No record of the first layout of Salem is known to exist. The plan of the layout of that part of Salem known as the "town" has been prepared by tracing the land titles to the earliest date possible. The recording of deeds began too late to give the earliest changes of titles. Most of the earliest lots were two acres each, and soon after (before 1635) they were limited to one acre. Apparently the two-acre lots were on the North River and those of one acre were along the South River and easterly of Central Street. Some of the lots shown on the plan were the aggregate of several original small ones, and in some instances several small ones constituted one original lot. The lot marked B. G. is the original burying ground. The lots are numbered only so that they can be here referred to intelligently. They were not so designated on the records. The following is a list of the names of the various owners of the lots at the dates stated, which is the earliest information that has been obtained. The scale of this map is one inch to eleven hundred and forty feet. Lot #68 belonged to Henry Cook. Lot #97 belonged to John Ingersoll.
Henry Cook and Judith Birdsall
In June of 1639, in the young New England settlement of Salem, Massachusetts, Henry Cook and Judith Birdsall married. She was twenty-eight years old, and Henry was likely a little older. Henry was a butcher, the intricacies of which trade he had probably learned in England, before he sailed the ocean.
March 30, 1640, Edward Ingram and Henry were appointed to keep the local swine for six shillings for each animal. Each morning these two men walked through town on their way to the pasture, blowing their horn. The owners of swine brought them out to the drove, thus constantly increasing the numbers. The keepers returned the animals at sunset. The men were responsible for any swine that became lost. However, they were excused from the loss of any killed by wild beasts if they brought home a part of the flesh as evidence.
Between 1640 and 1658 ten children were born into the Cook family. These consisted of four sons and six daughters. Only one of them, a daughter, died as an infant or child.
In October 1649 Henry needed funds, and, to get them, mortgaged to his father-in-law, Henry Birdsall, Ahis howse, a shop and one acre of ground thereto adjoyning in Salem.@
Toward the end of the family increasings, even though their house was full, Henry and Judith agreed to care for a town charge by the name of John Talbey. Their stipulated term of service, beginning January 29, 1655/6, was for a year. The town would supply his shirts, cloth to make a coat, covering for a bed, and some things to make a bed. The Cooks would be given eight bushels of Indian corn to help with other needs. John Talbey apparently remained less than seven months of his year. August 4, 1656, the selectmen Ordered that John Talbey being commonly noted for a person spending his time idly and unprofitably: we think it meet that he should be sent to the next magistrate to be employed accordingly (provided for such persons).@ The next year the vote was to put him in the house of correction at Ipswich.
Henry passed away on Christmas day in 1661. This left Judith a widow with nine children, the oldest twenty-one and the youngest three. Henry had been granted land over the years, and had undoubtedly farmed it, with help from sons. Probably the farming continued, and needs were met. The children married as the years passed, and by the time Judith died in 1689 she had many grandchildren.
Historical information is from S. Perley, History of Salem 2:50-51, 61, 99, 158, 203, 221,
There are four generations in our family where our direct ancestor had the same name. Our first American forefather was Henry Senior who was at Salem Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1638, it is believed that he came from England shortly before that date since there is no record of him prior to that time. It has been recorded that Henry was born in County Kent in England, but this is not definitely known. The name of Henry's father has not been established it is known that there were several distinct branches of the family Cook or Cooke in England in the 1600's all of whom could trace the family lineage to the earliest ancestor, Gilbert Cocus or Cook or Cooke who lived during the time of William the Conqueror in the eleventh century The name Sir Henry and Sir George Cooke of Yorkshire appear in the seventeenth century, they were sons of Bryan Cooke of that county, and is the first appearance of the given name Henry. It is not definitely known from which of the many illustrious lines of the family in England the first immigrants of the name to come to America were descended, but all of the families bearing the name are said to have been of common origin and of ancient ancestry. It has also been stated that Henry was a descendant of the Cooks of Hertfordshire.
Our Henry was a Puritan in his religious beliefs, this probably being the reason for his early immigration to New England, since there was a great deal of discrimination practiced in England at the time against those of the faith. He was obviously a successful farmer and active in the political atmosphere of the colony. His name is mentioned on several occasions in the records of the proceedings of the Common Council and the Salem Town Records. In these records the following reference is made; "Henry Cook and Samuel Ebourne appointed to be surveyors for the north neck and all fields about the Glass House, and for about Though. Goidwaight field and VP to Michele Slaffin." at a town meeting of the Selectmen 14 January 1659/60. And secondly, "At a General Town meeting held 3 March 1661; Granted that the lands lying along the highway against Though. Goidwaites andgiven to Hugh James and by him sold to William Robinson and the Widow Cooke (Judith) from the way to the brook as it was divided by Mayor Hathorne and William Bartholmew, shall all belong to the widow Cooke and William Robinson" Although the family of Frederick Cooke, of the Mayflower had resided at Salem none bore the given name Judith, this can only refer to our family. Judith was the daughter of Henry Burdsall or Birdsall who arrived in America in 1632 from Yorkshire County England. Henry Birdsall was a member of the First Church at Salem in 1636 and was registered a freeman May 2, 1638. Henry was a widower and he came to Salem with Judith age 13 and a son, Nathan age 21. Judith of course being the wife of our Henry Cook. Both Henry and Judith remained at Salem where they died, sons Henry Jr. and Samuel removed to Wallingford, Connecticut at an early date the other children all remained in Massachusetts.
