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The family of Sarah Angeline Smith Croy: Her Grandparents Come West


Sarah Angeline Smith Croy and Calvin Harrison Croy about 1900 Buck, Oklahoma

Sarah Angeline Smith Croy and Calvin Harrison Croy about 1898 Buck, Oklahoma (inscription on back of photo…conflicts with Federal Census records showing they didn’t move from Pleasanton, Kansas to Oklahoma until after June 9, 1900

“Historical information is by its nature difficult to obtain, limited, unreliable, contradictory, imperfectly preserved and subject to differing interpretations.” James Tanner

This quote provides an excellent preface to any of my posts. For those interested in genealogy, Tanner’s blog provides an interesting, and slightly divergent from the mainstream, point of view.

But on to “the family.”

Calvin Croy met Sarah Angeline Smith sometime between 1870 and winter of 1872. (They married December 12, 1872.) Sarah’s family had recently moved to Keene Township in Coshocton County, Ohio. They had moved from Perry Township, Licking County where her father, Henry Smith, was a blacksmith and were returning to the county where her mother, Sephronia Payne, grew up. The two townships are very near each other, no more than four townships apart.

Little evidence exists regarding the family background of Henry Smith. Because the name is so common, uncovering his the family background has been, so far, unsuccessful. He came from Virginia according to the census records of 1850-1850-1880 Federal Census records. It is possible that Henry had married before since he was 21 years older than Sephronia. Sephronia’s sister, Sarah, married Everhart Smith. A connection might exist there, but for now any other details of Henry’s background remains a mystery.

Records provide a nice trail for following the family of Sarah Angeline’s mother, Sephronia Payne Smith. Her parents were Zerah Payne (variously spelled Paine, Payen, and Payne but on death and marriage notices most often Payne) and Amy (Amey) Felch Payne.

Zerah came from Vermont, where he married Amy Felch, May 30, 1808. The place they married would later become part of Hall County, Maine. Amy was born in Massachusetts. They must have moved back there after their marriage because later census records for their first-born son, Samuel Felch Payne, name Massachusetts as his birth place. Again based on census records, their second born child, Sarah Payne (Smith,) was born in Pennsylvania about 1812. It seems they were on the move west. (Note: I scanned every 1810 Federal Census record for any Payne variant and found nothing. They may have been living with Amy’s family while in Massachusetts.)

By February 14, 1814 the Paynes reached Ohio. On that date Zerah placed an advertisement for his shoe and boot business in a Zaneville newspaper. The 1820 Ohio census places them in Tuscarawas Township, Coshocton County, Ohio with three males under ten and one female under ten. (Ancestry misnamed him Tyesa Paine in the search record.) Just down the road lived the Benjamin Markley family. The lives of this family along with the Croy and Smith families would intersect through the years.

Coshocton County, Ohio served as the crossroads of the lives of these four families over the next sixty years. I will tackle those complicated relationships in my next post.

Note: Other projects call me right now so I’ve chosen not to include all detailed references in this post. Should you be interested in them, follow the clues inserted within or email me. Also, I rectified a few errors in the original family sheet found here. Ohio family sheets 1-17-2015

About croywright

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

2 responses »

  1. Hi Donna,

    I’m loving the posts! There is one minor correction on my grandfather David Harrison Croy. He actually died in a coal mine in Wyoming and not Colorado. The mine was somewhere outside of Rock Springs. That is where he and my grandmother are buried.

    Keep up the great work!


    Date: Sat, 17 Jan 2015 17:14:37 +0000 To:

    • Thank you for the clarification. I appreciate it. It made me investigate. I found the Wyoming mining records that show he died March 17, 1944 at 52 in Dines, Wyoming and references # 74 pg 30 to find more info on the fatal accident…my understanding a rock slide. I looked up Dines, Wyoming in Sweetwater County, Wyoming. It is now a ghost town but the historical society has books on the area. Very cool. Also, my uncle and Dave Harrison Croy’s nephew, Muriel Croy arrange for the headstone for his WWI military issue gravestone. AND six years before that Dave himself arranged the headstone for his brother Albert Lloyd Croy who was killed in action. Thanks for giving me the impulse to dig things out.


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