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   The second family of Mrs. LILLIAS JACINTH (BURTON) KETCHUM [Reference] began with her marriage to GEORGE RILEY McCORKELL on 7 November 1883 in Cherokee, Kansas. She had been widowed two years after Col. Asa C. Ketchum had passed away in 1881. Lillie and her family had been living in Neodesha, Kansas, when she was widowed. In 1883, Lillie still had at least four younger Ketchum children in the home. Her stepson, Harry C. Ketchum, was eleven; Minnie, her oldest daughter, was eight; Elizabeth was five and Hester was three.

   George Riley McCorkell had been married twice, his first wife was MARIA DAUGHERTY (died in 1855, Orange Co., Indiana) and his second wife was JANE O'LEVA GIFFORD (1836-1880). His first two wives had given birth to ten children, two died in infancy, JAMES died in 1879 and LYDA MAY died in 1886, which left six children. In 1883, George Riley's older children were already mature enough to be out of the home and most likely some were already married. SAMUEL RUDOLPHUS was already thirty years old, ISAIAH JEROME was twenty-five, IDA ELNORA was Twenty, MARY ADALINE was nineteen. His youngest were SARAH JANE at fifteen and GEORGE GIFFORD at seven.

   George Riley and Lillias Ketchum combined their two families and lived on a farm near Scammon, Kansas the majority of their twenty-seven years of married life (1883-1910). They had an additional six children, but only four lived to be married adults: JOHN FRANKLIN (1884), RILEY BURTON (1887), LILLIAS CATHERINE (1890) and CLAUDE ERIC (1892). In his last year, George Riley and Lillie purchased a house in Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri. This was to be his last home, as he passed away on 23 March 1910 and was buried in Joplin.

   Researchers are still discovering facts about George Riley McCorkell's early life. We know he was the youngest son of ANDREW CHARLES McCORKLE, born circa 1800 in Kentucky, and MARY ANN CRABTREE, born in Illinois and died around 1830. They had five children: SUSANNA (ca 1823, IN), SAMUEL (ca 1824, KY), two unknown children and GEORGE RILEY (1830, IN). Mary passed away around 1830 and Andrew's second wife was MALINDA TINCHER. Their children were JAMES M. (1835 (IN), JOHN (1836, IN) and possibly an unknown female. Malinda passed away before Dec 1837 in Lawrence County, Indiana. Thirdly, Andrew married CHARLOTTE PITTS 28 Dec 1837 and their children were: CHARLOTTE (ca 1838, IN) and VALENTINE (1842, IN). Andrew (ca 1800) passed away before December 1849 in Orange County, Indiana. Indenture records suggest that widow Charlotte McCorkle tried her best to provide a good preparation in life for her children.

   Of course, GEORGE RILEY McCCORKLE/McCORKELL was the issue of most interest and consistent with the theme of this book; however, information on his siblings SUSANNA (ca 1823) and SAMUEL (ca 1824) have also been presented. George first married MARIA DAUGHERTY, who died in 1855 in Indiana. His second wife was JANE O'LEAVA GIFFORD and she later passed away in 1881 in Kansas. Then in 1883, his third wife was Mrs. LILLIE KETCHUM.

   Family research usually begins with those small collections of photographs and announcements that someone in each family has accumulated. The most important collection to the descendants of George Riley McCorkell was that accumulated by George's wife, Lillias, and left in the care of her oldest son, John Franklin McCorkell (1884). It's surprising just how much information this collection has presented, a sample of which is the following.

   "Andrew Charles McCorkell, born in Kentucky, lived to be 60 yrs of age. Married Mary Anna Crabtree. She was born in I'll, died in Indiana near Orange Ville. Don't know how many children were born to them but Geo. Riley McCorkell was the youngest. Father & Mother both died before he was old enough to remember them. Geo. R. McCorkell was born May 3 1830 near Orangeville in Orange Co. Ind. . . . had a sister Susan . . . wounded at Battle of Lookout Mt.

   "First Marriage. Geo. R. McCorkell married Mary A. Daugherty, had one child Samuel Rudolphus. She died Jan, 1855. Second Marriage. Geo. R. McCorkell married Oleva Gifford. They had eight children: Thomas, Jerome Isiah, Ida Elnora, Mary Adaline, Sarah Jane, Charles Andrew, Geo. Gifford & Lyda. Thomas, Mary Adaline, Chas. Andrew & Lyda are dead to date [25 Feb 1912]. Third Marriage. George Riley McCorkell married Lillias Jacinth Burton Ketchum in Cherokee, Crawford County, Kansas, Nov 7, 1883. . . ."

