Father: Phillip Russell, Jr.
Mother: Rebeckah Russell
Spouse: Alfred Alexander Cornett - b: 1/Jul/1818
- Climes Branch, Grayson Co., VA
d: 7/Aug/1905 - Elk Creek, Grayson Co., VA - bur: Alfred Cornett Family Cem.
m: 13/Apr/1837 - Elk Creek, Grayson Co., VA
Child-1: Hezekiah Russell - b: 22/Jun/1838 - Elk Creek,
Grayson Co., VA
d: 11/Nov/1891 - Greenwood Co., KS
m: Elvira M. Stamper - 18/Aug/1859 - Elk Creek, Grayson Co., VA
2: Lucinda Jane - b: 1842 - Elk Creek, Grayson Co., VA
m: Martin W. Nelson - 21/Jan/1858
3: Sarah Elizabeth or C. - b: 11/Jun/1843 - Elk Creek, Grayson Co., VA
m: Peter Bean - 11/Nov/1859 - m: William Martin - 4/Oct/1865
m: Joel Spicer - 26/May/1875
4: Rosamond Emilene - b: 8/Oct/1845 - Elk Creek, Grayson Co., VA
d: 30/Aug/1895 - Wilkes Co., NC - bur: New Covenant Baptist Ch. Cem., Hays
m: Aaron K. Carrico - 1866 - Ashe Co., NC - m: Joe Gambill
5: Reuben William or Wesley - b: 14/Jan/1847 - Climes Branch, Grayson Co., VA
d: 8/Jun/1898 - Grayson Co., VA - bur: Alfred Cornett Family Cem.
m: Emily (Emaline) Wingate - 28/Aug/1876 - Grayson Co., VA
6: Fleming Elroy - b: 1849 - Elk Creek, Grayson Co., VA
d: 7/Aug/1908 - Grayson Co., VA
m: Nancy E. Taylor - 31/Aug/1870 - Grayson Co., VA
m: Lucy L. Parks - 17/Apr/1872 - Grayson Co., VA - div: 6/Apr/1876
m: Laura Ellen Sutherland - 23/Apr/1884 - Grayson Co., VA
7: William Christian Armond - b: 28/Feb/1851 - Elk Creek, Grayson Co., VA
m: Margaret *****
m: Mary Caroline (Callie) Smoot - 23/Oct/1874 - Elk Creek, Grayson Co., VA
8: Stephen M. T. - b: 5/Jun/1853 - d: 9/Apr/1854 - Elk Creek, Grayson Co., VA
9: Helena Adaline - b: 8/Feb/1855 - Elk Creek, Grayson Co., VA
d: 1/May/1921 - bur: Sixteen Acre Field Cem., Grayson Co., VA
m: William Stamper - 24/Dec/1871
10: Orlena Evaline (Arlene) - b: 11/May/1857 - Elk Creek, Grayson Co., VA
m: Lafayette M. Lawes - 6/Aug/1874 - Elk Creek, Grayson Co., VA - div: ?
