Ancestral Family Topic 246

 246   Lt. James Cook (1750-1804)
Pedigree Chart 09

Lt. James Cook, in his own words
If he could speak to us today, Lt. James Cook might describe his life as follows.

Born 14 December 1750, I married Susanna Angell, a daughter of John Angell, in 1773 and we were the parents of 3 daughters and 8 sons born 1774-98. By 1782 our household consisted of eight whites and eight blacks.  We lived near Jennings Ordinary on land that straddled the line between Amelia and Nottoway.
During Tarleton’s raid through Southside Virginia in July 1781, I was captured and taken to his headquarters. Although quickly released, I lost my silver shoe and knee buckles in the exchange. I was probably serving in the militia then, but it was not until 1793 that was I appointed a lieutenant of the Nottoway County militia. 
I died 23 November 1804, having just been taxed on six slaves and three horses, which my estate had the burden of in 1805. Since I left no will, the court appointed Noton Dickenson and my widow, Susanna, to administer my estate, which of course still included my six slaves. 
Susanna, who was born 31 May 1754, died 6 March 1831.

James Cook was surveyor of the road from Roland’s Church to Jennings Ordinary,  and was taxed on 6 horses and 6 slaves in 1800.  Although a few men named James Cook served during the Revolutionary War, we cannot confirm one was this James Cook.

The James Cook Family Bible reveals the vital records on their family.  According to this Bible, by the 1782 enumeration the Cook household would have included James, Susanna, and 4 children. Yet there were 8 whites, one of whom was possibly James’ mother Sylvia, and perhaps an overseer.

Who was Susanna’s father?
Susanna’s father is said to be John Angell, which may be why she named her first son John A. Cook. Presumably her brother was John Angell who witnessed a deed for land on both sides of Little Creek near Jennings Ordinary in 1783,  married Elizabeth Hundley, a daughter of John Hundley, 26 Feb. (bond) 1784,  and was head of a household of two whites near James Cook in Amelia County in 1785.  Angell was dead by 14 July 1792 when his estate was appraised. Individuals receiving cash from his estate, for whom William Mann and John Hundley were securities, were John McLarren who married the widow Angell, his new father-in-law John Hundley, and James Cook. 
The only Angell in the quit rent list of 1704 was James Angell with 100 acres in Northampton County.  Another Angell family was in Lancaster County where a number left wills or estates 1659-1784,  including Uriah Angell who had a large land patent in Christ Church Parish. 

Cook land activity
James was living in Amelia County by 30 July 1776 when he bought a “Negro” named Sukey and her son Jack from John Brooks for £80,  and the next year, Jan. 1777, he purchased 221 acres on Barebone Branch of West Creek in present-day Nottoway County from Joseph Woodson for £175, 29½ acres of which he sold to Charles Stewart for £29.10 in June 1777, Susanna, relinquishing her dower right.  He bought a 235-acres farm in 1780,  and Woodson sold him 3 more slaves in 1785. 
James and Susanna sold a 121-acre portion of his 221 acres on Bare Bone in both Amelia and Nottoway counties in 1790 and 141 acres of his 235 acres, also described as in both counties, in 1792,  and purchased 187½ acres in the north side of Deep Creek in 1795, “now known as ‘Cooks.’”  The sale of one-half acre in 1802 placed their land on the Namozine Road.  These transactions netted James about 350 acres.
This James Cook is distinct from another who sold 200 acres in Amelia County in 1779 and who bought and sold 10 acres on West Creek 1784-85, as neither sale mentioned Susanna.  Nor is he the illiterate James Cooke to whom William Bell mortgaged 300 acres and 12 slaves in 1802. 

Captured by the British
James had a run-in with the British during the Revolutionary War. 

Tarleton’s dragoons captured old James Cooke (Fred Cooke’s father) at Jennings Ordinary. He lived there at the time and was perhaps the first resident of the Ordinary. A dragoon made Cooke mount behind him on th horse and carried him to Tarleton’s headquarters, which were then at the home of old Charles Knight, who lived at Burkeville or a little above (at Billy Horner’s, it is thought). On the way, the soldier took Cooke’s silver shoe and knee buckles, At headquarters, Tarleton made the man restore them and sent Cooke home. The soldier, however, waylaid him on the return and got the buckles, anyhow.

After James’ death
Not long after James’ death, Henry H. Cook chose Isaac Winfrey his guardian and William Hartwell Cook chose his brother-in-law Langley B. Jennings.  Then his minor heirs sued the administrators of the estate, their mother and Noton Dickenson, to force its distribution: Frederick M., James C., Robert B., William H., Sylvia, Henry H., and Sally Cooke by Langley B. Jennings.  The court assigned Mrs. James Cook her 129-acre dower and sold 168 acres on Flat Creek and 50 acres on Deep Creek in 1811, the total of which approximated the 350 acres her husband owned at his death. 
Remaining in Susanna’s household in 1810 was a daughter, aged 10-16, and two sons, all of whom were gone by 1820.  The daughter was likely the Sarah Cook who married Richard Oliver. It is also notable that Richard Oliver’s daughter Ann who married John Edwards in 1838 likely knew her grandmother, who lived to 1831, and named a daughter Susanna.
Both Richard Oliver’s father of the same name and James Cook’s brother Thomas Cook witnessed the will of Thomas Fagg in 1785,  and Oliver witnessed deeds for James Cook in 1790 and 1792. 

Hartwell Connection?
The name William Hartwell Cook suggests a connection to William Hartwell who was sheriff of James City County as early as 1676.  His brother Henry Hartwell was clerk (1672-81) and member (1692-95) of the Council of State, a burgess (1684-86, 1691-92),  and deputy escheater,  who patented 736 acres in James City County in 1679, 900 acres in Charles City County in 1682, and 1,960 acres in Surry County in 1687.  Henry married Jane (Meriwether) White, sister of Nicholas Meriwether who married 1st Maj. William White.
The now-missing will of Henry Hartwell in James City County left part of his Surry County patent to his nephew Henry Hartwell, son of William Hartwell (will dated 3 July 1699 and proved 6 Dec. 1699), but when the nephew died in his minority, the land descended to Mary Hartwell, only daughter and heir of William Hartwell, who married William Macon. 
Another Henry Hartwell, perhaps a son of the elder man of this name, was a trustee of the College of William and Mary in 1702,  and an owner of the 220-ton Harrison of London that was in the James River in 1699 and 1701. 

Descendants of Lt. James Cook
Information about the children of Lt. James Cook, their descendants, and allied families previously found at is now available as Southside Virginia Genealogies. Learn more 
Names found in this topic include the following.
 John A. Cook (1774-1799),  
 Elizabeth R. Cook (1776-1794),  
 Mary (Cook) Jennings (1779-1826),  
Langley Billups Jennings,   
 Frederick M. Cook (1781-),  
Dr. George Chaffin Scott,   
 Robert B. Cook (1783-),  
 James C. Cook (1786-1844),  
Ann Carlton Mitchell,  
 William Hartwell Cook (1788-),  
Henry Raines Cook,  Polly H. Hancock,  Henry Hancock,  
William Hartwell Cook,  Lucy —,  
John Marshall Cook,  Patsy —,  
Elizabeth Ann Cook,  
America Susan Cook,  Gathright,  
Martha Jane Cook,  
James Colin Cook,  
 Henry H. Cook (1789-),  
 Caswell Cook (1794-),  
 Fortunatus Sidney Cook (1796-1837),  
 Sarah R. (Cook) Oliver (1798-),  
Richard Oliver,   

This topic, which represents .09% of all the family history material at, includes 64 citations and the names of 51 individuals.
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