John Crawford Clue

Have you ever run across a little tiny clue that changes your entire thinking about family members?

Well, I may have run across just such a clue for my Crawford family members in early Lincoln County, Kentucky. In the 1783-1786 Court Order book for the Lincoln County Supreme Court of Kentucky (Family Search film 551323), I found mention of a deed for John and William Crawford on image 69.

Image 69
June the 18th 1785
Saturday the 18th day of June 1785
The Same judges as yesterday

The Heirs of John McClelland plts
John and William Crawford Defts
Upon a Caveat
Ordered that the former order herein be set aside and that
the first be discontinued

So, who are John and William Crawford — and — are they the same as the John and William Crawfords I already have discovered in the area?

John Crawford

  • listed on Lincoln County, KY tax lists for 1787, 1789, 1790, 1791, 1792 and 1795
  • patented 913 acres of land on Hanging Fork of Dick’s River
  • Power of Attorney deeds suggest that John Crawford did not have children

William Crawford

  • listed on the Garrard County, KY tax list for 1797
  • Tax list indicates that William Crawford owned 180 acres of land originally patented to John Kennedy

William Crawford is believed to be the brother of James Crawford

  • Listed on the Garrard County KY tax list for 1797
  • Tax list indicates that James Crawford owned 146 acres of land on Paint Lick Creek
  • Married to Rebecca Anderson Maxwell
  • Migrated to Indiana

Two Crawford widows, Rebekah and Mary, are also listed on these early tax lists. These widows are believed to be sister-in-laws to James and William of the Paint Lick area. 

Based on previous research of the family, it has been theorized that Rebekah’s husband was John Crawford – and possibly the John Crawford that died in 1779 in Montgomery County, Virginia.

If the William Crawford in this court document is the same William Crawford shown on tax lists with land along the Paint Lick Creek, then it is possible that the John Crawford in this court document is his brother. This would mean that Rebekah Crawford’s husband was not John Crawford, brother of William and James.

There are a lot of ‘IFs’ here and more documentation is needed, but at this time, I believe that John Crawford of Hanging Fork in Lincoln County may be the brother of James and William Crawford.

Venture into Court Records

Do you try and find every record you could on an ancestor? I used to think that I did. However, I have to admit that I haven’t always researched all available records for a community. I often stop with the indexed records and often avoid those non-indexed records.

It turns out I likely need to be  using those records. A local historian from the Garrard County, Kentucky area contacted me last week. She had seen my blog post about not finding land records for the SELLERS families in the area. She provided lots of hints. One was a rumor that the Sellers acquired their land in Garrard County by trading a horse for it. She said that if the rumor was true, I might not find a deed. Another hint was to dig thru the court records — especially since there were a lot of legal battles over Kentucky land.

So, I’ve started my journey into court records.

I’ve started with the Madison County, Kentucky Court of Quarter Sessions. These court documents have been filmed and are available on the Family Search site — and there is even an index to them!

Madison County Kentucky
Court of Quarter Sessions case files 1789-1802, indexes, 1789-1802

Case Files, 1-778, mixed dates ranging 1789-1802
FS Film 2115181 item 3 DGS 7838115

Image 45

Crawford, Mary – Poe, William 587

Case 587

Image 2670

The Commonwealth of Virginia to the Sheriff of Madison County
greeting you are hereby commanded that of the goods & Chattles of Wm
Poe and Thomas Guest late of your bailiwick you cause to be made three
pound eleven shillings and eleven pence with interest there on from the [?]
day of September 17 $$ until [pad] which late in our said County Court
was adjudged to Mary Crawford for her debt also twenty three poun
of Tabacco for her costs in that behalf expended whereof the said Wm
Poe and Thomas Guest is [convert] as appears to use of record and th[?]
you have the same before the justices of our said County court a[t]
the Courthouse on the first Tuesday in October next to [rendects f]
said Mary Crawford her debt and costs aforesaid and have
then these this [writ] witness William Irvine Clerk of our said
Court at the courthouse the 2[?] day of September 1789 and

Image 2671

Crawford vs Fifa
Poe als
to Oct 1789

Image 2672

Faded writing
Damaged page

appears to be the back of pages

Image 2673

Damaged page

Madison (Sct) April Court 1795
William Crawford [P?]
against                               Upon Attachment
William Core Deft

