From Caroline County, Virginia to Town Fork Settlement, Stokes County, North Carolina

Several families left Caroline county, Virginia for Town Fork Settlement.

This chart is not an attempt to show that John Cooley was related to any of the others listed. In fact, no blood relationship is suggested. Furthermore, his in-law ties to the Hams and the Blackburns is not proven--Martha Ham (Edward Cooley's mother-in-law) is not positively proven as Thomas Ham's daughter and William Blackburn (John Cooley's son-in-law) is not proven to be the William mentioned in the will of Newman Blackburn. As usual, John's familial connections remain a mystery. Nevertheless, these are people who John was associated with and the chart illustrates a strong tie between the two locations, Caroline co VA and Townfork Settlement in NC.

The persons with names in blue are known to have resided in both locations.

                                                                                                                                                                          Richard Goode                                       Robert Cook
                                                                                                                                                                           (1670-1726)                                       (c1720-1780)
                                                                                                                                                                                |                                                 |
          Thomas Ham I                                                                                                                                                 --------------------                 Richard Beasley m Martha Cook
         (c1678-c1744)                                                                                                                                                 |                  |                  (c1736-c1804)
                |                                                                                                         Frances Jones m                       Richard Goode      Thomas J Goode                  |
         Thomas Ham II                                                            Ambrose Blackburn                        Joel Halbert                          (1703-1744)        (1720-c1789)           -----------------
         (c1702-1760)                                                               (c1722-c1777)                            (-1762)                                   |                  |                |               |
             m Mary                                                                       |                                     |                               Richard Goode      Thomas Goode Jr m Nancy Beasley   Martha Beasley m Edmond Jean
                |                                                               ----------------------             ---------------------------------             (c1733-1801)       (c1756-1834)           |               |
        ----------------                                                        |                    |             |       |        |              |                   |                              Mary Goode   m   Wesley Jean
        |              |                             John Cooley        Newman Blackburn   Ambrose Blackburn m Frances    Joel     Hannah     John Halbert      --------------
   Joseph Ham      Martha Ham                       (c1740-c1811)         (c1737-1772)        (c1750-1820)     Halbert   Halbert   Halbert         |            |            |
  (c1728-c1794)      by unk      m Thomas Raper           |               ?     |                                              m William Hill    Elizabeth m Charles B   Elizabeth Goode
                       |----------------|         ----------------        ------------                                                            Halbert      Goode     m William Jean
                       |                |         |              |        |          |                                                                                 (bro of Edmond Jean)
                  Mordecai Ham   Martha Raper m Edward     Elizabeth m William    Younger m Martha Goode (sis. of Thomas Goode Jr)                                       
                  (1758-1815)                   Cooley       Cooley   Blackburn  Blackburn

Beasley, Richard was born about 1736 in Essex county, Virginia. His son, Richard Beasley Jr, was born about 1771 in Caroline county. Richard's will was proven in Stokes county in 1804. See Robert Cook.

Blackburn, Ambrose I: "Ambrose Blackburn I, son of Elias Blackburn of Caroline, Essex County, Virginia, brother of Christopher Blackburn II, married Elizabeth Jones, a relative of Gabriel Jones. He left Virginia about 1760 and settled in Stokes County, North Carolina. County records show that he was there in 1761 and 1770. He later moved to Greenville District, South Carolina. He died in 1777." [Blackburn Genealogy Compiled by Vinette Wells Ranke Washington D.C., as transcribed at]

Blackburn, Ambrose II was a captain in the North Carolina Rangers during the Revolution. He died in Tennessee.

Blackburn, Newman names son William in his will but there is no proof that this is the same William who married Elizabeth Cooley, John Cooley's daughter, in 1805. The following two posts by pmears is found at rootsweb's BLACKBURN-L Archives:

Subject: [BLKBURN] Two Different Sets of Ambrose Blackburn
Date: 9 Mar 2004 20:45:59 -0700

