McCorkle Family Sketches

Morton's History of Rockbridge County, Virginia - The McCorkle Family

From this history we read: "In 1745, one James McCorkle lived on a survey in Beverly Manor, Augusta County, Virginia, a few miles northeast of Staunton, between Lewis and Christian Creeks. In 1747 he and his wife, Jane, sold this tract."

Kentucky Historical Society

From here: "The American branch of McCorkles founded by James McCorkle and his wife Jane, settled at the forks of the Brandywine River in Pennsylvania in the year 1729. Each of their sons had a son named John."

James McCorkle

James, said to be the parent pioneer in American, was born about 1694 in West Central Scotland. He and his wife Jane settled at the forks of the Brandywine River in Pennsylvania in 1729. They had seven sons and each son had a son named John.

Samuel Eusebius McCorkle

Samuel and his wife, Sarah Buchanan, lived at Beverly Manor, Augusta County, Virginia; cow pasture near the headwaters of the James River.

Sarah Buchanan

Sarah was connected with the Buchanan family of which James Buchanan, the fifteenth president of the United States was a member, and which became a prominent family in Pennsylvania.

From The Clans and Tartans of Scotland by Robert Bain

"Buchanan Of Auchmar traces the origin of the clan to Anselan O'Kyan, son of the king of Ulster, who landed in Argyll about the year 1016. For his services against the Danes he received from Malcom II, the lands of Buchanan, lying to the eastof Loch Lomond. The lands remained in the possession of the family for almost seven centuries until the death of John, 22nd Laird of Buchanan, in 1862."

In the Buchanan clan there were a number of septs of different surnames.

"The clan bore their full share of the military operations of their country. They supported Bruce in his struggle for Scottish independence and the clan was represented in the seven thousand men sent from Scotland to assist the French King after the Battle of Agincourt."

"There is a Buchanan Society with headquarters in Glasgow."

Crest: A hand couped, holding a ducal cap, within two laurel trances disposed orlewise, proper.

Badge: Bilberry, oak.

War Cry: Clar Innis (an island on Loch Lomond).

Samuel and Sarah McCorkle apparently had the same roving disposition of the elder McCorkle, for they soon joined the tide of emigrants from Pennsylvania to Virginia.

Will of Samuel Eusebius McCorkle

From the copy of the will on file in the Augusta County Court Clerk's office in Staunton, Virginia.

In the name of God Amen. On the first day of September in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-five, I Samuel McCorkle, a planter of Augusta County, Virginia, being weak in body but in perfect mind and member Thanks be given to God for the same and taking to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is ordained for all men to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following that it is to say principally and first of all I recommend my soul into the hands of the Almighty God who gave it to me and my body I commit to the dust to be buried in a decent Christian manner at the discretion of my beloved wife Sarah McCorkle whom I constitute and appoint my true and lawful Executrix together with Patrick Buchanan whom I do constitute and appoint my true and Lawful Executor for that purpose and after all my debts is paid and burial expenses with what worldly Estate it has pleased God to bless me with in this life I give and dispose in the following manner Imprimis

Firstly I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved wife Sarah McCorkle the one third of my plantation where I now live on during her life and that she is to have a peaceable living in the house where I now live and have a full maintenance and further I give to my wife Sarah McCorkle one flaked cow and the old cow's heifer calf and a privilege of a house while she lives and all household furniture and at her decease all is to go to my son John McCorkle;

Secondly I give my daughter Mary McCorkle a cow any of the cows her mother sees cause to give her and she is to have a living on said place while she behaves as she has done;

Thirdly I give to my daughter Martha Caller one shilling sterling;

Fourthly I give to my son Samuel McCorkle his heirs or assigns the lower end of my plantation where he now lives and the division line of Samuel's place to come up as far as the fence now stands only leaving a lane of ten foot wide from the fence and to run across said place parallel with said fence;

Fifthly I give to my son Robert McCorkle one shilling sterling;

Sixthly I give to my daughter Sarah Chapman one shilling sterling;

Seventhly I give to my daughter Elizabeth McCorkle one shilling sterling;

Eighthly I give unto my son John McCorkle and his heirs or assigns the remainder of my plantation where I now live and my two sons Samuel and John are not to sell or dispose of the land until my wife Sarah decease and further I give to my son John McCorkle the remainder of my cattle all my house creatures and all my plantation tools and my Bible; Fourthly I give my Rifle Gun to Sarah Chapman's first son Fourthly I give to my two grand sons Samuel McCorkle and William McCorkle one shilling sterling each and lastly I revoke all other wills or Executors by me made to be void and of none effect and I do acknowledge this to be my last will and testament and to be in force the day and year first above written.

Samuel McCorkle Seal (his mark)

Signed sealed and
acknowledged in
presence of
John Wallace
Mary Buchanan
John Heizer

At a court held for Augusta County December 16th, 1788; this last will and testament of Samuel McCorkle deceased was presented in court by Patrick Buchanan and Sarah McCorkle the Executors therein named and proved by the oaths of John Wallace and John Heizer two of the witnesses thereto, and is ordered to be recorded, and said having refused to open court to take upon themselves the execution of the said will with the said will annexed, he having made oath and entered into bond with Security as the law directs.

