Archive for August, 2010

August 26, 2010

Sometimes, it pays to think

I mean really, sometimes even I can do some wholesale ignoring of the facts. Take, for example, Charlotte Case, the sister of my great-great-great-grandmother Independence Case. While searching the Illinois Archives for information on Independence Case’s first marriage to Beverly Lindsey, I found the marriage of a Charlotte Case to Spencer Ellsworth in St. Clair County, 01 January 1834. Since I subsequently found Spencer Ellsworth alive in the 1850 Census, in Illinois and, in the 1850 census for Clark County, Missouri, Charlotte Case Brown, and since Charlotte’s age in 1850 suggests an 1823 birthdate, making her 11 in 1834, I presumed that this was a different Charlotte Case. I found Independence Case’s marriage record online, duly noted the date in my database, added the source, then failed to order the film to view the actual information. It just kept falling to the bottom of the priority file.
After some time of searching for proof of the parentage of Independence, Charlotte, Olive and Jackson Case and, in so doing, to verify the spouse of Catherine [unknown] Case McGregor, their presumed mother, I realized that attempting to push back without branching out first was not going to get me where I wanted to go. That is, to know if Jonathan Case, was indeed the father of these four, find out who his father was and determine Catherine’s maiden name, I was going to have to flesh out these people just a bit more.
To start, I ordered the film of the marriage record of Independence Case. One reason I had not ordered the record from Illinois, IRAD, was that it was somewhat less than clear how to order the record, mostly due to my impatience with determining whom to write and how much it would cost me. (Just give me a link to an image, I’ll pay for it, duh!) Therefore, I thought I’d better start with the FHL film. When I examined the film record, an unexpected fact was learned, Spencer Ellsworth gave permission for Independence to marry Beverly Lindsey. Now, I had presumed that this family was much like so many of my family, that, if someone remarried, they had been widowed, not divorced. Okay, stop clicking your tongues, turns out families have patterns, sometimes only for a generation, sometimes for a long time. These people apparently had more of a “divorcing” pattern than I had assumed. It was becoming clear that Charlotte had married then divorced Spencer.
So, all those searches I had done for a Charlotte Case marrying unknown Brown were pretty much wasted key boarding. Try searching for Ellsworth. Le Voila!
There you go, Allen, his name was Allen. Woohoo! In Lee County, where I had recently tracked Sarah Ann Walker Case, not to be confused with her sister Mary Jane Walker, and Sarah Sargent Rich Case Wyatt, two spouses of Jackson Case, did I mention that divorce pattern thing? Now I know just a tiny bit more about at least a couple of folks.
And, yeah, I am going to have to get a copy of that record sooner rather than later!

