Mary Cook

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Mary Cook, probable daughter of Abner Cook and Hannah Shearman was born at Tiverton, Newport Co., Rhode Island, 6 September 1778.1,2 She died between 13 April 1863 and 28 February 1865 when she is named in a probate petition as heir at law and William Stafford's widow in 1863, but is not named in a subsequent petition, 28 Feb 1865; nor has she been found in the 1865 New York state census.3,2

Mary married William Stafford, son of Joshua Stafford and Susannah Cory, 31 October 1802.1,2

Among the children of Abner Cook and Hannah Shearman, Fiske includes a daughter Mary as probable, noting that she "m. David F. Bennet. They are listed as parents in the d. record of Abner S. Bennett who d. 30 Dec 1898 at Tiverton, master mariner, aged 75y 10m 7d, both parents b. Tiverton." This gives him a calculated birth date of 23 Dec 1823.

Chronologically, this is not impossible, but it is unlikely: Mary would have been 44 when Abner Bennett was born. It seems more likely that Abner Bennet would have been a grandson of Abner Cook, though the line of descent has not been determined.

Alternatively, as presented here, Mary would have an uncle (Stephen Cook) and two unmarried aunts (Ann & Mary Cook) who also moved to Ontario/Wayne Cos., New York. Those three were all buried in the East Palmyra Cemetery at Arcadia, a town very near the Staffords located in Palmyra.

At this time, no interactions between Cooks and Staffords have been found, but land records for Ontario & Wayne Cos. have yet to be examined closely for witnesses.4

She is said to be:
Daughter of Abner Cook and Hannah Shearman
Parents married about 1764 Tiverton, Newport Co., RI
Father born about 1743 Tiverton, Newport Co., RI, son of Stephen Cook and Mary Tallman, died about 1818
Mother born about 1744 South Kingstown, Washington Co., RI died about 1800 Tiverton Newport Co RI

Sister of Abner Cook (September 16, 1769 Tiverton, Newport Co., RI-1823),
Daniel Cook (November 17 1774 Tiverton, Newport Co RI-1836),
Jemina Cook (1775 Tiverton, Newport Co., RI-),
Ruth Cook (1776 Tiverton, Newport Co., RI-December 5, 1851),
Lydia Cook (1788 Tiverton, Newport Co., RI-),

Specific source citations are lacking, save for a reference to


William Stafford b. 3 Apr 1776, d. 10 Feb 1863
  • Hannah Stafford1 b. 18 Oct 1803
  • John Stafford6 b. 15 Mar 1805, d. 24 Feb 1905
  • Anna Stafford7 b. 18 Jul 1806, d. 28 Dec 1871
  • Mary A. Stafford8 b. 1807, d. bef. 1863
  • Barton Stafford+7 b. 7 Sep 1808, d. 28 Sep 1878
  • Lydia Stafford1 b. 21 Feb 1810
  • Nelson Stafford3,7 b. 4 Dec 1811, d. bt 1863 - 1865
  • Mahala Stafford7 b. 25 Jan 1815, d. bef. 1850
This person was last edited on1 Apr 2021


  1. [S1961] 1833 & 1856 Bible records, in application file #54834, General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Plymouth, Massachusetts.
  2. [S458], 1860 United States Census [on-line database and images] (, Manchester, Ontario, New York, population schedule, sheet #469/57, dwelling #415, family #441, William Stafford household, age 82, born in Rhode Island; original data: NARA micropublication M653, Eighth Census of the United States, 1438 rolls, roll #831.
  3. [S1319] New York probate files Ontario Co., Surrogate Court Records, Ontario County Records and Archives Center, Canandaigua, New York, William Stafford file, 1863.
  4. [S1498] Jane Fletcher Fiske, Thomas Cooke of Rhode Island: A Genealogy of Thomas Cooke alias Butcher of Netherbury, Dorsetshire, England, who came to Taunton, Massachusetts, in 1637 and settled in Portsmouth, Rhode Island in 1643, 2 vols. (Boxford, Massachusetts: p.p., 1987), 193, further cited as Fiske, Thomas Cooke of Rhode Island.
  5. [S1546] S schmidt, Find A Grave memorial #87263442, added 23 Mar 2012, online, accessed Jan 2020, further cited as Find A Grave. Cites
  6. [S469] Don Charles Nearpass, "Materials for a Genealogy of Josiah Stover who became Josiah Stafford of Tiverton, R. I.": 1985, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, 137, further cited as "Stafford Notes."
  7. [S590] Ontario Co., New York, Probate Records, 1830-1883, P:664-666, FHL microfilm 834841, further cited as Ontario Co., NY Probate.
  8. [S458] 1860 United States Census, Manchester, Ontario, New York, pop. sched., sheet #469/57, dwelling #415, family #441, William Stafford household, age 53, born in New York.