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“The family became widely scattered.” Part 2:

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Range VII Township 8: The Croy Brothers and the Ohio River Survey         

Our country’s new leaders loosely governed a nation land rich and money poor. Nearly our only resources, land and people, required a system of documentation. The Constitution required a count of the population, the 1790 census being the first, and the Land Ordinance of 1785 outlined how land would be surveyed and recorded. From a genealogical perspective, I salute them. These records help clear a foggy past. For my family, which was moving from Pennsylvania to Ohio, these records clearly help with some issues; and not others. But the things I DON”T know will be left to another blog.

An excellent article about the various Ohio survey systems explained that, Ohio was on the edge of the frontier at that time and it became a veritable testing ground for survey systems and the birthplace of the Public Land Survey System, (PLSS).” [i] Fort Stuben was built on the Ohio River in 1786 to protect the surveyors and was the site of the first Federal Land Office. By 1805 the Croys, Oswalts, and Hustons began registering claims for PLSS land at the Stubenville Land Office. For much more detail regarding the survey system of Tracts, Ranges, and Sections, including the above-mentioned article and an interesting history of the fort, check here

In 1793 Richard Croy still lived in Bedford County, Pennsylvania,[ii] but by 1798 tax recorders listed him as “unseated,”iii his land abandoned. He was likely exploring the Ohio lands with his family, trudging by foot and by horseback, through thicketed mountains. They perhaps crossed the wide confluence of rivers in Pittsburg to enter country where native tribes viewed them as intruders. It was an adventurous and dangerous undertaking, and he was up to the challenge. By now, about forty years of age, he had lived most of his life in the wilderness of Pennsylvania and spent ten of those years on numerous scouting missions as a Revolutionary War militia man. [iii]He was looking for a new frontier.

Migrating slowly westward from the Ohio River, the family settled in what would be Beaver Township: Township 8, Range 7 of the Ohio River Survey. Beaver Township would, over the next fifty years, be included variously as part of the counties of Belmont (1806), Guernsey (1811), and, finally, Noble (1851).[iv]

Another Croy named Mathias, settled there, as well. Hoping to clear up some inconsistencies, I submit two observations about him. While the dates 1734-1840 are carved into his tombstone sitting in Farmington Cemetery, Belmont County, Ohio,[v] the 1830 census indicates his age between 70 and 79,[vi] putting his birth between 1751 and 1760, a more likely scenario. He was also designated a Revolutionary War Veteran, but his name isn’t on any actual military record that I have found, only the 1789 list of men “subject to the militia laws of this state.”[vii] Perhaps a larger than life man, or his children, created a larger than life persona. We do know Mathias left Londonderry, PA after 1797 and registered land in Township 8, Range 7 of the Ohio River Survey, the same time as Richard and a John Croy.[viii]

Range 7 Township 8 Section 10

Range 7 Township 8 Section 10

The History of Noble County states, “John Croy and James Edgars lived on a farm together. They came soon after 1812.”[ix] Could this be the John Croy who married Susannah Huston in Pennsylvania?[x] My suspicion is that it was, and that these three Beaver Township settlers were brothers who, joined by the bond of kinship, tackled this new wilderness together. They settled here and, through the 1820-1830’s, raised children who also began to appear on tax and census records.

But another likely brother, my 4x great grandfather Jacob Croy, along with some Oswalts and Hustons, reached out across the murky Ohio River into other directions. In one of those directions they met the slick, greedy hand of one of the unscrupulous people taking advantage of the Ohio land grab, John Cleves Symmes, the subject of my next post.


[i]John e. Dailey, LS, “Ohio Lands and Survey Systems,” The American Surveyor (Winter 2004) Cheves Media • digital image:
[ii] Source Info: Ohio, Tax Records, 1800-1850 (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014 Original data: Ohio Tax Records, 1800-1850. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013 Londonderry Township, Bedford County, PA
[iii]National Archives, M246, “Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, #602384: 93, Pennsylvania, Enslow’s company of Bedford County Militia: 1782-83 digitalized image:
 [iv] This information taken from this excellent website that includes interactive maps that walk through the historic unfolding of various boundaries, particularly helpful when determining changing county boundaries.
 [v] Find a Grave on line M. Croy: Farmington Cemetery, Belmont county, OH
[vi]1830 US Census; Census Place: Beaver, Guernsey, Ohio; Page: 358; NARA Series: M19; Roll Number: 131; Family History Film: 0337942. 1830 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
[vii] “A List of the Inhabitants of London Derry Township Mde Subject to the Militia Laws of this State.” Pennsylvania Archives digitalized image:
[viii] Mathias Croy was listed as Michael Croy on three occasions: 1790 US Census: Census Place: Londonderry, Bedford, Pennsylvania (where the ages, number, and sex of children match his family) and the 1827 and 1828 Ohio Tax Records for Beaver, Guernsey, Ohio (where the Township 7, Range 8, Section 10 and 159 acres listed matches tax records for years previous to and proceeding these years.) This lessens the likelihood of a separate Michael Croy, brother listed in some genealogies. There is a separate Michael Croy, married to Anna Marie found as a sponsor of a baptism at Sherman’s Union Church in York County, PA, 1767. Lineages, Inc., comp.. Sherman’s (St. David’s) Union Church, York County, Pennsylvania, 1751-1800 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000.Original data: William J. Hinke. Records of Sherman’s ( St. David’s) Union Church, York County, Pennsylvania, 1751-1869. 1939. Manuscript by the author.
[ix] History: Noble County, Ohio (L.H. Watkins, 1887,) pgs 576-579; digital images, New York Public Library, GoogleBooks
[x] See Chancery Documents for Alexander Huston from previous blog

