My 3rd G-grandfather is James C. Cornelius 1790-1870.
He married Jane Campbell in Ohio and then moved his family to Iowa.
Family history states he was a veteran of the War of 1812.
The 1850 Ohio Census record is not clear as to James C. Cornelius’ place of birth – is it Va or Pa?
While researching the Veteran records here at the Genealogy Center I found information on a James C. Cornelius who served two-tours in the Virginia Militia from Lancaster County, Virginia. (Virginia Militia in the War of 1812 – From Rolls in the Auditor’s Office at Richmond, pp 416 & 424.)
Further, I found James C. Cornelius was mentioned in two different records regarding his father’s (William Cornelius) Revolutionary War service. (Revolutionary Soldiers and Sailors From Lancaster County, Virginia 1706-1792, pp. 34-35 & 38.) The documents provide his father’s name and branch of service during the Revolution and all of William’s children and spouses – James C. Cornelius, Bailey L. Cornelius, West & Sarah/Sally Cornelius and John & Jane George and son John George, Jr. I found the marriage bonds of the children (The Marriage License Bonds of Lancaster County, Virginia from 1701-1848, page 16.) which provided the dates of Sarah’s marriage to West Cornelius and Jane’s marriage to John George and also confirmed James C. Cornelius married Sally James in 1819 and Anna Walker in 1841.
My excitement turned to disappointment. I began to review and verify my information.
Reviewing the 1850 Ohio Census and comparing to the 1860 Iowa Census records, it was clear that grandfather James C. Cornelius was born in Pennsylvania not Virginia. He married Jane Campbell about 1816 in Ohio. From each census it was clear James and Jane had children born in Ohio prior to 1841.
My James C. Cornelius from Pennsylvania was NOT the same James C. Cornelius from Lancaster county, Virginia
There is no doubt that James C. Cornelius of Lancaster county, Virginia served in the 92nd Regiment on two different occasions during the War of 1812. His father served from Virginia in the Revolutionary War.
I still don’t know if my James C. Cornelius was a veteran of the War of 1812. Further research of Pennsylvania and Ohio Militia records is needed to verify or discount the family story of his veteran status.
This experience has re-emphasized the need to check, re-check and verify each detail. By assuming the 1850 Census place of birth was Virginia, and failing to check the 1860 Census, I spent time researching an individual who was not my grandfather.
LESSON LEARNED –
Be careful in annotating your information.
Don’t rush to conclusions.
Verify every detail.
You will be rewarded, not disappointed.