Posts Tagged ‘Grayson County Virginia’

English: Erythrina crista-galli (flowers). Loc...

English: Erythrina crista-galli (flowers). Location: Oahu, Ala Moana Beach Park and Magic Island (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hope everyone had a wonderful, blessed weekend! I spent my Saturday, cooking and creating in my kitchen and my Sunday was spent at Ala Moana Beach Park near Magic Island. I went to a baby shower for a dear friend and it was a smashing success! Plenty of games, good food, playing and watching the keiki’s have fun in the sun. There’s nothing better than getting together with your family and friends and welcoming another new life into this crazy world. The sun  was hot yesterday and it was really refreshing to enjoy the cool,  salty water with everyone. It was an unconventional baby shower where men were included in this awesome celebration. It was all great fun 🙂

Speaking of family, who were they really? My quest is to learn more about who my Cornett family really is. It’s more than the genealogy aspect, it’s about the history of my family and getting to know them on a more personal level even though they are long gone. Sometimes I think I should have been born in this era, back in the 1800’s. What life must have been like for them. The trials and tribulations they must have endured in order to survive. Once you start your own family history research, you find that you need to dig just a little deeper because you just haven’t found that clue yet. It may be in the next shovel of dirt you are digging with. You bend over and scoop up a handful of rich soil, while it slowly sifts through your fingers. Looking, searching, and hoping that the next clue will one day be right there in your hands.

What kind of people do you come from? Were they from another country other than the U.S.? Why did they choose Grayson County, Virginia or even Kentucky in which they decided to settle? What were their thoughts regarding the land they would be living on? Was it fertile land, great for farming and cattle? What did they hunt for food? Deer? Did they come across Native Americans? What did they eat back then? So many questions and I will probably never know all of it, but the thrill of the hunt keeps me going!

When my family settled in Grayson, Virginia and also in Kentucky, why did these particular areas appeal to them so much over other areas? I can only imagine that this land in which they decided to live and start a family on, was rough and rugged. Can you imagine having to clear land and trees in order to build your home? Today we have heavy machinery to do this for us, so you can guess how much hard work, tears and sweat they must have poured into their lives, their land and their homesteads. I guess the good thing about that, is the ability to use the lumber in which they had to clear,  using the wood as a log home or cabin.

Where did the Cornett family originate from? From some web sites I have read, it mentions that the Cornett surname was Norse or of French origin. Does anyone really know? The Cornett family married into one family with the last name of Sutherland, where some of the Sutherland’s back in the mid 1700’s originated from Scotland. But what about the Cornett’s? Where do the really come from?

There are so many things to discover in your family tree. The who, what, when, and where of your history will only add depth to your knowledge of your ancestors that came before you.

What will you discover?

Happy Ancestor Hunting!! 🙂

Phoebe Angeline Anderson Cornett With Younger Sibling
PhotoCredit: Clinton G.

Flora Almeda Anderson Plummer (1869-1959) standing here with her sister, Phoebe Angeline Anderson Cornett (1858-1937). They were the daughters of Nelson and Rachel Anderson. Photo was taken at the home of Phoebe Angeline. Flora Almeda lived in Maryland and visited her sister until her death in 1937. (Clinton G)

Olive Melvine Cornett is today’s “Wednesday’s Child”. Olive Melvine was my 3rd great grand aunt through my 4th great grandparents, David Cornett and Phebe “Feby” Sutherland. Olive was only 2 years of age when she died. Olive was born on June 12, 1844 and died February 6, 1847. She is buried at Central Cemetery in Flat Ridge, Grayson County, Virginia.

I wish I knew the cause of her death but that’s for another post entirely! Wish me luck as I research her in more depth. Hoping to find something on her, but since she died so young, there is a probability that I won’t find anything at all. Keeping it positive!

Timeline of Events Which Took Place in Olive Melvine Cornett’s Birth Year (1844)

Charles Dickens published a short story called “The Chimes”.

In 1844, Harriet Tubman married John Tubman, who was a free African American, while she could still be sold and separated from her husband.

Our 11th President was elected, James K. Polk, in November 1844


Olive Melvine Cornett (June 12, 1844- February 6, 1847)
Buried at Central Cemetery in Flat Ridge, VA
**Photo Credit: Clinton G.

David Cornett (Black and White) Date Unknown

David Cornett Gravestone Marker
November 3, 1805 ~ January 24, 1886

David Cornett also known as David “Blue” Cornett, born November 3, 1805 and died January 25, 1886.

The real mystery behind David is how he became known as David “Blue” Cornett. Where did this information come from? Was this his given name? If so, I haven’t found any documentation that states this as fact. Yet! The only place I think I have seen him referred to as David “Blue” are from member trees on I am looking to solve this mystery!

(Portrait Image Source Link:

(Gravestone Image Source Link:

Image Credits: Clinton G.

Standing Under A Tree, June 2012, Personal Collection

What do we really know about our ancestors and their past lives? After researching this past week, I became so overwhelmed with all this new knowledge of the many different Cornett ancestors in my direct line. This is where I became confused; I recently posted two separate blog articles, one in regards to a Partition and the other was just written up this morning, a Last Will and Testament, where I transcribed the text within. I get a multitude of emails on a daily basis, so I try to keep up with all of those and as I read through them, I learn something new. In the articles I recently wrote about, the confusion began with two separate men in my line who are both grandfathers of mine, with the same first name.

