[List] Interesting letter form The Cooley Family Association of America

Mary Cooley mlcooley at charter.net
Sat Apr 21 22:06:50 PDT 2007


I found this letter in the files of Ron Jones/Bernita (Jones) Sharp.  I
believe the letter may have been written to my husband's cousin; although, I
don't believe I have ever heard anyone call him "Denny".)

 

The Cooley Family Association of America

Dean Mortimer E. Cooley, Founder

 

39 Woodland Place

Ft. Thomas, KY 41075

 

July 31, 1977.

 

Dear Denny,

            

I am so glad you are of an enquiring mind.  This is one of the necessary
attributes of a good genealogist.

            

That book of Lura Coolley Hamil has caused us plenty of headaches with folks
accepting her data as "gospel proof".  Yes, we have a copy of it.  One of
the several cousins who published it some twenty years after Mrs. Hamil
died, when they found it on a shelf in a house to be dismantled, - she spent
just barely five months on her research! - sent my husband a copy.
Genealogically speaking it should be labeled with a huge "Skull and cross
bones".  Mrs. Hamil went about grabbing up anything she felt might go
together, has mixed up many different Cooley families, etc.

            

After her statement that the Dutch Cool, etc. took on the English spelling
of Cooley due to the influence of having married English wives, my husband
and I went up into Orange Co., Rockland, Green Co, NY to study the court
house records.  I may honestly report to you that most of the Cooleys in
that area were direct descendants of Daniel Cooley who came there from
Massachusetts with his family.  Other New England Cooleys gradually followed
suit.  The way in which she arbitrarily decides to change the spelling of
the name, latch on to the most likely family for that group, is pretty sad.
All I can say to you and anyone else who sees that book (oh! That it had
never been printed), for goodness sake find proof first from some other
reliable source before accepting it.  I am horrified that it should have
been microfilmed without first someone to check its authenticity!

 

On the lineage that I sent you, wherever I included a date and place of
marriage or a settlement of an estate I have proof from a court house for
it.  Some of the information came from family Bibles, some from cemetery
records and some from census records, as well as old letters, such as the
one of John Pierce Cooley saying that his grandfather was born and raised in
Virginia.

 

Clay Co., MO. - Administration Papers of the estate of Joseph Cooley granted
widow Keziah Cooley 9/12/1826 - he died leaving eleven heirs and
representatives as follows:  Polly Mitchell of Tenn., John Cooley, Elizabeth
White, Hannah Wilson, Evaline Cooley, Christopher Cooley, Casander Cooley,
Harrison Cooley, Jackson Cooley, Franklin Cooley and Eli Cooley - all of
Missouri - Joseph Cooley d. 4/3/1826 - adm. 6/14/1826 - Adm. Keziah Cooley.
You will note that the first four children are those of the first marriage
as I gave them to you.

 

Now, the Daniel Cooley to whom I referred as perhaps being the brother of
your Joseph died in Ray Co., MO.  Just in case it might be of help to you
for someone else sometime I'll give you excerpts from the settlement of his
estate.  The adm. were John Staley, Wm. S. Miller, and Joshua Oakey - the
estate adm. 9/6/1826 - Heirs of Daniel Cooley, dec. - (6 sons & 6 dau.)  

Sons: William, John, James, Daniel, Elias, & Reuben - also Aaron Cooley of
Adair Co., KY. who was located 11/18/1828

Daus: Anna Munday, Rebecca Hardwick (wife of Thomas Hardwick), Sally
Mayberry, Polly Smart, Elizabeth Salley & Malinda Turner.

 

If you want any of the family set-ups in detail I'll be glad to copy them
for you.

 

Frank and I have done extensive research in southwest Virginia, travelling
up and down some long, pretty steep and curvy roads to get there, but did
get quite a bit of Cooley data.  There are Josephs and Daniels galore, but
so far, I can't pick out the correct two about whom I have been writing.
There was also another Daniel who came with his wife Elizabeth (Spurlock)
Cooley from Fincastle Co., VA. into Kentucky, settled in old Lincoln County,
died there and his family remained there.

 

One of the counties we worked in Virginia was Bland Co. to which I believe
Mrs. Hamil refers.  Well, the Joseph T. Cooley who lived there was the son
of Thaddeus and Elizabeth Cooley of Wythe Co., VA.  He was b. 5/17/1793 in
Wythe Co., Va. & died in Bland Co., VA. 5/22/1862 - after having married
three times - he is buried in Ceres, Bland Co. beside his first wife "in the
garden".  He and his first wife, Sally Ragsdale whom he m. in Wythe Co., VA
4/15/1815 had as their first child Marion Lee Cooley who m. 3/8/1866 in
Bland Co., VA. Catherine V. Baumgardner - they did move to Missouri living
in Kansas City, Jackson Co., Mo.  That might help a little to settle the
information in the "skull & cross bones" book.  There were a number of
Cooley families in southwestern Virginia, most of whom were not any kin to
each other, and they belonged in Virginia.

 

The above same Joseph had a brother, Daniel whose wife's name was Elizabeth.
They had at least four children.  But, they lived in Grayson Co., Va. where
I found his will probated 5/1812.  His widow remarried after his death to
David Collins.  This Daniel had bought property in Grayson Co., Va.
3/22/1803.

 

I trust I have laid to rest any doubts you may have had about your lineage
from Joseph.  I'll be happy to try to answer any further questions you may
have.

 

It will be very nice to have you as a member of the Cooley Family
Association of America.

 

Very sincerely yours,

/s/ Elizabeth Cooley

 

_________________________________________________________________________-

 

This is taken from the brochure of The Cooley Family Association of America;
Dean Mortimer E. Cooley, Founder:

 

"The COOLEY GENEALOGY, completed and published by Dean Cooley in 1941, is a
work recording all of the information which Dean Cooley had accumulated in
almost sixty years..The main section of THE COOLEY GENEALOGY records the
descendants of Benjamin Cooley, who settled in Longmeadow, Massachusetts
circa 1640.

 

Other Cooley immigrant lines have been documented as part of the Association
records.  Cornelius Coele of Holland settled in New York state; his
descendants in Pennsylvania spelled their name Cooley and Colley.  Samuel
Coley was one of the first settlers of Milford, Connecticut.  Peter Cooley
sailed from London with his three sons and settled in Virginia just prior to
the Revolution.  Abraham Cooley came to New York state about 1780, and
having "visited relatives" moved to North Carolina and later to Virginia.
Various spellings are numerous; public records contain such variations as
Cooley, Coley, Colley, Cully, Culy, etc.  The COOLEY ASSOCIATION is
concerned about all individuals with a Cooley name in their pedigree."

 

 

Mary Cooley

            

 

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