William Cooke is supposed to have come over in 1801 from England with 6 ships. He was said to have established a fishing and trading company in Newfoundland. After a few years and losing 3 ships to storms, William lost his 3 remaining ships on one voyage. This put him out of the fishing business. He then is said to have gone to Melbourne, Quebec in the Eastern Townships southeast of Montreal to teach school for a year. The following year he left for New Carlisle to become a schoolmaster and a farmer.Frankie Cooke, who did extensive research on the Cookes before her death, said that William arrived in Newfoundland with the aforementioned ships PLUS his older brother Samuel, 2 slaves and 80,000 pounds sterling. This would have been an absolute fortune. I have found that there is some truth to these stories and a liberal amount of embellishment. I found that we are related to most of the English families of New Carlisle and many in the surrounding towns of Paspebiac, Shigawake and Hopetown. I will state exactly what is fact and what is fiction below.
I must first say thanks to Emma Ernestine (Cooke) Wadleigh, Aunt Ernie. She gave me her research papers and got me started on the right track. Thanks as well to Arthur B. Cooke, my father for his advice and help putting all this together.
The founder of the Cooke family was William Cooke. He was the second son of George and Betty Cooke. His baptism on 29 Sept. l791 and that of his brother Samuel the year before are recorded in the church registers for Atherington, a small parish south of the port of Barnstaple in Devonshire, England. William's three sisters, Sarah, Charlotte and Maria were all baptised in the neighbouring parish of High Bickington. The registers there refer to the parents as " George and Betty Cook of Langley. Langley may be the name of the estate they lived on. Modern maps show a Langley Barton and a cross roads referred to as Langley Cross.. I haven't been able to find a marriage certificate so I do not know Betty's family name. George and Betty do not appear to have been married in the county.
William ended up in Paradise,Plecentia Bay in southern Newfoundland. More about
William's life in Newfoundland can be found
i Ann Eliza (l820-l864) married Matthew CaldwellWhen William left Devon for Newfoundland we do not know. 1801 does not seem likely as he would only have been 10 years old.After 1812 would be a good guess as he would have been 21 and could have inherited some money. Whenever William arrived in Newfoundland is not sure but he was there for quite a few years. In the l861 census for New Carlisle, William is the only member of the family born in England. His wife Lucinda Power, and all nine( and possibly ten) of their children were born in Newfoundlland. The children were born between l820 and l837. William and Lucinda's children :
More on the Cooke family
My cousin, Bill Cooke's addition to Cooke Family knowledge
The Caldwell Connection to the Cookes
Cooke and related families BMD's