I didn’t want to write this story. I knew the day would come, but I was dreading it.
Elizabeth died in September 1730.
I’ve really grown attached to Elizabeth. She’s been at the center of this quest for Jarvis/Jervis origins. Her life story is filled with drama, struggle, success, and hard work. I’ll miss her.
Elizabeth (8G) was born in Nantwich, Cheshire, England, in about 1653. We don’t know her family name or any details of her early life.
Marriage to John Jervis (8G)
Elizabeth married John Jervis, probably around 1670. She was young, not yet 20.
John Jervis was older, about 45. He had been married previously to Margaret, and had two children by that marriage. Margaret died in 1658.
John was a heelmaker, supplying the main trade of shoemaking in Nantwich. John and Elizabeth became Quakers.
Children Joseph (7G) and Ruth
John and Elizabeth had a son Joseph in about 1673. And Elizabeth was pregnant with daughter Ruth when Joseph died in October 1680.
John Jervis died
Elizabeth was widowed in October 1680. For the next three years, Elizabeth was destitute. Her Quaker meeting gave her a monthly stipend for a year and a half. They gave her twenty shillings to buy a bed, and they arranged a place for her to live. She was in her late 20s.
In June 1683, Elizabeth asked the Quaker meeting for £5 to help in her journey to Pennsylvania. She had concluded that she and her children had a bleak future in Nantwich.
Later that summer, Elizabeth and 10 year old Joseph and 3 year old Ruth made the crossing from Liverpool to Chester, Pennsylvania, either in the Friendship or Endeavor. Elizabeth was 30 years old.
In Pennsylvania, Elizabeth got a warrant from William Penn for 150 acres of land along Ridley Creek in Middletown, about 5 miles inland from Chester. From a charity case in England to a woman landowner in Pennsylvania in one year. That’s amazing. Elizabeth was age 31.
Marriage to Joseph Cookson
In the fall of 1684, Elizabeth married Joseph Cookson. Joseph had his own land warrant in Delaware, but they made a home on Elizabeth’s land in Middletown. Elizabeth was about age 31.
Children Daniel, Mary, and Hannah
Elizabeth and Joseph Cookson had three children over the next decade – Daniel, Mary, and Hannah. So with Joseph and Ruth, Elizabeth had five children. Elizabeth was in her 30s.
Joseph Cookson died
Joseph Cookson died in mid-1690s. Elizabeth was about age 40.
Elizabeth continued to live in her home in Middletown. Her children grew up, married, and left home. But Elizabeth stayed, living on her land for around forty years. She spent more than half her life here, from age 31 to 74.
In mid-1720s, Elizabeth was in her mid-70s. She moved to Caln to live with her daughter Ruth Cloud.
Elizabeth Jervis Cookson died in September 1730. She probably died at her daughter Ruth Cloud’s home in Caln, Chester County, Pennsylvania. She was about 77.
Daniel Cookson, executor
We have some conflicting citations. In a court case, Elizabeth’s son Daniel Cookson is referred to as the executor of Elizabeth Jervis’ estate.
Joseph Jervis, administrator
In probate court, Elizabeth’s son Joseph Jervis is named as the administrator of her estate.
I’m not sure which of these conflicting citations take precedence. But I don’t really care. I’m happy both her sons were involved.
It’s amazing that we’ve learned so much about our grandparent who lived 300 years ago.
- Image of Calla Lilies – https://magnaflor.com/flowers/calla-lilies/
- Image of young Quaker woman – Figure 232 – Quaker Cape and Hat – 1780
- Carved Quaker figures – https://www.chairish.com/product/1191448/pine-hand-carved-quaker-couple-figurines-a-pair
- Image of woman with five children – Le Nain, Mathieu; A Woman and Five Children; The National Gallery, London; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/a-woman-and-five-children-114211
- Image of cemetery – Life’s A Trip blog – http://travelinknowledge.blogspot.com/2013/04/historic-blakeley-state-park-spanish.html
- Quaker minutes granting charity to Elizabeth Jervis – Nantwich Men’s Monthly Meeting minutes – April 6, 1681 – Cheshire Archives – Chester, Cheshire, England
- Map of Elizabeth Jervis Cookson patent in Middletown – Map – Middletown Township – Chester County PA – Early Landholders
- Image of statue in cemetery – A statue at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Ramin Talaie/Getty Images
- Aston v. Cookson – (Daniel Cookson executor of Elizabeth Cookson estate – Chester Court of Quarter Sessions – August 1730 – Chester County Archives – West Chester, PA
- Letter of Administration – Joseph Jervis for Elizabeth Cookson estate – 1731 – Chester County Court – Chester County Archives – West Chester, PA
Oh Mark, I can understand how you must feel, having traced Elizabeth’s life from UK to US through all her early hardships and her later successes.
Your article made me very emotional – even though she isn’t my direct ancestor. You can be very proud her- she was obviously made of stern stuff – going off into the unknown and winning through as she did.
I think it’s just lovely that you and Celia have brought her to life again, so to speak, and told her story – a story that deserved to be told – so although your ‘Goodbye Elizabeth ‘ made me reach for a tissue – I think it should be ‘ Hello Elizabeth, we salute you .’
I like that better too – “Hello Elizabeth, we salute you.” And Louise, thanks for sharing the journey. That’s made it a lot more fun and meaningful for me.
Thank you for the recap of Elizabeth Jervis Cookson’s life. I will miss her too.
Thanks Brenda. I appreciate that you’ve followed Elizabeth, even quizzing me about her details! I wish I could have a face-to-face conversation with her, but writing her story will have to suffice.