John came on the Mayflower with his father Francis Cooke when he was only 13 years old. He was the last male survivor of the Mayflower passengers. Cooke was a part time Baptist minister at Dartmouth. There is a memorial plaque to his memory on Pilgrim Street, Fairhaven, MA.
William Bradford's Mayflower passenger list includes as passengers "Francis Cooke, and his sone John; But his wife & other children came afterwards"
In his account of the families as of 1650, Bradford wrote: "Francis Cooke is still living, a very olde man, and hath scene his childrens, children, have children: after his wife came over. (with other of his children) he hath .3. still living by her, all maried, and have .5. children so their encrease is .8. And his sone John which came over with him, is maried, and hath .4. chilldren living."
John was executor of his father's will in 1659.
From A Memorial of Francis Cook : John Cook, the oldest son, early appears upon the records as a prominent personage in colonial affairs, and in after-years as a most noted member of the company while residing at Plymouth, and particularly after his removal to the new purchase of Dartmouth, in 1662. March 28, 1634, he married Sarah Warren. From this time, through a long life, he seems to have been engaged in official business. In 1639, was elected one of the governor's assistants, --an office, in those days, of much honor and importance.
When the schism arose in the church at Plymouth (of which he was at the time an elder), in regard to baptism, he took sides with the opposition, afterwards known as Baptist, and was excommunicated. In 1662, as above mentioned, he removed to Dartmouth, and was appointed by the Court the first magistrate of the town, an office which he held for many years; and, as the records show, was deputy from that town to the General Court for a long succession of years. Previously, he had held the office of deputy from Plymouth for a number of years,--from 1640 until his removal.
On the breaking-out of Philip's War, the town of Dartmouth was one of the first to feel its effects, and the house of John Cook was the first to suffer; being burned to the ground. I can learn of none of the family being killed. The probability is, that, knowing of their danger beforehand, they had early removed to a place of safety. On the division of Capt. Church's force in this neighborhood, when in pursuit of the savages, soon after, one party was ordered to "rendezvous at the ruins of John Cook's house." As a prominent person in colonial affairs and in the new settlement, it is very probable that he had increased the hostility of the Indians, having had much to do with them in the purchase of lands, &c.; as in 1665 I find he was appointed by the Court, with the Treasurer, to treat with King Philip about the sale of some lands in behalf of the colony. In the same year, he purchased for other parties the Island of "Nakatay;" and the Court ordered, that, unless they pay him for his trouble and expense in the same, he was to have it for his own use.
In 1637, he volunteered in Capt. Prince's company, for the Pequot War. 1654, as one of the deputies of Plymouth, he made the report of the Committee on the Affairs between the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies.
In 1668, he was ordered by the Court to establish and maintain a ferry between Dartmouth and Rhode Island; and in the same year he took the testimony of parties, and established the boundaries of the town, which had long been in dispute with the Indians. 1668, he was ordered to appear at court, and answer for trespass upon the lands of Samuel Fuller. I mention this case as something to the credit of the family, as, in a long course of years, this appears to be the only instance of any one of this name being engaged as defendant, for any cause whatever, in any of the courts. In 1672, he seems to be in a controversy with some of the settlers of the town. I transcribe from the records:--
"July 1, 1672 at this court, in the controversay between John Cook and several of the purchasers of Dartmouth, the court appointed Samuel Hicks, John Smith, and Pelig Trip, to settle the differences. They ordered that John Cook should have Ram Island, before given him by the town for former services, also 11 pounds for his services and disbursments, and 3 pounds for his damages and trouble, which 14 pounds shal be paid to him or his order in good merchantable Pork, Beef and corn, in equal proportions, at or before the middle of Oct. next, or otherwise to his content, and in return he should deliver up the deeds of the lands to whoever the Town should appoint to receive them."
That he was not at variance with his neighbors, I would mention, that in the following year, 1673, he was again elected one of the two selectmen of the town, and deputy to the General Court at Plymouth. 1674, he settled the estate of Mrs. Elizabeth Warren, his mother-in-law. Same year, he had liberty of the Court, with Capt. Bradford and shal be paid to him or his order in good merchantable Pork, Beef and corn, in equal proportions, at or before the middle of Oct. next, or otherwise to his content, and in return he should deliver up the deeds of the lands to whoever the Town should appoint to receive them."
In this "looking-out for more land," I imagine, is to be found one of the great sources of the constant trouble with the Indians. In regard to the almost total destruction of the town at the breaking-out of Philip's War, I find this year, 1675, Oct. 5, "John Cook, as magistrate of the town of Dartmouth, is ordered by the Court to communicate to the inhabitants their orders in regard to rebuilding and settling the town again." 1677, he was appointed by the town to receive their portion of the funds raised for the relief of the Colony by "divers Christians" in Ireland (occasioned by the wars). In the controversy of the town with Dr. Cooper of Newport, R.I., for his attendance and services on William Dio, a pauper, John Cook, as magistrate, is ordered by the Court, March 5, 1678, to call a town-meeting of the inhabitants, for the purpose of receiving money to pay the bill, some time before October. His daughter Sarah married Arthur Hathaway, Nov. 20, 1652. He died, according to Dartmouth Records, Nov, 23, 1695. Bradford mentions him in the Appendix to his History, as one of the first-comers, still living, 1694; so that his death occurred the following year. 
Savage's Genealogical Dictionary: JOHN, Plymouth, call[ed]. jun[io]r. s[on]. of Francis, came with his f[ather]. in the Mayflower, was old eno[ugh]. to be tax[ed]. in 1634 as high as either his f[ather]. or John sen[io]r. m[arried]. 28 Mar. 1634, Sarah, d[aughter]. of Richard Warren, had four ch[ildren]. liv[ing]. in 1650, says Bradford, 453; of wh[om]. perhaps Esther, b[orn]. 16 Aug. 1650, was one; Mercy, 25 July 1654, ano[ther]. was Mary, 1657; at least one must have been m[arried]. and had more than one ch[ild]. to justify the extr[aordinary]. boast for old Francis to the letter, that in 1600 he "hath seen his children's childr[en]. have childr[en]." Jane, the sis[ter]. of John, had done her part for the blessing, I presume; and his d[aughter]. Sarah m[arried]. 20 Nov. 1652, Arthur Hathaway; and Elizabeth m[arried]. 28 Nov. 1661, Daniel Wilcox. But in this branch the exult[ant]. phrase of Bradford fails of truth[fulness]. He was deac[on]. but disagreed with Reyner; rem[oved]. and was min[ister]. of Dartmouth 1676, of wh[om]. he was one of the first purch[asers]. and rep[resentative]. 1673; and was liv[ing]. 1694, the oldest surv[iving]. perhaps, of the male passeng[ers]. in the Mayflower; and d[ied]. 23 Nov. 1695. One of his d[aughter]s. m[arried]. Thomas Tabor.
Download our exceptional genealogy software for free
Fun & simple to use
Imports your GEDCOM files easily
Smart Matching™ technology
Supports 40 languages