Nicholas Porter Earp, his descendants, and the amazing events that made this family famous.

Compilation note: Credits for photos used on this page are extracted from many other websites as noted and some are taken by the compiler. Use of the photographs should be done by permission of the originators. Most Photos of individuals on this site are in the Public Domain

Submitter: Jeffery Scism

Nicholas Porter Earp's Gravesite at the National Cemetery, Los Angeles, California

Descendants of Nicholas Porter Earp

Generation No. 1

1. NICHOLAS PORTER8 EARP (WALTER7, PHILIP6, WILLIAM5, JOSHUA4, JOHN3, THOMAS2, THOMAS1) was born September 06, 1813 in Lincoln, NC, USA2, and died February 12, 1907 in Sawtelle, Los Angeles, Ca, USA2.

He married (1) ABIGAIL STORM 2 December 22, 1836 in Ohio, Ky, USA2. She was born September 21, 1813, and died October 08, 1839 in Ohio, KY, USA2.

(source of Photo- San Bernardino County SUN - © 12 January 2002)

He married (2) VICTORIA "VIRGINIA" ANN COOKSEY2 July 30, 1840 in Hartford, Ohio, Ky, USA2, daughter of JAMES COOKSEY. She was born February 02, 1821 in Ky, USA2, and died January 14, 1893 in San Bernardino, Ca., USA. He married (3) ANN ELIZABETH CADD2 October 09, 1893 in San Bernardino, San Bernardino, Ca., USA2. She was born July 20, 1842 in Preston Bissett, Buckinghamshire, England2, and died September 12, 1931 in San Bernardino, Ca., USA.

Source: San Bernardino County Marriages, 1889 - 1892, SB Co. Archives (Third marriage)

Posted by: Woodson Cambell Date: November 11, 2000 at 20:52:24

Nicholas Porter Earp married Virginia Ann Cooksey. Their marriage certificate in Ohio county, Kentucky shows her name as "Victoria" Cooksey, but she used the name Virginia throughout her adult life.

Re: Virginia Ann Cooksey - Wyatt Earp's Mom
Posted by: Woodson Campbell ( © 1999, Woodson Campbell )
Date: April 04, 1999

The following records from Ohio county, Kentucky provide some source information for the father
(James Cooksey) and grandfather (Phillip Cooksey) of Virginia Ann Cooksey (wife of Nicholas P. Earp).

This is to certify that the rites of matrimony were solemnized between the above bound Nicholas P. Earp & Virginia Ann Cooksey by me on the 30th of July 1840. Given under my hand this 8th day of
Aug 1840 (Rev. J.G. Ward)(Ohio County, Kentucky, Marriage Bond Book B, p. 13, no. 171).

The following is the only known reference to plantation lands owned by Nicholas P. Earp (father of Wyatt):

POWER OF ATTORNEY: 1 Nov 1841 Virginia Ann Earp, wife of Nicholas Earp, of Ohio County, Kentucky gave said Nicholas Earp power of attorney for all matters including the disposition of lands she inherited from her grandfather Phillip Cooksey in the state of Virginia witnessed by William Daniel and L.D. Earp (Ohio county, Kentucky, Deed book I, p.2).

21 Oct 1843 Nicholas P. Earp and Virginia Ann Earp, his wife, relinquish all rights to John Cannon for $55 the rights of Virginia Ann to land which John Raley then resided being the tract of land belonging to the heirs of James Cooksey Senr, deceased, lying in Ohio county, Kentucky on the waters of Caney creek. witness Lorenzo D. Earp and James OK Earp (Ohio county, Kentucky, Deed book I, p.307)

Nicholas Earp and others give bond of John Cooksey, guardian of minor children of James Cooksey dec'd (Margaret Mariah and James Cooksey, minors); Ohio County KY Order Book 5 p.409, 1 Nov 1841.

(End of Transcripted message)

1850 Federal census finds Nicholas P. Earp in Marion County, Iowa, as a Cooper. Age 37, Born in North Carolina,
Virginia A., 29 yrs., Born in Kentucky, with
Newton J., age 13,
James C., age 7,
Virgil W., age 6,
Martha E., age 5, and
Wyatt B., age 2.

(Lake Prairie Township, page 290, family #150, LDS Film # 0442962)

1860 census finds them still there, with additional children Morgan and Warren .

