Sunday, March 28, 2021

Reading thru the Records: A few interesting finds

Montgomery Bell State Park(May 2016)
Montgomery Bell State Park(May 2016)

Chancery Court Cases  Williamson Co TN

Just a few interesting cases found while reading thru the records--

  • Cases involving the settlement of the estate of Joel Childress(father of Sarah Childress Polk, wife of James K Polk). The Childress family lived in Murfreesboro.  
  • Case involving Montgomery Bell who played a big part in Middle Tennessee industrial history especially here in Dickson County where I grew up and where there is a state park that bears his name.
The Childress case is one of several brought by Anderson Childress who is attempting to settle his father's estate.  The things that interested me were that one of them involved a John W Cooke who had bargained for a home for his sister-in-law to live.  This would be the wife of William W Cooke and it does mention his name within the records.  The sister-in-law declines to live there and it goes down hill from there.  You can read more about it here.(You'll need to log in to FamilySearch to view the link but registration and viewing is free)

The Rucker name also comes up in the Childress case. Since the Granville Co NC Cookes have Rucker ancestry and my Cook(e) line shares Y-DNA with descendants from that Cooke line, seeing the two surnames in the same place or document always peaks my curiosity.

Our ancestors did more traveling than we might imagine.  Too, if they lived near the county line or lines there may also be records in that surrounding county or counties just waiting to be discovered.  The Childress case mentioned, Davidson, Henry, Maury, Rutherford and of course Williamson(the county in which it was recorded)  This stresses the important of reading thru the records for the area and surrounding areas as well as time span in which your ancestor lived 

The Montgomery Bell case entry is here

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Info from Military Discharge Records

Soldiers were encouraged to file a copy of their military discharge papers with the county clerk of the county in which they lived.  Some of these are available online at  These are a great and often overlooked resource for those who were enlisted during WWI and WWII.

A quick check of some of the counties in which I'm interested:  
  • Bedford Co TN--Military discharge records, Vol. 1-3, Sept 1919-Feb 1946 & Vol. 4-6, Feb 1946-Dec 1964
  • Davidson Co TN--Military discharge records, 1919-1945 v. 544  & 1927-1946 v. 789
  • Dickson Co TN---Military discharge records, 1920-1964
  • Rutherford Co TN--Military discharge records, Vol. 1-3, 1919-1945 & Vol. 4-6, 1945-1962
  • Williamson Co TN--Index, v. A-Z 1918-1946  Discharges, v. 1-4 Aug 1918-Feb 1946 Discharges, v. 5-7 Feb 1946-Mar 1966
  • White Co TN--Military discharge records, 1943-1966

Every soldier didn't follow this suggestion but if someone in your research did and you can locate it, you'll  find it contains a wealth of information.

Some of the different types of information that you can find on Military Discharge Records. 
  • Full Name
  • Serial Number
  • Branch (and unit within that branch etc.) 
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Age when enlisted
  • Date and place of enlistment & discharge
  • Occupation / Vocation prior to enlistment
  • Physical Description at enlistment
  • Pay Rate
  • Battles, engagements, skirmishes or expeditions involved in
  • Decorations, Service Medals, Citations
  • Wounds received
  • Physical condition when discharged
  • Vaccinations and Immunities: (Typhoid prophylaxis, Diphtheria, smallpox etc)
  • Character
  • Marital Status
Check your counties of interest to see what is available.  They will be under the Military Records Category within that counties list.

If you don't know how to search the catalog by place and online availability see this blog post. 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Obituary of Margaret Ruth Thompson Cooper(1941)


Mrs. Margaret Ruth Thompson Cooper, age 31 died in a Nashville hospital Saturday March 22.

She was the daughter of the late Charlie Thompson and lived here some 15 years ago.  Her remains were brought here where a short funeral service was conducted by J. L. Nunnley at the Lawrence Funeral Home and burial at Swanson Cemetery. 

Her survivors are one sister, Mrs. Sue Bell Elrod, and three uncles, John Cook of this place, Clarence Cook of Rockvale and Tom Cook of Old Hickory; an aunt, Mrs. Eliza Rowland of Rockvale and Grandfather, W. G. Cook of Rockvale.

The Marshall Gazette(Lewisburg TN) Fri. Mar. 28th 1941 p.6 Columns 1
Imaged by TN State Library & Archives and digitized at
Vol. 69, no. 50 (13 Dec. 1940)-v. 72, no. 18 (30 Apr. 1943)--Image 146 of 1078.

Note:  This would be a transcription of the obituary if it weren't for the fact that I corrected the 3 times that they used the word Rockdale when referring to Rockvale.  

Obituary of William Green Cook(1944)

 William G. Cook

William Green Cook, aged 90 years, died at his home at Rockvale, in Rutherford county December 18 following a brief illness.

Funeral services were conducted at the chapel of the Lawrence Funeral Home in Chapel Hill, at 1 o'clock, Tuesday afternoon, December 19.

Burial in the Cook cemetery at Rover, Bedford county.

Mr Cook was a son of William Clifford and Elizabeth Putnam(sic) Cook and was born in Bedford County.  He resided in Chapel Hill for several years before moving to Rockvale.  He was a retired farmer and had been active until his illness and was a member of the Primitive Baptist Church.

