 3 gen. removed ,im going to follow up on his life when i go th madison in the spring.

Anonymous said...

My name is Dustin White and I am a direct decendent of John Cooke on my mothers side. I decend from the Cooks who settled Boone Co. WV. John's grandson, Floyd Cook, was my 8th great grandfather, making John my 10th. Floyd and his family settled on a mountain in Boone Co. thats is now named for the family, Cook Mountain. The mountain has now fallen victim of Mountain Top Removal Mining. All that remains of the Cooks who once lived there is the cemetery of those buried there that is now completely circled by a barren moon scape. The history of the land has been blown up and pushed into the valley. I hope that others who have an interest in John Cooke will speak out against this destructive from of mining. And those who are related need to speak out because that mountain was part of your history too. You can go to YouTube and search "Cook Mountain" and you should be able to find my videos so you can see for yourself what they have done.

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rickcook23 said...

Hi my name is Rick(ey) Cook and im a direct descendent of John Cooke. I would like more info about this man and his family. I know his parents were John Cooke and Elizabeth Gurney of London, England. I was trying to make a connection with Francis Cook who was on the Mayflower, but no success with that yet.

Jeremy Cook said...

My name is Jeremy Cook and I live in Iowa. I am a direct descendent of John Cooke, he would be my Great (x6) Grandfather (7 generations). I am also a descendent of Floyd Cook and his son William Chapman. I have heard of mountaintop removal mining and harbor no love for it. I appreciate the additions of everybody, and hope we can take the lineage back farther than John Cooke's father.

Anonymous said...

Hi I am Randall Cook, I am a direct decendent to John Cooke, My uncle Robert Cook has the complete geneaology of John Cooke. Unfortunately there isn't much info on him before he left London.

Gwynne said...

Hi Cousins...my name is Gwynne Cook Pelton, and I am a direct descendant of John Cooke. I'm 7th Generation, and descend from Thomas Cooke's 8th child James Wilson Cook. His son, my great-grandfather Issac left West Virginia around the turn of the century and settled in the Mt. Pleasant Community just outside of Covington, VA. There is a Cook family cemetery behind the public cemetery where my great-grandparents, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. are all buried.

george said...

My name is George D. Cook. My great grandmother was John Cooke's great great granddaughter. So that makes me his great grandson 4 times removed. My father is Larry T. Cook, his dad my grandfather was George Harley Cook and his father was George Paris Cook.

george said...

My name is George D. Cook. My great grandmother was John Cooke's great great granddaughter. So that makes me his great grandson 4 times removed. My father is Larry T. Cook, his dad my grandfather was George Harley Cook and his father was George Paris Cook.

Jimmie said...

Hi ..Cousins..My name is James Howard Cook, and I am a direct descendant of John Cooke. my great grandfather five generations removed the Rev Henry Howard Cook's statue stands in front of the Wyoming county court house in Pinveille ,Wv. I was born and raise in Wyoming county. My middle name "Howard" is from Henry Howard Cooks' name. My father is Arlis V Cook of Pineville grandfather Garland Otto Cook great grandfather Walter R. Cook etc. Would like to have a big get together somewhere in the area of Oceana, Wv. Should you cousins want to do so just give me a contact at "jhcelect@gmail.com". when I get enough interest I'll work with the locals to start the ball rolling..What you say...James Howard Cook

Lin Formwalt said...

Hello, I am the wife of Greg Formwalt in Parkville, MD. Greg's mother was Virginia Lee Cook of Beckley, WVa. John Cooke is Greg's 6x Great Grandfather. Is there a way I could get a copy of this interesting and informative blog about John Cooke. Also, I read the other comments. If there is ever a reunion planned, Greg and I would love to attend. Thanks for your help.

Greg's mother: Virginia Lee Cook, her father: Wm.Leet Cook, Grandfather: Harvey Cook, Great Grandfather:John Sampson Cook, 2x grandfather: James Cook, 3x grandfather: John Cooke

Anonymous said...

My name is Steven Cooke and I had a Y-DNA Test with FTDNA which matched to the descendants of Abraham Cooke and Martha Clayton of New Kent, VA...However, I descend from on paper Abraham Cooke and Blanch January. The account from their grandson Warner C. Cooke said "most of the Cooks stayed in Virginia and settled in different localities. There is a greater number of direct descendents of Cooks in what is now West Virginia. There is a stream and valley in West Virginia by the name of Garden Creek where the first of the Cooks settled and have lived there for generations. Hundreds gather at their reunions. Their route was down the Green Brier River and Gauley, Kanawha and New Rivers"...these rivers are around the area of where John Cooke settled... has any "male Cook/e" taken a DNA test??? My line of Cooke according to DNA is NOT related to the Mayflower Cookes who go back to Gidea Hall the only Cooke family that has proven by DNA that they come from the same family of Francis Cooke of the Mayflower is the Mordecai Cooke of Mordecai's mount...and testers are more than welcome to contact me at johnsosl@cox.net...thank you

Anonymous said...

Hello Folks, I am Ramona Cook, I too am a direct descendant of John Cooke. My Grandfather is George Washington Cook and my Father is Otis Randall Cook. I once asked Daddy, when I was about 5 years old, if everyone in the world was a Cook ? he just laughed and said, Oh honey, there are more Cook's than white folks." Of course that is true. Our immediate family has wandered all over the USA..something Grandpa never wanted to happen because, he said, we would lose track of each other and that has happened. It's good to see this blog post and I will say too I miss the mountains and all the beauty that is there. We lived in Wyoming County.

Anonymous said...

My name is Jo Calli. I am also a direct descendant of John Cook. He is my 6th great grandfather. My line of the Cooke family runs through Isaac Cook 4th great grandfather who was the son of John "Old Jack" Cook (5th great grandfather). Recently, the graves of John "Old Jack" Cook and his son Isaac, who was the county probate judge from 1872 till 1878 were discovered just off state rt. 971. It is believed that the land belonged to Isaac according to historians. The markers were covered with thick brush and trees. Volunteers cleared off the small cemetery and found grave markers for several other Cook family members, and still a few remaining graves that were unmarked. It was an important discovery because it had remained a mystery as to where the graves of a few prominent historic Wyoming County figures were located.