“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”
This is entry #28 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.
#28 John COOLEY 1827-aft. 1900
John COOLEY is the second brick wall in my series of posts for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. I’ve walked the full length of this brick wall searching for a door that will get me to the other side.
A small window that allows me to take a peek at what may be on the other side of this brick wall was created by Michael COOLEY, owner and administrator of Michael Cooley’s Genealogy Pages.
Michael and members of the John Cooley Mailing List work on finding information on the early American COOLEY lines and male descendants who are willing to take the Y-DNA test to prove the connections. Although the emphasis is on the male line, members may opt to discuss a female line to get around roadblocks.
My John COOLEY has been included in the list of Patrilineal Descendants of John COOLEY (ca.1740-1811) of Stokes County, North Carolina. His line is “greyed out” as the assumed connection has not been proven. I shared information on living male descendants with Michael and hope at least one will take the Y-DNA test and be included in the Y-DNA Signatures of Early American Cooleys.
This Side of the Brick Wall
My 3rd great-grandfather John COOLEY was born in October 1827 in Missouri. I don’t know who his parents were. I know that they, or at least his mother, had to be in Missouri in late 1827 when John was born.1
The earliest record found for John was for his marriage in Meigs County, Ohio, in 1851.2
John COOLEY married Sarah Ann TREADWELL on Tuesday the 9th of September 1851 in Meigs County, Ohio. They were married by H. S. Lawrence, Justice of the Peace. The bride’s maiden name is most likely not correct.
There are several reasons for this belief:
• Their daughter Ida’s 1870 birth record lists Sarah Jane TREADWAY.3
• Their children Calvin and Sally’s death records list TREADWAY as the mother’s maiden name.4, 5
• Finally, a great-granddaughter of their granddaughter Lorena Ellen CLONCH (md. 1st James Noyce SMITH, 2nd John TOMSHACK) has the family bible in which Sarah Ann is listed as TREADWAY. [For more than 10 years I have not been able to find out who the great-granddaughter of Lorena Ellen CLONCH is or where this statement came from. Maybe she will see this and get in touch.]
John was not located in the 1850 census. It is not known if he left Missouri soon after his birth, before he married Sarah, or sometime in between. He could have lived anywhere between the time of his birth in 1827 and his marriage in 1851.
In 1853 John and his wife Sarah were living in Parkersburg, Wood County, (West) Virginia when their first child Calvin was born.6 John’s occupation was listed as a sawyer on his son’s entry in the birth register.
Daughter Melissa F. was born about 1855 in Cedarville, Ohio, according to her death certificate.7 Was this Cedarville in Greene County or Cedarville (historical) in Clinton County? If this is reliable, Melissa may have been born while John and his little family were on their way west to Missouri. Was he going back to be with his family?
By 1860 John, a laborer had moved his family to Lexington, Lafayette County, Missouri.8 John, Sarah, and their children Calvin, Melissa (seen below as Lucy), and Harrison, age omitted, were living in the boarding house of Frederick and Elizabeth King, immigrants from Germany. Young Harrison was born in Missouri.
After Tobitha’s birth, John was moving his family back and forth between Mason County, West Virginia, and Meigs County, Ohio. Or at least it appears this way when comparing the places of birth of the children on the census. Sallie (b. 1865) and Robert (b. abt. 1868) are seen as born in West Virginia in the 1870 census when the family was living in Meigs County, Ohio. Ida, born in April before the census, was found in the Meigs birth register. Harrison, who was the youngest member of the family in 1860, appears to have died before the 1870 census. John, a sawyer in 1853, is once again working in a sawmill in 1870.10
John’s oldest children began to marry in the early 1870s giving us an idea of when the move to Mason County may have become more permanent. Daughter Melissa F. “Lucy” COOLEY married Henry Hartman BIRD (1833-1900) on 19 March 1871 in Meigs County, Ohio.11 Son Calvin COOLEY married Mary MacNeal CAMDEN (1855-1931) on 14 November 1872 in Mason County, West Virginia.12 Both of these children are seen as residents of the county they married in. The move to Mason most likely was between March 1871 and November 1872.
After coming to Mason County two more children were born: Minnie O. on 3 May 1873 in Arbuckle District and Timothy on 6 June 1876 in Hannan District.13.14 Even with six children in his household in 1880 John “adopted” two young children whose mother was born in Missouri. Was their mother a sister, niece, or cousin of John COOLEY?15
Following the 1880 census John’s daughters Tobitha and Sarah married.