Recorded in the Augusta County Clerk's Office, Staunton, Virginia, in Will Book 7, Page 164.

A copy Tests; signed by Deputy Clerk - Frances W. Sutton

Samuel McCorkle

Samuel, first son of Samuel and Sarah, served in the Revolutionary War.

Robert McCorkle

Robert, second son of Samuel and Sarah, enlisted in the Revolutionary War in 1776; spent the winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge; re-enlisted 1789. Robert moved with his family into Kentucky from Pennsylvania. Robert became dissatisfied in Kentucky and in 1810 he moved into Ohio in what is now Lawrence County, Ohio. He and Samuel carried nine barrels of salt. They bought 2,100 acres of land in Bear Creek, at twenty-five cents per acre.

John McCorkle

John, third son of Samuel and Sarah, was a private in the Revolutionary War. He was a rifleman in Captain James Buchanan's Company. He served at Yorktown. It is reported he was at Yorktown when Cornwallis surrendered. His National Number, taken from a D.A.R. paper, is 323562.

John married Lydia Forrest, whose father, James Forrest, lived in Orange County, North Carolina, and Virginia during the Revolution. James Forrest was a Private in Captain John Johnston's Company, in Colonel Collins Regiment of the North Carolina Militia come by John Butler BG paid for 106 days service September 8, to Dec 22, 1780.

In 1801 John McCorkle decided to look farther west. Not only was he interested in his own family, but had the interest of several other families at heart. He was sort of an agent for emigrants interested in moving into Kentucky. He surveyed land in Green County, Kentucky for a new homesite. Six years later, he moved his family and about forty others from Virginia to settle in Kentucky.

Soon dissatisfied, his brothers went to find a better place to live and were followed by John. In 1810 they moved into Ohio in what is now Lawrence County, Ohio. They carried thither nine barrels of salt. They bought 2,100 acres of land in Bear Creek, at twenty-five cents per acre.

In 1814 John went into Ohio to join his brothers and look over the country, probably planning to move his family if he found a suitable location. John's trip into Ohio proved disastrous for him. One day he took a trip into the hills around Bear Creed, probably looking for wood or meat, or perhaps a location. He met a band of "outlaw Indians" who killed him. The word "outlaw" is used to describe a few wandering Indians who did not acknowledge the law of the Indian or the law of the white man. They lived by robbery and murder. The Indian tribes were at peace with the white settlers.

William Alexander McCorkle

William, grandson of John McCorkle, was Democratic governor of West Virginia.

Captain Alexander McCorkle

From the biography of their son, Nelson Monroe McCorkle

"In 1818 the young couple (Alexander McCorkle and his wife Elizabeth Fristoe McCorkle) made their way to Missouri, locating a short time in Cooper County. Then they moved to Clay County and in 1833 were numbered among the earliest settlers of Buchanan County. Their neighbors were few and far between and the family were often troubled by Indians who came to their cabin begging. Deer, turkey and fish were plentiful near their home, and thus the larder was always supplied with fresh game in its season.

"Alexander McCorkle was very poor when locating here and in that early day disposed of his pork at $1.50 per hundred pounds. His wheat when marketed brought him forty cents per bushel, oats ten cents, corn ten cents, and potatoes sold for the same amount. It will be seen that in addition to clearing his place and battling with hardships which came to pioneers, it was very difficult to get along, to say nothing of laying by a sum sufficient to clear his place. He was very industrious and economical, however, and at the time of his decease, eighteen years later, possessed one of the best estates in his township."

Will of Alexander McCorkle

In the name of the Benevolent Father of all

I Alexander McCorkle of the County of Buchanan in the state of Missouri being in good bodily health and sound and disposing mind and memory do hereby make and publish this my last will and testament hereby revoking and annulling all other wills and codicils made by me.

First - I give and bequeath to my wife Elizabeth McCorkle all of my estate real and personal that I shall in any wise be entitled to at the time of my death, providing and it is my will that all my just debts be first paid - to have and to hold and enjoy same during the full time of her natural life according to her own free will and pleasure without let or hindrance from anyone.

Second - It is my will and I direct my estate remaining at the death of my wife be disposed of as follows:
First that one hundred dollars be given my son Uriah Jackson McCorkle and that the sum of one hundred dollars be given to my son Alexander McCorkle, that the sum of five dollars be given to George F. McCorkle and that the residue of the estate after paying the above legacies be equally divided between my children as hereafter named or to their heirs to wit: to Barbara Ann Hartman, Uriah Jackson McCorkle, Alexander Marion McCorkle, Catherine E. Wiles, Cynthia Jane McCorkle, Nelson Monroe McCorkle, and John Lovell McCorkle.