   Many have attempted to research the McCorkle/McCorkell surname but few have completed their goals and published their results. Probably the most recognized researcher has been Rev. Louis W. McCorkle, who lives in Hannibal, Missouri. He attempted a very broad research focus and placed many ancestral lines into a genealogical perspective in his 1982 book, From Viking Glory - The McCorkle Family. As is usually the case, in addition to his own direct research, he also compiled research provided by others who researched their own specific McCorkle lines. Inez Line Warf, of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, is also reputed to have been an in depth McCorkle researcher. Mrs. Jane Ledermann is one who persistantly used more of an intermediate focus on various McCorkle lines and generously gave copies of her research to those with interest, including Rev. McCorkle. Finally, one of George R. McCorkell's descendants should be recognized for his long-term interest and possibly research into a narrower focus of primarily the 'McCorkell family' history. Darrell McCorkell, of Boonville, California, has maintained an interest in family history and genealogy for a number of years, has had a goal of writing a book, but due to health and other complications, has been unable to complete this life's goal. Inspite of this, he has communicated his genealogical facination at family picnics, sent family pedigree summaries upon request and generally motivated interest within the family. Special appreciation is also given to the Orange County Genealogical Society in Paoli, Indiana. They provided copies of available documentation on Andrew Charles McCorkle's family. Assistance was also provided by numerous genealogical societies (California, Kansas, Missouri) and many individuals, too numerous to mention.

   Information has been presented in this chapter on George (1832) and three siblings. The remaining book chapters have each been designated for George & Lillie's surviving children. Finally, the last chapter has been reserved for McCorkle 'cousins' in Oklahoma, who recognized that they have shared the same ancestors and were somehow related to George Riley McCorkell



   The early McCorkle/McCorkell historical section of this first chapter is a survey or summary of the available ancestral information of GEORGE RILEY McCORKELL, as well as some other relatives that will place the data into perspective. The McCorkle surname was researched by Rev. Louis W. McCorkle and placed into as much perspective as he could with available information. He published his findings in his 1982 book, From Viking glory: The McCorkle Family. He tried to validate a 'three-brother-McCorkle-immigrant' theory but was unable to validate that James, William and Samuel McCorkle, who immigrated to America between 1730-1750, were brothers. He researched and compiled existing information and demonstrated that McCorkles lived in eastern Pennsylvania; western Virginia, North and South Carolina. Eventually, one group of descendants migrated westward to Ohio, Kentucky and northwestern Missouri. It should be noted that after the Civil War George Riley McCorkle (1830) began accepting his recorded surname as 'McCorkell.'


   Family history reports that the McCorkle family came from Scotland. They apparently were part of the large Scotch-Irish immigrations to America during the 18th century. After reviewing existing genealogical literature, it is easy to see that there are two popular spellings of the surname existing today -- McCorkle and McCorkell. It can be see that these two different spellings are phonetically pronounced the same and it is reasonable to assume that most likely, the two different spellings were derived from the same source.

   Rev. Louis W. McCorkle believed "the surname McCORKLE, meaning "son of Thorkel," had its origins with the Norsemen who began raiding Scotland and other parts of Europe about the year 800 A.D." He stated that "Mac" means "son of" and was probably introduced by Norsemen who attacked the coasts of Scotland. Two possible surnames he proposed were: "THORKEL and THORKETIL." In a contraction theory, he proposes that some believe McCorkle is a shortened from of "MacCorquodale." Others believe the name was derived from Icelandic sagas and eventionally "son of Thorkel" (Thor Ketil) became McCorkle.

   Most descendants want to know if there is any relationship to nobility or royalty in their ancestry. We can only repeat the information about the McCorquodale Barons, Lairds of Phantilands. They lived in Tromlee Castle on a small island in Loch Tromlee "near the present village of Kilchrenan in County Argyll." As with most nobility, their descendants are clearly recorded for positive identification. Available documentation does not support a romantic conclusion that our current McCorkle/McCorkell family is related to these early Barons.

