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John Cox

Birthdate: (65)
Birthplace: England
Death: September 13, 1764 (65)
York County, Province of Pennsylvania
Immediate Family:

Son of John Cox and Rachel Cox
Husband of Mary Cox; Hannah Cox and Mary Cox (Harlan)
Father of Benjamin Cox; William Cox; Ann Ruddick; Ruth Cox; Sarah Wierman and 11 others
Brother of Joseph Cox; Sarah Leech (Cox); Ann Hussey; Mary Cox; Amy Allen and 1 other

Managed by: Joseph William Thomas
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About John Cox

John Cox 2, son of William Cox and Amy, was born about 1688, in New Castle County, Delaware.

He was married about 1713, in Chester County, Pennsylania, to Mary Garretson, who was born 18 December 1690, and died about 1753, in York County, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of January Garretson Vanderhof & Ann.

Most early Meetings in York County, Pennsylvania were convened at his home in Huntington, subordinate to Sadsbury Monthly Meeting, Pennsylvania. All children born in Chester County, Pennsylvania.


John Cox 4, born about 1714

William Cox, born about 1716

Benjamin Cox, born about 1718

Ann Cox, born about 1723

Samuel Cox, born about 1725

Sarah Cox, born about 1727

Amy Cox, born 27day 9month 1729 (November)

Thomas Cox, born about 1733

From Cox Family Outline, compiled by Elizabeth Berry Buffa of Pacific Palisades, California, 1977 (retained and microfilmed by the LDS church on Apr. 15, 1986 as Item 12, Project and Roll XLIB 7-102, No. 2028, with G.S. Call No. 1321104):

Foreward on document:

My objective here is to clarify relationships within this, "my" Cox family - which seems hopelessly entangled by intermarriages and the endless repetition of the same given names. I hope to save newcomers to research on this family some time by outlining and indexing (for six generations) the material that has so far been given to me - by other helpful persons and that has been found by me in existing printed materials, all of which contain some errors.

I hasten to make clear the fact that I, myself, have done but little original research on this complicated Cox family. In fact, most of the research done in the past 50 years has not been published. However, I have been in contact with persons who have spent years studying original documents and piecing together bits of information on this family. I refer to William Perry Johnson of North Carolina, and Eldon Cox of Miami, Florida. The latter has been a great help to me and wish to quote from several of his letters on the origins of this family. - Elizabeth Berry Buffa, 1977


Confusion exists on the early history of this Cox family due to scarcity of early records and to the number of people by the same name in Chester County, Pennsylvania, before, say, 1740.

  • There were at least 3, and possibly 5 or 6, by the name of John Cox.
  • There were at least 2 by the name of Thomas Cox.
  • There were at least 2 by the name of Richard Cox.

There is no general agreement as to which belonged to our Cox family and which entries in the records pertain to them. There is even less agreement as to their children, with the exception of William (who left a will).

There is no book that includes anything like a complete record of this Cox family during those early years.

It is a reasonable assumption that John, William, Richard, Thomas, and Amy Cox were from the same family. John, Thomas, and Richard Cox's land in London Grove Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, formed three-quarters of a circle around Moses Harlan's land. All three went to York County later. William Cox was next door neighbor in North Carolina of Phebe (Scarlet) Allen, later second wife of Isaac Cox (son of Thomas). William Cox in his Orange County, North Carolina, will of 1767, mentioned land where his brother formerly lived. This must have been either John or Thomas.

Ann (possibly Cox) Garretson is not certain, however, it also seems logical. William Cox and Casparus Garretson were neighbors at Hockessin, Delaware. The names of the children of Casparus and Ann Garretson agree closely to those in the Cox family. This, of course, is not proof, but must be considered.

Some have suggested that Sarah Leech, disowned MOU to (Unknown) Leech as a member of the family. Nothing has been found except the name to connect our Cox family, and it would therefore appear doubtful.

Joseph Cox, disowned MOU, is considered somewhat more probable, but there is almost nothing on which to base an opinion. The name Joseph was used by our Cox family. It was also used by descendants of Richard Cox and Margaret Potts. I do not have sufficient data to know whether there were one or two named Joseph.

Richard Cox, married in 1726, was probably the youngest. Since he bought land in London Grove in March 1722, and it took a few months to arrange the purchase, he must have been at least 21 years old in 1721, and thus born no later than 1700, and would have been about 13 years old when John Cox married c. 1713. At that age, it would seem that he would have been living with at least one parent. Amy Cox probably was not yet of age c. 1713. There is the possibility that they came to America without their parents, but considering their ages, it would seem unlikely. However, with the limited knowledge that we have, no possibility can be completely ruled out.

I cannot make a guess at the name of parents of our Cox family (grandparents of Benjamin). There are so many possibilities. It appears that many can be eliminated, but even then there are several on which data is lacking.

Gilbert Cope, genealogist and historian of Chester County, Pennsylvania, has never been surpassed as an authority on that area. So far as I know, he never made any guess as to parents of our Cox family. He did make the statement that John and Rachel Cox were thought to be parents of the Richard Cox who married Margaret Potts. It appears that John and Rachel Cox, John Cox, Jr., Richard Cox, and Joseph Cox, lived in Kennet Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, at one time.

