Saturday, March 15, 2014

Surname Saturday: COLE


The COLE surname has many origins. In England, it is a Middle English nickname for "Nicholas." It can also be a derivative from Old English "Cola," which itself is derived from the word for "charcoal," and thus denotes someone of swarthy (dark) appearance. Finally, it can be from the Old Norse name, "Koli."

My 3rd-great-grandmother, Elizabeth A. COLE, the last in my direct ancestry to be born with the COLE surname actually had three COLE lines. Her father was a COLE on both his parents' lines (his parents were COLE first cousins). On Elizabeth's mother's side, her mother's paternal grandmother was also a COLE, but this line was Dutch, not English, and the original spelling was KOOL (the pronunciation of KOOL in Dutch is identical to the English COLE). I will write about the KOOL line another time.

Elizabeth's paternal COLE line originates in Essex, Engand, and they were some of the early colonists who settled in Massachusetts. Because she is doubly descended from this line, some of her ancestors have two ahnentafel numbers.


Stories and History:

Ahnentafel #11520 & #11584 - Thomas COLE (c. 1600 - c. 1678-9) - born in Navestock, Essex, England, he married Ann [--?--] (b. c. 1600 - bet. 1679-81). A Thomas Cole came to America on the Mary and John on 24 March 1688 and was an original proprietor of Hampton, Massachusetts. There is another mention of a Thomas Cole being a husbandman at Salem, Massachusetts in 1649-50. It's not clear if they are the same person. Thomas made a will on 15 December 1678, which was proved 27 April 1679. His widow Ann made a will on 1 November 1679, which was proved 2 May 1681. They had two known sons, Abraham and John.

Ahnentafel #5760 & 5792 - John COLE (c. 1640 - 1703) - born in Salem, Essex Co., Massachusetts, he married his first wife, Mary KNIGHT (d. bef. 1675), in 1667 in Salem. They had four known children. John was one of the inhabitants of Salem who protested against imposts (raised taxes) in 1668. John was a cooper, and lived in Salem until c. 1675, when he removed to Malden, in Middlesex County. Between 1675 and 1686, he married his second wife, Sarah ALSBEE (d. bef. 25 May 1741). They had two children. The family removed to Lynn, Essex County where John died intestate. His will, made 5 October 1703, was endorsed "Will not perfect" and so was not proved. After his death, his widow Sarah was tried for witchcraft at Charlestown, but was acquitted 1 February 1693.

Ahnentafel #2880 & #2896 - John COLE (1668 - 1737) - the eldest child of John and Mary (KNIGHT) COLE, he born in Salem, married Mary EATON (1672 - 1746) and had five known children. He moved from Salem to Lynn with his father (and probably also to Malden in between), and then removed in 1721 to the west parish of Boxford, Essex County, where in 1726, he was appointed surveyor of highways. His name appears on the Boxford tax lists between 1721 and 1736. He died quite suddenly in Boxford at the age of 68, intestate.

Ahnentafel #1440 & #1448 - Jonathan COLE (1696 - 1780) - born in Lynn, he was also the eldest child of his parents. He married Judith BROWN, a.k.a. Judith BOWEN (1700 - 1746), in Boxford in 1724. They had 11 known children; the first five children's baptisms are recorded in the Bradford Church records and the remaining in the records of the Second Church of Boxford. He was dismissed from the First Church in Boxford in 1736 to help form the Second Church. He was appointed tithingman in 1742, and appears on tax lists from 1721 to 1744. In 1745, the family removed to Harvard, Worcestor County, where he bought a 65-acre farm on the north side of Pine Hill Brook, paying 410 pounds to Joseph DARBY. Two years later, he was dismissed to the Church in Harvard. His wife died in Harvard, Worcestor County in November 1746. He removed to Westmoreland, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire; he may have been there as early as 1752 when his son Jonathan received was granted a charter there. He is buried in the Canoe Meadows Cemetery, Westmoreland.

