Eason Cook Family History

Scotland

My maternal great grandfather Robert Eason Cook’s family tree can be traced back to 1837 in Dundee Scotland.

His father, James Eason Cook, was a boat builder and born about 1837 in Dundee Scotland, in Angus, a maritime county in the east of Scotland. On both his marriage and death certificates his place of birth is given as Dundee.

Map of Dundee
Area around Dundee Scotland

On his marriage certificate to Ann Lord Senior his mother’s name is Isabella Hodges. I have been unable to find his birth record or to find his family on any of the Scottish census records.

Dundee an aerial view
Dundee an aerial view

He came out to Australia about 1850. His death certificate states he spent two years in NSW and three years in Western Australia and 59 years in Victoria. A direct descendant of James and Annie Lord Senior told me the three years in Western Australia were in Kalgoorlie and he was gold mining there. Gold was discovered in Kalgoorlie in 1893 so it had to be some time after then. He also told me that James Eason Cook was married three times.

I have found a record for a James Cook who came out in 1854. This is possibly but not definitely him. If he was born in 1837 he would have been 17 when he arrived on the “Kurrajong” in Sydney. The “Kurrajong” was a merchant ship. He may have put his age up. If he was 17 that makes him 22 when he married Mary Condon in 1859.

Kurrajong 1854 cr

Ship’s Passenger List the “Kurrajong” 14 Oct 1854
James Eason Cook 1854 Kurrajong from Dundee to Sydney
Ship’s Passenger List the “Kurrajong” 14 Oct 1854

He married Mary Condon, an Irish woman from Co Cork, in 1859 at the Church of St Francis Melbourne Victoria. His occupation was given as seaman and his father was a boat builder.

St Francis' Church Melbourne 1861
St Francis’ Church Melbourne 1861

James Cook & Mary Condon Marriage 1859

Marriage Certificate of James Eason Cook and Mary Condon Melbourne 1859

Snapper Point Mornington by J. Crear c1855 nla pic an 5694871
Snapper Point Mornington Johannah Crear

They lived at Snapper Point Mornington and had eleven children between the years 1860-1879. The township of Mornington developed from the first settlement at Snapper Point. Mornington had a good deep water port and became the link between Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula.

Snapper point Robert Bruce nla pic an 10328044
Snapper point Robert Bruce nla pic an 10328044

There is a record on the Victorian Heritage database of James Eason Cook having built the schooner “Sybil” at Mornington in 1874. In 1877 The Argus 31 July reported him as standing for election as mayor at the municipal elections. He was unsuccessful. Unfortunately in 1880 he was declared insolvent.

Melbourne’s cable cars began operation in 1885 so if James was involved he may have worked for this company.

Melbourne's First Cable Car
Melbourne’s First Cable Car

Gold was discovered in Kalgoorlie in 1893 and James may well have spent the next three years over there trying to get his finances in order.

James Eason Cook Insolvency The Argus 20 Nov 1880
James Eason Cook Insolvency The Argus 20 Nov 1880

His wife Mary Condon  died of consumption (tuberculosis) in 1896 in Prahran Melbourne. She had been in Victoria for 39 years, so came out about 1857. She is buried with a Bridget Condon, most likely her sister, in Melbourne Cemetery. Bridget died when she was 22 in 1859, the same year that Mary married James Eason Cook. On Bridget’s death certificate it states she had been in the colony for six years which would mean she came out about 1853.

Bridget Conran (Condon) Death 1859
Bridget Conran (Condon) Death 1859
Mary Cook nee Condon Death 1896
Mary Cook nee Condon Death Certificate 1896
Cook nee Condon Mary Will & Probate 2 1896 c
Will of Mary Cook nee Condon Jan 1896
Cook nee Condon Mary Probate 1896 c
Assets of Mary Cook May 1896
James Eason Cook Sale of Farm Mornington Standard 25 Feb 1897 c
Sale of Mary Cook’s Mornington Farm. The Mornington Standard 25 Feb 1897

 

The sale of the Mary Cook’s farm at Mornington was advertised in The Mornington Standard on 25 Feb 1897.

After his wife’s death James Eason Cook moved from Mornington to the city of Melbourne.

In 1898 he married Annie Lord Senior and they had two children, Margaret Newbury and Joseph William. In 1909 James was living at 385 Swan St Richmond with Annie and working as an ironmonger. The descendant of Annie and James also told me that James Cook designed and built the first rail car (tram) in Melbourne.