About croywright

The author, a writer of history and historical fiction, always yearned to go back in time.

9 responses »

  1. Pingback: Jacob and Mary Huston Croy and Progeny in Ohio-Part 1 | The Croy Family Through Time

  2. My line is John Croy (c1760-1824) married Susannah Huston (dau of Alexander Huston) in PA. Our earliest record of John in OH is 1805, though Alexander Huston (as you have noted elsewhere) petitioned for land in 1797 in Northwest Territory. My working theory is that because Alexander and John both settled in Montgomery Co, OH (previously part of Hamilton Co) that they likely migrated together or John followed Alexander later. There is another John Croy in Bedford Co PA I have not been able to identify, so I thought that John might be the one in Noble Co, OH with Edgars. Do you have a marriage record (date and town in Bedford Co) for John Croy and Susannah Huston????

    • Here is the little I know. According to the Bedford County Historical Society, record keeping regarding births, marriages, and deaths did not exist in the late 1700’s except in church or probate records. John Croy is listed on the Militia Rolls for 1789 Londonderry County, Bedford County, PA. I also have him listed in my spread sheet on the 1791-93 tax rolls. John Croy and Susannah Huston (daughter to Alexander) marriage is confirmed by a Chancery records of Montgomery, Ohio 1835 pg 46/47. I have only seen the transcribed version, available if you search my blog. Hope to get the original in the near future. It indicates that Susannah is dead before father, Alexander. They had a number of children, all listed in the record. There is a John Croy as you noted, in the Ohio River Survey and listed as delinquent on taxes 1819 for Belmont County, Ohio and on tax records thru 1826 Range 7 Township 9, Section 10: 100 acres (the area became Guernsey County-1811 and Noble County-1851…where Richard and Mathias Croy are listed in the History of Noble County, Ohio Chapter XXX as first settlers.) This John could have been a son of Richard or his brother. This John’s birth would be at earliest 1775 (based on 1820 census.) In the Chancery records most of the younger children lived in Shelby and Miami County. Did he move there after the death of Susannah? I haven’t focused too much here so can’t call this info definitive. Sorry. Confusing, yes? I which there were more accurate early info.

      • BLM says a John Croy was in Cincy to submit land application in or before 1809

        And a John in Noble County Ohio in or before 1817

        John Croy (b. circa 1765 and died 1824) husband of Susannah Huston moved to “Between the Miami’s”. His first child born in Ohio would have been (according to censuses) between 1801 – 1807. A land application was made by a John for what is now in Montgomery County in 1805. The first two children of John reported themselves to be born in VA before 1800 (though because of boundary disputes the land could now be PA.) I welcome any thoughts. . . .

      • My thoughts as best I can…The first land grant you reference is for John Croy/Susannah Huston Croy of Montgomery County. The land is next to his father-in-law, Alexander Huston’s land. More on that if you search the Chancery Records from an earlier post. The children are outlined in detail in the Record. I have not researched the children in detail because they are not collateral relatives, but search my site for John because other researchers have added info. The second record is for the Croy’s who settled in Noble/Belmont/Guernsey Cty. At the time of application (1817) it was Belmont County T8,R7,S10 next to my 4x great grandfather’s likely brothers Richard and Mathias who settled there about 1800. John was a likely son of Richard, but no definitive info exists as far as I have discovered.(For a long time I thought it might have been brother John. An error given the wealth of info on John of Montgomery County.)

      • Thank you. I will search your blog for John Croy died 1824 of Montgomery/Hamilton Co Ohio.

  3. there is a croy cematary in cunot Ind..pretty much overgrown…headstones are mostly worn mill wheels early 1800 to mid…supposedly Mathia Croy line…I
    remember seeing a christopher columbus croy and a Valentine croy..jc


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