Re: Wives of Dennis Corbin (1790-1876) of Virginia and Ohio
Let me start with the easiest question from your post. I don't ever look at just one census return to determine someone's approximate date of birth. The Corbin and associated family members that I have researched in Madison and Culpeper counties in Virginia gave extremely variable ages or age brackets on census returns. Death certificate ages for these families are also notoriously bad. You mentioned Rebecca Corbin nee Nicholson's age of 60 on the 1850 census. Her age was listed as 85 on the 1880 census. On her husband's census entries, Rebecca's age was listed as 16-26 on the 1820 census, and 30-40 on the 1830 census. I therefore show her birth date as circa 1795. She would then have been a minor when she married Bluford Corbin in July 1814. I am certain that Rebecca Nicholson was older than Sally/Sarah Nicholson, so Sally Nicholson would have been a minor when the bond was posted for her marriage to Dennis Corbin in 1816. If this Sally Nicholson was the same one who married William Cubbage in 1819, then the court records would indicate that she was of age by that time. In my opinion that would place her birth between 1796 and 1798. I haven't yet collected all of the census records for William Cubbage, so I can't comment on any variability in age brackets for his wife prior to 1850. For your information, Rebecca and Sarah Nicholson's parents were married about November 18, 1797.
There was no minister listed on the marriage register of Bluford Corbin and Rebecca Nicholson. There was also no minister listed on the marriage registers of Dennis Corbin and Mary/Polly Jenkins in June 1815 or Dennis Corbin and Sarah Nicholson in March 1816.
I do not believe that Dennis Corbin was legally married to Mary/Polly Jenkins in June 1815, or before March 1816, because had he been, the family members and court clerk would all have been involved in recording a bond for an impending marriage to Sarah Nicholson, which would have made Dennis Corbin a bigamist. That was and still is illegal in Virginia.
I believe that common law marriages are in effect after seven years in Virginia today. I don't have any information that indicates that it was any different prior to the Civil War, so I am somewhat suspicious of the 1850 census record that shows that Dennis Corbin had been married within the year to a Mary. Either this was a different Mary, or there was an error on the census record.