Finding Henry

Finding Henry

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By Lou Ann Murphy   

For many years the search for the roots of Henry Cox who married Ann Madison, 1773 in Charlotte Co. VA, has gone on.  One of the first, and perhaps one of the most misleading, theories was put out by a descendent of Henry, Williston Madison Cox of TN, whose information was that Henry had come from the line of Walter Cocke of Surry.  Many of today's researchers embrace that theory.  We who have been working diligently on this line believe he was wrong.  We think records reveal otherwise. 

 "Williston Madison Cox, member of the law firm of Johnson & Cox, has since 1910 been active assistant district attorney for the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. A native of this state, his birth occurred at Louisville, Blount County, on The 10th of October 1877, a son of Richard Lafayette and Linda W. (Williams) Cox. The progenitor of the Cox family in this country was Walter Cox, who came from England about 1690. He located in Surry County, Virginia, and was the father of four sons, Samuel, Henry, Nathaniel and John. Henry Cox is a direct ancestor of Williston Madison Cox. Harry Cox married a sister of President Madison. The paternal grandfather, Williston Madison Cox, was born near New Market in Jefferson County. He was an extensive farmer and merchant and owned many slaves. Richard Lafayette Cox was born in Louisville, where he is still residing. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1872, with the A. B. degree and has always been active in the up building of his section of the state..."

Part "… Nathaniel Cox [son of Henry] was a merchant, he was also the first postmaster in Louisville, the office established in 1828 * (Goodspeed) was located in a corner of his store.  Then, too, he operated an Inn in conjunction with his home for stagecoach and boat passengers.  Because of the condition of the roads - where there were any - much traveling was done by boat, and little Louisville became an important port, giving access to Maryville and other inland towns..."

            One question we asked was why would a descendent of Walter Cocke who had nothing to do with the ship "Goodspeed" or "Godspeed" be using that name?  Was it only a coincidental name or was he remembering William Coxe, the first of the Coxes who came to America on the ship "Godspeed" (sometimes written as Goodspeed).  We thought it merited more research.  Less important perhaps scientifically was the thought in my mind that my land loving Coxes surly didn't come from seafaring people as Walter Cocke and his brothers were known to be.  After all, genes do tell.

            Then there were other theories.  One was that Henry came from Ireland around the early 1700's and had a brother Adam.  One was that he came from the Cary Cox line, which apparently originated in the Essex Co. area of VA.  This theory was embraced primarily due to his naming of a son Tolliver and the Taliaferro connections in the Cary family.  However, Ann Madison's family also had Taliaferro connections.  To make a long story short, we didn't know if any of these theories were right.  We saw no proof of any of them.  It seemed that people were mostly guessing based on thin threads of similarities in names.  Consequently, we decided to try to find out just exactly where our Henry did come from and who his family was.  The search for Henry began.

            We took a look at the information we had, which wasn't a lot.  Between us we had Henry's will written in Blount Co. TN in 1809.  It named his children.  It named his wife and a woman who appeared to be his wife's sister.  We had information from other researchers about Henry's marriage to Ann taking place in 1773 and showing that his name was William Henry (which turned out to be an error as the original document revealed).  We had a Rev. War pension document of Curd Cox that indicated he was born in 1762 in Charlotte Co. VA. This proved he could not have been a son of Ann Madison and told us there was a first marriage, probably to a Curd since Curd's name was so unusual as a given name.  Since we also had info that Henry and Ann had married in Charlotte Co. we knew the family must have lived there for quite a while.  The pension application of Curd's also said that he had gone into service in Halifax Co. VA in 1780 and we knew he was unmarried at the time so we surmised that the family had moved to Halifax.  (Deeds and tax lists later confirmed this.)  We had birth dates on some of the other children, but not all of them.  We're still unsure to which mother the son Clement belongs, though it now appears likely that all the others belong to Ann.  And we wonder if there are other children who perhaps belonged to the first marriage, who didn't move to TN and who were not mentioned in the will.  This seems likely, but we're still researching the possibility and are not prepared to say it is a fact. 

