Elizabeth Cooke

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Elizabeth Cooke (Ring)

Also Known As: "Deane"
Birthdate: (78)
Birthplace: Ufford, Suffolk, England
Death: December 28, 1687 (74-82)
Eastham, Barnstable Colony, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Daughter of William Ring, of Holland; William Ring; Mary Ring and Mary Ring
Wife of Stephen Deane, of the Plymouth Colony and Josiah Cooke, of Eastham
Mother of Elizabeth Twining; Miriam Wing; Susannah Snow; Anne Snow; Bethiah Harding and 1 other
Sister of Susanna Clarke and Andrew Ring, of the Plymouth Colony

Managed by: Chad Bouldin
Last Updated:

About Elizabeth Cooke

Taken from:


Stephen Deane was a Puritan who emigrated to Plymouth Colony in 1621 on the Fortune. He died in 1634 in Plymouth. He married Elizabeth RING, a daughter of the widow Mary Ring. That much is known about him. Robert Charles Anderson, in what appears to be a definitive multi-volume study, The Great Migration Begins writes that Stephen Deane's origins are unknown.[1] If any reader knows of primary sources that can prove where Stephen came from, and the names of his parents, please e mail me at kwg "at" cwru.edu (just substitute the familiar "@" for the "at").

I have not yet been able to do any primary research recently. Instead I draw heavily on the work of Eugene Aubrey Stratton, one time Historian General of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. I presume that he is not one to jump to unproved conclusions. His work is based primarily on William Bradford's Of Plimouth Plantation (which I read some years ago) and the 12 volume Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England (1620-1691), along with a great many other impeccable sources. More recently I've updated with work from Robert Charles Anderson.

English Separatist Roots: the Ring Family

Rather than creating separate pages for the RING and DURRANT lines, I'll just summarize here what we know of them. My interest in them is focussed on Mary, thought to have been born Durrant, widowed as Ring, and her daughter Elizabeth Ring who married Stephen Deane.

There is a possibility that it was "our" William RING, of the parish Petistree, union of Woodbridge, in the Eastern Division of the County of Suffolk, who married Mary DURRANT at Ufford, Suffolk, on 21 May 1601. Their daughter Elizabeth RING was baptised at Ufford 23 February 1602/3.[2] Ufford, also in the union of Woodbridge, is two and a half miles northeast from the town of Woodbridge. Ufford is in the lowlands along the river Deben which was subject to periodic flooding. "Anciently", said Lewis in 1842, there was a chapel there called Sogenho, but it no longer exists. The Earls of Suffolk took their name from Ufford.[3] Unfortunately, the dates don't work out quite right. If Mary was born ca. 1589, she wouldn't have been married until ca. 1609, and Elizabeth wouldn't be born until ca. 1610. It is possible that the Elizabeth who was baptised in Ufford may have died young, and a second daughter of the same name may have been born later.[4]

The Rings were among the Separatists who removed to Leiden in 1607 and thereafter. Mary Ring witnessed a betrothal in Leiden in 1614. Although there was great economic hardship for the English Separatists in Holland, at least at first, the Dutch authorities left them alone to worship as they pleased. However, the Dutch government was not so tolerant of its own separatists. Two incidents seemed like portents of unpleasantness to come. On 28 April 1619 a group of some twenty Dutch boys threw stones at 63-year old James CHILTON and his daughter. James was hit on the head and knocked to the ground. It appears that the boys were more exercised about Dutch separatists than foreign ones, but were not too particular who was the butt of their wrath. Then on 15 July 1619 the Dutch government published an edict prohibiting [Dutch] separatist religious gatherings. A final consideration, and perhaps the most persuasive, was the attraction felt by the English teens toward the less-disciplined youthful Dutch. In contrast, the English Separatists tried to maintain a strict Puritan culture for their own young people.[5]

detail from 'The Mayflower arriving in Provincetown Harbour, Nov. 11th 1620', a commemorative plate

