Ellis Cook

Copyright, Plagiarism, and Disclaimer

Copyright: The material on this website is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.

Plagiarism: Please give credit where credit is due and properly cite your source.

Disclaimer: Mistakes and errors are inevitable. Caveat emptor.

For more information, please see this page.
ChartsAncestors of Edward Ambrose Cooke
Descendants of Ellis Cook-6 Generations
Ellis Cooke to Edward Ambrose Cooke
Ellis Cook, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), was born at England, between 1618 and 1623.1 He died at Southampton, Suffolk Co., New York, before 26 February 1678/79, when the inventory of his estate was taken.2,3

Ellis married Martha Cooper, daughter of John Cooper and Wibroe Griggs, at Southampton about 1653.4,5

Ellis is the earliest of any of the family to be found but no record has yet been found to give evidence as to his origin. He was one of the early settlers of Southampton, Long Island, New York. The settlement was founded by Edward Howell in 1640 with a company formed in Lynn, Massachusetts. They were English and it is reported that Howell was originally from near Southampton, England.

A family group sheet at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City shows that Ellis was born in 1618, Leicester, Leicestershire, England, but, a contemporary source record has not been located.6

In 1644 Ellis was at least 21 when he was a townsman and assigned to the third ward of Southampton for cutting up whales. In 1651, seven years later, he would be at least 28, a master carpenter, and selected as one of five to rule the town for a year.

He married Martha Cooper probably by 1653, about a year before his daughter Martha was probably born. By 1650 he had a home-lot and was one of the town councilmen, so may have been married by then.

One of his two village lots was on the east side of Main Street; the second one south of the meeting house. He later lived near the water mill on the road to Bridgehampton.

Ellis made his mark and left no signed record. Subsequent generations spelled the name without the "e" until Robert Woodruff Cooke in the early 1800's. His childhood Bible reflects no "e", but the "e" is added in his adult family Bible. He may have learned of the recorded will and added the "e" thinking it was the standard spelling or may have wanted to differentiate himself from other Cook's in the Monmouth Co. area of New Jersey area where he established his medical practice.2,4,7,3

From 1644 to 1679 the Southampton Town records make many references to Ellis Cook [or Cooke—the spelling varies].

The dates shown here are as given in the abstracted records. That may make the entries appear out of order because of the Julian calendar still in use in the British world. The abstracts do not show double dating for dates between 1 January–25 March and it is presumed the originals also do not. Comparison with the originals may prove otherwise.

Ellis’ first appears in the records 7 Mar 1644, when he is on a list of men from the third ward who are to have charge of the division of any whale cast up on the shore. “For the prevention of disorder,” the town divided up the townsmen into four wards of 11 men each, with two chosen by lott from each ward to “. . . be imployed for the cutting out of the sayd whales, who for their paynes shall have a double share, And every Inhabitant with his child or servant that is aboue sixteen years of age, shal haue in the division of the other part an equall proportion, provided that such person when it falls into his ward be a sufficient man to be imployed about it.8 Dead whales apparently were a recurring problem in colonial Southampton as Ellis was again assigned to the third squadron for cutting cast up whales on 8 Mar 1653.9 And on 23 Mar 1667, the town again divided into squadrons for cutting up dead whales. This time there were six squadrons, and Ellis was named third in the third squadron.10

He was involved in civil affairs:
On 10 May 1649, he was recorded as a townsman, though he was not a “perfect freeman” on 8 March. Shortly after (date not given) he was among several listed as absent from some meeting or general court session. 11
On 6 Oct 1651, he was chosen as one of five to govern town affairs: "At the saide general court were chosen five men for governinge of town affairs, William Rogers Henry Pierson Ellis Cooke Thomas Sayre Richard Barrett who had by the saide Courte the same power given vnto them, as those which bore the said office the yeare 1650."12
On 6 Oct 1654, he was chosen “Cunstable and marshall and sworne.”13
On 1 Nov 1676, he was one of the patentees in a patent of Governor-General Edmund Andros, ratifying the grant of Southampton to the freeholders and inhabitants, the tenure to be according to the customs of the manor of East Greenwich, in the county of Kent, England, "in free and common soccage and by fealty only."14