Tabitha Ann “Tobitha” COOLEY married Alexander CLONCH (1842-1910) on Thursday the 19th of August 1880 in Gallipolis, Gallia County, Ohio.16 The day after their marriage, in Mason County, “a heavy storm of wind, rain, and lightning, came up. The rain poured down in torrents, with flash after flash of lightning and peal after peal of thunder. It was a fearful afternoon and got so dark that lamps had to be lighted in the business rooms. During the time the lightning struck the Court House at the extreme point of the cupula, and descending the lightning rod jumped from it to the metallic roof, and from there to the spouting, clearing away about one half of the spouting on the east side of the house, following the spouting along until it again came in contact with the rod, when the fluid passed on down the rod into the ground. The rod is probably what saved the building.“17 What a dramatic day after the marriage of my 2nd great-grandparents. It must have been a good omen as the marriage lasted 30 years, until the death of Alex at age 68. And to think that five months earlier Alex’s marriage to his first wife had been dissolved at that same court house.18
Sarah Ann “Sallie” COOLEY married Joseph Riley WAUGH (1860-1921) on the 14th of March 1882 in Gallia County, Ohio.19
Unfortunately, not all news was good news during these times. John and Sarah’s 14-year-old son Robert Ulysses S. Grant COOLEY died of typho-malarial fever on 2 November 1882 in Arbuckle District.20 Malarial fever was prevalent in the area at the time. The parents may have been ill or caring for others in the family as one of Robert’s sisters gave the information on his death record. This may have been one of the older married sisters as Ida and Minnie were 10 and 8 years old at the time.
John and his son Calvin had some bad luck with horses in 1884-1885. Calvin lost one of his team horses in June 1884. It had “died from scours, supposed to be caused from eating some weed that has made its appearance in our pastures, and of which considerable complaint is being made.“21 In February of 1885 John’s horse fell on the ice on Nine Mile creek and hurt itself so badly it had to be killed.22
John’s son Timothy COOLEY married Lilly E. CRUIKSHANK (1879-1961) on 19 September 1897 in Clay County, West Virginia.23 The COOLEY and the CLONCH families most likely moved to Clay County about the same time.
John and Sarah lost a daughter Melissa F. “Lucy” BIRD who died on 23 March 1898 in Bashan, Meigs County, Ohio.24 This was also about the time that the COOLEY and the CLONCH families moved to the Dixie/Belva area of Fayette County, West Virginia.
At first, the census listing for 1900 was overlooked as the surname was misspelled and John and his parents’ places of birth were seen as Mississippi instead of Missouri. A marriage record for John’s youngest daughter Minnie O. COOLEY helped to make the connection. Minnie married George WILSON (1849-aft. 1900) on 8 March 1900.25 She did not live long enough to be enumerated on the 1900 census but her widowed husband and a daughter from a previous relationship are seen living with John and Sarah COOLEY (misspelled Cowley) in Belva.26
John and his wife Sarah were in their early 70s in 1900. Calvin, Tobitha, Sallie, and Timothy were the only children remaining. No record has been found of their daughter Ida born in 1870 and last seen in 1880.
Update 3 July 2022: Minnie Ophelia COOLEY didn’t die before the 1900 census. New information has come to light. Pieces of the puzzle need to be found before I write a post.
John and his wife were not found in the 1910 census. It’s possible that they passed away during the decade as they were getting on in age. I would have liked to have found a death record for John COOLEY with the names of his parents listed on it but that was not to be.
By the end of 1913, his daughter Sallie WAUGH was the only living child and would live 26 more years dying on 7 December 1939.27 Calvin died on 10 June 1912, Timothy died on in 1912 or 1913, and Tobitha died on 16 December 1913.28,29,30
This Post was Updated on 10 July 2022: Missing source citations were added, images were scaled, and some corrections were made to the text and format.
© 2014-2022, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.
