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The family of Captain James Cook


Thornaby, a settlement from the arrival of the Danes in 800 AD is the birthplace of Cook's mother Grace Pace.

On October 10th 1725 she married James Cook, a day farm labourer, who had come south from the banks of the River Tweed in Roxburghshire, Scotland, following the Jacobite rebellion of 1715. The centre of Thornaby has moved in recent years and is now part of Stockton-on-Tees. In Stockton parish church there is a memorial to Captain James Cook and an altarpiece made of wood from the Resolution.

Grace and James Cook had eight children. Four died in childhood. Only the second son James and his sisters Margaret and Christiana survived. Margaret married a man named Fleck of Redcar, and Christiana married a fisherman named Cocker of Staithes, where her father James lived with them. [In 1771, after the death of Grace Cook, James Cook senior went to live with his daughter Margaret in Redcar.]

At Marske by the sea, the tower of St Germain's Church overlooks the grave of James Cook senior. Mrs Grace Cook is buried with her five other children at Great Ayton. In addition to his father's roots by the river Tweed, the Tweed was the name of a ship that Cook served on in 1763 (see page 650, Cook's Log), and the name of the sculptor of the Whitby statue.

Brenda Paulding

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 911, volume 16, number 2 (1993).

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My family on my Fathers side had their family tree done and it indicates a relationship with a William Cook born 1716 to Father James Cook, Was Captain Cook's father married prior to Grace? Any information would be great
By Chuck Powell on 5/30/2017 5:51:31 AM Like:0 DisLike:3
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Jennie, Captain Cook's father was also called James Cook. He was born in 1694 in Ednam in Roxbroughshire, Scotland. His father was John Cook, a tailor, who had married there in 1693. Several people have tried to follow the Cook family line back, but without much success. I am not aware that the Cook line can be assigned to any Scottish clan.
By Cliff Thornton on 3/26/2017 9:38:28 AM Like:0 DisLike:2
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Ian, thank you for that data. The descendants of James Slaughter (1855-1885) were not known, so you have filled a gap in the Fleck family tree.
By Cliff Thornton on 3/26/2017 9:31:54 AM Like:0 DisLike:2
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Hi, I know most of the comments are trying to link themselves with Capt Cook but my question is slightly different. Has anyone traced James Cook snr's roots back? Which clan was he from? Was he linked to a clan?
By Jennie owen on 3/25/2017 8:22:36 AM Like:0 DisLike:2
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I am related to James Cook, his sister Margaret Cook is my 5th Great Grandmother via James Fleck, their daughter Grace marrying John Carter, their son William having a daughter Elizabeth who in turn married William Slaughter, who is my 2nd great grandfather, his son James had Maud Mary Carter Slaughter, my grandmother.
By Ian parks on 3/21/2017 1:49:16 PM Like:1 DisLike:1
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wow, I did'nt know all those facts, I want more!
By chloe on 3/16/2017 6:29:54 AM Like:1 DisLike:1
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Michael, Joseph Cook was the son of Thomas Cook, who was born in Yorkshire c.1809.
Despite this Yorksire connection, I regret that there is no evidence that he was related to Captain Cook. It is known that none of Cook's children survived to have children of their own. Hence there are no direct descendants of Captain Cook. There are many descendants of Cook's sister, but as she was married, none of them carry the Cook surname.
By Cliff Thornton on 3/13/2017 5:15:15 PM Like:0 DisLike:1
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Hello my late aunty worked in Somerset house,and I recall her saying that capt James Cook was a distant relative,my grandfather was Emerson Riley and his father was Joseph Riley who was married to Rose Cook,I wander if you can help me in this matter.
Regards Michel Riley
By mickandlindariley@hotmail.co.uk on 3/9/2017 12:50:02 AM Like:0 DisLike:1
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Tammy, if you think that you are related to the Cook/Fleck family, then see if your ancestors appear on the family tree at www.withrop.dk/cook tree.html
As for the 3 Lt. James Cooks, the information appears in John Robson's book "Captain Cook's War & Peace" (2009). I will send you the data direct, as it is too long to post here.
By Cliff Thornton on 2/13/2017 9:29:04 AM Like:0 DisLike:1
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I was also told I was related...Cliff you say there was 3 James Cook's. Can you help point me in the right direction on where to find the other 2? Any help would be great...
By Tammy Reynolds on 2/8/2017 11:07:07 PM Like:0 DisLike:3

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