This page provides documents that show where Michael Korns, Sr. of Somerset County, PA was living between the time he was last documented in the records of Berks County, PA in 1786, and first appeared in the records of Londonderry Twp., Bedford Co., PA (which became part of Somerset County, PA) in 1795. This information provides additional support to the inference that Michael Korns, Sr. of Somerset County, PA was the son of Carl Korn of Berks County, PA.
File Format Discussion
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Survey & Land Office list showing Jacob & Michael Corns' land west of Fort Cumberland
In 1787 the Governor and Council of Maryland, by authority of the Legislature, commissioned a survey of the territory of the State lying westward of Fort Cumberland. The survey was performed, marking out 4,165 lots of 50 acres each, and noting lands that were already occupied and improved by settlers. The survey was performed by Francis Deakins, and a "Map of military lots, tracts, patents, etc. in western Allegany and Garrett Counties, Maryland" was prepared from the original survey by Hezekiah Veatch in 1787. To see a grayscale version of the complete Veatch map, click here (9932KB. (A less convenient to use color version is available at the website of the Library of Congress.) The June 11, 1787 appointment of Francis Deakins to "…lay out the lands on the property of the State to the Westward of Fort Cumberland…" is recorded on page 198 of the "Journal of the State Council, 1784-1789".
A Land Office list still exists pertaining to the lots west of Fort Cumberland which shows that Michael Corns patented lot 3356 in on March 5th, 1802, and Jacob Corns patented lot 3352 on June 17, 1797. The image below is from page 328 of that list. Note that Jacob’s lot was part of Barrell’s 1840 purchase. For an 1874 map that shows Barrell’s purchase, click here.
The Land Office list pictured below is referred to as the "Lots Westward of Fort Cumberland" 1793-1903 list, available in its entirety at the Maryland State Archives. Other references, below, indicate that Michael Corns was living on his lot in 1787 when the survey was made. There were several different lists. Jacob Corns is not on various published lists of settlers living on the land at the time of the survey, but he is on the 1793-1903 Land Office list; one list has appraised lot values while the 1793-1903 Land Office list does not. Michael's name is clearly "Corns" on the 1793-1903 Land Office list, but it is given as "Corn" on the published lists of settlers who were living on the land at the time of the survey. Lot 3352, which Jacob Corns eventually owned, is associated with a McKenzie on the list of 1787 settlers. Click here to see a survey of land surrounding lot 3352 called “Corn’s Addition” that Thomas Beall assigned to Jacob Korns in 1794. Click here to see a modern plat map overlaid on the 1787 Veatch map of Deakin's Survey, showing the location of Jacob Korn's lot 3352 relative to present-day (2009) roads.
This particular 1793-1903 Land Office list is apparently not the original Deakins list of settlers because it lists soldiers, in addition to settlers and others who patented lots. It is apparently a later list that was kept by the Land Office to track who ultimately got which lots. It may have been created at least partially in response to legislation that was eventually passed to specify how settlers, and others who came along later and wanted vacant lots, could acquire the lots. See the Kilty book (links below) for a summary of that legislation.
Pages 345-346 of the Kilty book state "after satisfying the claims aforesaid, as well of settlers as officers and soldiers, the remainder of the said lots westward of Fort Cumberland should be sold for any kind of specie certificates of the state, and that the purchasers, after payment of the purchase money, should be entitled to patents from the register of the land office, on paying the usual fees; that the aforesaid general plot and books of certificates should be lodged in the land office, and that the said books of certificates of the four thousand one hundred and sixty five lots aforesaid should be considered to all intents and purposes as record books of the land office; and it was further directed that the commissioner or commissioners before mentioned should make a record of all valuations by them made, and of all the lots distributed among the officers and soldiers aforesaid, and of all lots sold by them in virtue of this act, and return the same to the register of the land office, to be by him safely kept. These, which as well as the plot and books of Mr. Deakins were returned agreeable to this direction, are also considered and used, in some sort as record books of the office. But they have not been so denominated by law."
