Other Cooks in Lawrence County?

Warning! This page is under construction and contains speculative and unproven information!

The following is an e-mail communication which I received recently:

4 Mar 2010

I am very interested in your Cook family information. My ggg grandmother was Rosanna Cook who was born in North Carolina in 1809. She married Horatio Jeter in Bedford, Lawrence County in November 1827 and died there in January 1862. They had 8 children, 5 girls and 3 boys. I am descended from their daughter, Rebecca Jeter.

Horatio Jeter was born in Franklin, Kentucky, but his parents came from Virginia, so those families did move slowly west. Kentucky seems to have been a stop over from the east coast to Indiana.

I have not been able to find the parents of Rosanna (sometimes called Rosa) but I now wonder if she might have been the sister of your Elizabeth who was born in North Carolina and married in Indiana. I will have to explore that possibility. I agree about not being able to find them in the census.

I discovered today a wonderful online resource for Indiana. It is a history of Lawrence and Monroe Counties Indiana and is amazing in the amount of information, including names of residents from the earliest settlers until about 1910 when the history was written. The record was digitized and put online by the Allen County Library.

There are Cooks mentioned in several places There is a Samuel Cook (Horatio and Rosanna had a son named Samuel but I am not sure if he is the same) and there is a William Cook and a William A. Cook and a William S. Cook and a William J. Cook and a Rev. William F. Cook and a Henry Cook and a John R. Cook, all mentioned at various places in the history. It is a tome. Parts of it are difficult to read because (perhaps during the digitizing process) some of the letters are garbled, but it usually possible to get the gist of even that part and most of it is very readable - and very, very long.

Here is the URL:


or it may be simply this one:


I stumbled on this accidently when I typed Will Horatio Jeter, Lawrence County, Indiana. So there absolutely were Cooks still living in Indiana (several of them were in the Civil War). This wonderful resource gives information about the names of all of the newspapers that ever existed and of the churches and everything else you could imagine. Do check it out.

Please let me know if you think we connect with Rosanna and Elizabeth. I am "stuck" on that line of my family but now I have a few more clues about where to look.

Mary Lee Young
Haverford, Pennsylvania

My Research. I checked each of the URLs which Mary Lee gave me. The first was of the digitized version of the county history and, as she states, the information is extremely garbled. However, the second address is that of a searchable and highly legible photocopy of the book. I was able to find a lot of references to Cooks and other familiar surnames. Unfortunately, there were no biograpies of Cooks, so until we can identify who each of these Cooks was, the information is of limited value.

I looked for Cooks and Jeters in the Lawrence county census. My discoveries:

The 1820-1840 censuses do not give any township names or other geographical information. We can only guess that people who are listed close together must have lived near each other.

I had stated in my own Cook page, "I also searched the 1820 through 1840 census files at Ancestry.com without finding any Cooks in Lawrence county." I see that I need to correct that statement. I've heard that ancestry had some problems indexing Lawrence county. Perhaps they fixed their problems?

Conclusions. I can detect no relationship between Mary Lee's Cooks and Jeters and my own Cooks, since:

  1. They were living in different townships.
  2. Rosanna (Cook) Jeter was born in 1809 according to Mary Lee, or earlier, according to the 1850 census. My g-g-g-grandparents, John and Sarah (Mock) Cook, were both born in the 1790s and didn't marry until about 1813. That sort of rules out Rosanna being their child. Could she be John's younger sister? I don't know. I know nothing about his parents or siblings. John and Rosanna's differing birthplaces may or may not be significant.
  3. There were other Cooks living in the area whose relationship to Mary Lee's Cooks and mine is unknown.
This page was last updated 13 Mar 2010.