[List] Letter from Lura Coolley Hamil

Mary Cooley mlcooley at charter.net
Mon Apr 16 23:34:19 PDT 2007

This is a letter written by Lura Coolley Hamil to Mildred (Cooley) Tallant -
I hope that you will enjoy reading it!:


"Lincoln, Illinois


July 11, 1932


Mrs. Mildred C. Tallant,

911 Chapala Street,

Santa Barbara, California;


My dear Cousin:


            To begin with, I owe you an apology and I hope you realize that
it is most sincere.  I wrote you a letter weeks ago, stamped it and then
very foolishly decided to hold it until I was absolutely certain of my
ground, not wanting to make any mistake in so important a matter.


My mistake was in not realizing that once started on the wind-up of my book
I would not have time for further letterwriting and would do just as I have
done, stuck to it at the neglect of everything else.


At any rate, the book is now in the hands of a publisher who wanted to look
it over and I shall use part of the time that must elapse before I hear a
word from it, in catching up on my correspondence, your letters first of


Let me thank you first for all you did for me in sending that last long
transcript of the family in Oregon and upper California.  It meant
everything to me to have that information.  It meant a lot too, to Mrs.
Vanderhorst, who spent an afternoon with me some weeks back and we went over
it together.  Many of the girls had married since she had word of them.  I
am very proud of a snap-shot she brought me of the view from her father's
place and she thought she could find me an extra copy of the Pacific shore
line where Miller Cooley located.


In an old history of Oregon that I secured from the State Library at
Springfield I found references to Eli Cooley and others in the migration of
1852.  In fact I am quite pleased with my Oregon-Missouri chapter, and feel
that it adds interest and definiteness to my history as a whole.


            But I have not yet told you what was really my opening sentence
in the letter I wrote and did not send.  You will see that I called you
"Cousin" in the beginning.  Well, we are that at some remove.  For Elizabeth
and Daniel Cooley who located in Kentucky in 1783 were you will find, I am
positive, (here Mildred Tallant has written "Do not think this is correct.")
the parents of your James.  And Elizabeth, baptized in New York state in the
old Mahackemack (Minisink) Dutch Reformed church on March 25, 1764, the
daughter of John Cooley and Annetje (Decker) Cooley.  John Cooley has a fine
Revolutionary record and I have it complete.  The Decker line runs back ten
generations from you and me, the VanCurler 10, and the Coely line ten


            Now for your search on Daniel and Elizabeth you try that Bland
County, Virginia, lead, I believe that the Joseph Cooley who was born May
17, 1793 and married Maud Woods was an older brother of James (Your James)
and that owing to Indian troubles or something Daniel and Elizabeth lived in
the neighborhood of Bland County, their children being born there instead of
in Kentucky.  You know it was all one state at that time.  And my solution
of the extra James Cooley you had is borne out by my records.  The oldest of
them, James Cooley of the Revolution was born in 1760 in Pennsylvania son of
Joseph Cooley who married 1st Margaret Miller and had John born 1755, died
after 1799 (he was the John who took up land in Kentucky and went on to
Missouri, your Howard county John.); Joseph Miller Cooley b 1756 and married
1st Margaret Jackson and 2nd ----Casey, and his children were the Nancy that
Mrs. Herron is hunting, an Abraham that may have died, and the young James
who died in Missouri in 1829 - he was 17 when his father went to Missouri -
all by Margaret Jackson and by the wife named Casey he had the five sons
whose names you sent me, Jackson, Eli Casey, and Christopher who went into
Oregon and Harry and Frank who remained in Missouri.


            John of Howard County lost his wife Sarah whom he married in
1780 in Maryland and married, in 1799, in Kentucky a Rachel McHenry.  He
lived there for a time and I make Aaron Cooley his son, not a brother of
your James.  I think James made his home near or with them in Madison County
after he was grown.  Doubt if Daniel or Elizabeth ever lived there at all.


            Now don't get this part mixed, though I am telling it badly.
John b. 1755, Joseph Miller b. 1756 and your Daniel born 1758 who married
Elizabeth Cooley, a cousin far removed, were sons of Joseph by Margaret
Miller.  He married 2nd in New York state by special license in 1759, Sarah
Trepalier and James Cooley born 1760 (the Revolutionary James) and Andrew
born 1763 in New York of whom I have no further record. Were the children of
Joseph and his second wife Sarah Trepalier.  He married in PA a Margaret
Baldwin, who survived him.


            You have the record of John Cooley (Howard County, Missouri).  I
have his Revolutionary record, marriage, etc.  I have no record of Daniel
Cooley as fighting in the Revolution in Pennsylvania but he may well have
gone into Virginia with William and his own younger brother James and be
listed there.  At any rate you have the Revolutionary credentials through
Elizabeth daughter of our Revolutionary John.


            I hope to get down to Springfield soon and will take a further
look for what I can find.  Have been so tired out since finishing this big
job of copying that the hot weather is all I can manage.  That is another
reason I did not get you written.  Have used the type-writer for this letter
as I felt it would be much easier on you.  I write a fairly illegible hand
at best and when tired it is a dreadful thing to decipher.


            I found that the Cooleys you found in the old book were
Longmeadow and with your permission I will send that data on the Dean
Cooley, who is getting some new material on the Massachusetts Cooleys.


            I know none of my material seems very clear to you but if you
could see it all together and in the form it will appear finally you would
understand the relationship.  For instance your Daniel son of Joseph was a
grandson of Robert Cooley a pioneer of Pennsylvania and the uncle of my
(Revolutionary) John's father.  Clear as med, isn't it?  It takes a chart
larger than a piano bench to show the relationships and I have more than
1500 names placed and dated.


            So let us hope that the depression won't make my work wasted.
In the meantime one copy is to retire to my husband's fire-proof safe so
that wrecks or failures of publishing companies can't jeopardize everything.
And when and if it ever gets into type I will surely write you immediately.
For only some one who has labored over a task like that can imagine what
tireless energy is involved.


            Please write me when you can and let me know at once if you get
anything further on the Virginia end of the puzzle.  I will keep right on
the trail and let you know what I find.


            Hoping you will forgive me for being so tardy.  I am Yours most

                                                (signed) Lura Coolley Hamil


                        (handwritten addition) Was interested in your birth
year.  Mine was 1878, August twenty-sixth.  Married 1900.


Mrs. F. L. Hamil

229 North Union Street


[Mildred has written along the side of the second half of the letter:  "I
have not tried to corroborate these statements and findings because I think
they are not of my line, but they may be valuable findings for you."  


Mildred had loaned this letter out to someone as there is a not on the top
of the first sheet to "Please return to Mrs. E. C. Tallant, 9 H or 911
Chapala St., Santa Barbara, Calif."] 


{also on the very bottom of the letter, Mildred has circled Mrs. Hamil's
address and written "She d. Jan. 9 - 1933."} 



The original of this letter is in the possession of Dennis Young.


Mary Cooley






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