Family history of John Lee COOK

Family history of John Lee COOK
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Family History


John Lee Cook

Rough Draft: For Review Only!

Note: The information contained in this family history is based upon the research of John Lee Cook.

The first record that we have of the family of John Lee Cook is that of one William Cook who is alleged to have been born in 1760 and to have lived in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. William was reported to have been a hat maker. Unfortunately, little else is known about him. William had a son, John, who was born on 4 December, 1792. John married Margret Ditterline on either the 16th or the 20th of August, 1814 in what is now Portsmouth, Virginia. Margaret was said to have been born in Amsterdam, Holland on 19 January, 1792.

After John and Margaret were married, they moved to Graves County, Kentucky. Their homestead consisted of 320 acres of land, the south boundary which is the Tennessee state line. Their property was continguous with Henry County, Tennessee and is located near the town of Boydsville. The property lies just east of Tennessee State Highway 89. The road is Highway 381 in Kentucky. Legend has it that they made their way to Tennessee with a few personal belongings, a pony, a small wagon, and a young female slave given to Margaret by her parents. John constructed a cabin on the property and later built a grocery store on the property, one of the first in the County, and became very prosperous.

John and Margaret had ten children, seven sons and three daughters, and they are both buried in a family cemetery located on the original Cook home place. The cemetery is one of the oldest family cemeteries in Graves County. A second cemetery, known as the Cook-Boston Cemetery, is located on the same property approximately 100 yards to the west. John died on 15 September, 1830 as the result of an injury to his side and Margaret died at the age of 82 on (day, month, year I can't make out from photo). Their son William Ditterline and his daughter Jame Clementine, who died at the age of one month, are buried in the family cemetery as are William's two sons William Whitefield and John Ewing Cook. William Ditterline had traveled from Arkansas to visit his mother when he died suddenly. He was buried in the family plot along with his father and children who had predeceased him. Another son, Virgil Young Cook is reported to have served as a Colonel in the Confederate Army during the War of the Rebellion.

Family History of John Lee Cook

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Rough Draft: For Review Only!

Table One

Children of John and Margaret Cook
Name Born Died Married
Williiam Ditterline 21 August,-1815 18 November, 1882 5 children
Jane 30 December, 1816 unknown John Sims, they had ten children
John Wes 10 September, 1818 7 September, 1888 Chloe Jan Stone, they had six children
James J. 5 May, 1820 28 April, 1868 Mary Love (1827-1910)
Edward Robinson 5 September, 1821 25 December, 1862 Katherine Hawpe, they had six children
Lewis Benson 25 August, 1823 unknown unknown, had five children
Louisia 1825 15 October, 1896 Dr. James McConnell, they had five children
George Washington 1826 26 December, 1906 Louisia Mary Brown, they had eight children
Dewitt Clinton 19 March, 1826 3 March, 1910 Mary H. Arnold, they had 13 children
Elritta 7 December, 1829 at age nine n/a

James J. Cook, also known as J. J., was born in Graves County, Kentucky on 5 May, 1820. He married Mary Love in Henry County, Tennessee on 19 July, 1842. Mary was born in Henry County on 2 January, 1827. They had several children, two of whom lived to be adults: James Ripley and Port Lavaca. In 1851 or 1852, they moved to Texas. They traveled by boat to New Orleans and then by ship to Indianola, formerly located on the west side of Matagorda Bay. The settlement was destroyed several times by storms and does not now exist, having been abandoned. J. J. died in Anderson County, Texas on 28 April, 1868, having moved to East Texas some time after 1853 where he operated

Family History of John Lee Cook

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Rough Draft: For Review Only!

Cook's Ferry on the Trinity River. The crossing was on a road still known as Cooks Ferry Road in Freestone County. His body was returned to Kentucky and is buried in the Cook-Boston Cemetery as his thirteen year old daughter Parthenia. She was born on 6 July, 1856 and died 7 December, 1869.

There is no documented reason for J. J.'s move to East Texas. It may have been that Mary Love had relatives living in the area. The county seat of Freestone County, Fairfield, is located on 100 acres that was donated by David Hall Love of Tennessee. He fought with Houston's army when Texas won its independence from Mexico at San Jacinto on 21 April, 1836. There were also several families of Cook's living at Tennessee Colony at the time. It is unknown if they were related because they had moved to Texas from Alabama. Deed records in Anderson and Freestone Counties indicate that J. J. had purchased property there in 1861 and 1862.