The part of this passage that I have highlighted appears to describe legislation that established the Lots Westward of Fort Cumberland 1793-1903 list. The quoted passage also makes it clear that there was more than one list. The Maryland State Archives website describes the Lots Westward of Fort Cumberland 1793-1903 list as "Lists maintained by the Land Office of military lots west of Fort Cumberland…".
The links below show the full pages 328 and 329 from the 1793-1903 Land Office list, and the location of lot 3356, and other lots of interest, on the 1787 map. The lot of Michael Corn was between Wellersburg, PA and Ellerslie, MD. The Michael Corn farm is the farm in the upper left and corner of this aerial photo and this topographical map from the U.S. Geological Survey. In the aerial photo, note that one of the fields has the same angled orientation (relative to the Pennsylvania line) as the Michael Corn lot on the 1787 map. In these two U.S. Geological Survey images, Ellerslie, Maryland is in the upper right hand corner. Lot 3356 is located just beyond the steep western side of the Little Allegheny Mountain, which is a formidable physical barrier.
The Southampton Township, Somerset County farm of Michael Korns, Sr. is very close to the 1787 Michael Corn lot 3356. In this U.S. Geological Survey aerial photo, the previously known Somerset County Michael Korns farm is labeled at the upper left hand corner, and the location of the newly found Michael Corn lot 3356 is labeled at the lower right hand corner. Note the trace of a road from one farm to the other in the photo. The Somerset County farm of Michael Korns, Sr. is a little closer, "as the crow flies", to the location of lot 3356 than it is to Wellersburg. Visit this page for interactive maps and satellite photos of Michael Corn's Maryland lot 3356, and the near-by Somerset County, PA Korns farms. Click here to see photos of the former George Sturtz Place, including a photo of Michael Korn’s Deakin’s Survey lot no. 3356 that was taken from the Mason Dixon line.
P. 328-329 of the "Lots Westward of Fort Cumberland" 1793-1903 Land Office list, including Jacob & Michael Corn, Charles Uhl, Jacob Bealle (873KB PDF)
This image shows the 1787 map date, the Michael Corn lot 3356 & Jacob Bealle lot 3357
This image shows nearly all of the map, and shows that the river is labeled as the Potomac
An image from the 1787 Veatch map showing the location of lot 3356 & nearby lots 3352, 3357, 3360 & 3361
The approximate scale of the 1787 Veatch map
High resolution PDF (1618KB) color copy of northeast corner of the Veatch map
High resolution JPG (1666KB) color copy of northeast corner of the Veatch map
Note that Charles Uhl is listed with lot 3360 on page 328, and lot 3361 on page 329. Both of these lots are due west of the lot of Michael Corns. Two of the children of this Charles Uhl married children of Michael Korns, Senior. Pages 318-325 of the book "A Clowes-Swanson Genealogy" by Lois Clowes Witherspoon indicate that Charles Uhl, a former Berks County resident and the father of the Charles Uhl who married Barbara Korns, and also father of the Catherine Uhl who married Charles Korns, Sr., bequeathed military lot 3361, and other property, to his wife in his will. This helps to substantiate that the "Michael Corns" on the list is indeed our "Michael Korns, Sr." who we know later lived in nearby Somerset County, Pa. Also note that the Maryland survey list has an 1840 annotation, so the list appears to have been in some kind of Land Office use for a long time. Page 306 of the book "A Clowes-Swanson Genealogy", also states that descendants of Barbara (Korn) Uhl reported that Barbara Korn was born in Maryland in 1797. If true, this appears to be additional support that Michael Korns lived in Maryland before moving to Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA.
