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Finding Father: Ralph Lewis Croy

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artifacts

The folder contained a pile of paper my father saved. The contents provide a glimpse into the life of a fine father, Ralph Lewis Croy. My brother gave me the file a couple years ago for an obvious reason. I’m the historian for the family. It’s a curious phenomenon. I hold together a family history for an independent, often distant, family. But we are, I discovered, after opening his folder, shoots not far from their roots. Dad did not keep everything—no random terrible artwork, no diary—he wasn’t that kind of guy. But what he kept provides a roadmap to his life.

Obviously, he kept his birth certificate. He was born at 9th and Moore Street (no hospital involved) in Henrietta, Oklahoma. Henrietta was always the place where he said he “grew up.”

that old gang of mine

This picture was a favorite of his. He labeled it “that old gang of mine.” He is bottom center. They are holding sticks for a game of hockey, I think.

But when the Great Depression hit in 1929, his dad lost his foreman position in a coal mine in Henrietta, and the family was forced to move. He often told me he planned to go to college at Alabama State, maybe even on a basketball scholarship. He was always athletic. His dreams were dashed and his father got a job as a miner in Spiro, Oklahoma.

 

He kept his high school diploma. He graduated from Spiro High School on May 16, 1931, with 19 others classmates. He likely knew none of them well.

Spiro High School

Dad wrote right on the photos. It drove Mom nuts, but, hey, it’s pretty clear, right?

 

There is no record of what he did during the next four years. The most impactful period in my dad’s life, based on the stories he told, was when he road the rails out to see his brother, Muriel, in San Francisco. I’ve never been able to pinpoint when he lived his “hobo” life. This is one possibility but I don’t think Muriel live in San Francisco at the time. A paper from the file that Dad typed up outlining his work life (in an attempt to get social security benefits) gives 1937 as his first work year, but he had forgotten about the following service.

He kept his release papers for his service with the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC’s) in Oklahoma. He worked in Pine Valley, Oklahoma from June 25, 1935, through December 1, 1935, as a truck driver in road construction. The CCC’s, formed in 1933 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, was in full swing by 1935, employing a half-million men across the country. During his six-month stint, Dad sent a total allotment of $25 home to his father Justus Croy, care of general delivery, Spiro, Oklahoma.

No records exist for 1936. From my father’s stories, I know Justus Croy and family traveled up through Colorado, working along the way. By the first of 1937 my dad, if not the rest of the family, was in Farson, Wyoming.

He kept a letter dated January 14, 1937, from the regional director of the Department of Interior, Department of Grazing. “Dear Friend Ralph, As I was interested to know, at my recent visit to Farson, of your progress in Engineering, I have taken the “liberty” to list your name with the R. Hardesty Mfg. Co, and they will send you their Handbook on Hydraulic Data, which I trust will be beneficial to you…” I had always thought his studies began by “mail” after his time in the US Army Air Force. I was wrong. His interest in engineering began as early as age 25.

He kept his CCC release papers for his service in Wyoming. He worked in Farson, Wyoming from May 6, 1937, through September 30, 1937, doing clerical work with the CCC’s and was paid $45 (no allotment sent).  He gave the address 1016 Lee St, Rock Springs, Wyoming for any further correspondence.

He kept a Union Pacific Coal Company Certificate of First-aid Training for “Aid to the Injured” dated 1939, the recipient: ‘Ralph Lewis Croy of Reliance, Wyoming.” According to his typed work record, he worked for Union Pacific Coal Company in Rock Springs, Wyoming from 1938-1940.  My brother recalls the story he told of how he walked off the job after seeing a man, one of many, injured in a mining accident, never again to work in the coal industry. His uncle Gardner had been electrocuted in a mining accident in 1920. Four years after he left Union Pacific Coal, his uncle David died in a landslide while working coal.

