Notes about the Cole surname
This family is one of my deadends.
Oral family history suggests that this family was Pennsylvanian Dutch (that is, early German settlers to Pennsylvania). Francis Cole, my ancestor, lists his family heritage as German and attends a Lutheran church. On his marriage certificate, Francis tells us that his parents were John and Margaret, and he was born in Prince Edward County, Ontario. Because of their German heritage and the fact that they settled in Prince Edward County close to the U.S. border, this family is likely United Empire Loyalists who fled the U.S. some time after the Revolutionary War. The German spelling of the name would have been Kohl.
However, Francis Cole is not a very credible character. I found a notation on another family tree that he was a drinker and abused his wife. The abuse was significant enough that his wife Rebecca is buried under the last name of her first husband. It is unclear what happened to Francis, and I’m not inclined to take any information that he provided authorities at face value.
Note that I have a second Cole branch in my tree which is unrelated to the dubious Francis Cole. I am doubly-related to this second family through my Doidge family and my Bray family. These Coles are of British descent.
The surname distribution in the United States in 1880 shows that there were many Cole families in New York State, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.