Happy Birthday, Obediah Basham (b. 1760)

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One of my 4th great grandfathers was Obediah Basham, who was born on April 7 in 1760 (or 1758, according to some records) in Cumberland County, Virginia. He was a Revolutionary War soldier and there is a lengthy pension file about him (I still need to transcribe it). Numerous folks have used him as entree into the DAR. He has a FindaGrave page, but no photo of his gravestone in Kentucky (his wife’s is available and it is crudely engraved). Obediah’s daughter Delilah married into the Corley family.

SNGF: Ancestor Name Roulette

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It’s been a while since I posted, period. And now, two in one day? But I finally have a chance to play along with Saturday Night Genealogy Fun and so here we go for this week. The mission from Randy Seaver:

1) What year was one of your great-grandfathers born? ┬áDivide this number by 50 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your “roulette number.”

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an “ahnentafel”). Who is that person, and what are his/her vital information?

3) Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the “roulette number.”

4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook status or a Google Stream post, or as a comment on this blog post.

5) If you do not have a person’s name for your “roulette number” then spin the wheel again – pick a great-grandmother, a grandparent, a parent, a favorite aunt or cousin, yourself, or even your children!

It took me a while to find an ancestor whose birth year, divided by 50, matched a number on my Ahnentafel chart that I had filled in.

So, I started with Richard Corley, my 7th great-grandfather. He was born in 1670, which led to a roulette number of 33 (most of the rest of the 30s on my Ahnentafel chart are not filled in, sadly).

33 is Delilah Basham, my 3rd great-grandmother. Here are three facts about her:

1) Her name is one of my favorites among my ancestors. Delilah was the downfall of Samson in the Bible. These days, she’s the subject of a hit song by the Plain White Ts. I’m fascinated that her parents chose that name for her. Her father’s name was Obediah, one of my other favorite names among my ancestors.

2) She was born in 1785 in Bedford, Va., according to the preponderance of secondary sources I’ve been able to find. This area of Virginia has very few surviving original records due to fires at county courthouses and other repositories (and not all were due to the Civil War either).

3) She married Jonathan Cheatham Corley and together they had 13 children, including my 2nd great-grandfather, Benjamin William Franklin Corley, and his twin brother, Henry William Washington Corley. Delilah and Jonathan are buried together in a Corley family cemetery in Shelby, Ill.

Happy Birthday, Andrew Jackson Corley

Andrew Jackson Corley (crop of photo from page 186 1/2, A Genealogy of Corleys by Dewitt C. Corley (1927)).

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My 2nd great-grand uncle Andrew Jackson Corley was born this day in 1829. He was married twice and fathered no less than 20 children. His parents were Jonathan Cheatham Corley and Delilah Basham. I found his picture in the book A Genealogy of Corleys, which states:

“He was the next to the youngest son, a farmer, with but limited education, but was regarded as a man of honor and uprightness. He lived and died on his farm, three miles north of Herrick, Illinois, and is there buried, in what is known as the Corley Cemetery, with his wife and several children. He was reasonably thrifty. He was a member of the Masonic Fraternity, and served in the Federal Army during the Civil War. He was twice married. His first wife was Harriet Jones, to whom he married August 5, 1847.”

What a wealth of information! After looking up his Civil War records, I found the pension information for the applications filed by him and his second wife, so I need to try and find that the next time I’m at NARA. His second wife was Sarah Jane Wooters, whom he married shortly after Harriet’s death around 1872. He died 5 September 1893.

Benjamin William Franklin Corley

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Today, July 12, is the anniversary of the death of my second great-grandfather, Benjamin William Franklin Corley in 1891. So, I thought I would list what I know about him:

- While he was born in Kentucky, he spent most of his life in Shelby County, Illinois
– He had a twin brother, Henry William Washington Corley
– His parents were Jonathan Cheatham Corley and Delilah Basham (Delilah’s father, Obediah, is my ticket into the DAR, eventually)
– He was a farmer and a “local preacher” with the Methodist Episcopal Church, but transferred to the Free Methodist Church after a dispute with the local minister of the former church
– He married Lois Wakefield in 1842
– He passed away at his wife’s funeral — here is the story from A Genealogy of Corleys (page 150):

“While the service was being conducted, Mr. Corley leaned his head over on the shoulder of his son Joseph*, and expired. The further service was adjourned, and a joint service for both of them afterwards was conducted.”