He kept a letter of recommendation dated August 29, 1942, from contractors Radich and Brown of Oakland, California. He worked for them as a transit man at the Oakland Naval Supply Depot. The letter stated: “It is our experience that his integrity is beyond reproach.” According to his typed record, he worked for contractors in Oakland from 1940- October 10, 1942.  I know my uncle, Muriel Croy, worked in construction in the San Francisco area at this time, so Dad likely followed Muriel there after walking away from Union Pacific Coal. There is a discrepancy. It is more likely he moved to Oakland in early 1941. Why? He, with his father and his mother Mollie, are listed in the same household on the 1940 census. His father Justus Croy died of emphysema (black lung) on December 13, 1940.

He kept his discharge papers from the US Army Air Force. He enrolled on October 30, 1942, in San Francisco, CA. He listed his civilian occupation surveyor and his home address 5016 Calaveras Ave, Oakland, CA. He trained at Bombsight School at Lowry Field in California as a Bombsight Mechanic. On February 11, 1946, he separated from Squadron C, 2619th Army Air Force Base Unit at Indiantown Gap Mile Reservation, Pennsylvania. He had married my mother Hattie Beatrice Schulz on August 4, 1944.

dad and dog

Always wondered exactly when they were in Carlsbad, NM. No doubt now.

 

He kept the March 27, 1946, letter he received from US Bureau of Reclamation Construction Engineer, O.G. Boden. “There is a vacancy in the position of Engineering Aide (Survey, SP-6), $2320 per annum, with headquarters in Antioch, California. This work will include operation of instruments of field survey party engaged in location and property surveys for the Contra Costa Canal System. Please advise at your earliest convenience if you are interested in employment in the above position.” He became a permanent employee with the Bureau on March 9, 1947, and I was born October 18, 1947, in Pittsburg.

Of course, there is more to the story, the stuff of another post. What I write here is about one file. The artifacts my dad saved help us trace his movement through time and place with exacting detail. He loved history, of his family and his nation. He preserved the remnants of it.

I often wonder why I do what I do: the blog, the historical fiction, the research, the amassing of artifacts. Not because my family reads these missives, if they do, which I doubt. I do it for love of Dad. I do it for me. I spring from his roots, where the past is forever present.

Happy Fathers Day, Dad—and thank you.

 

 

Missouri Bound: Out of Rockbridge County, Virginia Part I

salling-estate-newspaper-article

I was Just Plain Wrong

In my New Year’s quest to review all my family records for accuracy, I turned to my grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Ison’s ancestry. Her parents Gabriel Ison and Gillian (Gillie) Virginia Morris(s) married in Missouri.[i] Gillie was the daughter of Peter Philander Morris and Elizabeth Ely.[ii] I’ll delve into the Ison, Morris, and Ely family history and how they came to Missouri in later posts. This is just Part I of my efforts to rectifying any abuses of the following rules of genealogical research:

  1. Never rely on another researcher’s family tree without looking for documentation.
  2. Always back-up your work with documentation or a triangulated proof.
  3. Use “Find-a-grave” for information on photographed and marked graves only. Otherwise refer to #1.

Gillie’s father Peter Philander Morris was the son of Thomas H. Morris and Malinda Salling.[iii] In previous posts I stated Malinda’s father to be George Salling, right family wrong sibling. This post repairs that error and provides just a smattering of amazing information I’ve discovered as I researched her ancestry.

Malinda Salling was born to Peter Salling and Rebecca Holms[iv] on March 19, 1803 (ca).[v] How do I know this? Because I just finished analyzing 1,126 pages of Chancery documents available at the Library of Virginia website.

