Josias Cooke1,2

M, b. 1610, d. 17 October 1673
     Josias was born in 1610 in Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands. Josias was first recorded in New England in 1634. Josias married Elizabeth Ring, daughter of William Ring and Mary Durrante, on 16 September 1635 in Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. In 1644 Josiah & his family were among the first seven settlers of Eastham, Barnstable County, Massachusetts. Josias was licenced to sell wine on 7 June 1648, and was noted as a Tavern keeper. He was also elected town clerk which indicated a certain amount of learning. Josias made his will on 22 September 1673 at Eastham.

In the Name and fear of God I Josias Cooke senior aged of about 63 years being sicke and weake in body yett of perfect memory, I do make this my last Will and Testament.
And first I do bequeath my soule to God that gave it and my body to the dirt to be buried and for my outward Goods as followth.
My dwelling house and housing orchard and uplands meddows or meddowing enclosed and not enclosed that I have in the Township of Eastham in the Jurisdiction of New Plymouth with all appurtenances privedges and immunities whatever thereunto belonging, excepting ten acres of upland that lyeth adjacent to my land att the Northerly end divided by a ditch which comes from the pond toward the sea which I have Given formerly to my son Josias to him and his heirs and assigns to have and to hold forever and two acres of meddow att Blackfish Creek all my other lands upland and meddow as aforesaid orchards and housing I give and bequeath unto my loving wife Elizabeth during her life, and further I doe assign over my servant and Apprentice Juduah an Indian to her to be att her dispose and Improvements, with the advice of my loving friends Mr. John Freeman and Goodman Merrick my three sonnes Josias Cooke and Joseph Harding and William Twining and it is my desire that son in law Joseph Harding should have the Improvement of my above said lands meddowing and housing and servant as above what cattle or sheep horses or horse kind I shall leave with her my loving wife for her support during her life and after my wifes decease I doe bequeath all my above said upland and meddow orchard house and housing with all privileges and immunites whatsoever thereunto belonging excepting my share of the land att Pockett Island, and about two or three acres lying without the Fence that now is next to Joseph Hardings land.
To my Naturall son Josias Cooke and to his heires begotten of his owne body To have and to hold forever with the improvement of my Indian servant an apprentice if his time be not out before my wifes decease
Further I do make and Constitute my loving wife Elizabeth my whole and sole executrix, and after her discharge of my just debts I dispose of Goods and Chattles as followeth.
All my household stuffe Cart and pillow tackling Cattle sheep horse and neat Cattle to my wife during her life after her decease to be equally divided between my son Josias Cooke and my daughter Bethyah Harding or her children after her, excepting these following things which I doe particularly Give by legacies as:
First I give to my Grand child Joseph harding all my share of land att Pockett Iland further I give to my Grand children Josiah and Maajiah harding forty acres of upland and five or six acres of meddow in the Township of Plymouth adjoining to a place commonly called Cookes pond – further I give to my grand child Anne Snow a young mare that Runs att Blackfish Creek, as alsoe two cows which are in my son Josias keeping and half a two year old steer, and a two year old heifer and half of a yearling steer and a yearling heifer and the half of a calf being likewise in the hands of my son Josias and also half a cow and half a steer of three years old and half a steer calf that are in my own keeping as also forty shillings more to be payed her in Cattle alsoe two sheep and a Ram lamb further I give to my Grand child Steven Twining a muskett which was formerly his Grandfather Deanes further my will is that my daughter Merriam dean shall have a cow that is in my son Josias keeping Called Primrose, with half her increase to be delivered to her the next fall, as also five pounds in Current Merchantable pay to her att my decease.
Further my wearing clothes viz one stuffe coate and two cloth Coates I give to my son Josias further I give to my Grand child Josias Cooke my Rapier, belt and musket further I give to my other grandchildren Richard Cooke and Maajiah Harding my proportion of land att Saconett they paying neccesarie charges arising about it twenty shillings being payed towards it already – further I give to my Grand child Richard Cooke after my wifes decease my Great Bible, for the truth and verity hereof I have hereunto sett my hand and seale this two and twentieth day of September 1673 one thousand six hundred and three Josias Cooke and his seale
Witness John Freeman William Merrick.3

