Judge William Cooper

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Judge William Cooper

Birthdate: (55)
Birthplace: Byberry Township, Philadelphia County, Province of Pennsylvania
Death: Died in Albany, Albany County, New York, United States
Cause of death: blow to back of head given by political opponent
Place of Burial: Cooperstown, Otsego County, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of James Cooper and Hannah Cooper
Husband of Elizabeth Cooper
Father of Richard Fenimore Cooper; Hannah Cooper; Ann Cooper; Abraham Cooper; Isaac Cooper and 6 others
Brother of Susannah Cooper; James Cooper Jr.; Letitia Woodruff; Ann Cooper; Benjamin Cooper and 2 others
Half brother of Amelia Cooper; Marmaduke Cooper; Meshach Cooper; Laodosia Cooper; Naboth Cooper and 1 other

Occupation: Storekeeper, land speculator, judge, NY Congressman to PA, Judge, Congressman
Managed by: Steven Wesley McRorie
Last Updated:

About Judge William Cooper

Wikipedia Biographical Summary:

"...William Cooper (December 2, 1754 – December 22, 1809) was the founder of Cooperstown, New York and father of writer James Fenimore Cooper, who apparently used his father as the pattern for the Judge Marmaduke Temple character in his book The Pioneers..."

"...William Cooper was born in a log house in Smithfield (now Somerton, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) just outside Philadelphia, the son of English Quaker parents, James Cooper (b. Byberry, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1729-1795) and Hannah (Hibbs) Cooper. He appears to have worked as a wheelwright in and around Byberry. There is no record of his attending school. On December 12, 1774, in Burlington, New Jersey, he was married by a civil magistrate to Elizabeth Fenimore, daughter of Richard Fenimore, a Quaker of Rancocas, New Jersey..."

"...During the early 1780s Cooper became a storekeeper in Burlington, New Jersey, and by the end of the decade he was a successful land speculator and wealthy frontier developer in what is now Otsego County, New York. Soon after the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, he acquired a tract of land several thousand acres in extent within the borders of New York state and lying along the head waters of the Susquehanna River. He founded the Village of Otsego at the foot of Otsego Lake in 1786, and moved his family there, arriving on 10 November 1790. After Cooper's death, the village was renamed Cooperstown in his honor..."

"...After 1791, when Otsego County was split off from Montgomery County, Cooper became county judge and later served two terms in Congress, elected as a Federalist to the 4th (March 4, 1795 – March 3, 1797) and the 6th United States Congresses (March 4, 1799 – March 3, 1801)..."

"...In 1796, Cooper determined to make his home permanently in the town he had founded, which by that time promised to become a thriving settlement. He began the construction of a mansion, completed in 1799, which he named Otsego Hall, and which was for many years the manor house of his own possessions, and by far the most spacious and stately private residence in central New York..."

"...Cooper family tradition has it that Judge Cooper was killed by a blow to the head sustained during an argument with a political opponent after a public meeting in Albany, New York on December 22, 1809, but no evidence of this can be found. The story can not be traced back to before 1897, when it was first published by a great-grandson of the judge, and is implausible. It is now believed that Judge Cooper died of natural causes..."

Cooper was buried at the Episcopal Christ Churchyard in Cooperstown where his son was buried many years later..."

SOURCE: Wikipedia contributors, 'William Cooper (judge)', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 30 March 2011, 23:49 UTC, <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=William_Cooper_(judge)&oldid=421567341> [accessed 15 September 2011]


Christ Churchyard, Cooperstown, Otsego County, New York, USA

SOURCE: Find A Grave Memorial# 7255263. www.findagrave.com


Family of Judge William Cooper, Cooperstown, NY Note: Grandchildren marked w/asterisk (*) had issue.

1: Richard Fenimore Cooper (1775-1813)

  • Hannah Cooper (1802-1817)
  • Elizabeth Fenimore Cooper (1804-1811)
  • Goldsborough Cooper (1806-1832)
  • Richard Cooper (1808-1862) *
  • Alfred Cooper (Clarke) (1813-1869) *

2: Hannah Cooper (1777-1800)

3: Ann Cooper (1779-1779)

4: Abraham Cooper (1781-1781)

5: Isaac Cooper (1781-1818)

  • Mary Morris Cooper (Foote) (1806-1876) *
  • Elizabeth Fenimore Cooper (1808-?) *
  • Sarah Sabina Cooper (Comstock) (1810-1846) *
  • Ann Pomeroy Cooper (Crippen) (1811-1862) *
  • Catherine Frances Cooper (Cathwaite) (1813-1858) *
  • Jacob Morris Cooper (1814-1858) *
  • Hannah Cooper (Wessells) (1816-1863) *

6) Abraham Cooper (1782-1782)

7) Ann Cooper (Pomeroy) (1784-1870)

  • William Cooper Pomeroy (1804-1805)
  • Georgianna Cooper Pomeroy (Keese) (1806-1865) *
  • Hannah Cooper Pomeroy (Woolson) (1808-1879) *
  • William Cooper Pomeroy (1811-1811)
  • George Quartus Pomeroy (1815-?)
  • Elizabeth Pomeroy (1817-1817)
  • Ellen Cooper Pomeroy (1818-1819)
  • Fenimore Cooper Pomeroy (1818-1870) *
  • Edgar Cooper Pomeroy (1820-1820)
  • Laura Cornelia Pomeroy (Clarke) (1823-1895) *

8) Elizabeth Cooper (1786-1786)

9) William Cooper (1786-1819)

  • William Yeardley Cooper (1809-1831)
  • Eliza Cooper (Vicat) (?-?) *
  • Isaac Clason Cooper (?-1848) *

10) Samuel Cooper (1787-1819)

  • Isaac Cooper (1813-1902) *
  • William Cooper (1815-?) *
  • Samuel Cooper (1817-?) *

11) James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)

  • Elizabeth Cooper (1811-1813)
  • Susan Augusta Fenimore Cooper (1813-1894)
  • Caroline Martha Fenimore Cooper (Phinney) (1815-1892) *
  • Anne Charlotte Fenimore Cooper (1817-1885)
  • Maria Frances Fenimore Cooper (Cooper) (1819-1898) *
  • Fenimore Cooper (1821-1823)
  • Paul Fenimore Cooper (1824-1895) *

12) Henry Fry Cooper (1792-1792)


For a list of 30 or more sources dealing with the Cooper family its history and genealogy see this web site:


m. 12/12/1775 Burlington New Jersey Elizabeth Fenimore b. 6/11/1752 New Jersey

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Judge William Cooper's Timeline

December 2, 1754
Byberry Township, Philadelphia County, Province of Pennsylvania
August 12, 1775
Age 20
Burlington, New Jersey, USA
August 9, 1777
Age 22
Burlington, Burlington, New Jersey, USA
Age 24
May 7, 1781
Age 26
Burlington, Burlington, New Jersey, USA
Age 26
Burlington, Burlington, New Jersey, USA
February 24, 1784
Age 29
Burlington, Burlington, New Jersey, USA
Age 31
Burlington, Burlington, New Jersey, USA
Age 31
Burlington, Burlington, New Jersey, USA