Big Muddy Baptist Cemetery is located in central Butler County, just southwest of the county seat of Morgantown. There William David Sorrels and wife Isabella are buried – a stone with both names and a military marker for his service for the Union Army during the Civil War.
In the 1850 census for Butler County we find William as a 13-year-old, living with his mother, Margaret, 65, who was born in South Carolina, and siblings Sarah, 28; James W., 25; Margaret, 16; William, 13; George A., 11, and James, 6. His father, also named William, was deceased.
William D. Sorrels, at the age of 28, enrolled in the 8th Corp, Co. H, 12 Regiment of Kentucky Mounted Volunteers, August 14, 1862, in Butler County, for a period of three years. He mustered in November 17, 1862, at Owensboro.
William was always present at Muster Rolls until 1864, when he was absent August 31 to December 31. At that time he was sick in the hospital at Louisville, Kentucky.
William Sorrels was still in Louisville when he mustered out August 23, 1865. He was due $39.87. Pay was due from August 31, 1864 to December 31, 1864, but was stopped for loss of cartridge box, belt and plate. There is no mention of injury, just sickness. About this time my great-grandfather was in the hospital at Louisville due to small pox. Perhaps William suffered a similar disease.
Three years after the war William married Isabella J. Whitaker April 30, 1868, in Butler County.
December 23, 1887, William Sorrels filed for a pension for his Civil War service.
According to the 1910 census William, 75, and Isabella, 58, had been married 37 years. Isabella had born four children with two living. And living in the household was Katie Jewell, 11, listed as a granddaughter.
If you check the 1900 census Katie Jewell Sorrels, 1, is listed as a daughter. This has confused many people and they have added Katie as a daughter. But since Isabella says in 1910 she has given birth to four children, two living, this would not be correct.
Iverson Jettrue Sorrels and Sarah Ettie Sorrels, daughters of William and Isabella, are living in 1910. Neither passed away until the 1950’s. L. Nolinda Sorrels died in 1889. If there are only two daughters alive in 1910, Katie Jewell must definitely be a granddaughter. Unfortunately her death certificate in 1951 listed her mother’s maiden name as Sorrels, and ‘don’t know’ is listed for her father. Mardell Wakeland, her daughter, was the informant. It is possible another daughter was born to the couple in late 1880, 1881 or 1882, after the 1880 census was taken, married at the age of 16 or 17, had a child, and possibly died during or shortly after childbirth. It would make sense for the grandparents to raise their grandchild.
Isabella J. Whitaker Sorrels passed away August 11, 1911. William is listed in the 1920 census as 85 years of age, living by himself, next door to daughter Iverson, her husband James Francis Hope and their children. He lived four more years passing away November 30, 1924, reaching almost 90 years.
Categories: Family Stories