   The father of the three McCorkle northern Irish emigrants, James, William & Samuel McCorkle, who were possibly born in Scotland, is still unknown. Louis McCorkle has speculated that the father's name may have been Alexander McCorkle or even possibly Alexander McCorquodale. Needless to say, this remains to be proven.

"Conclusions drawn from undocumented reports on these immigrants suggest that they were brothers, and that they were born in Scotland. One report says that JAMES [-1] and WILLIAM [-1] were brothers; another, that James came from Scotland; another, that SAMUEL [-1] and his brother came from Scotland. The name of their father is not known, but William and Samuel each had a son named "ALEXANDER," and these appear to have been firstborn sons. It was a common custom to name the firsborn son after his paternal grandfather. If the immigrant brothers followed this custom when they named their firstborn sons, we can hazard a guess that their grandfather's name was "Alexander." May be the same as Alexander McCorquodale.

"ALEXANDER McCORQUODILL: "in Auchnacreive, within the parochine of Kilchrennan and dio(cese) of Argyll"; died Nov. 1673 or "thereby"; married Mary McPhaill; brother of Duncan McCorquodill; his will names Mary and Kathrein McCorquodill and John McCorquodill as creditors. In his will, "he appoints his son Duncan McCorquodill to be his Executor, and the Baron of McCorquodill to be oversee his administration." Issue: Duncan McCorquodill.."


   Louis W. McCorkle reports family tradition described three brothers who immigrated to America. He researched the three adult McCorkle American immigrants: JAMES-1 (ca 1700, Argyll, Scotland), WILLIAM-1 (ca 1700) and SAMUEL-1 (ca 1700). Louis McCorkle estimated the corresponding dates of birth for all three adults but is not positive that they were related to each other. He made a valiant effort in recording existing McCorkle information and placed it in perspective. Unfortunately, he was not able to validate the 'three-brother immigrant theory.' He recorded many McCorkle relationships but frequently had to present an aggregate of McCorkles. He identified McCorkles living in Waxhaw Settlement (SC), Augusta Co. (VA), Mecklenburg Co. (NC), Rowan Co. (NC) and Chester Co. (PA).

   JAMES-1 McCORKLE was positively identified in Brandywine Creek, Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1729. He was reported to have been born in 1694 (or about 1700) in Argyll County, Scotland. He immigrated to America in 1729. James McCorkle and his wife Jane came from Scotland and eventually had seven sons. It is believed that one of James-1's sons, SAMUEL-2, married SARAH BUCHANAN.

"We estimate that James was born about 1700 in Argyll County, Scotland; one report gives the date as 1694. He came to America in 1729, where he settled on the forks of the Brandywine Creek in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He is said to have had seven sons, each of whom had a son named John. The headwaters of the Brandywine rise about where those of Octoraro Creek rise. It is interesting that several younger McCorkles lived in this area, and this ties in with reports that the McCorkle family first settled on the forks of the Brandywine in Chester County, Pennsylvania. . . .

"During the Revolution GEORGE, JAMES, ROBERT and ARCHIBALD McCORKLE (McKorkill, McCorkhill, etc.) served in the Chester County militia of Chester County, Pennsylvania. . . .

"Whether James McCorkle [-1] of the Brandywine ever moved to Augusta County, Virginia, as is claimed in one of the above accounts, is uncertain. . . . Most of the documents which mention a James in the period with which we are concerned refer to [a] younger James."

WILLIAM-1 McCORKLE (ca 1700) was reported to have immigrated to Philadelphia in 1730. Not much documentation was available to validate William's travels in early Pennsylvania.

"[William [-1]'s probable great-grandson stated they] emigrated . . . from Pennsylvania and that they were of the Scotch-Irish stock, who fled to this continent from British persecution."

"[O. F. Morton wrote:] In about 1730 WILLIAM MacCORKLE came to America. He landed at Philadelphia and moved down to the Valley of Virginia and Southern Ohio. He was engaged in the Indian wars in what is now western Virginia. He had a son, ALEXANDER-2, who purchased from Archibald Alexander, executor of Benjamin Borden, the tract of land known as the "MacCorkle Farm" on North River. Alexander-2 conveyed one half of this farm to his son JOHN-3.

