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William Jesse Cornett
and Mary Ann Everage

William Jesse Billy Cornett b abt 1761 Henrico Co VA d 26 Nov 1835 Cornettsville, Perry Co KY; s/o John Canute and Mary Elizabeth Bacon Mosley. William Jesse Billy Cornett m. 1796 Sullivan Co TN to Mary Ann Everage b 5 May 1770 NC d 28 Jan 1852 Masons Creek, Perry Co KY; buried Edley Cornett Cemetery, Cornettsville, Perry Co KY; d/o Abner Everage and Mary Stacy. Children of William Jesse Cornett and Mary Ann Everage;

1. Mary Cornett b abt 1797 VA; m. 8 Jan 1818 Clay Co KY to Robert S Brashear b 13 Apr 1793 Sullivan Co TN d abt 1864; occupation, manufaturer of salt, owned Leatherwood Salt Work, Perry Co KY; s/o Samuel Brashear and Margaret Elkins. Robert S Brashear m. (2) to Mary Everage b 1797 VA.

2. Robert Bustard Cornett b 17 Jan 1798 VA

3. Margaret Cornett b 1799

4. Samuel Cornett b 4 May 1809 Bull Creek, Perry Co KY

5. Nancy Ann Cornett b 24 Dec 1803 TN

6. Roger Cornett b 6 Jan 1805 Bull Creek, Perry Co KY

7. Rachel Cornett b 10 Feb 1807 Floyd Co KY

8. Nathaniel Woolery Cornett b 2 Apr 1811 Clay Co KY

9. Joseph Enoch Cornett b 28 Apr 1814 Cornettsville, Perry Co KY d 30 May 1891 Dry Fork, Letcher Co KY; buried Sandlick, Letcher Co KY; m. 1837 to Sarah Brown b 23 Apr 1815 d 19 Apr 1892; buried Sandlick Cemetery, Sandlick, Letcher Co KY; d/o John Quincy Brown and Elizabeth Caudill.

William Jesse Cornett
and Rhoda Gilliam

William Jesse Billy Cornett b abt 1761 Henrico Co VA d 26 Nov 1835 Cornettsville, Perry Co KY; s/o John Canute and Mary Elizabeth Bacon Mosley. William Jesse Billy Cornett m. 7 May 1790 Washington Co VA to Rhoda Gilliam b 1772 Augusta, VA d 15 Apr 1796 Perry Co KY; d/o William Martin Gilliam and Elizabeth Ellis. Children of William Jesse Cornett and Rhoda Gilliam;

1. Archibald Cornett b 12 Jan 1789 VA d 24 Feb 1873 Leatherwood, Perry Co KY; m. 8 Jun 1812 Clay Co KY to Judah McDaniel b 1789 VA d 21 Mar 1872 Perry Co KY.

2. Lucy Cornett b 12 Jan 1789 VA d 1861; m. 17 Jun 1813 Clay Co KY to Woolery Eversole b abt 1796 NC d 4 Sept 1871 Perry Co KY; s/o Jacob Eversole and Mary Kessler.

3. John Cornett b abt 1794 d 8 Jan 1854 Perry Co KY; buried Carr's Fork, Perry Co KY; m. 15 Jan 1818 Carr's Fork, Perry Co KY to Rachel Smith b 1800 Perry Co KY d 1871; d/o Isaac Smith nd Frankie Childers.

4. Elizabeth Cornett b 1795 VA d 1865; m. William C Campbell b 1794 VA d 22 Jun 1874 Letcher Co KY; s/o William Jesse Campbell and Nancy Ann Couch.

Source of the Following:

William CORNETT came from Buncombe Co., NC. He emigrated to Virginia when his wife died. He had children as follows: Nathaniel, Roger, Joseph, Archibald, Robert, Mrs. Woolery EVERSOLE, Jeff who moved to Indiana, Jackson County, also Samuel Who died where Hindman [Knott Co, KY] now stands, Rachel who married John CAUDELL.

Genealogy of William Cornett's family by his first wife Rhoda Gilliam. William Cornett born in Henrico County, Va., A.D. 1761, died in Perry County, Ky. Nov. 26, 1836.

He was the son of John Cornett. While a resident of Buckingham County, Va., in 1779 he enlisted in the Revolutionary War and served six month (sic) in Capt. Anthony Winston's Company, Col. Scripps Va. Regiment. In 1780 he re-enlisted as a private, and served six months in Capt. Saunders Co. Col. Pattersons Va. Regiment. He was allowed a pension on his application executed Aug. 12, 1833. (W6723) [p. 2] He first married Rhoda Gilliam and to them were born four children:

John Cornett
Arch Cornett
Lucy Cornett
Elisabeth Cornett.


