Spring 1966


The Abraham Cooper Family

The manuscript presented below was contributed by Mr. Biffle Owen, Box 10, Clarksdale, Mississippi.  It is signed by John S. Cooper, May 9, 1917, from Trenton, Tennessee.  Mr. Cooper concluded the sketch by commenting that the statements were dictated to his sister, Tempie E. Cooper, by their father, John Linzapher Cooper, Bedford County, Tennessee in December 1886.  John L. Cooper was 79 years of age at that time and died in May 1895.  All statements were made by him from memory.  Mr. Biffle Owen states that he has obtained proof of part of the data.

The father of Abraham Cooper came from England and settled in Culpepper County, Virginia, most probably between the dates 1750 and 1760.  He had five sons among whom was Abraham, the direct ancestor of our branch of the family.  The names of the other four sons are unknown or not remembered.  One of these four sons went from Virginia to South Carolina, one to Georgia, another to Kentucky, and the fourth remained in Virginia.1

Abraham Cooper, our ancestor, married a Miss Browning in Virginia about the year 1775.  They removed from Virginia to Tennessee soon afterward and settled in Carter County* where they brought up a family of five sons and two daughters, in order of birth:  John, James, Sarah, William, Jane, Robert, and Charles.  Abraham Cooper's wife died at their home in Carter County.  Abraham Cooper and his family moved from Carter County and settled in Smith County on the Caney Fork River, about three miles above Carthage, about 1805.  His son, Robert Cooper, did not come to Smith County until two years later, 1807. John L. Cooper, the eldest child of Robert Cooper was born prematurely upon this journey.  Around the year 1812, Abraham Cooper, with his daughters and three sons, William, Robert and Charles, came from Smith County and settled in Bedford County.  In 1820, Abraham's son, James, came to Bedford, leaving only one member of the family, the eldest son, John, in Smith County, where he lived and died.2  This John Cooper, in early life, while yet in Carter County, married a Miss Moffitt, and brought up a family of two sons and five daughters.  His son, Abram, married a Miss Hale.2 His son Bluford,2 removed to West Tennessee, and, while hunting, was thrown from his horse and killed.  This was the supposition concerning his death.  He married in West Tennessee.  The oldest daughter of John Cooper, Lavina, married a Mr. Jones.2  Jane, the second daughter, was the second wife of Wm. Sharp of Bedford County.2  Sarah, the third daughter, married Green Moore of Bedford County.2  He was a brother of Col. John A. Moore, long a well-known citizen of this county.  The fourth daughter, Letha, married John Sharp, the son of Wm. Sharp, her sister's husband.2  Thomas Sharp and his sister, Mrs. T. F. Bates of Shelbyville, are children of Jane Cooper Sharp.  I have lost sight of the fifth daughter and do not remember whether she was ever married or not.

James Cooper, familiarly called "Uncle Jimmy," the second son of Abraham Cooper, while a young man in Carter County, Tennessee, married Elizabeth Bogart.3  As has been stated, he settled in Bedford County in 1820.  His children were all born in Smith County, the oldest of whom at this time (1820) had reached manhood and womanhood.  His oldest child, Polly, married John Tune, and was the mother of a large family of sons and daughters.4  Of these, John B. Tune, K. L. Tune, Mrs. Mat Williams and Mrs. Mary Boman5 reside in Bedford County.  The second daughter, Sally, married Dennis Springer.6  They had several children, all of whom went to Hickman and Dickson counties.  The third daughter, Jane, married Alesa, otherwise known as "York" Harris, and died without children.7  The fourth daughter, Elizabeth,8 married Price Cooper Steele.9,10  The fifth daughter, Catherine, married Carlos B. Steele.11  The sixth daughter, Malinda, married Caswell Puckett of Rutherford County.12  Of Elizabeth Steele's children, only four survived:  Rev. Marion Steele13 of Arkansas, Hon. John W. Steele,14 Miss Fanny Steele15 and Mrs. T. N. McCord16 of Bedford County.  Of Catherine Steele's children, only two remain:  Capt. B. P. Steele of Tullahoma, and John Bell Steele of Arkansas.  Mrs. Puckett left three sons and five daughters, all living in Rutherford 

* Ed. Note:  Carter County was taken from Washington County in 1796.

Ansearchin' News



Washington Bogart Cooper, the oldest son of James Cooper, is an artist by profession.  He has long been a resident of Nashville, Tennessee, and is now about 84 years of age.  He married, in 1842, Miss Ann Litton, a native of Dublin, Ireland.17  They have three children:  James Litton, Kate Litton, and Joe Litton.

Jonathan J., the second son of James Cooper, married Mary Ann Young, a Kentuckian by birth and a schoolmistress.  In 1860, he removed from Bedford County to Arkansas, first to Benton County and then to White County, where he died.  His widow and two daughters reside in Fayetteville, Arkansas, while the three sons, as I am informed, are in Benton County, Arkansas.