Ahnentafel #720 & 724 - Captain John COLE (1741 - 1786) - born in Boxford, the ninth child of his parents. He married Lois DAVIS (1742 - 1830) in Westmoreland and they had 14 known children! An account of John's life can be found in The Early Geneologies [sic] of the Cole Families in America:
     He was one of the prominent men of the town [Westmoreland, New Hampshire] during the Revolutionary times. He was one of the committee to instruct the representative chosen December 12, 1775. He was a sergeant in the Eighth company of Colonel Nichols' regiment, Joseph Hindes captain, in 1776, and was in the battle of Bunker Hill.
     His name is to be found on the roll of signers of the test oath of March previous, as is also that of his brother Johnathan.
     In November, 1777, a company of sixty-three men was raised for service against Burgoyne, and he was chosen captain.
     In August, 1779, he was chosen one of a committee to settle with a committee from the Baptists, the rights in the church building and to move the church to the new site on Park Hill. The change was successfully consummated. In November of the same year he, with others, was selected to furnish the house and appraise the pews.
     He was several times surveyor, fence viewer, and committeeman. He lived in the north part of town. After his family became large and the older children had left home, he removed to Windham, Vermont. He died in Westmoreland, while on a visit to his oldest brother, Jonathan, and was buried in the River Cemetery in that town, as was also his wife and one daughter. [Note: other records indicate he was buried in Canoe Meadows Cemetery, Westmoreland. Whether or not this is another name for the same cemetery, or a different one, is not clear.] The oldest sons had not gone with him to Vermont, and they drifted to various parts of the country. The younger children, who were in Windham at the time of his death, remained in and around that region till middle life, and some of them all their days. The youngest [son Heber] in some way got back to Westmoreland, and lived the remainder of his days there. With him his mother spent her last days.
Ahnentafel #360 - Salmon COLE (1765 - 1849) - third son of his parents. He was born in Westmoreland and there married Bathsheba DODGE (1769 - 1853). They had 10 known children. He died in Buckingham, Ontario. From The Early Geneologies [sic] of the Cole Families in America:
     ...He probably prospected about the then western and northern country and finally settled in Canada. He was in Hawksbury [Ontario] in 1801 and in Chatham [Ontario] for more than ten years previous to 1828, and between 1828 and 1832 he, with his sons, took up land in Buckingham [Quebec] and settled there....
     Mr. Cole was a tall, good looking, good tempered man, and at 70 years of age was straight and active. His wife, Bathsheba Dodge, was a native of Wales, who came to this country with her parents when she was quite young. They settled in the Connecticut Valley, and she was early inured to the hardships and perils of a frontier life. She was a strong tempered, energetic woman of massive frame and great strength. They were married in Westmoreland, New Hampshire, February 7, 1786. She died in Buckingham at the residence of her son Oris, at the age of eighty-four years.
Salmon and Bathsheba's son Daniel Dodge COLE married Salmon's niece, Rogena (Roxanna) COLE.

Ahnentafel #362 - John COLE (1763 - 1850) - the second son of his parents, he was born in Westmoreland. He left home before his marriage to Hannah [--?--] (b. 1771), and after a time settled near London, Ontario. He probably married Hannah around 1790, perhaps in Westmoreland. They had 11 known children. "He was a skilled workman at some trade, and was also a farmer part of his life. In his latter years, he lived on the outskirts of [London] and kept a large tavern." Four letters he wrote from 1828 to 1840 survived and in them, he mentioned his family and gave a list of his children in order. Portions of his last letter to his brother Heber can be found in The Early Geneologies [sic] of the Cole Families in America. He died in London, Ontario. His daughter Rogena (Roxanna) married his nephew Daniel Dodge COLE.

Ahnentafel #180 - Daniel Dodge COLE (1787 - 1869)
Ahnentafel #181 - Rogena (Roxanna) COLE (1792 - 1872)
These first cousins, both of whom were born in Londonderry, Windham Co., Vermont, may have married in Malahide Township, Elgin Co., Ontario. They had nine known children, the first three apparently born in Ohio, while the middle children were born in Canada (currently, I have no birthplaces for their youngest children). The Early Geneologies [sic] of the Cole Families in America states they moved to the Rock River country in Wisconsin in 1839. At some point they must have returned to Canada, for Daniel and Rogena are shown to have died in South Dorchester, Elgin County and are buried in Burdick Cemetery, Malahide Township. Their middle sons, James and William, removed to Lapeer County, Michigan about the mid-1860s.

