284. William7 Cookson was born in New Brunswick, Canada ca 1796. He died in 15 December 1873 in Hallowell, ME. [Hallowell VR] He was a Ships Carpenter and a farmer during his life. He served in the War of 1812 in Capt. Aaron Potter's Company, Lieut. Col. E. Cutter's Regiment. From July 2 to July 31, 1814. Service at Wiscasset and Boothbay.

He married Lucy Robbins 22 September 1827 in Rome, Kennebec, ME. Lucy was born 29 September 1806 in Fairfield, Kennebec, ME and died in 1851. Lucy was the daughter of Luke Robbins and Salome Brown.

William Cookson and Lucy Robbins had the following children:

child 139 i. James6 Cookson was born about 1828 in Maine. Appears in the 1850 census with the family in Whitefield, ME. No further record.

child + 140 ii. Simon Robbins Cookson was born 16 February 1831.

child 141 iii. Matilda Ann Cookson was born 11 Apr 1833 Whitefield, Lincoln Co, Maine. She married Robert Sewall Henry 12 Mar 1853 in Waldoboro, ME. Robert was born in Whitefield, ME about 1828 and died 12 Apr 1900 in Berlin, New Hampshire. He worked in a saw mill. Matilda died 3 Feb 1897 in South Paris, ME of chronic gastritis. They had the following children:

  1. Lucy A J Henry b. 1855
  2. Joseph Fred A Henry b. 1857
  3. William R Henry b. 1863. Married (By T.J. Ramsdell) to Marcia E. Stone from Saco, ME on 31 Oct 1888 at Paris, Oxford, Maine
  4. Edgar J. Henry b. 9 Jul 1873. m. 23 Dec 1896 Susie Latisha Smith from Clyde River, Nova Scotia. Mechanic/painter.
  5. Osmond James Henry b. 6 Jun 1876. m. Katie Reilly Painter - lived in Mexico, ME

child 142 iv. Mary S. Cookson was born about 1835 in Waldoboro, ME. Appears in the 1850 census with the family in Whitefield, ME. No further record.

child 143 v. Elvira Cookson was born about 1837 in Waldoboro, ME. Appears in the 1850 census with the family in Whitefield, ME. No further record.

child 144 vi. William H. Cookson was born 27 May 1843 in Sidney, Kennebec, Maine and died 9 Feb 1902 in Davis, Tucker, West Virginia. He enlisted in the First Regiment New Hampshire Volunteer Heavy Artillery during the Civil War on August 30th, 1864, for 1 yr. as a Private. Mustered out on June 15, 1805. Name changed to William H. Ellis, 30 Jun 1865, by act of the New Hampshire Legislature. He married Emmaline P. Wheeler on Aug 1866 in Gorham, Coos, New Hampshire. B: 16 JUL 1843 Berlin, Coos, New Hampshire. D: 23 JUN 1923 Bronx, New York, New York. Parents Cyrus S. Wheeler (1810 - 1893) and Sarah Thompson (1810 - 1842). Children:

  1. Cyrus H. Ellis b. Oct 1868 Gorham, Coos, New Hampshire. Died 14 Sep 1940 Bronx, New York, New York
  2. Bert H. Ellis b. 5 Jun 1872 Paris, Oxford, Maine. Occupation: Steel Erector. Died 7 Jul 1945 in Moorefield, West Virginia. Bert married Margaret Flaherty on 3 Sep 1905 in Manhattan, NY (Certificate #18707). She was born 8 Dec 1878 in New York City and died 24 Feb 1935 in Queens, New York. They had the following child:
  3. Sarah Sadie Mae Ellis b. 13 May 1874 Paris, Oxford, Maine. Died 28 Aug 1958 Columbus, Franklin, Ohio. She married Harry E. Tolbard.
  4. Frank E. Ellis b. 5 Nov 1876 Paris, Oxford, Maine

child 145 vii. Phebe E. Cookson was born about 1843 in Maine. She last appears in the 1860 census living with her father and her sister Hattie in Windsor, Kennebec, Maine.

child 146 viii. Harriet P. Cookson was born about 1846 in Whitefield, Maine. She was living in Windsor, Kennebec, Maine with her father and sister's Phebe and Matilda during the 1860 census. Harriet (Hattie) married Thomas J. Wheeler about 1864 in New Hampshire when she was 16. Thomas was born about 1840 in Berlin, NH to Cyrus Wheeler and Sarah J Thompson. Thomas was employed as a Farmer in Paris ME during 1870 census. Hattie noted that her father was born in England during the 1900 census for Milan Town, Coos, New Hampshire when they were employed as Innkeepers. In 1904 Thomas, Hattie, and Flora were living in Norway, ME; Thomas was employed as a stableman. Children:

  1. Elmer b. 1866 in Pennsylvania
  2. Mabel G. b. 3 Mar 1872 in South Paris, Maine. She died 25 Jul 1945 in Mechanic Falls, ME. Mabel married Henry U. Oleson, Lumberman, of Berlin, Coos, NH on 26 Mar 1886. He was born about 1863, the son of Carl Oleson and Hannah Rassunsan. He died prior to 1920. The family was living in Lewiston, ME during the 1910 census. Mabel owned a millinery and beauty shop on Lisbon Street in Lewiston. Children:
  3. Flora B. Apr 1880. M. Ward B. Lary (Widower) of Bethel, ME on 19 Apr 1904. Ward was born 1873 in Dummer, NH to Frank E. Lary and Lucy Wentworth. The bride's mother was given as Hattie Ellis, b. Whitefield, ME. The bride's father's occupation was given as Horseman. She married second, John E. Rollins, Railroad Clerk, on 15 Jun 1908 in West Bethel, ME. They lived in Lewiston, ME. No children.

Below is email that I have recieved from Jan Riley who has been a great help. If you would like to join in the madness, please email Janet or I.

Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 16:58:04 -0500
From: "Janet H. Riley" <JanRiley@compuserve.com>
Subject: Cookson/Robbins Families
Sender: "Janet H. Riley" <JanRiley@compuserve.com>
To: "VTAndrew@erols.com" VTAndrew@erols.com

Hi Ross -- Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. You have a super
site with your genealogy, and we definitely have the same family line. Wm.
and Lucy (ROBBINS) COOKSON m. 22 Sep 1827 in Rome, Kennebec Co, ME


1) James b. ca 1828
2) Simon R. b. ca 1831 (yours -- I'll have to update my info)
3) Matilda Ann Cookson b. 11 Apr 1833 Whitefield, Lincoln Co.; d. 3 Feb
1897 S. Paris, Oxford Co, ME (mine); m. Robert Sewall Henry (m.int.) 12 Mar
1853 Waldoboro, Lincoln Co, ME.
4) Mary b. ca 1836
5) Elvira b. ca 1838
6) William H. b. ca 1841
7) Phebe b. ca 1843

The estimated birth dates are from US Census records. I agree that it's strange that Simon changed his last name. I don't see any Ellis names anywhere to explain it. It's also interesting that the family was in S. Paris *and* Berlin, Coos Co, NH. Robert Sewall Henry (Matilda's husband) died in Berlin in 1900! My father, their grandson, was b. in S. Paris -- the area where other Henry relatives lived, and my father never spoke of any of them. A puzzle for sure!


Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 22:17:33 -0500
From: "Janet H. Riley" <JanRiley@compuserve.com>
Subject: The Thickened Plot
Sender: "Janet H. Riley" <JanRiley@compuserve.com>
To: Ross Andrews <>

Hello Ross --
Just checking messages before going to bed and see you responded. I'm
wondering if the name Ellis had anything to do with the fact that the
Cookson family went to NB as Loyalists in the late 1700's. That's where
Simon's father (William) was born according to US Census records. I believe
his father's name was William because of deed records I've researched. I
also found a New Brunswick record that I'm sure relates to the family where
a Wm. Cookson's wife's maiden name was Russell. Maybe somewhere up there
was an Ellis family. I can't identify the Russell name either, so I guess
there's some researching to do. Name changes are usually recorded in county
Court Records; however, the records for that area in Maine are not that
informative due to the "economy" of the area. I'll let you know if I find

Date: Tue, 3 Mar 1998 14:41:16 -0500
From: "Janet H. Riley" <JanRiley@compuserve.com>
Subject: Simon Cookson/Ellis
Sender: "Janet H. Riley" <JanRiley@compuserve.com>
To: "VTAndrew@erols.com" <VTAndrew@erols.com>