"William McCorkle, who engaged in the Battle of Point Pleasant [Capt. John Murry's Company from Botetourt], was the son of Alexander McCorcle (McCorkle) who had his American origin in Pennsylvania, in the Scotch-Irish reservoir of the Cumberland Valley, among the other Scotch-Irish, who, emigrating to the Valleys of the Shenandoah and James, became the very seat of culture and the greatest factors in Virginia's power, and gave that state her prominence in the sisterhood of states. In the spring of 1774, Wm. McCorkle was making preparations to emigrate with a great body of Virginians to Kentucky . . .[and after the war] returned to Rockbridge County to the lands he held near Lexington, and which had continued in the possession of his descendants until 1894.

   SAMUEL-1 McCORKLE (ca 1700) was noted to have lived in Paxtang, Pennsylvania, which was one of the Scotch-Irish settlements according to Louis McCorkle. In 1932, Samuel Judah wrote the following:

"[McCorkle family tradition states:] Two brothers, ALEXANDER and SAMUEL [-1] McCORKLE, natives of Scotland, went from that country to Ireland, where they had an uncle living. After a short time in Ireland, they came on a ship to America. Samuel settled in Paxtang, Penn. 1735. He brought with him his son, Alexander [-2], a boy who was born in 1722. Upon the ship he made the acquaintance of a girl Margaret Montgomery, who afterwards became his wife."

   Louis McCorkle quotes Morton when he suggests it is "highly probable" that JAMES [-2] and ROBERT [-2] of the Waxhaw Settlement were the sons of two brothers, JAMES [-1] and WILLIAM [-1]. He also provides other data that implies a relationship by inference but is not totally factual. He concludes that they are probably related as they all immigrated to America about 1729 or 1730 and that all three were of the same generation. Louis McCorkle's book was primarily interested in the descendants of Robert-2 McCorkle of Waxhaw, the probable son of William McCorkle-1.

   This book is primarily interested in the ancestors and descendants of the SAMUEL-2 McCORKLE (b ca 1720's, lived in Augusta Co., VA) who married SARAH BUCHANAN. The documentation in the Louis McCorkle book does not allow a definitive conclusion as to Samuel's parentage. (1) At one point the data states, "one of James' sons, Samuel, married Sarah Buchanan." This data was taken from Annals of Augusta County Virginia. To clarify the above, immigrant JAMES-1 McCORKLE (of the Brandywine) married Jane and had seven sons, one of whom was named SAMUEL-2 and married Sarah Buchanan. (2) At another point in his book, Louis McCorkle states, 'SAMUEL McCORKLE: possibly the son of William McCorkle [-1], and brother of Alexander [-2] of Lexington and of James and Robert of Waxhaw. It remains for future researchers to clarify whether three brothers, JAMES-2, ROBERT-2 and SAMUEL-2 McCORKLE, are the sons of immigrant WILLIAM-1 McCORKLE (ca late 1690's) or the sons of immigrant JAMES-1 McCORKLE-1 (ca 1729).

   SAMUEL-2 McCORKLE (b ca late 1720's) was living near Staunton, Augusta County, Virginia by 1749 and married SARAH BUCHANAN before 1759. She may have been the daughter of John Buchanan, who lived four miles away. He lived about six miles away from two possible sons of WILLIAM McCORKLE-1, JAMES-2 and ROBERT-2 McCORKLE. Samuel was noted to have purchased land in 1772 from Thomas Lewis. Samuel made his will on 5 September 1785 and it was probated on 17 Dec 1788 in Augusta Co., VA. He named his wife, three sons and four daughters: SAMUEL-3, ROBERT-3, JOHN-3, MARTHA-3, SARAH-3, MARY-3 AND ELIZABETH-3. The three grandchildren were: SAMUEL-4, WILLIAM-4, daughter SARAH-3 CHAPMAN's first son. Executors were SARAH (Buchanan) McCORKLE and Patrick Buchanan.

   SAMUEL-2 McCORKLE's sons were well represented in the American Revolution. SAMUEL-3 (1759) enlisted in Oct 1777 in the Augusta County Militia and in Oct 1780 he was in Capt. Patrick Buchanan's company, under Gen'l Morgan, and fought in 1780-81. He applied for his pension in 1832 from Green County, Kentucky. ROBERT-3 (1760) enlisted at age 16 Oct 1776 at Staunton in Capt. Michael Bowyer's company, 12th Regt, Continental Line. He was in Philadelphia in 1777, Brandywine and Germantown, 1777-78 at Valley Forge. He reenlisted in 1780 and fought at Ninety-Six and at Eutaw Springs. He applied for his pension in 1832 from Lawrence County, Ohio. JOHN-3 (1753) was in Capt. Buchanan's company from Augusta Co., Virginia. He was killed in 1814 by Indians probably in Lawrence Co., Ohio, before he could apply for his pension.