He occasionally appeared in court as juryman, plaintiff or defendant:
On 21 Oct 1650, he was storing in his barn the corn of John Statton of East Hampton which was being attached by Jonas Wood for an action of indebtedness against Stratton.15
On 1 Mar 1652, he was a juryman in the case of Mr. Stanborough, plaintiff and Elizabeth Wood, defendant; finding for the defendant, costs and Cort charges (what the case was is not stated).16
On 30 Oct 1655, he was on a jury in a case of trespass brought by Captain Silvester against John Wood, finding for the plaintiff.17
On 11 Mar 1657, he was named the defendant in the suit of John Scott (cause not stated).18 26 Feb 1657 the same suit is finally tried and, “The jury findeth for the plaintif, the defendants part of the mare making such pay as [word missing] should have had, we find for the defendant to pay Court charges and 2s damage judgement is granted according to the verdict of the jury.”19
On 6 Oct 1659, he was plaintiff in a case of trespass against Isaac Willman, but there is no record of the trial or verdict. 20

He appears in various other records of the town:
On 10 Sep 1650, he and several others were awarded 3 shillings a day for “their paines at the seapoose” (an Indian word for little river, which in this context, means an inlet between Mecox Bay and the ocean).21
On 20 Mar 1651, "It was ordered by the saide General Court that Richard Post and Ellis Cook shall be freed from their bargin of building a meeting howse for the towne, which agreement they made with the five men upon this condition that the said Ellis Cook and Richard Post shall set up a xxxx for a meeting house for the towne, the said Richard Post and Ellis Cook is to have at two days notice given by either of the two said carpenters either carpenters or laborers to help about the same, & they to have two shillings apiece pr day each man that is to say Richard Post and Ellis Cooke, and the other carpenters, the length of the house is to be 30 foot, the breadth 24 foote, the postes to be set in the ground and to be 8 foot and halfe long in the xxxx from ye ground to the plate, the laborers are to have 2s pr day, the pay to be in merchantable wampum strung or unstrung."22
On 22 Sep 1651, he was absent at the second call for a town meeting.23
On 30 Apr 1657, he received, with others, half a pound of powder from the magazine.24
Probably June 1657 [at an undated town meeting] he engaged with others to keep the oxen in the oxpasture for one day.25
In 1657 he is mentioned in a list of inhabitants as one of the "eastern men" of the town.26
On 5 Mar 1665: “By the Overseers. Whereas Ellis Cook hath kept the townes brand marke for cattell about theire 6 days past, and it being by two of the Overseers desired yt ye towne may have it for theire present use, which is urgent in respect of divers particulars, and the said Ellis will not soe much as give a faire answer when he will return it, wee doe order that the said brande be sent for at the said Ellis his charge, and if upon demand hee will not deliver it, then hee shal alsoe pay the Smith for making a new one, besides answering ye law or damage yt comes by his said keeping ye brande.27
On 5 Jun 1665, he enters an earmark he bought from Humphrey Hughes.28
He was in a list of the town that was made about 1666.29

