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.
I have narrowed down when I think Cornelius Cook and Mary Cook (Donaldson) came to Laurens and Abbeville.
Cornelius Cook is not on the 1790 Census of Laurens, which leads me to believe he was still in unknown County, NC. (Remember that on the the Turkey Creek Records that he stated he came from Greenham Church, North Carolina.)
Mary Cook married to Thomas Donaldson in 1792/1793 because their oldest daughter Sallie Cook Donaldson was born in Abbeville in December 1793. Cornelius witnessed a land deed between Thomas Williamson and Benjamin Magee in late 1794/ early 1795. There was also a Daniel Cook who was a witness on Samuel Finley’s will in Anderson Co, SC in 1795. I am not sure how Daniel Cook is related to Cornelius and Mary Cook Donaldson. Daniel may be the same Daniel Cook who lived on Fishing Creek in Chester District, SC and died in York County, SC in 1823. I think they are related somehow because the Cooks, Donaldsons, and Finleys all lived in the area where Abbeville, Laurens, Anderson and Greenville come together on the Saluda River.
The 2 burning questions I have are 1) Where was Greenham Church? and 2) Who did Cornelius travel with to Laurens/ Abbeville.
If I could find out where Greenham Church was in North Carolina then I could find the origin of Cornelius and Mary. I am guessing it was somewhere along the Great Wagon Road between Orange County, NC and Mecklenburg County, NC. It sounds like a Methodist or Episcopal Church to me personally. I don’t know for sure.
Also several families arrived in Laurens and Abbeville at the same time the Cooks did between 1790- 1792……the Maddoxes, the Poseys, the Gaines, and maybe the Finleys. Did Mary and Cornelius hitch a ride with them also?
Time will tell.
What I am working on…..
The Cook Family- There is an James Cook ( died 1816), John Cook (died 1835), Abraham Cook ( died 1843) and Cornelius Cook Sr (died 1838) in Laurens County. I think they are all descended from Abraham Cook from New Kent, Virginia 1669-1749. Abraham Cook had a son named William Cook, and William had a son named Clayton Cook. I think all the Cooks’ in Laurens were descended from Clayton Cook. I am still trying to prove this theory.
The Donaldson Family in Rutherford County, NC-
There was a Thomas Donaldson who served in the Tryon Co Militia in Oct 1777 for 30 days. There was a Thomas Donaldson who had got a land grant in Oct 1782 in Rutherford Co, NC.
There was a Thomas Donaldson who was a bondsman at the marriage of Samuel Donaldson and Mary Adams in 1788 in Rutherford Co, NC.
In 1786, John Harris purchased 100 acres on Middle Fork of Cathey’s Creek of 2nd Broad River on March 7 from Thomas Donnelson of South Carolina.
In Oct 1792, Thomas Donaldson of Rutherford Co died. It his hastily done will, he mentions an unnamed widow called “the old lady”, son William and daughter Mary. I also believe Samuel Donaldson was also Thomas’ son even though he wasn’t mentioned in the will.
As much as I would like to think the letter that my Nannie wrote was historically accurate, the lack of historical evidence states otherwise.
I cannot find any proof that Thomas Donaldson fought at Kings Mountain. I have checked the roster of soldiers and his name is not on the list. I cannot find evidence that Thomas Donaldson had 2 other brothers. I am pretty sure he had one brother named William Donaldson. William Donaldson was listed in the 1787 tax list in Abbeville along with Thomas. William was also listed in the 1790 census of Abbeville with Thomas.
Thomas Donaldson could have been from the Wilmington area because there was a large Scot Irish settlement in the Cape Fear Region. I think Mary Cook may have been from Sampson County, NC . There is a Cornelius Cook who was in Sampson County, NC in 1790, but he disappears by 1800. A Cornelius Cook (a son?) then pops up in Laurens County in 1794 according to land records. Cornelius Cook was mentioned in Thomas Donaldson’s state record in 1811.