            From these and a few other minor bits and pieces of info, which were more clue than fact, we set to work.  We did indeed find Henry and his family in Halifax from the years of 1779 until the last known record in 1785 when he shows up on a tax list for the last time.  Not only is he there, but so is the family of Roger Madison (Ann's father) some Overtons (Curd's wife's family) and some more Coxes and many others with whom this family has various associations.  Then we lost him for a period of about 10 years.  After 1785 we no longer found him in Halifax or anywhere in VA.  Nor could we find him in TN until he bought land in 1796.  Where he spent those years became another big puzzle until we found 4 different land grants for a Henry Cox in Fayette Co. KY in 1786 totaling a little over 4000 acres.  We now believe he went to KY before TN, though we are still in the process of trying to track deeds of sale and other records to confirm that this was our Henry. The part of KY where these land grants would have been located is not far from the border that separated KY from Blount/Jefferson Co. TN where Henry settled in 1796. It could explain why an AIS mortality schedule which lists a Clement Cox says he was born in KY.  We were uncertain about claming this Clement as a son of Henry's because of the KY birthplace though other things about him seemed to fit. We now think we may be close to being able to find more info on the line of  Clement and if he's ours place him with Ann Madison as his mother. 

            In the process of looking at the people in Halifax around Henry and in looking at the Curd family and in looking at the families in Charlotte, we were discovering that the arrows were pointing toward the Henrico group of Coxes (and/or perhaps Cockes).  In the "Burton Chronicles of Colonial Virginia" by Frances Burton Harrison is this statement "The very numerous, and in that day, extremely influential, family of Cocke had perfected the fine art of marrying cousins…",  She was right, but not as right as she thought.  She relied heavily upon the work of Southall who had published a great deal about the Cocke family and much of it erroneously.  One of the big problems has been that Southall thought that all of the Coxes and the Cockes came from Richard Cocke.  He said that William Coxe had apparently died without issue.   He has been proven wrong.  But to say that the lines have been mixed up is a vast understatement and we found that much published material, while it might offer clues, was not very reliable.  We had to sift and sort and separate.  Again in the Burton Chronicles by Frances Harrison she was found to say further that she, "…does not feel qualified to tread the slippery path of the Cocke/Cox genealogies, which, at best, are incomplete as published, and sometimes contradictory."  Another vast understatement, but we made up our minds to tread the slippery path and in the process our research overturned at least a couple of theories that a few may not want to give up.  And the lines as we have them probably won't agree with what many have, particularly if they are merely taking the word of published info which does nothing more than repeat old errors.  We think with a degree of certainty that the first William Coxe who came here in 1610 and Richard Cocke who arrived by about 1632 were related, though we haven't yet established the exact relationship.  If what we have found in the research of others is correct, we are reasonably sure they had different fathers.  Perhaps they were cousins.  Perhaps William was Richard's uncle.  Regardless of the relationship, the lines that they each created, though mingled through intermarriage, were separate lines.  Often the spellings in old documents would be misleading in that a Cox might be called Cocke or vice versa, but we found that more often than not a Cox came from the line of William and a Cocke from the line of Richard.  This was one of the major finds in finally establishing where our Henry came from.

            Back to Henry.  It appears likely that Henry and his family moved to Halifax Co. around 1779 when we first find him buying land there.  Previous to Halifax and certainly through 1773, the year of his marriage to Ann Madison, he was in Charlotte.  In 1761, by deed, we find him in Lunenburg Co., however, Charlotte was formed from Lunenburg in 1764 so it is possible that only the county moved, not Henry.   The 1761 transaction is vital.  This is a land sale of 200 acres to John Cox [probably his brother as we will see later].  The land is situated in Goochland and by description most certainly appears to be part of 300 acres of land which was given to Elizabeth Richardson by her father John Richardson, husband of Mary Curd.  The deed is signed by Henry Cox and wife Elizabeth.  On this same day he sells another 100 acres to Thomas Dawson, again describing land, which is obviously the rest of Elizabeth Richardson's land from her father.  The deed is signed by Henry Cox and wife Elizabeth.  Both of these deeds are witnessed by a Joseph Davis [the likely brother-in-law of Henry as we shall see later].  These deeds were grabbers.  It was probably the finding of these two deeds which led us to the rest of what we found. (These deeds and John Richardson's will can be found posted on the documents sections of this site.)