William Browning, the third son of James Cooper, is also an artist of distinction and resides in Nashville.  His wife was first a Miss Berkley of Williamson County, then Mrs. Reedy, then Mrs. Breckenridge, and as Mrs. Cooper, is the mother of two children:  John L. and Mrs. Slaughter, of Louisville, Kentucky.  The two brothers, Washington B. and William B. are the only survivors of James Cooper's family.

The third son of Abraham Cooper was William H., who married Sarah Jamison of Dixon Springs, Smith County.  They reared five daughters and one son.  The oldest daughter, Betsy,18 was the second wife of John Woods19 of Bedford County.  Her five children are all dead except Jesse.  She died in August, 1883.  The second daughter, Clarissa, died while young.  The third daughter, Jane,20 married Robert Brooks of Giles County, a first cousin of Bishop Pain of the Southern Methodist Church.  Brooks removed from Giles County to Yalobusha County, Mississippi, where he reared his family.  The fourth daughter, Mary, died unmarried, at Mrs. Wood's.  The fifth daughter, Nancy,21 married Mr. Dodson of Mississippi, and is the only surviving member of the family.  Thomas Jamison, the only son, married in Giles County, went to Leake County, Mississippi, and settled there and died in 1882.  He left some children, all of whom live in Mississippi.

Robert Cooper, the fourth son of Abraham Cooper, married Rebecca McInturf in Carter County, Tennessee.  They were both born in Carter County in 1784.  They had nine children, eight sons and one daughter, the daughter having died when six months old.  All of the sons grew to manhood except Abram, who died at age three years of age.

John Linzapher Cooper, the oldest son of Robert Cooper, was born November 20, 1807, as had been stated, upon the trip from Carter to Smith County, and therefore cannot claim any county as the place of his nativity, but has been a citizen of Bedford County since 1812.  He was married May 15, 1834, to Frances G. Lindsey of Rutherford County.  She was the daughter of Caleb and Temperance (House) Lindsey, and was born June 28, 1813, in Granville County, North Carolina.  They were the parents of five children:  Caleb Lindsey, Adalaide Rebecca, John Summerfield, Temperance Elizabeth, and Robert Browning.  Caleb L. married Miss Isabella Smith of Rutherford County, November 14, 1860.  They have no children.  Adelaide R. was married August 17, 1858, to Rev. J. S. Malone of the Southern Methodist Church, and died December 24, 1876, leaving no children.  John S. was married October 15, 1879 to Miss Anna Hess, a daughter of Dr. Nelson I. Hess, long a prominent physician of Trenton, Tennessee.  They have two children:  Arthur F. and Gussie Lee.  Frances Green, wife of John L. Cooper and mother of his children, died March 25, 1874.  He married Sarah W. Jamison of Rutherford County in December, 1875.

The second son of Robert Cooper was Abner James.  He was born in 1810 and died in '28 or '29.  William Browning was the third son.  He was born in 1812 and died of dropsy in 1834.  The fourth son, Abram, died in childhood.

The fifth son, Charles Dickson, was born in 1814, and died in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi, in 1862.  He first married Elizabeth Lindsey, a sister of his brother John's wife, in June 1835.  She died in June 1840.  He next married Elizabeth Rogers

Spring 1966


of Bedford, and after her death, he married Mrs. Crenshaw of Mississippi, who survived him, but who is now dead.  Elizabeth Lindsey left three children:  William H., Sally T. E., and Wise A. Cooper.  Wm. H. became a surgeon of distinction in the Confederate Army, and died unmarried July 10, 1866.  Sally T. E. married Lewis Sims of Rutherford County and died October 1881, leaving one child, Bessie Sims.  Wise A Cooper married in September 1866, Miss Senie Shaw of Gibson County, Tennessee.  They have a large family of children and now reside in Fort Smith, Arkansas.  The second wife of C. D. Cooper left a son, John F., whose whereabouts are unknown.

Bedford Campbell was the sixth son of Robert Cooper. He was born about 1816.  (I am not positive as to dates, not having a record.)  His first wife was Elizabeth Tinnin.  She died, leaving three children, and then he married her sister, Laura Tinnin.  He and his wife are both living near Bloomfield, Missouri.  His oldest son, William, was a Confederate soldier, and was killed at Tupelo, Mississippi.  Robert, the second son, received a wound in the same battle, from the effects of which he died a year or so afterward.

Robert Caldwell was the seventh son of Robert Cooper.  He was born about 1820, and is still living, unmarried.