The town records make numerous mention of his property:
His house-lot is mentioned as being next to the one being granted to Isaac Willman, 7 Oct 1648.30
He has a £100-00-00 allotment at Little Plains where he has lot No. 26, 5 Mar 1651.31 This division was later recalled, in a memorandum of it on 7 Oct 1659 but Samuel Dayton had a 50£ share of that. The same day, having recorded the 1st division of the little plaine, the town made a second division and Ellis received lot 23, and in the division of the fence, 5 poles, 2 feet32
He had a 100£ allotment (no.24) in the Sagaponack allotment, 2 Feb 1653.33
His land was mentioned in an exchange where, “Mr Rainer hath in exchange of Mr. Stanborough 3 acres lying west on his ten acre lott, and two acres of his lot called is 8 acre lot and lying South of Ellis Cookes his 2 acres on farington neck furlong,” 10 Feb 1653.34
In Feb 1654, he had a £100 allotment (no. 14) in the Seaponack division.35
On 26 Apr 1654, “Mr Stanborogh hath in the right of Ellis Cooke 100£ allotment in No. 24 at Sagaponack in exchange for 1 acre of meadow lying above the salt marsh in Halseys neck next the west creeke and one acre ¼ of land lying westward of John Coopers sen. his land in the 10 acre lott furlong.”36
On 1 Feb 1655, he was in the list of Seabonac Division, for 100£; John Jagger is listed on the same lot for 50£.37
On 25 May 1659, John Oldfield acknowledged he sold Ellis Cook his home lot lieing betwixt Thomas Halseys Sen. and Thomas Cooper, tue half acres lieing in the little plains, an acre more in liew of what he thew up in the ox-pasture, and all the commonage and privileges of a 50 pound lot belonging to that land.38
Also on 25 May 1659, Mr Ogden acknowledged he sold Ellis Cooke and Isaac Willman the division of Sagaonack at mecox that was formerly Goodman Whites, which lieth for two acres.38
Also on 25 May 1659, “Mr John Ogden acknowledged he sold Ellis Cook and Isaack Willman one allotment of Sagaponack division number 32 that was formerly Isaack Willman, another lott that was fermely in the hands of Mr. Joanes at mee cooks in numb33, another lot lately in the hands of John Jessup & Johnas Bour Numb 35, an acre and half lately in the hands of John White and Jonas Bour lying between Edwards Joanes and Isaac Willman.”38
He was allocated 10 poles, 8 feet in the division of the Great Plain fence and lot #28 of the meadow at the beach or pines, 7 Oct 1659.39
On 16 Jan 1665, he is shown in a rate list, “The Rate made to pay the 70£ (with the surplus charge thereof) for Quaquanantuck. Lotts £: 150, payment made: £1-17-06.40
John Ogden acknowledged he sold Ellis Cooke the land he bought of William Ludlam, the land being at Mecocks, one parcel being all that field that upon the laying out of that division lay between the highway next the milers and the next creek on the east or southeast, the other parcel lying on little neck on the west side of the creek which is on the west side of Arthur Howells land and was sometime in possession of Richard Woodhull, 1 Mar 1663.41
He claimed a 150£ allotment at Quaquanantuck, 18 Dec 1665. 42
He is shown as having been part owner of an 8 acre lot “in first neck north of Thomas Halseys close and on the west side of the road, said lot was formerly owned by Tho. Cooper John Cooper John Howell Edmond Howell Ellis Cook Thomas Burnet & Henry Pierson,” 30 Mar 1666.43
About June 1668, “A proposal by ye neighborhood where they desire to have their present devision to lye, which is agreed to be 10 acres to a fifty: Ellis Cooke 20 acres at his house at meacox & 10 acres at Calf Creek. Other descriptions in this list mention Ellis’ close and cow yard.44
On 9 Apr 1671, John Beswick sold to Isaac Mills a house and 4 acres of land adjoining East side of Swan Creek, and in the common near Ellis Cooks, which he bought of Ellis Cook and Anthony Ludlam, price 20£.45
He was granted allotment #7 at Assops neck, 29 May 1673.46
In 1674, a "little parcel of land, 3 acres" at Captains Neck was mentioned as lying between John Woodruff and Ellis Cook in the estate agreement of the heirs of Robert Fordham47
He was granted allotment #22 in the southern division and #33 in the northern division of the pasture, 11 May 1677.48
He was granted a 150£ allotment (5 poles) at Shinecock, 26 Dec 1677.49

Many years later an undated record (but near April 1692), refers to a lot he once owned in an exchange between his neighbor, Issac Willman, and Ellis' son-in-law, Thomas Stephens, whereby Isaac sold "one acre in the oxpasture, south division No 23 east side of said lot formerly belonging to John Woodruff in exchange Thomas Stephens gives ½ acre in the first division of the little plain as it fell to Ellis Cook."50

Ellis Cook left a will dated 5 September 1663 and proved 7 July 1679:
In the Name of God Amen, I Ellis Cooke of Southhamton being by Gods providence sicke and weake of body, but in perfect memory, doe make this my Last Will & Testament as followeth.

