Week 21 of #52Ancestors: Military
Last week’s post explored John Thomas who was the father of Thomas Jefferson Thomas who married Freelove Cole and they became my 5th great-grandparents. This week I would like to write about Freelove Cole’s parents especially because Freelove’s father, Joseph Cole Jr, had served in the military. He was in the Virginia Militia during the Revolutionary War and was made Captain. This Patriot ancestor fought in the famous Battle of Kings Mountain as a member of the Washington County, Virginia Militia and is registered with the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) as Ancestor #: A024196.
Joseph Cole Jr, also called Joseph Cole II, was born the 28th of May 1750 in Rehoboth, Massachusetts Colony according to the Massachusetts Town vital records. When Joseph was born his father, Joseph Cole I (Sr), was 34 and his mother, Freelove Mason (Cole), was 29. Joseph had at least eight known siblings including Elizabeth Cole Hopkins, Joanna Cole, Hugh Cole, Urania Cole Round, Sampson Cole, Zacheus Cole, Lydia Cole Robinson and John Cole. It must have made for a very busy family!
Joseph Cole married Remember Cole on 26 November 1769 in the Colony of New York and she was the daughter of Israel Cole III and Emary _____ and born in 1752 in Ulster Co. , New York Colony OR in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts Colony. Some sources may list her mother as Remember Burgess but according to Mayflower Ancestor books, her mother was Emary ___. Remember Cole also came from a large family with at least eight siblings including Thomas, Rufus, Eunice, Phillip, Mary and three other Coles.
Now you may be wondering why Remember was also a Cole – no, they were not related- she did have the same surname as Joseph but she came from a different Cole family! Remember’s ancestors started with Daniel Cole, father of Israel I Cole, then down the line to Israel II and Israel III who was the father of Remember Cole. (This Cole family also intermarried with the James family, making them our ancestors also!) Joseph Cole Jr.’s ancestors started with a James Cole who was born in London ca1600 and immigrated to the American Colonies and was father of Hugh Cole I, then the line of Hugh Cole II and Hugh III and Joseph Cole Sr., father of Joseph Jr.
These two unrelated Cole families (descendants of James Cole and Daniel Cole) must have been great friends and companions as they embarked on a great journey together from Ulster Co., New York Colony to Washington Co., Virginia where they had received land grants in about 1773 or later. More on that journey in a later post.
Joseph Jr and Remember Cole had three children together. The first born was John William Cole who was born on 25 Dec 1771, Christmas Day, in Ulster, New York. John William Cole was married twice and died in 1847 in Smyth Co., VA. The second child of Joseph and Remember was Phillip King Cole and his birth year was 1773 in Ulster, Ulster Co., New York. It that is the correct birth year, he may have been a twin to his sister, Freelove Cole, as the records indicate Freelove was born the same year on 24 Dec, Christmas Eve. If so, that would have been three birthdays to celebrate during Christmas time! Phillip King Cole married Rebecca English and they moved to Tennessee where Phillip died in 1860. Freelove Cole is our direct ancestor and she and her mother, Remember Cole, are our lineage to Stephen Hopkins who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620. If you want to read more about Freelove Cole, my 5th Great-grandmother, see here: Searching for “FREELOVE”
Sadly, Remember Cole, wife of Joseph Jr, died young in 1776 in Washington County, Virginia at about 24 years old, leaving three young children. This was just after the migration of the Cole families from New York to Virginia. Joseph Jr and Remember settled on the South Fork of the Holston River in Washington County (later Smyth Co.), VA. If you recall, their daughter Freelove Cole married Thomas Jefferson Thomas. My Thomas ancestors also lived on the South Fork of the Holston River. See my last post here: Where did you come from, John Thomas? We don’t know the cause of death for Remember but she was buried in the Church Cemetery of the Saint Clair Primitive Baptist Church in what is now Chilhowie, Virginia.
Joseph Jr. Cole remarried in 1777 to Margaret Leeper and they had five children together including Andrew Cole, James “Squire” Cole, Remember Cole, Urania Cole and Samuel Cole. Margaret Leeper was born 1750-52 in Augusta County, VA and lived to age 75 or 76, dying in 1826. She was also buried in the Saint Clair Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery.
Joseph Cole Jr. did join the Virginia Militia and on 1780 participated in the Battle of Kings Mountain in South Carolina. During the American Revolution, the Patriot irregulars under Col. William Campbell defeated the Tories under Maj. Patrick Ferguson. Maj. Ferguson’s Tory force of mostly American Loyalists was the west wing of General Lord Cornwallis’ North Carolina invasion force. One thousand American frontiersmen under Col. Campbell of Virginia gathered in the back country to pursue Ferguson who positioned his forces on King’s Mountain. The Patriots charged multiple times displaying lethal marksmanship against the enemy. “Ferguson led a suicidal charge down the mountain and was cut down in a hail of bullets. The Tories suffered 157 men killed, 163 wounded and 698 captured while Campbell’s force suffered just 28 killed and 60 wounded.” It was a decisive and much needed victory for the Patriots. A monument was erected on the battle site with names of the officers. Capt. Joseph Cole is the third name from the top of the monument.
Capt. Joseph Cole Jr. died 6 Sep 1826 in Washington (Smyth) Co., Virginia and was buried in Saint Clair Bottom Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery. His tombstone was recorded by Redmond Cole about 1926 but since that time, his tombstone had been destroyed or was missing. A grave marker for Joseph was placed in the cemetery by a Dennis Stewart in 2005 and a memorial service was held to honor Joseph and his service to his country. In a later year, a memorial service was also held for Hugh Cole, brother to Joseph, in this cemetery. Joseph Cole Jr is also listed in the U. S. Veterans’ Gravesites, 1775-2006.
On this Memorial Day week, it is only fitting to remember those, ancestors or not, that fought for our freedom and served for our country. Thank you to all!
- Ancestry.com; Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
- Yates Publishing. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2004.
- The Compendium of American Genealogy, Vol. IV [database on-line] Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc.
- Find A Grave, database and images; citing Margaret Leeper Cole, Find A Grave Memorial No. 45526825.
- Wikitree, citing Capt. Joseph Cole Jr.
- Memorial for Capt. Joseph Cole Jr. with links to family at Find A Grave: Memorial #47513323.
- National Cemetery Administration. U. S. Veteran’s Gravesites, ca 1775-2006 [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2006.
- History.com Editors; Battle of King’s Mountain; https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/battle-of-kings-mountain.