Thomas Price was the eighth and youngest son.  He was born in 1827 and died February 3, 1877.  He married Lucretia W. Rogers, and they had seven children, all sons.  Their names were:  Samuel, Morgan, Robert Linzapher, William, John Harris, Thomas Oliver, George Franklin, and "Rob."22 

Robert Cooper, the son of Abraham, died suddenly of heart disease in June 1833, and is buried at the old home in Rutherford County, Tennessee.  His wife, Rebecca, died in December 1862.

Charles Cooper was the fifth son of Abraham Cooper.  He married Sarah Brooks of Bedford County and died in 1822, leaving three sons and five daughters.  John B., the oldest of these, first married Miss Sivley of Alabama, and after her death, he married Miss Jane McGuffin of Middleton, Rutherford County.  They reared a family of children, one of whom, Mrs. James L. Goodrum, resides in Bedford County.  John B. died at his home in Alabama in '82 or '83.

Abram was the second son of Charles Cooper.  His first wife was Miss Martha Sample of Bedford County.  His second wife was a lady of Giles County, Tennessee.  They removed to Crawley's Ridge, Arkansas, where he died.

William Franklin was the third son of Charles Cooper. His first wife was Mary Morton who left him three children:  Sarah (Mrs. Claxton), Mary (Mrs. Hunter),23 and W. C. Cooper of Bellbuckle, Tennessee.  His second wife was Miss McCrory.24  His third wife was Miss Hunter of Marshall County, who is the mother of four children:  Sue (Mrs. Claxton), John T., Virgil E., and Maggie Cooper.  "Frank" Cooper, as he was called, was killed instantly by the accidental discharge of a soldier's gun, in camp, near Shelbyville, Tennessee in March 1862.25  He had gone to camp to visit his son, W. C. Cooper, who was one of the most daring of Confederate soldiers.

Charles Cooper's oldest daughter was Maria B. who is still living in Nashville, Tennessee.  She was born in 1814, and was married while young to Learner Knott, who died in 1871.  They were the parents of eleven children, only three of whom survive:  Mrs. R. D. Reed and Mrs. Landon Hollowell of Nashville, and W. C. Knott.  Their oldest son, Rufus, was a Confederate soldier and was killed at the Battle of Shiloh, 1862.

Matilda was Charles Cooper's second daughter.26  She was married while young to Anderson J. Goodrum of Williamson County, Tennessee.  They made their home in Bedford County, where they brought up a large family of sons and daughters, all of whom are

Ansearchin' News


living except the oldest son, Charles, who was killed by lightning at this home in Kentucky.  The second son, James L., was a gallant Confederate soldier, and left a leg on the field of Chickamauga.  He has three times filled the office of Trustee of Bedford County.

Malinda and Adeline were third and fourth daughters of Charles Cooper.  They married brothers, William and Sam Phillips, and removed to Illinois.  I know nothing of their families.

Elizabeth was the fifth daughter of Charles Cooper, and was born after her father's death.  She married William Holt and they reside near Wartrace, Tennessee.  They have several children.

The oldest daughter of Abraham Cooper was Sarah.  She married Richard Coop of Bedford County.  In 1828, they removed to Gibson County and settled near Katon.  I remember the names of only the four oldest children:  Jane, William, Elizabeth, and Henderson.  And I also remember Mrs. Hays, another daughter, who once visited us.  Richard Coop and his wife both died in West Tennessee.

Jane was the second daughter of Abraham Cooper.  She married John Montgomery of Rutherford County, Tennessee.  They removed to Gibson County in company with Richard Coop's family, and settled in the same neighborhood.  There John Montgomery died, and after his death, his widow and children removed to Arkansas.

John Cooper, the eldest son of Abraham, outlived all his brothers and died about 1840.  I omitted to mention in the proper connection that he married the second time.  I do not remember the lady's name.  She had two children, Timothy Walton and a daughter who married a Walton.  They both reside in Smith County, Tennessee.2

James Cooper, the second son of Abraham, died in 1823 in Bedford County, and is buried on what is known as the Steele Farm, where he lived for some years.

William, the third son of Abraham, died about 1818 at his home in the northeast part of Bedford County, three or four miles from Bellbuckle, and was buried there.  His father Abraham Cooper, was also buried there.

Charles, the fifth son of Abraham, as stated, died in 1822, and was buried on his home place five miles from Shelbyville, on the Fairfield Pike.


John Linzapher Cooper, "The Abraham Cooper Family," Ansearchin' News, 14 (Jan-Mar, 1966), pp. 35-38. 