Other names on the Maryland survey list have surnames familiar to Korns researchers, such as Cook, Witt, Tomlinson and also Jacob Bealle (on lot 3357, touching the Michael Corns lot). One of Michael Korns' daughters married a John Beal, and I suspect but I am not sure that John was the son of the Jacob Bealle on the list. According to a Beal genealogy on rootsweb.com, a Jacob Beil who lived and died Allegheny County, Maryland, whose wife's name was Maria Barbara, was the father of John Beal b.1781 d.1825 who married Mary Magdalena Korns b.1785 d. 1860. An English translation of the 1795 will of that Jacob Biel is provided on rootsweb.com, and the names of Michael Corn and Jacob Witt are included on that will as witnesses or testators. The will lists Jacob's sons Conrad Biel and John Georg Biehl.
A Possible Route from Berks County to His Farm
We cannot know the specific route that Michael Korns took from the Berks County area to his Maryland farm. The 1791 Adlum & John Wallis map of Pennsylvania (reproduced in the Pennsylvania Archives, Third Series) suggests that the most direct route using principal roads would have been from Reading to Carlisle, then to Shippensburg, then to Bedford, and then either through Berlin or Cumberland. Eventually, someone cut a road from lot 3356 to Corriganville, but I don't know if this road existed in Michael Korn's day or not. Click here to see a 1939 aerial photo of lot 3356 that shows a road that ended up in Ellerslie.
1794 Special Warrant of Resurvey Granted to Michael Korn, Cnh
Click here to see a 2886KB PDF of Unpatented Certificate 130 for a 1795 resurvey of lot 3356 to include additional vacant lands to be named "Brushy Ridge" which states (to the best I can make out) "By virtue of a special Warrant of Resurvey granted Out of the land office for the Western Shore to Michael Corn of Allegany County bearing date the 15th Day of May 1794 to resurvey the following tracts lying and being in the County aforesaid ______ lot No. 3356 and a tract calld Mistake orininally on the ______ day of _________ granted ______________ for _____ acres to resurvey the aforesaid land amend all errors and the contiguous vacancy and reduce the whole into one entire tract _______
I Certify that I have carefully resurveyed for and in the name of him the said Micahel Corn the aforesaid lot No. 3356 according to its Severail antecedent meets and bounds and find it contains fify acres to which I have added one peice (sic) vacency containing five thousand seven hundred and thirty six acres and have reduced the whole into one entire tract...".
According to the Maryland State Archives, "Resurveys of patented land were frequently made, using a warrant of resurvey. The resurvey verified the original boundaries of the tract and added contiguous vacant land, if any was discovered. On the topic of Unpatented Certificates of Survey, the Maryland State Archives states "Some certificates of survey failed to result in the issuance of a patent under that tract name or at that time. Sometimes the reasons are given, and sometimes are unknown.". Since the "Brushy Ridge" tract is listed by the Maryland State Archives as "Unpatented Certificate 340", it maybe the survey failed to result in the issuance of a land patent. The validity of the resurvey may depend on what "special Warrant of Resurvey granted Out of the land office for the Western Shore to Michael Corn of Allegany County bearing date the 15th Day of May 1794.." means. More research is needed.
Michael Corn Patented Lot 3356 in 1802
According to this summary list of lot surveys, Michael Corn received a patent to lot 3356 in March, 1802. It may be that the previously mentioned resurvey failed to result in a patent that included adjacent vacant land because lot 3356 was not yet patented at the time of the resurvey.
Michael Korns sold Lot 3356 in 1812
According to the "Tomlinson Land Deeds" web page, Allegany County Maryland Deed Book F Page 524 records that on October 14, 1812 Michael Corn of Maryland deeded to John T (presumably Tomlinson) of Maryland, lot No. 3356, which bordered lot 3355 and the Pennsylvania line, for $150, and "Susannah Corns Wife To Michael Released Her Dower". The statement that the lot was bordered by the Pennsylvania line references the straight line on the 1787 map, which runs east-west; i.e. the Mason-Dixon line. Note that on the enlarged view of the 1787 map, the land beyond the straight line is labeled as being Pennsylvania.
The statement "Susannah Corns Wife To Michael Released Her Dower" leaves us with a bit of a loose end, because the 1949 book "The Genealogy of Michael Korns, Sr. of Somerset County Pennsylvania" reports that Michael Korns' wife Susanna’s tombstone records that she died on May 10th, 1811. Clearly, we need to review the deed records to see when "Susannah Corns Wife To Michael Released Her Dower".
