SIR - Good morning to you and your readers from sunny Queensland. I would like to ask if anyone knows my Irish family - here’s my story.
My great great grandfather was Robert McCook born 1814 to John McCook born about 1785 and his wife Elizabeth Fraser. They lived in Northern Ireland probably Ballymoney or in the surrounding area. That is all I know from Robert’s death certificate in 1890, Sydney, Australia.
Robert McCook met Mary Stuart born 1816 and what is described as a runaway marriage in 1841 left Coleraine, on the ship “Margaret” out of Greenock, Scotland bound for Port Jackson, Sydney for a new life in October 1841.
Captain Kerr was the Master of this ship. Mary Stuarts father was a Robert Stuart dead by the 1841 departure of his daughter Mary McCook nee Stuart.
Robert was an agricultural labourer and maybe a saddler, his native place was Ballymoney according to the ships log book. Mary would have been 6 months pregnant when boarding the ship and their first son Robert Kerr McCook was born a few days out from Port Jackson, the first proud “Ozzie” for the McCook family.
Many years later Mary Stuarts mother Elizabeth Stuart nee Macfie went to Knocklayde Mountain to give a message to her long departed daughter Mary Stuart, to two girl cousins (Sarah Sharpe born 1840 and Ann Hill born 1838) leaving for Melbourne, Australia in 1858 / 60.
One of the cousins, Sarah Sharpe went on to meet Mary McCook nee Stuart in St Marys, New South Wales, delivering the message from Ireland from Mary McCooks estranged widowed mother Elizabeth Stuart nee Macfie and Sarah Sharpe went on to marry Mary McCooks first born son Robert Kerr McCook (remember he was the baby born out of Port Jackson on board the ship “Margaret” in January 1842).
I am told that another brother of Robert McCook, born 1814, went to Canada and another to New York but the New York connection is not really confirmed.
Robert and Mary McCook went on to have six sons in all; Robert Kerr McCook born January 1842 on board ship, John, George, Alexander(my great grandfather (born 1847) Nathaniel, Henry born 1850.
Maybe the names of their sons will give a clue to some body of earlier family members of their family.
Would you appealing to your readers to email me with any information? Thanks a lot for any help you can give me.
Glen McCook from Queensland, Australia