Third - It is further my will and I request that my wife Elizabeth McCorkle act as the first executrix of this will and further that she be not required to give any bond as such executrix and that she be required to give no further or other account of said estate or make any settlements relating thereto than are necessary to secure the rights of creditors.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 6th day of May A D 1851.

Alexander McCorkle
(His signature)

Benj. F. Loan
W. T. Harris
William P. Loan

The following is a copy of the abstract of the will of Alexander McCorkle from Books A and B - 1839-1857 - ABSTRACTS OF WILLS AND ADMINISTRATIONS - Buchanan County, Missouri.

"Will of Alexander McCorkle - dated May 6, 1851, Wife, Elizabeth McCorkle. My children or their heirs as follows: George F. McCorkle, Barbary Ann Hartman, Uriah Jackson McCorkle, Alexander Marion McCorkle, Catherine Wiles, Cynthia Jane McCorkle, Nelson Monroe McCorkle, John Lovell McCorkle. Exxrs., wife Elizabeth McCorkle. Wit., Benjamin F. Loan, William T. Harris, and Wm. P. Loan. Recorded 14 June 1851. (B-79) Admr. Uriah J. McCorkle. Heirs are George McCorkle, Barbara Ann Hartman, Uriah J. McCorkle, Alexander marion McCorkle, Catherine E. Wiles, Cynthia J. McIninch, Nelson M. McCorkle and John L. McCorkle. 17 September 1855 (B 355)."

The State of Missouri
County of Buchanan

Before the undersigned clerk of the County Court within and for the County of Buchanan aforesaid on this 14th day of June A D 1854 personally appeared Benjamin F. Loan and William P. Loan subscribing witness to the within and foregoing who being by the undersigned first duly sworn dispose and say that they and each of them saw the above named Alexander McCorkle subscribe his name to the foregoing instrument of writing which he published as his last will and testament that the said Alexander McCorkle at the time was of sound mind and over the age of twenty-one years and that each of these affiants attested said signature to said writing as witnesses thereto by each subscribing his name thereto in the presence of the said Alexander McCorkle and in the presence of each other which said proof is deemed by the undersigned sufficient to establish the foregoing instrument of writing as the will of Alexander McCorkle.

Benjamin F. Loan
William P. Loan

In testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand and affix the seal of said court at office this 14th day of June A D 1851.

William Fowler, Clerk

Elizabeth Fristoe McCorkle, wife of Alexander McCorkle died September 23, 1855.

"Mr. and Mrs. McCorkle were members of the Baptist Church and greatly loved by all who knew them."

"On the death of Alexander McCorkle, his son Uriah, closed up the estate and found among his tax receipts $3.65 to be the highest ever paid. The home place included four hundred and sixteen acres, all of which was excellently cultivated with the exception of eighty acres. The father was very prominent and influential among his fellow agriculturists and was ever ready to do his share in building up his community."

George McCorkle

From Genealogical Reference Builders - Newsletter, Vol. VI, No. 2:

"It was 1843 when a wagon train pulled out from Fitzhugh's Mill near Independence, Missouri, which discovered they needed a vast number of scouts. The men were organized into parties and did this job, each armed with a rifle, a shovel and an axe. This party of men made the road, the Great Oregon Trail. When the caravan of oxen teams, loose cattle and wagons and horses came after, they left the great wide road that was followed for twenty years afterward. When this train was organized, a list was prepared by J. W. Nesmith containing the names of every male over 16 years of age. With few exceptions, all reached the Williamette Valley. In the list of names was the name George McCorkle. This is believed to be a son of Alexander McCorkle.

Nelson Monroe McCorkle

Nelson was born on his father's estate in the southeastern corner of Buchanan County, Missouri. He had but little opportunity for obtaining an education as the schools of the neighborhood were often taught by teachers who knew little more than the pupils.

Mr. McCorkle had good training in farm work, and when a lad of seventeen, in company with his brother Uriah, crossed the plains to the Golden State, the trip consuming four months and twenty-four days. The brothers worked in the mines at Mud Springs for eleven months, and when ready to return home came back the Nicaraguan route.

In 1855 Mr. McCorkle drove six yoke oxen to Salt Lake City and on his return trip brought the first mail from that city to Independence, and while enroute witnessed the battle of Ash Hollow on the North Platte.

After his marriage to Rebecca Toland in 1857, Mr. McCorkle located on land near the old homestead, where he remained for two years and then moved to St. Joseph. He made his home in St. Joseph during the next twelve years. The first five years he hauled freight from St. Joseph to Denver, Colorado and Nebraska City.

He then returned to the farm and farmed property just south of St. Joseph. In 1873 he located on a beautiful estate of one hundred and twenty acres, from which he reaped bountiful crops. In 1887 he build a commodius residence at the cost of $2,500.

Mr. and Mrs. McCorkle had no children of their own, but took into their home seven children. He was a deacon in the Christian Church and much interested in Sunday School work. He was also a staunch Democrat and a member of the school board.

If you have questions about any of the information here, please contact me.