Part 1: Chapter 1
Southwestern Pennsylvania had at least three men named Michael Cox who served in the Militia before, during, and after the American Revolution. Only one Michael Cox lived long enough to apply for a pension. His pension application was accredited to all three Michael Coxes as if they were one man by the Rev. Henry Miller Cox in his early book, The Cox Family in America. This book, with its errors, has been used by many historians who can trace their roots back to one of these three Michael Coxes. If you, dear reader, are one of those confused about the Michael Cox records, perhaps you have not seen them all.
Michael Cox, Senior brought his wife Elizabeth and their first six children over the Appalachian Mountains in 1769. He had been there before and had tomahawked the trees to mark the three hundred fifteen and one quarter acres that he named "Fruit Hill."
Because this land was claimed by Virginian as well as Pennsylvanian authorities, it was seventeen years before Michael Senior got good title to his land. The survey, patent, and warrant are available from the Fayette County Courthouse at Uniontown, Pennsylvania, and also at Harrisburg under the spelling of "Cock." Close reading shows three different spellings for Michael Cock Senior on these records.
As his sons matured and became family men, Michael Senior gave each son fifty or so acres. Records of these land transactions, plus records of his sonsí land transactions, are also at the courthouse at Uniontown, including records of Michael Cox, Junior, Michael Seniorís oldest son. Both the index and land records are differentiated by the use of Junior and Senior. These records clearly tell us that they were two separate men.
A third Michael Cox was listed in several of the same militia records as Michael Junior and Senior. It was this third Michael that outlived the other two men. His application for a pension for service in the American Revolution was erroneously attributed to both other men. S-5020 is the number given to this pension application. This Michael Cox gave a deposition in 1832, in which he itemized his war services.
He further stated that he was born in Hampshire County, Virginia (now West Virginia) but he was not sure exactly when. He said he thought that he was about seventy-five years old at that time. In 1840 he was listed on the U.S. Census of Veterans as a man living in Ohio, 84 years of age and residing with Evan Schooler.
I believe Evan Schooler was his son-in-law. There are two marriage records of a Mr. Schooler, each to a Cox girl, probably this Michaelís daughters. This Michael Cox lived in the Miami Valley of Western Ohio in the counties of Darke, Miami, and Logan for most of his adult life. His veteran headstone gives no dates but I believe he died in 1841. He was laid to rest in Middleburg, Logan County, Ohio.
This Michael Cox was assigned the birth date of 27 August 1759 which is the same date that we have for Michael Cox Junior who is buried on his farm at West Liberty, West Virginia. It is unlikely that they were born the same date. How this birth date appeared on the records of either of these men is a mystery.
Photograph 5a: Michael Cox, Jr.ís Tombstone
This other Michael Cox ignored his date of birth. We ignore his date of death, but we know that he was buried in Darby Creek Cemetery (see records below -- scroll down in this section). Our Michael Coxís headstone has almost weathered away (particularly the 3 in Ď73í, see photo above).
There are many more records that separate Michael Junior from Michael Senior. I could find no records of any kind for a Michael Cox (Cock, Cocks or Cockes) in the Hampshire County, Virginia records. These include the sale of the Fayette County, Pennsylvania properties of Michael Cox Senior and his youngest son Joseph who died in 1816, by Michael Cox Junior and George Dearth, who were executors. These records were found at the court house in Orphan Court Records, by Mary Ann Bowry of Parkersburg, West Virginia.
The most important point is that other probate records made by Michael Junior were never returned to the court house in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. These probate records are still inside the black metal box where Michael Junior and Jeruthea, his wife, kept their most important papers. Those papers and that box remain on the West Liberty, West Virginia farm that is now the property of John Cox and his wife Emily.
This "black box" contains letters from Michael Juniorís brothers: Peter, Martin and Joseph. The letter from Joseph tells Michael Junior of their fatherís death that occurred 24 January 1815 (*click here* if you wish to go there now).
Also in the box are receipts from all the heirs who collected their legacies from Michael Junior, including the offspring of the five daughters of Michael Cox Senior who had to wait until they "became of age" to receive their inheritances. It took several years to complete the probate. By the time this was done, Michael Junior was getting old himself, which might be the reason that these records were never registered at the Fayette County court house.
As a result, the only document to be located in Fayette County records was the will itself, which made it easy for other historians to conclude incorrectly that Michael Senior had moved to West Liberty, (West) Virginia, or to Logan County, Ohio, thus confusing him with the other two Michaels.
Photograph 6: Cox Family Graveyard
The cemetery is far from abandonned. It continues to serve as a final resting place for folks connected to this historic farm, as proved by this touching note from John and Emily Cox, dated 9 August 2000.
On 31 July 2000, we found Mike Baker (our farm hand for over 31 years), back over the hill pinned under the fender of the manure spreader. He probably died of a heart attack as he entered the field, as the manure was never spread, and the path he took, took him straight down over the hill.
His wife, Beverly, asked if we could bury him in the Cox Cemetery. She said we were his family and this was home. So we checked with his mother and she said she would be happy if we could. The next day was unbelievable. Friends, family, and others came and cleaned up the cemetery. They put straw on the ground, put all the old Cox stones upright, placed a pot of flowers (mums) on all the Cox stones, placed black and white bows on the posts with Mikeís corn stalks from the field all around the fence. A large wooden cross appeared and after the funeral at the church, cars came from all around West Liberty, and we drove up the cemetery. It was a perfect day. The weather and the view from up there were great. John and I still canít believe heís gone.
MORE COX CEMETERY PHOTOS
Darby Creek Cemetery Records
Darby Creek, or Curl Cemetery is situated in Logan County, Ohio, some thirty odd miles northwest of the city of Columbus, roughly one mile north of the village of Middleburg, Ohio. Our Michael Cox Jr. is not buried in Darby Creek; you will find his grave some 160 miles eastwards, on the Cox farm in West Liberty, West Virginia. This is the resting place of the "other" Michael Cox, veteran of the Revolutionary War, as his grave marker indicates.
The cemetery records [scroll down on this page] give an accurate transcription of the engraving on his tomb stone (also see photograph 8 below).
Although the marker gives no dates for his life, his military service is indicated. In 1832, this man stated that he was born in Hampshire County, (West) Virginia, but was uncertain of his exact age. He estimated it "about 75". He then appears, alive and well, aged 84, in the U. S Census of Veterans of 1840.
These two statements place his year of birth in 1756/1757. Our Michael died on 11 January 1832, as we can clearly read on his tomb stone.
Photograph 7: Darby Creek Cemetery
Photograph 8: The "other" Michael Coxís tombstone
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