Who Is This James Crawford?

Have you ever run across a record in a county you’ve been researching and have no idea how the person in the record fits with known families in that area? Well, that’s my situation — and it is anoter James Crawford.

James and Martha Crawford sold land in Barren County, Kentucky. Tax lists for Barren County show a James Crawford with 200 acres on the Marrowbone River. These tax lists also show another James Crawford with 50 acres on the Marrowbone. This second James Crawford is thought to be James and Sally (Smith Duggins) Crawford.

I’ve also identified the family of David Crawford who died in Barren County, KY in 1812.

Now, I’ve found a deed for a James Crawford and Patsy his wife selling land in Wythe County Virginia to Peter Kinson. This 1806 deed indicates that James and Patsy were living in Montgomery County, Ohio at the time.

So, who is this James Crawford? Patsy could be a nickname for Martha. Unfortunately, every record I’ve seen for James and Martha use her given name and not the nickname, Patsy.

Being in Montgomery County, Ohio in 1806 would imply that James and Patsy were early settlers of that state.

Based on that, I checked History.Geo’s First Landowners Project. There are 3 entries for James Crawford in Preble County. Two of these entries are for James and Martha while the third is for James and Sally. The Montgomery county entry is for Robert C. Crawford in 1816. Darke County has two entries: Alexander Crawford 1832 and Norman B Crawford 1831.

The Bureau of Land Management’s General Land Office Records has 3 entries for Crawford in Montgomery County. All of those entries are for Robert Crawford.

A search of ‘Settlers and Builders’ of Ohio does not include any James Crawford nor any Crawford in Montgomery County, Ohio.

Since the 1882 book, History of Montgomery County, Ohio has been digitized and is part of the book collection on FamilySearch, I searched it for James Crawford. Other than references to Col. William Crawford, the only Crawford reference from the early history was in a section on James Grimes. James Grimes emigrated from Rockbridge County, Virginia in 1805 travelling thru Crab Orchard, Kentucky. The James Grimes section names Mr. Crawford as one of those who made the trip with him.

At this point, I can’t place the James Crawford in this deed.

Did I Find a Marriage Record

Have you ever looked at a court document trying to figure out who all of the people are and suddenly realize you may have stumbled across something totally different?

Well, that was my situation yesterday. I found additional documentation for the 1779 will of John Crawford in Montgomery County, Virginia (Order Book 2, image 292),

At a court c/ and held for Montgomery County April 7th 1779

Last will and testament of John Crawford deceased proven by oath of George
[D]ouglas James Crawford and Bazewell Maxwell and ordered to be recorded

Administration of the Estate of Jno Crawford deceased with  the will annexed
[?]granted Rebecca Maxwell and James Crawford who entered into bond
[?] [a]nd security according to law

Ordered that Patrick Campbell James Campbell Robert Black and Archbald
Reaugh or any three of them being first sworn appraise the personal estate
and slaves if any of John Crawford Decd and make return thereof to the next

Inventory and appraisement of the Estate of John Maxwell decd returned
[?] Court and Ordered to be recorded

When I first looked at this entry, I was trying to link this record to my Kentucky research. One of the Crawfords I’m researching in Kentucky is Rebekah Crawford. Rebekah Crawford appears on the 1787 tax list in Lincoln County, Kentucky.

It is believed that Rebekah’s husband was John Crawford — the same John Crawford mentioned in the Montgomery County court record. I had previously located John Crawford’s will in the Montgomery County Virginia Wills Book B on image 474. 

I leave to my true and loving wife, Rebecah her thirds during her life and if she merys the estate is to be sold the land into be equally divided between my two sons James & Nathan Craford and a equal devid mong all the chidren of the stock and housal plenishingJohn Crawford

Since Rebekah Crawford of Lincoln County, Virginia is believed to be the mother of the James Crawford who married Martha Knight, this will could be for Rebakah’s husband. However, I don’t have any mention of a Nathan Crawford in my research. Thus, I needed more proof. 

I believe that yesterday I found the support to tie the will of John Crawford in Montgomery County, Virginia to Rebekah Crawford in Lincoln, County, Kentucky. The names of the witnesses to the Montgomery County will are also found in the area of Kentucky where Rebekah lived.