Even though Michael Korn didn't sell the Maryland lot no. 3356 until 1812, he was already very well-established as a resident of Southampton Township, Somerset County PA by 1804, because on Feb. 20, 1804 the Pennsylvania State Legislature passed a law that specified his Southampton Township house as a voting place.
Description of the survey in Lowdermilk's "History of Cumberland"
The pages indexed below are from the 1878 "History of Cumberland" by William H. Lowdermilk. In these pages, the 1787 survey is described, and "Michael Corn" is on a list of settlers who, at the time of the survey, were "then located upon the lands lying in Maryland west of Fort Cumberland". This book states "In 1787 the Governor and Council, by authority of the Legislature, appointed Francis Deakins to survey these lands and make a return of a general plot of the county westward of Fort Cumberland. Mr. Deakins performed this duty, showing that 4,165 lots of fifty acres each had been laid off, he being careful to indicate those lots which were already occupied and improved by settlers, they being conditionally secured to the persons settled thereon.".
According to the book "The Genealogy of Michael Korns, Sr.", Michael Korns was last assessed in Berks County, PA in 1786, and didn't show up in the Bedford County (now Somerset County) records until 1795. This list of settlers, whose names were collected at the time of the 1787 survey according to this book, explains where Michael Korns, Sr. went after leaving Berks County.
Pages in PDF Format:
Lowdermilk's "History of Cumberland"
Individual pages in GIF Format:
Lowdermilk book title page
Page 263-Discussion of why the survey was done
Page 264-List of settlers, including the name Michael Corn
Page 265-Charles Uhl on settler list
Page 266-Last page of list, legislative comments
Why the Survey was done; a 1777 Act
As documented in the book "Laws of Maryland 1763-1784", page 182, in 1777 the Maryland General Assembly passed "An act for recruiting the quota of troops of this state in the American army, and furnishing them with cloathing and other necessaries". "Every effective recruit is to receive, besides the continental allowances, a bounty of forty dollars, a pair of shoes, a pair of stockings, and at the expiration of his term, provided he shall not desert from the army, 50 acres of land, to be procured and laid off as aforesaid, to him or his representative." The pertinent pages are listed here:
Volume 203-1777 Act (681KB PDF)
A 1788 Act allowing the Settlers to buy the land
As documented beginning near the bottom of page 350 of Volume 204 the "Laws of Maryland 1785-1791" (links below), an act was passed on December 23, 1788 that allowed settlers already living on the land to purchase it. The act, Chapter XLIV, is titled "An act to dispose of the reserved lands westward of Fort Cumberland, in Washington county, and to fulfill the engagements made by this state to the officers and soldiers of the Maryland line in the service of the United States.". (Allegany County was formed from Washington County on December 25, 1789; see page 1344 from the "History of Western Maryland", linked above.)
The act states that Deakins had already finished the survey (page 351), as follows "...And whereas, in pursuance of a resolve of the general assembly, at April session, seventeen hundred and eighty-seven, authorizing the governor and council to appoint and employ some skilful person to lay out the manors, and such parts of the reserves and vacant lands belonging to this state, lying westward of Fort Cumberland, as he might think fit and capable of being settled and improved, in lots of fifty acres each, Francis Deakins was appointed and employed by the governor and council for that purpose, and he finished the said survey, and has returned a general plot of the county westward of Fort Cumberland, on which four thousand one hundred and sixty-five lots of fifty acres each are laid off, besides sundry tracts which have been patented, distinguishing on the plot those lots which have been settled and improved from those which remain uncultivated; and the said Francis Deakins has also returned two books, entitled A and B, in which are entered certificates of all the lots before mentioned; And whereas it appears to this general assembly, that there are three hundred and twenty-three families settled on six hundred and thirty-six of the aforesaid lots, which they have improved and cultivated;
II. Be it enacted, by the General Assembly of Maryland, That a preference be given to the said settlers to purchase the said six hundred and thirty-six lots by them respectively settled, not exceeding the quantities registered and noted by the surveyor in the books aforesaid, at not less than five nor more than twenty shillings per acre, one third part thereof to be paid on the first day of September next, one other third on the first day of September, seventeen hundred and ninety, and the remaining third in twelve months thereafter, in current money; and that the price of any provisions furnished and services rendered in assistance to the said Francis Deakins in surveying the said lands, be discounted out of any of the first or any other payment to be made by the said settlers.".