Federal Invalid Pension filed by Nicholas on 9 April 1877, at Sterling, Rice County, Kansas. He describes himself as follows:
Born 6 Sep 1813, Cooper (Occupation), 5 feet 11 inches, fair complexion, brown hair, Blue Eyes.

Burial: Los Angeles National Cemetery, Los Angeles, California, USA2


Posted by: W. Campbell Date: November 11, 2000

Nicholas Porter Earp married Virginia Ann Cooksey. Their marriage certificate in Ohio county, Kentucky shows her name as "Victoria" Cooksey, but she used the name Virginia throughout her adult life. Virginia Cooksey's maternal grandmother was Victoria "Vicy" (Weeks) Smith. According to Ohio county, KY courthouse records, Virginia's father was James Cooksey. This is very likely the name bestowed on her first child James C. Earp.

The name Cooksey is spelled in several ways in older records, including some with the letter "x" (Cuxey). Virginia Ann (Cooksey) Earp died 14 Jan 1893 and was buried at Pioneer Memorial Cemetery, San Bernardino, San Bernardino Co., CA. Her obituary appears in the 15 Jan 1893 issue of the San Bernardino Daily Courier .

Burial: re-marked grave, southwest corner, Pioneer Memorial Cemetery, San Bernardino, California

Virginia Ann Cooksey Earp 1821-1893

Virginia Ann Cooksey married Nicholas Porter Earp at the age of 19 years old on July 30, 1840. Nicholas already had a son Newton from his previous marriage to Abigail Strom (or Storm) who died in 1839. Nicholas and Virginia had eight children; James, Virgil, Martha, Wyatt, Morgan, Warren, Virginia and Adelia. Three of the boys; Newton, James and Virgil served in the Civil War for the North. Two of the girls, Martha and Virginia died at a young age. Only Adelia lived into adulthood. She died at the age of 80. All of her boys served as lawmen at some time in their lifetime. Nicholas and Virginia traveled Iowa to California several times before settling in the San Bernardino area.

Virginia Ann Cooksey Earp died January 14, 1893 at an age of 72. She was laid to rest at Pioneer Cemetery, San Bernardino, California. Her marker is no longer there, however the cemetery knows the area she is buried, but not the exact spot. The E.A.R.P. Society has, (with the assistance of many contributors) acquired a headstone and the cemetery has given us a site to place it.The placement is just off a main path under a tree.

The guest speaker will be Earl Chafin and the Eulogy will be by Pastor William Halliday (aka "The Sinkiller")

The Daughter-in-laws of Virginia said, "She was the most sweetest, kindest and gentlest person" they had ever met.

(Dedication of gravemarker replacement, Pioneer Memorial Cemetery, sam Bernardino, California, 12 January, 2002)

January 1, 2002

On Saturday January 13, 2002, the unmarked Grave of Virginia Cooksey Earp will be marked with a new stone.

The Sun, San Bernardino California, January 11, 2002, Page D-1 and Page D-5

Matriarch of the famous Earp clan will be honored Saturday (1-13-2002) during a local ceremony hosted by The Earp Society

By Priscilla Nordyke Roden, Staff Writer

History was made and lives were shattered when a blaze of gunfire broke out at the O.K. Corral on October 26, 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona.

Frontier lawman Wyatt Earp and his brothers became legends that day. They've been celebrated ever since- in stories, books and films.

But the woman who inspired their grit and courage has been neglected by history, until now.

Their mother, Virginia Ann Cooksey Earp, stalwart pioneer woman and matriarch of the Earp clan, is finally getting the public notice she deserves, more than a century after she died at 73, and was buried in what became an unmarked grave in San Bernardino.

In life, Virginia did what was expected and followed her cantankerous husband, Nicholas P. Earp, wherever wanderlust led. She raised her offspring and a stepson with a healthy respect for authority-sometimes with the aid of a switch-and won the hearts of the women who married her sons.

In death, she kept a low profile. Her burial place at Pioneer Memorial Cemetery in San Bernardino slipped into obscurity after old cemetery records were lost.

A new headstone honoring her life will be unveiled Saturday (January 13, 2002) near where she is believed to be interred. About 300 people are expected to attend, including two dozen Earp family members.

The ceremony is fitting, says Zack Earp, a distant cousin and an organizer with the Earp Society of Saturday's event. "She raised nine kids pretty much by herself… and that had a lot to do with her character."