J. J. is alleged to have been murdered, perhaps shot in the back with two loads of buckshot on the streets of Palestine, by one J. D. McCauly who had acted as a witness to the deeds. His wife refused to bury him in Texas and packed his body in charcoal and shipped it to Boydsville, Kentucky. Mary and P. L. returned to Kentucky with the body where they remained until 1880. In 1880, they returned to Fairfield, Texas. They brought with them a young boy, perhaps an orphan named Bill Lewis.

J. J. and Mary's son Port Lavaca is named after a port city on Matagorda Bay and the county seat of Calhoun County. He was born in Calhoun County on 20 February, 1853. He was called Vac, but signed his name P. L. He married Mary Louisa Crawford, also known as Malinda Lou, on 12 October, 1873 in Tennessee. She was born on 19 August, 1854 and was the daughter of Joe Crawford (1830-1899) and Priscilla Cloar (1834-1933). The Cloar and Crawford families moved together to near Whitlock, Tennessee from North Carolina.

Vack and Malinda Lou had eight children who lived to adulthood, two of whom had been born in Tennessee. The remainder were all born in Texas. Joe was born in Freestone County and the others were born in Nacogdoches. A baby born on the 15th died 16 September, 1874 and another born 3 June, 1882 died on 3 August, 1882. Available records do not indicate if either were named prior to their deaths.

Deed records indicate that Mary Love purchased land as late as 1895 in Nacogdoches County where P. L. operated a butcher shop or meat market in.

Family History of John Lee Cook

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Rough Draft: For Review Only!

Table Two

Children of P. L. and Malinda Lou

Name Born Died Married
James J. 23 April, 1876 5 February, 1943 Lela Monk, they had one son
Anise B. 18 January, 1880 11 April, 1903 R. E. Matlock, they had two children Mabel and Bob
Joesph W. 24 May, 1884 1967 Laura Hammers, they had one son
Port Lavaca, Jr. 9 June, 1887 16 April, 1935 One son John Lee
Lou Ada 11 August, 1890 1962-63? Ocie Alexander, they had one daughter
Shellie Berta 2 November, 1892 1957 Jim H. Williams, the had one daughter
Virginia Ruth 25 March,1898 L. L. Davis, they had one daughter
Charles Crawford 22 October,1900 1972 Grace Williams, they had three sons Bob, Jim, and Rusty

Garrison and did some farming. Lou Crawford had a sister who married a Cook that was P. L.'s cousin. They lived in the Concord community in Rusk County.

P. L. died 14 October, 1913, Mary Louisa died 29 January 1928, and P. L.'s mother died on 23 December, 1910. The are all buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Garrison, Texas

Their son Port Lavaca, Jr., also known as Vack, was born on 9 June, 1887 and was the father of one son John Lee Cook who was born on 8 March, 1926 in Garrison. Vack died on 16 April, 1935 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

Family History of John Lee Cook

Page 5 of

Rough Draft: For Review Only!

He married MA (give full name...mother father, dates, etc.). Her second husband...give details about Mart, Luther, Lottie May, Ruby, Bill, and Rachel.

John Lee joined the U. S. Navy during the second world war and served with the Seabees in the South Pacific. He was discharged (give date and any meritorious service) on and attended Sam Houston State University. He graduated xx Month, 1949 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Vocational Agriculture. He taught, give other details of life.

John Lee married Ruby Mildred Cunninham on 15 July, 1949 in San Augustine, Texas. Ruby was the daughter of Robert D. Cunningham ( ) and Adelia "Pinkie" Davis Inman (1890-1962).

John Lee and Ruby had two children. A son, John Lee Jr., was born 17 April, 1950 in San Augustine, Texas the County Seat of San Augustine County. A daughter, Susan Diane, was born 28 January, 1958 in Crockett, Texas the County Seat of Houston County.

John Lee Jr. graduated 17 December, 1971 from Sam Houston State University earning a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree. He also graduated 20 May, 1978 from Southwest Texas State University with a Master of Public Administration Degree. He married Elizabeth Ann Evans on 18 November, 1995. They had no children.

Susan Diane Douglas (how do you want to handle this? graduated (give details of college work) She retired in December 1998 from the United States Air Force holding the rank of Chief Master Sergeant.

Any other important details?


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