Hi Ross -- I don't know if you are a member of the Maine Genealogical
Society or not, but I rec'd their latest Journal yesterday, and lo and
behold your Simon Cookson is listed as one who had his name changed by the
Maine Legislature on March 22, 1856!! I could hardly believe it when I saw
it and had to let you know. It gives no reason, just that he was residing
in Windsor at the time. I suppose the original records might give a reason,
but I don't know. There are no other Cooksons or anyone from Windsor
The MGS has been running an article for the last year on people who
changed their names between 1803-1892 and I hadn't been particularly
interested in it.
When you told me that no one seemed to know why he'd changed his name,
I decided to send for a copy of his death record. It looks to me like one
of his children probably gave the information regarding Simon's name and
that of his father, although it doesn't indicate who gave the information.
Jan Riley

Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 17:22:36 -0500
From: "Janet H. Riley" <JanRiley@compuserve.com>
Subject: Re: Simon Cookson/Ellis
Sender: "Janet H. Riley" <JanRiley@compuserve.com>
To: Ross Andrews <>
X-MIME-Autoconverted: from quoted-printable to 8bit by mail1.erols.com id RAA07633

Hi Ross,
You'd better sit down for this! I was in Boston today to do some volunteer
work at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and before I came
home, I poked into a few books. One of them had a list of people who had
changed their names in June 1865 in New Hampshire. A fellow by the name of
William H. COOKSON had his name officially changed to William H.
ELLIS!!!!!! Your Simon had a brother named William H. Cookson (b. ca 1841)
in the 1850 Census where they appear in Whitefield with their parents and
siblings. This whole thing has me mystified and determined to try to figure
out why there were name changes. I wish I knew more about the girls in the
family too.
Thought you'd be interested in this bit of info. I'll keep you
posted. Next time I go into NEHGS I'll see if I can find any more on the
All for now, Jan Riley

Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 09:56:13 -0500
From: "Janet H. Riley" <JanRiley@compuserve.com>
Subject: Re: Simon Cookson/Ellis
Sender: "Janet H. Riley" <JanRiley@compuserve.com>
To: Ross Andrews <>

I guess what needs to be done is Census work, to determine where these 2
brothers were at certain time, and possibly see what their occupations were
at the various times. Were they in Berlin, NH or in S.Paris/Paris, ME? Why
did the 2 brothers change their names to Ellis -- and why at different
times -- one in ME and one in NH? That's what piqued my interest in what
happened to their sisters. Of course, I know that 1 sister (Matilda)
married Robert Henry (my great grandparents) in ME. I don't have their
marriage, but their marriage intentions were posted in Waldoboro, ME 12 Mar
1853. I think I told you Matilda d. in S. Paris in 1897 and Robert Henry d.
in Berlin in 1900. Robert Henry had sons who settled in Paris, Rumford, and
Mexico, ME -- so the families apprently "traveled together". One of the
Henry sons was listed living in Berlin, NH in the 1900 Census, the year &
place his father died.

There were 2 lines of Cooksons living in Maine about the same time, but I'm
quite sure they aren't related due to the research I've done on them. But
that makes matters a bit confusing. Yesterday, while in Boston, I looked in
the 1906 Paris, ME Register and found a Wm. Cookson living in W.Paris with
his wife Agnes (Herrick) and a student, Warren Cookson. To confuse the
issue, another book shows Wm. Cookson, age 46 of Paris m. Agnes A. Herrick,
age 38 of Greenwood on Nov. 3, 1903. Obviously, Warren isn't the son of
these 2 together, but might be the son of Wm. Cookson by another wife. THIS
Wm. can't be the one who changed his name in Berlin because he was b. ca
1857. I'm wondering if THIS Wm. belongs to the other line. And, what was he
doing in Paris??

Who said genealogy is easy!!?? <G>

I'm not sure what you can do. You must live in the Washington, DC area. If
the spirit moves you, you might check some census records. I live about 1/2
hour from the New England branch in Waltham and thought I'd go over there
one of these days to see what I can find. I don't think the DAR holds
anything that would help. As far as I can tell, the father of these "name
switchers" was born in New Brunswick (US Census records told my that) and
he was the son of a Loyalist who went up to St. Andrews for a brief spell
and rec'd a land grant. I also think the Loyalist William (the grandfather
of the "switchers") was married to Honor -?- because they were witnesses of
a will in St. Andrews. Until I found you and your family connection, I was
trying to figure out how to find out who Honor was.