Pages 350-354, Laws of Maryland 1785-1791, Volume 204 (1444 KB PDF)
Legislative History & Settler List presented in "History of Western Maryland"
The legislative history of the land reserved for the soldiers, descriptions of Fort Cumberland, and a list of the early settlers west of Fort Cumberland are included in the 1882 book "History of Western Maryland" by J. Thomas Scharf. Mr. Scharf was the Commissioner of the Land Office and as such, had access to the relevant records. In regard to the settler list presented in this book, the author states "The following is a list of settlers located in 1788 upon the lands lying in Maryland west of Fort Cumberland:". This list includes the name "Michael Corn", but does not include the name "Jacob Corn".
Pages in PDF Format:
31 pages from "History of Western Maryland" in PDF format (3710 KB PDF)
Individual pages from the "History of Western Maryland" in GIF or JPG Format:
Title Page, History of Western Maryland (51 KB)
Un-numbered page, Western Maryland map, B&W (62 KB)
Un-numbered page, Western Maryland map, color (1233 KB)
P. 79 Jesse Korns describes Fort Cumberland (109 KB)
P. 80 More description of Fort Cumberland (109 KB)
P. 145 Description of the Deakins Survey of the Soldier Lands (110 KB)
P. 1324 Description of Fort Cumberland (106 KB)
P. 1325 Drawings of Fort Cumberland (90 KB)
P. 1342 Beginning of discussion of early settlements (99 KB)
P. 1343 Michael Corn and Jacob Beal listed as early settlers west of Fort Cumberland (110 KB)
P. 1344 Charles Uhl and John Tomlinson listed as early settlers west of Fort Cumberland (105 KB)
You can read about Scharf’s Lists of Military Lots, and see an electronic version of a more recent (1874) version of the western part of the survey map at the website of Western Maryland's Historical Society. According to that web page, the lots in the eastern part of the Deakins survey, in what is now Allegany County (where lot 3356 of Michael Corns was), were not used for military land grants.
List of settlers from the History of Allegany County Maryland
A list of early settlers living west of Fort Cumberland, including the name "Michael Corn", is also provided in volume 1 of the book “History of Allegany County Maryland” by James W. Thomas, LL.D. and Judge T.J.C. Williams. This book states "Lots of land west of Fort Cumberland were offered by the State government to volunteers in the Continental Army. In 1788 Francis Deakins laid out 4,165 of these military lots." The 1788 date given for the survey appears to be wrong, because the date on the Veatch map of the Deakins survey at the National Archives is clearly 1787.
In PDF Format:
History of Allegany County Maryland, pages 1-5 in PDF format (464 KB PDF)
Individual pages in GIF Format:
Cover page, History of Allegany County Maryland
Page 1, Introduction to bounty lands, Francis Deakins
Page 2, 322 families already settled west of Fort Cumberland
Page 3, Beginning of the list of early settlers located west of Fort Cumberland
Page 4, Second Page of list, with names of Michael Corn, Jacob Beall
Page 5, Charles Uhl on Deakins list of settlers
There was More Than One list of lots west of Fort Cumberland
From the Kilty book quote above (links to original pages provided below), it is clear that there was more than one list of the lots from the Deakins survey. The Kilty book mentions "books of certificates" as being official Land Office records and also mentions the "books of Mr. Deakins" that were also possessed and used by the land office, but were not official records denominated by law. It turns out there were many lists related to the lots west of Fort Cumberland. A description of various lists is provided in the March 6, 1989 issue of the THE ARCHIVISTS' Bulldog (Vol. 3, No. 9), in an article titled "Maryland's Revolutionary Bounty Lands".
