Summing up...

From: Michael Cooley <>
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 14:48:25 -0800 best as I can remember it.

The big news since starting up the list again was the first news--that WMC's
DNA is a match to the Stokes county Cooleys. That in itself wasn't all that
surprising considering he was mentioned in the same documents with John
Cooley. But because it was a descendant of the Stewart county Cooleys that
matched we were able to merge into one life the lives of two or three
Williams who, just a few short years ago, were regarded as separate men.

We ended the year with a startling lead to the identity of William's mother.
Unfortunately, nothing has yet panned out with it. Helen Odum Harrell's
book, "James Stuart and Mary Matthews of Wilcox County, Alabama," states
that William's mother was Sarah Matthews. Helen told me in an email that she
thought her source was "Maury County Cousins: Bible and Family Records" but
that turned out not to be the case. The search continues.

You may remember that I received Lura Coolley Hamil's manuscript for "A
Story of Pioneering" through interlibrary loan. I photographed it and put a
copy of it up at .
Considering all the evidence that has been gathered in the last few years
(DNA for our Cooleys, the Fayette county Cooleys, the Dutch Kool family, the
letter from John A Cooley to his cousin John, the bible records of Jonathan
Cooley and the John Cooley bio in "Biographical & Portrait Cyclopedia of
Fayette Co, PA") it's hard to imagine that anyone could still buy Hamil's
Dutch Cooley and Firmin assertions--at least in respect to the Stokes county

I started a bit of a controversy early during the rebirth of the list by
suggesting that the James M Cooley who is often associated as a son of James
Cooley (1772-1821) may have actually been the son of Joseph Cooley
(1767-1826). I don't know that the matter was settled but I still do think
that the evidence is fairly strong in favor of it. And it seems to be the
oldest of the two assertions (that James was a son of Joseph). I've not yet
revealed part two of my argument (it's a bit gutsy and does have a weak
link) but I will soon put it forward for debate.

We discussed WMC's son, Jonathan Cooley, and his wife Ann. I think the
debate was whether she was married to Jonathan or George W and whether it
was WMC's Jonathan who lived in Henry county in 1840. I'm not entirely
that we sorted it out.

And there was a flurry of activity regarding the trail of Mary Story, the
daughter of John Cooley and Martha Bearden. We seemed to have picked up her
scent but in the end, as I recall, we ended up back where we started. Is
that correct? Do we have any new information about her?

Finally, several of us agreed to pitch in to have an Abraham Cooley
descendant Y test. I believe we located three potential testers but, as far
as I am aware, none responded. I corresponded with one myself. As soon as
I mentioned DNA he hightailed it. :( But the search goes on. If anyone
finds someone, let me know how I might help.

This will probably not mean much to most of you since I am probably the only
Cooley on the list descended from David Cooley (1815-1865) and Laurinda
Aiken but, for the record, I think I may have broken through the Aiken
brickwall. It starts here:

I hope everyone's year has gotten off to a good start!

Received on Fri Jan 06 2012 - 15:48:25 MST

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