John, Thomas, and Richard Cox, and John and Amy (Cox) Allen, must have transferred to New Garden Friends Meeting after Kennet Friends Meeting was divided. That is assuming that all were Quakers at the time, and there is no reason to believe otherwise. Since Richard Cox (wife Margaret) and John Cox, Jr., still appear in Kennet records after the change of New Garden to a Monthly Meeting, we have additional evidence that they were of another family.

Three brothers, John, William, and Thomas Cox, came to North Carolina in the 1750s with a portion of their families. Thomas stayed in North Carolina only a short time before moving to South Carolina. Our knowledge of their sons who lived in North Carolina includes one who lived in present Chatham County, and nine in Randolph County. We know almost all of the names of their grandchildren, but there are a couple of families that are not complete (that is the grandchildren by these 10). Little seems to be known of the children of Isaac Cox.

There is a possibility that we are looking for a second Cox family in New Castle County, Delaware. For several years it was thought by some that the parents of the family were William and Amy Cox, who were not Quakers. As more was learned, it became apparent that William and Amy were about the same age as our Cox family and also names of their children were located. It is thought that Amy was Emmetje van der Coolen, daughter of Reyneer van der Coolen. It was reported that William and Amy Cox had made a deed to William Cox of Hockesin (who married Catherine Kinkey). This so-called deed, when read, was a mortgage. Apparently those who found it did not read all of it. It could be merely coincidence, but we certainly wonder if this William could be a cousin. When this William Cox died, his son sold the land to pay off the mortgage. I have no other recorded mortgages and believe that William (wife Catherine Kinkey) used any money he had to buy land rather than loan on mortgage.

While I cannot prove that John and Rachel Cox were not parents of our Cox family, I have serious doubts about it. One reason is that the name Rachel is not used in our Cox family except where it entered through marriage. Another is that it seems to me that our Cox family had its earliest background in New Castle County, Delaware, and the John and Rachel theory does not fit.

I would not attempt to guess the origin of the family, but will list a few possibilities -

  • 1. Came from England or Ireland.
  • 2. Moved from another area in America such as Virginia, Maryland, Long Island, Nantucket, New Jersey, etc.
  • 3. Came from some other European country, Holland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, etc.
  • 4. Were born in America of Dutch or Swedish parents, or combination of Dutch-Swedish-English parentage.

Excerpts from letters by Eldon Cox - 1977.


John Cox and Mary (according to Eldon Cox, she may have been Mary Garretson, sister of Casparus and daughter of John Garretson, but no proof exists), married c1713, lived at London Grove in Chester County, Province of Pennsylvania in 1722-1735, lived in Huntington, York County, Province of Pennsylvania in 1736-1754, lived in Randolph County, North Carolina, after 1755.

Children as asserted by Eldon Cox by date of marriage:

  • 1. John (b. c1714), married Mary Harlan (daughter of Moses Harlan) on Aug. 9, 1735
  • 2. Sarah (b. c1721), married Nicholas Wierman (son of William Wierman and Gertrude) on Aug. 24, 1745.
  • 3. Ann, married William Ruddock on Aug. 23, 1746
  • 4. Samuel (c1727 - c1796), married Hannah Wierman (daughter of William Wierman and Gertrude) on Aug. 22, 1747
  • 5. William, married first cousin Naomi Garretson c. 1748, disowned same year
  • 6. Benjamin (d. 1817), married first cousin Martha Garretson c. 1751, disowned same year
  • 7. Hannah, married Daniel Winter c. 1752, disowned on Sept. 30, 1752.
  • 8. Amy or Naomi (b. Sept. 27, 1729), married William Wierman (son of William Wierman and Gertrude) on June 28, 1753.
  • 9. Ruth (bet. 1733-1735 - c1805), married Solomon Cox (son of William Cox and Catherine)
  • 10. Thomas (d. 1771), married Martha Jenkins c. 1757
  • 11. Solomon (1735-1738 - 1844), married Naomi Hussey bet. 1759-1760.

Jehu Cox said that there were 15 children of which Solomon was the youngest. This accounts for 11 of the 15, according to Eldon Cox.

Children attributed to John Cox and Mary Harlan:

  • 1. Jacob, disowned on Oct. 21, 1758
  • 2. Dinah, married to Finley McGrew c.1759 (first two mentioned in the will of grandfather Moses Harlan).
  • 3. Rebecca, disowned Oct. 11, 1760, for accompanying her sister Dinah, in marriage.

Probably more. This family moved to Monallen Friends Meeting in present day Adams County, Province of Pennsylvania c. 1736.

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John Cox's Timeline

Age 22
Warrington, York, Pennsylvania
February 18, 1723
Age 24
Warrington, Bucks County, Province of Pennsylvania
Age 26
Warrington, Bucks, Pennsylvania
September 27, 1727
Age 28
Chester County, Pennsylvania, United States
March 28, 1728
Age 29
Chester, Delaware County, Province of Pennsylvania
September 27, 1729
Age 30
York County, Province of Pennsylvania