How is Louisa May Alcott related to me?

American author, Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) is my 7th cousin 4x removed on my maternal great-grandfather, Charles Griner’s paternal side of his family, sharing a common ancestors by the name of John Cooper Sr. (1594-1662) and his wife, Wilbroe Griggs (1593-1662).

John Sr. and his wife, Wilbroe had five children: Ann, Mary, Thomas, John Jr. and Martha they were all born in Onley, Buckinghamshire, England a couple years after the birth of their children; the family decided to move the America and was part of the Puritans Great Migration arriving on the ship called the “Hopewell” sailing from London, England and arriving in April of 1635 to the coast of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, fifteen years after the Mayflower.

According to the ship manifest of the Hopewell John Cooper Sr. arrived to the America with his wife, Wilbroe, his stepson, Henry Pierson from his wife 1st marriage to the late William Pierson and their 4 children are mentioned: see the Hopewell ship manifest from April of 1635:

The Cooper family on the Hopwell: John Cooper, aged 41, Wibroe, aged 42 and their children John Cooper Jr., aged 10, Mary Cooper, aged 13, Thomas Cooper, aged 7 and Martha Cooper, aged 5.

The Cooper family first settled in Lynn, Massachusetts, then finally settling down for good in Southampton on Long Island.

Two of their children Ann (b. 1619), were the ancestor of Louisa May Alcott and Mary (b.1621) is my ancestor. Ann and Mary were sisters.

Louisa May Alcott’s ancestor Ann Cooper married John White Sr. of the same area and my ancestor, Mary married Thomas Burnett of Leys Jr., against her father’s wishes.

According to the Second Book of Records in the town of Southampton Early Records of Southampton with other Ancient Document: Volume Two.

John Cooper Sr. left a will and, in the will, it mentions all of his children, expect for Mary and she was not mentioned… why is that? was she dead by the time her father wrote the will? or was there some animosity among some family members? that is quite possible!

John Cooper Sr. will:

In the records of the Town of Southampton with other Ancient Documents there was no more than two incidents of battery between the Cooper’s and Thomas Burnett. it has gotten so bad between John Cooper Sr. and Thomas Burnett Jr. did not like each other and they were not on speaking terms when John wrote his will.

From: The First Book of Records of the Town of Southampton with other Ancient Documents of Historic Value. Pages # 97 and 103.

  • March 26 1654: An action of Battery entered per Thomas Burnet plf Against John Cooper defendant to bee tried at Court April 2d next being tho next third day of the week.
  • July 18th 1654: An action of blood shed & battery entered by Thomas Burnet against John Cooper Junior. An actinn of Battery entered by Thomas Burnet against John Cooper Jr. both to bee tried next quarter Court

As I researched farther into the records of Town of Southampton with other Ancient Documents, I came to the conclusion that most of the issues between John Cooper Sr. and Thomas Burnett Jr. were about Thomas Burnett’s spending habits and land disputes among the neighbors of Southampton.

On March 2nd, 1662, an acknowledge of agreement was made between John Cooper Sr. and Henry Pierson, (John Cooper Sr. stepson) with Thomas Burnett Jr that if any money was needed to be borrowed or spent has to be approved beforehand by Henry Pierson.

John Cooper Sr. will was finalized and signed on May 6th, 1662.

Also recorded in the town deeds of Southampton in the county clerk’s office it was discovered that there was parcel of land owned by a neighbor, Job Wicks of Southampton that he sold to Theophilus Howell Stephen Topping Daniel Hedges Josiah Topping Jr, all of Southampton and they wanting present improvement they said Theophilus Howell, and Stephen Topping, Daniel Hedges and Josiah Topping with the free consent of the executors interest of John Wicks estate deceased namely Matthias Burnett and Thomas Cooper both parties did mutually agree to make a final division of that piece of land dated April 4th 1723. Thomas Cooper Jr. and Mathias Burnett, a brother of Priscilla Burnett. (my 8th great-grandmother) * see Thomas Burnett will below:

The original will of Thomas Burnett Jr. page 1 of 2

my 9th great-grandmother, Mary Cooper’s sister Ann Cooper married John White Sr, when her first husband John died he left a will:

Martha White of Southampton, Long Island married John Howell Jr. on June 12th, 1673, and had children:

One of them was Lousia May Alcott’s ancestors Henry Howell who married Martha Deming on November 23, 1709, in Boston, Massachusetts and had children.

Thier daughter, Martha Howell was born in Boston on February 28, 1712, and She married Col. Joseph Williams in Boston, Massachusetts on January 26, 1731 (lost the original record) they had children:

their daughter Abigial Williams, born

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