1st I Comitt my soule into the hands of Allmighty God that gave it &c.

2 I Give and bequeath unto my son John Cooke one Feather bedd & furniture thereunto, my owne wearing Apparell, my Carpenters tooles, one mare, & two cowes, all to bee delivered unto him when hee is at the Age of Twenty one yeares. And if hee behave himselfe well to his mother, & lie civilly in Coversation in the Judgment of my friends whome I make overseers of this my will, then I give to him more, either my Housing & land at maycocks or my Housing and Accomodation at the towne aforesd which may bee most meet, in the Judgment of my Wife, with this Proviso, that what Land shall bee soe disposed of unto him my said son, hee shall not make sale thereof, nor any parte thereof without the consent of the said Overseers or some whome they shall Appoint & Authorize in their stead.

3 I Give and bequeath to my Daughter Martha thirty pounds & one feather bedd with furniture thereto.

4 I bequeath unto my son Ellis the other pt of my Land or Accomodations which shall bee undisposed of by the Abovesaid, to enjoy the same after my wife her decease if hee bee att he age of twenty one yeares But hee shall not disposed of any part threof without consent of the sd overseers or those they shall Appoint in their stead, Also I give unto him fifty poundes in money to be payd unto hime when hee is twenty one yeares old,

5 I Give & bequeath unto my Daughter Elizabeth thirty pounds & one feather bedd with furniture thereunto.

6 I Give & bequeath unto my daughter Mary thirty pounds, & also I give unto her one feather bedd (if my wife can spare it, if not then ten pounds in stead theirof, All my said daughters to have their said portions paid unto them when they marry or at the Age of twenty one yeares, pticularly which shall bee first. And if any of my said Children dy before they receive their said portions, my wil lis that my wife dispose that unto the rest that survive as shee shall see occasion;

7 Moreover if my wife bee with Child & that it live I doe give and bequeath unto it forty pounds to bee paid as unto my other Children in respect of manner & time as aforesaid;

8 I Give unto my servant Thomas Stevens one Heifer of about one yeare old to bee delivered unto him at the Expiration of his Apprenticeship, provided hee carry himselfe as hee ought in his place during his time of service &c.

9 I doe make my wife Martha my Lawfull Executrix of this my will & Testament, And my Brothers John Cooper & Thomas Cooper overseers thereof. and soe I Comitt my Body (in gods Appoiinted time) to bee decently buried in the Earth from which it was first taken;

Wittness my Hand this 5 of September Anno 1663.

In Presence of us Ellis ^ Cooke
Henry Pierson his marke
Thomas Dimmon
George G. Harris
his X marke

His will was originally on record in the Surrogates's Office, but all early New York wills were transferred to Queens College, Brooklyn, New York in the the 1960's and still later returned to state custody at the New York State Library and Archives, Albany. Gordon Remington records a veritable travelogue of New York State Probate Records.51,52

The following list of children is in approximate birth order but does not match the order in the will. When Ellis wrote his will in 1663, the boys were both under 21, the girls under 18, they are intermixed, and he made provisions for a possible expected child. The dates we know are:
John's gravestone indicates he was born in 1656.
Elizabeth married 26 Oct 1675, so was born by 1658 if she were 17 at marriage
the younger Ellis' gravestone shows he died in 1706 at age 44 (born 1662)
Abiel was born probably soon after the will was written, say early 1664

If we assume a normal two year interval for births, we can place Martha at 1654 and Mary at 1660.


