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One of our earliest families

The Cornwell family with Stratton and Ewing connections

Meet one of this community’s first families with connections to Ewings and Strattons.

These are children of Stephen Anderson Cornwell and Eliza Jane Coulter Cornwell.

Front row from left, Andrew Thomas Cornwell, Nancy Orelia Cornwell, Josiah L., Sara Ellen and William.

Second row from left, Daniel, John Wilson, Stephen Anderson, Frances Jane and Mary Ellen.

We are aware of the following marriages in this family. These details were provided in 1983 in an interview with the late Rolland Stratton.

Andrew married Esther Ann Crawford

Nancy married Marion Settlemire

Josiah married Clara Reamly

Sara married George Duffman

William’s first wife was Sara Lucas; his second wife was a Mrs. DeMoss,

his third wife was Adaline Matilda Trewkesbury

Daniel married Rachel Yeagly

John married Josephine Ewing

Stephen married Anna Golden

Frances married Asa Stratton

Mary Ellen married Thomas Dunlap.

Some possible family history

An unmarked pioneer grave, more than 100 years old, believed to be one of the earliest graves in the community was discovered in Cannonsburg cemetery, according to a story in a 1927 issue of The Bluffton News.

The account follows this way: A pewter plate bearing the inscription “Frances Cornwell, died 1814, aged 84 years” together with remains of a casket and human bones were uncovered as a grave was being made in Cannonsburg cemetery for Harvey Williamson, Civil war veteran who died last week.

Although dimmed by 113 years in the ground, inscription on the metal plate is distinctly legible, according to G.W. Combs, local undertaker.

With the plate were found remains of what was undoubtedly a walnut casket together with a softer wood probably used as a lining for the interior. The grave was unmarked and its existence was previously unknown.

Old residents declare that the grave was made before the present cemetery was laid out and for that reason it was not platted on the cemetery map.

The grave when made more than a century ago was evidently a spot fenced off on a pioneer farm which served as a burial place. When it is remembered that the grave was made 20 years before the first settlers came to Bluffton, the early date is apparent.

Family connections of Frances Cornwell have not been definitely established. However, it is supposed that she was one of the ancestors of the Cornwell relationship which is still found residing in this section. According to the dates of her age and death on the pewter plate, she was born in 1730.


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