m: William Hardin Spicer - 3/Mar/1882
11: Celia Alice Victoria - b: 21/May/1859 - Elk Creek, Grayson Co., VA
d: 3/Dec/1951 - Grayson Co., VA - bur: Rhudy Cem., Elk Creek
m: Aaron Lafayette Brewer - 6/Aug/1874 - Elk Creek, Grayson Co., VA
12: Martha Jane - b: 11/Sep/1861 - Elk Creek, Grayson Co., VA
m: John N. Burton - 11/Sep/1881 - Smyth Co., VA
13: Rebecca (Becky) Izadora or Elizabeth - b: 11/Jun/1864 - Elk Creek, Grayson Co., VA
d: 1947 - Charleston, WV
m: Jeremiah Sanders or Poe - 1880 - Elk Creek, Grayson Co., VA
Elizabeth Russell, known familiarly as “Betsy”, was the daughter of Philip, Jr., and Rebeckah Russell and was almost certainly born in Grayson County, Virginia. Her exact birth date is not known; however, taking into account later census records and the birth of her younger brother, James, in January of 1823, it is most likely that she was born in the fall of 1821. She was married to Alfred Alexander Cornett in Grayson County on April 13, 1837. They were the parents of at least thirteen children and apparently settled near Elk Creek, residing in this locality for most, if not all, of the remainder of their lives.Source Notes and Citations:
The household of Alfred and Elizabeth Cornett appeared in the population schedule of the 1850 US Census for Grayson County and in addition to Alfred and Elizabeth themselves, included their six oldest children, viz., Hezekiah R., Lucinda J., Sarah C., Rosamond E., Reuben W., and Elroy F. Clearly, these names are in close accord with the accepted names of the children given by independent family sources. Moreover, the corresponding 1860 population schedule confirms four younger children, William C. A., Adaline, A. Evaline, and Celia A., in addition to Rosamond A., Reuben W., and Fleming L., who were listed previously in the 1850 population schedule. (Clearly, Elroy F. and Fleming L. were the same individual, but his names have been inverted in agreement with later usage and “L” was written erroneously as the proper initial for “Elroy”.) Furthermore, it is evident that the census record is in good accord with accepted marriage dates prior to 1860 for the three oldest children, who were, hence, not living in their parents’ home. Within this context, compiled birth and death records of Grayson County reveal the existence of another son, Stephen M. T., who was born in 1853 and died at the age of ten months due to “disease of the head”. Unfortunately, considerable confusion exists concerning subsequent children of Alfred and Betsy Russell Cornett.1 Indeed, several family researchers have proposed another daughter, Rebecca Elizabeth, born June 11, 1854, who likewise died before the census was taken in 1860. However, the birth register of Grayson County indicates that Alfred and Elizabeth Cornett were, in fact, the parents of a daughter, Elizabeth, born June 11, 1864, i.e., exactly ten years later than the proposed birth date. Moreover, in addition to older children who appeared in previous census records of 1850 and 1860, the 1870 population schedule indicates two additional daughters for Alfred and Elizabeth Russell Cornett, viz., Martha and Rebecca, nine and six years of age, respectively.2 It would seem obvious that Elizabeth and Rebecca must correspond to a single individual, perhaps named, “Rebecca Elizabeth”. Concomitantly, such a coincidence of names and dates can hardly be accidental and it further seems safe to conclude that this daughter’s birth date has been recorded or transcribed incorrectly in some secondary source; hence, the putative daughter born in 1854 is very likely spurious. These issues are further confused by the same researchers who have proposed yet another putative daughter, Becky Izadora, born about 1860, who later married in Grayson County, and died in Charleston, West Virginia, in 1947. However, there is no indication of this daughter in contemporary census or civil records. This suggests that either Becky Izadora Cornett actually had different parents and has been misidentified as the daughter of Alfred and Betsy Cornett or that she and Rebecca Elizabeth can also be identified as one and the same individual. The second alternative is, perhaps, the more plausible one, since “Becky” is the traditional diminutive of the given name “Rebecca” and there appear to be at least two other instances in this family of children having been given three names. Hence, she was perhaps named “Rebecca Elizabeth Izadora” or some variation of this. Even so, it is entirely possible, perhaps even probable, that as others have suggested, Alfred and Betsy had additional children that died in infancy.