Rebekah may have been listed on the tax roles in Lincoln County, Kentucky, but the land she purchased lies in what is now Garrard County, Kentucky. Rebekah purchased that land from George Douglass. George Douglass is believed to be the brother of Rebekah Crawford. 

Other Crawfords living in Garrard County include James and William Crawford. James’ wife was Rebecca Anderson Maxwell. James and his wife Rebecca, along with Bazewell Maxwell and his wife and others are the grantors on a deed for land from the John Anderson estate. Thus, James Crawford and Bazewell Maxwell are brothers-in-law.

Thus, all three witnesses to the John Crawford will can be found in Garrard County, Kentucky.

As I re-read the court entries, I couldn’t figure out the reference to Rebecca Maxwell. None of the information I have suggested that Rebecca Crawford remarried. Then it dawned on me — Rebecca Anderson Maxwell married James Crawford. 

I think the marriage bond of Rebecca Maxwell and James Crawford is buried between entries regarding the will of John Crawford.

[?]granted Rebecca Maxwell and James Crawford who entered into bond
[?] [a]nd security according to law

Unfortunately, the left side of the page is missing, so I will never know for certain that this is a record for a marriage bond. However, the names, date and place fit.

So, what do you think?

Are the witnesses enough to tie the death of John Crawford in Montgomery County, Virginia to Rebecca Crawford of Lincoln/Garrard Counties, Kentucky?

Is that a record of a marriage bond for Rebecca Maxwell and James Crawford?

Reading History

In your genealogy research, have you read the historical accounts?

Even though the experts recommend ‘knowing’ the history of a location, I have only skimmed county histories looking for my family name. I’ve never seriously read the history – until last night.

Last night, I read the book, The Travelling Church: An Account of the Baptist Exodus from Virginia to Kentucky in 1781 under the Leadership of Rev.Lewis Craig and Capt. William Ellis on Internet Archive. This book is about an ENTIRE church community packing up and leaving Spottsylvania County, Virginia for Logan’s Fort in Kentucky.

I didn’t find mention of the Crawford family in this book. I have clues suggesting my Crawford line came from Montgomery or Augusta Counties, Virginia – not Spottsylvania County. I have clues suggesting the Crawfords were Presbyterian – not Baptist.

Even though I did not find my family in this book, I learned a great deal by reading it.

  • Prior to the revolution, only ministers of the Episcopal (state church) were free to preach in Virginia. Pastors of other denominations, like Baptists and Presbyterians, were required to obtain a license. The group of Baptists that migrated to Kentucky were “Seperate Baptists”. They refused to obtain the license and some of them were jailed for preaching without a license.
  • Although they started out with wagons, they gave up those wagons at Fort Chiswell. The rest of the journey over the mountains was made on foot. Their supplies and young children were carried by pack horses or on the shoulders of the Negro slaves in the group.
  • Even though they planned to be in Kentucky before winter set in, they were delayed due to Indian activities along the trail. Thus, this ‘travelling church’ left Abingdon in November to follow the Wilderness Road across the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky
  • Salt was a precious commodity
  • They established Craig’s Station. Craig’s station is South of where Mary Crawford purchased land and West of  the Kennedy land where James Crawford settled. 

I’ve learned that the experts are correct. I need to read the histories. Thus, I’m searching for more digital copies about the history of early Kentucky. I’m also hoping our snowy weather will come to an end so I can plan a trip to the Midwest Genealogy Center where I can read to my hearts content.

Crawford Land Patent

I recently found the land records for John Crawford of Lincoln County, Kentucky. He owned 913 acres of land on Hanging Fork of Dick’s River.

Land-Office Treasury Warrant, No. 2690

To the principal Surveyor of any County within the Commonwealth of Virginia
This shall be your WARRANT to survey and lay off
in one or more surveys, for John Crawford
his heirs and assigns the Quantity of One thousand
acres of land, due unto the said John Crawford in
right of pre-emption as a certificate form the Supreme Court of the
Kentucky District
In consideration of the sum of five pounds thirteen shillings
current money paid into the Public Treasury the
payment whereof the Treasurer hath been duly certified by the Auditors of public
accounts, and their certificate received into the Land-Office.
Given under my hand, and the seal of the said office, this 29th
day of September in the year one thousand seven hundred and 86.

