Cook Family History
was only in the spring of 1998 that I found myself with
the time to start some serious research on this family
line. I had only my family history to work with and the
knowledge that my great great grandfather was John Daniel
Cook, bn 1785, possibly in PA, who married Rachel Moody.
Their daughter, Mary Elizabeth Cook, was my great
My method of research started with the Web with almost instant results. I made contact with a fellow researcher who told me my John Daniel was descended from Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, Nicholas, and Walter. She also told me our name was originally Gale, another story to be told. But unfortunately this seemed to be all she had - a string of names, no dates, nada.
Then I found a real cousin, Peyton Cook, whose family history matched mine but with the addition of the previous generation, our great great great grandfather, also John Daniel Cook. Although we still have many details that appear to be questionable, I really felt we had a solid grasp on our family, at least back to John Daniel, Sr.
But now enters Stewart Williams, also a cousin, with many years of family research behind him and much oral tradition, having the father of John Daniel as Daniel, thru Daniel, thru Daniel, thru Nicholas, thru Walter. And our name was originally Gale (either English or Welsh). It appears that it is from Stewart's branch that most of this research has been done, that the story of the name change has been passed down.
Is this a complete story? Of course not! Are there still many links and connections to prove? Of course! But that is the great challenge of this marvelous hobby!
Inquiries, additions, corrections? Email me at:
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Last updated November 17, 1998