The McColley and Cooper family

Quite a bit is known about the ancestry of the McColley family going back as far as the late 1500s because of the work of a dedicated genealogist, Dallas McColley, who has published his findings in "Pioneer Heritage: A McColley Family History," Anundson Publishing Co., 108 Washington St., Decorah, Iowa, 1993. The information on this page comes from that book.

All of Alexander and Polly McColley's sons served in the Civil War. Alonzo and Nathaniel enlisted in Company K, 2nd Minnesota Cavalry; Emery (whose end-of-the-war letter is included in this site) enlisted in Company F, 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery; Jim enlisted in Company H, 2nd Minnesota Cavalry; and George enlisted in Company E, 1st Minnesota Infantry.

Alexander and Mary McColley (variant spellings were McCauley, McCalley) immigrated from Ulster, Northern Ireland, around 1737 and settled in Litchfield, New Hampshire, after briefly living in the Boston vicinity. Alexander was a volunteer in the Colonial Wars against the West Indies in 1740. Alexander and Mary moved from Litchfield to Merrimack in 1762. Alexander's sons James and Alexander Jr. served in the Revolutionary War.

Earliest ancestors in this family line include Charlotte Hancock's great- great- great-great- great- great- grandparents, Edmund Rice (b. c1594 d. 1663) and Thomasine Frost (d. 1654). Edmund and Thomasine Rice's direct descendants also include President Calvin Coolidge. Two of Polly Razey McColley's great- great- great- great- great- great- grandparents were Henry Garnsey (b. c1620/25 d. Aug. 13, 1692) and Hannah Munnings (b. 1629 d. Aug. 17, 1686) who also are direct ancestors of President George Bush.

Several of the McColley ancestors immigrated to Massachusetts from England in the 1630s. They include:

  • Robert and Hannah Titus, Polly's grandparents five generations removed, who set sail from England on April 3, 1635, on the ship "Hopewell";
  • Edmund and Mary Munnings, another set of Polly's grandparents (also five generations removed), who arrived the same year on "The Abigail";
  • and a set of Alexander's fifth-generation earlier grandparents, John and Elizabeth (Whale) Moore, who arrived that year on the ship, "Planter."

Alexander McColley
(b. 1707
 d. 1788)
Mary (Pinkerton)
(b. 1712
 d. 1791)
Robert McColley
(b. 1733
 d. 1826)
Abigail (Smith) Other children of Alexander and Mary McColley were Mary (m. John Holmes), Martha (b. 1740 m. George Cunningham d. 1830), James (b. 1745 d. 1812), Sarah (b. c1750 d. 1817), Lt. Alexander Jr. (b. 1751 d. 1829) and Elizabeth (b. 1754 m. Lt. Samuel Foster d. 1816). William McAuley (b. c1747 d. 1815) may also been a son of Alexander and Mary McColley.
James McColley
(b. May 2, 1783
 d. 1860s)
Charlotte (Hancock)
(b. Sept. 1, 1787
 d. 1850s)
Other children of Robert and Abigail McColley were Charles, John (b. 1778 d. 1844), James (b. 1783 d. 1860/65), Isabel (b. 1785 m1. Isaac Everett m2. William Rose d. 1846), Thomas (b. 1787 d. 1852), Smith (b. 1789 d. 1862), William "Moody" (b. 1792 d. 1862) and Nancy (b. 1794).
Alexander McColley
(b. Oct. 1, 1805
 d. Oct. 17, 1865)
- Polly (Razey)
(b. April 9, 1805
 d. Dec. 13, 1890)
Other children of James and Charlotte McColley were Harriet (m. Mr. Crosley), Rhoda (b. c1812 m. Silas Razey), Lyman (b. c1815 d. 1846/7), Manley (b. 1817 d. 1879), Phoebe (b. c1822) and Lucena (b. 1826 m1. Samuel Wiliams m2. Samuel Amsden d. 1909). James and Charlotte reportedly had four other children; their identities are unknown.
Lydia (McColley) Cooper
(b. March 3, 1842
 d. Oct. 4, 1917)
- Joseph H. Cooper
(b. Feb. 15, 1832
 d. May 27, 1897)
Other children of Alexander and Polly McColley were Eli (b. 1829 d. 1832), George (b. 1831 d. 1910), James (b. 1832 d. 1914), Alonzo (b. 1834 d. 1895), Electa(b. 1836 d. 1920), Charlotte (b. 1838 d. 1911), Nathaniel (b. 1840 d. 1925), Emily (b. 1844 d. 1914), Emery (b. 1844 d. 1865), Elizabeth (b. 1847 d. 1926) and Alvin (b. 1850 d. 1854).
Mary Ellen Cooper
(b. Feb. 9, 1862
 d. March 27, 1924)
- Edward Cochran
b. May 15, 1859
 d. Dec. 18, 1938
Other children of Lydia and Joseph Cooper were Elnora (b. 1863 d. 1908 m. Albert Bradbury), Emma (b. 1865 d. 1870), Charles "Ben" (b. 1868 d. 1935), Anna (b. 1870 d. 1872), Electa (b. 1873 d. 1955 m. Clayton Black), Georgia (b. 1875 d. 1946 m. Frank Davis), Laura (b. 1877 d. 1949 m. Sanford McColley) and Maggie (b. 1883 d. 1953 m. Arthur Clapshaw).

Family Portrait page

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