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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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Vicki, I wish you success in your hunt for a link back to Captain Cook, but all of the evidence suggests that none of his children survived to have children of their own. So there are no extant lines of descent from James and Elizabeth Cook.
By Cliff Thornton on 3/11/2018 8:09:42 PM Like:0 DisLike:0
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Interesting reading! My grandmother Margaret nee Cook, father James born in Melbourne. Nana always said we were related to Cptn Cook but no details were ever given. I have gone from our James, to a long list of William's before him, trying to find if one of my Williams turns out to be an uncle or a cousin etc. Seems the search for such by others has been futile. In particular if James' father was the only one in the family to come out of Scotland, then of course, all his cousins would still be in Scotland. We may never know. Or, DNA may solve the unknown in time! Nana would be amazed by DNA!
By Vicki Hetherington on 3/5/2018 12:20:22 PM Like:0 DisLike:0
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ATSJ, there is no known relationship between Captain James Cook (1728-1779) and Thomas Cook (1808-1892). Cook is quite a common surname in the UK. If you want more information about Thomas Cook go to
By Cliff Thornton on 2/24/2018 10:00:59 AM Like:0 DisLike:0
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Yes - in Kealakekua Bay.
By Cliff Thornton on 2/21/2018 9:33:04 AM Like:0 DisLike:0
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Is Thomas cook(a priest), the founder of Thomas Cook travels related to Captain James Cook ??
By ATSJ on 2/21/2018 8:19:20 AM Like:0 DisLike:0
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Do you think Cook actually died in hawaii or even in honolukula bay?
By Braedan d dude on 2/20/2018 4:52:26 PM Like:0 DisLike:0
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Rachel, none of the children born to Captain James Cook survived and had children of their own. So there are no direct descendants of Captain Cook. However, his sister Margaret Cook married James Fleck, and they had a large family which is now spread around the world. So there are people in Australia who can claim James Cook as a very distant uncle, but not as a direct ancestor.
By Cliff Thornton on 2/19/2018 2:28:03 PM Like:0 DisLike:0
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Hi there, do you know if any of James Cook's direct descendants are alive in Australia today?k
By Rachel Chew on 2/19/2018 9:21:24 AM Like:0 DisLike:0
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By Atticus on 2/17/2018 6:27:38 PM Like:0 DisLike:0
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Hi Cliff, Thanks for the reply and the helpful information you sent in the email, I am pleased to confirm we are direct descendants to Margaret Cook on my mothers side, She was called Joyce Burnicle her father was James Burnicle. I really appreciate your help.
Many Thanks
Mark Wyatt
By Mark Wyatt on 2/5/2018 12:04:40 PM Like:0 DisLike:0

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