William Cooper, son of William Cooper (also Cowper/Couper), of Low Ellington (Wensleydake, Snapt, Masham parish) Yorkshire (York county), England, was bapt. 16th day of 6th month, 1649  [The 6th month was August]Low Ellington (there is also a High Ellington) is a tiny hamlet on the river Ure in the north of England. It is situated near the village of Masham where there are still 2 breweries, Black Sheep and Theakstons, both still using wooden barrels made by coopers. It seems highly likely that the members of the Cooper family were barrel makers here.

William's date of marriage to Thomasine PORTER (b 1656-58) is unknown.  Since she is not listed as the mother of Elizabeth and Henry in the birth record page below, they were probably married in 1675. She was the mother of the six younger children. William had been a member of the Anglican church and he and his first two children were baptized in that church, then after Henry's baptism he became a Quaker. It make one wonder if Thomazine, his second wife, was a major influence in his change of religious beliefs. William was fined in 1690 probably for failure to pay a tax to the church. The 1688 Glorious Revolution removed King James II and placed protestants rulers, William and Mary on the Throne. The 1689 Act of Toleration, restricted the rights of kings and reinstated some freedoms, giving Baptists and Congregationalists some freedoms, but not Quaker and Catholics. It did not provide total freedom of religion, press, or speech.


William emigrated from Low Ellington, Yorkshire, England to Pennsylvania in 1699 either to escape the persecution of Quakers which was prevalent in England at that time, or possibly just to provide more opportunities for his children. He had with him certificates for 3 Anglican baptisms (his and his 1st 2 children's: Elizabeth & Henry) and also a Friends certificate of removal from the Masham Monthly Meeting in Yorkshire dated Jan. 26, 1699.  Both the Anglican and the Friends certificates were deposited at Middletown Monthly Meeting where he also entered the births of his other children" (from Penn's Colony, Vol. II, "Buckman Family"). [I question the Jan 1699 date because Jan was the 11th month of the year, and the following Mar would have been 1700. I probably should have been Jan 1698].

William Cooper brought his family to America on the ship Britannia in 1699. He had with him his 8 children ages 13-26, all unmarried, and probably his wife Thomasine. This ship had an outbreak of smallpox or typhus with 50 people dying on the trip over. Twenty more died after they arrived. William may have lost his wife Thomasine on the ship since no later mention is made of her in Quaker records or his will of 1709.

When they arrived in Philadelphia, they were not allowed to disembarke. Philadelpha already had a yellow fever epidemic raging in 1699 (most deaths were in Sept that year), so the ship landed across the river in Salem County, NJ. 

Christopher Atkinson died on board the ship and after his death his wife sold 500 acres in Buckingham township to William Cooper for 30 lbs.


William asked at the monthly Quaker meeting that all his 8 children (born in England)

be recorded in the church birth and death book.

[Bucks County, Pa Church Records of the 17th and 18th Centuries, Volume 2,

Quaker Records: Falls and Middletown Monthly

 Meetings.F. Edward Wright, 1993.]:

"William Cooper, son of William Cooper, of Low Elinton, Yorkshire, England,

was bapt. 16th day of 6th month, 1649. Children of William and Thomasina Cooper: 

1. Elizabeth Cooper bpt. 13th day of 2nd month, 1673, parents: William & (blank)

2. Henry Cooper bpt. 17th day of 11th month, 1674; parents: William & (blank)

3. Jonathan Cooper b. 11th day of 11th month, 1676; parents: William & Thomazine

4. Hannah Cooper b. 28th day of 11th month, 1678; 

5. Anne Cooper b. 18th day of 2nd month, 1681; 

6/7. Abraham and Sarah Cooper (twins) b. 24th day of 6th month (Aug. 24), 1684

(Abraham died abt Mar 18, 1737)

8. Joseph Cooper b. 5th day of 1st month, 1686/7." 

[All were born in England. William Cooper and family brought a certificate from the

monthly meeting at Snapt, dated 26th day of 1st month, 1699]

The very next entry from the book above is unknown. It doesn’t list a father only a mother: 

Elizabeth. Maybe he was daughter Elizabeth’s son, or maybe William married a 3rd time,

but he isn't listed as child #9.

#1. Israel Cooper 1-2-1698 (Mar 2), parents: (blank) & Elizabeth

Israel Cooper is mentioned in William’s will and is given an equal share with other children:

Jonathan Cooper, Hannah Cooper, Ann Pearson, Sarah Bond and Israel Cooper.

Daughter Elizabeth's Huddleston children are mentioned separately in the will.

In 1700 The Quakers gave permission for the Buckingham Friends to hold a meeting at

William Cooper’s house. In the Bucks Quarterly Meeting Register the actual certificate of

removal from the Middletown meeting to the Bucks county meeting for William states:

"To the Monthly Meeting at the Falls in Bucks Co., Pa. Greeting.  Whereas William Cooper

who hath been a member of our Meeting since his coming from the Old England and now

being desirous to join himself to your Monthly Meeting at the Falls hath acquainted us

therewith, requesting of us a certificate for his removal. We therefore after due consideration

of the matter do hereby certify that he hath been a laborious man amongst his family since coming amongst us, and also hath been and is in unity with Friends."