Survivors are:  one daughter, Mrs. Horace Rowland, of Rockvale; three sons, Thomas Cook, of Old Hickory; Clarence Cook, of Rockvale, and Jno Cook of Chapel Hill; 12 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren

The Marshall Gazette(Lewisburg TN) Fri. Dec. 29th 1944 p.6 Columns 1
(You'll need to log-in to FamilySearch to view but registration for an id is free as is viewing this)

Obituary of Rebecca Love Cook Thompson(1928)

While researching thru records for another blog post I found that FamilySearch has some of the Marshall Co TN newspapers and on a whim I looked for my Papaw Cooke's sister Rebecca Cook Thompson.  There is was

The Marshall Gazette(Lewisburg TN) Thur. Feb 16th, 1928 p.12 Columns 3 & 4
(You'll need to log-in to FamilySearch to view but registration for an id is free as is viewing this)

Below is the transcription.  

Chapel Hill, Tenn. Feb. 13--
Mrs. Rebecca L. Thompson, wife
of Charlie Thompson, died at her
home in Lewisburg Monday morn-
ing, after a lingering illness, aged
46 yeas. She was the daughter of
Wm. G. and Jane Bell Cooke. She 
professed religion in early life and
joined the Cumberland Presbyter-
ian church.

Funeral services to-morrow.
(Tuesday) at the home, after
which the body was brought to 
Chapel Hill and laid to rest in the 
Swanson Cemetery, after short ser-

Survived by her husband and
two daughters, Ruth Agnes and 
Sue Bell, of Lewisburg; father,
Wm G Cooke of Rockvale; three
brothers, Tom Cooke of Old Hick-
ory; Clarence, of Walter Hill, and 
John L. Cooke of this place; one
sister, Mrs. H.K Roland of Nash-
ville.  Mrs. Thompson lived here 
a number of years.

Notes:  She was 45 years old(+ 9 months & 21 days) at the time of her death according to her death certificate of which I have a copy.  Cause of death was tuberculosis of the lungs.
This is the only location which I have seen the Cooke name spelled with the E.  My Grandparents spelled it with an E only after 1930 in records I've found and neither Wm Green or any other of his sons used the COOKE spelling.  

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Williamson County TN School Census Records

Williamson Co TN records of the school census for that county are online but not yet indexed at  I was extremely glad to find them as I'm always looking for more clues for my 2nd Great Grandfather William Clifford Cook and I knew he was on the 1838 tax list in District 25 of Williamson Co TN.

The School Census section of that film begins on image 934 of 2937 

The School census start in 1838 with reports from each of the districts which list the name of the adult and how many children from their household are in the age range for attending schools.  The range changes a bit over the first few years.  In the beginning it was children over 6 and under 16 but by 1842 it appears to change to above 6 and under 21.  The Districts weren't always in order so I had to read over them to seek out the 25th District which I wanted to check.

A check of the years 1838-1849 gives me the following results

My William C Cook is only on the 1841 School Census listed as having one child over 6 and under 16 as of 30th of June of that year.  That one child in the age range for school is Wm C Cook's oldest daughter Minerva Cook.  This may be her first year of school.  Wm C Cook was on the Bedford Co TN Dist 10 tax lists for 1836 & 1837.  He wasn't listed in Bedford Co TN on the 1838 list but rather in Williamson Co TN as I previously stated.

By 1844, there is no longer a listing for District 25 due to county boundary changes which seem to already be a bit "hazy" to begin with.  Years 1850-1853 do not appear with the records but they do resume in 1854.

Below is my attempt at a transcription of Williamson Co TN Dist 25 School Census

A List of the Names of the parents & No. of Chil
-dren in the 25th district Williamson County Tennessee
over 6 years old & under sixteen on 30th of June 
(Column 1)
Parent Names
Clemmon Reed--3
Joseph C Little--2
C.M. Brooks--3
Thomas S. Taylor--2
Wm S Taylor--3
Robert Taylor--2
Thomas Taylor--1
James D Gallaspie--3
Jacob Blessing--3
Nathan Jackson--3
David Ray--2
Wm Lamb--4
Mary F Hendrix--5
Delilah Landrum--1
Abigail Prince--1
E G Portis--2
Thomas Jackson--3
John Jones--1
David Young--3
Edmund Wood--4
E.W. Hendrix--1
William Fears--4
Archie Johnson--4
Baram Lamb--4
William Hill--1
Felix G. Crick--1
Obedience Hill--1
Charles Pope--4
Thomas Lamb--5
William C Cook--1
John L. Little--4
Wm D Tharp--4
(Strikethru of James Jones--1)
Jacob Crick--4
Vincent Taylor--4
Wm W McDonald--2
Hiram Putman--3
Noah Putman--2
Quincy Pope--1
Wm Reed--3
John C Wilks--1
Longshire Lamb--2
James Byler--(number marked over)
Josep Wells--6
Gideon Cole--1
(Column 2)
Thomas Cole--3
George Wright--1
Williams Jackson--3
John Sharber--4
Job Cooper--4
James Vanatta--4
David Lamb--2
A C Potts--2
Jonathan Lamb--2
John Landrum--1
Martha Webb--4
William Parsley--1
Francis Jackson Jun--4
John Prior--1
Wm Trail--2
Jehu Sharber--4
Harper Lamb--3
John Crick Jun--4
Ann E Brunston--2
Edmund Crick--4
Good Davis--1
Wm Hartgroove--4
Francis Jackson se?--1
F. L. Covington--2
Thomas L Taylor--1
James C. Taylor--1

given under our hand and seals this the 1st day of July 1841
Thomas Taylor (seal)
Thomas Cole (seal)
Francis Jackson Jr. (seal)

Direct Links to Williamson Co TN Dist 25 on this roll
1839  (nothing located for Dist 25)

Williamson County (Tennessee). County Court Clerk. (1998). School Census 1838-1939. Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah. imaged at FarmilySearch