The Family Tree of Captain James Cook (1728-1779)

Created and updated by Rod Fleck

Notes for James COOK

By Thomas Thomson, Minister
James Cook arrived to live with his married daughter Margaret Fleck
His body lies in the Churchyard without a stone to mark the spot.
John James Robinson Jnr. of Blenavon House, lost at sea 9 Sep. 1904 aged 22. Erected by his parents to mark the spot where James Cook, father of Captain Cook R.N. the circumnavigator, was buried 1st April 1779
James was born on Thursday the 4th of March, 1694 at Ednam a small Village a few miles north of the River Tweed, Berwickshire, Scotland to Jean Cooke nee (Duncane) and John Cooke, an Elder of the Church at Ednam.
His baptisim was held within the Parish Church at Ednam on Friday the 12th of March, 1694.
During the early 1720's he left Scotland in search of work within the Alum Trade that had been found in great abundance in Nth.Yorkshire.
On Wednesday the 10th of October he married Grace Pace, of Thornaby, at St. Peter and St. Paul's Church, Stainton in Cleveland.
(Entry within a book written by P.D. Mundy "Cook, James - Personal) under Notes and Queries notes:
"I am informed by the vicar of Great Ayton, the rev. W. Lawson-Smith, that he lately discovered in the parish registers of Stainton-in-Cleveland the entry of the marriage of James Cook and Grace Vace, father and mother of the famous circumnavigator, and that the marriage took place on 5 Oct., 1725.
In the churchyard if Great Ayton is a family grave with inscriptions commemorating Cook's parents, and a brother and sister who died young"
{Mitchell Library SO50/N911 E1 R14}

Their union produced a total of eight Children, 3 sons / 5 Daughters four children died in infancy, viz:

Mary bp. 31st May, 1733 died 1st July, 1737 Age 5
Jane bp. 21st May, 1738 died 12th May, 1742 Age 5
Mary bp. 7th Dec, 1740 died 17th June, 1741 10 Mths
William b. 12th Jan, 1745 died 29th Jan, 1748 Age 3

John, their first born, was baptised at Ormesby, North Yorkshire on Friday the 10th of January, 1727, he died unmarried at the age of 23 years at Great Ayton on Sunday the 20th September, 1750.
They are all buried with their Mother, Grace, within the Old Parish Churchyard, All Saints, Great Ayton.
James who was later to become a Captain in the Royal Navy and the most Celebrated Navigator in History, was their second child, he was born at Marton, North Yorkshire, on Wednesday 27th of October, 1728. He married Elizabeth Batts of Shadwell, London (Age 21) on Saturday the 21st of December, 1762, at St. Margaret's Church, Barking, Essex, with a Special Licence by George Downing the Vicar of Little Wakering. On February 14, 1779, at the age of 50, in a brief fracas with the Hawaiians over the stealing of a Cutter, Cook was slain on the beach at Kealakekua after a blow to the Head and repeated knife thrusts by the local Natives.
His body was dismembered and shared between the Tribal Chiefs, after prolonged discourse with Tereoboo, King of Owyhee, Cook's remains were returned - the Journal reads:

"The 21st February. At sunset the Resolution fired ten minute
guns, with the colours half staff up, when the remains of our
late Comm'dr were committed to the deep."

Christiana their 3rd child was baptised on Wednesday the 31st of January, 1731, at Ormesby, she married a Mr. Cocker: date unknown : and died is 1795.
Margaret who was their seventh child was baptised at Great Ayton Old Parish Church on Friday the 20th of July, 1742, she married in the same Church to James Fleck, a Redcar Fisherman/Shopkeeper, on the 4th of September, 1764, by Francis Wanley, under Licence granted by the Rev. Hide, in the presence of James Cook (Father), James Cook (Brother and Solomon Mease.
She died at Redcar, North Yorkshire, in the October of 1804 and was buried is St. Germain's Churchyard, Marske-by-the-Sea on the 17th of October, 1804.
William, their eighth and last child, was born at Great Ayton on Tuesday the 12th of January, 1745, and Baptised in the All Saints Church on Friday the 26th of February, 1745.
His life was but short and he died on Monday the 29th January, 1748 and buried with his Mother, brothers and sisters, in the All Saints

Extract from an article that appeared in the Evening Gazette. Monday, October 24, 1988.


The Church, which dates back from the 12th Century, but rescued in 1915 but had been neglected until Maurice Hodgson took a keen interest after retiring from his farm work in 1958.
Since 1958 Maurice of Guisborough Road has been custodian of the church, which is still lit by candles and lamps.

“I started by doing general tidying up work”, he said. “The old place was neglected, there were rose trees growing up the walls, and the grass was overgrown as well as replacing leaded windows, renewing pews and twice varnishing throughout. It was in an awful state.
His only regret is the demolition of a beautiful church tower to make way for more burial ground.

Captain Cook's mother, Grace (nee) Pace is buried in the grounds together with a number of her children: Mary b. 1733 d. 1737, Mary b. 1740 d 1741, Jane b. 1738 d.1742,
William b.1744 d. 1748 & John b. 1727 d. 1750.
Her daughter Margaret b. 1742 was married, by licence granted by Rev. Mr. Hyde in this church by Frances Wanley Tuesday 4th September 1764 to James Fleck a Redcar Fisherman in the presence of her father James and Solomon Mease (Uncle of James Fleck).
Visitors from all over the world want to visit the church, particularly those from Australia and New Zealand because it is on the Captain Cook Trail

  Hosted by the Captain Cook Society 

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