   It should be noted that several of Samuel McCorkle's descendants continued westward into several states, some of which were, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Iowa and Kansas. George Riley McCorkell, settled in southeastern Kansas and southwestern Missouri.



   There have been several variations on the early McCorkles, Scottish immigrants to America, but Rev. Louis McCorkle published a fair analysis in his 1982 book, From Viking Glory: The McCorkle Family. The possible origins of the name were discussed, as well as its possible relation to nobility. Like so many of our ancestors, it's unclear whether the McCorkles came directly from Scotland or first lived for some years in Ireland. In any event, several McCorkles had immigrated to Philadelphia and three of them were: JAMES-1 (1694, Scotland), who immigrated in 1729 to Brandywine Creek, Chester County, Penn.; WILLIAM-1 (ca 1700), immigrated to Pennsylvania ca 1730; and SAMUEL-1 (ca 1700), Scottish emigrant who lived in Ireland before going to Paxtang, Pennsylvania in 1735. The theory that these McCorkles were brothers was unable to be proven. Two may have been brothers and one a cousin but this remains to be validated. As this book is more concerned with descendants of SAMUEL-2 (ca 1720) who married SARAH BUCHANAN, at this point it is unclear whether he was the son of James (1694) or William-1 (ca 1700). An excerpt from an early 1934 newspaper article tells us what we want to hear but the sources haven't been cited.

   "One of the sons of JAMES and JANE McCORKLE [of the Brandywine] was named SAMUEL, and it is his branch of the family with which we are particularly interested here. Samuel married Sarah Buchanan and in this way the McCorkles became connected with another notable family, the Buchanan family of which James Buchanan, the fifteenth president of the United States was a member, and which, of course, has become a prominent family in Pennsylvania. Samuel McCorkle and wife apparently had the same roving disposition of the elder McCorkles, for they soon joined the tide of emigration from Pennsylvania to Virginia."

   "The branch of the family this article is concerned with is the progeny of SAMUEL McCORKLE, son of JAMES who married SARAH BUCHANAN. SAMUEL moved down the Shenandoah valley to the headwaters of the James River six miles from Staunton, Virginia. The plantation was known as Beverly Manner located in Augusta County on Cow Pasture Creek. SAMUEL and SARAH BUCHANAN had four daughters and three sons. The sons were: JOHN, ROBERT and SAMUEL. SAMUEL Sr. died in 1788. SARAH died soon after."

   SAMUEL-2 settled in Staunton, Augusta County, Virginia around 1749 and married Sarah Buchanan before 1759. Other McCorkles were known to live nearby. Samuel remained in the area and made out his will in 1785, which named his wife and seven children: Sarah and SAMUEL (1759), ROBERT, JOHN (1753), MARTHA, SARAH, MARY and ELIZABETH. SAMUEL-3 (1759) was born 25 Feb 1759 in Augusta County, Virginia and later served in the Revolutionary War. He enlisted in 1777 in the Augusta County Militia and in 1780 was in Capt. Patrick Buchanan's company under General Morgan. He later applied and received his military pension in 1832. He migrated to Green County, Kentucky after the war and died in 1840. His 1840 will was probated in 1840. ANDREW CHARLES-4, one of eight children, was born ca 1789 in (probably Green County) Kentucky. In 1822 he married MARY (Polly) ANN CRABTREE in Green County, Kentucky. They later migrated to Orangeville, Orange County, Indiana.

   The serious McCorkle researcher would be well advised to purchase a copy of Rev. Louis W. McCorkle's book and not rely upon this very abbreviated and abstracted version of early McCorkle history. The intent of this brief historical survey was simply to present a clearer understanding of the possible origins and migrations of the early McCorkles. If one desired to continue McCorkle research, the issues are fairly obvious. (1.) How many McCorkle immigrants came to America?; (2) Where did they live before immigrating? (3) What relationship did the McCorkle immigrants have to each other? (4) And finally, who was Samuel-2's (ca 1720) father and grandfather?


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