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Following Women to Find Hints

Do you research the spouses of your ancestor’s siblings? If you are like me, you don’t spend much time identifying let alone researching the parents of an ancestor’s sister-in-law.

However, with my Crawford research, I’m finding valuable clues from published genealogies. Many of those published genealogies are for the families of women who married into the Crawford family.

There are a couple of McPheeters genealogies that include the family of Alexander and Mary (McPheeters) Crawford. These works have helped me separate my Crawford line from the descendants of Alexander Crawford.

Since my ancestor, James Crawford, was married in Garrard County, I have spent a lot of time researching the Crawford families in Garrard County at the time. I suspect that my James Crawford is somehow related to the James Crawford that owned land along the Paint Lick Creek in Madison and Garrard counties. This James Crawford was married to Rebecca Anderson.

Thru the John Anderson deed found in Madison County, Kentucky (Book D page 712 and 713), I was able to identify the siblings of Rebecca Anderson Crawford. This deed along with additional research on James and Rebecca Crawford led me to a Maxwell Family History.

I also found information on some of James and Rebecca Crawford’s children in the Vawter Family History. 

By researching these VAWTER families, I came across a WPA Interview with James Vawter Crawford and hist mother Mary F Cowgill (Crawford) Coon.

The transcript of the interview contains a ‘Life Sketch of Philamen V. Crawford, written by himself in 1882.’ This life sketch includes information on James and Rebecca Crawford, the grandparents of Philamen V. Crawford.

All of these sources provides clues about the family of James and Rebecca (Anderson) Crawford. Armed with these clues, I have been able to locate marriage records, deeds and court documents to further document this family.

Even though I’ve been able to back up the information from these family genealogies with other records, that isn’t always the case. Scott Fisher reminds us to utilize caution when working with published genealogies in episode #77 of Fisher’s Top Tips.

“Early genealogists were just as prone to error as anyone posting a public tree today … use that old book as a clue, then validate that the author got it right,” said Scott Fisher on Episode #77 of Fisher’s Top Tips.

I’m no closer to proving a relationship between my James Crawford and James and Rebecca (Anderson) Crawford. However, I’m thankful that I’ve found these published genealogies. Who knows, one of these clues might lead to a document connecting the two men.

Sources Used:
Forbes, Amanda Crawford Arbogast and Lucetta Eggleston Crawford Sammis. Descendants of Alexander & Mary McPheeters Crawford: Pioneer Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia. Silver Spring, Maryland: A.A. Forbes, c1980.

Grace Vawter Bicknell, Vawter Family in America: with the Allied Families of Branham, Crawford,Wise, Lewis, Stribling, Glover, Moncrief (Indianapolis: The Hollenbeck Press, 1905), p. 324; digital images, Internet Archive (us.archive.org : downloaded pdf May 2019).

Houston Florence Wilson, Laura Cowan Blaine, Ella Dunn Mellette, Maxwell History and Genealogy (Indianapolis, IN: C. E. Pauley & Co, 1916), 255; digital images, Google Books (books.google.com : viewed online August 2016; Rebecca Anderson / James Crawford family.)

Interview with James Vawter Crawford and his mother Mary F. Cowgill (Crawford) Coon (Shedd, Oregon), by WPA Interviews for Linn County Oregon and transcribed by Patricia Dunn, transcribed 2000. transcription held by WPA Interviews (http://www.lgsoregon.org/lgstng/showmedia.php?mediaID=22398).

Rice, Helen McPheeters. The McPheeters Family. Winter Park, Fla.: Russell Fuller Multi-copy, 1956.