Walter Cooke had two wives. Were they surnamed Brenton and Holbrook?

+6 votes

Walter Cooke (questionable PGM) has wives listed on his profile

Catherine Brenton and Experience Holbrook. They are mostly unsourced. Their alleged parents are mostly unsourced.

The bio states that available records do not give them surnames.

Anyone got a good source for these surnames? Otherwise they need to be changed to Unknown.

WikiTree profile: Walter Cooke
in Genealogy Help by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)

6 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer

Negative results, in case others are looking, also.

I couldn't find indications of LNAB for either wife of Walter Cook(e). As mentioned below (Will of William Brenton), William Brenton (of Rhode Island) had a sister Catharine Cook, but no connection to Walter Cook(e)..

- child Cooke mentioned above, born in Weymouth to Walter Cooke and Experience ---.

- Vital Records from the NEHGS Register v128:154, April 1974
Notes and Corrections section. "Catherine, Wife of Walter Cooke of Mendon," submitted by Jane F Fiske. She has "... mixing-up of facts led to the belief that she [wife Catherine] was a second wife, and Experience [was] shown to belong to someone else," referencing Chamberlain's History of Weymouth, and Snow-Estes Ancestry. I couldn't determine why Ms Fiske came to that conclusion.

- History of Weymouth, Massachusetts, in four volumes. Vol. 3. Genealogy of Weymouth Families by George Walter Chamberlain, M.S. Weymouth Historical Society. Howard H Joy, President. Under the direction of the Town. 1923.;view=1up;seq=5. p 174. Walter Cooke - "His first wife was Experience ---, and his second wife was Catherine ---, who died at Mendon, 2 Jan 1695-96. He died there Jan. 1695-96." No indication of LNAB for either wife.

- The Snow-Estes Ancestry, Nora E Snow, Hillburn, New York, 1939. p 102-3. Mentions wife Catharine ---. Does not mention other spouse(s).

- The genealogical dictionary of Rhode Island : comprising three generations of settlers who came before 1690 : with many families carried to thefourth generation. by Austin, John Osborne, 1849-1918. Under William Brenton: "1673, Feb 9 Will – proved 1674, Nov 13, at Newport where he died" - bequests “…  To sister Catharine Cook’s children, [Pounds]20.” No indication that that Catharine (Brenton) Cook was wife of Walter, or was specifically located in Weymouth (or anywhere).

EDIT: Torrey's Marriages has "COOKE, Walter ... & ?1/wf Catherine [ALDRICH] (-1696) (doubtful; no evidence)." I couldn't access all his references, but found no ALDRICH. Among references: "Hill #1 53." which is Bartlett, Joseph Gardner, John Hill of Dorchester, Mass., 1633, and Five Generations of His Descendants, Also Ancestral Lines of Some Families Intermarried with His Descendants and Colonial and Revolutionary Records. Couldn't determine what "53" referred to (total 22 pgs) and no individual numbered as 53.

by Bruce Veazie G2G6 Mach 5 (57.6k points)
selected by Anne B
Thank you Bruce. That's very helpful.
+3 votes

Here's a Walter Cook whose wife, named Experience had a Cook child in Weymouth, Norfolk, MA in 1662. 

by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)
Link doesn’t work for me.
I believe Frank is referencing: – search F.N.: walter, L.N.: cook; Any Place: massachusetts, Year Range: 1620-1700
In search results:
Mass Births and Christenings, 1639-1915
Cook, female, born 9 Nov 1662, Weymouth, Norfolk, Massachusetts; father: Walter Cook; mother: Experience

[No maiden name indicated for Experience - bjv]

Walter Cook

mentioned in the record of Cook

Name Walter Cook
Sex Male
Wife Experience
Daughter Cook

Other information in the record of Cook

from Massachusetts Births and Christenings

Name Cook
Gender Female
Birth Date 09 Nov 1662
Birthplace Weymouth, Norfolk, Massachusetts
Father's Name Walter Cook
Mother's Name Experience
  • No image available

Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915

Indexing Project (Batch) Number I01448-0
System Origin Massachusetts-EASy
GS Film number 2031513
Reference ID pg 48

Citing this Record

"Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915," database, FamilySearch( : 4 December 2014), Walter Cook in entry for Cook, 09 Nov 1662; citing Weymouth, Norfolk, Massachusetts, pg 48; FHL microfilm 2,031,513.

+3 votes

Walter Cooke, born 1621, son of Thomas 

Walter Cooke, born 1618, son of Tho.

by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)
Thanks, Frank. But Anne is seeking sources for the names of his spouses.
+3 votes


Walter Cook

Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records

Name Walter Cook
Event Type Death
Event Date 05 Jan 1695
Event Place Mendon, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Gender Male


View the original document. The original may contain more information than was indexed.

Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001

Reference ID v 33
GS Film Number 855377
Digital Folder Number 007011111
Image Number 00039

Citing this Record

"Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001," database with images, FamilySearch( : 3 November 2017), Walter Cook, 05 Jan 1695; citing Death, Mendon, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States, , town clerk offices, Massachusetts; FHL microfilm 855,377.

by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)
+1 vote
Katherine Brenton (b1628 England and d1/2/1695 Mendon Ma) was his wife

Experience Cooke b9/9/1662 was his daughter. She married Deacon Peter Adams (b7/20/1653 d12/8/1723 Medfield Ma) in 1680.

Please fix the duplicate records for Walter Cooke’s wife, I’m new to this and don’t want to merge and mess anything up.
by Jaime El-Helw G2G Crew (820 points)
Hi Jaime, Walter did have a wife Experience. She was his first wife and we know she existed because she was named in the birth record of one of his children. I've put her profile back to before you tried to turn her into Katherine.

Walter had another wife Cathorn (in her death record) who I suppose is Catherine. Do you have a valid source, such as a primary record or peer-reviewed genealogical journal for the surname Brenton?

Although the name was certainly spelled Cooke it was also spelled Cook as in their death record.

I’m so sorry if I caused you any trouble by changing... can you access this link? Here there are links to primary sources:

I was assuming that it was sloppy record keeping and Experience was listed as wife incorrectly instead of as daughter as her dates don’t match up. And Cathorn is another example of inaccuracies on this document. 

So Walter Cooke and Katherine Brenton had a daughter named Experience (Cooke) Adams who married Deacon Peter Adams. Experience and Peter then had a son called Peter as well. This Peter married Sara Hill and they named their daughter Experience Adams too. 

See link:

Walter Cooke and probably Experience, his first wife, had a daughter Experience Cook who married Peter Adams.

I don't see anything on the attachments to the Ancestry tree that indicate that Cathorn/Catherine, second wife of Walter Cooke was named Brenton.
+1 vote
Katherine Brenton was from England not Rhode Island. And Cooke is spelled with an (e) at the end
by Jaime El-Helw G2G Crew (820 points)

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