William C. Corbitt Researchsers:
For several years I have been tracking the family of William C. Corbitt, b. 1828, Alabama, d. 1903, Wood County, Winnsboro, Texas.I have seen several Corbitt postings about this family and wouldto communicate with anyone who has connected to William's ancestors.
I believe his father is John Corbitt who married Elizabeth Richards in Alabama.Please review the the attached Timeline and let me know of any findings that indicate otherwise.
RESEARCH REPORT ON WILLIAM C. CORBITT (1828-1903)
Was He a Son of John Corbitt of Upshur County, Texas?
The best evidence available indicates that John Corbitt (born c. 1804) of Montgomery County, Alabama, Coosa County, Alabama and Upshur County, Texas was the father of William C. Corbitt (born 1828) and James Corbitt (born c. 1830). The following evidence is provided to support this conclusion.
1. The 1830 Census for Pike County, Alabama lists John Corbet, one male, age 20-30 (b. ca.1803) with 2 males, age 0-5 (William age 2 and James age 1-7 months), with one female age 20-30 (wife, Elizabeth Richards).
2. On 8 Apr 1837, John Corbitt, of Montgomery County, Alabama, patented 40 Acres, in the Sw 1/4 of the SE 1/4 and 40 acres in the SE 1/4 of the SW 1/4 of Section 33, Township 22N, Range19E, Coosa County, Alabama. He sold this 80 acres on 12 May 1838.
3. On 1 Dec 1838, John Corbitt patented 40 acres in the NW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of Section 4, Township 21N, Range19E from Moses P. Ray for $150 and established his home on this tract. He later purchased 15 Acres on the west side of this tract and Patented 40 Acres in the SE 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of Section 4, Township 21N, Range 19E which connected to his original tract on the south west corner to make a total of 95 acres.
4. The 1840 Census for Coosa County, Alabama lists John Corbet, one male age 30-40 (b. ca.1803) with 1 male, 5-10 (James age 10), 1 male 10-15 (William age 12), 2 females 0-5, 2 females 5-10, 1 female 10-15 and one female 30-40 (wife, Elizabeth Richards).
5. In 1844, William Ray and his father, Joseph Ray (John Corbitt’s neighbors and relatives of Moses P. Ray in Item 3 above) sold their land and migrated from Coosa County, Alabama to Upshur County, Texas and settled at Enon (about 10 miles northwest of Gilmer, Upshur County, Texas).
6. On 28 Sep 1845, William Corbitt (age 17) married Mary Elizabeth Kinney. (Coosa Co, AL, Marriage Records, Book A, page 206).
7. On 17 Mar 1846, Henry Lee secured a judgement for $110 against John Corbitt and the judgement was secured by a lien on John Corbitt’s 40 acre tract that contained his residence.(Coosa County Deeds, LGM 102, Reel 4, Book E, p. 329-330.
8. On 3 Dec 1847, John Corbitt and wife, Elizabeth Corbitt sold the three tracts, consisting of 95 acres that contained his residence, to Zacheus Powell for $400. (Coosa County, Alabama, Deed Book F, p. 323-324)
9. On 5 Feb 1849, Peter Corbitt, (brother of John Corbitt) administrator of the estate of Lott Corbitt, deceased,.
…“makes oath that John Corbitt and James Corbitt, heirs of said estate, reside in Texas.” (Volume D, page 83-84, Orphan’s Court Minutes, Pike County, Alabama) This is probably John Corbitt (b. ca.1803) and his brother, Dr. James Corbitt (b. 1830). This indicates that John Corbitt probably migrated to Texas with his family including his son, James Corbitt, in 1848. John Corbitt has not been located in the 1850 Census for Alabama or Texas.
10. William C. Corbitt is found on page 24, family # 464 in the1850 Census for Coosa County, Alabama.
11. On 1 May 1850, William Corbitt, Patented 40 Acres in the SW1/4 of the NE 1/4 of Section 33, Township 22N, Range19E in Coosa County, Alabama. This tract is adjacent to the tracts in Item 2 that were purchased by John Corbitt in 1838 and about one mile from the John Corbitt’s home on the tract in Item 3.
12. On 8 Feb 1851 - William Corbitt and wife, Mary E. Corbitt sold their 40 acre tract purchased in Item 11 to A. C. Morgan for $75. (Coosa County Deed Book G, p. 233-234)This sale was probably made in preparation to migrate to Upshur County, Texas to join John Corbitt.
13. In 1851, James Corbitt, son of John Corbitt, and probably a younger brother of William C. Corbitt, had a son born in Texas. (Based on his age as 9 in 1860 census for Wood County, Texas.) This indicates that James Corbitt probably migrated to Wood County, Texas with his father John Corbitt in 1848.
14. In1853, William and Elizabeth Corbitt’s son, John H. Corbitt, was born in Alabama. (Indicated as age 7, born AL, in the 1860 Census for Wood County, TX, page 385, family # 534).