On Christmas day, 1638, the quarterly Court in Salem granted Henry six acres. He was a butcher and lived on Washington Street, on the southeasterly corner of the site of the Masonic Temple. He bought the house and land from Edmond Thompson on January 17, 1645, and his widow conveyed the property to Walter Price on January 13, 1663. The house was taken down in 1764. Henry was appointed to keep the swine for six shillings for each animal. As he walked through the town on his way to the pasture in the morning, he blew his horn, and the owners of the swine brought them out to the drove, which was thus constantly increased in numbers. They returned at sunset. He was responsible for those lost, except if he could prove they were killed by wild animals.
Henry also surveyed fences in 1645/6, and in 1649 he was granted 40 acres "beyond the river on this side of Henerie Batholmew". On November 27, 1658, the town ordered that the forty acres granted to Henry was to be labeled as Lot 68.
On March 14, 1659/60, Salem voted that he and Samuel Ebourne should survey the fences for North Neck and about the glasshouse and Thomas Gouldthwaight's field and up to Michael Safflin's. On December 24, 1655, the town was to put John Talbey out as a servant, at the town's expense, to whomever would take him. On January 29, 1656 , Henry agreed to take him for a year in exchange for eight bushels of Indian corn. The town was to furnish Talbey with shirts, a coat, and bedding. Henry had to appear in court for beating and kicking two sons of Mr. Abourn on Christmas day, but he was discharged.
Henry Cook, Salem, Massachusetts
The surname Cook is one of the oldest English surnames, derived from the occupation of some progenitor of the eleventh or twelfth century, and the family is found scattered throughout the United Kingdom. More than a dozen of this surname settled in Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth colonies before 1650, and one of them, Francis Cook, was prominent among the Pilgrims who came in the "Mayflower."
Henry was the first Cook in America. He was at Salem, Massachusetts in 1638 and most likely arrived in US a short time before that. He is believed to be a descendant of the Cooks of Kent or Hertsfordshire who migrated from Normandy in the 11th century. He came to New England as a Puritan. Sons, Samuel and Henry Jr. emigrated to Connecticut while the rest remained in Massachusetts. The family also lived at Plymouth Connecticut. for a time.
The farm was passed to the widow after he died and it is unknown where it passed from there. Henry was a Butcher.
Resources : Families of Ancient New Haven p27.
Ancestor Likely Arrival in Salem
Henry COOK (COOKE) 1638
Henry Cook, immigrant ancestor, was born in England, and settled in Salem, Massachusetts, where he was a proprietor as early as 1638. He was a butcher by trade. He married, June, 1639, Judith Birdsale. Some authorities locate him at Plymouth. He died at Salem, January 14, 1661. His estate was administered June 26, 1662. His widow Judith died in 1689.
1. Isaac, born April 3, 1640.
2. Samuel, September 30, 1641; mentioned below.
3. Judith, September 15, 1643.
4. Rachel, September 25, 1645.
5. John, September 6, 1647.
6. Martha, September 14, 1650 (twin).
7. Mary, twin of Martha.
8. Henry, December 30, 1652.
9. Eliza, born and died in 1654.
10. Hannah, September 1658.
Henry Cook lived in Salem on Washington Street.
1692 Salem, Massachusetts was the sight of the worst case of mass hysteria in American history! It started with the ravings of 4 young girls and ended with the imprisonment of hundreds and the deaths of 24 men and women all accused of the sin of witchcraft! When the infamous Salem Witch Trials were over, 19 men and women were hanged to death on Gallows Hill, 4 died in prison, and one defiant man, Giles Corey, was pressed to death beneath a board and stones in a torturous attempt to obtain a confession. 300 years later, many of the historic sights in Salem, Massachusetts are still preserved for generations to come. The Salem cemetery, (the 2nd oldest cemetery in the country), still holds the final resting places for many of the 'Witch Trial' participants and, though the tombstones are worn from time they are still legible. The gallows tree still stands, and the original homes of accused witch, Rebecca Nurse, and trial Judge Jonathan Corwin still stand as a reminder that "those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it."
More Henry Cooke (Cook)
Henry was the first Cook in America. He was at Salem, Massachusetts. in 1638 and most likely
arrived in US a short time before that. He is believed to be a descendant of the Cooks
of Kent or Hertsfordshire who migrated from Normandy in the 11th century. He came
to New England as a Puritan. Sons, Samuel and Henry Jr. emigrated to Connecticut
while the rest remained in Massachusetts. The family also lived at Plymouth Connecticut for a time.
The farm was passed to the widow after he died and it is unknown where it passed from there. Henry was a Butcher .
Resources : Families of Ancient New Haven p27.