- Census records in 1860, 1870, and 1880 consistently list Missouri as his place of birth. However, in 1900 the enumerator likely did not know the old-style abbreviation for Missouri was Mo. He wrote Ms which I don’t believe was meant to be for Mississippi that at the time was abbreviated Miss. ↩
- “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2016,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing digital images of originals housed at the county courthouses in Ohio, Meigs, Marriage records 1819-1852 vol 1, image 270 of 277, page 451 (stamped), 3rd entry, John Cooley and Sarah Ann Treadwell, 9 Sep 1851. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-91QD-F3?cc=1614804&wc=ZRM1-N38%3A121348301%2C121348302 : accessed 25 October 2011). ↩
- “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6DH9-MCD?cc=1932106&wc=Q6QM-SLY%3A227591901%2C227596401 : 22 December 2016), Meigs > Birth registers 1867-1882 vol 1 > image 104 of 345; county courthouses, Ohio. [line 1515] ↩
- “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” index with images, FamilySearch, index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City, citing digital images of originals housed at the Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio, Film 1953420, DGS 4021197, Deaths, file no. 30701-33500, 1912 > 30701-33500 > image 2094 of 3222. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DTV3-YCW?cc=1307272&wc=MD9X-K29%3A287600801%2C294473601 : accessed 7 January 2008). ↩
- West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History, citing county records in county courthouses, West Virginia (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at https://archive.wvculture.org/vrr), West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 1983475, image 1056, Certificate of Death 16029, Sallie Waugh, died 7 Dec 1939, born 25 Jun 1865. (http://images.wvculture.org/1983475/0001056.gif : accessed 16 January 2007). ↩
- WVCulture.org, West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 580538, image 7, Wood County Register of Births, page 8 (stamped) (double-page spread), line 100 (4th line) Calvin Cooley, 10 Oct 18, parents John and Sarah Cooley, father’s occupation: sawyer. (http://images.wvculture.org/580538/00007.jpg : accessed 9 July 2014). ↩
- “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing county courthouses, Ohio. Meigs, Death records, 1867-1897, vol 1, image 297 of 373, line 170 (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-695Q-M1C?cc=2128172&wc=7DZ2-GYK%3A1296112677%2C1296112678 : 30 September 2014). ↩
- 1860 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7667/), citing Eighth Census of the United States, 1860 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls, Roll: M653_628, Family History Library Film: 803628, Missouri, Lafayette County, Lexington P.O., page 60, sheet 274 (handwritten), lines 13-17, household 523-582, John Cooley (accessed 26 June 2013). ↩
- Tabitha’s place of birth was noted as Ohio in the 1870 and 1880 censuses. The 1900 and 1910 censuses were not found. Her date of birth was engraved on her grave marker. ↩
- 1870 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7163/), citing Ninth Census of the United States, 1870 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls, M593_1242, Ohio, Meigs County, Olive Township, page 42, sheet 121A (stamped), lines 26-33, household 319-304, John Cooley (accessed 26 June 2013). ↩
- “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2016,” FHL microfilm 313455, Meigs, Marriage records 1869-1873 vol 5, image 138 of 330, page 222, reference certificate number 446, Henry H Bird and Melissa F Cooley, license dated 18 March 1871, married 19 March 1871. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939K-BJSM-3Q?cc=1614804&wc=Q6SP-7YZ%3A121348301%2C121535001 : accessed 17 March 2019). ↩
- WVCulture.org, West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 567390, image 420, Mason County marriage license, certificate, and return, page 289 (stamped) Calvin Cooley and Mary M Camden married 14 Nov 1872. (http://images.wvculture.org/567390/00420.jpg : accessed 11 June 2009). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 584765, image 392, Fayette County Register of Marriages, line 7, 8 Mar 1900, George Wilson and Minnie O Cooley. (http://images.wvculture.org/584765/00392.jpg : accessed 15 June 2009)., West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 1855007, image 542, Mason County Register of Births, page 531-532 (stamped, double-page spread), line 43, 3 May 1873, Minie O., Arbuckle District, parents John and Sarah Cooley. (http://images.wvculture.org/1855007/00542.jpg : accessed 2 April 2022). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 1855007, image 573, Mason County Register of Deaths, page 581-582 (stamped, double-page spread), line 27, 6 Jun 1876, Timothy, Hannan District, parents John and Sarah Ann Cooley. (http://images.wvculture.org/1855007/00573.jpg : accessed 2 April 2022). ↩
