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.

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.