Josias departed this life on Tuesday, 17 October 1673 in Eastham at age 63 years. The inventory of Josias's estate was taken on Friday, 20 October 1673. The inventory was valued at 104.17.4 pounds with no real estate included. Letters of Administration were granted for his estate on 29 October 1673 to Elizabeth Cooke. According to Josias' will, his wife, Elizabeth received the bulk of the estate which after her death, went to their children, Josias and Bethia, to be equally divided. After Elizabeth's death, there was a disagreement between the siblings Josias and Bethia and thier half-sister, Meriam Dean. This dispute was settled in a preogative court hearing held at Barnstable on 31 May 1687.


Elizabeth Ring b. c 23 Feb 1602/3, d. b 3 May 1687


  1. [S294] Eugene Stratton, Plymouth Colony Its History & People 1620 - 1691
    , COOKE, JOSIAH-Though not taxed in 1633, Josiah Cooke's name is on the 1634 tax list. On 24 March 1633/34 he and Edward Doty were fined six shillings eight pence each for breaking the peace, and since Doty drew blood from Cooke, Doty was to pay him three shillings four pence for it (PCR 1:26). He married widow Elizabeth Deane 16 September 1635 (PCR 1:35). He became a freeman on 3 January 1636137 (PCR 1:48). Bowman, in MD 3:97 footnote, shows that he could not, as some have claimed, have been a son of 1620 Mayflower passenger Francis Cooke, for no court would have allowed a son to sit on the jury in a case where his father was plaintiff, nor would a court have allowed the agreement signed by Francis Cooke's children if one of them had not signed, and Josiah was alive then, but not a signer. John Insley Coddington, "The Widow Mary Ring, of Plymouth, Mass., and Her Children", TAG 42:193, shows that he was among those moving to Nauset (Eastham) ca. 1645. He had been a grandjuror, surveyor, and constable, and he became a deputy from Eastham starting 1647. In his will dated 22 September 1673, and proved 29 October 1673, he called himself aged about sixty-three years, and he named his wife Elizabeth, his son Josias, his sons(-in-law) Joseph Harding and William Twining, daughter Bethiah Harding, grandson Joseph Harding, grandson Amaziah Harding, granddaughter Anne Snow, grandchild Stephen Twining, (step)daughter MeTiam Deane, and grandsons Josiah and Richard Cooke. William Twining had married his stepdaughter Elizabeth Deane (MD 15:34). His daughter Anna Cooke had married Mark Snow, son of Nicholas and Constance 2 Hopkins) Snow; his son Josiah had a married Deborah Hopkins, daughter of Gyles 2 Hopkins; his daughter Bethia had married Joseph Harding, ward and presumed nephew of John Doane; and he may have had other children (see Coddington above, and Dawes-Gates, 2:503-06, which continues the line through Josiah 2 Cooke for two more generations).OKE, JOSIAH-Though not taxed in 1633, Josiah Cooke's name is on the 1634 tax list. On 24 March 1633/34 he and Edward Doty were fined six shillings eight pence each for breaking the.
  2. [S297] Leon Clark Hills, History and Genealogy of the Mayflower Planters and First Commers to Ye Olde Colonie - Cape Cod Series, Volume I - History of Eastham: page 110 - The first seven settlers of Eastham in 1644 were Thomas Prence [no. 11], John Doane [no. 61], Nicholas Snow [no. 2], Josiah Cooke [no. 25], Richard Higgins [no. 63], John Smalley [no. 16], & Edward Bangs [no. 127].
  3. [S2068] Massachusette U. S.. Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991: Plymouth - Will, Inventories, Etc. 1637-1685.