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Same Alexander?

Do you struggle with ‘same name’ issues in your genealogy research? I know that over the years I have struggled to either separate two people or prove that the records I found apply to my ancestor and not to someone else of the same name.

My newest struggle is with someone that I currently can’t even connect to my tree. I found an Alexander Crawford who married Margaret McElwee in Lincoln County, Kentucky in 1788. This marriage is one of four Crawford marriages that occurred in early Lincoln County:

  • 1788 – Alexander Crawford married Margaret McElwee
  • 1791 – Mary Crawford married James Sellers
  • 1793 – James Crawford married Martha Knight
  • 1796 – Sarah Crawford married William David Sellers

My ancestor, James Crawford married Sally Duggins in 1799 in Garrard County, Kentucky. Garrard County was formed from Lincoln County, Kentucky in 1796 — the year Sarah and William Sellers were married.

Thus, these 5 Crawford couples were married in the area of 1788 Lincoln County, Kentucky within an 11 year time period. Based on the marriage bonds and some land records, it is believed that Mary, Sarah and the James that married Martha Knight are all children of Rebekah Crawford who purchased land in Garrard County from George Douglas.

Since my ancestor, the James Crawford who married Sally Duggins, lived in the same area as the James Crawford who married Martha Knight, it is thought that they are somehow related, possibly cousins.

So that leaves Alexander Crawford. Is Alexander a sibling to Mary, James and Sarah? Or, is he possibly a sibling to my James Crawford?

In hopes of proving that Alexander Crawford is a sibling to one of these two families, I’ve done some research on Alexander. Although I haven’t done extensive research on Alexander, I have established a basic timeline for him.

Birthabt Jan 1767Augusta County, Colony of Virginia, British Colonial America
Tax1789Lincoln, Kentucky, United States
Tax1800Pulaski, Kentucky, United States
Residence1810Somerset, Pulaski, Kentucky, United States
Residence1820Somerset, Pulaski, Kentucky, United States
Death7 Jul 1823Pulaski, Pulaski, Kentucky, United States9
Burial1823Mount Pleasant Baptist Cemetery, Pulaski, Pulaski, Kentucky, United States

Since my goal was to figure out whether this Alexander Crawford was related to any of the other Crawford families in early Garrard County, Kentucky, I started looking at trees hoping to find someone with parents for Alexander Crawford.

And I found several trees showing Rev. James Crawford and Rebecca McPheeters as the parents of Alexander. This lineage would make the Alexander Crawford who married Margaret McElwee a grandson of Alexander Crawford and Mary McPheeters.

Although Rev. James Crawford may have been an itinerant minister, he did not live in the Garrard County area. Instead he raised his family in Fayette County. Thus, I decided to look at information about the descendants of Alexander and Mary (McPheeters) Crawford to see if the Alexander Crawford of Pulaski County was a grandson.

Thus, I turned to the book, Descendants of Alexander & Mary McPheeters Crawford: Pioneer Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia by Amanda Crawford Arbogast Forbes and Lucetta Crawford Smmis. This book identifies the children of Rev. James Crawford as

  • Mary Crawford – died unmarried
  • Martha Crawford (1775-1831) married Charles McPheeters
  • Alexander Crawford (1782-1845)
  • Elizabeth Crawford (1789-1845) married Joseph Galloway
  • Sarah Crawford (1801-1841) unmarried
  • Rebecca Crawford (1803-1833) unmarried
p. 205.

Also in the book is some information from the Fayette County, Kentucky will of Alexander Crawford.

p. 206.

Comparing the information I have compiled for the Alexander Crawford of Pulaski County, Kentucky with the information in the book about descendants of Alexander Crawford and Mary McPheeters, I don’t believe these two Alexander Crawfords are the same person.

However, I am basing my conclusion on one book. Since that isn’t sufficient evidence to convince others, more research is needed to support my conclusion. Perhaps in the process, I will stumble on something that leads to information connecting the Alexander Crawford of Pulaski County to the Crawfords of Garrard County.

Sources for Alexander Crawford who married Margaret McElwee:

        1. Dodd, Jordan R., Kentucky Marriages Early to 1800 (: Precision Indexing Publishers, ), p. 49.

        2. “Family Tree”, database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online November 2016), Alexander Crawford / Margaret McElwee Family; undocumented and unnamed family tree submitted by wendyhar, [contact information for private use]; Crawford Tree.

        3. Find a Grave, database and images, Find a Grave (www.findagrave.com : viewed online 3 September 2020), memorial for Alexander Crawford (1767-1823), Find a Grave Memorial no. #186274065, created by Sandra Lytch, citing Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky;, Alexander Crawford.

        4. Kentucky, Lincoln County. Tax Books, 1787-1875.  Film #DGS 007834472. Alexander Crofford, 1789 : image 104; digital images, Family Search http://www.familysearch.org : viewed online 4 September 2020.

        5. “Kentucky, Tax Lists 1799-1801,” database online, Genealogy Publishing Company, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online August 2019), Alexander Crawford.

        6. “Kentucky, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes ndex, 1810-1890,” database, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : viewed online July 2019), Alexander Crawford.

        7. 1810 U.S. Census, Pulaski County, Kentucky, population schedule, Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky, image 16, Crawford Alexander; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online August 2019).

        8. 1820 U.S. Census, Pulaski County, Kentucky, population schedule, Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky, image 7, Alexr Crawford; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online August 2019).

        9. “Family Tree,” database, Ancestry.com, Alexander Crawford / Margaret McElwee Family.

        10. Find a Grave, database and images, Find a Grave (www.findagrave.com : viewed online 3 September 2020), memorial for Alexander Crawford (1767-1823), Find a Grave Memorial no. #186274065,

        11. “Family Tree,” database, Ancestry.com, Alexander Crawford / Margaret McElwee Family.

        12. Find a Grave, database and images, Find a Grave (www.findagrave.com : viewed online 3 September 2020), memorial for Alexander Crawford (1767-1823), Find a Grave Memorial no. #186274065,

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