            The Curds first.  We had already looked carefully at all the daughters of Edward Curd who had first appeared in Henrico in 1704.  None of his daughters could have been married to Henry Cox.  They were all accounted for with proven marriages.  Next we had looked at granddaughters.  We had especially looked at the Richardson grandchildren because Curd Cox, Henry's oldest son, had named his oldest son Richardson. They too were accounted for.  Or were they?  We had to take another hard look at Elizabeth Richardson because of those deeds.  She had reportedly been married to a Lumpkin, possibly Moore Lumpkin, had a daughter Martha Lumpkin who had been mentioned in her grandmother's will, and was deceased by 1788 when her mother, Mary Curd Richardson, wrote her will.    This had been a long accepted theory.  So how could her land be sold by Henry Cox and who was the wife Elizabeth?  Elizabeth's father had died in 1753 leaving her 320 acres of a 1098 acre plat he had bought from John Woodson, land that was located in Goochland Co. on Lickinghole Creek.  Previous to finding the deed showing the sale by Henry Cox, we had found this record: In William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, Vol. XX 1911-12. Reprinted 1966, are listed the Cumberland County Marriage Bonds.  On page 23, "4 Jan 1764, Lewis Jackson & Frances Richardson, with consent of Henry Cox, guardian.  Witnesses:  Mary Richardson, Samuel Vawter, Powell Hughes, Lewis Jackson, Frances Richardson." The article had gone on to state that Henry Cox had been appointed guardian for some of the Richardson children, though we have yet to find the actual records.  We had puzzled over it, not understanding at the time which Henry Cox this might have been.  If he was our Henry, why would he be Frances Richardson's guardian?  That was a role usually assumed by uncles, brothers, or brothers-in-law.  Though we knew our Henry had to have some kind of relationship with Curds and Richardsons, we hadn't been able to place him in any of those roles.  Then we dissected the Richardson/Lumpkin information and found that there was no proof of any kind that Elizabeth had been married to a Lumpkin or had a Lumpkin child.  It was an assumption based solely on the fact that another marriage had not been found for her and she was deceased.  The Lumpkin researchers had searched endlessly to find which Lumpkin might have sold Elizabeth's land.  Of course they did not succeed.  Henry Cox had it.  We dissected the marriage information on all of the other sisters and found only one for whom we had no dates.  We knew only that her sister Martha had married a Dawson (probably the same one Henry sold land to) by 1788 when her mother wrote her will.  None of the years before were accounted for nor have any children ever been found for her.  Was Martha Richardson the real mother of Martha Lumpkin?  And have her children not been found because they were Lumpkins, not Dawsons?  After looking at pages and pages of Lumpkin info there was finally found one small reference to a deed from Richard Lumpkin and wife Martha in Charlotte Co.  While this may be a long way from proof on the parentage of Martha Lumpkin, we have a preponderance of evidence to suggest it was not Elizabeth Richardson. She was instead the mother of Curd Cox and deceased by 1773 when Henry married Ann Madison. Henry was appointed guardian for the Richardson children because he was a brother-in-law.   Elizabeth was not only the daughter of John Richardson and Mary Curd, but appears likely to be the oldest daughter, first wife of our Henry Cox, and our gggg grandmother .

            But who were Henry's parents?  We've established him in Halifax and Charlotte and Lunenburg and selling land in Goochland, but where did he come from?  We started examining witnesses on deeds and all of the people with whom he might have associated through the Curds.  We found a deed in Goochland from a John Cox who married Elce Hix..  We examined this family and discovered some interesting things.  John and Elce had five children proven by his will. These children were: John, Edward, Obedience, HENRY, and Glaphery.  We haven't been able to pin down info on the son John for certain.  However, the son Edward married a Gilliam.  One of Elizabeth Richardson's sisters married a Gilliam.  The daughter Glaphery married Joseph Davis (Henry's witness).  The daughter Obedience married John Hilton of a family found around Lickinghole Creek where Elizabeth Richardson's land was and where so many of the associated people have been found.  Henry did not inherit land when his father died, though it can be easily seen from John's land that Henry grew up near Lickinghole Creek.  The land went to his older brother.  Henry inherited 30 shillings Sep 19, 1785, the same year which is the last year we find Henry in VA.

 Examination of documents and people in close association with this family and time and place all led us to the conclusion that this was our Henry's long lost family.  There was also a great deal of examination of the Elce Hix family and once again we found many correlations both in VA and after they started migrating to other places.  We believe that Henry's Clement and Tolliver ultimately went to SC and GA.  We find many of these Hix and allied relatives nearby. While none of the evidence taken alone might constitute proof, we believe that the vast amount of evidence that shows absolute and important connections constitutes a preponderance of evidence sufficient to safely say we had found Henry's parents.