15. Family tradition was that William C. Corbitt’s wife, Mary Elizabeth Kinney Corbitt, drowned while crossing Mississippi River during their migration from Coosa County, Alabama to Wood County, Texas in 1853.
16. In1854, William C. Corbitt married Martha “Patsy” Cassells in Wood? County, TX.
17. On 28 Sep 1854, William Corbitt purchased a preemption claim for 312 Acres in northeast Wood County, Texas from Richard C. Burnett for $40.00. This claim is about two miles west of the Upshur County line. (Texas GLO file Nac-3-3875)
18. On 7 Feb 1857, John Corbit was issued a 3rd Class Preemption Certificate for 160 Acres in Upshur County, Texas for settlement before 26 Aug 1856. (Survey: John Corbit, Grantee: John Corbit, Survey #129, Abstract #104, Patent #196, Volume #27, issued 26 Sep 1959) This claim is located about 15 miles southeast of William C. Corbitt’s Wood County preemption claim listed in Item 17. This claim is in Upshur County near the Wood County line.
19. John Corbitt not found in the 1860 Census for Upshur County, Texas. It is possible that he died before 1860.
20. John Corbitt’s sister, Sophia Corbitt Smith, migrated to Upshur County, Texas about 1859 where her husband, Dread Smith died in 1860.
21. On 26 Jul 1869, in the estate distribution of James Corbett, father of John Corbitt, the following item is listed…“to heirs of John Corbett who reside in Upshur County, Texas, whose names are unknown.” (Montgomery County, AL Estate Papers LGM 96, Reel 43). This indicates that John Corbitt was deceased before 26 Jul 1869 and it is speculated that his heirs were his wife, Elizabeth Richards Corbitt, and his sons, William C. Corbitt and James Corbitt, who were living near John Corbitt in Wood County, Texas.
22. About 1870, James Corbitt was appointed as administrator of the estate of John Corbitt in Upshur County Probate Book B page 470-473.
23. On 7 May 1872, Owen S. Davis, administrator of the estate of Elizabeth Corbitt, was ordered by the District Court of Upshur County, TX to sell the160 acre Headright, Patented by John Corbitt, at the Court House door. The highest bidder, James Corbitt, purchased the 160 acre John Corbitt Survey for $154.00. This deed was recorded in the Upshur County deed book, pages 626-8 on 3 May 1873.
24. Case file #18 was assigned for the estate of John Corbitt and Case file #21 was assigned to for the estate of Elizabeth Corbitt. The existing Upshur County Case files start at #29 because the first 28 Case files were destroyed when the Upshur County Court House was burned in 1879.
25. On 23 Sep 1874, James Corbitt, of Wood County, TX, sold the 160 acre Headright, Patented by John Corbitt, to Walker Fore for $250.00.
26. The 1880 Census for Wood County, Texas, lists William Corbitt (b. AL, age 51) and James Corbitt (b. AL, age 50) in consecutive households in Precinct 6, page 321D. Both list their father’s and mother’s birthplace as SC. It is probable that they were both living as neighbors in William Corbitt’s 312 acre tract listed in Item 17.
27. The similarity of naming patterns for the children of William Corbitt and James Corbitt demonstrated below provides additional evidence that they are probably brothers.
William Clayton Corbitt named a son Seaborn Corbitt (b. c. 1851)
James Corbitt named a son Seaborn Corbitt (b. 28 May 1865)
William Clayton Corbitt named a son James W. Corbitt (b. c. 1854)
James Corbitt named a son James William Corbitt (b. 12 Mar 1857)
The preponderance of evidence provided in the above items leads to the conclusion that William C. Corbitt (born 1828) and James Corbitt (born c.1830) are the sons of John Corbitt (born c. 1804). The ages of John Corbitt’s children in the 1830 and the 1840 Census are consistent with the evidence. In 1850, William C. Corbitt settled on land one mile north of John Corbitt in Coosa County, Alabama. The migration pattern for the Ray family from Coosa County, Alabama to Upshur County, Texas in 1844 was repeated by John Corbitt in 1848, by William C. Corbitt in 1853 and Sophia Corbitt Smith in 1859. This is consistent with the typical pattern of relatives and neighbors migrating to the same area because because of glowing reports written back home about the new farm land. All of the above families settled in the same area northwest of Gilmer, Upshur County, Texas.
There is very good evidence that James Corbitt is the son of John Corbitt because he was appointed as administrator of John Corbitt’s estate. He was also the successful purchaser of John Corbitt’s 160 acre head right in the estate sale. There is also very good evidence that James Corbitt is the brother of William C. Corbitt because they are living in adjacent households in the 1880 Wood County Census. The best evidence to prove the relationship between John Corbitt and William C. Corbitt is Case file #18 for the estate of John Corbitt and Case file #21 for the estate of Elizabeth Corbitt. However, both files were destroyed in 1879 when the Upshur County Court House burned.