William Carney

Company F,
32nd Pennsylvania Infantry, also known as
32nd U.S. Colored Infantry
Pension # 391251
(alternate/other numbers: 591710)

William Carney tombstone, Fork Branch Cemetery, Dover, Delaware.
Photo by Chris Wimmer, 11 Jun 2003



27 Feb 1864, [location not listed].

  Mustered out: 22 Aug 1865, Hilton Head, SC.
  Honorably discharged: 10 Dec 1865, Baltimore, MD
  William Carney:
  Date of birth: about 1836
  Place of birth: Kent Co, DE
  Date of death: 12 Jan 1907 (not from the pension record)
  Place of interment: Fork Branch Cemetery, near Cheswold, Kent, Delaware
  Married to:

Name not given. William stated only that his wife was deceased. Likely it is Sarah Mosley, cited in the death records of their children
Death cert. of Sarah Mosley Carney 1893

  Date of marriage: Mar 1858
  Place of marriage: (but stated as having been married by Rev. Grimes).
  Date of birth: [not listed]
  Place of birth: [not listed]
  Date of death: [not listed]
  Place of death: [not listed]
  Place of interment: unknown (probably in or near Cheswold, Kent County, DE














Children of William Carney and wife:

  1. Morris, b. 16 Oct 1860
2. James H., b. 26 Dec 1861 (per one record) & b. 26 Dec 1862 (per another record)
3. GeorgeAnna, b. 18 Mar 1867
4. Mary J., b. 23 Oct 1880

William's residences at various times as noted in the pension records:

East Dover Hundred, Kent Co, DE (as of 30 Jul 1890).
Place of residence since 1864 "until 01 Jan 1897": "Near Dover;" Since 01 Jan 1897 until "present time": Cheswold, Kent Co, DE (stated as of 03 May 1899).

Among the affiants/witnesses for William:

Isaac Mosely, of Dover, Kent Co, DE, age 47 (as of 15 Jul 1887).
Tilghman Ridgeway, of East Dover Hundred, Kent Co, DE, no age given but who claimed to have known William for 30 years (as of 30 Jul 1890).
Daniel Coker, of near Camden, Kent Co, DE, age 49 (as of 27 Sep 1890).


William is described at various times as:

("Age 25") [presumably at time of enlistment] 5' 7" tall, mulatto complexion, brown eyes, light hair.
("Age 50") (Dec 1886) 5' 7" tall, brown complexion, light eyes, occupation: farmer.
("Age 40") [sic--should be 50?] (Jul 1887) 5' 9" tall, 138 lbs.
("Age 51") (Aug 1888) 5' 8" tall, 136 1/2 lbs.
("Age 55") (May 1890) 5' 8" tall, 148 lbs.
("Age 55") (Jul 1890).
("Age 57") (Jul 1892) 5' 8" tall, 141 lbs.
("Age 57") (Oct 1894) 5' 9 1/2" tall, 148 lbs.
(Age not given) (May 1899) Occupation since discharge: farmer.
("Age 62") (May 1899) 5' 9" tall, 150 lbs.


Tracing William's side of the family in the census records:

1850 Federal Census Kent Co, DE, p 108, Milford & Mispillion Hundreds, dwelling 384, family 384

Mosely Purnell age 32 b DE laborer
Mosely Rebecca age 30 b DE  
Mosely Alexander age 13 b DE  
Mosely Zepporah age 10 b DE  
Mosely Morris age 9 b DE  
Mosely Sarah age 7 b DE  
Mosely Joseph age 4 b DE  

Although not mentioned by name in the actual pension records, William's wife has been noted as being Sarah "Sallie" Mosely, daughter of Purnell Mosely, Sr. and Rebecca Miller. If so, then she and William are likely the William and Sarah "Corney" listed in her parents' household in the 1860 census:

1860 Federal Census Kent Co, DE, p 252, Murderkill Hundred, dwelling 1768, family 1739

Mosely Purnell age 40 b DE
Mosely Rebecca age 38 b DE
Mosely Alexander age 21 b DE
Mosely Hester A age 18 b DE
Mosely Myers age 16 b DE
Mosely Joseph age 14 b DE
Mosely Purnell age 8 b DE
Mosely Jane age 4 b DE
Mosely Phillip age 2 b DE
Corney William age 23 b DE
Corney Sarah age 19 b DE

1870 Federal Census Kent Co, DE, p 74, Dover Hundred:
William & Sarah & family are enumerated as follows:

Carney William age 37 b DE
Carney Sarah age 30 b DE
Carney William M. age 9 b DE
Carney James H. age 7 b DE
Carney Georgeanna age 3 b DE
Also in the home were Nancy A. Hammon [sic--perhaps Harmon?], age 12 ("at home") and Elisha [J.?/T.?] Burton, age 25 ("work on farm").

