Thursday, August 7, 2008

Rootbound in the Hills #217:
19 Nov 1991

by Rocky Macy

Rootbound has recently published columns focusing on the COLE (Dr. John Hunt COLE of Southwest City, MO) and JAMES (outlaws Frank and Jesse) families. Both columns brought a good response from readers. Now, Tom BOYD (205 SE 2nd Street, Bentonville, AR 72712) has forwarded a most interesting article that focuses on a COLE family (possibly connected to our physician) and the JAMES family of outlaw fame. The information was published by Alvin SEAMSTER, a cousin of Mr. BOYD's grandmother, Laura COLE WOODS. Mr. SEAMSTER at one time established a museum near Garfield, AR. His material follows:

Steven COLE of England and Mattie HUNTER of Wales came to America in the 1670s. They later married and had the following children: John, James, William, Mark, and Elizabeth. Stephen's will is recorded in Chester County, PA.

John COLE (above) married Jane BOUNDS and they moved to Rockingham County, NC. Their sons - Stephen, James, and William - were born in Rockingham County and served in the Revolutionary War. Stephen was a captain. He later moved to Missouri Territory, Cole County (MO) where Jefferson City now stands. Cole County, MO, was named after him on 20 Nov 1820.

Other children of John and Jane (BOUNDS) COLE included Jesse, Mark, John, Peter, Reuben, Samuel (the great-grandfather of Alvin SEAMSTER and Laura COLE), Mattie (married Stephen WALL), and Nancy (married Israel SNEED).

Jesse and Mark settled in Kentucky near a college so that their children could be educated. Mark died in Kentucky leaving his children to be raised by Jesse COLE. Zerelda Cole was a daughter of Mark. While in college, Zerelda met and married a Mr. JAMES, and became the mother of Frank and Jesse JAMES. Zerelda's sister married a Mr. YOUNGER, and she became the mother of Cole YOUNGER. There is (according to Mr. SEAMSTER) some disagreement about whether Jesse was the son of Zerelda or another wife of Mr. JAMES.

John and Reuben COLE were in the mercantile business in North Carolina, but in 1820 Dr. John COLE came to Arkansas and is listed on the 1830 and 1840 census of that state. John was the first postmaster at Sylvia in Washington County, AR, in the 1830s. Dr. COLE went to Texas before the Civil War.

Reuben COLE went to Jones County, GA, where he married Celia WADSWORTH. After Reuben's death in Mississippi, Celia and her son, Samuel, moved to Washington County, AR. They are both buried at Cane Hill Cemetery along with a son of Samuel, Dr. John COLE.

Samuel COLE, the great-grandfather of Laura COLE WOODS and Alvin SEAMSTER, was born in 1781. He married Polly GIBSON. She died before the family moved to Arkansas in 1832. Samuel and his kids settled seven miles from Pea Ridge. Samuel's children were Samuel, John, Hiram, James, and Newton Cannon COLE (the grandfather of Laura and Alvin). After five years in Arkansas, Samuel (the father) went back to Tennessee and helped move one thousand Cherokees to the Indian Territory where he lived with them for four years.

Alvin and Laura's grandfather, Newton Cannon COLE, was born in Tennessee in 1818 and died in Benton County, AR, in 1893. He is buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Newton married Candace BRASHEARS who was on the wagon train when they came to Arkansas in 1832. The wagon train included thirteen families. Candace, born in 1820 in Kentucky, lived ninety-three years and passed on much family history. She did not, according to Alvin SEAMSTER, relate much of the JAMES family history, however, because it was considered a disgrace at that time to admit the relationship.

Newton Cannon and Candace (BRASHEARS) COLE (above) were the parents of William M. (the father of Laura COLE), Joseph, Nancy Jane (the mother of Alvin SEAMSTER), Jasper, Mary, James, John C., and Robert A. COLE.

Rootbound truly appreciates Tom BOYD sharing so much of his family history. If any of our readers discover that they are tied in to Tom's family, please contact him at his home in Bentonville and let him know.

And what about your family history? Send it to Rootbound in the Hills in care of this newspaper and we'll share it with our regular band of readers.

Until next week...happy hunting!

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