- 1880 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6742/), citing Tenth Census of the United States, 1880 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls, Roll: 1408, West Virginia, Mason County, Arbuckle, enumeration district: 91, sheet 210A (stamped), page 21, lines 1-10, household 200, John Cooley (accessed 26 June 2013). ↩
- “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2016,” FHL Film 317653 > Gallia > Marriage records 1862-1874 vol 3 > image 19 of 276, page 23 (stamped), entry 7, Alexander Clonch and Mary Ellen Lemaster married 10 November 1863 in Gallia County, Ohio. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9RMD-SV3N?cc=1614804&wc=M94Q-V7T%3A390869322 : accessed 18 December 2013). ↩
The Weekly register. (Point Pleasant, Va. [W. Va.]), 25 Aug. 1880. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
- “Mason County, West Virginia, Circuit Court, Chancery orders, 1831-1929,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of originals at the county courthouse, Point Pleasant, West Virginia, Film 1861962 Item 1, DGS 7615569, Chancery orders, Vols. 4 1877-1880, image 321 of 899, Folio 274 and 275, March Term 1880. 1880 Divorce of Alexander Clonch from Mary Ellen Lemaster. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99VP-2SNQ?i=320&cat=659762 : accessed 6 January 2019). ↩
- “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2016,” FHL microfilm 317655, Gallia, Marriage records 1878-1884 vol 5, image 226 of 352, page 357, certificate number 1066, Joseph R. Waugh and Sarah Ann Cooley, 14 Mar 1882. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9RMD-SVWQ?cc=1614804&wc=ZRH8-JWL%3A121350101%2C121595201 : accessed 9 Jul 2014). ↩
- WVCulture.org, West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 567384, image 250, Mason County Register of Deaths, 1882, page 553-554 (stamped, double-page spread), line 5, Robert U.S.G. Cooley, 2 Nov 1882, age at death 14 yrs 8 months, born and died Arbuckle District. “.” (http://images.wvculture.org/567384/00250.jpg : accessed 25 May 2011). ↩
- The Weekly register. (Point Pleasant, Va. [W. Va.]), 25 June 1884. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026817/1884-06-25/ed-1/seq-3/> ↩
- Ibid., 25 Feb. 1885. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026817/1885-02-25/ed-1/seq-3/> ↩
- WVCulture.org, West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 567443, image 360, Clay County marriage license, certificate, and return, page 264 (stamped), Timothy Cooley and Lilly E. Cruikshank 19 Sep 1897. (http://images.wvculture.org/567443/00360.jpg : accessed 3 July 2022). ↩
- “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” Meigs > Death records, 1867-1897, vol 1 > image 297 of 373 > page 3 (stamped, double-page spread), line 170, Melissa F. Bird, 23 Mar 1898, died in Bashan, born in Cedarville, O., age at death 43 yrs 1 month 9 days, heart disease. “.” (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-695Q-M1C?cc=2128172&wc=7DZ2-GYK%3A1296112677%2C1296112678 : accessed 2 April 2022). ↩
- WVCulture.org, West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 584765, image 392, Fayette County Register of Marriages, line 7, 8 Mar 1900, George Wilson and Minnie O Cooley. (http://images.wvculture.org/584765/00392.jpg : accessed 15 June 2009). ↩
- 1900 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7602/), citing Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T623, 1854 rolls, FHL microfilm 1241757, West Virginia, Fayette County, Falls District Belva Precinct, enumeration dIstrict 11, sheet 16B, lines 60-63, household 358-358, John Cowley (sic), (accessed 26 June 2013). ↩
- WVCulture.org, West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 1983475, image 1056, Certificate of Death 16029, Sallie Waugh, died 7 Dec 1939, born 25 Jun 1865. (http://images.wvculture.org/1983475/0001056.gif : accessed 16 January 2007). ↩
- “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” Film 1953420, DGS 4021197, Deaths, file no. 30701-33500, 1912 > 30701-33500 > image 2094 of 3222. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DTV3-YCW?cc=1307272&wc=MD9X-K29%3A287600801%2C294473601 : accessed 7 January 2008). ↩
- “West Virginia, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1724-1985,” index with images, Ancestry, citing West Virginia County, District and Probate Courts. Roane County (West Virginia). Clerk of the County Court, Probate, Bonds, Vol 3-4, 1916-1928, page 484, 14 September 1916, guardianship of the underage children of Timothy Cooley was granted to B.C. Cruikshank (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9087/images/007615578_00904?pId=83028 : accessed 3 July 2022). Note: Undocumented dates of death are 11 December 1912 and 2 December 1913 however no death record has been found. ↩
- United States. Veterans Administration, “United States Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907-1933,” index and images, FamilySearch, NARA, RG 15, M850, citing microfilm of original records in The National Archives, Washington, District of Columbia., Roll 418, Film 1634453, DGS 4694973, Clinebell, William L. – Clore, Nancy J. > image 579-582 of 681, Alexander Clonch and Tabitha Clonch. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-17556-56413-13?cc=1832324&wc=M9WY-MC3:881461769 : accessed 13 Nov 2013). ↩