Starting Sept. 5, 2014, Genealogy.com will be making a big change. GenForum
message boards, Family Tree Maker homepages, and the most popular articles
will be preserved in a read-only format, while several other features will
no longer be available, including member subscriptions and the Shop.
The following information was given to me by an elderly relative through email. Maybe it will help another Cotner descendant who's having trouble with their research. Apparently, my William Henry had a younger sister! We have no idea what happened to her. This story makes sense, since William Henry Cotner later married Mildred Short, daughter of James Houston Short. I believe his father, Aaron Short, is the minister spoken of here.
"William Henry Cotner was an orphan whose parents had died in the plague. He was taken in, along with a younger sister, by an elderly Indian woman. This woman also contracted the plague. She burned down her house, along with herself and and their belongings. William Henry then came from Carthage, MO, to Indian Territory with a minister, Aaron Short." The time frame for this story would have been sometime around the 1870's, I believe.