My 7th grade daughter, Amelia, went to Charleston, SC, on a overnight field trip with her classmates. They were going on a eco tour on the Isle of Palms and then to Patriots Point. There is a dinner cruise around Charleston Harbor tonight. Tomorrow they are going to the Market area in downtown Charleston where they will shop and take a carriage ride. Then they will lunch at Waterfront Park and go to the SC Aquarium. Tomorrow night they will return home.
I told my husband a few nights ago that this could be a life changing trip for Amelia. He said “Why? She has been to Charleston (Patriots Point) before.”
I told him the story of the vacation I took with my mom to the Isle of Palms in July, 1986. I was 9 years old. I remember going to the beach and getting a bad sunburn the first day. The next day we went to Patriots Point and took a boat tour out to Fort Sumter.
After the boat tour, mom and I went to Fort Moultrie. I remember the dark corridors being rather spooky. Mom told me a story of going to Fort Moultrie with her father and my older sister. Her father was talking loudly on purpose in the corridors and the echo of his voice scared my sister.
That vacation to Isle of Palms in 1986 was important for 2 reasons. First, it was the catalyst for my extreme interest for Civil War history that eventually branched out to my interest in South Carolina History from 1770- 1865. Secondly, that trip to the Isle Palms in July, 1986 was important because my mother died 2 months later in September.
I had been on summer vacation to the Isle of Palms with parents many times but 1986 was different. My mom introduced me to something that would alter the course of my life. I will add that my grandfather, mom’s father, loved Civil War History and used to tell me stories about Wade Hampton and Stonewall Jackson when I was younger, so I had a background before the visit to Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie.
It was that summer vacation and my interest in Civil War History that led me to the College of Charleston in 1995 where I majored in US History. I branched out from the Civil War to the Revolutionary War and Historic Preservation, then to genealogy. I have found my niche in genealogy and writing because genealogy encompasses all areas and time periods of history.
So, don’t tell me a vacation or trip can’t change someone’s life forever!
***This is my 50th post!!!***
Who is Daniel Cook?
The first time we meet Daniel Cook is in 1795 when he is a witness on Samuel Findley’s will. That says to me that he is living in the vicinity of Pendleton District, SC where Findley’s will was executed.
In September 1808, Daniel Cook is living next to Cornelius Cook on the Saluda River according to a land deed where Benjamin Maddox sold 100 acres to Cornelius Cook.
In the 1810 census of Laurens County, Daniel Cook is between 26-44 years of age with a wife and 10 children. The oldest child could be at least 25 year old which means earliest birth year could be 1785 or 1786. This would make Daniel closer to 43-44 years of age. This makes Daniel a contemporary to Cornelius Cook and Mary Cook Donaldson, who were both born between 1770-1775.
In April 1814, Daniel Cook bought a bay horse from the estate of Benjamin Johnson. Benjamin Johnson was a buyer on the estate of Thomas Donaldson in 1811.
By 1820, Daniel Cook either died along his wife and 10 children or he moved on to some other location. He is no other records in Laurens County after 1820. I think he may have moved somewhere where the grass was a little bit greener.
All this evidence put together makes me think that Daniel Cook was related to Cornelius Cook and Mary Donaldson Cook. The million dollar question is how?
Please feel free to leave questions or comments in the comments section. I love interacting with my readers!
This past Saturday (Feb 16), my family and I met up with my distant cousin, Jim Scott, in southern Greenville County. He showed us where my ggggrandfather, Nimrod Donaldson, was buried. We had to park on the side of the road and walk through a briar filled, wooded area.
The first thing that I immediately noticed about the family cemetery was that it is surrounded by this 4 foot high wall. There was a big gap where perhaps a tree fell through the wall. My family was able to get through the gap and into the cemetery itself. There are several graves in the cemetery including Nimrod Donaldson, Sallie McCullough Donaldson ( Nimrod’s wife), William McCullough (Sallie’s father) and Jane McCullough (Sallie’s mother). The graves were hardly legible so it was hard to tell who was who. There were other graves in there as well, mostly likely children of B.P West and Mary Ann Donaldson West. Mary Ann Donaldson was the 3rd eldest daughter of Nimrod and Sallie Donaldson. Mary Ann and her husband Benjamin Perry West probably lived behind the cemetery, according to a 1886 map of Greenville County.
Jim then took us to where Nimrod Donaldson’s mill was located on Horse Creek, less than a mile from the cemetery itself. I never realized how big Nimrod’s property was until I actually saw it. He owned 1.200 acres until he sold it to his daughter, Anna Donaldson Miller in 1880. Nimrod and Sallie lived with Anna D. Miller and her husband, David L. Miller, until their deaths in 1886 and 1883 respectively.
It was surreal actually seeing and walking on the land that my ggggrandfather, Nimrod, once owned. I definitely felt a familial connection to the land.
Cousin Jim Scott is in the process of cleaning up and restoring the cemetery in order to preserve it. There is a massive, hardwood tree that has to be cut and removed before it falls and damages the wall any further. I am looking forward to seeing the end result of his restoration efforts.
A new year means new genealogical discoveries!!!!
Last year was very productive but I didn’t get any closer to find Cornelius Cook’s and Mary Cook Donaldson’s parents. I researched the Abraham Cook family out of New Kent, Va as well as the associated families of James Williams and Samuel Henderson. Various members of all 3 of these families moved to Ninety Six District (present day Laurens County, South Carolina0 together and fought in the Little River Militia together.
