Thank you for the kind words, but the more I learn, the more I find that I do not know!
I have spent the last 9 plus years on this business.
Research in Scotland is difficult to link up the right person with the right father.They, too, were Johns, James(s), Georges, Williams, a Robert here and there, etc..
Your first thing to know, I suppose, is that there were several groups of Cockburns:
of Langton, in Berwickshire;
of Ormiston, in East Lothian, known as
Haddingtonshire in earlier times;
of Skirling, in Peebleshire;
of Henderland, in Peebleshire;
of Clerkington, in East Lothian;
of Carriden, in Fifeshire
There are early records of those in Edinburgh, and unless that specific record identifies them as of a certain locale, they could be of any of these groups, since many migrated to Edinburgh for varous reasons.
I, too studied that George Cockburn who (d) in Edgecombe Co, NC just prior to 1795 (court records of Edgecombe Co. NC.)His last wife was Francis Williams, daughter of Theophilas Williams, sheriff of Martin Co., NC about 1785, thus the name Theophilas Cockburn, brother of George Jr.That George, SR., had 3 orphan daughters when he died therefore the court records.Those records state that at the time of his death he had surviving brothers, Francis and Thomas.I can't find records on that Thomas, but Francis is well documented in all the Martin Co NC records and on the internet.
I find only one (1) Francis Cockburn in Scotland (so far).He married Rachel Carmichael in early 1600s.If you search Google: Carmichael, Scotland, 1600, you will find trees for them and a Carmichael marriage chart which shows marriage of Francis C. & Rachel.
I have not searched more on that Francis C. because my line has no Francis(s).My line has no Thomas(s) either.I descend from the George (b) 1746 who (m) Amherst Co VA 1773, then to GA 1784.My line is related to your line and way back probably descend from brothers.
I still have a long way to go, so don't want to put anything down here because it will be taken for fact and passed on, when I might find later info which changes what I think at this point is the way of things.
I began my research in Scotland with Burkes Peerage at the section on COCKBURN.That's the Langton group, the younger sons of whom are termed "of that Ilk", i.e., Cockburn of Cockburn, which designator it seems the younger sons of any of the nobles reverted to since the eldest son fell heir to the title and estates.
You might also search Google for:
Ormiston, Scotland, 1523
Skirling, Peebleshire, Scotland, 1400
Carriden, Scotland 1400
(precede each place name with Cockburn,)
This should keep you busy for the rest of your life!