Click for site's home page within frames.

Cox Characters
Conclusions to Confusions

Part 1: Chapter 3

Home   Genealogy   Search   Links   Contact
The Book   Contents   Preface   Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5  

previous chapter
Unraveling the Tailors' Work:
The Three Joseph Coxes

by Kenny Ray Cox

next chapter

Two different men named Joseph Cox were born around 1780 in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. One of them was our Joseph—the youngest son of Elizabeth and Michael Cox, Senior. Joseph died young in 1816. He was survived by his widow, Mary Margaret [née Doney], and three young children: Elizabeth, William Michael, and Samuel Joseph.

[Note: Sources for this information are the Census records for 1850, 1860 and 1870 for Fayette County and Armstrong County, Pennsylvania; Orphans Court Records of 1816, 1819 and 1833 for our Joseph (d. 1816), and 1851-1880 for the other Joseph (cf. Orphans Court Records: #49 in 1851 March term; #24 in 1852 March term; #48 1852 June term).]

The Elizabeth Cox who married William Collins was not the daughter of our Joseph (son of Michael Sr.). She was the daughter of the other Joseph Cox.

This other Joseph Cox was 70 years old on the 1850 Census of Dunbar Township (p. 252, line 12). He died September 1851. According to Orphans Court Records, it took 30 years to settle his estate as he had left no will. These records give us lots of names of his heirs, including the families Works and Collins, that his daughter Elizabeth Ann married into. These records also tell us that Elizabeth Ann had at least two brothers, John W. Cox and George W. Cox.

Our Joseph, also had a daughter named Elizabeth. (Her two brothers’ names, however, cannot be confused with the other Joseph’s sons.) We know nothing of this Elizabeth, but both boys were apprenticed into the tailoring trade. One of them moved to Dunbar Township, thus making it very easy for family historians to mix together these two different Cox families.

William Michael Cox, son of our Joseph, did not die in the Civil War as recorded by Fayette County history books. He had at least eight children and lived in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. He named one son, William Newton Cox—a name that continues to show up in our Cox Family History. William Michael Cox was a tailor by trade, just as his brother Samuel Joseph Cox was. However, by 1850 he had switched to farming (cf. 1860 and 1870 Census). Even though the Census records of 1850, 1860 and 1870 give 1818 as the birth date of a William M. Cox of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, we believe this is the same person as the William Michael Cox, born to Joseph and Mary Margaret Cox, undoubtedly earlier than 1818.

Samuel Joseph Cox, was a "master tailor." He moved from Bridgeport to Connellesville, Pennsylvania, just where the other Joseph Cox lived! As stated above, this other Joseph died in 1851, and it was his daughter, Elizabeth, that married William Collins, and not the sister, Elizabeth, of our Samuel Joseph.

Therefore the correct line of descent of these four generations from Michael Cox, Sr. is:

1. Michael Cox, Sr., born: before 1740, died: 24 Dec. 1815 in Fayette Co., PA
..married: Elizabeth Desloch?, born: ?, died: 20 July 1810 in Fayette Co., PA
........2. Michael Cox, Jr., born: 27 Aug. 1759, died: 14 Jan. 1832
........2. Jacob S. Cox, born: 1760 (perhaps 1764), died: 1822
........2. Peter Cox, born: 1765, died: 1841
........2. Rosanna Cox, born: 1767, died: 1814
........2. Eve Ann Cox, born: 1767, died: 1850
........2. Elizabeth Cox, born: 1769, died: unknown
........2. Margaret Cox, born: 1772, died: unknown
........2. Martin Cox, born: about 1774, died: April 1842
........2. Christine Cox, born: 1776, died: 1858
........2. Joseph Cox, born: 1781, died: 1816 in Fayette County, PA
............married: Mary Margaret Doney
...................3. Elizabeth Cox (no other known information)
...................3. William Michael Cox (no dates known)
.......................married: Jane ?
.............................4. Mary Cox
.............................4. Isabella Cox
.............................4. David B. Cox
.............................4. William N. Cox
.............................4. Susanna O. Cox
.............................4. George A. Cox
.............................4. Robert "John"? Cox, born: about 1840
...................3. Samuel Joseph Cox, born: 1814
.......................married: Mary Murphy(?)
.............................4. Mary A Cox, born: 1838
.............................4. Robert Bruce Cox, born: 1840
.............................4. John S. Cox, born: 1842
.............................4. Joseph Cox, born: 1844
.............................4. Ellen Cox, born: 1846
.............................4. William B. Cox, born: 1847
.............................4. Agnes Dorcas Cox, born: 1853
.............................4. Thomas Cox, born: 1857
.............................4. James B. Cox, born: 1861


