This William Jr. was a child when he arrived with his father, William Cook, step mother Sidney Holmes Marshall Cook and the rest of the Hopewell party at Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1761.  He was part of the blended family in Portaupique, then in the household of Thomas Fletcher after his father’s death about 1767. William was probably 9-10 years old at that time. His birth year was about 1758 in Ireland and he died in Gays River in 1832. He married a woman whose family were also newcomers to Londonderry Township. Leah Campbell was her name. Unknown is the year of their marriage or where they first lived.

William obtained a grant of 250 acres of wilderness lands near Lake Egmont in present day Halifax County, NS in January 1786. The community was called Gays River, close to the borders of Colchester and Halifax Counties. Its coordinates are 45.0339 degrees North and 63.3546 degrees West.

The usual terms of a grant were 250 acres for the title holder with an additional fifty acres for a married man and each child. Ironically, William and Leah were already married with their first child in 1786 so that discrepancy remains a puzzle.  William and Leah spent the rest of their lives on this farm and they died within eight days of each other over the year-end of 1831-32. She was aged 72 and he 74. See William Cook’s Last Will & Testament. Read More

Children of William Cook Jr. and Leah Campbell:


John Cook (1785-1861)

John’s birth year is calculated from census and his age-at-death. While it’s said he was born in Gays River, it’s prior to the year his father obtained property there. Bathsheba Whippie of Onslow Township, she of bright red hair, would become his wife. They raised six sons and one daughter. Her lifespan was (1790-1870) Read More

Susanna Cook Smith (±1799-1860)

That Susan was born 14 years after her brother is curious but without explanation. Like her brother she’d marry a resident of Onslow Township, William Smith (1796-1885) and ten children would be born to them. Family connections can be confounding. To wit: Susan’s father, William Cook, and William Smith’s mother, Rebecca Cook Smith, were half-siblings. Ten children were born to Susanna Cook and William Smith:

Sidney Holmes Smith (1821-    )
George Smith (1823-    )
David Smith (1826-1826)
Mary Smith (1827-    )
William Cook Smith (1829-    )
Leah Cook Smith (1832-    )
John Baxter Smith (1834-    )
Alexander Parker Smith (1837-1916)
Susan S. Smith (1841-1894)
Margaret Smith (1844-    )

George Cook (1801-1880)

George left the farm to become a carpenter in the town of Truro, NS. His name appeared frequently in estate papers as the maker of caskets for the town’s belated citizens. His wife came from Belmont, in nearby Onslow Township. Rebecca Jane Crowe (1804-1874) was her name and their family is believed to have consisted of five daughters and one son. Their gravestones are all in the Robie Street Cemetery in Truro, NS. George married a second time in 1876 to widowed Winnifred G. Betts Treen (1817-1901). She was from Wallace, Cumberland County, NS. Children of George Cook and Rebecca Jane Crowe:

Martha Cook (1830-    )
Mary Ann Cook (1831-1861)
William Cook (1833-1853)
Cynthia Cook (1835-1869)
Maria Cook (1851-    )
Minnie Cook Smallman (1856-1912)

Agnes Cook Dechman

Reliable details about Nancy Dechman, as she was known, have eluded researchers. She married Richard Dechman (1779-1835) who farmed in the Musquodoboit Valley of Nova Scotia. Eleven children are attributed to them, some named for her mother and father. Some of the children moved to the United States and Nancy, herself, may have moved there. The spelling and pronunciation of the Dechman name is quite varied. Children of Agnes Cook and Richard Dechman:  

John Dechman
George Dechman
Leah Campbell Dechman
Jane Susan Dechman
Bathsheba Dechman Oakes
James A. Dechman (1812-1894)
William Cook Dechman (1815-1899)
Grizell Dechman (1822-    )
Wallace Dechman (1825-    )
Richard Dechman Jr. (1827-    )
Jane Susannah Dechman Geddes (1833-1922)

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