A comparison of the published lists with the "Lots Westward of Fort Cumberland" 1793-1903 Land Office list also shows there were different versions of the lists. For example, Jacob Corn is listed on the handwritten copy of the "Lots Westward of Fort Cumberland" 1793-1903 Land Office list, but he is not in the list of settlers in the Lowdermilk's "History of Cumberland", and he is not in the list of settlers in the book "History of Allegany County Maryland " by Thomas and Williams, and his is not on the settler list in Scharf's "History of Western Maryland".
Furthermore, roots web.com provides a transcription of a "Deakin's List of Settlers" that lists lots "Given to those settlers to purchase 636 lots by them respectively settled, to be discharged in three equal annual payments in the years 1789, 1790 and 1791" that also lists the appraised value of the lots, and lists Michael Corn, but not Jacob Corn. This has to be a different copy of the list than the "Lots Westward of Fort Cumberland" 1793-1903 list pictured above, because the list pictured above does not show appraised values. The list with appraised lot values was evidently made in 1789, because the legislation which specified the payment schedule was enacted on December 23, 1788, and the legislation specifies payments to be made in the years 1789, 1790 and 1791 (See page 346 of the Kilty book (link below). This appraisal list specifically references the people on the list as "settlers", seemingly proving that Michael Korn was living on his lot at the time it was appraised. One can also deduce that Jacob Korn was not living on his lot at the time the appraisal list was created.
In the "Lots Westward of Fort Cumberland" 1793-1903 Land Office list, the name is clearly spelled "Corns", but in the lists in the books and internet transcript cited above, the name is reported as "Corn", further demonstrating the presence of at least two lists.
Kilty's 1808 "Land-Holder's Assistant, and Land-Office Guide"
The following pages are from Chapter V of Kilty's 1808 "Land-Holder's Assistant, and Land-Office Guide", which describes "…provisions of the acts of assembly relative to military, and settlers, lands westward of Fort Cumberland.". The title of Chapter V is "Of Grants of Land for Military Service, and Preemption to Settlers, Westward of Fort Cumberland.".
Chapter V of Kilty's 1808 "Land-Holder's Assistant, and Land-Office Guide" (1177 KB PDF)
1874 map of Barrelville area
Click here to see an 1874 map of the Barrelville area that shows Barrelville, the local railroads, and some of the military lots. This 1874 map is useful for researchers because it locates some of the lots relative to Barrelville.
A 1939 Aerial Photo that shows where Michael & Jacob's Lots Were
Click here to see a very large (2530 KB) annotated 1939 aerial photo of the area below Wellersburg. It shows both the Jacob Korn lot 3552 and the Michael corn lot 3356, and a road that heads from Jacob’s lot in the general direction of Michael’s lot. Annotation of this photo was a joint effort between L. Dietle & local area resident Mike Mckenzie. (For best results, use your browser to zoom in and out and pan, or download the photo to your desktop and use photo viewing software with the same features.)
Significance of the research presented on this web page
The 1949 book "The Genealogy of Michael Korns, Sr." is a truly monumental book, but its author Dr. Charles Byron Korns did not intend for it to be the last word on the subject. Indeed, he ended the book with a challenge to us all, writing "This first edition of "The Korns Genealogy" establishes a nucleus, from which a more accurate and complete History of the various descendants of the Korn or Korns line may be written."
One significant loose end in the book is the stated inference that Jacob Korns and Michael Korns, Sr. of Somerset county, PA were the sons of Carl Korn of Berks County, PA. In reference to the children of Carl Korn, Page 20 of the book states "The children had moved from Berks County as the census of 1790 and again of 1800 did not enumerate any person by the name of Korn or Corn in Berks County. The inference is that four of the children have located in Southampton Township, Somerset County, Pa.". Page 10 of the book lists 5 different Korns men who emigrated to PA from Europe in the 1752-1754 time period, so this was a significant inference of the sort that any dedicated present day Korns genealogist should want to scrutinize.
