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True or False?

Do you have ancestors living in the colonies prior to the revolutionary war? Have you applied to the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) or Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) for those ancestors? If so, have you ever encountered a warning that ‘future applicants must prove correct service’?

This happened to me when I applied for the DAR. I was trying to use my great-grandmother’s application (Josie Winifred Hammond Crawford – #319934) to apply.  She applied thru her great-grandfather, Jason Hammond (1762-1830). Unfortunately, I was told they wouldn’t accept Jason Hammond as a revolutionary war ancestor. Since there were other Jason Hammonds living in Connecticut at the time, I’m assuming that the other Jason Hammond was the one who served. Fortunately, I was able to apply thru Jason’s father, Nathaniel Hammond, who provided support for the revolutionary troops.

As I’m researching various James Crawford families in early Kentucky, I’ve found that the DAR has limited applications for one of those James Crawfords.

Unfortunately, many people for many years have mixed these men up. The James Crawford who has data in the ‘correction file’ is one of the James Crawfords living in Fleming County, Kentucky. This James was married to Sarah Vansant in 1786 in Botetourt County, Kentuckyand died in 1836. James Crawford is buried in the Hillsboro Cemetery in Fleming County, KY

The second James Crawford was married to Rebecca Maxwell Anderson. This James Crawford owned land along Paint Lick Creek in Madison and Garrard Counties, Kentucky before moving to Jefferson County, Indiana. James Crawford is buried in Hebron Cemetery in Jefferson County, Indiana.

Both men have tombstones indicating that they are revolutionary war veterans.

Since I’m trying to prove that the James Crawford of Jefferson County, Indiana is the uncle to my ancestor, I’ve been trying to learn about his life. Thus, when I learned about a biography of him, I wrote to the Madison Public Library to see if they had a copy of that biography.

I recently received a copy of that biography. It appears that this biography was clipped from a newspaper and placed in the 1916 DAR scrapbook.

James Crawford
Ancestor of Mrs. Jennie V. Johnson

James Crawford was born in the
colony of Virginia, in 1758. At the
early age of twenty years he ‘as
sisted in establishing American In
dependence,” by enlisting as a pri-
vate from Boetourt county, under
Capt. Wm. Colbert and Col. Patrick
Lockhart.
He served three months, and then, 
after a lapse of two years, he re-
enlisted for another three months
campaign under Capt. Alex Henley
and COl. Morgan. He was engaged
in the battle of Camden and the
skirmish on Tadkin river.
The next public record we have of
him is after his removal to Ken-
tucky, where he is mentioned as be-
ing a member of the first convention
held in Kentucky to frame a state
constitution. this body of men con-
vened at Danville in 1792, and as a
result Kentucky took her place
among the United States of America.
James Crawford continued to be
active in public affairs and served
as a member of teh house of repre
sentatives in 1821 and 1822.
He married Rebecca Anderson
and their daughter, Elizabeth, b-
came the wife of Rev. Beverly Vaw-
ter, who was so renowned in his day
as a preacher in the church of the
disciples. His son, Richard Beverly 
Vawter, who married Maria Lane, 
were the parents of Mrs. Jennie 
Vawter Johnson.
James Crawford applied for a pen-
sion April 1st, 1833, while living in
Fleming county, Ky. His claim was
allowed. He lived only three years
longer, dying at the age of seventy-
eight years. His remains lie buried
in Hebron cemetery, Jefferson coun-
ty, Ind.
A headstone has been provided by 
the government and will soon be
placed by the John Paul Chapter,
D.A.R.

I had hoped that this biography would open some doors in my James Crawford research. However, the middle part of the biography appears to pull information for several different James Crawfords. So the question becomes: What is TRUE and What is FALSE?

  • Born in Virginia in 1758 — likely TRUE for James Crawford who married Rebecca Anderson
  • Military Service — Likely FALSE – currently DAR is crediting this military service to the James Crawford who married Sarah Vansant. 
  • Member of first Kentucky territorial convention – likely FALSE. Other documents indicate that the Rev. James Crawford of Fayette County, KY was the person who was a representative to the  convention.
  •  Served as a member of the house of representatives in 1821 and 1822 — Likely FALSE. Other documents indicate that the James Crawford (1797-1836) of Fleming County is the one that served in the Kentucky House of Representatives. This James Crawford was married to Elizabeth Stockton.
  • Married to Rebecca Anderson — likely TRUE – land records indicate that the James Crawford of Indiana was married to Rebecca Anderson. 
  • Burial — likely TRUE – Find a Grave supports this burial information

Thus, I didn’t find this biography very helpful. However, it has shown me that I need to find corroborating documents for details in any biography that I find. 

This biography also illustrates why one might need to research everyone with the same name in a particular area. If I hadn’t researched these various James Crawford families, I would not have been able to identify aspects of this biography that are likely for the other James Crawfords.