The Peregrinations of Robert McCorkle. His grandmother Martha Finley Montgomery's Finley Princeton University Connection. His uncle Rev. Joseph Montgomery (1733-1794), a brother of "Nancy" Agnes Montgomery McCorkle and a brother-in-law of Dr. Benjamin Rush.

The Piedmont of North Carolina--at the foot of the mountain:

The above map is courtesy of; © 2000 Microsoft Corp.

The Peregrinations of Robert McCorkle (who died in Dyer County, West Tennessee, in April, in the spring of 1828):


               We know that Robert McCorkle was born in North Carolina in Rowan-Iredell County (Iredell County was carved out of Rowan in the year 1788), although his eldest sibling(s) had been born in the Harrisburg (Paxtang) area of colonial Pennsylvania. We know Robert was born to Scots-Irish immigrant parents Alexander McCorkle, 1722-1800, & “Nancy” Agnes Montgomery, who are said to have emigrated from Northern Ireland on the same ship.  Alexander & Nancy Montgomery McCorkle came with their parents, first, to Harris Ferry, Pennsylvania--now Harrisburg in Dauphin County but then lying in Lancaster County.  Then, we think but are not certain, they removed to the area of Lexington, Virginia, in Rockbridge County, where some of the McCorkle relatives remained. Then, the parents of Robert removed to the Piedmont of North Carolina near Salisbury and Statesville, coming down the Great Wagon Road of the 18th century. They attended church and are interred at Thyatira Presbyterian Church near Salisbury. "Nancy" Agness Montgomery McCorkle predeceased her husband Alexander McCorkle in 1789, and he died in 1800. Alexander's 2nd wife, not the mother of his children, was Rebecca Brandon (McCorkle) and she, too, is buried beside Alexander at Thyatira, where his son Samuel Eusebius McCorkle--Robert's brother--long preached.  From Rowan County, NC, Robert McCorkle and brothers William and Joseph forayed into Kentucky, where they were some of the earliest members of historic Walnut Hill Presbyterian Church erected near Lexington, Kentucky.  There, they endured privations and often had to take refuge from Indian hostilities within forts.  How long or even whether Robert McCorkle may have lingered in Sumner County, Middle Tennessee (today's county seat is Gallatin)--or in Lebanon in today's Wilson County--is unknown; but it is certain that Robert's brother William McCorkle was at the Old Shiloh Presbyterian Church just outside Gallatin.  Robert's daughter Elmira Sloan McCorkle (Mrs. Dr. Stephen Roache) wrote that her father was in the second company of men going into Kentucky. (She meant "white men.")  Robert's first wife was "Lizzie" Elizabeth Blythe (McCorkle), a daughter of Presbyterian minister James Blythe & wife Elizabeth King (Blythe) who were once active at the old Shiloh Presbyterian Church outside Gallatin in Sumner County.  It was a brother of Robert McCorkle's first mother-in-law, Elizabeth King Blythe, named Samuel King, who had witnessed Robert's father Alexander McCorkle's will (probated in 1800) in Rowan County, NC. Robert McCorkle's first wife Elizabeth Blythe McCorkle died after bearing two children, infant Alex and surviving daughter Elizabeth McCorkle (Mrs. Thomas Anderson of Sumner County, Tennessee).  Elizabeth McCorkle Anderson had four children, who were Robert McCorkle's first set of grandchildren, viz., ONE Elizabeth Anderson McMurry (Mrs. John Mitchell McMurry, he a Cumberland Presbyterian preacher in McMinnville and Lebanon); TWO Martha Anderson Leath (Mrs. James T. Leath), whose husband as a Memphis attorney became ruling elder of the Presbyterian Church for his region of Tennessee although a prominent slaveholder pre-Civil War; Three Julia Anderson who never married and remained, I think, in Sumner County, Middle Tennessee; and Four Robert Anderson, an attorney who removed to Holmes County, Mississippi--towns of Durant and Lexington--and is buried in Mizpah Cemetery in Holmes County.  Robert Anderson's half-sister Elmira Sloan McCorkle Roache wrote on a piece of paper now in my possession that she had lost track of Robert but thought he had removed from Middle Tennessee down to Alabama.

