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All Those Early Croys


jacob croy brother in law inventory

A blast from the past in which a Jacob Croy is a executor of the estate.

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

Reading the information below generates questions, none likely answerable:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. Is the Jacob of VT who disappears from Highgate records after 1804, the same Jacob who appears in Montgomery (Giles) County, VA in 1810?
  4. 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 (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 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. as above, image #77

1800- John Croy sold land April 29, 1800 on Hog Island. ( 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 ( 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!







About croywright

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

14 responses »

  1. Kyle Matthew Croy

    I found that many of my group of Croys are buried in the same cemetery in Matteson, Branch County, Michigan. One of my direct ancestors is a James W Croy (1841-1902), who is my Grandfather Croy’s Grandfather Croy. Ancestry says he was born in Ohio and lived in Lagrange County, Indiana apparently with another family, so not sure there. However, these records provided I didn’t get firsthand and I wasn’t able to verify without cost, but his gravestone is in Matteson.
    On another detail, I was seeing something about a Lawrence Croy on the blog’s history part of the Croy Family. Very little information is on Ancestry, and I mean very. It looks like someone may have arbitrarily connected James W Croy to Lawrence Croy and a mother named Isa Wellington. If this turns out to be verifiable, then we have found a missing link to the Michigander Croy’s who I am sure the Northern Indiana Croys also relate to with the Ohio Croys.

  2. Trying to learn of Aaron Croy. Maybe first Croy ?

    • Kyle Matthew Croy

      Hi, Jon. I saw your comment, so I typed “Aaron Croy” into Ancestry just to see what came up. I found an apparent Aaron Alexander Croy (1690-1715), whose picture basically looks a lot like a knight in black iron armor and some kind of axe. I don’t know if this is authentic or not.

  3. I’m interested in the photo posted with The Family of Mary Elizabeth Ison (Mollie), wife of Justus Croy. The caption indicates that Mollie’s family included Thomas Corr and Averilla Roane along with Mitchell Overstreet and Elizabeth Ramsey, whom are my 4th great-grandparents. Are you able to tell me where they connect? Thank you !

  4. Hi. I was researching my Croy family’s ancestry and came across
    I saw a comment about “Indiana Croys”, and guess what? I’m part of a Michigan Croys group that I’m told us descended from a Croy who probably lived in Lagrange County Indiana (my dad said his mom or grandma lived in Lagrange, do I presume not to far off.

  5. I am a descendant of the Virginia Croy family…I have traced my lineage all the way back to David Croy who was laid to rest in 1859 in Pembroke Giles County, Virginia. His birth year is recorded as 1797, though I haven’t a clue where he was born. He was married to Sarah Croy, born 1804, died 1888 and laid to rest by his side in Williams Cemetery. Sadly, I cannot find records listing David’s parents…my assumption had been that he was likely a descendent of Lorentz Croy who arrived by way of Philadelphia in 1754…I suspected this because of the history of Scot-Irish arriving in Philadelphia during this time (most of them Presbyterian farmers) who then traveled and settled along the East Coast of the US to include Virginia. But your research has brought up my fear that perhaps connecting my oldest traceable ancestor to an immigrant is not going to be so simple. Oh the Croy’s…they can be very surprising. Do you have any idea who may be connected to my David Croy in or around Giles County…that may help me continue my search for the Croy who made the crossing?

    • Amber,
      I always appreciate these inquiries. They get me thinking. As it was, I had just finished the draft of my next book and had cleaned up my desk and there was a file on the Jacob Croys I’ve been researching. The early Montgomery County, VA Jacob always intrigued me. Since Giles is a sister county to Montgomery, I did a quick look. To my surprise, I found a treat. I’ll be doing a blog post about what I discovered, but I’m sending you an email with something I think you’ll like. Check your spam if you don’t get it.

  6. there are many croys buried in a cemetary in cunot Ind..some born late 1700 they were millers they have mill stone g markers my g g grand fath as well u can google cunot cem….my quesrion , how and where do the ind croys tie to the ohio croys

    • John,
      Many Ohio Croys migrated to Indiana as lands opened up there. Keep in mind that 3 major Croy families entered Ohio by 1800: Mathias in Belmont County, John in Montgomery County, and my line, Jacob in Stark County. I think the Valentine Croy in the Cunot Cemetery comes from Mathias through his eldest son, Benjamin who moved to the area before 1820 (I believe). Valentine is one of Benjamin’s sons. Hope that helps. Donna

  7. Donna – your information here is outstanding! Thank you!!!

    I note where you do not believe that DNA is proven evidence before I ask my question 🙂

    I am researching my husband’s “Cray” family that came to Illinois from Coshocton County, Ohio. Their DNA matches many of the Croy descendants with deep family ties in Coshocton County. In 1838, our William Henry Cray was married to Mary Markley in Coshocton County. The records state the spelling as Croy and Markly. Mary was the daughter of Martin Markley and Tabitha Carr. Would there be any information on the parents of William Henry Cray?

    William Henry Cray died on November 3, 1846 in Coshocton County. His widow and their 5 children then traveled to Adams County, Illinois with Markley family.

    Thank you in advance for any information you can provide.

    • Before I begin, regarding DNA, I meant that it can never be the only proof. Just a verifying piece to back up with documentation. I did a bit of research and reviewed my own regarding David Markley and Selena (and Nathan) for whom I have some info. David is the grandson of Adam Markley though which one of Adam’s 8 sons is unclear. Some think Frederick. Your Mary’s Martin is one of Adam’s sons. Best proof is the probate record with will that you can find on Ancestry Coshocton probate/ wills Vol 1 c 1811-1837 image 27-29. As I’ve mentioned in a post here and there, Ancestry sends you to the index at times (in this case) and if you stop there you don’t get all the information. According to the History of Coshocton County found on line, p 473, Adam was an early (1808) settler who had 8 sons and 4 daughters. The will lists them as William, MARTIN, Elizabeth Byler, Catherine Fry, John (shot and killed in a political dispute 1818), Esther, Frederick, Benjamin, Amos, Anna, David, and Abraham. I do not think the Cray name is a Croy name…note the other marriage records that are not indexes spell his name Cray…but you never know. I’ve no record of a William of that age, etc. (Note though that I’ve been researching a Kray in (by most counts)Pennsylvania but in the 1800 will for sister Esther’s husband, the executor is listed as brother-in-law Jacob Croy. You can never be sure. Thanks for getting my brain engaged.

  8. Hello I have really enjoyed reading all of your research on the Croy family. I was wondering if you have come acrossed a William Croy in Tennessee around 1800’s. Trying to see if there is any relationship between the Virginia Croy’s


    • Justin, Unfortunately, I have no information on a William Croy in Tennessee. But I am intrigued. I would need a little more information to do any research. Tennessee was never a main thoroughfare for my Croy’s migration but will now include it in my search. Noted a Thomas M. Croy who purchased acreage in Davidson County, Tennesse in 1816 but the only record of that name afterward is for Pennsylvania.


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