About the year A.D. 1796, William Cornett and Gideon Ison came from Virginia to Ky., on a hunting expedition, as game had become scarce in that part of Virginia in which they lived. They had been informed that there was lots of bear, deer and other game in Ky., so they decided to come and see; though they were a little fearful as they often heard that [36] there were still roving bands of Indians in that part of Ky. where they had heard that the bear and deer were; but the temptation was so great that they could not resist, so they began to prepare to make the trip. After gathering their equipment which consisted of corn meal, ax, long-handle skillet, hunting knife, powder, bullets, pouch, flints, blanket and flintlock rifles they put their packs on their horses and started for the "Happy hunting ground." When the two hunters crossed over the Big Black Mountains into "Kaintuck" they became more fearful of the Indians as the name "Kaintuck" made them think more about what they had heard, of the "Dark and bloody ground" but they were too much determined to make the trip to back out so they kept on their way. After two or three days travel they came to the mouth of Beech Fork on Big Leatherwood, Perry County, Ky. At this point there are some twenty or thirty acres of level land which was covered with the finest timber they had ever seen and they saw signs of plenty of game, so they decided to set up their first camp in Ky. While preparing their supper the hunters talked of the beautiful level land and of the feasibility of bringing their families and living in Ky. Their only question was whether or not corn, potatoes, beans and other vegetables [37] would mature in this country. They felt pretty sure that all their native crops would mature but to be sure they decided to cut down a beech tree and come back the next month of June and if the bark on the tree had bursted from the effect of the sun that would be a sure sign that all their native crops would mature.

Early next morning the hunters arose very much enthused with the prospects of the new country. One of them decided to cut down the beech tree while the other prepared their breakfast. After breakfast they decided to make an extended hunt for bear and deer as this kind of game was the cause of their coming to Ky. After hitching their horses securely to Leatherwood bushes which were growing thick in the Beech Fork bottoms they started out for the days hunt; one going up the creek and the other down the creek in order to explore all the country possible on that day. Gid Ison had not traveled more than two hours when he came upon a smouldering fire. After investigating the surroundings it was obvious that Indians had encamped there the previous night. So the first thought that entered Ison's mind was the danger of being scalped and killed by the Indians, so he did not hesitate but retraced his steps as fast as he could [38] back to his horse as he put great confidence in his horse carrying him out of danger.

After returning to his horse he began to think about his friend and companion; he knew that he was fleet footed and alert; in everly respect able to compete with most any redskin single handed, but this thought did not relieve him of the great fear he was under; he was fearful of the Indians capturing him or murdering him in any way they could; he finally decided to wait for him at the camp until dark and if he did not come by the time the first star appeared in the sky he would mount his horse and start for his home in Va. So he tramped about his horse the remainder of the day; such a day of worry he had never known; waiting, watching and hoping that he might see his companion coming into camp.

At last the dark shadows of night began to gather around him, he slowly unhitched his horse and leaped upon his back; he thought that his companion could be lost in the thick wooded country so he decided to leave his horse and all the camp equipment and go home. So the time had come that he had set to start back to his Virginia home; he could now see the first star. He turned in his saddle to scan the direction that he was expecting his companion to come and to his great pleasure he saw him coming toward him some distance away so he dismounted and [39] hitched his horse the way he had left him that morning and acted as if he had suffered no uneasiness; he did not want his companion to know he had acted so silly; he never would have acknowledged it had he not been caught up in it.

William Cornett or "Billie", as he was called by his family and friends, came into camp with a small deer on his back which he had killed that evening. Usually when a hunter killed a deer they would skin one front leg and one hind leg from the ankle to the knee and take the bones out and tie the legs together and carry them shot-pouch fashion so this was the way "Billie" was carrying the little deer. Soon after "Billie" Cornett came into camp he began to prepare the venison for supper. Ison stood by not having much to say, the great strain that he had labored under for the last six or seven hours had left him almost speechless. At last Billie Cornett broke the silence by asking this question. "Gid what was you on that horse for awhile ago? Gid Ison then knew that Billie Cornett had seen him on his horse and he then began to talk freely, telling about the Indian sign and that he had imagined that they had killed him and that he was aiming to start for home soon as he saw the first star; then Billie Cornett broke into the conversation saying "Damns to hell if I didn't see one's head stuck over a log today". He said that [40] the Indian was in front of him as he was coming toward the camp and that he walked straight ahead pretending that he did not see the Indian until he passed him, then he started to run; after running a short distance, he looked back to see if the Indian was after him and saw him running at high speed in the opposite direction.

So they prepared and eat supper very quietly and then began to pack their camping outfit preparatory for an early start for home next morning. The thought that the Indians might attack them during the night was so impressed on their minds that they did not try to sleep but sat quietly by their packs all night and when the light of day began to show on the eastern sky they mounted their horses with their scanty belongings and were immediately on their way back to their Virginia home. We have no history of their returning to the Beech Fork bottoms to see if the bark on the Beech tree which they had cut down had bursted but we do know that they soon came back to Kentucky and that Gid Ison settled on Line Fork in Letcher County and William Cornett settled at the mouth of Bull Creek in Perry County. Around 1804, Sam and his wife and four children, plus several slaves, followed the trail of his brother William into Kentucky. (Judge Joe Cornett is the youngest son of William Cornett). They built a cabin near Big Branch, on Line Fork, in what is now Perry County. There, they raised seven boys and two girls.

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