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Very little information has been found about Mahala Cook’s family. Some Cook families found in the 1860 census of Taney County, Washington Twp, MO might be Mahala’s family.

In dwelling 620 we have James Cook age 61 b TN and wife Mahala age 42 b IN. Children: Senilda 15 b IN, Joel 11 b MO, Francis 9 b IN, Mancefielde 7 b MO and Hannah 4 b MO.

In dwelling 622 was William Williamson 24 b NC and wife Eliza 22 b IN. Children: John 3 b MO and Serilda 7/12 b MO along with Mahala Cook 19 b IN. We have wondered if this Mahala is Our Mahala. Is Eliza her sister? Are James and Mahala the parents? Or perhaps an aunt and uncle and Eliza is a sister or cousin?

Some problems with James and Mahala being our Mahala's parents are the fact that Mahala Jane Cook’s death certificate states that her father’s name was August Cook, born in Tennessee, and her mother, unnamed, was born in Virginia. Also, some family members remember her speaking often of a brother named George.


Judy has received the following information from: Beth Collins: email -

Your Mahala Jane Cook may be the daughter of James (John?) Cook and Mahala James. I descend through Mahala James' younger sister, Lucinda. I have not verified all of this information. I also believe that Mahala James was married first to a Sanford. In the1850 Wright County, MO census John (James) Cook and Mahala have a daughter, age 8 named Mahala. My James family came from Indiana to Missouri.

The 1850 Wright County, MO census is online: The person who transcribed the census inserted notes. That is how I found that Mahala who married John or James Cook was a sister to my Lucinda James. There is an Augustine aged 18 on the census. I think he may be John/James Cook son by another marriage. I also suspect that John and Eliza (aged 13 and 12 on census) may be Mahala James and Rev. Durkham/Durham Sandford/Sanderfur's children. 

I don't really have much more information on Mahala James, but do have some on her parents, James and Hannah Arthur James. 

And:  Found another note in my records. Mahala James married Durrum Sandefer 8-27-1835, Greene Co., IN. Mahala Sandefer m. John Cook 5-28-1846, Greene CO., IN.

I would guess this is the same family as the previous one found in Taney Co. in 1860 -- BUT is it our Mahala's family?

If you have any information on these families, we would LOVE to hear from you.  Even if we could rule any of these families out, it would be a start.

Midge Baker has found these photos with some of her Mom's photos.  We think it may be of Mahala's brother's family.  Maybe someday (SOON) we'll know for sure.

Cook Census Information
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Augustine Cook: Mahala's Brother?

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Rev. Oliver Cook, son of Augustine.

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This one says Amanda on it and we think it is the daughter of Augustine.



Recently, we have come across a newspaper clipping of an obituary with "Mahala (Cook) Davis' brother" written on the side. It is dated 10 Jun 1911 from the Fredonia Herald [KS] or Lafontaine Banner: "Augustine Cook b 6 Feb 1832 in Greene Co., IN. Married Nancy Ferguson 1 Mar 1854. They had several children: Oliver, Frank, Sallie and Mrs. Ruth Drybread who live in the vicinity of Fredonia. Mrs. Ruth Means of Iowa, Mrs. Amanda Deeton and Tom Cook who reside in the state of Washington. (According to another cousin, they also had a daughter named Sarah born in 1858.)

Mr. Cook served in the 31st Indiana Infantry. The G.A.R. of this place was in charge of the services at the cemetery. Mr. Cook came to Wilson Co. [KS] and located on a farm near LaFontaine 32 years ago but for the past 15 he has been a resident of Fredonia. Mrs. Cook preceded her husband 3 years ago to the better world."

The Medal he is wearing is for the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) for which he was a member. The following information is from the Indiana Adjutant General's Report 1861- 1865:
31st Indiana, Company "H"
Name: Cook, Augustine
Rank: Private
Residence: Owensburg
Date of Muster: Sept. 20, 1861
Remarks: Mustered out Sept. 15, 1864.

Click here for more on his CW record, including some of the papers from his military file.

Also see the "History of the 31st Indiana Voluteer Infantry"

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We don't really know who this lovely lady is.  (Possibly Augustine's wife?)  The picture was with the other Cook photos and was also taken in Kansas, as were the others. 

From Steve Stalcup and his web pages: The Stalcup Family Page
and his Greene Co.,IN Stalcup Page 

"I was excited to find the pictures and information on Augustine Cook (b-1832/IN) on your web site. I think he is linked to my WILSON family in Greene County, Indiana, but haven't been able to nail it down. The information you have on his father's name on the death certificate, seems to reinforce a relationship that I thought existed.

My 4th Great-Grandfather, Booker Wilson (b aft. 1770 VA - d 1839 IN) migrated from Carter County, TN, to Perry Twp., Lawrence County, IN, in the mid-1830s. Most of his children also settled there or in adjacent Jackson Twp., Greene County, IN. One of his daughters, Nancy Wilson (b ca 1810-TN) married Augustine Cook in Carter Co., TN about 1830 and migrated to Greene County, IN, in the early 1830s. 

The Augustine Cook who married Nancy Ferguson may be their son. What is troubling, however, is that his birth date of 1832 in Greene Co., IN may have preceded their move there; and a daughter Ann (b ca 1835) was supposed to have been born in TN. All their children born subsequent to 1835 were born in IN . 

Augustine & Nancy Wilson Cook are shown in the Jackson Twp., Greene Co., IN Census 1850 as follows: 

Augustine Cook (48 TN) farmer $600 R/E;
Nancy (49-TN); 
Anne (15-TN); 
Emanuel (13- IN); 
George D. (11-IN); 
Thomas (9-IN); 
Malinda (7-IN); 
Rachel C.(5-IN); 
and Tarlton (1-IN) . 