1880 Federal Census Kent Co, DE, p 27, supervisor's dist. 16, enumeration dist. 35:
William & Sarah & family are enumerated as follows:

Carney William age 43 b DE
Carney Sarah age 34 b DE
Carney Morris age 19 b DE
Carney James H. age 17 b DE
Carney George Anna age 13 b DE
  Sarah Bell* age 2 b DE
Children's order above changed to show in oldest-to-youngest order.

*Sarah Bell [presumably Carney, Sarah Bell]
-- This is presumably Sarah "Sallie" Bell/Belle Carney, daughter of James H. Carney and Anna Harmon, although the census enumerator wrote her name down as if "Bell" were her last name. (On the actual record, her name is written directly below James H's name, and it appears the enumerator started to write "D" for "Daughter" in the relationship [to head of household, which was William] field, but stopped before completing the "D"). Anna is presumed to have died young, perhaps in/after childbirth of Sarah Bell. James later married Mary Esther Johnson (on 06 Jan 1884) and after Mary Esther died he married her sister Sina Johnson (in 1919). Sarah "Sallie" Bell/Belle Carney married George Washington Carter on 27 Feb 1896.

1900 Federal Census Kent Co, DE, Little Creek Hundred, sheet 12, supervisor's dist. 27, enumeration dist. 72:

William is enumerated as follows:

Carney William age 66 born Feb 1834, DE, widowed
Carney Mary age 19 born Oct 1880, DE, daughter


On the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington DC:


William's name is displayed on Plaque B-48.

Regimental history:

To go to the official National Park Service's "Soldiers and Sailors" website, use the following link:

and in the boxes do the following:
under Last Name enter CARNEY
under First Name enter WILLIAM
under Union or Confederate select "Union,"
under State (or Origin) select "US Colored Troops" from the alphabetical list of States
under Unit Number enter "32"
under Function select "Infantry"
On the resultant page click on the regiment's name to see a history of their service.



1. Someone with an entry on lists William's full name as William Morris Carney, Sr. (which would fit with his son being known as William Morris "Mike" Carney), and also lists his parents as Thomas Carney (1776-1856) and Sarah Hewes (1810-1858). Presumably this would be quite a late marriage for Thomas, with him being 34 years older than Sarah Hewes. But the accuracy is in question, as the same entrant on Ancestry lists all of Thomas & Sarah's children's ages in a range from 1820-1842, which would mean Sarah Hewes had her first child at the age of 10 (and Thomas having his last child at age of 66).

However, my files do list a Thomas Carney (b. ca. 1777, d. 18 Dec 1856) married to a Sarah Hughes (b. ca. 1808, d. unk.), with the same number and names of children, except I have a Morris instead of a William (which would again fit if William's full name was William Morris Carney, Sr). I have no birth date for eldest child Rebecca but I have a birth of 14 May 1823 for second child Phebe. Again, the age of Sarah Hughes at the time of her first child would still be rather young, if even allowing her birth around 1808 and her first child around 1822.

Does anyone have any evidence that William's full name was William Morris Carney, Sr., or any evidence that his parents were indeed Thomas Carney and Sarah Hewes/Hughes?

If indeed William's full name was William Morris Carney and if he was the son of Thomas Carney, then he is likely the "Morris Carney" enumerated in Thomas Carney's household in the 1850 census:

1850 Federal Census Kent Co, DE, Little Creek Hundred, Dwelling #124, Family #126:

Carney Thomas age 73 b DE
Carney Sarah age 40 b DE
Carney Levi age 22 b DE
Carney Gustavus age 21 b DE
Carney Thomas age 16 b DE
Carney Morris age 14 b DE
Carney Sarah age 13 b DE
Carney Eliza age 8 b DE

2. Continuing with the same entry as referred to in Query #1, above, the same person indicates William's location in the 1860 census (again, as "Morris Carney") as being in the household of Gustavus Carney:

1860 Federal Census Kent Co, DE, p 156, Little Creek Hundred:

Carney Gustavus age 57 b DE
Carney Sarah age 56 b DE
Carney Morris age 23 b DE
Carney Cornelia age 22 b DE
Carney Susan age 21 b DE
Carney Eliza age 18 b DE
Grinnage Washington age 15 b DE

So, if this is indeed the same William Morris Carney, why is he listed under the household of Gustavus Carney in 1860 but with Thomas Carney in 1850? Might Thomas Carney have been William Morris' grandfather, rather than father (with the elder Gustavus being absent somewhere in 1850? If so, the 40-year-old Sarah in 1850 would then be Thomas' daughter-in-law). But why wasn't Cornelia enumerated in 1850? Why did the younger Sarah's name seemingly change to Susan in 1860?