In 1701 his oldest daughter Elizabeth (28) married Henry Huddleston (41), a non-Quaker, which caused William some difficulties with his Quaker group. The age of Elizabeth at her marriage makes me think that she was the unmarried mother of Israel Cooper in 1698. She would have been 25 years old. The next year they all moved to America. It makes sense that her father took Israel in as a son--Israel received an equal share with William's other children in his will. Then he arranged a good marriage for Elizabeth to his prosperous friend Henry Huddleston, and though that caused him problems at church, he probably felt it was good for his daughter.

The minutes of the Middletown MM on November 6th, 1701 states that:

"Friends have spoken to William Cowper concerning his giving consent for his daughter to marry one that is not of our Society, and received no satisfaction from him; therefore the Meeting doth appoint John Chapman to tell him the Meeting desires him to come to the next Monthly Meeting to be further discoursed with concerning his daughter, and make return to answer to the same."

(It is assumed they are talking about Elizabeth Cooper who married Henry Huddleston.  Elizabeth, by name, is not mentioned in the records. Henry was about 10 years younger than William and they seem to have been good friends, perhaps even before the marriage. In this instance William did not really seem to be as devout a Quaker as it might be assumed.)


On December 4th, 1701:

"William Cowper being here according to the desire of the Monthly Meeting hath been discoursed with about his daughter and he is willing to condemn what he has done amiss which the Meeting was satisfied with and is as followeth:

Whereas I have given my consent to my daughter to be married to a man that does not profess truth which (through Friends information) I now understand to go contrary to truth (though then I did not comprehend it). Therefore I do acknowledge my fault, that I did not advise Friends about it and consider the matter better; and I hope for ye time to come I shall be more careful. Will. Cowper"

Jan. 8, 1702/3 William bought 500 acres of land in Buckingham Township, Bucks Co., Pa. (north of Philadelphia and near Trenton, NJ). Maybe this was his actual move to the property he bought on board the ship. He also obtained a removal from the Middletown Monthly Meeting to the Falls Monthly Meeting (in Fallsington). Since the Falls Meeting was actually farther away from his home, I wonder if he harbored some bitterness at the treatment of his daughter. Later in 1720 a closer Buckingham Meeting was set off from the Falls Monthly Meeting, with the first meetings held in the Cooper home.

Monthly Meeting at Middletown, the 6th of 9th month [November], 1702. William Hayhurst, Clerk Falls MM granted William Cooper a certificate back to Middletown MM on 7 Apr 1703. It seems like he moved back and forth from the Middletown Meeting to the Falls Meeting. The Middletown Meeting (453 W. Maple Ave., Langhorne) was actually closer to his home. (His daughter Elizabeth and her husband Henry huddleston built a house in 1704-6 located at 303 W. Maple Ave, Langhorne).


[because of wording in William’s will concerning Abraham and later events surrounding Sarah, it appears that these twins may be been born a bit retarded.]

"Extracts from Minute Book of Common Pleas and Quarter Sessions Courts of Bucks County, Penn 1684-1730" 

18th Day of 5th Mo 1703

     We allso doe present Sarah Cooper daughter of William Cooper for committing fornication and bearing bastard child, and we allso present Auger a Negro Slave belonging to Robert Heaton for committing fornication with the said Sarah Cooper.

      Robert Heaton's Negro Hugo was called to answer this prese?? For committing fornication wt Sarah Cooper he appeared and pleaded quilty - therefore the judgment of this Court is that he shall be whipt wt twenty one lashes upon his bare back.  (Name looks like Auger above and Hugo here)

     Sarah Cowper (sic) being called on her recognizance appeared and pleaded ?? Persentment found against her by the Grand Jury the 9th day of September 1703 weh was these words We the grand Jury for the body of the County do ?? Sarah Cowper daughter of William Cowper for committing fornication bearing a bastard child. Guilty.

     Court adjourned till tomorrow morning at nine O Clock

     The court m?? the S Cowper where she could pay a fine as the law in that case directs she answered she could not - judgment of this court is therefore that she Sarah Cowper shall suffer corporal punishment and receive twenty one Wipes on her bare back well laid on and order executive accordingly Court adjourned for one hour being open.


Sarah was 18 years in 1703 and it appears that no one in the family (father William Cooper or brother-in-law Henry Huddleston, or Hugo’s owner Robert Heaton) put up money for her fine. It seems strange that her family would allow her to be whipped in public, but maybe they felt that their reputation and social standing in the Quaker community demanded that she be punished. This was the second time William had trouble because of his daughters. 2 years before he was called before court because his daughter Elizabeth married a non-Quaker.

