January 2009. And the theme is…

The many family Churches of our history.

Anyone who ever attended Sunday School knows that the Church is not the building, but the people who gather under it’s roof.  The people have come and gone, but many of the buildings still stand.  Some of the people still stand out in history, too.

On 25 January 1826 Phoebe Beyea and Richard Smith were married at St. Pauls Parish Church, Hampton, NB by the Reverend James Cookson. Phoebe’s brother, a carpenter named James Beyea, had helped to build that very Church.

However, it was the man who married them that we will discuss here. James Cookson attended Cambridge University in England and was ordained for the Church on 17 December 1809 by the Bishop of Winchester.  The Reverend James Cookson wanted to be a missionary. A copy of the minutes of the Venerable Society of the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts,  19 March 1819, can be found at the National Archives of Canada, in Ottawa. It expresses the following:

“A letter from the Rev. James Cookson, expressing a wish to be employed as a Missionary in the Service of the Society and Requesting the appointment to the Mission at Hampton, New Brunswick, and his testimonial produced, signed by three beneficed clergymen and countersigned by the Bishop of the Diocese,

“Agreed to adopt Mr. Cookson and to appoint him to the Mission of Hampton, N.B., with a salary of 200 Ibs and 100 Ibs in aid of the expenses of his voyage.”

Rev. Cookson arrived in NB on 14 June 1819 after a “tedious and tempestuous” ship voyage (which he expressed in his letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury on 19 July 1819).

James was appointed as Reverend to the St.Pauls Parish Church in Hampton and he preached his first sermon on 27 June 1819. The sermon was based on the scripture passage, Luke 15:10: “likewise I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”

During James’ leadership the average Sunday attendance at the Church was 300. He also ministered to other local Churches and worked closely with Rev. Scovil, from Kingston, NB. After ten years, in 1829, he resigned from St. Pauls Church.

In 1848 James’ wife, Mary, died and was buried at Church of the Ascension, Lower Norton, NB. Three years later James decided to head home to England and stay with his two sisters.  He died on the Isle of Guernsey on 31 August 1857.

But on a cold wintery Wednesday my two great great great great grandparents declared their love in front of God, their friends and family and Rev. James Cookson. And that makes him part of our family history.

*for more information on James Cookson and family see: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cookson/HistoryJessieCookson.html

ps. Happy Birthday to Gramma.

Published in: on 17 January 2009 at 2:23 am  Comments (2)