Page 28 of the book states "Michael Korn was assessed in Berks County as late as 1786.", and also states "No records are available as to the assessment of Michael Korn or others of the Korns family from the time he was last assessed in Berks County until he arrived in Londonderry Township, Bedford County.". Page 21 of the book provides details on the 1786 tax assessment of Michael Korn. Page 8 of the book states "The enumeration of the First Census in 1790 does not name one person by the name of Korn or Korns, although there is a Michael Corn in Derry Township, Westmoreland County, Pa., and Henry Corns in Northumberland County, Pa., both enumerated in the 1790 census.". Page 13 of the book states "A Deed was granted to Michael Korns and his brother Jacob Korns in Bedford County by John Tomlinson, February 9, 1796." Page 39 of the book states that Michael Korn was assessed for taxes in Londonderry Twp., Bedford Co., Pa. in 1795, and page 20 states "He moved to Londonderry Twp., Bedford County, Pa., in 1795.". Page 28 of the book states "When Somerset County was organized in 1795 that part of Bedford County including Londonderry Township was added to Somerset County and named Southampton Township in Somerset County.". So, the Korns book, as remarkable as it is, leaves us with a serious problem--a time gap of 9 years, and only an inference that the son of Carl Korn of Berks County was the Michael Korn of Somerset County, and not the Michael Corn in the 1790 Westmoreland County, PA census.
The new information presented above on this page fills in that 9 year time gap, showing that right after Michael Korn was last assessed in Berks County, PA in 1786, a man named Michael Corn was documented in 1787 or 1788 to be living in Maryland close to another Berks County emigrant Charles Uhl, and close to the eventual Somerset County farm of Michael Korns, Senior. Through a number of findings presented above, this Michael Corn living in Maryland is obviously the Michael Korns, Sr. who later lived in Somerset County. The reason that no other Michael Korn showed up in the 1790 census, aside from the Michael Corn of Westmoreland County, PA (as the book reports), is explainable because the census records of 1790 for Allegany County no longer exist. Since our Michael Korns, Sr. showed up in Maryland records shortly after Michael Korn disappeared from the Berks County, PA records, it appears safe to infer that they are one and the same person.
Dr. Korns' inference that Jacob Korns and Michael Korns, Sr. of Somerset County were the sons of Carl Korn wasn't just a wild guess, but he doesn't specifically detail its basis. He had names that disappeared from the Berks County area and reappeared in the Somerset County and nearby Maryland areas, and perhaps some known connections to other individuals who once lived in Berks County. Further, he knew that Jacob and Michael Korns owned property together in Somerset County, PA, which suggests that they were related. I don't have time right now to analyze the facts that he had available at the time he wrote the book, but the Maryland records strongly support that he made the correct inference. If Dr. Korns were still alive, I believe that he would be delighted to know that these newly analyzed Maryland records support his inference. Much credit is due to Dr. Korns, because without his extensive research, our understanding of the significance of the Maryland records would not be possible.
Page 21 of the 1949 Korns book indicates Michael Korn was listed as a weaver in the 1786 tax list for Maxatawny Township, Berks County, PA. While weaving was a common activity in those days, performed on a small scale by many farm wives to clothe their families, the many weaving items that were sold at the December 8th, 1824 public sale of Michael Korn’s personal property suggests that the Somerset County Michael Korns was engaged in commercial weaving activity. The evidence of probable commercial weaving activity in Somerset County, and the listed occupation of weaver in the Maxatawny Township tax list, are harmonious facts that tend to support the inference that the Berks County Michael Korn and the Somerset County Michael Korn were one and the same individual.
Although I'm not sure that Dr. Korns encountered it, there seems to have been a tradition in the Southampton Township branch of the family that Carl Korn was Michael Korn's father. Click here to read about it.
Originally written June 3, 2007
Last revised November 2009
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