of Baltimore County, Maryland,
and Barbour County, West Virginia

Lyle K. Corder

Much has been written about the Cole families of Harrison County, Virginia, now Barbour County, West Virginia In most cases, the two families of William and John Cole have been, to say the least, confused But the more we learn about them, the more we realize they may have left us with a road map to their ancestry.

Based on the small amount of research I have done and extensive information provided by Paul Cole of Carnegie, Pennsylvania, I believe the following to be reasonably accurate.

William Cole (1742-1820) married Elizabeth Hardesty 21 April 1769 in Baltimore County, Maryland, lived in Loudoun County, Virginia, and came to Barbour County from Fauquier County, Virginia, about 1812. lived on Fox Grape Run and are buried in the old Cole/Modisett cemetery located behind Adaland, near Berryburg. It appears that all nine of their children and spouses, if married, came with them. All but Elizabeth had married in Virginia before they moved west.

John Cole (1755-1841), William's brother, married Elizabeth Cullison 8 August 1782 in Baltimore County, and came to Barbour County about 1812 from Fauquier County, probably with the William Cole family. They lived on Pleasants Creek near the Taylor County line and are buried in the Pleasants Creek Methodist Church cemetery.

We know that John and Elizabeth Cullison Cole had at least one child, Elenor (born 10 June 1783 in Baltimore County), who married her cousin Joshua Washington Cole, son of William and Elizabeth Hardesty Cole. Elenor and Joshua were married 13 December 1801 in Fanquier County and are buried at Pleasants Creek. If John and Elizabeth had more children, I have been unable to find any reference to them in Maryland, Virginia, or West Virginia.

Other researchers of this family claim that William Cole's wife was Elizabeth Simmons. I do not agree. Four of their children used the name Hardesty as a middle name for their children. None was given the name Simmons.

Elizabeth Hardesty's father was Joshua Hardesy who married Keziah Simmons 6 October 1746 in Baltimore County, Maryland. So, Simmons was Elizabeth's mother's maiden name, not hers. Perhaps Elizabeth Hardesty's middle name was Simmons. This may have caused the confusion.

Joshua Washington and Elenor Cole named their first daughter Elizabeth Cullison Cole and their second daughter Sarah Hardesty Cole. Thus, we have the names of the wives of John and William Cole.

I am confident William and John Cole were part of the large contingent of Cole/Coale families found in the Baltimore County area in the 1700s. We know John's daughter Elenor was born there, because her son Jesse Cole stated on her death record that she was born "Elendar Coal" in Baltimore, Maryland. Also, William's daughter Keziah married Edward Stephens 22 May 1796 in the First German Evangelical Reformed Church in Frederick County, Maryland.

The names of the children of Joshua Washington and Elenor Cole serve as a road map back in time for this family.

Elizabeth Cullison Cole1803
John Wesley Cole1804
Sarah Hardisty Cole1806
Mary Anne Cole1807
Nancy Waters Cole1808
Malinda Williams Cole1809
Elenor Finacy Cole1811
William Alexander Cole1812
Joshua Washington Cole*1814
Elizabeth Scott Cole1816
Johannah Stevens Cole1820
Joshua Washington Cole1821
Jesse Merriman Cole**1823
Rebecca Rosel Cole1824
*Died young.
**Elizabeth Cullison's father was Jesse Cullison.

One only has to check the book Baltimore County Families, 1659-1759, by Robert Barnes, to see the interrelationships of these families.

On page 260 in Western Waters: Early Settlers of Eastern Barbour County, West Virginia, by Violet Gadd Coonts, we find:

"The surname Cole appears frequently in tax records found at the courthouse at Elkins, Randolph County. Yet the only Cole who lived in eastern Barbour County in the Cove Settlement was a Samuel Cole. He was listed by Cornelius Westfall as living in the Cove Settlement in 1785.

"William Cole, who was a merchant in the City of Baltimore, bought in 1799 from John Holmes, of the City of Baltimore, 7,000 acres on the Dry Fork of Cheat. William died May 8, 1822, while still living in Baltimore."

It seems reasonable to assume that these Coles were related to William and John Cole. Perhaps this is why they happened to come to Barbour County.

Between the time they lived in Maryland and 1812 when they arrived in Barbour County, the Cole brothers lived in Loudoun and Fanquier Counties, Virginia. They may have lived in other places, but we have no proof.

The 1787 tax list of Virginia shows a John and William Cole in Loudoun County. Previously written material often refers to them as "from Loudoun County."

On 25 February 1799, William and Elizabeth Cole bought 484 acres of land from Elias Edmons in Fanquier County (Deed Book 14, page 316). The land was located on the Alexandria Road near the town of Salem, now called Marshall.

