William married Nettie Emily Coolbaugh (see post) my maternal great grandmother, on 11 February 1900. They had 6 children-3 boys and 3 girls: Earl, Earnest, Gertrude, Arthur, Bessie and Edna (my grandmother).
1900 US Federal Census- 1 June 1900 in Hector Township, Schuyler County, New York. William (19 years old) and Nettie (18 years old) were living with a Boarder named Guy Williams who I believe is William’s brother. William’s occupation was Day Laborer. He is listed as being unemployed for 3 months. He and Nettie were listed as married for a year. William and his parents were listed as having been born in New York. Nettie and her parents are listed as being born in Pennsylvania. No children. All are listed as being able to read, write and speak English. William is Renting a House.
1910 US Federal Census- 20 April 1910 in Genoa Town, Cayuga County, New York. William M. (29 years old), Nettie E. (27 years old), son Earl J. (9 years old), son Earnest G. (7 years old), daughter Gertrude B. (6 years old), son Arthur B. (4 years old), daughter Bessie (2 years old), Father-in-Law Portis M. Coolbaugh (65 years old), Mother-in-Law Harriet H. Coolbaugh (60 years old). William and Nettie married 10 years. Portis and Harriet married 35 years. William and Portis’ occupations were listed as Laborers on a farm. At the time of the census William was working but Portis wasn’t (had been out of work for 4 weeks). All can read and write English. William rented a house. Portis was a Veteran of the Civil War. Nettie had 5 children alive at the time of the census and 5 children born. Harriett had 4 children alive and 5 born.
From a newspaper dated 29 January 1920 “Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Cornell have received a letter from their son Earl, who is in the American Army in Germany…”
William’s wife Nettie died in 19 February 1925 while they were living in Ithaca, New York.
1925 New York State Census- 1 June, 1925 in Ithaca, Tompkins County, New York. William (44 years old), occupation- Carpenter, son Earnest (age 23 years old), occupation-Chauffeur; daughter Edna (10 years old), at school; son (Census says Fred J.?) Earl J. (24 years old), occupation-Chauffeur; daughter (Census says Calise E.?) must mean Bessie E. (Census says 32 years old but Bessie was 17 years old then), occupation-Housekeeper; son Arthur B. (19 years old), occupation-Hawaii B. Battery D: 8th Artillery). sister Gertrude was listed with her family right before William’s listing so they must have lived next door to each other.
William married Edith R. married about 1928 and they lived in Spencer, New York.
1930 US Federal Census- 22 April 1930 in Newark Valley Township, Tioga County, New York. William (49 years old), age at first marriage 20. wife-Edith R. (43 years old), age at first marriage 24 years old, daughter Edna C. (15 years old), Arthur B. (24 years old), daughter-in-law- Genevieve A. (19 years old), (Genevieve and parents born in Idaho), step-daughter Hilda N. Kilstrom (13 years old), Hilda & mother born NY and father born in Sweden. William’s occupation was Farmer on a General Farm, Citizen of US, currently employed and not a Veteran.
William’s wife Edith Rea Cornell died in Spencer, NY on 24 June 1933 at the age of 46.
From a newspaper dated 8 March 1934 “ William Cornell announces the engagement of his daughter, Miss Edna C. Cornell, to James J. Hammond of Brookings, South Dakota. Date of marriage not set.”
1940 US Federal Census- 10 April 1940 in Spencer, Tioga County, New York. William (60 years old) and Housekeeper Elizabeth Mead (48 years old), divorced. Highest grade of school completed-William 8th, Elizabeth 5, live in same place, William’s occupation- Delivery Man, Industry- Coal.
I was able to find some additional information about William’s life from newspaper clippings dated -
- 22 June 1944 – “William Cornell visited his daughter, Mrs. Andrew White, in Ithaca, Sunday.”
- 6 July 1944 – “Mrs. Iva Curkendall of Newark Valley visited her brother, William Cornell, last week.”
- 22 November 1945- “Mr. and Mrs. Earl Cornell of California are here for a few weeks, visiting his father, William Cornell.”
- I always find it amazing to see what I can learn from census records when I transcribe them. It’s amazing to see the jobs William had, who was living with him and the places he lived. It looks like in each census he was living in a different place.
- A map of the areas that my ancestors lived always helps me understand where they lived.
- I was also able to find some newspaper clippings that add to the story.
- I wonder where and how William and Nettie Cornell met?
- William lived his life within the boundaries of a relatively small area of Upstate New York.