*Joseph was my great-grandfather.

Thanks to A Genealogy of Corleys, I have a picture of Benjamin and Lois.

July 12 also is the anniversary of the death of my grandmother Ida Bole (Hill) Corley in 1943. I’ve written about the Hills extensively.

SNGF: A Prolific Dad

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Here is tonight’s challenge from Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings:

“1) Determine who is one of the most prolific fathers in your genealogy database or in your ancestry. By prolific, I mean the one who fathered the most children.

2) Tell us about him in your own blog post, in comments to this blog post, or in comments on Facebook.”

The most prolific dad that I’ve found so far in my direct line is Jonathan Cheatham CORLEY, my GGGgrandfather. He had 13 children and they are notable for two reasons (in my mind):

1) all survived into adulthood (this is unusual, from what I’ve seen, for kids born in the early 1800s; they were born between the years 1805-1831)

2) all had the same mother (Delilah BASHAM, who lived until 1848, when she died at the age of 63)

I’m lucky to know quite a bit about Jonathan thanks to my copy of A Genealogy of Corleys. Jonathan was a blacksmith born in Bedford County, Va., in or around 1783. He moved with his growing brood to Kentucky before settling in Shelby County, Ill.

In A Genealogy of Corleys, the author relates that Jonathan went by the nickname Grandser (probably a contraction of Grand Sire, according to the author — how appropriate!). He served as a justice of the peace and apparently performed quite a few marriages in Shelby County (I need to make a note to look for records of this!).

The author of the book notes that it’s unusual that he couldn’t find more of a record of Jonathan — he states:

“Mr. Corley lived in the time when there was little opportunity for education, and while he was as stated, a Justice of the Peace, which shows that he was able to read and write and keep records, doubtless this was done in somewhat primitive style. Yet, this renders it all the more strange that he left no fuller account of himself and his father [Caniel Corley]. It was reputed that he kept a family record, but after his second marriage [to Elizabeth DAVIS, which produced no more children], if such a record ever existed, it passed out of the hands of his children and has not been recovered.” (pages 8-9).

Jonathan died 30 October 1861 and is buried with Delilah in a Corley family cemetery in Shelby County, Ill.

A Genealogy of Corleys was written in the 1920s and I’m hoping that with today’s increased availability of resources, I may someday have more luck finding information about Jonathan.

Memorial Monday: Ancestors Who Served

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In honor of Memorial Day, here’s a quick run-down of my military ancestors:

My dad — US Army Reserves; Korean War, WWII (pictured left with his brother, Edmund, who served in the Navy)

Grandpa Wild — U.S. Army

Grandpa Corley — Iowa Infantry; Spanish-American War

Obediah Basham (my 4Ggrandfather) — Revolutionary War (I haven’t submitted a DAR application yet because I’m still collecting the necessary documentation, but others have)

I’m betting that I also had ancestors on one or both sides of the Civil War, but I haven’t collected/found proof of this yet.

Tombstone Tuesday (A Day Early)

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To make up for my lapse over the weekend in posting Saturday Night Genealogy Fun a day late, I’m posting for Tombstone Tuesday a day early. Besides, I won’t be around tomorrow night to post it then.

I don’t have a picture (yet) of the grave site of Obediah Basham in Breckinridge Co., Kentucky, but in researching this line of my family tree on WorldVitalRecords.com, I came across his entry on the Find a Grave web site: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=12624487

Obediah is one of my great-great-great-great grandfathers. His daughter, Delilah (I love their names!), married Jonathan Cheatham Corley.

At least according to this site, Obediah Basham fought in the Revolutionary War (I haven’t had a chance to investigate the veracity of this yet). It’s interesting to see who has left notes on this site in his memory. Who are they and what are their connections to Obediah? Are they my distant relations? At least one of them says they are related to him.

I’ve done some preliminary investigations into the Basham (sometimes Bassam) line. There are a few books mentioning Obediah, Delilah and a few of their possible forebears. There’s a whole mess of confusion as to who Obediah’s parents may be — on familysearch.org, there are no less than three possible sets and the potential fathers are all brothers. Another blogger genealogist had the excellent suggestion of investigating the brothers’ wills, which I hope to pursue soon.