The first wife of Robert McCorkle, Lizzie Blythe McCorkle, died either in Kentucky or Sumner County, Middle Tennessee. Soon afterward, Robert returned to Rowan-Iredell County to claim the hand of Margaret Morrison, 1770-1848, daughter of Elizabeth Sloan(e) and Andrew Morrison.  They married in Rowan County, NC.  With Margaret Robert removed to the Murfreesborough area of Rutherford County, Tennessee--Bradley's Creek and Stone's River--to claim with his brother William McCorkle the father's Revolutionary War land grant as it had been marked off for Rutherford County.  Robert's brother William McCorkle received 1/2 of the father's land grant but died in 1818.  This land was lost in costly land-title dispute litigation. The Murfreesboro courthouse records of this litigation burnt during the Civil War. Blind by then, Robert with 2nd wife Margaret Morrison moved to the newly opened Western District of Tennessee to claim substitute land in Dyer County west of the town of Yorkville which lay in Gibson County.  He died in 1828, taking the first grave in the new McCorkle Cemetery about 5 miles east of today's town of Newbern; and his 2nd wife Margaret Morrison McCorkle died in 1848. They, like their parents, were staunch, strict old school Presbyterians.

·         “Nancy” Agnes Montgomery McCorkle’s mother was née Martha Finley, and “Nancy” Agnes(s) Montgomery (McCorkle) was a sister to noted Presbyterian minister Joseph Montgomery, born 1733 in Paxtang, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania & died 1794. That sibling relationship between Agnes Montgomery McCorkle and Joseph Montgomery, the old family records reflect. [Please see my contribution to someone else’s Wikipedia entry on this Joseph Montgomery.]

·         Broader historical records reveal that our Joseph Montgomery served in the Continental Congress.  This Joseph Montgomery, born 1733, is highlighted in the web site of the Presbyterian Church. “The Political Graveyard” says this about him: Montgomery, Joseph (1733-1794) — of Pennsylvania. Born in Paxtang, Dauphin County, Pa., September 23, 1733. Delegate to Continental Congress from Pennsylvania, 1780-82; common pleas court judge in Pennsylvania, 1786-94. Died in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pa., October 14, 1794. Interment at Lutheran Church Cemetery, Harrisburg, Pa."

·         Please see also: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress:  “MONTGOMERY, Joseph, a Delegate from Pennsylvania; born in Paxtang, now Dauphin County, Pa., September 23, 1733; pursued classical studies and was graduated from Princeton College in 1755; studied for the ministry; licensed to preach by the presbytery of Philadelphia in 1759 and ordained as a minister in 1761; held several pastorates 1761-1777; commissioned a chaplain in Col. Smallwood’s Maryland Regiment of the Continental Army and served from 1777 until 1780; delegate to the general assembly of Pennsylvania 1780-1782; Member of the Continental Congress 1780-1782; recorder of deeds and register of wills for Dauphin County 1785-1794; justice of the court of common pleas 1786-1794; died in Harrisburg, Pa., on October 14, 1794; interment in the Lutheran Church Cemetery.”  Bibliography: Forster, John Montgomery. A Sketch of the Life of the Rev. Joseph Montgomery. Harisburg, Pa.: Printed for private distribution, 1879.   See also Wikipedia, the online dictionary, its entry on Joseph Montgomery.

Aunt Ora McCorkle Huie's and her sister Aunt Katie Pearl McCorkle Fox's Records of West Tennessee indicate a connection between Dr. Benjamin Rush and "Nancy" Agnes Montgomery McCorkle.  And, sure enough, here it is:  Agnes' brother, Rev. Joseph Montgomery, married as one of his wives a sister of Dr. Rush: viz., Rachel Rush (widow of Agnus Boyce).

