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A Story Delivered Between the Lines

Detail of Map of State of Ohio: 1850

Detail of Map of State of Ohio: 1850

1836-1855 Coshocton County, Ohio Andrew Croy (son of Jacob) and Susanna Croy (daughter of Jacob Oswalt)with their family, including Jacob Croy, my GGgrandfather

By the late 1830’s, the canal system in Ohio was fully operational It connected Lake Eerie and the Ohio River. Barges carrying farm produce and local products to market were making Ohio one of the most prosperous states in the nation. The state’s population had reached a half million by 1820 and was rushing to a million. Men and their families moved to where work was plentiful all along the Ohio-Eerie Canal. For more

           The canal system cut directly through the middle of Coshocton County. Around 1836, Andrew Croy’s oldest sons (Michael, Jacob, and, likely, Duncan) headed to Coshocton County. They moved to provide a more prosperous life for their families.

          Grandparents, Andrew and Susanna, followed an equally primal urging. There is something deep-felt and internal that takes hold like a vice grip when grandchildren are in need. Andrew and Susanna’s daughters, Margaret and Mary, had married the Russell boys, pioneers of Monroe Township in Carroll County, and were beginning lives of their own. In 1839 their parents decided to move to Coshocton County. They likely moved to help Duncan.

          That story revealed itself by following scant bits of loosely connected information surrounding Duncan Croy. He seems to have lost his wife soon after moving to Coshocton County, about the same time as the birth of a daughter, Susannah, in 1837. His parents came to help with his 5 children. By 1845 he had married again, to an Elizabeth Chipliver. They had a child named Mary. But by 1850, he and his wife were dead. Andrew and Susanna Croy continued to care for his children. Jacob Croy named his son, born in 1846, Duncan. The family pulled together.

          They lived simple working class lives with limited schooling that kept them on the edge of literacy. The men worked as wagon makers (Jacob), sawyers (David), and millers (Andrew.) Michael worked a farm. The women, while cooking over open hearths, spinning, weaving, and managing their households, produced prodigious numbers of children that tended toward twice as many boys as girls. They held family close and had a web of connections that spanned the state and often dated back to their move from Pennsylvania. As their children grew, they often worked along side aunts, uncles, fathers and mothers who passed on the skills and vocations that ensured their survival.

          The story, delivered between lines of data, carries a theme: one of protective determination. Andrew lost his father by 25 and watched his mother move to Western Ohio with a new, and possibly questionable husband. They took a brother and sisters with them. The experience motivated him to create a refuge built upon family and hard work. It resonated through the generations.

Note: I have struggled to find a balance between the story and the research in my blog and continue to experiment with the right mix and feel. This is my latest attempt. The information from this post is gleaned from the following. You are welcome to e-mail for additional details or with your own information.
  • US census records from 1820 (Andrew Croy in Rose Township, Stark County OH,) 1830 (Andrew, Jacob, Duncan Croy in Rose Township,)1840 (Michael and Andrew Croy in White Eyes Township, Coshocton County OH, Samuel Croy in Hocking County, OH) 1850 (Michael Croy in White Eyes Township; Andrew in Mill Creek Township, Catherine Croy in Hocking County)
  • Marriage certificate for Catherine McClish and Samuel Croy
  • Coshocton County marriage listings 1811-1930
  • Find-a-grave: Andrew Croy 1780-1859-St. Luke’s Cemetery (one of the first in Carroll County used by all faiths)
  • A spread sheet of dates of birth etc. to track family
  • Map a public domain work of art from Wikimedia Commons as part of a cooperation project with Geographicus Rare Antique Maps

About croywright

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

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