It is a new year….

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……

  1. Find out where Greenham Church is.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


Author: samanthanifong

I have been a avid history buff since age 10. I graduated from the College of Charleston with a B.A. in US History. I have been researching my family for 12 years. I specialize in South Carolina history and research. I do freelance genealogy work centered around South Carolina between 1750- 1880. If you have ancestors in South Carolina between 1750-1880 that you would like me to locate, please contact me. Disclaimer.....My research is based on actual evidence which I may or may not post. Any photographs or documentation that I use is my intellectual property unless otherwise noted and may not be used or borrowed without my expressed written consent.

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