|Infantry: Continental Army, 1779-1783, IV from the Library of Congress|
William Cornelius was born between 1750 and 1760. He was the son of Moses Cornelius and Anne Dodson Cornelius. He married Lettice Cargie June 5, 1774. They had eleven children: Anne (1776-1849) married Cornelius Cargill; Jesse (1778-1850) married Sarah Biggs; Elizabeth (1781-1842) married Calvin Waid; Moses (1784-1847) married Cynthia Bynum; Aaron (1786-1852) married Ellender Fortner; William (1789-1864) married Elizabeth Bethel; Champion (1792-1824) married Jane Bailey; my great-great-grandfather Beverly (1794-1880) married Nancy Euphemia Smith; Lettice (1797-1829) married Alexander Cooke; Tabitha (1800-1852) married Reuben Hays; and Abner (1802-1860) married Susan McPherson.
William served in the Continental Line of Washington's Army during the Revolutionary War in Capt. Kingsbury's Artillery, under Colonel John Lamb. William enlisted in this North Carolina Artillery Company as a Matross on July 15, 1776.
Matross was a soldier of artillery, who ranked next below a gunner. The duty of a matross was to assist the gunners in loading, firing and sponging the guns. They were provided with firelocks, and marched with the store-wagons, acting as guards. In the American army a matross ranked as a private of artillery. --Wikipedia
He served in this artillery unit until he was wounded in June, 1778.
From DAR records:
Ancestor #: A026122
NORTH CAROLINA Rank: PRIVATE
1754 PENNSYLVANIA (actually Pittsylvania County,Virginia)
7-27-1842 BLOUNT CO ALABAMA
NARA, M881, COMP MIL SERV RECS, ROLL #785
1) CAPT JOHN KINGSBURY CO OF ARTILLERY, COL JOHN LAMB
William Cornelius was already living in the old 96th District of South Carolina (now Greenville County) on March 6, 1786 when he was granted 500 acres on Checheroc River "including the improvements wherein he now liveth" (SC State Grants Vol. 9, Page 157). In the 1790 Census for Greenville County, South Carolina, William was shown as having four sons and three daughters. In the 1800 Greenville County, South Carolina Census, William Cornelius is listed with three sons under the age of 10, two between 10 and 15 years of age, two daughters under 10 with William being over the age of 45 and Lettice being between 26 and 44 years old.
In 1818 William and his family moved to Blount County, Alabama. They settled south of Oneonta in the vicinity of Chepultepec. This Cornelius family is known as one of the "Four Families" that founded Blount County. Many descendants still live there today.
William died July 22, 1842 in Blount County, Alabama. Pictures of the family cemetery can be seen here: http://home.hiwaay.net/~bobwonda/books/blountcemeteries/corneliuswm.htm
The DAR marker: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=33496420
Many thanks to +Robert Johnston and Eugene Cornelius who provided much of my information!
If you are connected to any of these families, I would love to hear from you.