I thought that a John Cook who died at the Massacre of Hayes Station may have been Cornelius Cook’s and Mary Cook’s father, but a trusted source told me that John didn’t have children. This John Cook had a brother, James Cook, who served in the Little River Militia during the American Revolution. Both John and James’ father, Clayton Cook, was born in New Kent (Hanover) Co, Va and later died somewhere in NC in 1770, although no will has been found.
I still believe that Cornelius Cook and Mary Cook Donaldson are some how connected to this line of Cooks but I haven’t found concrete evidence. My working theory is that Cornelius and Mary were from the area of Greenham Church in North Carolina, location unknown. It is stated in the Turkey Creek Church Record that Cornelius Cook came from Greenham Church in North Carolina. I think that the parents of Cornelius Cook and Mary Cook Donaldson were dead before they arrived in South Carolina in 1792-1793. Cornelius Cook may have been Mary’s guardian because she married Thomas Donaldson shortly after arriving to Abbeville, South Carolina.
Objectives for this year……
- Find out where Greenham Church is.
- Figure out who the Daniel Cook who witnessed Samuel Findley’s will in 1795 in Abbeville is. He could be a possible brother or relative of Cornelius Cook and Mary Cook Donaldson since all 3 were in Abbeville during the same time period.
- Try to locate all siblings of the James Cook and John Cook, sons of Clayton Cook.
Hopefully, all these little mysteries will be solved this year.
This post isn’t genealogy related…..
What Christmas means to me…..
For me, Christmas is remembering that Jesus was born to save me from my sins…my sins of insecurity, anger, selfishness, impatience, and laziness. Christmas is also a time of gratitude and giving to others.
For me, Christmas is about family traditions. I am very old fashioned by nature. I am a “old soul” (that is why I love genealogy and history in general). I don’t like over the top decorations and lights. Half of the decorations on my tree were ones I had on my tree growing up. I have a Frosty the Snowman figurine and Silent Night Music from my childhood that I display every year. I like listening to Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole Christmas songs. I like watching all the Christmas shows and movies on TV. I read Luke 2:1-20 and “The Night Before Christmas” to my children on Christmas Eve. I make cookies with my children a few days before Christmas and we give them to neighbors.
For me, Christmas is about peace and calm. The song “Silent Night” really epitomizes the Spirit of Christmas. It is a “be still and know that I am God (Psalms 46:10)” moment or moments. It is not about giving in to the chaos of buying presents or making sure the family Christmas card depicts us as a perfect family. The presents will not fulfill us spiritually and the Christmas cards will eventually end up in the trash can.
What does Christmas mean to you?
This isn’t a genealogy post but rather a story of places.
I like to travel to different and interesting places. Sometimes my trips are planned and sometimes they are spur of the moment. I like “off the beaten path” places and not “let’s go here because everyone else goes here” places.
My wanderlust began as a young child. My parents used to take my sister and I to the Isle of Palms, located near Charleston, South Carolina, every summer. My parents rented a beach house or condo with easy access to the beach.
During our stay at the beach, we would go to the now defunct Trawler Restaurant on Shem Creek. I was convinced that there was a witch that live upstairs in the fake lighthouse that was attached to the building. There was a treasure chest of lollipops at the exit and a cool gift shop there also. I used to think a troll lived under the drawbridge at Shem Creek also, you know, like in “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”.
When I was in college I went to New York City and London. I thought they were interesting places….”a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there” kinds of places. After I got married, I started going to Myrtle Beach. I really don’t care for Myrtle Beach. It is too touristy and frankly just not very interesting. I went to Savannah which is also very touristy but is very interesting. Savannah has history and an artsy, bohemian feel too it (must be the SCAD influence).
This Memorial Day and Labor Day Weekends I was tired of camping in Myrtle Beach and longed for somewhere else to spend time. My husband and I decided to go to Beaufort, St Helena Island, Port Royal, and Tybee Island. We didn’t spend a lot of time in Beaufort, except for going to a dangerous place called “The Chocolate Tree”. St. Helena was a quaint little place with lots of marshes and pluff mud. St.Helena is home to the Shrimp Shack Restaurant and the Chapel of Ease Ruins. No tacky tourist shops or hotels on St. Helena which was nice to see. Tybee Island is a tourist destination but it is more artsy and eclectic than Myrtle Beach. It is also little more upscale that Myrtle Beach. My dad and mom honeymooned in Tybee Island and the other Georgia Sea Islands in 1962.
I would like to go back to Tybee Island and eventually visit the other Sea Islands and learn more about their stories. I also owe a overdue visit to the Isle of Palms.
I decided to email a genealogist in North Carolina named Diane L Richard about the “Greenham Church” brick wall. She promptly responded and said there was no such Greenham Church in North Carolina. She said it could have been a transcription error in the record and the transcriber meant “Greensboro” instead of “Greenham”.
I told that there is a Grenham Road in Greensboro. She said that Greenham church may not have been an actual church but a location. I honestly think that Greenham Church could be a meeting house since meeting houses were prevalent in the early 1800’s.
One step closer to finding Cornelius Cook’s and Mary Cook’s parents hopefully…….