I refer, in my website’s Home page, to the possibility of finding a link to a historical figure, whether famous or infamous, during the course of any genealogy research. The chances of such a discovery are often better than you may think.
Whilst researching my own family tree, I did just that. Usually, I don’t put much effort into indirect relationships, such as the marriages of cousins and uncles/aunts.
But now and then, I get a bit carried away and a trigger name pops up.
My 1st cousin 4x removed, William CARTER (1823-1905), married Margaret DAVISON (1827-1895) in 1848. She was the daughter of John DAVISON (1798-1868) and Elizabeth Cook FLECK (1797-1858) who were married in 1825.
The names Cook and Fleck rang immediate bells for me – one obviously, the other not so.
James COOK, (1728-1779) has always been a bit of a hero for me, not just because he had such an influence in the more recent (European) histories of New Zealand and Australia, and his almost superhuman voyages of discovery, but also because he hails from North Yorkshire, where much of my father’s side of the family originated (after they left Scotland, that is).
So discovering the use of the name Cook piqued my interest. The Fleck name, however, was even more interesting.
I already knew that Margaret COOK (1742-1804), James’ younger sister, was the only member of the Cook family (James’ had 7 siblings) to have married and had children and subsequent descendants. None of James’ own six children, with his wife Elizabeth BATTS (1742-1835), lived long enough to marry – in fact Elizabeth outlived them all, surviving to the ripe old age of 93 .
Margaret COOK married James FLECK (1739-1817) in 1764. They had a son, also James FLECK (1765-1828) who in 1794 married Margaret ROWNTREE (1772-1798). Their daughter, Elizabeth Cook FLECK (see above) clanged the bells.
So that makes James COOK the 2nd grand uncle of the wife of my first cousin 4x removed. We’re almost brothers.