Our first concentration will be on the COOK families of Western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina, primarly with the descendants of Hence Marvin Cook.
Hence and his descendants have lived in the mountains of western North Carolina, primarily in what is now known as Jackson county, since the early 1800's. Family tradition says we are "Scot-Irish" but since we have not been able to document prior to Hence, we may not be able to prove it yet, however several clues support the idea.
Starting in the mid 1700's several Scotish families that had been relocated to Ireland had become disenchanted and had decided to seek out a new life in the American colonies where there was plenty of land. We know that Hence was born in Buncombe county, NC so his parents were over here at the beginning of the 19th century. The county lines have moved several times over the last 200 years as new counties were formed and the old ones were divided up. So Hence could have been born in any of these present day counties: Buncombe, Haywood Jackson, Macon, Swain, or Transylvannia.
From land records and censuses we see that Hence and several of his sons were in Jackson County in the 1850's. (Jackson County was formed in 1851 from parts of Haywood and Macon counties.) Hence and his sons received at least 25 land grants from the goverment along with just as many deeds which they bought. It's believed they owned a good portion of the western side of the Balsam Mountains from Rocky Face near Addie, NC over to Caney Fork Creek and Balsam Grove at Rich Mountain and on to Wolf Mountain.
A lot of Hence's desendants still live in and around Jackson county. Several of the family groups moved in the early 1900's looking for better jobs. One group went to Pickens County, SC to work in textiles and another went to Darrington, WA to work in the lumber industry. It is estimated that there are around 3000 to 5000 people alive today that can trace their lineage back to Hence Marvin Cook.
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