The Inland Empire was home to the Earp family for many years after Nicholas Earp made his way from Pella, Iowa, where he left his family in 1851.

He had big dreams, to make a fortune in the gold fields and bring his family west. After months of backbreaking labor that yielded so little money he couldn't make expenses, he returned home disillusioned and broke.

On the way back to Iowa, Nicholas passed through San Bernardino and was impressed by its fertile fields, timber and clear streams.

He was a man of many interests and skills. As a young man, he farmed in Kentucky, piloted a riverboat in Iowa, and became an expert cooper. In 1847, he served as a Cavalry Sergeant in the Mexican war, and in 1863 was appointed a provost marshal in charge of recruitments for the Union army. An itinerant lawman in most of the towns he lived in, he also dabbled in politics.

In 1864, as the head of a wagon train made up of other families from Pella he returned to San Bernardino with his family in tow.

The Earps settled down on a rented farm near the banks of the Santa Ana River. Over time, Nicholas Earp would serve as foreman of the grand jury, and Justice of the Peace. The Earp boys would try their hand at a number of endeavors but they would best be known for their law enforcement activities and the gunfight at the O. K. Corral.

"When I think of the Earps I have this mental image of the old west, like Tombstone Arizona," says Zack Earp, 53 of Riverside, a retired educator and chairman of The Earp Society. "But after I did a lot of research, I realized that Wyatt Earp lived until 1929, and he saw a lot of modern development. In later years he was involved in the movie industry".

Ironically, the Earps themselves became the subjects of countless movies and books.

It took only half a minute for Wyatt Earp, brothers Virgil and Morgan, and compatriot Doc Holliday to glaze their way onto the national scene through the epic gunfight at O. K. Corral in 1881. When the fight with five members of the outlaw Clanton gang ended, three of the bandits lay dead. The story made the pages of newspapers across the United States.

But the fight didn't end in dusty Tombstone.

The Clantons took revenge a few months later, blowing away a portion of Virgil Earp's arm while he was on one of his nightly security rounds. Morgan Earp was murdered during a pool game in Northern California.[Site manager's note: the previous statement is in error, the assassination occured in Tombstone, Az.- Jeff]

The family matriarch endured it all with the courage of a woman used to the ups and downs of pioneer life.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but the inscription on Virginia Cooksey Earp's headstone speaks volumes. It notes that she was the beloved wife and mother of the Earp clan.

Nicholas Porter Earp died November 12, 1907, and is buried in Los Angeles National Cemetery (in Sawtelle). Other Earp family members are buried in local cemeteries: Brother Morgan in Hermosa cemetery in Colton, Brother James and sister Adelia Earp Edwards in Mountain View cemetery in San Bernardino. Wyatt Earp I interred in Hills of Eternity Memorial Park, in Colma California.

Knowing something of the family's background puts it into perspective, says Larry Fisher, 61, a founder of the Earp Society.

"She had to have perseverance like all the pioneer ladies. She traveled cross-country three times to California, the first time in a covered wagon. She was a firm disciplinarian… and firm in her religion. She knew where her salvation was," he says.

"But what probably speaks best is her Daughters-in-law. They had remarked that she was the sweetest, kindest and most gentle person they had ever met, and that really says something. That sums up the way she was."

2. i. NEWTON JASPER9 EARP , b. October 07, 1837, Ohio, KY, USA; d. December 18, 1928, Sacramento, Sacramento, Ca. USA.
ii. MARIAH ANN EARP2 , b. February 02, 1839, Ohio, KY, USA2; d. 1840, Ohio, KY, USA2.


Image source: Library of the Wild West
iii. JAMES COOKSEY9 EARP2 , b. June 28, 1841, Hartford, Ohio, Ky, USA2; d. January 23, 1926, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Ca., USA2;
Grave of James C. Earp
m. NELLIE "BESSIE" BARTLETT2 , April 18, 1873, Monmouth, Illinois2; b. Abt. 1844, NY, Usa2; d. January 22, 1887, San Bernardino, Ca., USA2.

17th Illinois Infantry, Co. F, May 1861- Mar 1863, Private, Disabled and discharged due to loss of use of Left arm, shoulder wound.