The Fauquier County tax list for 1798 shows John Cole, Joshua Cole, William Cole, Sr., and William Cole, Jr. The 1799 list shows John Cole, Joshua Cole, and William Cole. William Cole is shown as voting in 1799.

On 26 September 1804, William and Elizabeth Cole sold pieces of the acreage in Fauquier County Deed Book 16, page 359: 100-1/2 acres to John Cole.

Deed Book 15, page 661: 110 acres to William Cole, Jr.
Deed Book 16, page 662: 107 acres to Joshua Cole.
Deed Book 15, page 663: 66 acres to Edward Stephens

On 27 October 1806 (Deed Book 16, page 548), William Cole, Jr., and wife Anne of Harrison County, Virginia, sold their 110 acres in Fauquier County to John Pencoast. William Cole, Jr., had already come to Barbour County and on 20 October 1806 bought 381 acres on Fox Grape Run for $1,500 from Preston and Sarah Beck. (Harrison County Deed Book 6, page 338.)

On 23 November 1810 (Deed Book 17, page 767), John and Elizabeth Cullison Cole sold their Fauquier land to John Shacklett. On 26 November 1810 (Deed Book 17, page 768), Joshua and Eleanor Cole sold land to Thomas Rector in Fanquier. On 28 November 1810 (Deed Book 17, page 769), Joshua and Eleanor sold additional land to Daniel Flowerrie.

William and Elizabeth Hardesty Cole sold their land in Fauquier County on 26 August 1811 (Deed Book 18, page 221) to Martin Squiers for $11 per acre. William Cole was still in Fauquier County on 14 September 1811 when he gave written permission for his daughter Sary to marry William Corder. (William and Sarah are my 3rd great grandparents.)

The land books for Fauquier County show:

1803/1804/1805:William Cole, 486 acres.
1806William Cole, Sr., 112-1/2 acres.
William Cole, Jr. (son of William), 110 acres.
Joshua Cole (son of William), 107 acres.
*We believe that the father of John and
William Cole of Barbour County was a William.
1807John's name disappears.
Joshua's name disappears.
1811William Cole's name disappears.

William Cole, Sr., bought 183 acres on Fox Grape Run, Barbour County, for $500 from his son William, Jr., and wife Ann, 15 July 1812. (Harrison County Deed Book 10, page 270.)

William and Sarah Cole Corder came to Barbour County and located on Hacker's Creek in 1814. Hacker's Creek is only a few miles from Fox Grape Run.

William Cole, Sr., died in 1820 and so did his wife Elizabeth Hardesty Cole. His will dated 10 July 1818 (Harrison County Will Book 3, page 72) mentions his wife Elizabeth sons William and Joshua, and daughters Keziah Stephens, Sarah Corder, Johanah Modeset, Ealse Glasscock, the children of Nancy McClanahan (deceased), and Mary Elliott. Grandsons William Cole and Hardesty Woodget are also mentioned. It took two days to sell his estate.

By 14 December 1833, William Cole, Jr., had purchased all of his brothers' and sisters' interests in the property on Fox Grape Run The old chimney of the William Corder, Sr., house still stands; another house was built around it in the 1920s or 1930's. This home is now being used as a hay barn.

A John Cole applied for a Revolutionary War pension in Harrison County in 1834. He said he was from Baltimore County, Maryland. The application was denied because he could not prove his length of service. The only John Cole in Harrison County at this time, of the necessary age, was John Cole of Barbour County.

John Cole died 26 February 1839, but signed a "Deed of Gift" 2 April 1836 (Harrison County Deed Book 24, page 98), giving his personal property to John W. Cole, Elizabeth Cole, Joshua Cole, and Eleanor Cole. John W. Cole was his grandson - John Wesley Cole. Elizabeth Cole was John Wesley Cole's wife. Joshua Cole was his son-in-law and Eleanor his daughter. He referred to Eleanor as "my daughter." John Cole's wife, Elizabeth Cullison Cole, had died 14 July 1819.

Elizabeth Cole in Barbour County, - Another Look said the Coles were Germans whose name was originally spelled KOHL.

The children of William and Elizabeth Cole were:

NameBornMarriedPlace Date
Joshua Washington1770Elenor Cole*Fauquier, VA1801
Mary1772David ElliottFauquier, VA1800
William, Jr1774Anna Modisett??
Keziah1776 Edward StephensFrederick, MD1796
Alice (Alcy)1779William GlasscockFauquier, VA1798
Elizabeth1781 James C. WoodyardBarbour, WV1817
Nancy1784Andrew McClanahanFauquier, VA1808
Joanna1786Uriah ModisettFauquier, VA1804
Sarah1789William CorderFauquier, VA1811
Lyle K. Corder
13 Crestview Terrace, Bridgeport, WV 26330.

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