Sources for Samuel Cook & Lavinia Merson

Samuel Cook

Samuel Cook (1833-1912), Gays River, N.S. -Cheryl Kellett Collection

In the 1871 Census of Canada in Lower Stewiacke in household 231/4024 is 37 year old Samuel Cook, his wife Lavinia who is 36, their children Melvin who’s 15, Emma and Amanda who are 13, Minie who’s 9, Samuel who’s 6 and Burton, aged 2.

In the 1891 Census of Canada, found on, Samuel indicated that while his father was born in Nova Scotia, his mother was born in the USA.

Samuel’s birth date comes from the 1901 Census of Canada. There’s a variation by the next census in 1911 when he reported he was born October 1831. His death date is among the Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics, Registration Year: 1912 – Book: 4 – Page: 193 – Number: 1167. It adds that Samuel was 79, a farmer, widowed, that he died of LaGrippe and heart failure.

In the 1881 Census of Canada, Lavinia is known as Tamia. In the next census, she’s listed as Levenor. By the 1901 Census of Canada, she and Samuel are living with their son, Burton and his wife Sadie. The names of the parents of Lavinia Merson come from Cheryl Kellett, a Cook researcher. It’s unknown what the initial H. of her middle name was. Her death is recorded among the Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics database.

Marriage details come from vital statistics compiled by J. & S. McCormick in The Presbyterian Witness, Sat 17 Feb 1855, Vol. III No. 7, p. 27. It indicates the marriage was performed by the Rev P. G. McGregor and that both parties were from Gays River.

The Nova Scotia Archives & Records Management holds this record: Index of Marriage Bonds/Licenses, 1849-1864, List C, GAD Series 1254: Samuel Cook, bachelor to Lavinia N. Merson, spinster, 13 Feb 1855, micro 16198, HAL/1855/89.

Census of Canada records for this family are listed under Lower Stewiacke, Colchester County, NS.