The McCords

Mom’s grandmother’s maiden name was Velma McCord, who was born in Corinth in the northern part of Mississippi in 1881. Her father was Rufus Chapman McCord who was born near Moulton, in the northern part of Alabama. There were a bunch of McCords around Moulton, but they seem to have left, many moving to Corinth, but others going to Tennessee. I’m not sure what the draw to Corinth was, but there was another family of McCords there as well which may be unrelated or at best distantly related. Rufus’ father was William J. McCord who lived in Moulton for a while, but was born in Tennessee. He had a family bible, which like many family bibles, was used to write down important family information like births, marriages, and deaths.

William really took this seriously, or at least people in his family did. The text of what was written can be found on web pages here and here, part of a project by a McCord now living in Georgia to put all of the McCord bible information in one place. William McCord’s bible is a treasure trove of information. Some of this information is available through public records like the census, marriage licenses, death certificates, etc. as well as some gravestones that have been indexed, but this is a ton of information about the family all in one place and very complete. And it is pretty accurate as well, confirmed with some of that other information when it is available.

We have all of this information about his family in this book, but nowhere does it say when or where William died. The bible was passed on and more information was added about births and marriages of William’s descendants, all the way down to Velma’s daughter, Helen, marrying Horace. My grandparents. There doesn’t seem to be anything past the 1920’s. Mom says she thinks some of her Birmingham relatives may have this bible. The website doesn’t say who it belongs to.

Before the transcription of the bible entries starts, there is a transcription of a letter William wrote that was kept in the bible where he goes into the history of the McCords in pretty good detail, going all the way back to the 1720’s when his Scottish ancestors first immigrated to the United States from Northern Ireland (where they lived briefly after coming out on the losing end of an uprising in Scotland). He mentions 7 brothers, of which his great-grandfather David was one. From what I can find, we know three brothers settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (originally, now Franklin County, along the southern border in central Pennsylvania) in 1720, William, David, and John. A fourth brother, Robert, would come over a little later (there is a good history here written by a descendant of Robert’s). The McCords were on the front lines of the French and Indian War, fought over the Westward expansion of the colonies into land claimed by the French, with the Indians maybe figuring it was better to have the French nominally claim the land than for settlers to move in on their territory permanently. There are some great resources about the McCords during this time, including history of an attack on William’s land where he had built a fort, called Fort McCord, but where he was killed on April 1, 1756, and some of his children taken hostage by the Indians. There is a great page written by McCords that talks about the attack on Fort McCord and the ill-fated rescue attempt where some hostages were freed, but a lot of rescuers were killed in the Battle of Sideling Hill, also written about here. Two years later my ancestor, David (my great5grandfather, and his wife were killed in a different attack and some of their children taken hostage, again rescued eventually.

No doubt William J. McCord knew a lot of stories that would be great to have, but mostly he was concentrating on names of everyone. Here is what he wrote in that letter kept in the bible:

David McCord, my great, grandfather, was killed by the Indians in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; also his wife. The Indians took three of his children prisoners, viz., my grandfather James and two of his sisters, I think Margaret and Jane. They carried them to Detroit and across the great waters to Plymouth and then exchanged and returned home. The sisters got home without crossing the sea, not known how. Another married in Pennsylvania a man by the name of Anderson. I know of but 3 brothers to my great, grandfather. William, the oldest was killed by the Indians at McCord Fort, Penna., John who settled in Mechlenburg County, North Carolina, Benjamin, perhaps settled in Kentucky. It is supposed they all came from Ireland, seven brothers, their names not known from Scotland to Ireland, hence called Scotch-Irish. My grandfather had perhaps 3 brothers, William, who settled in Kentucky; John in North Carolina; and David, I think who settled not known where: my grandfather and three sons, David, James and Ambrose, and 3 daughters, Jane, Elizabeth and Mary. James, being my father had sons and daughters as follows: Robert C., Wm. J., David L., Samuel H., Campbell W., Lucinda, Penelope, Rowena, Cynthia, Susan and Eliza, twins.

Putting it in family tree form, it would look like this, which I have entered on The green leaves mean that Ancestry thinks they have a record or information that applies to that person, but you have usually have to be subscriber to see the info. I’m using their free account which doesn’t allow me to hook up with other people’s information. This is actually good because on where everything is collaborative (like Wikipedia), the McCords have become quite jumbled. Most of the original brothers seemed to have named their sons after the brothers, so there are a lot of repeated names, with a James being in every family and every generation. So in this tree the first row are the 7 brothers from Scotland (via Ireland; I don’t think they all came to the US). The second to the last row has William, who wrote all of this up. And the row below that includes all of his children, including Rufus Chapman McCord, my great, great-grandfather. You can see Rufus has a sister named Velma, who was no doubt the namesake for his own daughter, Velma.


4 thoughts on “The McCords

    • If you click on the picture, it should bring up a bigger image. In my browser if I click on the big picture it then expands it to a full-size picture which is easier to read and I can scroll around.

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