spacer.gif (873 bytes)

note.gif (721 bytes)

Research to be Done on the Corse Case

 John P. DuLong

 Please cite, quote, or photocopy only with
the written permission of the author.

bar.gif (1570 bytes)

This web page has my rough notes and reminders of research steps to be taken on the Corse Case and the related Dumontet Case.

To Do:

  1. Look for a letter dated 28 February 1719 from Esther Williams to Stephen Williams, in GC, Rev. John Williams and Family, case 8, box 28, GC = Gratz Collection, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.  According to Demos (1994, 253, 271 n. 47), this letter is suppose to be filled with gossip about what happened to the various captives.  Does it mention Elizabeth Corse?

  2. Partially done, September 1999: The John Pynchon Account Books (6 vols.) at the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum, Springfield, MA, should be searched for mentions of James Corse and others.  Also, available at the Family History Library.  The two microfilm sets are organized differently and have somewhat different coverage (Bridenbaugh and Tomlinson 1982-1985, see 2:x-xi).  Melvoin relied on this source.  Does the Historic Deerfield Library hold copies of these account books?  Yes, these are at Deerfield as Pynchon, John, 1621-1703, Account Books, 6 v., and Other Records, 3v.  Springfield, Mass., 1651-1697, 2 rolls, M 974.426 S869p.   Roll 1 has vol. 1, 1651-1653; vol. 2, 1657-1666; vol. 3, 1664-1668; vol. 4, 1666-1697.  Roll 2, vol. 5, part 1, 1672-1693; vol. 5, part 2, 1672-1692; vol. 6, 1683-1691; Account Books, Waste Book for Hampshire IX; and Hampshire Record of Births, Marriages, Deaths, 1638-1696.  I skimmed through the second roll, but did not find anything.  The writing is hard to read and disorganized.  The vital records do not cover Northfield or Deerfield, but does cover Northampton, Hatfield, and Hadley.   I ran out of time on this visit.  These records should really be checked again more closely.  We should be able to find some mention of the debt James Corse owed to John Pynchon.

  3. Partially done, September 1999, see previous point: Look at Index to Hampshire Records of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1638-1696, Privately Kept by William and John Pynchon: Brookfield, Enfield, Hadley, Hatfield, Northampton, Springfield, Suffield, and Westfield.  Hartford: Connecticut State Library, 1957.  OCLC 32267975.  Is this on microfilm at the Family History Library.  Does the Historic Deerfield Library have a copy of it?

  4. Check "Judd manuscript, records of Northampton," compiled by Sylvester Judd and James Russell Trumbull, microfilm of original records at the Forbes Library, Northampton, Massachusetts.  Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1958, FHL film 186154 index and 186155 records, ca. 1650-1820.  Does the Historic Deerfield Library have a copy of this manuscript?  Apparently, they have some Judd papers but not the ones relating to Northampton.

  5. Go through the online version of Savage's A Genealogical Dictionary and identify all the Scots he mentions.  Try to figure what proportion of the Scots came to New England before 1700.  Identify any others who might have come over at the same time as Gurley and Corse.

  6. Search the Old Parochial Registers Index for Scotland (LDS 1994?) available at the Family History Library and most Family History Centers for information about James Corse. 

  7. Extend analysis of Corses in Scotland and England by adding data from the new British Isles Vital Records Index on CD-ROM available from the Family History Library.

  8. Read up on the history of Rev. Stoddard.  Locate his papers.  Look for mentions of servants or wards.

  9. Read up on Northampton.  Were there any banished Scots living there before 1686?

  10. Interlibrary loan from the National Genealogical Society Henry DeCoursey Adams' William DeCoursey, 1756-1841, Private, American Revolutionary Army.... (Gaithersburg, MD: Privately printed, 1 October 1971, Supplement 1 June 1973).  Can not get through regular interlibrary loan. 

  11. Interlibrary loan from the Family History Library Alma Gilliland Beatty's The House of deCoursey, A.D., 814-1971, 2 vols. (FHL microfilm 896820, item 3 for vol. 1, 1972, and FHL microfilm 962286, item 2 for vol. 2, 1974).  Can not get through regular interlibrary loan.

  12. Look at Virginia DeJohn Anderson's New England's Generation: The Great Migration and the Formation of Society and Culture in the Seventeenth Century (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991).  Does she cover the migration of Scots to New England.

  13. Examine the 1686 list of Northfield land grants.  Verify the date.   Inspect the spelling of the Corse surname.

  14. Get photocopies of the Peter Russel letters to Robert Russel, 16 March 1688 and May 1688, "Orbiston Letters," Motherwell Public Library, Scotland, 1: 164, 172.  Russel was lived in Newark, New Jersey.

  15. Look at "New Oxford, Huguenot Colony, History, 1680-1704," Cape Cod Genealogical Society Bulletin, 13:4 (December 1987).

  16. Look at Everitt S. Stockpoles "The Scotch Exiles in New England," typescript mss. at the Maine Historical Society Library, Portland, 1929.

  17. Look for book on families of Northampton, MA, by James A. Smith.

  18. Check and see if any standard references on French surnames consider Corse as a surname.


  1. Done, August 1999: Get PC, the Register of the Privy Council of Scotland (3rd series, Edinburgh, 1908-) and ETR, J. A. Fairley, Extracts from Edinburgh Tolbooth Records 1657-1687 (Edinburgh, 1923).  No longer necessary because I have photocopies of the original documents.

  2. Done, September 1999: Melvoin (1989, 319 n. 2) compiled genealogical materials in a series of charts.  He donated a copy to the Henry Flynt Library of Historic Deerfield.   These should be viewed.  They have been added to the individual file folders, nothing was found for Corse or Catlin.

  3. Done, September 1999: At the Historic Deerfield Library verify Catlin and Corse folder and letters citations.  Look for a Baldwin folder (nothing of value). 

  4. Done, September 1999: Find out exactly when James served as a fence viewer.

  5. Done, thanks to Brenda Babineau, 28 September 1999: Get short piece on Corse family from the "The Journal," vol. 4, November 1897, no.7 a Pennsylvania newspaper that tells about "The Corss Family" and mentions that they probably originated in Scotland.  Nothing really new here.

  6. Done, 2000: Go through PRDH and clean up dates regarding Elisabeth Casse and her family.

  7. Done, March 2001: Copy articles from the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association History and Proceedings:

    "Charles Corss," vol. 5, 1905-1911, pp. 20-23.

    "The Route of the French and Indian Army...," vol. 2, 1880-1889, pp. 126-151.

    "Thankful Stebbins...," vol. 3, 1890-1898, pp. 65-73.

    "[Settlement of Northfield] Rev. J. H. Temple's Address," vol. 1, 1870-1879, pp. 114-140.

  8. Done, 18 September 2001: Look for article about "Andrew Alexander," Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, 14 (1939): 25-26. 

  9. Done, 18 September 2001: Look again at Landsman's Scotland and Its First American Colony for information about the Alexander family.  See if this New Jersey family is related to the same named family in New England.  Nothing of interest found.


All references can be found on the References web page.

bar.gif (1570 bytes)

top.gif (2188 bytes)home.gif (2244 bytes)email.gif (2288 bytes)

This page, and all contents, are Copyright 1999 by John P. DuLong, Berkley, MI.   Created 1 July 1999.  Last modified 30 September 2001.  This web site is best viewed with your display set to 800 by 600 pixels, at least 256 colors, and using Netscape 4.x or better.  The coordinated graphics for this site come courtesy of Jelane Johnson.