Endnotes and Comments by Fred T. Kimbrell, Jr.
04 Sep 1999

1.    The following statement did not appear in Ansearchin' News and comes from an earlier transcript of John Linzapher Cooper's document entitled "A Biographical Sketch of the Cooper Family."  This version was obtained from Timothy and Helen Marsh, County Historians of Bedford County, Tennessee.
The following information was compiled by Dr. John S. Cooper, deceased.  His son, John A. Cooper, Attorney, very kindly permitted me to copy this information for use of the DAR. (MSC) 
It is most likely that the brother who settled in South Carolina was the founder of that branch of the Cooper family of which Hon. Edmund Cooper of Shelbyville, Tennessee, and Hon. Wm. F. Cooper of Nashville, Tenn. are representatives; as their immediate ancestors came from South Carolina.  The Hon. Mark Cooper of Georgia, who was long a prominent politician of that State, was, in all probability a son, or grandson of the brother who settled in that State.  The Rev. D. B. Cooper, a prominent member of the Kentucky Conference, M. E. Church South, may be a descendant of the brother who settled in Kentucky.  These statements concerning the South Carolina, Georgia, and Kentucky Coopers, are not positive, but are suggestions, which at some future time may aid in bringing out a fuller history of the Cooper family."

2.    F. C. Key, Sue W. Maggart, and Jane C. Turner, Smith County, Tennessee Wills 1803-1896 (Utica, KY:  McDowell Publications, 1985), p. 88.  "Cooper, John.  29 May 1839.  Wife Rebecca.  Two youngest children Nancy and Timothy W.  Other children:  Levina Jones; Elizabeth Jane Sharp; Sarah Moore; Abraham; Bluford B.; Letha Sharp; Malisah Hutchens; Ellen Hutchens.  Jas. Trousdale, guardian of Nancy and Timothy W.  Witnesses:  Jas. Trousdale, Evaline Trousdale.  Executors:  Wife Rebecca Cooper, Jas. Trousdale.  Probate May 1844."

3.    Tennessee Genealogical Society, Tennessee Settlers and Their Descendants  (Knoxville, TN:  Tennessee Valley Publishing, 1994.), p. 28, hereinafter cited as Tennessee Settlers.

4.    Name recorded as "Mary" in Helen C. & Timothy R. Marsh, Cemetery Records of Bedford County Tennessee,  (1986, Rpt. Greenville, SC:  Southern Historical Press, 1998), p. 102, hereinafter cited as Marsh, Cemetery Records.

5.    Name assumed to be "Bomar" in Helen C. & Timothy R.  Marsh, Land Deed Genealogy of Bedford County Tennessee 1807-1852 (Easley SC: Southern Historical Press, 1988), p. 430, hereinafter cited as Marsh, Land Deed Genealogy.

6.    Marsh, Land Deed Genealogy, p. 318.

7.    Marsh, Land Deed Genealogy, p. 318.

8.    Marsh, Cemetery Records, p. 89.

9.    Name recorded as "Price C. Steele, Sr." with second wife listed as "Henrietta S." in Marsh, Cemetery Records, p. 89.

10.    Name recorded as "Price Coldwell Steele, Sr." in Dorothy J. Harz, "Price Coldwell Steele Sr.," The Bedford County Historical Quarterly, Vol. XII, No. 3, (Fall, 1986): p. 83, hereinafter cited as Harz, Price Coldwell Steele.

11.    Name recorded as "Katherine" in Marsh, Cemetery Records, p. 88.

12.    Tennessee Settlers, p. 28.

13.    Harz, Price Coldwell Steele, p. 83.

14.    Harz, Price Coldwell Steele, p. 83.

15.    Harz, Price Coldwell Steele, p. 83.

16.    Name recorded as "Iva Ann Steele" with husband Thomas N. McCord, M.D. in Harz, Price Coldwell Steele, p. 83.

17.    Marriage date recorded as "17 Jan 1839" in Byron & Barbara Sistler, Early Middle Tennessee Marriages, Vol. 1 (Nashville, TN: Byron Sistler & Associates, Inc., 1988), p. 116.

18.    Name recorded as "Elizabeth" in Marsh, Land Deed Genealogy, p. 247.

19.    Name recorded as "Wood" in Marsh, Land Deed Genealogy, p. 247.

20.    Name recorded as "Jane J." in Marsh, Land Deed Genealogy, p. 234.

21.    Name recorded as "Nancy Cooper" in Marsh, Land Deed Genealogy, p. 234.

22.    The earlier version of John Linzapher Cooper's document lists son "Samuel Morgan."

23.    Name recorded as "James B. Hunter" in Marsh, Cemetery Records, p. 127.

24.    Name assumed to be "Susan G. McCrory" who was buried near John and Ann McCrory in Marsh, Cemetery Records, p. 110.

25.   Marsh, Cemetery Records, p. 112.

26.   Marsh, Cemetery Records, p. 103.

Index of Names and Places

Home Up Cooper Report Abraham Cooper Thomas L. Cooper 1790 Census Bethel Methodist Church Cemetery Cooper Burials