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 14:27:50 -0500
From: "Janet H. Riley" <JanRiley@compuserve.com>
Subject: Re: Simon Cookson/Ellis
Sender: "Janet H. Riley" <JanRiley@compuserve.com>
To: Ross Andrews <>

Hi Ross,
Looks like we've opened up a can of worms!! I really don't know what to
tell you except I've done the census work on the Cookson/Ellis boys'
father, Wm. Cookson up to 1860, when he is living with his daughter,
Matilda (married to Robert S. Henry -- my great grandfather). In 1860,
Matilda and Robert are living in Windsor with their own children plus
Matilda's father (William, age 65) and 2 of Matilda's younger sisters
(Phebe, 17 and Harriet, 13).

1870: The Henry family is still in Windsor, Kennebec Co., but William
Cookson and his daughters aren't with them. I guess I haven't found William
and these daughters in the 1870 Census. Have no records for them.

1860: M653, Roll #441, p.354; House/Family #253: Windsor, Kennebec Co. As I
mentioned above -- Wm. with 2 daus. at home of Robert & Matilda Henry.

1850: M432, Roll #259, p.320; House #323, Family #329: Whitefield, Lincoln
Co. William, a farmer, and Lucy (Robbins) are here with Simon R. - 19,
Matilda - 17, Elvira - 12, William H. - 9, Phebe - 7, Harriet - 4. All
"born ME", but I've found evidence that Wm. was born in New Brunswick.

According to the VR's of Hallowell, William Cookson died 15 Dec 1873, age
75. I've never found the death of his wife, Lucy, but she apparently died
between 1850 (when she's listed in the Census) and 1860 (when William & 2
daus are with the Henry family)
So, what we need to find out is what happened to the other children --
especially, the 2 sons who changed their names to Ellis. I'm also curious
about Elvira, Phebe and Harriet. Did they marry? Maybe Census records will
show them with their brothers or nearby.

In checking some of my files on the Cooksons -- and I have LOTS (deeds,
court records when an older Wm. Cookson went to St. Andrews with
brother-in-laws (3 Turner fellows) as Loyalists, Census records, etc.) --
Our Wm. served in the War of 1812 and I have a copy of his Pension file
from the Nat'l Archives. In case you don't have this and want to get a
copy, his file # is SC-21107. He had applied for Bounty land, etc. and as
there was confusion about his length of service and the fact that he not
only served his own time of 30 days, he also served for someone else. Poor
old soul never got anything.

I think I mentioned that a Wm. Cookson and his wife, Honor witnessed a will
by a man whose last name was Russell (in St. Andrews). I think this Wm. &
Honor are the parents of "our" Wm. Well, to add to the mystery, there was a
Samuel Cookson, possibly a brother of our Wm., who lived in Whitefield, ME
and had 9 ch. by his 1st wife (Sarah Brann) and 2 ch. by his 2nd wife,
Eliza Ann Russell. There's SO much that could probably be done on these
Cooksons!! It's kind of like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at
the same time. Then there's the John Cookson family! (related too, I think)

If you can find someting out regarding the Census records for the 2 Ellis
sons of Wm. & Lucy, that'd be great. I can't get to the Archives until the
end of next week at the earliest.

I heard from the man who had written the article regarding name changes and
he said he didn't have anything further on Simon, that the original petions
are located at the ME State Archives, and that copies can be obtained from
them. Do you know anyone in that area who might be able to check there? He
said Lois Thurston, one of the editors of "The Maine Genealogist" "has
first-hand knowledge of the location of those records at the Archives". Do
you know anyone who knows her?

Enough for now --- thank you for your willingness to work on this with me

Date: Wed, 17 Jun 1998 15:50:02 -0400
From: "Janet H. Riley" <JanRiley@compuserve.com>
Subject: Our Robbins Ancestry
Sender: "Janet H. Riley" <JanRiley@compuserve.com>
To: "" <vtandrew@mac.com>

Hi Ross --
It's been a while since I last wrote and I hope your back is feeling OK
now. You had said you would check your records to tell me where you found
Salome (Brown) Robbins' age at death in 1812. She was Luke Robbins' 1st
wife -- (Luke being your #480 on your site listing). I agree that Salome
died 6 Apr 1812, but would like to know how you came to find out she died
at age 33.

As I told you before, I'm researching a bunch of Brown families that could
possibly be Salome's ancestors, but have put that on hold for now with the
hope you could help me out with the above info. Will certainly share
anything I find out, but would need to verify that age 33 at death 1st. You
also have that she was *born* in Norridgewock -- according to the marriage
record I have, she was "of Norridgewock" when married.

I know you're probably busy, but if you have time to check on this, I'd
really appreciate it.

Many thanks,

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