Ahnentafel #90 - James COLE (1821 - 1872) - born in Canada, he married a New York State native, Lavina WILLIS (1827 - 1898) in 1843 in Springfield, Elgin County, Ontario. They had seven known children, all of whom appear to have been born in Elgin County. Around the mid-1860s, James and Lavina removed to Lapeer County, Michigan with some, if not all, of their children, and the family of at least one of James's siblings, William COLE. James and Lavina lived in Elba and Mayfield Townships in Lapeer County. James was an illiterate day laborer. He died of typhoid fever in Mayfield Township.

Ahnentafel #45 - Elizabeth A. "Betsey" COLE (1846 - 1919) - born in South Dorchester, Elgin Co., Ontario, Elizabeth married English native James A. BARBER (1841 - 1912) about 1861. They had ten children. They were living in Amabel, Bruce County, Ontario when the 1871 Canadian Census was taken, and declared their religion to be Baptist. James was farming at the time. Around 1876, they removed to Lapeer County, Michigan, where Elizabeth's widowed mother and her paternal uncle's family were living. They settled first in the city of Lapeer, but were farming in Elba Township by 1880. In 1898, they were in Farmers Creek, Metamora Township, Michigan. In 1900, they were working a rented farm in Orion Village (now Lake Orion), in Oakland County, Michigan. Ten years later, they were on another rented farm in Montrose Township, Genesee County, Michigan. The year before, James had fallen and sustained injuries to his spine. It led to his death in 1912 in Mount Morris Township, Genesee County. Elizabeth probably moved in with one of her children. She died in DeWitt Township, Clinton County, Michigan from arterial sclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and acute nephritis (infection of the kidneys) as a contributing factor. She is buried with James at Mount Morris Cemetery in Mount Morris Township.

Ahnentafel #22 - Orlando BARBER (1868 - 1910) - I have often discovered that the most challenging family lines have poverty and a lack of education associated with them. This makes sense, because literate, middle-class families tend to keep and preserve family documents, photos, traditions and oral histories better. They are not in survival mode in the way that families in poverty are. Orlando seems to fall in to the former group. He is nearly always listed as a day laborer (once as a teamster) in census records as an adult. He also did not own a home, but rented instead. He and his wife, Mary Jane FREDENBURG, had eight children. The first three died very young, probably as stillborns or infants, since they do not even have birth records (the information came from census records where Mary Jane was asked how many children she had borne and how many were yet living). The youngest of his children was Mary Jane BARBER, my great-grandmother. Orlando died of smallpox just five days after Mary Jane's first birthday, and was laid to rest in an unmarked burial plot owned by a man that later became Orlando's widow's second husband (Fred SMITH, perhaps a family friend?). Although smallpox wasn't really eradicated from civilized countries until later in the twentieth century, I do find it unusual that Orlando died from it as late as 1910. I have no photographs of Orlando and do not know if any are in existence.

Ahnentafel #11 - Mary Jane BARBER (1909 - 1975) - read her AnceStory here

Ahnentafel #5 -  Jane Marie YORK, a.k.a. Jeanne Marie HOLST (1924 - 2012)

Ahnentafel #2 - my father (living)

Ahnentafel #1 - myself


More About the COLE Family:

1. Online database (I update this at least once a month): COLE ancestors and relatives (no info on living persons available)

2. Posts about COLE ancestors and relatives on this blog

3. My  COLE Virtual Cemetery on Find A Grave

4. The Early Geneologies [sic] of the Cole Families in America by Frank T. Cole, published c. 1887 by the author in Columbus, Ohio. Available online at the Internet Archive.


My COLE Immigration Trail:

Sussex, England > Sussex Co., MA > Middlesex Co., MA > Sussex Co., MA > Worcestor Co., MA > Cheshire Co., NH > London, ONT > Windham Co., VT > Elgin Co., ONT > OH > WI > Elgin Co., ONT > Lapeer Co., MI > Genesee Co., MI > Kent Co., MI > Ottawa Co., MI > AK > Stevens Co., WA > Spokane Co., WA


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