Tuesday, June 23

Tombstone Tuesday: CORNWELL-McCLELLAN

Is James amused because wife Abigail is so obviously not? Or perhaps having six sisters made him immune to the moods of the fairer sex!

The only known photo of my 3rd great-grandparents,
James & Abigail (Cornwell) McCLELLAN,
made around 1870 in Macomb, IL.

James McCLELLAN was born 27 July 1797 in Chanceford Twp, York Co, Pennsylvania, the 6th child (of eight) but second and last son of Scotland-born Robert McClellan and Elizabeth McLORG.

Abigail CORNWELL was born 14 July 1799, the fourth of eight children of Wm H. "Henry" Cornwell and Ann "Nancy" PRICE. The Cornwell children also consisted of two boys and six girls. Abigail was the first to be born outside of Pennsylvania - in Ohio, probably Brown County.

According to a grandson, Henry Cornwell "was engaged in boating". A river man. Rivers were the interstates of that era, and being the link between the East and newly-opened lands in the west as well as the Mississippi and New Orleans, the Ohio was one of the busiest.

No surprise then that Henry was killed in a riverboat collision near Maysville, Kentucky, sometime after the spring of 1805 and before 1810. By that year, Abigail's mother Nancy, with eight children in tow, had made her way back to Greene Co, PA. What a trip that must've been.

Abigail Cornwell and James McClellan married at Muddy Creek, Greene Co, about 1815. Between then and 1836, seven children arrived, four sons and three daughters. Around 1852, James, Abigail, and six of the children and their spouses moved to Industry Township, McDonough County, Illinois. Son Robert ("R.P.") and wife Margaret remained in Fayette Co, PA.

Only my gr-gr-grandparents, James and Abigail's daughter Mary (whom you met last Friday) and husband Michael CUPP, would venture farther west, to Kansas.

Letters regularly went back and forth between Mary Cupp, her McClellan siblings in McDonough Co IL, and brother R.P. McClellan in Fayette Co, PA. Studio portraits accompanied the letters at Christmas, anniversaries and birthdays. Hundreds of those letters have survived in the attic of the farmhouse handed down through several generations of R.P.'s descendants.

Abigail died in 1875; James in 1881. They and many of their grown children are buried at Camp Creek Cemetery, near Industry, McDonough Co IL.

James's side of the stone is on the left, Abigail's is on the right.

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Tombstone Tuesday is sponsored by GeneaBloggers


Dorene from Ohio said...

Great post! How wonderful to have all those letters!

JamaGenie said...

Hi Dorene! It is wonderful! A cousin was allowed to borrow a bunch to transcribe for the rest of us - most are too faded and fragile to xerox - and we had a great time figuring out who was who. Great insight into their lives and thoughts, too. The best of the lot for me - and I do have a xerox - was a letter from Mary McC Cupp on her 50th anniversary. The court house that had the marriage record burned in the Civil War, so this is the next best proof of the date I could have!

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Thank you for finding my blog. It has allowed me, to find yours!

Wonderful old photos. And marvelous that old letters were kept. What a treasure!

So happy to have found you. I'll return.

Gentle hugs,
Aunt Amelia

Meg Brookman said...

From her lamp she pours herself upon the page
Our Jama, our sage
Spinning tales of England knightly
Postcard memories coloured brightly
Witty whatnots woven lightly

One needn’t ask why she is read so keenly
Our Jama, our genie
Devotees flock in ever greater number
Drawn to words that float and never slumber
Built on fairies’ wings - and Kansas lumber

JamaGenie said...

Meg, this is fabulous! Thank you, thank you, thank you! ;D