August 14, 2010

Thomas Crafford / Crafurt / Crawford

I have Crawford’s on both sides of my family tree. They are different Crawford’s, one branch is from Georgia, with the earliest well proven ancestor having been born in NC in 1774. The other is from Mississippi, with the earliest, well proven ancestor born in Virginia in 1784. The latter, Thomas Crawford born in Virgnia in 1784, is the subject of my post.
These Crawford’s are my maternal Crawford line, via my Great-grandmother, Nancy Catherine Crawford. Nancy Catherine Crawford was the daughter of George W. Crawford and Jane Mangum Crawford. George W. Crawford, we think his middle name was probably Washington, was born in North (most likely) or South Carolina between 1810 and 1813. The reason we are uncertain of his birth place is that he states it variously as North or South Carolina in the censuses in which he is found. According to family researchers, George died in Clarksville, Johnson County, Arkansas, certainly after the 1880 census.
In 1880, there are two George Crawford’s born about 1813, give or take 10 years, in Polk County, Arkansas. My ancestor is in Cove township, listed as G. W. Another George Crawford is enumerated in District 131, Mountain, Polk, Arkansas. The “other” George is stated as having been born in Tennessee, and is enumerated with daughter Sarah, 20, born in Tennessee, and sons Benjamin,17, and James, 13, both born in Arkansas. “My” George, is listed as 67 years of age, born in NC, enumerated with wife Jane, 54, born in Alabama, daughter Mary J., 21, sons William D., 15, and George W., 13 and grandaughter, Frances Boling, 12, all of whom were born in Mississippi.
Frances Boling presents her own set of mysteries. Simply stated, it is unlikely that Frances is a grandaughter as she can be found in the 1870 census living in the household of John T. Boling, with other siblings, George, Elizabeth, Jackson, Thomas, Jane and Nancy. Backing up to the 1860 census, to find the name of Frances’s mother, we find the John T Bolund family living next door to the James Crawford Family, in Itawamba County, MS, with presumed wife Nancy, born in 1827, in South Carolina, still living. Other household members are George W., 7, Rachel E., 5, Isabella M.C., 4, Daniel J., 3,and Thomas J. 1/12. Nancy can’t be a daughter of George and Jane, George would have been about 14-17 at her birth, Jane would have been about 3 when this Nancy was born. Certainly, had this Nancy been a child of George alone, there would have been some evidence of that by now,. It is unlikely that John T and Nancy were just good friends of the Crawfords and, once both had died, Frances went to live with them, moving with them to Arkansas, as other family members of Frances would likely have objected. More likely, Nancy is somehow connected to the Crawford family, possibly a sister to George, at the very least she is somehow connected to the Crawfords.
Our George is found with his family in Itawamba County, Mississippi in censuses prior to 1880, the 1850, 1860 and 1870 censuses find them there. In 1850, he states that he was born in North Carolina. He is 40 years old and has a land value of $150. He is listed with wife Jane (Mangum) Crawford, Amanda F, 8, Thomas J., 5, John C., 3 and my great-grandmother, Nancy C., 8/12. The next family is Thomas Crawford, aged 65, born in Virginia, with son James, 26, born in SC. After Thomas, the next family is Jacob Johnson, wife Catherine Crawford Johnson, 43, born in North Carolina, and their family. At the top of this page is Moses Crawford, born in South Carolina, brother to Catherine, James and George.
In 1840, Thomas Crafford is listed in Pickens County, AL with 1 male 15-19, 1 male 20-29, 1 male 20-39, 1 male 50-59 and two females, one aged 15-19 and one aged 40-49. These ages align nicely with George, Moses, James and Thomas for the males. Catherine Crawford Johnson and Meeky Crawford Evans were married and living nearby, as is Miranda Crawford Hancock. The young woman in the household is most likely Frances Crawford Griffin. The female aged 40-49 was likely his wife and she died after 1840 in Pickens County, Alabama. As there is an Evans family connection and George and Crawford were born in North Carolina, there is some speculation as to whether or not the marriage record for Thomas Crawford and Unica Evans is for this Thomas. Thomas Crawford of Itawamba County, Mississippi.
I have seen some researchers suggest that “my” Thomas was married to Priscilla Barnett and was the son of Samuel Crawford and Nancy Forgey. Most researchers indicate that the Thomas Crawford, who was married to Priscilla, was born in 1788 in Tennessee or South Carolina and died in McMinn County, Tennessee in 1839. He certainly wasn’t alive in Itawamba County, MS in 1850 if he died in 1839 in Tennessee! Thomas of Itawamba County was born in Virginia in 1785. Although it is possible that there was a divorce, there is no evidence or record or family tradition of a divorce; also, he is enumerated in Alabama in 1840, with a woman of the right age as a wife in the family group. Priscilla is enumerated in Polk County, TN in 1840. Names are repeated in the Mississippi Crawfords with frequency. We see repetitions of the names Rachel, Nancy, Frances, George W., James, Thomas Jefferson, but nothing of Priscilla, Barnett, Agatha, William, etc. From this evidence, Thomas Crawford of Itawamba County, MS can’t be connected to Samuel Crawford and Nancy Forgey.