Reuben Ransom Cooley
UPDATE: A descendant of Reuben's has DNA-tested and is shown to have
markers that belong to the descendants of Benjamin Cooley of Springfield,
MA. He was likely the son of Jabez
Cooley (1775-c1814) and Lucy Calkins. There are several elements in
George's letter, below, that perfectly match the family of John Cooley of
Stokes County. It's my assertion that the story of the two genetically
distinct families, who happened to live virtually next to one another for
decades, got mixed up. John's family, not Reuben's, came from North
Carolina. John's son Cornelius died after the Battle of New Orleans of
illness, and John had a son named James. Currently known data suggests that
John did have eleven children, though possibly nine sons and two
About the only "testimony" we have from Reuben Cooley himself regarding
his origins are the census entries that consistently put his birth in Ohio,
c1806. By looking at those records, reading the 1946 letter of George Cooley
(below) and pulling in the research of Jon Bradshaw (below) and Bartholomew
county, Indiana researcher, Donna Kuhlman, we can say this about his
- Reuben Cooley (1805-1870+) m1 Elizabeth Jacobs m2 Rhoda (Paramore) Deem. David Paramore age 69, likely Rhoda's father, is listed with the family in 1850.
- John J Cooley (c1838-1920+) m Nora Ellen. "Great Uncle John"
- Mary B Cooley (1896-)
- Cecil E Cooley (1900-)
- Harrison T Cooley (c1843-1906) m Mary Elizabeth Pfenning, 29 Sep 1867, Jackson co IN. She was born in Germany.
- John R Cooley (1869-1936) m Alice Bosley, 27 Jan 1889, Jackson co IN.
- George Harrison Cooley (1889-1977) Born 14 Dec 1889. Died at Lafayette, 5 Jan 1977. Buried at Fairview with wife Adaline M Ehlers.
- James Clyde Cooley (1897-1974) Born 7 Dec 1894. Died 1 Oct 1974.
- Cora Cooley (1889-1975)
- Mary E Cooley (1901-1995) m George Meahl.
- Effie Belle Cooley (1871-)
- Nellie Cooley (c1874-) m. Robert H Hall, 10 Sep 1896 Jackson co IN. She died 9 Sept 1911 in Jackson co.
- Omer H Cooley (1877-) m Nora E
- Theodore Cooley (c1847-) Found on the 1850 census.
- Mary Cooley (c1849-) m Leslie Peter Byrnes, 13 Jan 1867, in Jackson county IN
- Robert Cooley (c1852-) Found on the 1860 census.
- James Cooley, per George Cooley's letter but not verified.
The following index to Jackson county death records is found online at
COOLEY, CARL C 1914/05/03 GRASSYFORK H10 049
COOLEY, DANIEL 1908/11/07 CARR TWP H28 018
COOLEY, ELLA (SAMANTHA) 1900/09/25 BROWNSTOWN H19 018
COOLEY, ELLA PARTHINE 1900/09/26 BROWNSTOWN H17 023
COOLEY, FLORENCE 1900/07/31 CARR TWP H19 013
COOLEY, GEORGE A 1920/05/04 TAMPICO H29 093
COOLEY, HARRISON 1906/06/26 BROWNSTOWN H25 007
COOLEY, JOHN R 1916/09/21 JACKSON TWP H29 025
COOLEY, JOHN REUBEN 1912/09/18 BROWNSTOWN H16 085
COOLEY, SARAH 1887/03/27 SEYMOUR CH1 030
COOLEY, WILLIAM JOE 1913/06/19 BROWNSTOWN H16 086
COOLEY, WM 1914/11/22 CARR TWP H10 055
COOLEY, MALE 1893/09/28 BROWNSTOWN H17 016
COOLEY, MALE 1901/05/14 CARR TWP H20 009
COOLEY, MALE 1901/11/11 SEYMOUR CH1 090
COOLEY, UNKNOWN 1904/12/03 BROWNSTOWN H17 038
Of possible interest to this family is George A Cooley, also of Jackson
county. He died in Jackson county 4 May 1920. He's found in the following
1880 > INDIANA > JACKSON > GRASSY FORK
Series: T9 Roll: 286 Page: 67
George A Cooley Head 30 Ind Ind Ind
Susie Cooley Wife 28 Ind Ind Ind
Cecil Cooley Dau 2 Ind Ind Ind
1900 > INDIANA > JACKSON > GRASSY FORK TWP
Series: T623 Roll: 378 Page: 73
George A Cooley Head 50 (Nov 1849) m 26 yrs Ind Ind Ind
Susan Cooley Wife 45 (Feb 1855) 7 ch, 6 lv Ind Ind Ind
Cecil J Cooley Son 23 (Feb 1855) Ind Ind Ind
Jesse G Cooley Son 14 (Aug 1885) Ind Ind Ind
William Cooley Son 10 (Aug 1889) Ind Ind Ind
Sophia M Cooley Dau 6 (Jun 1893) Ind Ind Ind
George R Cooley Son 4 (Apr 1896) Ind Ind Ind
1910 > INDIANA > JACKSON > GRASSY FORK TWP
Series: T624 Roll: 357 Page: 72
Geo A Cooley Head 60 married 37 years Ind NY KY
Susan M Cooley Wife 55 8 chil, 7 living Ind Ind Ind
___ M Cooley Dau 16 Ind Ind Ind
Raymond Cooley Son 14 Ind Ind Ind
Alas? Cooley Son 9 Ind Ind Ind
I think there's good reason to suggest that Reuben was of the Franklin
county, Indiana Cooleys, particularly considering that they were in Ohio at
the time of his birth. But much of the George Cooley letter sounds very
much like the family that Edward Cooley of Washington
county, Indiana was born into, i.e.: origins in North Carolina, tradition of
an immigration from England, and a family member who died during the War of
1812 at New Orleans. Fortunately, yDNA "samples" of living descendants for
both families exist. Should a sample be obtained from a patrilineal
deacendant of Reuben's, we can know from which group he belongs, if either
George Cooley Letter, 1946
I received a copy of the following letter from Patrick M Cooley in
December 1996. It's a several-generation photocopy and some of it is
difficult to read. On some previous copy, someone wrote in George's middle
initial as 'A' but it wasn't overwritten in the signature line and looks to
me like an 'R'. The underlines are that of the author, not mine.