Samuel M Craw Clk
John Harvie Be S O N

Lincoln County SctSurveyed the 14 day of December 1784 for JohnCrawford 913 acres of land by virtue of part ofan entry of 1000 acres made the 24 day of October 1786 upon a preemption warrent No 2690187 acres the ballance of said preemption falling into Samuel Craigs Preemtion claimof one thousand acres and represented by thedotte lines lying on both sides of the Hanging fork of Ricks River adjoining SamuelCraigs preemtion on the Northwardly sideof the same and James Logans Preemtion of 400 acress on his Eastwardly side andWilliam Crages deeds preemption of 1000 acres on the Southwardlyside and bounded as flooweth to wit Beggining at James Logans SE Corner of his 400 acre preemtion at a white oak and two Hicorysaplings at A  thence North 25 degrees East 218 poles crossing the Hanging fork to a beech tree on and B Logan’s NE Corner in the line ofWilliam Craigs Preemtion thence with the line of said Craigs Preemtionsouth 65 degrees East 57 poles to a Walnut tree at C thenceSouth 38 degrees East 112 poles to a Sugar Tree at D thenceSouth 11 degrees East 68 poles to a Sugar Tree at E a corner of saidCraigs Preemtion standing on the bank of the Hanging fork and onthe East side of the same thence with said Craigs line South 58 degrees East 314 poles passing Craigs Corner 14 poles to a BlackWalnut Sugar Tree and hoppwod at F thence South 32 degrees West270 poles to a Hiccory and two Sugar tree saplings at G thence North70 degrees west 100 poles to a stake standing in Craigs line at H thence withCraigs line North 25 degrees east 39 poles to a stake and pointersin said line at I thence running north 70 degrees West 360 poles toan Elm sapling and a sugar tree Mark JC at K from thencerunning north 25 degrees East 188 poles passing an to corner 60 poles fromK and so continuing the course to the beginning at Alayd down by ascale of 100 pole to half inchSamuel Davis A[sst]James Thompson SS
Chain carryeersWm Jamesand Sam’l Gilmore

Virginia Land

Grant Book 14 page 118-120
John Crawford

913 Acres

Lincoln#7612 and 7613
Beverley Randolph Esquire Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia

To all to whom these presents shall come greeting know ye that by virtue and in consideration of a preemption treasury warrant no 2690 issued the 29th day of September 1786 there is granted by the said Commonwealth unto John Crawford a certain tract or parcel of land containing nine hundred and thirteen acres by survey bearing date the 14th day of December 1787 lying and being in the county of Lincoln on both sides of the Hanging fork of Dicks River adjoining Samuel Craigs preemption on the northwardly side of the same & James Logans preemption of four hundred acres on the Eastwardly side and William Crag decds preemption of one thousand acres on the Southwardly side and bounded as followeth to wit Beginning at James Logans

page 119

South East corner of his four hundred acre preemption at a white Oak and two hickory saplings thence north twenty five degrees East two hundred and eighteen poles crossing the hanging fork to a beech tree Logan’s north East corner in the line of William Craigs preemption thence with the line of said Craigs preemption south sixty five degrees East fifty seven poles to a walnut tree thence south thirty eight degrees East one hundred and twelve poles to a sugar tree thence south eleven degrees East sixty eight poles to a sugar tree a corner of said Craigs preemption standing on the bank of the Hanging fork and on the East side of the same thence with said Craigs line south fifty eight degrees East three hundred and fourteen poles passing Craigs corner fourteen poles to a Black Walnut sugar tree and hopwood thence south thirty two degrees West two hundred and seventy poles to a hickory and two sugar tree saplings thence north seventy degrees west one hundred poles to a stake standing in Craigs line thence with Craigs line north twenty five degrees East thirty nine poles to a stake and pointers in said line thence north seventy degrees west three hundred and sixty poles to an Elm sapling and sugar tree marked JC from thence running north twenty five degrees East one hundred and eighty eight poles passing an old corner sixty poles and continuing the course to the beginning with its appurtenaces to have and to hold the said tract or parcel of land with its appurtenances to the said John Crawford and his heirs forever. In witness whereof the said Beverley Randolph Esquire Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia hath hereunto set his hand and caused the lesser seal of the said Commonwealth to be affixed at Richmond, on the Eighteenth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine and of the 
page 120
Commonwealth the thirteenth B Randolph
____________Kentucky, Virginia and Old Kentucky Patent Series, Virginia Patent Series, VA 7612.0 | John Crawford, 29 Sept 1786; digital images, Kentucky.gov http://apps.sos.ky.gov/land/nonmilitary/patentseries/vaandokpatents/Default.aspx . viewed online February 2019.

