Sources for William Cook & the first Mrs. Cook

British MapIn 1761 William Cook, Sidney Holmes Cook and their children sailed from Ulster, Northern Ireland to Nova Scotia on the Hopewell, having responded to an ad [omit In 1] for settlers in the Belfast News-Letter.

The first William Cook, immigrant from Ireland, lived only a few years in Nova Scotia when he died by accidental drowning at Portaupique around 1765-66.

Two sources record his death. Historical Genealogical Record of the First Settlers of Colchester County, Thomas Miller, Halifax, A & W MacKinley, 1873, p.11-12.

William Cook Probate, 17 Apr 1768 in Deaths Burials & Probates of Nova Scotians 1749-1799 from Primary Sources, Vol.1 (A-K) Pub.14, A. E. Marble, Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia.

A reconstruction and interpretation of those early years is found in Essays, The Cook Boys and Sidney Holmes. Read more

Contemporary research has contributed new information about the daughters of Sidney Holmes Marshall.

Prior to 2011, details about Elizabeth and Rachel Marshall were based on Thomas Miller’s landmark history of the first settlers of Colchester County, Nova Scotia. Miller records Sidney’s daughters as Elizabeth, said to be born 1752 and Rachel, born 1754. He goes on to say Elizabeth married in Nova Scotia in April 1776 to John Crow. They raised their family there and ended their days there. Rachel, on the other hand, was said to be born in 1754. She married a Mr. Green, according to Miller.

Then in 2011, two Cobequid historians published additional information about Elizabeth and Rachel Marshall. Elizabeth and John Crow stayed in Nova Scotia and Elizabeth’s age of 80 when she died in 1838 points to her birth year as 1758.

For her sister Rachel Marshall, a marriage record has been found in the Falmouth (Nova Scotia) Book of Records, indicating her marriage to Captain George Faesch. The date was November 5th 1764. If her supposed birth year were 1754, then Rachel would have been a ten year old bride. More likely, if Rachel were aged 18 when she married, her birth year would be more accurately 1746. That would make her the first-born of the sisters.

Probate records from the Parish of Marylebone, Middlesex in England indicates one Rachel Green, widow of Joseph Green Esq. writing her last Will and Testament in 1823. She is the former widow of Captain George Feasch and the daughter of Sidney Holmes Marshall. Following her death in 1824, among her beneficiaries named were her sister Elizabeth Crow, wife of Mr. John Crow of Onslow, and three nephews in Nova Scotia.

Sources: Historical and Genealogical Record of the First Settlers of Colchester County (N.S) first published in 1853  by A. & W. MacKinlay and written by Thomas Miller. p 11.

Falmouth Township, Hants County, Marriages, 1747-1825, mfm 12298 at the Nova Scotia Archives, Halifax, NS.

Planters and Grantees of Cobequid, Nova Scotia, 1761-1780, Vol 1, A-K, 2011, Colchester HIstorical Society, p. 473 and pp. 215-217, Carol Campbell and James F. Smith.

Flax (Linum)

Flax (Linum) was the staple of linen-making and a skill William Cook and many other settlers brought with them from Ireland. -Heather Dau Collection