 However, we were stuck again because John did not have a father. We found a Matthew Cox who had a son John.  We found a Nicholas Cox who appeared to be a brother of Matthew and none of these Coxes had ever been connected to a family that we could find. All of their marriages, associations, etc. told us they were probably part of the Henrico bunch and we were really liking Matthew as a father for John.  But it wasn't enough that Matthew had a son John.  We had to look for records that would link them together. So we looked once again to the land.  John and Elce Cox sold land to Noel Burton.  [Noel Burton was a grandson of one of the emigrant William Coxe's daughters].  This land was in Goochland, St. James Northam Parish, bordered by Wilkenson, Woodsons and others.  We started trying to find out where he got it.  And we weren't having much luck.  It was more by accident than design when the final pieces began to fall and we went in kind of through the back door.  Now knowing that we were related to Branches through the Richardsons, we were tracking Branches.  This track led to John Cox Jr. (grandson of the emigrant) who had married Mary Baugh who had been first married to William Branch.  In finding this we were finding many more correlations to Henry among people living in close proximity and in land associations, etc.  John Cox Jr. had two sons William and James.  For James we had no information on a family.  For William we had only one son JOHN.  However, there was a problem.  The "John of Bluestone" Coxes had determined that this was their John and cited proof.  That left us with James.  James and William had inherited land from their father and James' land was in the area of Goochland where John and Elce Hix were from.  It was located on Dover Creek which lay between the Tuckahoe River and Lickinghole Creek, the two places which kept cropping up in the records of the people associated with our Henry and with John and Elce Hix.  We had to find some kids for James.  But we couldn't.  He didn't have any.  We finally found reference to his will, though we have yet to find the actual will.  In it he listed only his brother William and his sister Martha WILKINSON…the very Wilkinson bordering John and Elce Hix.  It was apparent that James had left his land to his siblings.  William died a short time after his brother and his son would have inherited his part.  But if his son was John of Bluestone it wasn't making sense.  John of Bluestone was never in the area of Goochland where this family was.

            We had to examine the proof cited by the John of Bluestone people.  That proof was a lawsuit filed in 1754 [erroneously dated 1734 in some references] by the step-father of William Cox's son John four years after the death of his mother.  It proved some things for sure, but it did not prove that the son of William Cox was John of Bluestone.  It did prove the parentage of his wife, which turned out to be interesting for our Henry and explained why we found so much that also correlated with the Cockes.  William's wife was Sarah Cocke, daughter of William Cocke and Sarah Perrin.  Not only had we found the slot where John who married Elce Hix fit, we found that Henry was not just a Cox, but was also a Cocke.  That helped explain his close ties with the Curds who were neighbors of the Cockes.  It brought into focus the relationships of not only the Coxes, but the Cockes who later settled in east TN.  It brought more light to some of the witnesses we had found on Henry's deeds and proved they were even more closely related than we originally thought.  And it meant that all the work we had done on the Cocke line was not in vain. 

 To summarize the Cocke lineage, it goes like this: Richard Cocke (the emigrant) m. 1) Temperance Bailey 2) Mary Ashton/Aston>Thomas Cocke m. Agnes Powell>William Cocke m. Sarah Perrin > Sarah Cocke m. 1) William Cox 2) Thomas Jordan.

             Obviously, in this recap of FINDING HENRY I've abbreviated many of our findings.  I have not discussed every single witness who we examined.  I have not discussed in detail every single document we looked at or how by process of elimination we knew he couldn't belong anywhere, but where he finally did fit.  However, many of the documents are posted and we are open to any questions.  We also realize there could be error in some of our work.  We would be glad to be shown proof of any and are open to make corrections. 

             Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, I hope all of you who read this understand that this is a work in progress.  There are still many gaps and much to find.  We continue to work on Henry's children and the allied lines.  We are also working on the Richardsons and the other maternal lines.  And we continue to work on the relationship between William Coxe, the emigrant, and Richard Cocke, the emigrant.  We have accumulated, additionally, a great deal of information on Coxes outside of the origins of Henrico. We have looked especially at those in Essex, New Kent and the counties in those areas.   It appears likely that many of them were related to the Henrico group.  One thing stands out among them.  William Coxe the emigrant was only twelve years old when he came to America in 1610.  We think he was in the company of his sister's brother-in-law Thomas West.  We find other West siblings settling in other parts of VA and near them are invariably more Coxes.   It stands to reason that there is a relationship and correlation among them.

             Matthew and Nicholas are still dangling.  We don't know where they fit, though it appears likely that they could belong to Thomas, the other son of William the emigrant.

We know Thomas had a son William.  We knew nothing about the possibility of a son Nicholas, but it appears likely to be so.  There is a Hugh Cox in Charles City Co. mid 1600's and we have no idea who he is.  As for John of Bluestone, it appears likely that he may have come from the line of Richard Cocke IV.  Richard IV and Thomas Wynne started out in Charles City Co. and both went to Surry Co.  You find these families throughout the southern counties and into Brunswick where John of Bluestone came from.  John of Bluestone married Lucretia Wynne.  It is possible that he is one whose Cocke name became Cox along the way making him difficult to track. 

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Another Researcher's View Point by Robert Ray III

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