Some notes on Cox history

Robert Cox, of Marblehead, Massachusetts, was the earliest proven progenitor of this branch of the numerous American Coxes. He became a freeman at Marblehead in 1666, which is apparently the first record of his existence. In 1675 he served under Captain Gardiner in the celebrated "Swamp Fight" against the Indian King Philip, and was wounded December 16-19, 1675.

There is no record of his coming from England nor any positive knowledge of whom his father was, though it is generally believed that one James Cox, an early resident of Marblehead was such. A thorough search of the wills and deeds of Essex County has failed to throw any authoritative light on this subject, so Robert Cox must be regarded as the beginning of the family.

He lived in Scituate, Mass, as early as 1690 and married there about 1692, Mary (Jenkins). After the death of his first wife, he married 2nd October 5, 1703 at Scituate, Mass. Mrs. Agnes Okeman Kent, widow of one Joshua Kent of Boston. She had three children by her first marriage, John, Joshua and Agnes Kent (the latter married Isaac Pierce). Shortly after his second marriage, Robert Cox removed to Boston, Mass., where he engaged in the business of a fisherman and mariner. He lived on Prince Street where he owned considerab1e property and was a man of exce11ent standing. In Boston were born his second set of children.

He died in Boston in June 1731, at great age. The inventory of his estate amounted to L 542: 19s; 11d;. The final settlement of his estate was not perfected till 1746. It is known that he had a brother William who was also early of Scituate, but aside from that, little can be gained as to his early connections.

Matthew Cox, youngest son of Robert and Agnes Okeman Kent Cox, was born in Boston, Mass., March 23 1717. He was by occupation a tanner and lived in a cottage on what is now the west side of Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, Mass. He married March 30 1739, Elizabeth Russel who was baptized in Cambridge, March 4, 1716, the daughter of Walter and Elizabeth Winship Russel, and granddaughter of Joseph and Mary Belcher Russel all of Cambridge, and among the more prominent families of that historic place. He was admitted to the First Church in Cambridge, December 30, 1739, and his wife joined the same, April 17, l742. He was killed by an accident February 18, 1756 and "The Boston News Letter" (issue of Feb. 19, 1756) contains the following account: "Yesterday towards the setting of the sun, Mr. Matthew Cox of Cambridge, fell from an apple tree that he was pruning and breaking his neck died instantly, whose sudden death is very much lamented having left a sorrowful widow and eight young children and she in daily expectation of increasing the number of the fatherless." Mrs. Elizabeth Russel Cox can trace her line back to Edward III, King of England 1340-1398, so you see we are all descendents of royalty.

Walter Cox, son of Matthew and Elizabeth Russel Cox, was baptized in Cambridge, Mass. Oct 7, 1744. He married Nov. 16, 1769, Judith Deland, daughter of John and Judith Upham Deland of Charleston, Mass. He served on the patriot side during the Revolution with a conspicuous record for length of service.

Walter Cox, Private, Maj. Nathaniel Heath's Co.,
enlisted Nov. 14, 1779, discharged Feb 13, 1780; service three months;
also same Co., enlisted Feb 14, 1780, service to May l, 1780, two months and 18 days;
also same Co., enlisted May 1, 1780, discharged Aug 4, 1780 service three months and four days;
also same Co., enlisted Aug 7, 1780 discharged Oct 6, 1780, service two months;
above service performed with guards at Boston under successive engagements.

(Authority: "Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors
of the Revolutionary War", Vol. IV, P. 55)
This was almost 11 months of continuous service.

He was a tanner by occupation, and tradition says he removed to New York where he died before sending for his family. Several transactions not altogether indicative of thrift are recorded in the Middlesex Co. (Mass) deeds from 1783 to 1786. The date and place of his death are not on record. Jonathan Upham Cox, son of Walter and Judith Deland Cox, was born in Cambridge, Mass. March 6, 1785 (records of the First Church of Cambridge). He was a miller by trade. He married Aug 31, 1807, Lucinda Blood. In 1809 he removed to Plymouth, Chenango County, N.Y. and in 1815 to Owego, N.Y. where he died April 21, 1830. His widow moved to Nelson, Ohio, in 1832.

Excerpts from information compiled by
Lawrence Brainerd, Genealogist, before 1960
7 Arborway Court
Forest Hills, Massachusetts.
He cites 7 records as authority.