James Cook and Martha Cook

The year was 1761, October 9th when the vessel Hopewell sailed into Nova Scotia’s stellar harbor at Halifax. Onboard was a party of immigrants from Northern Ireland recruited there by land speculators enticing settlers to take up lands alongside Cobequid Bay in central Nova Scotia. Land agent Alexander McNutt had the backing of the British Colonial Office and the colonial governor in Nova Scotia.

James and Martha and some of their children had been born in Ireland. The younger ones would be born in Nova Scotia. James’ brother and his family were also among the passengers. Alas, no passenger list survives nor do early records as to when and where James and Martha were born or married. Nonetheless, they were among the first families of Portaupique, a village on the north shore of Cobequid Bay in the centre of the province. James and Martha would be astounded to learn that some 250 years in the future, a map by someone called Google could set the coordinates of Portaupique at 45.4047 degrees North and 63.7032 degrees West. James died in 1794 and Martha died in 1807. Seven children are named in his Will.


Children of James Cook & Martha Cook


Ralph Cook (    – 1827)

All indications point to Ralph as Irish-born and coming with his parents to Nova Scotia’s Londonderry Township in the 1760s. He married a woman named Jane and raised a family in Portaupique. Read More

Jenny Cook Doo

Jenny’s name is variously spelled Jinny, Ginny, probably all from the formal name Jannet. She married Robert Doo/Dough also of Londonderry Township where his name appears on a 1791 Census for Poll Taxes. In 1789, Robert and Jenny paid £ 20 to her sister Elizabeth and William Forrest for 45 acres of woodland. Five years later Robert and Jenny sell it to John Cook, Jenny’s cousin. It’s described as lot #4 in the upper division on the East side of the Portaupique River. Its original owner was Jenny and Elizabeth’s father, James Cook.

Margaret Cook McDonald

Margaret’s married name became McDonald.

Nancy Sarah Jane Cook Durning

Information about this woman is hear-say but without documentation: She was Irish-born, married Thomas Durning 1st of Economy, Colchester County, NS.

Fanny Cook

Fanny was named in her father’s will in April 1793. 

Elizabeth Cook Forrest

Elizabeth married William Forrest of Amherst Township in Cumberland County, NS.

James Cook 2nd

James is the son who continues the original home farm in Portaupique, NS.  It is he who reports his mother’s death in 1807 and on January 28th 1796 marries a Township woman, Agnes Mahon who goes by the name, Nancy. They raise three sons and a daughter and property originally granted to his father James will remain in the family to the present time. Read More