James Eason Cook and Ann Lord Senior Marriage 1898
James Eason Cook and Ann Lord Senior Marriage 1898

Annie Lord Cook was 45 when James died in 1910. He was 75. James was helping to move a grand piano when he died. Annie lived at 28 Clyde St St Kilda for the rest of her long life and worked as a charwoman. She died in 1956 aged 89. She and James are both buried in Boroondara Cemetery in Kew Melbourne.

James Cook Death Certificate 1910
James Cook Death Certificate 1910

His will and probate papers are online at PROV.

James Eason Cook's Will
Will of James Eason Cook 1909
James Eason Cook Assets 1910 c
Assets of James Eason Cook 1910
James Eason Cook, Annie Lord Cook & William Henry Senior Boroondara Cemetery Kew
Grave of Annie Lord Senior and James Eason Cook Boroondara Cemetery to the right of the Lancaster Grave

The eleven children of Mary Condon and James Eason Cook were Isabella who married William Stanley, George who married Louisa Davie, John, James Thomas, Mary Ann who married Robert Alexander Jones, William, Ellen who married David Carrick Trainer, Alfred Eason married Rebecca Elizabeth Putt, Robert Eason married Annie McSweeney (See McSweeney Family History), Thomas married Amy Annie Drake, and Anna.

Robert Eason Cook was my great grandfather. He was born in 1874 at Snapper Point. He was a clerk. In 1893 he married Annie Teresa McSweeney.

Annie McSweeney and Robert Cook Marriage
Annie McSweeney and Robert Cook Marriage 1893
Annie McSweeney
Annie McSweeney

They had four children: Grace Annie Frances born 2 Nov 1893 in Prahran Melbourne, James Alexander Thomas Eason born also in Prahran in 1896, John Walter Clemont born South Yarra 1901 and a stillborn child born on 18 August 1904.

Robert died in Brisbane in 1906. He was working there as an indent clerk and his brother Thomas who was living in Perth WA was also there. Robert was living in Wickham Terrace.

Robert Eason Cook Wickham Terrace brisbane c1900
Wickham Terrace Brisbane c1900
Robert Eason Cook Death Cert 1906
Robert Eason Cook Death Certificate 1906

Robert Eason Cook was 32 when he died and was buried in Toowong Cemetery Brisbane Queensland Australia.

Annie was with Rupert Owen Croxton Collier, the son of James Lyon Collier, the long time Clunes post master and native of  Northamptonshire England. They had five children and married in 1908 in Collingwood Melbourne. Their first child was born in March 1906 in Bacchus Marsh and Robert Eason Cook died in Sept of that year in Queensland. I think we can assume their marriage had broken down.

Rupert Collier died age 37 in 1916 of the Spanish Flu. Annie died three years later of pneumonia aged 46. I remember being told by my grandmother that her parents had died during the Spanish Flu epidemic. They are buried together in Springvale Cemetery Melbourne.

After Annie’s death there were eight children as orphans. I was told some were put in an orphanage.

Ernest Wilson 1984 aged 100
Ernest Wilson 1984 aged 100

When my grandmother Grace married Ernie Wilson they came to live with her and she raised eleven children all together, including her own four.

Grace was married three times. After being married to Ernie Wilson and having three boys to him she met James Knighton and after divorcing Ernie married Jim Knighton.

James William Charles Knighton in uniform c1914
Jim Knighton c1914

He was my grandfather. They had two children but one was stillborn.  Jim left to live with a French woman Juliette  and the marriage broke down. In 1941 Grace wanted to remarry and divorced James Knighton to marry a Scottish seaman Arthur White.

Grace Cook and Arthur White Wedding Allan Turner on right and Bloss Skinner bridesmaid 20 Dec 1941
Grace Cook marries Arthur White Brother? Bloss Skinner nee Collier, Arthur White, Grace Knighton, Allan Turner 20 Dec 1941

Arthur was born in 1901 in Lerwick the capital of the Shetland Islands, in the very north of Scotland.

Lerwick Shetland Islands Scotland
Lerwick, Shetland Islands Scotland

They were living together in 1943 and 1949 but I was told he went back to Scotland to see his mother. His father was deceased when they married in 1941 he had been a fisherman. His mother’s name was Margaret Watt. I can only assume he didn’t come back.

Grace Annie Frances Cook
Grace Annie Frances Cook

 

Descendant Report of James Eason Cook

Descendant Report of James Eason Cook