Where is Greenham Church?

In 1801, Cornelius Cook  joined Turkey Creek Baptist Church by letter from Greenham Church, North Carolina (bottom right corner of the Turkey Creek Church Record). I have looked high and low for a Greenham Church in North Carolina in the late 1700’s and I have found no such Greenham Church.record-image_3Q9M-CS4N-DQJ5-5

I think if I could find Greenham Church, I could pinpoint where Cornelius Cook and his relative, Mary Cook (Donaldson) were from. I thought Cornelius Cook was the son of John Cook who was killed at Hayes Station in 1781, but now I am skeptical.

I have narrowed down the time period of Cornelius’s and Mary’s arrival to the Laurens/ Abbeville Co area between 1790 and 1792. Mary was married to Thomas Donaldson by March 1793 because her first child was born December 1793. Cornelius Cook is also not on the census in Laurens or Abbeville in 1790. Cornelius Cook’s earliest record in Laurens is when he witnessed a land transaction in December 1794 between Benjamin Magee and Thomas Williamson. (Thomas Williamson was married to the sister of Cornelius Cook’s wife.)

If anyone knows the whereabouts of Greenham Church in North Carolina in the late 1700’s, please let me know.


What I have been working on for May….

I was able to find several land deeds for James Kinman, James Cook (son of Cornelius Cook) and William Cook (son of Cornelius  Cook). The  deeds proved the locations of where I thought they lived in Laurens County (near present day Princeton).

I also found a land deed from 1825 from James Medlock to Nimrod Donaldson for 10 acres of land on Line Creek (Greenville/ Laurens County Line). Nimrod purchased the land shortly after his marriage to Sarah McCullough in Nov 1824. In 1833, William McCullough conveyed 42 acres to his son in law, Nimrod Donaldson, on Horse Creek in Greenville County.  Nimrod lived on the 42 acres conveyed to him by his Father in Law. Nimrod Donaldson and his wife, Sarah (Sallie), William McCullough and Jane McCullough are buried on the former Donaldson property.


A Cook Untangling…..

For the past 3 months, I have been untangling all the Cook families in Laurens, South Carolina. I made private Ancestry trees for them so I can the right people in the right family.

The Cook families are as follows (by head person):

James Cook (1750?- 1816) married Ursula Mitchell. Ursula was the daughter of Isaac Mitchell and Mary Williams and granddaughter of Daniel Williams and Ursula Henderson Williams.  I believe James Cook was son of Clayton Cook and Henrietta Henderson. James Cook lived near the North Creek on the Little River in 1786.

John Cook (brother of James above 1756 to 1781)- He was killed, along with several other men at he massacre at Hayes Station by William Cunningham. I think he may be my direct ancestor but I am not sure. He may have married a Randolph because there is a lease and release from a James Randolph and wife to a John Cook between the years of 1770-1777.

Randolph Cook (1760’s -1840) married a daughter of Thomas Henderson and Francis Henderson first ( he is listed as a Legatee on Frances Henderson’s will in 1813 in Laurens County, SC. His second wife was Mary Potter. He died in Illinois. I believe Randolph may be a son to John Cook above.

Cornelius Cook ( 1770-1838) married Nancy Kinman. I think Cornelius had a sister named Mary Cook ( 1775-1813) who married Thomas Donaldson. Cornelius Cook may be a nephew to James Cook and son of John Cook. He was living near a son of James Cook in 1820. Cornelius Cook lived on the Saluda near the Greenville County on the Laurens Co side and sister Mary Cook lived across the Saluda on the Abbeville County  side.

John Cook ( 1765- 1835)- son of a Anne Jane Cook and stepson to John O’Neil.  He is executor on Anne O’Neil’s estate record in Laurens. He was married to Catherine Griffin. John Cook lived in the area of Mudlick Creek ( near the Little River).

Abraham Cook- (1790- 1843) was married to Henrietta Irby. Henrietta Irby was the daughter of William Irby and Henrietta Henderson. He lived on the Little River area of Laurens.

