Do you like to dig into old deeds and court records to figure out family ties? If so, has the closure of libraries and Family History Centers impacted your ability to access those records? My answer to both questions is YES. Of course, I could be using Ancestry databases to research other branches of my tree, but the pull to research my Crawford line is very strong — and that means accessing Virginia records.
Even if the Family History Centers were open, I’m under a county ‘Stay at Home’ order. Thus, I’m digging thru my files from previous Virginia research to see if I can make pull any new information from that research.
Out of curiosity, I searched my Crawford files to see if I had any records mentioning Overton, Tennessee. (One of my brother’s BigY matches is to a Crawford family from Overton County, Tennessee.) Since I’ve never done any Tennessee research, I didn’t expect to find much. Thus, I was surprised when I found a document titled: Crawford Families of Virginia and Overton County Tennessee.
What I have is a scanned image of a photocopy.
Based on the third page of the scanned image, this document was found by my mother and came from
Johnson, Frank W. A History of Texas and Texans Vol. V. Chicago: The American Historical Society, 1914.
A scanned image of this book is on the Internet. The book is also available on Ancestry. However, I have not found anything in the book that matches the photocopy. Unfortunately, I’ve found that the research my parents helped me with is not always well sourced. This must be one of those ‘unfortunate’ times.
Not only does this document connect a Crawford family in Botetourt County, Virginia to a Crawford family in Overton County, Tennessee, but it identifies three generations of this family and cites a will and deeds to support the family.
Crawford Families of Virginia and Overton County Tennessee
by George and Lydia Fetzer, 1624 Rio Vista, Dallas, Texas 75208
The Crawford Family is of Scottish ancestry. They were among the earliest settlers of Augusta County, Virginia. The Crawfords first arrived in Pennsylvania and came from Pennsylvania to Orange County and Augusta County, Virginia about 1740. Two brothers, said to be sons of Colonel William Crawford and Mary Douglas who were married in Scotland and migrated to the north of Ireland were: Alexander Crawford and Patrick Crawford.
Patrick Crawford (1) died in 1787; married Sally Wilson. He came to Orange County, Virginia and proved his importation on July 24, 1749, bringing with him Ann, James, George, Margaret and Mary Crawford (Order Book II, page 211, Orange County, VA). His will was dated December 4, 1786 and recorded December 18, 1787 in Will Book VII, page 31, Augusta County, VA. It mentions sons, George, John, James and William (twins); daughters Martha and Mary; grandson George McChensey; and other children have received their part.” Executors: sons, George and John
—— Early Western Augusta Pioneers, by Geo. W. Cleek, Staunton, VA 1957 (DPL)
John Crawford, the Elder (2) born about 1726 (estimated by GIF) Probably born in Ireland. Children: John Crawford, Sr. (3) and William Crawford, Sr. (3) and others.
John Crawford, Sr. (3) William Crawford, Sr. (3)
ba 1748 Est d 1796 ba 1750 Est d after 1813
Wife: Margaret Wife Margaret (Dean?)
James (4) ba 1770 William Crawford, Jr. (4) b1787 d 1860
Samuel (4) ba 1772 Joseph Crawford (4)
John, Jr (4) ba 1774
Andrew (4) ba 1776
William (4) ba 1778
Margaret (4) ba 1780-?
Last Will of John Crawford, Sr. (3) of Botetourt County VA
John Crawford of Botetourt County VA, being weak in body, made a will 9-24-1796. His wife, Margaret, was to live on his plantation until it was sold. If land was sold, then she shall live with one of my three youngest sons, John, Andrew or William; She shall chose which; the other two to share her expense.
My father, John Crawford, dec’d (2 – the elder) did will that the land I and my brother William Crawford now lives on shall be equally divided between me and my brother William. John Crawford Sr. authorized his son James to divide the land equally and to make a deed to my brother William for his half of said land.
John Crawford left personal properties to each of the six children named above. To daughter Margaret he left a mare, a saddle, some cows and her bedroom furniture.
Further: my daughter Margaret shall be maintained by John, Andrew and William until she marries.
My negro woman, Kate, to my wife. My rifle gun to James. My family bible to John.
My youngest sons, John, Andrew and William to live on my plantation until William is 21 years of age; then, all my land to be divided between John, Andrew and William, who are to pay James fifteen pounds current money as soon as they can procure it on the land.
Executors: James and John. Will proved December court 1796. signed by mark
James Crawford carried out the wishes of John Crawford, the elder, (his grandfather) and the wishes of John Crawford, Sr. (his father). On June 11, 1797, James deed to William Crawford, Sr. (the brother of John (3)) 95 acres of land, which was one-half of 190 acres. This tract had been purchased by John the elder from John Craig on the north side of Craig’s Creek. Deed Book 6, page 313
The remaining 95 acres out of the 190 acre tract became the property of John, Andrew and William, under the terms of the will of John Crawford, Sr. who died 1796.
John Crawford (4) on April 9, 1799 sold to Thomas Allen his land on the north side of Craig’s Creek, which land was devised to him by the last will of his father, John Crawford, Dec’d. DB6-730. Proved September Court 1799. Deed signed by mark.
Andrew Crawford (4) on April 9, 1799 sold to Thomas Allen one-third part of land owned by Andrew by virtue of last will of John Crawford, dec’d, being 93 acres of an old grant formerly occupied by John Crawford, dec’d adjoining the land of William Crawford. Signed by Andrew. Proved April Court 1799. DB6-662
William Crawford (4) apparently signed a deed to his interest in the land, but the deed can not be found of record. Perhaps he was under 21 years of age, and the court would not approve the deed for recording. The following deed will clear this point four our purpose: Thomas Allen and wife, Polly, On Oct 20, 1807, sold to Malcom Allen a tract of land which was conveyed to Thomas Allen from Andrew and William Crawford, heirs of John Crawford, dec’d on the north bank of Craig’s Creek, adjoining the land of William Crawford. DB? page 384.
Margaret Crawford (4) is to be maintained by her brothers John, Andrew and William, under the terms of the will of her father, until she marries. She has the right to choose which brother she will live with, and the other two are to share in her expense. Her name is not among the names on the marriage records of Botetourt County. We have no further record of her until Census 1820 of Overton County, TN. On this date, we are almost certain that she is the Peggy Fetzer who is listed next to William Crawford on the census report. Margaret was a first cousin of William K. Crawford (4), son of Williams Crawford, SR. (3). These two families lived side by side nearly all of their lives. Proof of her relationship with William K. Crawford of Overton County TN follows:
William Crawford, Sr. (3) and his wife Margaret on June 2, 1813 in consideration of $1.00 and love and affection deeded to their sons William Crawford, Jr. and Joseph Crawford a tract of land on the south side of Craig’s Creek, a branch of the James River, containing 44 acres of land. This land had been granted to William Crawford, Sr. by patent August 3, 1771. Note that this land is on the south side of Craig’s Creek, while all land previously discussed was on the north side of the creek. Deed Book 11, page 165.
William K. Crawford (4) of Overton County TN for $250. sold to his brother, Joseph Crawford his one-half interest in 44 acres which had been given to them by their father, William Crawford in 1813. Deed Book 16, page 262. Deed signed by Wm K. Crawford in Overton County TN on 11/16/1824
William K. Crawford (4) and Elizabeth his wife, both of Overton County TN signed another deed conveying 44 acres on the south side of Craig’s Creek to Joseph Crawford. Deed dated October 4, 1841. Deed Book 25, page 335.
I would love to connect with anyone researching this John Crawford (the elder) family or anyone that can help identify the actual source of this information.