And, if these census records are all indeed William Morris Carney, why does he go by the name "Morris" in 1850 and 1860, but is known as "William" in 1870 and 1880 (and in all of his Civil War records)?

It seems much more likely that William and Sarah are the William Corney and Sarah Corney listed in the household of Purnell Mosely in the 1860 census noted earlier (under OTHER ITEMS PERTAINING TO WILLIAM..., in the previous section above) If so, this would dismiss the notion of him being the Morris Carney noted above.

3. There is additional doubt regarding William's connection via the Thomas Carney discussed above, either by being a son or grandson of him. Many years ago I was told (will have to dig in my files to find out by whom) that William was a first cousin of James Perry Carney, but it was not remembered who the father of William was. Since James Perry Carney was the son of Robert Carney, Jr., that would mean that William's father would be one of the brothers of Robert Jr. While Robert Jr. did have a brother named Thomas, this Thomas would have been too young to have been the Thomas referred to above (b. ca. 1776/77). Based on the data in my files, Robert Jr's father (Robert Sr.) had children whose birth dates are in the approximate range of 1798 - 1824. The possibility exists that Thomas (b. ca. 1776/77) may have been a brother of Robert Sr. This would make James Perry and William first-cousins-once-removed (if William was the son of Thomas) or second-cousins (if William was the son of Gustavus, in turn the son of Thomas). Does anyone have any thoughts or information on this?

[Note: The person who made the above-referred entries does show that Thomas was the son of Robert Sr. and his wife Elizabeth. However, this expands the range of Robert Sr's children's births from 1776 - 1824, an enormous spread with the youngest sibling being 48 years younger than the oldest sibling! And certainly not possible for all to be children of the one wife Elizabeth they've listed!] [As a side note, the same entrant on shows Robert Sr. to be the son of an earlier Thomas Carney (b. ca. 1720/30) & Theresa Kelly, and for this Thomas to be the son of an earlier William Carney (b. 1689 in Charles City, VA), and for this William to be the son (illegitimate?) of a Rebecca Carney (b. 1671 either in Ireland or Charles City, VA), so clearly this person is making enormous leaps-of-faith in bridging ancestral connections!! No evidence is cited for any of their claims].

4. Does anyone have any further evidence of William's exact birth date? The birth month listed in the 1900 census (February) can be expected to be accurate, but his birth year is harder to pin down if all the various ages given in the pension records and census records are taken into account.

5. Does anyone have any photographs of William? (or Sarah?)

6. I'd meant to ask if anyone had any additional information substantiating that William's wife was Sarah "Sallie" Mosely, daughter of Purnell Mosely and Rebecca Miller. Below are a couple of items.

Below is the death certificate of William's son, William Morris "Mike" Corney (Carney), which states that his parents were "Willie Corney" and "Sallie Mosley." (Note: William Morris "Mike" Carney/Corney's wife's maiden name was also Sarah "Sallie" (E.) Mosely, not to be confused with his mother's maiden name, Sarah "Sallie" Mosely).


Below also is James H. Carney's death certificate, listing his parents as William Carney and Sallie Mosley.
Note: James' death certificate lists his age at death as 49, but it should have been 59, if his b. date was 26 Dec 1861, or 58 if his b. date was 26 Dec 1862.


8. Does anyone have a death location or burial location for William's daughter, Georgeanna Carney Mosley (d. 17 Feb 1903), wife of Elisha M. Mosley?

9. Does anyone have a death date, death location, or burial location for William's daughter, Mary J. Carney? (Did she marry? If so, what was her husband's name?)

10. Does anyone know where the elder Sarah "Sallie" Mosely Carney (the Civil War veteran William's wife) was buried?

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For those who may be new to the list, a few of these Civil War pension extractions have been posted previously by John C. Carter, Paul Johnson and Joseph Romeo. To view some of the others, as well as an explanatory note, please see the following page of the Mitsawokett site:

(Once on the page, scroll down below the Index to see the Overview).

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Please let me know if anyone has any questions. Email  John Carter







"The History and Genealogy of the
Native American Isolate Communities
of Kent County, Delaware, and
Surrounding Areas on the Delmarva Peninsula
and Southern New Jersey"



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