This family disappears from the Indiana Census for 1860; and some Wilson researchers indicate they moved to MO--but no data on where in that state. 

You will note that Augustine is not with them in the 1850 census, nor have I found him yet elsewhere in the area. If your Mahala is the Malinda in this list there is a brother named George. It is very intriguing, but still can't nail it down. 

There is another Cook family in Jackson Twp., Greene Co., IN living near Augustine & Nancy as well as several of my Wilson kin in 1850. This is the family of WILLIAM COOK (39-TN), a farmer with $400 Real prop.; wife Rachel (35-NC); and children Thomas C.(16-TN); Mary (14-TN); Sarah (12-TN); Urena (10-TN); Nancy (8-IN); Rachel (6-IN); Rebecca (4-IN); and Levi W.(2-IN). This William Cook may be a brother of the Augustine who married Nancy Wilson in Tennessee. This family, too, disappears from the Indiana Census in 1860 . Perhaps they, too went west to Missouri.

Augustine Cook (b-1832) and his wife Nancy Ferguson who married in 1854 are living in Jackson Twp., Greene County, for the 1860 Census in the same area that the elder Augustine & William were living in 1850. When I get back to Indiana for a research visit later this year , I want to check the real estate transactions to see if the younger Cook family was living on the same land in 1860 that one of those who migrated west had been living in 1850.

I spent the day in the Genealogy Section at the Dallas Public Library today poring over Missouri 1860 Census microfilms trying to find out where Augustine & Nancy Wilson Cook migrated to when they left Greene County, Indiana after 1850. Looked at all the A. Cooks and Nancy Cooks , but couldn't find a match. If his sister Malinda is the Mahala Cook who married Thomas Woodford Davis in Taney Co., MO in 1860, I would think that might be where the Cooks landed. There was a Nancy Cook listed in Campbell Twp., Taney Co. in 1860, but the microfilm page referenced was so dark that it was impossible to decipher. If it was her, probably means that Augustine was dead by 1860. 

I did find that Augustine & Nancy Ferguson Cook were still in Jackson Township, Greene County, IN when the census was enumerated there August 26, 1870. This Census shows them with four children : Sarah E (13-IN); James F. (10-IN); Ruth A. (5); and Kerry A. (female -2-IN). The latter may be the daughter Amanda. The other children must have been born after 1870. 

The WILSON, COOK, and PRICE families came to IN in the 1830s from Carter Co., TN and settled close together in adjacent Jackson Twp, Greene & Perry Twp., Lawrence Counties. I found three COOK families in the 1830 Carter Co., TN Census: Augustin (20-29) ; Thomas ( 40-49) ; and William (70-79). Probably three generations of the same family. More digging needed on this.

The bottom line here is a lot of circumstantial evidence of a relationship but no definitive link. Perhaps in sharing our data we can both get closer to the answer. My WILSON ancestors and collateral families are included in my Stalcup GEDCOM linked to my web sites. Let me know if you have any additional suggestions or clues."

It looks promising folks!!  I got this from Midge Baker: <> Subject: A Breakthrough!!

"While I was at the beauty-shop, I sent Tom to look in the 1870 census in Jasper Co. Mo for Augustine Cook's family. In one of the obits it says they lived in Carthage Mo. before going to Kansas. Tom found the father--Augustine !!! I hadn't expected to find him there--I thought he probably came to Christian Co. or Taney Co.--Even though he hadn't been found in the census here. The census page is #6, the household in #46. It has Augustian (?) Cook, 67, Nancy 58, Tarlton C,21, and Permelia, 19 (I had never heard of a daughter Permelia). It says that they all were born in Tenn. Now we have to go back and look again to see if we can find the  Augustine & Nancy Ferguson Cook around Carthage Mo. I'll send a copy of the census when I get both."

We also have the following from page 60 of the book Greene County Indiana 1885-1989: 

The original Christian Church was organized March 2, 1843. The first organization of this Church was on the small branch of Indian Creek just above John Lamb's, meeting alternately at that place and the Copeland Schoolhouse. John W. Ferguson had written a letter to James G. Hert, telling him of his recollections of the history of the church. This letter was written in June 1877 from Brooklyn, Indiana. The first Elders of the church were: James Beaty, James Sloan Sr., and John W. Ferguson. The first deacons were: Aberton B. Ferguson and Augustine Cook. The congregation soon increased to over one hundred and was subsequently divided.
This division became know as the White Oak division. County records show that on Feb 25, 1851, Ed Strosnider and his wife, Stacey Jane, deeded a part of the NE quarter of the NE Section 35 to the trustees of the Christian Church, Ezekiel Short, Jeremiah Stone and William Hert, for a church building. This building was located near the present State Road 58, about midway between Owensburg and the Greene-Lawrence County line. The first officers of the White Oak Division were: James Beaty, Ezekiel Short, Lindsey Carr and John W. Ferguson, as Elders and Hiram Lowder and Alfred Short as deacons. The preaching was principally done by Bro. John Nantz and John W. Ferguson, although others came to preach.
The church building was moved from White Oak to Owensburg in 1864 and put together again where it now stands. It is well preserved and has been well-kept through the years, proudly serving its members and its community. Several years ago, new Sunday School rooms were added at the back and more comfortable pews added, but otherwise it is much the same as it was over 100 years ago. At the present time two men share the preaching: they are Bro. Eddie Owens and Bro. Don Tirey.

That's the end of the article. I'm thinking that this Augustine was the father of the Augustine we have if the church was started in 1843 and he was one of the first deacons. I'm not sure yet what, if any, relation John Ferguson was to Nancy as her father's name was James. 


This website is maintained by Nettie Mae.  Not everything is documented, so if it's really important to your research, track down those sources!