According to the work of Jeffrey Weaver, Alfred Cornett and his oldest son, Hezekiah, served with Confederate forces as members of the Grayson County Militia during the Civil War. However, he further indicates that Reuben Cornett, another of Alfred’s sons, enlisted on June 30, 1864, and served in Company I of the Second West Virginia Cavalry.3 This was a loyal Federal unit originally organized in Ohio in 1861, which subsequently fought in the mountains of West Virginia and then in the Shenandoah Valley under the command of General Phillip H. Sheridan from August 7, 1864, to the close of the war. It is not known why Reuben would have joined Union forces; however, by 1864 it is likely that Confederate sympathies, which had never been too strong in Grayson County, had substantially weakened. In any case, according to the 1863 Land Tax List for Grayson County, Alfred Cornett was assessed tax on five hundred and ten acres of land located on the “Head of Elk Creek”, eight miles northwest of the courthouse. The land was valued at two dollars per acre and the buildings were valued at one hundred dollars. At present, this valuation might seem small; however, in the 1860’s it would have been substantial.
Alfred Alexander Cornett died on August 7, 1905 and Betsy died in 1907. They are reportedly both buried in the Alfred Cornett Family Cemetery in Grayson County. Alternatively, it has also been reported that they moved to Wilkes County, North Carolina, after the Civil War and that Elizabeth Russell Cornett was buried in the New Covenant Baptist Church Cemetery at Hays. However, census records do not support this presumption.
1. Ms. Linda Cuff-Cornett as well as Shirley Ramos and Pat Kratz include Rebecca Elizabeth Cornett as the ninth child of Alfred and Betsy Russell Cornett and indicate either implicitly or explicitly that she died as an infant. In addition, the both include a second Rebecca (or Becky) born about 1860. For the reasons cited above, it is likely that there was only one daughter named Rebecca born June 11, 1864. In addition, Ramos and Kratz among others also propose two daughters named Celia, one of whom died as an infant and the other who survived to adulthood. Again, there is little or no documentation to support this and it is likely that the non-surviving one is spurious. Nevertheless, it is quite likely that Alfred and Betsy did have one or more additional children that died in infancy. Indeed, this was not at all an unusal occurrence in the nineteenth century. However, any name or names, if even given, are not known, but family tradition concerning this may be the source of confusion.
Additional minor discrepancies that are worth attention include: 1) Ramos and Kratz give January 14, 1847, as birth date and Wesley as the middle name of Reuben Cornett; Ms. Cuff-Cornett gives William as his middle name and his birth date as November 1, 1847. Although not conclusive, census records are more consistent with the earlier date; 2) Ramos and Kratz and many others give 1908 as the year that Fleming Cornett died; Ms. Cuff-Cornett gives the year as 1911; however, neither Fleming nor Elroy Cornett appeared in the 1910 census, which would indicate the earlier date; 3) Ramos and Kratz give November 5, 1857, as the birth date of Orlena Cornett; Ms. Cuff-Cornett gives May 11, 1857; Grayson County birth records definitively agree with the earlier date; 4) Ramos and Kratz give 1861 as the birth year of Martha Cornett; Ms. Cuff-Cornett gives 1863; census records clearly indicate the earlier year.
In addition, Ms. Cuff-Cornett makes the additional comments: “Alfred Alexander Cornett also signed important documents with the name ‘Canute’. Land deeds were signed with both name variations on the same document; example Cornutt, Cornett or Canute, Cornutt, Cornett. Alfred Cornett inherited 300 acres of his father’s property (Reuben Cornett) and became a major farmer/rancher in the Elk Creek, Grayson County, Virginia area.”
“Vital data was verified against public records; Virginia and Grayson County census, personal and property tax records, property deed information, birth, death and marriage records and military records. Alfred Cornett was mentioned in a book sponsored by the Grayson County Historical Society, Grayson County: A History in Words and Pictures, 1979. The book verified his occupation and referred to some of his ancestors (pioneers of Grayson County, VA.).” (Linda Cuff-Cornett; database - :1016706; worldconnect.genealogy.rootsweb.com, 2002.)
back to bio.
2. Jeffrey C. Weaver and James J. Stamper, “Annotated 1870 US Census Population Schedule for Grayson County - Elk Creek District”, Grayson County Hist. Soc., P. O. Box 529, Independence, VA, 24348, 2003.