Martha Cooper b. 26 Nov 1629, d. aft. 29 May 1690
This person was last edited on19 Oct 2021


  1. [S79] Albert Stanburrough Cook, The Will of Ellis Cook of Southampton, Long Island (d. 1679) (New Haven, Connecticut: p.p., 1916), 21, further cited as Cook, Will of Ellis Cook.
  2. [S171] George Rogers Howell, The Early History of Southampton L.I., New York with Genealogies. Revised, Corrected and Enlarged. Albany, New York: Weed, Parsons and Co., 2nd ed., 1887, 212. CD-ROM reprint, Genealogy and History of the Town of Southampton, New York (http://genealogycds.com: genealogycds.com, 2007), further cited as History of Southampton.
  3. [S79] Cook, Will of Ellis Cook.
  4. [S29] Thomas W. Cooper II, "The Cooper-Pierson-Griggs Connection," The American Genealogist 64 (Oct 1989): 193-202, at 199, further cited as Cooper, "Cooper-Pierson-Griggs."
  5. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 366, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).
  6. [S1690] Salt Lake City, Utah, Patron Ordinance Submission Sheets, 1969-1991, Batch 7113438 #67, FHL Film #235292, further cited as Patron Ordinance Submissions.
  7. [S968] Henry P. Hedges, William S. Pelletreau, Edward H. Foster, William J. Post and James A. Early, The First Book of Records of the Town of Southampton Long Island, N. Y., With Other Ancient Documents of Historic Value, Six Volumes (title varies). Southampton, New York: Town of Southampton, 1874-1915. CD-ROM reprint, Genealogy and History of the Town of Southampton, New York (http://genealogycds.com: genealogycds.com, 2007), further cited as Hedges et al., STR.
  8. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:31-32.
  9. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:91-92.
  10. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 5:21.
  11. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:55-56.
  12. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:75-76.
  13. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:105.
  14. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 2:347-349.
  15. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:65.
  16. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:89.
  17. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:132.
  18. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:119.
  19. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:128.
  20. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:139.
  21. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:69.
  22. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:74.
  23. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:75.
  24. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:154.
  25. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:144.
  26. [S171] Howell, History of Southampton, 32.
  27. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 5:25.
  28. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 2:235.
  29. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 5:28.
  30. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:54.
  31. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:141-142.
  32. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:141-143.
  33. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:98-100.
  34. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:133-134.
  35. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:101.
  36. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:134.
  37. [S171] Howell, History of Southampton, 33.
  38. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:138.
  39. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:139-140.
  40. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 2:250.
  41. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 2:228.
  42. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:151.
  43. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 2:49.
  44. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:149-151.
  45. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 2:59.
  46. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 2:253-254.
  47. [S1590] William S. Pelletreau, editor, Abstracts of Wills on File in the Surrogates Office, City of New York, 1665-1801 (17 vols., New York: New-York Historical Society, 1892-1908), 1:44, further cited as Pelletreau, New York Will Abstracts.
  48. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 2:255-263.
  49. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 2:264.
  50. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 2:312.
  51. [S1991] Gordon L. Remington, New York State Probate Records: A Genealogist's guide to Testate and Intestate Records (Second ed., Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 14, further cited as Remington, New York State Probate Records.
  52. [S79] Cook, Will of Ellis Cook, 11-13.
  53. [S966] Suffolk Co., New York, Deeds and index, 1660-1926, A:151-152, FHL microfilm 1871776, further cited as Suffolk Co., NY Deeds.
  54. [S968] Hedges et al., STR, 1:266-267.
  55. [S1580] Gregory Don Cooke, "Abiel Cook2 of Southampton, Long Island, New York," The American Genealogist 84 (April 2010): 108-112, at 109, further cited as Cooke, "Abiel Cook of Southampton, N.Y."