William Michael Cox
information collected from the following census records:


1850 Census
page 339-A
Plumcreek Township,
Armstrong County, Pennsylvania

William M. Cox 32 tailor $600
Jane 26
Robert 9
Mary 7
Isabella 4/12 [four months old] on the fourth day of October


1860 Census
page 125
Cowanshannock Township,
Armstrong County, Pennsylvania

William Cox 41 farmer $1000 + $400
Jane 36 housework P. O. – rural village
John 21 laborer
Mary 16 housework
Isabella 10
David B. 8
William N. 6
Susanna 4
George A. 2


1870 Census
page 112
Cowanshannock Township,
Armstrong County, Pennsylvania

William Cox 52 farmer
Jane 45 housekeeper
Isabell 21 housekeeper
Wm Newton 16 farmer
Ann Jane 14
George 11
Lonzo (?) 5 (male)

John Cox 30 carpenter
Sarah 29
Laura 5
Rosetta 4
Harvey 2
Robert 9/12 [nine months old]

[Note: a neighbor by the name of Solomon Hull is listed; age 49, wife Harriet; children: David and June.]


Samuel Joseph Cox
information collected from the following census records:

1850 Census
page 330-A
Bridgeport, Pennsylvania
[now Brownsville]

Joseph S. Cox 36 tailor $1500
[Note: the middle initial in Joseph’s name looks like an A, and was indexed as an A]
Mary 29
Mary 12
Bruce 10
John 8
Joseph 6
Ellen 4
William 3
Mary A. Burns 19
Morris Silas 18 tailor
George Smith 16 tailor


1860 Census
page 1
Bridgeport, Pennsylvania

S. J. Cox 47 master tailor $1000 R.E. + $300 personal
Mary 38
Rob’t B. 20 millwright
John S. 18 painter
W’m B. 13
Dorcas 7
Thos. N. 3
+ Mary A. Cox 21 [at Hotel Barr on bottom line]


1870 Census
page 69

Joseph S. Cox 55 taylor $3000 + $500
Mary 48 housekeeper
William B. 22 goes to school
Agnes D. 17 at home
Thomas L. 13
James B. 9

Page 66
Cox, Robert Lewis 31 mill right 1000 - 300
Mary A. 32 keeps house
Abraham S. 4
Nancy M. 2


The following two county history documents present numerous errors in our opinion, as explained in the opening paragraphs of this subchapter. The librarian at the Uniontown, Pennsylvania Public Library wrote in a letter to me, "One should only use the county histories as a secondary source. […] Documentation wasn’t always an issue and mistakes were made. […] Many times the information was quite accurate and proven. You are correct to mention those court house records. Therefore, those records are to be used as primary sources. There may be errors in some of those records during the transcribing process." Samuel Joseph’s brother, William Michael, did not die in the Civil War. He married Jane (née?) and took his tailoring talents to Armstrong County, Pennsylvania.


Samuel J. Cox

Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Fayette County, Pennsylvania
by Wiley

SAMUEL J. COX was born January 25, 1813 in Luzerne township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Michael Cox (grandfather) was born in Germany came to America and settled in the eastern part of Pennsylvania. He was one of five who came to this part of the State and settled on what is known as Cox's Run, in Luzerne township, taking what was termed "tomahawk possession" of a tract of land. The names of three of these five were Cox, Sturgeon and Porter. Isaac Doney (maternal grandfather) was of Irish extraction and came from New Jersey to western Pennsylvania.

Joseph Cox (father) was born in Luzerne township, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, was a farmer and married Mary Doney in about 1805 and died in 1816. They had three children: Eliza (deceased), William (died in the Civil War after serving about two years), and Samuel J. Samuel J. Cox was educated in the schools at Brownsville, later he learned the trade of tailor under James McSherry, and carried on the merchant tailoring business at Brownsville about thirty years when he removed to Connellsville in 1863, and has since remained there engaged in the merchant tailor business.

In 1835, he was married to Miss Nancy Work, a daughter of James Work, native of Dunbar township, Fayette County. They had the following children: James Cox (died in infancy), Mary A (deceased) who married Jackson Stahl and went to Kansas City and died there in July 1888, Robert Bruce a carpenter and contractor lives at Connellsville, John a painter, Joseph a carpenter is married and lives in Pittsburgh, Thomas Cox a rail-roader is married lives in Connellsville, James B. Cox lives in Connellsville is married and is an upholsterer by trade. Dorcas Cox lives in Connellsville with S. J. Cox.