John Crawford of Lincoln County Kentucky

Do you ever go back thru your research (think Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do-Over) and find a potential family member living nearby whom you have never researched?

Well, that happened to me when I was researching Rebekah Crawford in the tax records for Lincoln County. That’s where I found John Crawford.

  • 1787 Crofford John – 4 horses, 4 cattle
  • 1789 Crawford John – 5 horses
  • 1790 Crawford John – 4 horses
  • 1791 Crawford John – 4 horses
  • 1792 Crawford John – 5 horses, 17 cattle and 913 acres

The tax entry for 1795 included the watercourse for the land. John Crawford land was on Hanging Fork.

Since John Crawford wasn’t listed in the same tax book as Rebekah Crawford, I assumed that his land was further West. However, a Google search for Hanging Fork Kentucky proved me wrong.

Hanging Fork Creek is straight West of Lancaster, Kentucky (county seat of Garrard County). Rebekah Crawford’s land is across the Dix River to the North and slightly East of Hanging Fork Creek. Mary Crawford’s land is to the Northeast of Lancaster. James and William Crawford had land transactions with the Kennedy’s. The Kennedy land is in the Southeast corner of Garrard County. 

John Crawford first appears in the indexes for Lincoln County, Kentucky deeds selling land. Thus, I needed to search the early Kentucky land records to find his purchase of land. 

Since I recently watched the Legacy Family Tree Webinar: Finding Kentucky Land: Grants, Deeds and the Missing Pieces by J. Mark Lowe, I had some idea of where to try and find a land record for John Crawford. 
To start my search, I went to the Kentucky Historical Society and used their Index for Virginia Surveys and Grants. Just above the book is the ability to enter a ‘Text Search’.

I put Crawford in the search box and hit Go. That brought changed the list of files on the right side to include the number of times CRAWFORD was found in that particular file.

Scrolling thru the list of pages, I found a page with 6 records found. In playing around, I discovered that the page would move up and down. Thus, I could use my mouse to drag the page so I could see the bottom of the page.

By looking at the Watercourse column, I could find the information for John Crawford on Hanging Fork Creek. I recorded the information for John Crawford’s 913 acres of land.

Now, I had enough information to use the records of the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office. On their website, I found their page for Virginia and Old Kentucky Patent Series.

To search this collection, I first had to select a series. 

Since my index was for Virginia Survey and Grants, I selected Virginia Patents. The default sort order was patents. However, I found I could change that to name by pulling down.

Now, I could pull down the Select an Item box and scroll to John Crawford

When I selected Patent # 7612 for John Crawford, the screen began to load the various images available for this patent. For John Crawford, I was able to find the Patent, Survey and entry in the grant book.

Since I wanted to try and place John Crawford’s land on a current day map, I knew I would need surrounding deeds to help anchor his land to a map. Thus, I went back to the index and searched for Hanging. I found surveys for James Logan, Samuel Craig and William Craig on Hanging Fork Creek.
I’ve started the process of using Deed Mapper to plot out the various pieces of land. So far, I don’t have a deed referencing the Dix (Dick’s) River. Thus, I don’t know where these pieces of land lie on Hanging Fork Creek. In trying to figure out where this land might be in relation to the other Crawford families I’ve researched, I discovered that land on the West side of Hanging Fork Creek is in current Boyle County. 

Since John Crawford’s land straddled the creek, I will have to learn more about the records for Boyle County and add it to my list of counties to search in Kentucky.

At this point, all I have is questions:

  • Is John Crawford related to James and William Crawford?
  • Is the John Crawford who received a Virginia patent for land the Lt. John Crawford who served during the Revolutionary War from Montgomery County, Virginia?
  • Who are John Crawford’s descendants?
  • If John Crawford is a sibling of James and William Crawford, then who is Rebekah’s husband?
  • Where was Craig’s settlement that was mentioned in several of these patents?