Monday, September 17, 2012

Who was Richard Cocke the Younger?

I have noticed that there has been a lot written regarding Lt. Col. Richard Cocke and his two sons named Richard Cocke. It has been written that Richrd Cocke the son of Lt. Col. Cocke’s first wife was known as the Elder and Richard Cocke born of the second wife was known as the Younger. This, we are told, was to easily identify the two half brothers. But instead of making things easier it has made things more confusing. The reason I say this is because a grave turned up for Anne Bowler the daughter of Capt. Thomas Bowler who was married to Richard Cocke the Younger of Bremo. Okay, so this must be the second son of Lt. Col. Richard Cocke right? The Younger. However, most of the early Cocke genealogies of the late 19th Century and early 20th Century claim that this Richard Cocke the Younger is actually the son of Richard Cocke the Elder!? Huh? One modern-day researcher was very adamant, although she gave no proof for this accept that some other researcher, who’s now dead, had posted it on his website. She claimed that instead of Richard the Elder calling his son named Richard, "junior," he called him "the Younger." Why would this be? The only Richard Cocke the Younger I had ever heard of was the second son of Lt. Col. Richard Cocke. How could there be two “the Youngers” running around that section of Virginia? This wouldn’t have made things easier at all! Just the opposite, in fact, it would have made things a heck of a lot more confusing. Some may argue that the grave for Anne (Bowler) Cocke stated that she was married to Richard Cocke the Younger of Bremo! So, since he’s of Bremo and Richard Cocke the Elder inherited the Bremo plantation from his father the Lt. Col. It must be the Elder’s son. But I would counter that both the Richard Cocke brothers were “of Bremo,” since both of them appear to have born there. Therefore, this would not have made things any clearer by stating, “of Bremo.” So what’s going on? Who is Richard Cocke the Younger? I didn’t just accept the, two Richard Cocke the Younger theory, because it didn’t make sense to me. Having two individuals called the Younger with the exact same name would be just as confusing as two brothers named Richard Cocke. But what if there was only one Richard Cocke the Younger? And could this be the case? I decided to try and find references to “Richard Cocke the Younger” from original sources. I first looked at the will of Lt. Col. Richard Cocke (dated 04 Oct 1665) and although “Richard Cocke the elder,” is mentioned; the phrase, “Richard Cocke the younger,” is not. Could Richard Cocke the Elder have been the only son of the Lt. Col. given an additional name? When Richard Cocke the father died in 1665 his second son named Richard Cocke may have been a child. Since this appears to be the case isn’t it possible that the older Richard was referred to as “elder” to differenciate him from his much younger brother Richard. To my knowledge there isn’t any document that lists the second son named Richard as “the younger.” That being said maybe Anne Bowler’s grave listing her as the wife of “Richard Cocke the Younger of Bremo,” is referring to Richard Cocke the Elder’s son, like some annoying researches have stated. Of course, the researchers always implied that the second son of Lt. Col. Cocke was “the Younger” too. It would make much more sense then that there was only one Richard Cocke the Younger because two alive at the same time would be stupid and confusing. If there was just one in history named the Younger, it would make more sense and he could logically be the son of the Richard called the Elder, because the Elder may have stuck when referring to the Cocke brothers. So instead of his son being called junior the son could very well have been called the younger instead. Later, researchers to differentiate the brother, started using "the Younger" when referring to the younger brother, who may never have been called that in life. Please let me know if there are in fact original documents that call the younger Richard Cocke brother, “the Younger.”

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