They say confession is good for the soul. I had been working meticulously on my “Cook” lineage on my family tree, non stop, for almost an entire year now. That’s why I haven’t updated my blog. I’ve made many changes & tracked so many people & nothing new.

So with that said, here goes…

Havilah “Viley” Cook (1867-1894) Birth 23 Dec 1867 in Magoffin, Kentucky, USA & Death 1 Apr 1894 in Magoffin, Kentucky, USA Burial: Cook Cemetery

After 7 long years and hundreds of man-hours logged, to which my husband can attest, I have decided to do the unthinkable. I know that I personally have done as much, to muck up the family tree, as anyone. I also know that if I leave it on Ancestry for a year, everyone will copy it without question. Without a single shred of evidence, on my part, or anyone else’s. I decided that the most logical thing to do was to merge daughter Sarah M Cook with my Maggie Cook. I have double & triple checked every Margaret (every spelling) in 3 counties & states. I know at first glance, it seems like a no-brainer, but her death certificate reads Mother: Marth Hammond. Informant was Reed, Robert – whom I would assume was the undertaker (signed Robbert Reed). You’d think the undertaker would know everybody. Her siblings reported their mothers surname to be “Dunn.”

We all know that our Havilah (1867-1894) was the Grandson of Havilah 1807, by his daughter Elizabeth aka “Viley” married Martha Reed. Witnessed by Louis Reed (which implies some type of kinship) [17 March 1887 Havila COOK Home of *Louis REED Dock SLUSHER J D BAYES, Min Martha REED Ambrose COLVIN ] [1887 Magoffin Co.,KY Marriages]

Unless Martha Reed died immediately after the wedding or she was married to a Dunn immediately after Havilah’s death or any other number of possible scenarios could play out here. IDK! That’s the only way I see her as the same person.

Plot Twist, Martha Ann Cook (1871-1909) died… Death: 16 Apr 1909 in Magoffin, Kentucky – according to her tombstone. So, my question is…. how is she alive & living with the children married to Viley’s brother, John J Cook, a year later April 28, 1910? I know, right?

Daughter: Manerva Cook(1887-1952) Birth 26 Jan 1887 in Magoffin, Kentucky, USA & Death 24 Oct 1952 in Magoffin, Kentucky, USA married Ben Abbott Adams (1889 – 1960). So far, Manerva has been my favorite person to track.
Name: Manerva Adams
[Manerva Cook]
Death Date: 24 Oct 1952
Death Location: Magoffin, Kentucky, USA
Age: 65
Gender: Female
Race: White
Birth Date: 26 Jan 1887
Birth Location: Kentucky
Father’s name: Haviliah Cook
Mother’s name: Martha Dunn

Daughter Sarah M Cook. Born in Oct 1889 – now merged (on my tree) with my Margaret Cook Reed. Married William Grats Reed. [26 July 1905 Crate REED at the J N HOWARD Store House Scott HOWARD H G HOWARD, Min Margaret COOK J H HOWARD].
Name: Margret Reed
[Margret Cook]
Death Date: 26 Jan 1912
Death Location: Magoffin, Kentucky, USA
Age: 20
Gender: Female
Race: White
Birth Date: 20 Oct 1891
Birth Location: Magoffin, Kentucky
Father’s name: Vibey Cook
Father’s Birth Location: Kentucky
Mother’s name: Marth Hamond
Mother’s Birth Location: Kentucky

Son: Fred Cook aka Freadie (1892-1979) Birth 14 Dec 1892 in Elsie, Magoffin, Kentucky, USA & Death 13 Feb 1979 in Morgan, Kentucky, USA married Sarah Margaret Colvin (1893 – 1968).

Son: John Wesley Cook (1894-1925) Birth 18 Mar 1894 in Magoffin, Kentucky, USA & Death 4 Mar 1925 in Whitesburg, Letcher, Kentucky, USA married Hester Smith Cook Stacy (1897-1966) [Murdered by his brother-in-law Wm J. Smith.
Name: John W Cook
Death Date: 4 Mar 1925
Death Location: Letcher, Kentucky, USA
Gender: Male
Race: White
Birth Location: Kentucky
Father’s name: Viley Cook


John J Cook (1865-1938) died 16 Feb 1938 in Magoffin, Kentucky according to his headstone, but I have NEVER found a death certificate listed anywhere for him. Nor, have I found him living anywhere in 1930 & believe me, I have LOOKED!