“307. Cornett, Alfred 54 Farmer 1500 1075
(Russell) Elizabeth 38
Fleming 21 Farm Laborer 300
Wm. A. 19 Farm Laborer
Martin, William 42
(Cornett) Sarah 27
Celia E. 3 KY
Bean, Lovelace (m) 7
[Family 62, 1860 Grayson Co., VA Census. Alfred Alexander Cornett, s/o James Cornett, Md. (1) Mary Elizabeth Delp, d/o John Delp on 2/6/1832 and Md. (2) Elizabeth Russell, d/o Philip & Rebecca Russell, 4/13/1837. James Cornett was s/o David Cornett & Polly Cooper. David Cornett was s/o James Cornett, Jr. s/o James Cornett, Sr. the pioneer. Alfred Cornett’s son, Hezekiah Russell Cornett., was living in Wilson District, household 37 in this census. Hezekiah Cornett md. Elvira M. Stamper, d/o Ephraim Stamper. Lucinda J. Cornett Md. Martin M. Nelson 1/21/1858, family 51, Wilson District; Sarah C. Cornett Md. (1) Peter D. Bean 11/11/1859, Md. (2) William Martin, s/o Rial Martin & Elizabeth Vaught, 10/4/1865 and Md. (3) Joel Spicer 5/26/1875. Lovelace Bean was s/o Sarah and Peter Bean. Son, Reuben Wesley Cornett Md. Emily (Emaline) Wingate 8/28/1876. Elroy Fleming D. Cornett Md. (1) Nancy Taylor 8/31/1870 and Md. (2) L. L. Parks 4/17/1872. Daughter Helena Adeline Cornett Md. William Stamper, s/o Elizabeth Stamper, 12/24/1871. William Christian Armond Cornett md. (1) Margaret ... and md. (2) Callie Smoot; Orlena Eveline Cornett Md. (1) L. M. Laws 8/6/1874, they divorced, she Md. (2) William H. Spicer 3/3/1882. Daughter Celia Alice Cornett Md. Aaron Brewer 8/6/1874. Daughter Martha Cornett Md. John N. Burton 9/11/1881. Rosamond Cornett b. 1845 md. Aaron K. Carrico. A son, Alfred Stephen Cornett was born 6/5/1853 and died 4/9/1854 of heart disease and daughter Celia V. Cornett died young. William Martin may be the same as found in Family 85 in the 1860 Grayson Co., VA Census. Alfred Cornett served in the Grayson Co. Militia, CSA.]”
“363. Carrico, Aaron 29 Farmer 350
(Cornett) Rosamond 26
[Aaron Carrico served in the Grayson Co., Militia and in Co. C, 63rd VA Infantry CSA. Aaron G. Carrico. b. 1841 d. 1872, s/o James C. Carrico & Elizabeth Shuler probably md in NC to Rosamond E. Cornett b. 1845 d. 1895, d/o Alfred Cornett & Elizabeth Russell. Alfred & Elizabeth moved to Wilkes Co., NC and Elizabeth is buried in the New Covenant Baptist Church Cemetery. After Aaron’s death, Rosa moved to Wilkes Co., NC and md. Joe J. Gambill. Aaron & Rosa’s children were: Laura E. Carrico who m.d Benjamin R. Spicer in Wilkes Co., NC; Virginia D. Carrico who md. Nathan Harden Gambill, Jr. s/o Nathan Hardin Gambill & Sailla Kennedy; and Emerson H. Carrico who may have moved to Seattle, WA. Rosamond also had twins, Elisha & Robert Gambill.]”
