I have been researching the Cornett, Canute, and Sutherland family surnames off and on for the past few months. Along the way, I have met new cousins and created a few contacts, both professional and personal, as it relates to the topic of Genealogy. It seems that my family tree is one twisted tangle of little twigs. But I seem to think that there may be some vines intertwining with those twigs that cause me to search even deeper. I can almost picture myself spreading this vine curtain to see what’s inside, stepping into the past and being swallowed up as the curtain closes. Sounds like a creepy movie in a way. 


I have been reading up on the book I purchased a few months ago, titled, “Grayson County: A History in Words and Pictures”, I have also enjoyed looking at the photos of the first settlers to Grayson County, Virginia. The book encompasses a little less than 400 pages of fact written by the Grayson County Historical Society during the years 1792-1950. There are many interesting details and stories in this book that I will have to share at a later date. 
I have been most curious while searching for answers to all the mysteries of my family, I have yet to uncover the greatest mystery and a mountain of a brick wall called Alexander Sutherland. I hope to one day solve this with the help of my cousins, who happen to be also doing their own research on the same family surname. 


According to some, the Canute surname was believed to have actually been named “Carnutte”, stemming from Danish origin. There are many variations to the name and some also believe the name was of French origin. So really, who is correct? Is it speculation? How did they come up with this? I can understand the Danish part in this, as King Canute was most likely of that descent, as he was King of Denmark. But French? I’m not sure about that yet, although it could be very possible, I just need the cold, hard facts!


So if the Cornett family did descend from Carnutte, researching the Carnutte surname should be foremost on the list of priorities. It is said, and passed on from generation to generation that the Cornett family descended from King Canute II of Denmark. King Canute II was also known as Canute the Great, who reigned as King of Denmark during the time period of 995-1035. Canute the Great, being the son of Sweyn, King of Denmark.


Below is an excerpt I found on a web site dedicated to the genealogy of the Cornett family. The link source is also below if you would like to visit the site and utilize any other links on the site itself.

 If the Cornetts descended from Carnutte, one may begin with the Carnutte’s history. It is believed by some that the family is descended froKing Canutte II of Denmark. King Canutte II of Denmark “Canute the Great” (995-1035).  He was the first Danish King of England.  Under his rule Norway was conquered.  He was the son of Sweyn, King of Denmark.1 On the other hand, if the Cornetts were of French origin, it is likely that the family came across with William the Conqueror.
Erin Cornett was born in 1676 in Northumberland, England; he raised sheep. There is no record of his wife’s name. His son, Earl, was born in Southampton, England in 1696. He was a farmer and a member of the Church of England. He had seven sons: John, Roger, George, Francis, Frank, Jesse, and James. John Cornett …born in Southampton ,England in 1727. In 1740, he sailed to the Colonies with six of his brothers. They worked as indentured servants on an English  lord’s farm near Philadelphia, Pa. After gaining his freedom, John went to Henrico, Co.Va. (near Richmond) and raised tobacco for a living. He was taxed for land there on March 24,1747… His will lists that he had six sons and no daughters. His second wife was Elizabeth Bacon Mosby.She was a widow with one son… John died about 1776 at Elks Creek, Va. He was a member of St. John Episcopal Church. Four of his sons fought in the Revolutionary War (another source says six2). These four were later given land grants for their war service.William and Sam settled on Line Fork… Nathaniel and Roger settled in Benge, Clay Co.4 “[He] died about 1776 in Elm Creek, Virginia… his children were Rebecca Canute Cornett; David Cornett, born about 1750; James Canute Cornett, born about 1755; John Samuel Cornett, born about 1759; Nathanial Cornett born about 1760; William Jesse Cornett, born in 1761 in Henrico County, Virginia; and Roger Cornett, born about 1768.

My ancestors are William Jesse Cornett who died November 26, 1836 and is buried in Cornettsville Cemetary and Rhoda Gilliam, his first wife. They were married on May 7, 1787 in Washington County, Virginia”3  William Cornett enlisted twice in Virginia Revolutionary War units and received a pension (# W6723). His son, John (b. 1794) married Rachel (Smith) Kelly, and their son Russell (b. 1840) married Ailey Amburgey (b.1841), their last child being Sarah Elizabeth Cornett, my grandmother. Russell and Ailey’s brother, John J. Amburgey, had served together in Co B. of  Benjamin E. Caudill’s 13th Cavalry CSA.







Source: Mark S. Carroll/ Cornett Ancestry
Image Source: Getty Images

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