I would like to throw out for dicussion anyone interested, that I have concluded there are two different sets of Ambrose Blackburns that migrated from Essex/Caroline County VA to Surry/Stokes County NC...It is well established that Ambrose Blackburn d. 1777 in SC and said to marry Elizabeth Jones and had sons Augustine and Ambrose, Jr who married Frances Halbert...It is also said that this Ambrose, Sr was the son of Elias Blackburn proven son of Cpt Christopher Blackburn who was in Old Rappahannock County, VA as early as is also well established that both Ambrose, Sr and Jr had removed to SC in the 1770's...Newman Blackburn who made his will in Surry County, NC 1772 was witnessed by Ambrose Blackburn who deeded Newman 150 acres of land in 1771 in Surry County...this Ambrose also witnessed a will who I believe to be his 2nd wife Mary Cook's Father Robert C Cook's will in 1780 Surry County...I believe this Ambrose to be Ambrose, Jr who 1st married Hannah Ashley and both he and Newman to be the sons of Ambrose Blackburn who died 1754 in Caroline County, VA...Newman Blackburn was a defendant against William Dunlap and Co. in 1757 in Caroline County, VA...needless to say this is a confusing lineage with all the Ambrose's but seems reasonable and will appreciate discussion about this.

Subject: [BLKBURN] Re: Two Different Sets of Ambrose Blackburn
Date: 12 Mar 2004 20:43:31 -0700

Upon closer review there is another good possibility that the Ambrose d. 1754 in Caroine County, VA was a son of Cpt Christopher and Katheine Blackburne....his brother Elias was the Father of Ambrose who d. in 1777, and it is very possible that Ambrose first married Elizabeth Jones and then Hannah Ashley which would be the mother of Augustine and Ambrose, Jr who m. Frances Halbert...I have found records now of both Cpt. Ambrose and Augustine in Stokes County in the 1780's...Augustine even named a son is not certain of which children belong to Elizabeth and which to Hannah Ashley...I think Newman's age would led toward Eliabeth Jones..Any discussion welcomed.

Cook, Robert married Mary Cobblar in 1740. He and his son-in-law, Richard Beasley, worked on a road gang in Caroline county. He is believed to have come to Surry county in 1765. His daughter, Mary Cook, married Ambrose Blackburn Sr (his 2nd wife). It's believed they had no children together. Daughter Martha Cook was married to Richard Beasley.

Cooley, John enlisted in 1755, along with Richard Goode, from Caroline County into Robert Spotswood's company of the Virginia Regiment. He was in Townfork Settlement by the late 1760s.

Goode, Richard served in Captain Spotswood's company during the French and Indian War and saw several campaigns. His family had a long history in Caroline and its parent counties. He held civic positions in Stokes county and served as a Major during the revolution. John Cooley had a grandson named Timothy Goode Cooley, perhaps named for Richard's brother.

Halbert, Joel was born in Caroline county in 1749. It's believed that all his siblings were also born there. Their father died in Caroline county in 1762. Three of Joel Harbert Sr's children married children of William Hill Sr. Joel's mother, Frances Jones, is often said to have been a descendant of Pocahontas but Janet Ariciu [link] makes a good case for this not being true.

Ham, Joseph is referred to as Mordecai Ham's uncle in the pension records filed by Mordecai's widow, Rebecca.

Ham, Martha: "There is a 1760 Caroline Co., Va court record where a Martha Ham is presented in court for having a bastard child. It's possible that this is Mordecia (sic)." [Susan Bullock email, January 2007.] She married Thomas Raper and had at least two daughters. Thomas died in Stokes county in 1808. (It's not certain that Jane was a daughter by Thomas Raper.)

Ham, Mordecai was born in Caroline county c1758 and died in Stokes county in December, 1815. He was a soldier in the revolution. Elizabeth (Raper) Fulp, daughter of Thomas and Martha (Ham) Raper, filed an affidavit stating that she was Mordacai's half-sister.

Hill, William (1737-1792) was born in Caroline county and began his career as a Baptist minster there. He married Hannah Elizabeth Halbert in Rowan County, 1758. His father, William Hill, died in Surry county in 1784. He (the father) was "elected to Provincial Congress as a delegate from Surry Co. on Aug 11, 1775. Delegates were known as 'liberty men.' Signed his name to the declaration of the Congress against the King on 23 Aug 1775."1 William's brother, Robert Hill, served in the Revolution under Major Richard Goode. It's noteworthy that Sarah Cooley Hill, who married Cornelius Vanover, may have been allied with this family.

1. See for more information.