George A. Cooley
Rural Route #1
This is what I heard of the Cooley Family from the oldest generation who are
now all gone. Most of my information came from a Great Uncle John Cooley who
was still living some 25 years ago, about 1920.
He told me our original ancestor that came to this country settled in
Washington, C.H., in North Carolina. That he brought all 11 children, 8 boys and 3 girls to the States with him.
They came in 1801 from Birmingham, England - but that the father was of
Irish descent. One of these boys was supposed to have
been killed in the Battle of New Orleans in 1812.1 Later
on, about 1831, two of these sons came from No. Carolina to
Marietta, Ohio. These two brothers (of the 8 sons) - were:
Reuben Ransom Cooley and James
Cooley. I never did learn the names of the others of this
It is my understanding that Reuben Ransom Cooley came either from
Washington, C.H., or Winston Salem, in the Carolinas. First they were at
Marietta, where they went in 1831, and then in 1835 they came on to
Reuben Ransom Cooley was my great-grandfather, he had three children:
Harrison T. Cooley, who was my grandfather; John Cooley and Mary Cooley. In
1835 my grandfather Harrison Cooley came to Jackson County, Indiana, with
his brother John and sister Mary. She was married at Seymour to PETER
BYRNES, who was a contractor and at one time Chief of Police of Seymour.
These three children of Reuben Ransom Cooley are all buried in Jackson
County. My grandfather, Harrison T. Cooley came from Greensburg, to Tampico
in Jackson County, Ind. in 1837. He was a blacksmith and wagon-maker. His
picture and life's sketch are in the first Atlas published. Now on file in
recorders office at Brownsville, Ind. My father had four children, all
living at present.
I was born in Jackson County, near Brownstown - 20 miles north of
George R. Cooley
J C Bradshaw Post
J C Bradshaw posted the following in the Cooley Family Genealogy Forum in
November of 2006.
Reuben R. Cooley is listed on the 1850 US Census of St. Omer, Decatur
County, Indiana with his second wife, Rhoda Paramore Deem (Rhoda married
Reuben on November 10,1846. Rhoda was married once before to David C. Deem
on April 18, 1839). On the 1850 census Reuben reports his birth as 1806 and
birth state as Ohio. His first wife, Elizabeth Jacobs, married him in
Bartholomew County, Indiana on June 23, 1831. She died in Decatur
From the Greensburg Republic Newspaper dated April 26, 1844:
"DIED--In this place, on Tuesday the 22nd inst., (of Erysipelas). Mrs.
Elizabeth, consort of R. R. Cooley, in the 31st year of her age".
Elizabeth is buried at South Park Cemetery in Greensburg, Decatur County,
Indiana. Her gravestone reads:
"Elizabeth, consort of Reuben Cooley d. 4-23-1844 age 30 yr. 5 mo. 23
I find Reuben and his family in the following census records:
1840 Census Decatur County, Indiana RR Cooley head, three males, three
1850 Census St. Omer, Decatur County, Indiana Reuben R. Cooley 44 OH Hatter,
Rhoda 29 OH, Isabel 16 IN, John 15 IN, Harrison 7 IN, Theodore 3 IN, Mariana
1 IN, Sarah Deem 10 IN, David Paramore 69 PA.
1860 Census Seymour, Jackson County, Indiana Rhuben Cooley 54 OH Farmer,
Rhoda 39 OH, Mary Ann 10 IN, Robert 8 IN
1870 Census Seymour 4th ward, Jackson County, Indiana Reuben Cooley 65 OH
Retired Hatter, Rhoda 49 OH
And in Jon's post of March 25, 2007:
From the Franklin County, Indiana Probate Book E, page 381:
"On motion, Reuben R. Cooley was appointed the guardian of Isabella, John
J., Eliza Jane and Harrison Cooley his own children. Feb. 9, 1846."
All original portions ©
Michael Cooley, OrbitInternet.net -