Sarah is listed in William’s will as “Sarah Bond” so she must have married later, though William doesn’t specify his relationship to her.  

It appears that the relationship between Sarah and Hugo/Auger was a mutual one, or else he would surely have been hanged. I wonder what became of the child. 

When Henry Huddleston died in 1706 Robert Heaton was a witness to his will and William Cooper was the executor.

Daughter Anne Cooper was given permission to marry Lawrence Pearson 4 July 1705, by Falls MM, this is the date of permission, not the marriage, which was not found in the records. (Note:  In William Cooper's will he does mention an Anne Pearson but does not give the relationship.)

In the following entry is he is conferring land of his deceased son-in-law, Henry Huddleston:

11 Dec 1706, William Cowper, (executor of the estate of Henry Huddlestone), of Bucks Co., Pennsylvania to Henry Johnson Vandike, yeooman, of same, L121, 80 acres, of 200 acres--- line of Thomas Bayne patented, 1682, by John Scarborougt, blacksmith, of London, England, who sold to his son John, who sold to said Henry.  Signed William Cowper. Wit: Thomas Watson, Peter Lester and Jonathan Cowper. 

[from Bucks County, Pennsylvania Deed Records 1684 - 1763 , p298, by John David Davis, 1997 by Heritage Books]


He left the greater part of this land (in somewhat indefinite manner) to his son Joseph who died in 1712.  

His will was dated Jan. 30, 1709. He died Feb 3 1709 in Falls, Bucks Co., Pa. (According to the Quaker Falls monthly meeting minutes, he was buried Feb 3, 1709.) His will was probated Feb 17, 1709. [His son Joseph was also buried at Falls MM on 14 Sep 1712.]

Will abstract: Son Abraham.  Jonathan Cooper, Hannah Cooper, Ann Pearson, Sarah Bond, Israel Cooper.  

Grandchildren William, Elizabeth and Henry Huddleston (children of daug Elizabeth)

Executors:  Sons Joseph and Henry.

Witnesses:  Thomas Wattson, Rebecca Linton and Joseph Fell. [from Philadelphia County, PA Wills 1682-1726 Will Abstracts]

(He does not say in the will what his relationship is to Jonathan Cooper, Hannah Cooper, Ann Pearson, Sarah Bond or Israel Cooper.  He list his grandchildren but not his daughter Elizabeth, though she seems to still be alive in 1729.)

Will of William Cooper:

Buckingham_____30th day the 11th month called January, 1709.

I William Cooper being sick of body but perfect and whole in mind, praise be to God for the same, do make this my last will and testament in manner and form following:  First, I commit my soul to Almighty God that gave it me and my body to the earth to be buried according to the discretion of my executors hereafter named. First, I will that my debts and funerall charges shall be paid and discharged.


Item. I will to my son Joseph Cooper the plantation upon which I now _____ with all the buildings and improvements thereon belonging and so much wood land thereto as shall amount to two hundred acres provided that he shall take care? to pay to my son Abraham Cooper four pound a year of now current money of this province so long as he shall live.  And my will is that my son Abraham shall live along with my son Joseph. But if in process of time they cannot agree together my will is that my executors shall be jointly concerned to place him where they think best.


Item.  I will that the rest of my woodland be sold by my executors which is three hundred acres____more or less and do hereby give them full power to sell and convey the same as the law shall require. And I will that the money they sell it for shall be equally divided among those hereafter named: Jonathan Cooper, Hannah Cooper, Ann Pearson, Sarah Bond and Israell Cooper.


Item.  I will that my executors pay to my grand children William Huddleston, Elizabeth Huddleston and Henry Huddleston tweny(?) shillings apiece.


Item.  I will to my son Henry Cooper and my son Joseph Cooper whole and sole executors of my estate both real and personal and my will is that they sell the above said land within two years after ny _____and my will is that my son Joseph shall not pay any money to my son Abraham til two years be expired after my death?  provided that he give him meat, drink and clothing sufficient and after two years the four pound a year above mentioned shall be due to Abraham so long as he shall live. And I do hereby revoke and make ___ all former wills and ____by me heretofore made.  in witness whereof I the said William Cooper to this my last will and testament sett my hand and seal the day and year above _____.

Sealed, signed and delivered in the presence of us - Thomas Watson James Steator (?), John Scarbrough, Joseph Fel



Bucks County, Pennsylvania Church Records of the 17th and 18th Centuries, Vol 2, Quaker Records: Falls and Middletown Monthly Meetings.  F. Edward Wright, 1993

"Middletown, Richland, Wrightstown Monthly Meeting 1680-1870 Bucks County, PA. Also, Quakertown Monthly Meeting, NJ 1713-1870" page 162

Bucks County, Pennsylvania Deed Records 1684 - 1763 , p298, by John David Davis, 1997 by Heritage Books


William Cooper

1st generation in America

a Quaker family

from Yorkshire, England to Bucks County, Pennsylvania

See also: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Cooper-123