Re: Hamil's "A Story of Pioneering"

From: Michael Cooley <>
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2011 19:22:56 -0700

Patrick Walker, publisher of the one-time newsletter Cooley Cousins,
circulated a family group sheet in the 1980s stating that John Cooley of
Stokes County NC was married to Elizabeth Firmin, that he was born in
Goshen county NY in 1740 and was of Dutch descent. He cited "A Story of
Pioneering" as his source. In fact, John Cooley of Stokes county is not
mentioned in the book.

In her manuscript, Hamil discusses essentially four families: The New York
Dutch Cools, the Fayette County PA Cooleys, The New Jersey Cooleys, and
the Howard County MO Cooleys. According to her, they were all related.
However, DNA has proven that the Cool family and the PA and MO Cooleys
were not related to one another at all. Furthermore, Elizabeth Cooley
married William Cooley. Hamil's "John Cooley" may never have existed.

So, the thrust of this is that our John Cooley of Stokes county was not
Dutch and he did not marry Elizabeth Firmin. The task before us, I
believe, is to determine--if at all possible--where John was born and to
whom he married.

We know through DNA that John's Y chromosome was of a rare Scottish type
that originated in Norway. We also have circumstantial evidence through
five different lines from John that he might have immigrated from England.
It is also clear that his older children were probably born in Virginia.
But that's about it, other than the notion that he probably died in Casey
county KY in 1811.

Feel free to circulate the manuscript as you see fit. It's time that it
received its much needed "peer review." It's over 80 years old so I really
doubt there are any copyright issues.

Here's the link again:


> I've spent the last couple of weeks working on this. It's 45 megs long so
> it may take a while to download. I probably won't be available to answer
> questions until tonight or tomorrow. Here's the first paragraph of my
> intro:
> --quote--
> Other than photocopies of a dozen or more pages, I have never seen a copy
> of Lura Coolley Hamil's 1955 posthumously-published book, A Story of
> Pioneering. Previous inter library loan requests found no circulating
> copies. But I recently placed another ILL request through Humboldt State
> University, where I am now attending classes. What I received from the
> Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield was an unexpected surprise:
> Hamil's original 1932 manuscript!
> --endquote--
> --
> <a href="">distlist 0.9</a>
> See for list
> information.
Received on Mon Oct 24 2011 - 20:22:56 MDT

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