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The following is excepted from The English Corys, by Michael and Vernon Cory.
One distinct line, which started in North Devon, is alive and well in the American Mid-West today. William Cory (1812-1876) emigrated to America in the middle of the 19th century and settled in Iowa. He was a native of the small village of Luffincott, Devon and his antecedents had lived in that vicinity at least from 1711. In that year the parish register shows that Samuel Cory married Mary Allen at Pyworthy. The market town of Holsworthy is close by and is central to a district which has always been associated with Cory branches. However, William's branch cannot be precisely linked with any of those described in earlier chapters of The English Corys. The outline descent from Samuel and Mary is shown in the following.
Abel Cory and his wife, Elizabeth Headon who were married on 25th January 1806 at Stoke Damerel, Devon, were probably already living in Luffincott (five miles south of Holsworthy) when William, their first son was born in 1812. Subsequent children were baptized at North Tamerton and Boyton churches in parishes lying across the Tamar in Cornwall, but both were close to Holsworthy. In all probability Abel was a farm worker. It is not known what prompted William to emigrate at the age of 41 in 1853 since by that time he and Elizabeth has several children. Nevertheless the decision was taken and it entailed no light undertaking. Even in the mid-19th century the conditions awaiting them in Mid-West America would have been totally undeveloped. The voyage itself must have been a considerable ordeal and years later Abel, the youngest child, gave us a gripping account. They sailed from England in a ship described as a "combination sail-boat and war vessel". The trip on the high seas lasted seven weeks and three days, during which time two-year old Abel was seriously ill. Three times his parents gave him up as dead but somehow he survived the hardships.
They all landed in the mouth of the St. Lawrence (probably at Quebec) and then trans-shipped to a lake vessel which took them up river to Lake Ontario as far as Niagara. It would appear that they portaged at this point, then sailed by way of Lake Erie, Huron and Michigan to Chicago'. From Chicago they travelled by land westwards across the State of Illinois to some point on the Mississippi from where they again boarded ship, apparently sailing south. They disembarked at the riverside town of Muscatine in Iowa. From here father Cory commissioned a wagon and team which took the weary family to a farm near Mount Vernon, Iowa where they arrived on June 27th 1853.
The contrast between North Devon and the Prairies would have been staggering and the West country family must have had many initial misgivings. However, the State of Iowa was a mere seven years old and the frontier spirit of amity and perseverance was no doubt in full sway amongst the settlers. The Cory family undoubtedly thrived. According to "The History of Linn County" (1878) William then owned 290 acres in the township of Marion (now a suburb of Cedar Rapids) in the east of the State. There were nine children. Abel who had scarcely survived the emigrant voyage, showed early talent. After public schooling he attended the nearby Cornell College providing the foundation for a plural career of teaching and farming. He finally concentrated on farming his own 100 acre holding. His reputation with the rest of the Corys was more than a little clouded at his death at the age of 81, when he bequeathed his entire estate to the Cornell College!
William junior was about 20 when the family reached Iowa. He married Louisa Stamburgh in 1866 and they followed tradition with a large family of 11. At some point there was a move to western Iowa where William's son, Thaddeus lived from 1882. Thaddeus' son, Thaddeus Lincoln Cory was born in Coon Rapids, Iowa in 1904 and broke with tradition both by reaching the State College (now University) at Ames, Iowa and by showing outstanding ability in the game of football. He moved on to Columbus, Ohio State College, graduated in Mechanical Engineering and subsequently taught and coached football at a military academy in Northern Indiana. He married Wava Ream of Michigan and, after the birth of two sons, Thomas Lincoln and John Ream, the family moved to Canton, Illinois, where Thaddeus joined the International Harvester Company. Thomas now lives in Arkansas while John who became a Minister in the United Methodist Church, serves in the leafy Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn.
It is interesting that the Rev. John's association with the Methodists harks back to his North Devon roots where that denomination was always prominent. John has been very active in encouraging interest in the Cory family history and in his own field he has promoted international religious studies in the Chicago area. His wife, Carol, is also a Minister. In the present generation Michael in Little Rock and Karlynn in Oak Lawn carry the Cory name forward.