The Constable having returned the attachment
executed on three feather beds, furniture, [aglass brush]
Ten gownds six peticoats two basons one dish
One table one large silver spoon four small
One fourteen tea dittos one silver candlestick
A silver cream pot one case of knives & forks
And thes articles the property of the said defendant
And is ordered that the sheriff make sale of the
[damaged – can’t read] much [damaged can’t read]
Sufficient to satisfy the said William Crawford
The fine of sixteen pounds which late in our court
Of quarter sessions for the count of Madison
Was adjudged to the said William Crawford for his
debt also one pound seven shillings and four
pense for his costs in the behalf [pended] whereof
the said William Core is convict as appears to
us of [Rund] and that you have the same
before the Justices of our said Court at the
Courthouse on the first Tuesday in June
next to render tot hes aid William Crawford
his debt and costs aforesaid
Test Will June M

Image 2674


May 17 88
Box 1
Bundle 2

Image 2675

The worshipful Court of Madison county
Mary Crawford humble showeth
That William Loe
stands indebted to her one heifer worth three pounds
as per note
and refuseth payment: Wherefore your petitioner prays judgement against
him for the same with costs and shall pray &c.

Will Irvine [M]

Image 2676

to May 1788
(Written sideways)
a copy left May 16 88
John Adams

Image 2677

Bleed Thru
The commonwealth of Virginia
to the sheriff of Madison County, greeting:
We command you, that you summon William Poe
to appear before the Justices of our said
County Court, at the Court-house of the said County, on the 4th Tuesday
in May next then and there to answer the petition of
Mary Crawford exhibited against him
And have then there this writ. Witness William
Irvine Clerk of our said Court, at the Court-house, the 25th
day of April 1788 int he 12th year of the Commonwealth.
Will Irvine

image 2678

faded writing
Know all men b these presents that we William Poe &
Thomas Gass of the County of Madison and state of
Virginia are held and firmly bound unto Mary Crawford
of the County and State aforesaid in the just and full sum
of seven pounds three shillings and ten pence lawfull
money to which payment will and truly to be maid
unto the said Mary Crawford her heirs or assigns we bind
us our heirs executors and administrators jointly and
severally firmly by these presents seald with our seals
and dated this sixth day of September one thousand
seven hundred and eighty eight.
The condition of the above obligation is such that if the above
bound William Poe or Thomas Gass or either of
them their heirs executors or administrators do well and tru
ly pay unto the above mentioned Mary Crawford her heirs
or assigns the just and full sum of three pounds eleven
shilling and elven pence with lawfull interest at or up
pon the sixth day of September next it being for n execution
issued out of the said County Court against William
Poe by the said Mary Crawford for which we confess judge
ment for the same if not paid and if paid then the
above obligation to be void otherwise he remain in
full force and virtue.
John Adams
Wm Poe (seal)
Thos gast (seal)

Image 2679

faded writing
Poe bond
sideways on left
Commissioners and sheriff [Tees] in this Bond
Nineteen shillings and five pence
John Adams DJ
sideways on right
Madison County SS Mary Crawford came me a justice of
the peace for the County of Madison & made oath that the money for which
this bond was given in state due given under my hand
this eight day of September 1789 [George] Adams

Image 2680

faded writing
Madison Ss 6th September 1788
We the subscribed do hereby certify
that the property of William Poe
taken by execution at the [Instane]
pf Mary Crawford, could not be
sold for 3/4 of the real value in
our opinion and that the [sevirty]
is sufficient, given under our
hands the day and dates above
John Manire
James Adams
Uriah Edwards

Image 2681

faded writing
damaged page
The Commonwealth of Virginia to the Sheriff of Madison
County greeting we command you that of the goods & Chattels of
William Poe lat of your baliwick you case to be made one
pounds fifteen shillings also eighty eight pounds of tobacco and
seven shillings & six pence which late in our said County Court
of Madison were adjudged to Mary Crawford for her Debt & costs
in that behalf extended whereof the said William Poe is [convert]
as appears to us of record and that you have the same before the
justices of our said County Court at the Courthouse on the fourth
Tuesday in August next to render to the said Mary Crawford
her debt & costs aforesaid and have these there this writ witness
William Irvine Clerk of our said Court at the Courthouse
this 23d day of July 1788 and in the thirteenth year of our
Will Irvine

Image 2682

faded writing
damaged page
To Augt 1788
No 1
bond delivered to
C[Grump] sept 2d
[strgth] bond
Sideways on right
Exed on a young man and exposed to sale agreeble
late law but could not be sold and Poe given
Gass Security Sept 6th 1788   John Adams

Kentucky, Madison. Court of Quarter Sessions case Files, 1789-1802, indexes, 1789-1802. Film #2115181 item 3 DGS 7838115. Mary Crawford, 1788 : Case #587 starting with image 2669; digitized images, Family Search : viewed online February 2019.