Sources for John Cook & Bathsheba Whippie

Unanswered questions surround this John Cook who it was said was born in Gays River in 1785, prior to the time his father obtained a grant there. John’s birth and age are calculated from census and his death date. His passing at age 76 is recorded in The Presbyterian Witness, Sat. 30 Nov 1861,Vol XIV No. 48, p.191; based on vital statistics compiled by J. & S. McCormick.

Family researcher, Frank Simmonds suggested that certain families moved from Londonderry Township to the Clifton area, near Truro, and then inland to the Gays River region around Lake Egmont before formal grants were officially made. John and Susan Simmonds and some of their Descendants, Frank W. Simmonds, The Tuttle Publishing Company, Ltd. Rutland, VT, 1940, pp 55-59.

Among the Rev. Robert Blackwood’s Day Book, there’s reference to a receipt dated 1817 for oats from James John Cook. Source: Nova Scotia Archives & Records Management, mfm #10082.

It has been customary to assume that Bathsheba Whippie was born in Onslow Township where her parents were early settlers. However in the records about her youngest child, Samuel Cook, he claimed that while his father was born in Nova Scotia, his mother was born in the United States. See the 1891 Census of Canada. Bathsheba may have come to Onslow as a young child. For more about Bathsheba’s family, see Planters and Grantees of Cobequid, Nova Scotia, 1761-1780, Vol. 2 L-Y, p.988 by Carol Campbell and James F. Smith, Colchester Historical Society, Truro, NS, 2011.

There’s some question about the death date for Bathsheba between the month of March or April of 1870. In the Births, Deaths, Marriages from Nova Scotia Newspapers by W.T. Hill, Book VI, he cites the 5th of April 1870 as the date of death while The Presbyterian Witness cites her death in the May 14th 1870 issue, Vol. XXIII No. 20, p.160. The database for the Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics has details of Bathsheba’s death. Her son, Robert was the informant. See NSHVS, Deaths: Book: 1808 – Page: 253 – Number: 223. Her death was attributed to “heart disease”.

Clarence Cook (1909-2000) in his memoir, As I Remember, recalls that Bathsheba, or Bashua as she was known, had bright red hair. As related in a conversation in January 2006, Dr. Marjorie Cook, daughter of Frank Cook and Edith Dechman Cook of Gays River, also had bright red hair in her youth.

Bathsheba’s family name was variously spelled Whippie/Wheppe/Whippy.