Martha Finley Montgomery was the mother of “Nancy” Agnes Montgomery McCorkle (that is to say, the mother of the immigrant Mrs. Alexander McCorkle).  One record, not ours, says Martha Finley Montgomery’s husband’s name was John Montgomery. The mother, née Martha Finley, would have been born sometime around 1700.  The old handwritten Dyer County, Tennessee, family records [kept by Aunt Ora McCorkle Huie (Mrs. Julius AdolphusDolph” Huie) and Ora’s younger sister Katie Pearl McCorkle (Fox); and typed up in the 1960s by Ora’s only child Maury Adolphus Huie, 1895-1973] say that this Mrs. Martha Finley Montgomery’s father, named John Finley, was somehow a founder of Princeton University. The Princeton University records reveal that a Samuel Finley was president 1761-1766.   – As I (Marsha Cope Huie) write this paragraph, I think the old records say a John Finley was our ancestor’s (Mrs. Martha Finley Montgomery’s) father who was instrumental in founding Princeton; this Finley name must however be checked for accuracy, with which I hereby charge the next generations. Perhaps John Finley was the grandfather (?)  of Princeton president Samuel Finley of Princeton, as well as father of Martha Finley Montgomery and grandfather of Nancy Agnes Montgomery (McCorkle);   or perhaps Samuel Finley was a brother (collateral ) to our Martha Finley Montgomery (Martha the mother of Rev. Joseph Montgomery and of Mrs. Alexander McCorkle).  I do not  know the precise relationship between Princeton president Samuel Finley and our Martha Finley (Montgomery), which further research should establish. [Material quoted from the Internet about Samuel Finley & Princeton will be placed toward the rear of this collection.]

"Our" Robert McCorkle's nephew, Joel McCorkle, named a son John Finley McCorkle. (Joel was the only child --I think-- of John McCorkle, Robert's brother who remained in Rowan County, NC.)


How is your compiler Marsha Cope Huie kin to Alexander McCorkle & wife "Nancy" Agnes(s) Montgomery McCorkle; and their son Robert McCorkle & Robert's 2nd wife Margaret Morrison McCorkle?


The compiler Marsha Cope Huie's paternal g-g-g-g-grandfather was Alexander McCorkle [Sr.]  of Rowan County, NC.  This is the Alexander McCorkle b. 1722 who died in 1800 and is buried at Thyatira Presbyterian Church cemetery outside Mooresville, North Carolina.

This kinship is through:

Marsha Cope Huie's father, Howard EWING HUiE, 1907-1971, who married Joyce Rebecca Cope, born 1915.

Marsha Huie's paternal g-g-g grandparents were Robert McCorkle & wife Margaret Morrison,

each originally of Rowan County, North Carolina, but at the last of West Tennessee.

     One of Alexander & "Nancy" Agnes Montgomery McCorkle's sons, Robert McCorkle, & Robert's 2nd wife, "Peggy"  Margaret Morrison (McCorkle), finally settled around 1825-7 in Dyer County, Tennessee.

     Margaret Morrison McCorkle considered their principal town to be Yorkville in Gibson County.

Robert McCorkle died in the spring of 1828 (April), very soon after losing land-title litigation in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, a lawsuit involving his father Alexander' McCorkle's Revolutionary War Land Grant.

     Loss of the Rutherford County Revolutionary War land grant, marked off initially near "Murphreesborough," caused Robert & Margaret Morrison McCorkle in old age, after he was blind, and accompanied by their surviving (grown) children, to have to remove to Dyer County in West Tennessee in order to accept land substituted in lieu of the lost Middle Tennessee land.


Many more folk as named herein descend from Robert & Margaret Morrison McCorkle.

       In particular, Marsha Cope Huie and her sister Sophie Joyce Huie Cashdollar, and others, descend from Robert & Margaret Morrison McCorkle's son Edwin Alexander McCorkle.

Edwin A. McCorkle was born circa 1799 in Rowan County, NC, and died in Dyer County West Tennessee) on 10th January 1853.  He married Jane Maxwell Thomas in Lebanon, Wilson County, Tennessee.

Edwin's wife, Jane Maxwell Thomas (McCorkle), born in 1801 or 1802 and died in 1855, was born in Wilson County, Middle Tennessee, where she married Edwin A. McCorkle, to parents William Thomas (soldier in the NC continental line, Revolutionary War)

& Elizabeth Purviance Thomas, a daughter of Revolutionary War soldier

John Purviance & John's wife Mary Jane Wasson Purviance, of Rowan Co., NC; then last (John & Mary Jane Wasson Purviance) of Middle Tennessee.