John J’s 1st wife Mary J “Belle” Tolson Cook [Marriage: 7 July 1887 John COOK Home of I C HOWARD Sofa J SELLERS I C HOWARD, Min Mary J TOLSON Matthew AMYX] is dead, death unknown unassumingly by 1900, since she’s not living with John J. He’s living with the widow Marthy Cook aka Martha Ann Cook & her children – but he claims to be “married” 13 years(accurate). He doesn’t say widow – for whatever reason. John J’s tombstone, which was placed years later; someone has listed Havilah as his father(instead of Grandfather).
John J’s daughter Annie (as listed on his tombstone) has a Social Security Claim record – where he records indicate Mamma Belle is still alive in 1895 & giving birth.
Name: Anna Cook Mattox
[Anna Cook Cook]
Gender: Female
Race: White
Birth Date: 2 Apr 1895
Birth Place: Salyorsville, Kentucky
Father Name: John Cook
Mother Name: Belle Toltson
Type of Claim: Original SSN.
Notes: Aug 1943: Name listed as ANNA COOK MATTOX

Annie married John Mattox (1895 – 1963) and she died on 26 Aug 1974 in Lawrence, Ohio, USA

John J Cook’s tombstone also indicates a son Cecil – I have never found any record of him either. Unless he is buried in the same cemetery? IDK!

2nd Marriage to Martha Cook [4 February 1902 John J COOK Home of John COOK *Louise HAMMON B G HOWARD, Min Martha COOK Clandy HOOD]
*Witnesses: Louis Reed – Louise Hammon? Similar … Could be?

Two children that have a HUGE question mark in my book & will take DNA to establish lineage, are daughter: Bessie Cook Kemplin (Charlie)(1896-1958) & son: Mallie Cook (1899-1961). Mallie told his children that he was adopted. I’m starting to think Bessie was as well. Bessie was born 10 Jul 1896 in Magoffin, Kentucky, USA. Her SS claim:
Name: Bessie Cook Kemplin
[Bessie Cook Cook]
Gender: Female
Race: White
Birth Date: 10 Jul 1896
Birth Place: Magoffin CO, Kentucky
Father Name: John Cook
Mother Name: Martha Dunn
Type of Claim: Original SSN.
Notes: Dec 1940: Name listed as BESSIE COOK KEMPLIN

Seems clear enough – but Viley died 1 Apr 1894 & Bessie was born 10 Jul 1896. That’s a full two years after his death & two years before John J’s & Martha Cook’s marriage – 4 February 1902. She didn’t fall out of the sky, so she must have been adopted, but by whom? And why?

Daughter to Martha & John J. Cook: Louisa “Louise” Cook Louise Cook (1904-1984) married George Matthew Robinette (1881 – 1945) & Clarence Russell May (1896 – 1980). I love that they buried her in the Cook Cemetery alongside her 1st husband. That’s unusual, but very sweet.

Son to Martha & John J. Cook, Thomas Cook married Ethel Bailey (1913 – 1999).

Now you have what I have, and the reason for my decision. Take a long hard look at the evidence, admittedly circumstantial, at best. You be the judge. See if you come to a different conclusion, please let me know. I’m open to any & all suggestions or corrections.

NOTE: Martha Whitaker Dunn (1870-1964) daughter of David Arnett Dunn & Elizabeth Patrick Dunn. 4th wife of Jeremiah M “Jerry” Dunn (1849 – 1927) 20 February 1899 J M DUNN Home of C C WILLIAMS William PRATER Eli WILLIAMS, Min Martha WHITAKER James BAILEY. Never remarried. The two had 7 known children. Their daughter Margaret Dunn (1908 – 1992) married Clifford Stone. Died in Jackson, Michigan.

Let me know what you think.

Thanks as always,
Sheila Jean Adkins Metcalf

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da