Mary was literate. She could sign her name, and her estate inventory included the following books: a Bible, "Dod.", Plea for Infants[6], Ruine of Rome[7], Troubler of the Church in Amsterdam, Garland's Of Vertuous Dames, a psalm book, "Pennery", and one pair hinges, the whole lot valued at 4 shillings.[8]

William Ring was part of the group who decided to emigrate to the new world. He was on the leaky Speedwell when it had to turn back to England in 1620. Stratton suggests he probably returned to Leiden, where he died. Sometime around 1629 his widow Mary and their three children, Elizabeth, Susanna, and Andrew, emigrated to the Plymouth Colony.[9]

If the estimated arrival of Mary Ring and her children in 1629 is correct, then the many web references to Elizabeth Ring's marriage to Stephen Deane in September 1627 are incorrect. Most reputable sources seem to give 1630 as the year for the marriage of Elizabeth Ring and Stephen Deane.[10]

Mary died 15 or 19 July 1631 in Plymouth. Her estate inventory lists clothing and fabric in interesting colors: black, gray, red, blue, violet, white, and green (hardly the dull shades stereotypically assigned to Puritans). The inventory also showed her to be a savvy businesswoman; the Governor owed her £2, and she was due another £2 of commodities "to come out of England". She was owed 6 shillings worth of beaver from Mr. Wynslow [sic] that she explained as resulting from "timber that I lent [him] that cost me a pound of beaver, besides a piece more than they took of me", and money from Goodman Gyles. Since there were no banks, and specie was notoriously scarce, people borrowed from each other. These accounts in her estate inventory indicate that Mary was an active player in the economic and financial life of Plymouth.[11]


Mary died after the marriage of her two (surviving) daughters, and the birth (or expected arrival) of a grandchild. Her son Andrew Ring, however, was still a minor. As it was assumed that husbands would take care of their wives, Mary assigned most of her goods to her son, stipulating that her son-in-law Stephen Deane would play a large role in caring for the boy. She required Stephen "to help him forward in the knowledge & fear of God, not to oppress him by any burdens but to tender him as he will answer to God."As overseers she named two men, "loving friends", who had been in the Leiden congregation, Samuel FULLER and Thomas BLOSSOM.[12]


Mary's will is interesting because its detail of things mentioned gives us a good glimpse into the material culture of these early settlers. In 1631 Plymouth Colony had only been in existence eleven years, yet the degree of comfort was probably not too different than experienced back in England among people of a comparable economic status. Mary's undated will was signed (she was literate) when she was "sick in body". It was proved 28 October 1633. She left to her minor son Andrew "all my brass and pewter, my new bed and bolster, two white blankets, 1 red blanket with the best coverlet and the curtains, 3 pair best sheets and 2 pair best "pillow beeres", 1 diaper cloth and 1 diaper towel and a half dozen napkins, all unmade woolen cloth except one piece of red for daughter Susan as much as will make a bearing cloth and remainder to Stephen Deane's child." Also to her son Andrew, "my bolster next best, my trunk, my box, my cupboard, all my cattle [which were to be kept for him by Stephen Deane], half the corn growing in the yard where I dwell, the other half to Stephen Dean; rest of the corn in other places to son Andrew". She left to Andrew all shares of land due to her, presumably from future divisions in the town, "all my tools" which were not specified. That language often was used for a craftsman or artisan passing down the specific tools of his trade. Frustrating that they are not described. Mary specified that Andrew should have the money owed to her and the commodities coming from England except for a piece of green say [a kind of cloth] that was to go to Stephen Deane to make a coat for his daughter. Andrew was also to get a piece of new linen, all her books, 2 pair pothooks and her trammel, 1 coarse sheet to put his bed [i.e. mattress] in, a piece of black stuff [fabric], and "all handkerchiefs buttoned and unbuttoned" and "buttons for his handkerchiefs unbuttoned", a linen cap that was his father's, and a silver whistle. There were also a few other bequests: 1 wooden cup with a foot to Mrs. Warren "as a token of my love", specific items to each daughter and the residue to be divided equally among the two girls.[13]


