A FRIENDLY DISCLAIMER: This post is for those with an interest in the Croy surname only…real “in the weeds” research. It happens sometimes (smile).
A follower asked for some help with a Croy family line centered in Montgomery, Virginia and, boy, was that a loaded request. He had traced (or was considering) an early Lawrence Croy as one of his ancestors. I’ve been searching early records for a link to my Jacob Croy, so have delved deep into early Croy surnames. It is a potpourri, promoting more questions than answers.
So far, it seems, the early Croys settled in three distinct locals: Pennsylvania, Vermont/NY, and Virginia, as well as a random record or two.There is little definite early verification of the familial relationship of all those recorded Croys. Still, in the interest of helping others, and maybe get some feedback to further my own research, I thought I’d list what I know so far, along with a brief explanation of where to find the records. (Unless noted the records can be located on Ancestry.com)
Reading the information below generates questions, none likely answerable:
- Is the Lorenz Croy who arrives in PA in 1753, the same one who appears in Rensselaer, NY in 1785, and, subsequently, Highgate, VT in 1799.
- Are the Bedford, PA or Dauphin County, PA Croys related in any way to Lawrence? He may have come to PA with young children?? Or had them soon after, and they headed out on their own?
- Is the Jacob of VT who disappears from Highgate records after 1804, the same Jacob who appears in Montgomery (Giles) County, VA in 1810?
- Why was Jacob such a popular chosen name? Three Jacobs exist at the same time in the late 1700’s: one in Bedford County, PA; one in Dauphin County, PA; one in Highgate, VT.
Here we go! Ordered by date:
1753-First recorded Croy: Lorenz Friedrich Croy arrives in Philadelphia, PA and signs the oath of allegiance
1765-Hannis Croy and wife Marya baptize daughter Annate at the Dutch Reformed Church in Milston, Somerset, New Jersey on Oct. 21st
1768-Michael Croy and Anna Maria, his wife sponsor a baptism at David’s/Sherman’s Lutheran Church in York County, PA
1776 to1790-Appearance on tax roll for Cumberland Valley/Londonderry Township, Bedford County, PA: Richard (beginning 1776), Jacob (beginning 1778), and Mathias (beginning 1787; Micael on 1790 Federal census) There is plenty regarding this line on my blog so I will not repeat it here.
1780-A Jacob Croy is named executor of the will of Adam Rambarger of Anville Township, Dauphin County, PA (brother-in-law; his sister Esther, Adam’s wife; Adam’s children listed George, Jacob, and daughters unnamed. (This is a wonderful insight into the times, particularly the inventory of possessions.)
1780-A Jacob Croy (same as above?) appears on the Lebanon Borough Taxable Returns as a freeman. From History of the counties of Dauphin and Lebanon: Everts & Peck, 1883. (Note: Annville and Lebanon are right next door.)
1781- John G. Croy appears on payroll signed in Bennington, VT for August under Captain Odell in Colonel John Abbet’s Regiment
1785-Lowrence Croy and John G. Croy appear on roster of Henry K. Van Rensselaer’s Regiment (Albany County), Militia. (John G., we will discover, is Lawrence’s son.)
1790-Christian Cray is listed on 1790 Federal census for Rensselaerwick, Albany, New York. Pension records indicate he served with Rensselaer’s Regiment as well. Fold3 has his application for a pension, which indicated he came from Germany. (Christian, we will discover, is Lawrence’s son.)
1790-John Croy appears on 1790 Federal census for Fredrick, Maryland. (Random or John of Lawrence venturing, briefly out.???)
1799- Lawrence Croy files a will on May 3rdin Highgate, Franklin, Vermont. In the will he lists Rachel as his wife and Christian and Jacob as his sons…a later will, named below gives more information. At this time, he willed Jacob 100 acres and Christian 2 pence. The town of Highgate was not really viable until 1791 and the records start at 1794, so it makes sense that this is the Rensseler County, NY family from above. As you will see, John G. and Christian stayed in NY and Jacob, John (yes, there were two Johns) moved to VT with their father. This comes from the Vermont Town Records for Highgate found at Familysearch.org (search Franklin County, then Highgate image #36). I love these records! Only problem—they are not indexed. You have to search them a page at a time. Lucky for you, I am giving you the image numbers.
1800-Jacob Croy (Lawrence’s son) appears as a selectman and renter of property at Hog Island (now West Swanton, VT) part of Highgate Township in Franklin County Familysearch.org above, image #75
1800-Lawrence Croy’s second will names Rachel, his wife, and Christian, John G., John, and Jacob as his sons. No land is mentioned. He wills John G. and Christian $1.50, John a cow and white horse, and Jacob the balance of his estate. It is recorded August 24, 1800. Familysearch.org as above, image #77
1800- John Croy sold land April 29, 1800 on Hog Island. (Familysearch.org. Sorry, no image #)
1800- Jacob (age 26-44) and Lawrence Croy (age+45) appear on the Highgate, Franklin County, VT Federal Census.
1799 to 1802-residence list names John Croy and Jacob Croy (Familysearch.org images 93, 114…sorry, no image # for 1799 and 1800)
1803- John Croy appears on the residence list. I find no further record for Croys in Highgate…but perusing these records is a challenge. I may have missed something. As it is, I did not list numerous records of John and Jacob’s positions on the town council in positions varying from selectmen to sheriff.
An aside on this family: Christian Croy’s 1842 will in Brunswick, Rensselaer, NY, image 552-555 in Ancestry “Wills and Probate Records of New York” shows no male heirs; nor does John G.’s 1837 will in Petersburg, Rensselaer, NY, images 85-90.
1810-an illegible ____b(?) Croy (age 26-44, which Ancestry labels as John Cray, appears on the Highgate, Franklin County, VT federal census.
1810-Adam (age 26-44); Henry (26-44); and Jacob Croy (+45) appears on the Federal Census. This family is easily traced on the census from this point forward. I doubt it is the same Jacob as in Vermont as he had only one female child under 10 listed on the 1800 VT census. In this census he has (among others) 3 females and 2 males between 16 and 25. I checked Library of Virginia Chancery Records and found no Croys mentioned before 1824. The 1790 and 1800 Federal Censuses do not exist, likely lost in the fires in Washington, DC in The War of 1812.
Can you add anything? Any thoughts? Some mysteries may never be solved—but I’d sure love to unlock this one!