Francis Cooke 1
- Marriage (1): Hester Mayhieu on 4 Jul 1603 in Leiden
- Died: 7 Apr 1663, Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, USA
Francis Cooke (1583 - 7 April 1663 Plymouth, Massachusetts) was one of the 102 passengers on the Mayflower. This early settler is one of the twenty-six male Pilgrims known to have descendants. He is describedin Leiden, Holland Walloon Church and marriage records dating from 1603 as a "woolcomber out of (uyt) England". However, his origins are unknown. He could easily have been a refugee from religious conflict on the continent.
In Leiden, on July 4, 1603, as Franchoys Couck, he married Hester le Mahieu, the daughter of Walloon refugees and early Calvinists. The Mahieus, originally from Lille, had resided in Canterbury since the 1570sbefore moving to Leiden in 1590. Hester le Mahieu's sister was Marie le Mahieu, wife of Jan Lano, another Walloon refugee in Canterbury andthen Leiden, whose son, Philippe de Lannoy migrated on the Fortune tojoin his uncle Francis Cooke and his cousin Robert at Plymouth colonyin1621, having been left behind with twenty others when the Mayflower'ssailing mate, the Speedwell, foundered and returned to port in England leaving the Mayflower to sail alone. Philippe is the progenitor of the branch of the Delano family from which Franklin Delano Roosevelt descends.
While in Leiden, Francis and Hester were members of the Walloon church. In 1606, they left Leiden briefly for Norwich, England, where they joined another Walloon church, returning to Leiden in 1607, possibly for religious reasons. Between 1611 and 1618, the Cookes were members of the Pilgrim Separatist congregation in Leiden.
In 1620, Francis and son John embarked on the Mayflower, leaving Hester and their younger children behind to follow when the colony was established.
Arriving at what is now Provincetown, Massachusetts, on November 11 (November 21, new-style calendar), forty-one of the passengers, among them Francis Cooke, signed the Mayflower Compact as the boat lay at anchor.
Francis Cooke died in 1663 in Plymouth. In 1651, fellow Pilgrim William Bradford wrote of him: "Francis Cooke is still living, a very old man, and hath seen his children's children have children. After his wife came over with other of his children; he hath three still living byher, all married and have five children, so their increase is eight. And his son John which came over with him is married, and hath four children living."
United States Presidents George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Franklin D. Roosevelt are direct descendants of Francis Cooke. Other famousdescendants of Francis Cooke include Cephas Thompson, William D. Washburn, Mrs. Anna Mary Robertson ("Grandma Moses"), Orson Welles, Julia Child, Abel Head "Shanghai" Pierce (Texas cattleman who introduced theBrahman cattle breed into Texas), Pete Seeger, Marjorie "Betty Crocker"Child, "Wild Bill" Hickok, John Bartlett, (presumably) Marilyn Monroe, Johnny Carson, George Mortimer Pullman, Elliot Richardson, CharlesG. Dawes, Amasa Mason Lyman, Charles E. Merrill, Dane Cook, Kris Kristofferson, Richard Gere, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and Beach Boys Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson.
Francis married Hester Mayhieu on 4 Jul 1603 in Leiden.