Revisiting Greenham Church…..

In my recent research, I stumbled upon something of interest. I found a man named Green Hill who was a Methodist Minister. Green Hill hosted Methodist preachers at his home in Louisburg, NC from 1785- 1794. He moved to Tennessee in 1796. Maybe instead of “Greenham Church”, it was “Green Hill Church” that Cornelius came from before going to Turkey Creek Baptist Church in 1801.

Also, Cornelius Cook purchased the books “Westley Sermons” and “Simpson’s Plea”  from Reverend Zechariah Arnold’s estate in 1827 in Laurens, SC. Both books were affiliated with the Methodist Church and Methodist teachings. I am still researching this in hopes it will help me the birth location of Cornelius Cook and Mary Cook Donaldson, and also help me to find their parents.

I always welcome comments and questions, so please speak up.

Have a great week!

What I am working on for August……

Hello to my fan base. For August, I am trying to ascertain where Cornelius Cook and Mary Cook Donaldson originated from, assuming that they are in fact siblings and not cousins.

I have narrowed down a time for when they came to the Laurens/ Abbeville area…1792- 1793. I came up with 1792- 1793 because 1) Cornelius Cook is not on the Laurens/ Abbeville census records of 1790 2) Mary Cook married Thomas Donaldson in 1792/ 1793 according to first daughter’s birth date and 3) Cornelius witnessed a land deed between Benjamin Magee and Thomas Williamson in Dec 1794 in Laurens.

I have a place of origin sort of for Cornelius Cook. He stated in the Turkey Creek Church Records in Nov 1801 that he came from Greenham Church, North Carolina. I have no idea where Greenham Church is, but I know that it is in North Carolina. That is a beginning.

My next plan is to search estate records in each North Carolina county using Family Search and Ancestry up to 1792-1793 when Cornelius Cook and Mary Cook Donaldson moved to South Carolina.

I haven’t given up on the idea that Cornelius Cook and Mary Cook Donaldson may be the children of the Cornelius Cook who died at the Battle of Fishing Creek in present day Chester Co (or maybe York Co), South Carolina in August 1780. If dad was fighting in a battle, then the children were most likely staying with mom or relatives in a safe location away from the fighting. This theory is in the back of my mind.

Please stay tuned in and please comment if you like this post. Thank you.

What I have been working on for June 2019….

This is a land deed for 272 acres from Armistead Oakley to Cornelius Cook in Laurens District in 1805. Cornelius neighbors are as follows: John Watkins-northeast, William Dennington and James Rosemond- northeast, Samuel Nabors- southwest, and William Maddox- southeast.

I am particularly interested in John Watkins because there was Cornelius Cook in Sampson Co, NC in 1786 who had a sister, Ann Cook Watkins (Estate Record of James Cook, Sampson Co, NC, 1786). Ann Cook Watkins was married to William Watkins. I think this particular William Watkins moved to Pendleton District in 1797. William Watkins had a brother named John, which could be the same John mentioned in the deed. I do have a theory that the Cornelius Cook of Laurens and Mary Cook Donaldson of Abbeville could be the children of Cornelius Cook mentioned in James Cook’s estate record in 1786 but I have yet to prove it.

All it takes is one summer vacation….

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!




Who is Daniel Cook…..

***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!

The Cemetery Visit….

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. 52151367_10157099845214846_6547191272065466368_n

What Christmas means to me….

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?

Merry Christmas!