A little background first so you understand, my 4th great grandfather was David “Blue” Cornett who married Phoebe “Feby” Sutherland on February 22, 1826 in Climes Branch, Grayson County, Virginia. David “Blue” Cornett’s grandfather was also named David; the spelling of his last name changed in relation to David Blue, whereas David Blue was Cornett in the many documents that I have seen, but when it comes to his grandfather David Cornutt, the spelling was slightly different.

David Cornutt was my 6th great grandfather and I am still amazed to this day that I have his Will and Testament on my blog so I can always go back and look at it, to be able to read it, understand the wording and eventually transcribe his words. What else can a document like this tell me? It listed his children for starters, and told me who inherited his property and belongings when he passed away. It shows the date of when the Will was written and his presumed death date at the bottom. I also know what his signature looked like! How exciting to know this much and not really know him personally is truly amazing to me. I still, even after a few bouts of confusion, and an email that was hastily sent to Grayson County Heritage Foundation, (I remedied that situation by the way)and I still find myself fully engrossed in the history of my Cornett family.

So my question to you, how would you compile all the information you have on any one given person in your family tree so as not to cause any confusion like I had, in the future? How do you keep this information separate from others in your tree? Software programs maybe? Please enlighten me and tell me how you like to keep your research more organized. Who knows, you might have the perfect solution to my current headache!

David Cornett (November 3, 1805-January 25, 1886)
Feby Sutherland (March 15, 1808- March 5, 1885)
Married: February 22, 1826
Buried in Central Cemetery
Flat Ridge, Grayson County, Virginia
Children                       Birth                 Death            Spouse Name           Birth                Death

*Rachel  Isobel
*Nelson Anderson
Aseneth Welch
James Monroe
Polly Ann Cornett
*Lorenzy Dow
*Rose Ann Anderson
Joseph Alexander
Mitchel Moore
*Margaret Jane
*Wesley Robinson
Dudley Jackson
Virginia Evaline Livesay
*Wesley Isom
*Sarah Jane Livesay
*Barbara Evaline
Wiley Livesay
**Olive Melvine
(Died at 2 yrs, 8 months)
Nancy Levine
? Cascio
*Stephen Thomas Columbus “Doc”
Elvira Lutitia McKee Weiss
(Died at 8 months of age)

 ** Three children died young: Allen (#1), Olive Melvine (#11), and John (#14)

   *Buried at Central Cemetery, Grayson County, VA

A cousin I just recently made contact with through a genealogy source, sent the following photos of David and Feby Cornett’s home. Someone else now owns the home and has for the past 30 years or so. If you can look past all the “debris” and just look at the main structures and woodwork, you will see what it would have been like at one time. The gentleman who lives here now, apparently gives tours of this old house to the descendants of David “Blue” Cornett and Phebe “Feby” Sutherland. I wish I lived closer because I would definitely take the tour of my 3rd Great Grandparents home!

Original 4×4 boards in the house. 
These are two of the boards in which were used to build the house. 
There are 2 rooms upstairs and 2 rooms downstairs.

This is a photo of the original ceiling inside the home.

Exterior of the house and the front porch.

The stairway from the kitchen maybe?
 It looks pretty steep too but not so narrow as I thought it might be.

Original flooring. Can you imagine what these floors 
would look like if they were sanded and buffed to a shine?
A touch of varnish or polyurethane and they would be brought back to life!

Original fireplace but looks as if it was closed up for some reason.

Photo Credit: Jo Ann Leifeste

This past week, I’ve been researching and reading on my Cornett relatives even though I haven’t been posting new articles as I go along. In the beginning of the week I received a book that I purchased on Amazon’s web site, entitled, “Grayson County: A History in Words and Pictures“.
I found a few things about my family personally inside and a couple of photos also, which was very exciting. I can actually put a face to the name now. The book explains the history of Grayson County and how it came to be what it is today. 

Image Source

Among the events that happened in the 1700’s is a story, which caught my attention and it’s the legend of Caty Sage. She was kidnapped at a young age and given to Indians. Caty’s mother had been at the creek, and came back to get clothes for washing when she found her daughter was missing. Caty grew up among the Indians and even spoke their language, she even married a Chief of the tribe, so when she was eventually found some fifty years later, she needed an interpreter as she no longer knew the English language. The sad part of the story is that when she was about to be reunited with her mother, the mother was already in her elderly years, and died before she was able to set eyes on her beloved daughter. There is so much history regarding Grayson County as a whole; before white man settled here, it was the hunting ground of many different Indian tribes, not only was settling in Indian territory one of the events of the time but the families had to deal with the effects of war too. 

Today, I am still researching my Cornett family and just enjoying the time I get to spend learning about them, their hardships, their way of life, their occupations, the way they dressed and a little about how they raised their children back in the day. It is one never ending journey that I have been taking one day at a time! As a family historian, researching your ancestors will never, ever really be completed, no matter how hard you try. I can’t imagine someone saying “I’m done with my family tree!” Ummm….really? That’s nice, but HOW? I don’t even consider that a possibility! There are so many people in your tree that could be studied and their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings, for generations and generations. I just don’t see it happening like that. I don’t think my research will ever be complete, at least not in my lifetime!