Before you get all excited, no we’re not related to him, but…
… there may be an interesting link with a related Cooper line. I’m spinning off on a wild tangent here but to cut a long story short, I had my DNA done on Ancestry a while ago. That will be the subject of another time, but for now… DNA throws up all sorts of weird and wonderful things. On the Ancestry website, it tells you of those who have had a DNA test and their results match yours in some way, therefore you are somehow related. Sometimes it will actually show you the people common to both of you if your trees are extensive enough and other times you’ll just be told there is or may be a connection even if there is no visible link. Sometimes it will suggest someone you have never heard of from times past who may be of interest.
So anyway, in my searches and results, I’ve had this particular name come up a couple of times now, Henry Labon or Laban Cooper… suggesting there may be a link. I don’t have Henry in my tree yet, but the fact that his name has surfaced more than once is maybe a clue that there is something to find here.
I’ve only just touched the surface so far, but in short Henry was a Native American, who lived in the 1700’s and there is an extensive online history about him and his family. Henry was the founder of the Choctaw people. He was the son of William Abraham Cooper who was an ‘Indian Trader’. William’s wife was apparently ‘half Chicksaw’ and his father James Cooper immigrated from England. It gets really tricky after that, and it’s something I haven’t looked into enough yet, but there are numerous trees that feature Henry’s lineage- some people list James as coming from London and some list him as coming from Stratford upon Avon. I’ve followed a few of these lines on Ancestry again and to be honest, some of them have completely impossible lines that are quite clearly wrong, in my eyes at least. You can’t have children born in different places in the country at the same time, which is obviously an error. Some have children being born 50 years apart which seems a bit hopeful. And some of them even link up their Coopers to Earls and Sirs, even when those Earls and Sirs come from a different part of the country. This is the 1400’s & 1500’s I’m talking about here. People didn’t move around like they do now.
But there are a couple of trees in particular which have caught my eye as they have Henry’s ancestors as coming from London. The owner of one of these trees is a Dennis Cooper! (Some of you will get the irony of that more than others ) I would really like to contact this Mr Cooper.
But back to Henry for a minute. He had a son called John Cooper. I’ve read conflicting records – again – but it appears that either John, or his father, William, was Daniel Boone’s lead scout. I think that’s kind of exciting, and worthy of investigation.
So, the only way to really find out is to do the research myself, and it won’t be a fast job – it might take years. Any genealogist will tell you that you should never rely completely on some one else’s tree anyway. Sure, you can use it for clues, but you need to double check things yourself.
So I’ll be going through the DNA matches that Dad and I have with people who also have the Cooper name in their family tree, and then see if any of these trees have Henry Labon Cooper or any of his family in them. If I have several results coming up good, I might be onto something and it may be a good sign that Henry is in fact a descendant of my own Cooper line from way, way back. I’ll keep you posted, but don’t wait up…