Children of William and Mary (Durrant?) Ring who emigrated to Plymouth (I do not know if there were other children remaining in Leiden or who died there):

  1. Elizabeth Ring, probably b. ca. 1610, perhaps in Leiden; m. ca. 1629/30 Stephen DEANE in Plymouth;
  2. Susan Ring, m. __ CLARKE. She was bequeathed her mother's "bed with my grey coverlet and 2 ticks of the 2 pillows" (but the feathers were to go to Andrew), and enough red woolen cloth to "to make a bearing cloth". Susan was also to divide the residue of her mother's estate with her sister Elizabeth.[14]
  3. Andrew Ring, a minor when orphaned, and left to the care of his brother-in-law, Stephen Deane; m.__; had a daughter.

Second Generation of the Ring Family

Elizabeth Ring was the oldest daughter who accompanied her mother, the widow Mary Ring, from Leiden to the Plymouth Colony. They were among the last of the English Separatists who had fled from England to the comparative haven of The Netherlands between ca. 1607 and 1612.

The date and place of Elizabeth's birth are unproved. John I. Coddington seems to have done the most thorough study, and his conclusion is that the baptism at Ufford, Suffolk, on 23 February 1602/3 would have made her thirty years old when she married in ca. 1630. Although this is possible, it is highly unlikely. Instead, he suggests a birth date of ca. 1610, possibly in Leiden. It is unclear just when her parents, William and Mary Ring, arrived in Leiden. It is also unknown when her father died in Leiden, sometime between their aborted effort to leave on the defective Speedwell and ca. 1629 when the widowed Mary and her three children finally did leave.[15]

What is not in doubt is that Elizabeth did marry Stephen DEANE, probably in 1630. The next year Mary Ring died, giving Stephen a great deal of responsibility for raising Elizabeth's young brother Andrew. Mary specifically bequeathed to Elizabeth the ruff Mary "had of Goodman Gyles". Elizabeth and her sister Susan were to equally divide all the residue of Mary's estate that wasn't given to anyone else. Two pieces of cloth were earmarked for Elizabeth's child, a girl, also named Elizabeth.[16]

Stephen died, probably on 6 October 1634. Elizabeth then married on 16 September 1635 Josiah COOKE. He was not on the 1633 tax list, but he (or his son Josias) does appear on the 1634 list, assessed at the minimum 9 shillings. On 24 March 1633/4 he and Edward DOTY were fined 6/8 apiece for breaking the peace. It must have been a fight. Since Doty drew blood from Cooke, Doty had to pay him 3/4d. Josiah became a freeman on 3 January 1636/7. In Plymouth he had been on a grand jury, and served as constable and surveyor. Josiah was among those moving to Nauset (later Eastham) around 1645. He was listed there as a freeman on an undated list probably from the 1640s. In Eastham in 1647 he became a deputy. He signed his will 22 September 1673; it was proved 29 October that year. In it he declared himself to be about 63 years old. He named his wife Elizabeth and a number of children and step children from his blended family, including step-son-in-law William Twining and step-grandson Stephen Twining.[17]


Children of Stephen and Elizabeth (Ring) Deane:

  1. Elizabeth Deane, b. ca. 1630; m. William TWINING; had 7 children.
  2. Miriam Deane m John WING as his second wife, but they had no children.
  3. Susanna Deane m(1) Joseph ROGERS, and m(2) Stephen SNOW; she had children with her second husband.
view all 24

Elizabeth Cooke's Timeline

February 23, 1602
Ufford, Suffolk, England
February 23, 1603
Ufford, Suffolk, England
Ufford, Suffolk, England
May 1629
Age 20
Eastham, Barnstable, MA
Age 20
HMS Mayflower2, Plymouth, Mass
Age 21
Plymouth, Plymouth Colony
Age 23
Plymouth, Plymouth , Massachusetts
Age 25
Plymouth, Plymouth Colony
January 17, 1635
Age 26
Plymouth, Plymouth Colony