Who was Aaron Cooke's first wife and eldest child (1631?, Dorchester, Mass.)?

+5 votes

     In the profile of Nathaniel Cooke ( http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Cooke-2621 ), the biography states that: In Anderson's Great Migration Begins profile of Aaron Cooke, he writes: "Pope also gives Aaron an oldest child Nathaniel, but Nathaniel Cooke of Windsor married in 1649, which would make him too old to be a son of Aaron.)".

      So who should we believe?  Pope or Anderson?  I disagree with Anderson's reason (that Nathaniel was too old).  Since Nathaniel Cooke was married in 1649, he could have easily been born in 1631, or even 1632.  So he could easily have been born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, son of Aaron Cooke (bp. March 1613/14) who would have been somewhere between 17 and 19 years old ( http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Cooke-66 ).  

       This would very nicely explain how Nathaniel Cooke ended up in Windsor, Connecticut.  He simply moved there as a child with his father Aaron.  If so, the only question remaining is who was Nathaniel's mother.  There is no evidence that Aaron had a first wife named Mary, so Joan Denslow (only a few months younger than Aaron) could easily be Aaron's first wife (and Nathaniel's mother).  

     The Cookes and Denslows came over together on the "Mary and John" in the spring of 1630, and Aaron and Joan could have easily gotten married in 1631 at the age of 17 (or maybe even in 1630, especially if they had to get married).  No marriage records for Dorchester, Mass., until the 1650s, so it wouldn't have been recorded (nor the birth of Nathaniel Cooke).  None of their children were recorded until daughter Joanna was born in 1638 in Windsor.  This all makes sense to me, and I hope Anderson might reconsider his statement that Nathaniel was too old to be Aaron's son. But maybe I have missed something???


WikiTree profile: Nathaniel Cooke
in Genealogy Help by Kenneth Kinman G2G6 Mach 6 (64.6k points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
Aaron had a first wife named Mary Agnes Ford.  She was also his stepsister, his widowed mother, Elizabeth having married Mary's father, Thomas..  When Aaron and Mary traveled to Dorchester , MA with their family on the Mary & John in 1630, he was 17 and she 18.  They were certainly old enough to have a child of their own. Possibly Nathaniel was born during the journey.  They had 4 other children. Mary died sometime after 1645 and Aaron married Joan Denslow, with whom he had 3 more children.  His third wife was Elizabeth Nash and his fourth was Rebecca Foote Smith.  My family's line descends from Nathaniel.
Thanks Leslie,

        The important thing is that we agree that Aaron was indeed old enough to be the father of Nathaniel Cooke.  I am really hoping Anderson will change his position on that point.   

       As for who was Nathaniel's probable mother, there is some disagreement whether Aaron's first wife was actually named Mary, or even if there was a first wife before Joan Denslow.  See the discussion under the "Wives" section of Aaron's profile.

       The more important point as it concerns Nathaniel is that Aaron probably had two candidates about his same age who could have been Nathaniel's mother.  We know that he did marry Joan Denslow, but it remains to be seen if he married her earlier (as his first wife) or later (as his second wife).  It just seems a bit odd to me that Joan Denslow didn't get married until she was well over 30 years old.  

0 votes
Hi All,

       I just checked the Cooke DNA project at FamilyTreeDNA, and it looks like Nathaniel Cooke and Aaron Cooke are not related at all. Those  YDNA results show more than one male Cooke descendant in each of their lines, and they are in completely different haplogroups. So I admit that Anderson did turn out to be correct (but not for the correct reason).  



by Kenneth Kinman G2G6 Mach 6 (64.6k points)

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