94 – Joseph Cookson, and Children

It seems impossible that Elizabeth could have managed on her own, with two kids in a cabin in the Pennsylvania frontier.

No surprise that Elizabeth re-married. In the fall of 1684, Elizabeth married Joseph Cookson.

Elizabeth married Joseph Cookson

What is a surprise is the wedding “announcement”. Her husband Joseph Cookson was taken to court for marrying “Contrary to the good and Wholsome Lawes of this Province.” The courts followed English laws, but in practice the Quakers added another layer of control.

Joseph Cookson – Court of Chester County – December 1684

Cookson was ordered to pay £10, but no further action was recorded. He probably didn’t pay.

It’s interesting that Elizabeth married “outside” the Quaker ways. But apparently quite a few Quakers found the marriage process time consuming and onerous, and married “outside”.

Quaker marriage protocol – Early Church Records of Delaware County – Intro

Did Elizabeth know Joseph Cookson in Britain? I don’t think so, because we didn’t come across any Cooksons in our search of Cheshire area.

Joseph Cookson

In 1682, William Penn purchased the area that is now Delaware, and he and his sons distributed land in Delaware just as in Pennsylvania.

Survey for Cookson’s Hope – 1684

Joseph Cookson had been granted a land warrant in Newcastle County, Delaware, about 15 miles southwest of Chester. But he probably attended Quaker meeting in Chester, and obviously was governed by Chester court jurisdiction.

We haven’t found any past family records for Joseph. Was he married? Children? Don’t know.

Joseph moved to Elizabeth’s land. We don’t know what became of his land warrant. But for the next several years, Joseph Cookson is the name on the property and tax lists for Elizabeth’s land.

The map below is by Thomas Holme, Penn’s surveyor general. The map shows the extent of settlement around 1685, three years after the counties were chartered. It shows Elizabeth and Joseph Cookson’s land, labeled “Jos Coxson”.

Holme’s map of the improved part of Pennsylvania – ca 1685


Joseph and Elizabeth had three children. Daniel was the elder, probably born within a year or so after the 1684 marriage. Then two daughters were born, Hannah and Mary.

So by early 1690s there were six offspring in the household:

  • Joseph Jervis, about age 19
  • Ruth Jervis, age 11
  • Daniel Cookson, age 6
  • Hannah Cookson, age 4
  • Mary Cookson, age 2

Despite their age differences and different fathers, the Jervises and Cooksons would live and work and move together for the rest of their lives.

Joseph Cookson died

Joseph Cookson died in the early 1690s.

Poor Elizabeth. Another tough break. But several of her children were old enough to help out. And Joseph was an adult, perhaps not living in Elizabeth’s household.



2 thoughts on “94 – Joseph Cookson, and Children

  1. Louise Longworth August 1, 2020 / 11:51 am

    Hi Mark,

    Another gripping chapter in Elizabeth’s life. Another marriage – three more children, and then her world is turned upside down again by the death of her second husband – poor girl. She must have been made of stern stuff. I’m full of admiration for her – the way she battles on. I’m sure that her children were a great help and a consolation, but, as I’ve said before – what a gal !

    I’m enjoying the book so much – great to have it all laid out. Great job, Mark.



  2. Brenda Teply August 1, 2020 / 4:39 pm

    Yea!! for Elizabeth Jervis. I just knew she couldn’t work that land by herself. How resourceful!


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