George Washington Cook (1792- 1845) was married to Mary Polly Garrett. She was the daughter of Jesse Garrett and Elizabeth Henderson. Elizabeth Henderson was the sister to Randolph Cook first wife and daughter to Thomas and Frances. Jesse Garrett is executor on Frances Henderson’ s will in 1813 in Laurens.

Mary Cook Mitchell Putman (1771- 1847) may be the mother of the above George W. Cook) from a first marriage. Mary Putman and George W. Cook are both married in Warrior Creek Cemetery in Laurens.

I have discovered a pattern of Cooks marrying into Henderson families or grandchildren of Henderson families. Most of the wives are descended from men who were killed or wounded at the Massacre of Hayes Station.

My research on the Cook families isn’t over. I am missing a generation of Cooks between 1760-1790, namely the parents of these men. I am in need of estate records for Clayton Cook and Henrietta Henderson Cook who died somewhere between Cumberland County, Virginia and Granville County, North Carolina. I also need to find more information on the Randolph family.




Goals for 2018….

My research goals for 2018 are a continuation from my 2 uncompleted goals from 2017…

  1. Finding the parents of Mary Cook Donaldson. I have a father for her in mind but I need actual documentation to either prove or disprove my theory. In order to do this, I will make a private tree on Ancestry of possible father since I know his relatives. I will be working backward starting with relatives and not the possible father.
  2. Find out where Thomas Donaldson came from.

Maybe if I can figure out Mary Cook Donaldson family first, then it will uncover information about Thomas Donaldson’s family.

Here is to a year of genealogy breakthroughs and broken brick walls!!!


Nimrod Donaldson, Grantor of Conveyances

( greenvillecounty.org “Grantor of Conveyance Index, 1787-1913”. page 632)

Nimrod Donaldson to Young Simes (Sims), 43 acres on Horse Creek. Executed in 1871 and recorded in 1873.

Nimrod Donaldson to Chism (Chisolm) Austin, 134 acres adjoining Allison and Austin. Executed and recorded in 1872.

Nimrod Donaldson to J.W. Sullivan Ex., 11 and 3/4 acres on Horse Creek and Reedy River – Dunklin Township. Executed in 1875 and recorded in 1876.

Nimrod Donaldson to Chrisoline (Chisholm?) Austin, 134 acres on waters of Horse Creek. Executed in 1879 and recorded in 1890.

Nimrod Donaldson to Anna D. Miller, 1,280? acres adjoining Austin, Sims, and McDavid. Executed in 1880 and recorded in 1886.

Nimrod Donaldson, Grantee of Conveyances

(taken from…. greenvillecounty.org  “Grantee of Conveyances Index”. page 639. )

  1. Nimrod Donaldson from William McCullough, 42 acres on Horse Creek.  Executed in 1833 and recorded in 1836.
  2. Nimrod Donaldson from Charles P. Sullivan, 175 acres on Carrol’s Branch. Executed and recorded in 1836.
  3. Nimrod Donaldson from William McCullough, 303 acres on Horse Creek. Executed and recorded in 1841.
  4. Nimrod Donaldson from William Choice, 142 acres. Executed in 1853 and recorded in 1854.
  5. Nimrod Donaldson from Joseph W. Sullivan, 9 acres. Executed in 1875 and recorded in 1887.


Nimrod Donaldson in 1820……

I think I have finally found Nimrod Donaldson in 1820. I think he was living, as a farmhand or boarder, with his future in laws in Greenville, SC. William McCullough, Nimrod’s future father in law, had an extra male age 16-25 in household in the 1820 census. Nimrod was born in 1803, thus making him 17 in the 1820 census.

William McCullough’s only child, Sarah, turned 16 in March 1824. She married Nimrod on November 23, 1824. Nimrod stayed close to the McCullough family until William McCullough and his wife, Jane, died in the 1850’s. Nimrod Donaldson was the only child of his parents to stay in South Carolina after his siblings either died or moved out of state. The McCullough’s were very wealthy farmers so Nimrod probably had great motivation to stay close to them. I also think that Nimrod probably didn’t want to move his wife away from her parents because she was an only child.

I am glad this mystery is solved, hopefully!