Mr. Cox had three sons in the Civil War. John, who went out in Sickle's Brigade at the commencement of the war, fought to the close, and took part in the battle of Williamsburg and quite a number of others in the Army of the Potomac. Robert Bruce volunteered in the First Pennsylvania Reserve Cavalry and served about three years and took part in a number of battles. Joseph served three months, and took part in the capture of Morgan in the Ohio raid.

Mr. Cox has held the office of burgess of Connellsville for two terms, has been school director for two terms, and a member of the council several terms. He is a member of the Protestant Methodist Church, was one among its first members and has held all the offices of the church. He was sent as a delegate from the Pittsburgh conference to Baltimore, to the convention for the reuniting of the two branches of the church after the war. He is also a member of the Masonic order at Connellsville.


Robert Bruce Cox

Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Fayette County, Pennsylvania
by Wiley pages 424-425

ROBERT BRUCE COX was born at Brownsville, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, March 24, 1840, was reared and attended the common schools there. He began life as a clerk for Jesse H. Duncan of Brownsville, iron, nails and commission house. From 1857 to 1861 he served an apprenticeship at mill-wright business under William H. Barnes of Uniontown.

In 1861, he went into the army and served till 1864. About three years before the war, however, he joined a company of cavalry, which was organized by Captain Davidson at Merrittstown. This company offered its services to the governor of Virginia at the time of the John Brown raid. On the breaking out of the war they again offered their services, but General Scott thought there was no need for cavalry to quiet the rebellious feeling at the south and they were not called into action. It was afterward attached to the Sixth Regiment Pennsylvania Cavalry at Camp Wilkins, Pittsburgh, was taken thence to Washington City [Penn.] where it was disbanded, and the First Pennsylvania Reserve Cavalry was organized under George D. Bayard as Colonel. He was killed at the battle of Fredericksburg. Mr. Cox was at the following battles: Drainsville, Virginia; Harrisonburg, Cross Keys, Cedar Mountain, Gainesville, Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Culpepper, Auburn, Bristow Station, New Home Church, Wilderness, Cold Harber, and all the battles under General Grant in his attempts to capture Richmond. The regiment was with Sheridan in all of his raids. Mr. Cox was never out of the service one hour from the time he entered till he was discharged; he never had a furlough and received no wound. He was mustered out September 15, 1864 at Philadelphia. Since then he has been very active in the organization of martial clubs for political parties and assisted in organizing the William Kurtz Post G.A.R. at Connellsville.

After the war he returned home and engaged in the carpenter trade and was for several years in the employment of Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company at Connellsville. In 1877, he commenced as contractor and builder and has continued as such ever since.

He is a member of "King Solomon’s" Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons No. 346 at Connellsville, of the Knights of Pythias, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Chosen Friends, Penn Council No 30. He has served as secretary in each.

In politics Mr. Cox has been an independent Republican. He has always been a strictly temperate man, is a member of the Baptist Church and has served as a member of council for his borough and as assessor. Mr. Cox has been twice married, first on April 13, 1864 to Mary J. Shallenburger, a daughter of Abraham Shallenburger, an old settler at Connellsville. Four children were born to them: Abraham Shallenburger, Samuel J., Anna and Nannie. His second wife was Jennie Dawson, a native of Connellsville, to whom he married in March 1889.

His parents were Samuel J. and Nancy Cox. Their family consisted of six children: James (dead) Mary, Robert B (R.B.), John C., Samuel J., and Ellen. The latter was burned to death when thirteen years of age. Samuel J. Cox (father) was born at Brownsville, lived there till 1863 when he removed to Connellsville, and has always been engaged in the merchant tailoring business. He married three times. His second wife was Mary Murphy, a native of Redstone township, and had four children: William, Dorcas, Thomas and James. She was killed at Connellsville. For his third wife he married Ella Lingham, a native of Pittsburgh.

The paternal grandfather of R.B. Cox was of German descent, born in Fayette County, and was a farmer. He served in the war of 1812-15 and was killed in battle.

Nancy Works, the mother of R.B. Cox, was a native of Dunbar township, a daughter of James Works, who was also born in Dunbar township.



previous chapter

next chapter

This site's address is:
© 2001-2011
All rights reserved.