Friday, December 11, 2015

Harshbarger line: Nicholas Cocke 1592-1670

Quite a bit of research has been done on the Cocke family of Virginia, and some of it is likely not correct.  However, we know the Cocke's were there, early, so we have at least the general outlines of the family, even if we're not clear on when the first immigration took place.

Nicholas Cocke was born about 1592, likely in Cornwall or Lancashire, England.  Either the records haven't survived or they haven't been located, but this is where the Cocke family lived, and the coat of arms on Nicholas's grave was identical to the Cocke family's coat of arms.  It would be great if someone could trace this back further, and learn why the coat of arms was used, but as far as I know it hasn't happened.

He married Elizabeth Lower of Lesaunt, Cornwall, England on November 11, 1619 so this would be a good clue as to where to start looking for baptismal records.  As far as I know now, the couple had only one child, Nicholas Jr., although they had a marriage of over 50 years.  I would think it likely that there were more children.

It is hard to tell which Nicholas Cocke is being discussed in the Virginia land records, but the older Nicholas seems to have stayed in Middlesex County while his son was in Lancaster County, Va.  (Middlesex was actually formed from Lancaster County, so it is possible that the two men actually lived very close to each other.)
Nicholas died in 1670 and his wife died in 1687, at home in Middlesex County.  I haven't located probate records yet, nor do I know the cause of death for either person.  Elizabeth would have been quite old at her death, perhaps as much as 95 years old but surely at least 85.  Nicholas lived what was actually quite a good life, too, 78 years.   He had been in Virginia for at least 12 years, and that was pretty good for living among all the dangers-natural, human, and disease-that seemed to stalk the colony.

I'd love to know more about Nicholas Senior.  His son had slaves; did this Nicholas also engage in slavery?  What was his home like?  Was he wholeheartedly in favor of the Anglican/Church of England church?   And if Nicholas was truly his only child, how did he feel about that situation?  I would be thrilled to hear from anyone who knows anything more about the Cockes, or the Jones family, or anyone else in this list of descendants.  I don't have good documentation on some of them and I'd love to learn more about these families.

The line of descent is believed to be:

Nicholas Cocke-Elizabeth Lower
Nicholas Cocke-Jane widow Curtis
Jane Cocke-Rice Jones
Anna Keen Jones-John Wyatt
Thomas Wyatt-Susannah "Sukey" Edmondson
John Wyatt-Alice Gordon
Jean Wyatt-William Farmer
Margaret Farmer-Solomon Eliot Bennett
Mary Bennett-John Harter
Clara Harter-Emmanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants