Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Cornelius W. White or Cornelius W. White?

While researching DNA matches I "met" Cornelius W. White, who married Rebecca D. Wilcox, my second cousin three times removed and great granddaughter of Matthew McMullin, Sr. (before 1765-about 1816).

My first questions were "where was Cornelius W. White born" and "who were his parents." Then I moved on to "you bigamist, you!" After hours of research I have determined there were two men named Cornelius W. White married to different women with different families, but Find A Grave and many, many public trees are incorrect, combining these two different men into one person.

Cornelius W. White (1840-1925) (Link requires an Ancestry subscription)

This Cornelius W. White has no known relationship to me. He was born on 1 November 1840 in Mercer County, Virginia (now West Virginia). His parents were Carling Ferguson White and Sarah F. Bailey. He married Zelphia R. Stewart on 5 November 1863 and had six known children:
  1. William W. White born 31 August 1864; died 4 November 1954; married 1) Annie Kate Knopp and 2) Nettie Beckett
  2. Lottie E. White born 13 April 1870; died 19 March 1950
  3. Leighton Albert White born 3 April 1873; died 6 December 1919; married Salena Taylor
  4. Joseph N. White born in 1876; died in 1951; married Bessie Estella Nirk
  5. George Emmet White born  23 October 1878; died in July 1972; married Jessie Melissa Lewis
  6. Winton Egbert White born 23 November 1882; died in 1946; married Edith Grace McTaggart
This Cornelius W. White died 2 November 1925 in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and was interred at the Dr. Jesse Bennett Cemetery in Point Pleasant. 

West Virginia Death Certificate for Cornelius W. White; courtesy of the
West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History

Cornelius W. White (c1839-after 1907) (Link requires an Ancestry subscription)

This was "my" Cornelius W. White and he was much harder to research, of course! He was born about 1839 in Tazewell County, Virginia, according to his Civil War pension application to William G. White and Matilda (maiden name unknown). He married Rebecca D. Wilcox on 17 September 1860 in Scott County, Virginia. He joined the Confederate States Army on 12 March 1862 and served in Company A of the 48th Virginia Infantry Regiment until the end of the war.

Virginia Marriage Index for Cornelius W. White and Rebecca D. Wilcox;
courtesy of

Cornelius and Rebecca had eight known children:
  1. Badora "Dora" White born 15 May 1858; died 14 November 1936; married Alexander Mitchell Steffey
  2. William Augustus White born 9 August 1861; died 20 April 1924; married Nannie Magdalina Buchanan
  3. Robert E. White born 14 April 1866; died 23 June 1922; married Laura Daniel
  4. John A. White born 9 January 1868; died 8 April 1900
  5. Mary Etta (or Ellen) White born 28 April 1868; died 15 Dec 1931; married 1) Robert Thomas Aker and 2) Andrew Jackson Beverly
  6. Minerva M. "Tillie" White born 29 November 1875; died 23 October 1901; married Greenfield Taylor Dyer
  7. Fayette McMullin White born 3 October 1877; died 23 June 1961; married Jacka Charlotte Snider
  8. Lou Emma White born 1 September 1879; died 23 March 1912; married James Edward Overstreet
Cornelius' wife, Rebecca died on 18 June 1887 in Smyth County, Virginia, and was interred at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Groseclose, Virginia.

Cornelius applied for a pension[1] on 13 August 1907. He claimed he had lived in Virginia all of his life and in Smyth County for 28 years. He said he was 68 years old and had been partially paralyzed for four years. He died sometime after 1907 but I do not know when.

[1] A big thank you to member mikebrewer55, who added the pension application to his family tree.

1 comment:

  1. I had the same problem. I contacted the person who owned the tree which was correct and he told me he had gone through all the same research steps to separate the two identities. Good work, Schalene, and a great reminder to not rely on online trees without confirming all the information.