S.B. Historical Pioneer Society
ODDYSEY , May-August 1993
Vol 15, No. 2

"James Earp the Forgotten One"

City Directories mention: Earp, Virgil W., Saloon Keeper Earp, Nicholas P., Book Agent, residence: "H" street between 2nd & 3rd.

Born Hartford, Kentucky, June 28, 1841
Relocated to: Monmouth, Illinois c.1843
Relocated to: Pella, Iowa c.1848
Enlisted Union army: May 25, 1861 (Company F, 7th Illinois, infantry)
Wounded left shoulder @ Frederickstown, Missouri, October 8, 1862.
Medical discharge: in Pella Iowa, March 22, 1863. (No use of left arm)
Left Iowa in 1864 with his father's wagon train, but left the train at Austin, Nevada.
Moved to Montana in 1866, became a Gambler.
James moved to Lamar, Missouri and rejoined family in 1870.
Married April 18, 1873 to Nellie Bartlett Ketchum.(Illinois?)
Nellie had two children Frank and Hattie Ketchum from a previous marriage.
1877 Family moved to Temescal, California (near present Lake Elsinore), Wyatt and James moved to Wichita and then Dodge City, Kansas.
"Jim" was a bartender and Wyatt was a policeman.
In 1879 they were invited to Tombstone, Az. Territory, where Virgil Earp, who had been appointed U. S. Deputy Marshal for the Arizona Territory, was residing.
Brother Morgan also came from Montana.
Jim worked in "Vogan's Bowling Alley" and later at the saloon called "Sampling Room".
October 26, 1881, James' three brothers, Wyatt, Morgan and Virgil, with John H. "Doc" Holliday, a dentist, and Gambler, had a shootout near the OK Corral with the "Cowboy gang" consisting of Tom and Frank Laury, Ike and Billy Clanton, and Billy Claiborne. Billy Clanton, and Tom and Frank Laury were killed, and Virgil, Morgan, and "Doc" Holliday were wounded.
The Earp family left Tombstone the following year, after the murder of Morgan.
Jim went to Shone County Idaho with Wyatt. (Feb 1, 1884),
1884 to Eagle City, for mining, and opened the "White Elephant Saloon". After Sept. 1884 they were gone, eventually ending up in San Bernardino, Ca. where Jim drove a "Hack". He then opened the "Club Exchange Saloon" in San Bernardino,which was located on Court Street near the present Bank of America.
January 22, 1887, Nellie Bartlett Earp passes away.
Jim leaves for Missoula and Helena Montana, and later San Francisco, as a Gambler. He is in San Francisco when Wyatt referreed a famous Boxing match.
He returned to San Bernardino, during the early 1900s,with Wyatt.
Ill health debilitated him and he died in Los Angeles, January 25, 1926, and is buried in Mountain View Cemetery, in San Bernardino.


08/02/94 PAGE

Earp, James C. 1/25/1926 BOOK: 21 PAGE: 384
Los Angeles AGE: 84

CAUSE OF DEATH: Cerebral apoplexy

James C. Earp twice applied for Pension increases: wrote from Ft. Worth, Texas. on June 18, 1878 and again filed application to increase pension on May 12, 1912.

Burial: Mt. View Cemetery, San Bernardino, Ca, USA2

Burial: 1887, Pioneer Memorial Cemetery, next to Virginia Cooksey.


Image source: Library of the Wild West
b. July 18, 1843, Hartford, Ohio, Ky, USA; d. October 25, 1905, Goldfield, Esmerelda, Nv, USA.
v. MARTHA ELIZABETH EARP2 , b. September 25, 1845, Monmouth, Warren, Illinois, USA2; d. May 26, 1856, Pella, Marion, Iowa, USA2.

Dodge City [Kans.] Peace Commissioners. L to R: Chas. Bassett, W. H. Harris, Wyatt Earp, Luke Short, L. McLean, Bat Masterson, Neal Brown." By Camillus S. Fly, ca. 1883.(This date by Earl Chafin) ( NAIL NWDNS-111-SC-94129 Photo obtained digitally from NAIL search of National Archives) The 1883 date in Dodge Kansas, as at this date both Wyatt and the Photographer were long gone from Dodge, But Earl Chafin states that this was the time when Luke Short returned to Dodge City with Earp.

Image source: Library of Congress
vi. WYATT BERRY STAPP EARP2 , b. March 19, 1848, Monmouth, Warren, Illinois, USA2; d. January 13, 1929, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Ca., USA2;