John Cooksey

Male 1720 - 1800  (~ 79 years)

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  • Name John Cooksey 
    Born ~1720  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 1800 
    Person ID I51619  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 2 Aug 2018 

  • Notes 
    • There has been very little traffic on this site recently, so I will pose a few thoughts, in hopes that they may raise some comments and opinions.

      Ralph Smith, in his publication, "Philip Cooksey died 1696/7) of Calvert Co. Later Charles Co. Maryland", cleared up a few misconceptions that had generally circulated through Cooksey researchers:

      One was the widely circulated notionthat the immigrant Philip Cooksey's wife was Elizabeth Lashley. It was actually Elizabeth BRADMORE. Elizabeth's mother, also Elizabeth, married 1) Bradmore and 2) Lashley. Elizabeth the daughter was the child of the first marriage.

      Ralph has a theory that Thomas Cooksey, Philip's son, had five sons: John, Philip, Andrew, Joseph, and James. We have lots of records on the first three, and only one record on
      Joseph, and two on James. None of these records ties either Cooksey to Thomas's family. Since these two are not connected to the Samuel Cooksey line, it would make sense that they might be considered as Thomas's sons. There is no other male Cooksey available that would be of the age to be their father. Perhaps other records will surface. The names James and Joseph are continued in Thomas's descendents, but not in abundance.

      One of Thomas's sons, John, is very well studied, but is still a source of confusion, at least to me.This is the John Cooksey who first appears on Charles County, Marylan court record as early as 1742. In Aug. 21, 1760, the following is reported in the Maryland Gazette:

      "A few weeks ago in Charles County, Mr. Burrows, a "very impudent young man", went to the house of John Cooksey in order to shoot Cooksey's dog. He shot Mrs. Cooksey (in her foot)the infant in her arms, three other children, and Mr. Cooksey. It appears all will survive.
      Source: The Maryland Gazette, 1721-1761."

      Ralph Smith states that this record could only have been John Cooksey, son of Thomas. None of the grandsons of Samuel Cooksey named John were married with at least 4 children by Aug. 1760.

      John Cooksey is then found in Fauquier County, Virginia court records along with brother Andrew, and then in Frederick/Dunmore/Shenandoah County, Virginia beginning in 1771. In 1775,a Dunmore County military census lists John Cooksey and Andrew Cooksey living side by side.
      John is enumerated as having one male over 16 (himself), three sons under 16, and three females.

      We also have Shenandoah County records that show that three of John and wife Elizabeth's daughters married between 1792 and 1800. This would indicate that at least one of these daughters would have been born after 1775, assuming that one of the three women enumerated on the 1775
      census was Elizabeth, the mother.

      If the 1760 Charles County newspaper article applies to this John Cooksey, as it would seem, then there are at least four children by 1760. We know that there are no sons over 16 on the 1775 military census. One could certainly reason that some of the children from 1760 were grown and had left home by 1775. If so, who were they? A better question would be: who were the three sons listed on the 1775 census? We have a second John Cooksey who witnessed old John's land record in Dunmore in 1771, and we have always assumed that this was John's son John, who is found on Fauquier County VA records during the 1770s until
      John Sr;s death in 1800, when he moves to Shenandoah County. It would appear then that this son John is NOT one of the three enumerated in 1775, since he was old enough (21?)in 1771 to witness a land transaction. (This son is the John Cooksey who later lived in Smith COunty, TN, married 1) Isabelle Holmes 2) Gillie ________ , and died testate in 1822.)

      We know that Zachariah Cooksey, the Revolutionary War patriot, was listed in Shenandoah County, VA tax lists from 1786 to 1788. We know that a "Callile" or "Kellile" Cooksey
      appears on the same tax lists in 1792 and 1794. We have no records of any Cooksey by that name afterward. Zachariah spent time closely associated with Andrew Cooksey's family
      in South Carolina in the 1790's, but then moved on to Virginia, Tennessee and Indiana from there. I still feel that it is most likely that Zachariah is old John Cooksey's son,however. There is an Isaac and a John Cooksey in Russell County, VA in the late 1790's. We don't know for certain who their father(s) was/were. I suspect that Isaac was the son of Andrew Cooksey, but that is uncertain.

      So, the issue of old John Cooksey is convoluted. His son John would have been born ca. 1750 or earlier. Since old John was of age by at least 1742, he may have had children
      older than John, Jr. It would certainly appear that his wife Elizabeth Kelly, who lived until at least 1800, was old John's second wife, at least. John died intestate in Shenandoah County, VA in 1800, but had left/sold land to his daughters and son-in-laws shortly before his death, and had transferred the majority of his land to son John.

      Hopefully someone on this list can add some perspective or opinions. BTW, I found that Amazon had at least once stocked Ralph Smiths' Cooksey publication:
      Perhaps they could be contacted, if you need it.


      Mel [1]

  • Sources 
    1. [S12968] "John Cooksey ca. 1720-1800", Biography,, abstracted by Da.