“367. Cornett, Reuben 23 Farmer 300 330
Billings, Wm. 18
[Reuben Cornett, s/o Alfred Cornett (b. 1818) & Elizabeth Russell Md. Emaline Wingate, d/o Wright Wingate & Elizabeth Wyatt, 8/28/1876. Alfred Cornett was s/o Reuben Cornett & Celia Pennington. Reuben & Emily Cornett’s children were: Rosa Cornett md. Blair Sutherland; Elizabeth Cornett md. Steve Bennington; Eula Cornett md. Nora Mitchell; Martha Cornett md. Baxter Blevins; Lissie Cornett md. Kyle Taylor; Ollie Cornett md. John Parks; Julia Cornett md. Malcom Jurnigan; Sally Cornett md. Loy Poe; Nannie Virginia Cornett md. Alex Phipps; and Robert Wesley Cornett.]” (Jeffrey Weaver (tr), New River Notes, www.newrivernotes.com/va/1870ecdi.htm, 2003.)
back to bio.
3. Jeffrey Weaver summarizes the military service of Alford (Alfred), Hezekiah, and Reuben Cornett as follows:
“CORNETT, ALFORD, 41, Farmer, 1860 GCC HH#62, Grayson Militia, Co. I, 51st VA, Enl. in 1863. PWR only. Age 54, Farmer, 1500, 1075, 1870 GCC.”
“CORNETT, HEZEKIAH: 22, Farmer, 1860 GCC HH#69, Grayson Militia, Co. C, 63rd VA Inf., Enl. 5/6/63 at Saltville. Deserted 7/1/63 at Saltville. Farmer, Age 32, farmer, 1870 GCC.”
“CORNETT, REUBEN, Co. I, 2nd WV Cavalry. Enl. on 6/30/64. Age 23, Farmer, 300, 330, 1870 GCC.”
(Jeffrey Weaver (tr), New River Notes, www.newrivernotes.com/va/grcwa-f.htm, 2001.)
back to bio.
4. 1850 US Census Population Schedule for Grayson County, Virginia, National Archives, Washington DC: pgs. 213B-214A, (microfilm roll - M432_947; imgs. 110-111).
5. 1860 US Census Population Schedule for Grayson County, Virginia, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 9, (microfilm roll - M653_1348; img. 10).
6. 1870 US Census Population Schedule for Grayson County, Virginia, National Archives, Washington DC: pgs. 155B-156A, (microfilm roll - M593_1649; imgs. 311-312).
7. 1880 US Census Population Schedule for Grayson County, Virginia, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 374A, (microfilm roll - T9_1368; img. 184).
8. 1900 US Census Population Schedule for Grayson County, Virginia, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 37A, (microfilm roll - T623_1710; img. 543).
9. Register of Births, 1853-1870, Grayson Co., VA, pgs. 1, 11, 26, 43, and 52, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA, (microfilm: roll - City and County Records #19). (Billie White and Ginger Ballard (comp), Jeffrey Weaver (tr), New River Notes, www.newrivernotes.com/graysonrecords/GraysonBirthrec1853-79A.html, 2003.)
10. Register of Deaths, 1853-1870, Grayson Co., VA, pg. 2, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA, (microfilm: roll - City and County Records #19). (Jeffrey Weaver and Ginger Ballard (comp), unpublished, 2003.)
11. Grayson County Land Tax List of 1863, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA, (microfilm: roll - Land Tax Records #456). (Jeffrey Weaver (tr),“Grayson County - Eastern District”, New River Notes, www.newrivernotes.com/va/gc63edtl.htm, 2003.)
12. Shirley Campbell Ramos and Patricia Campbell Kratz, Descendants of Phillip and Rebecca Russell, Gregath Publishing Company, P. O. B. 505, Wyandotte, OK, 74370, 1997: pgs. 133-42.
13. Henry Hardy Catron, The Kettenring Family in America, 1619 N. 19th St., Springfield, IL, 1956. (Reprinted by Unigraphic, Inc., Evansville, IN)
14. Joseph J. Sutton, History of the 2nd West Virginia Cavalry, Blue Acorn Press, P. O. B. 2684, Huntington, WV, 25726, 1993. (reprint of original 1892 edition)
15. Ancestral File: JJNT-D7, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, UT, continuously updated.
Return to Index