An aside: I find Chancery documents in which inheritance issues, often complex, are ironed out, often over extended periods of time to be the genealogical mother lode. If you have any Virginia ancestors, check out this site. http://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/?_ga=1.224291475.920046502.1485978183

Let’s Start at the Beginning with the Patriarch: John Peter Salling

John Peter Salling arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733 with wife Anna Maria Vollmar and children Elizabeth and Anna Catharina. [vi] On 14 November 1735, he filed a warrant for 250 acres of land on Conestoga Creek in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.[vii]

Then: “In the year 1740, I came from Pennsylvania to the part of Orange County now called Augusta; and settled in a fork of the James River close under the Blue Ridge Mountains of the West side, where I now live.”[viii]

This passage comes from John Peter’s recollections of his capture by Indians, his transfer into the hands of the French, and his eventual recovery by the British Navy and his return to “Charles Town.” (For more on his crazy adventure go to the link cited in endnotes.) An Index of his will names one son besides the daughters who came from Northern Alsace (Germany) with him, that son is George Adam Salling.[ix]

The Family of George Adam Salling

From the Chancery Document of Augusta County, Virginia, we know that George Adam Salling of Orange County, North Carolina bought and transferred a warrant for 200+ acres to George Salling on the first bend of the James River.[x] Biographical information in A History of Rockbridge County says George Adam moved to North Carolina about 1760. He must have returned to Rockbridge or was simply cleaning up old warrants, as his will is recorded in August County (the land in what would be Rockbridge County, VA). It provides for the same 200+ acres for George and is “proved” 1 June 1789, about a year after George Adam Sallings death.

The Chancery records include an incomplete copy of the will of George Adam Salling, 1788. It lists his male offspring: Henry, Peter, and George. He leaves use of the meadow and the house to his wife Hannah along with the use of Henry’s portion of the plantation until he reaches maturity. He declares that the plantation at the fork of the James and North Rivers with three hundred sixty odd acres and meadow be divided equally between sons Henry and Peter (the quality of the division the reason for the dispute). He gives two hundred twenty acres to son George. With wife Hannah to “support that part of my unmarried children who may chuse to continue with her and likewise to give them the necessary schooling.”[xi]

The above statement indicates additional children. Virginia marriage bonds are family affairs, often listing the parentage of both bride and groom. I was able to add Magdalen, Elizabeth, Peggy, and Hannah.[xii] George Salling who married Matilda 19 January 1791 and moved to Gate City, Scott county, Virginia between 1810 and 1820. (This is the George I incorrectly designated as Malinda’s father.)

Thanks to the extraordinary effort of Marilyn Headley and Angela Ruley. They digitalized the Rockbridge County Marriage Bonds, 1778-1801. A great resource, http://www.usgwarchives.net/va/rockbridge/license.html

The Children of Henry and Peter Salling

For this portion, let me introduce you to Peter A. Salling, the son of Peter Salling, and he had a mission: to acquire the whole of the estate of George Salling. He and his wife, Aurelia Paxton had no children aside from Aurelia’s neice whom they adopted. It seems tradition was important to Peter A., so he left his substantial estate to his namesake nephew, Peter A. Salling.

rockbridge-county-detailThe “Mrs Salling” at the Fork of the James and North River is Aurelia, the last owner of the Salling Plantation.

The ins and outs of his complicated acquisitions and the dispersals at his and Aurelia’s death led to four separate Chancery filings over fifty years. From these records we know:

  • Henry Salling (of George) married Lucy and had children: Lucy, Mary Polly, Hannah, Magdalene, George Jackson, Lavinia, Henry, and Benjamin. Henry died in 1834.[xiii]
  • Peter Salling (of George) married Rebecca Holms and had children: John, Rebecca wife of William Harrison, Malinda wife of Thomas H Morris (Happy Dance!), and Mary Ann deceased who had children by a Goodwin (George W., Harriet wife of William Wasky, Peter A (the namesake), Robert B, John, and Rebecca wife of David Ely who died after her Grandfather Peter who died in 1839[xiv]

As you can imagine, the 1, 126 pages of information holds gems galore. One page of interest lists the names of Negros to be distributed to the heirs as exchange for their share of plantation land. Thomas H. Morris, Malinda’s husband, took his share in slaves.[xv] slave-dist-morrisInsights into farming, husbandry, life in Texas, and changes brought by the Civil War comes to life in these pages. I can only say—again—if you have any ancestors in Virginia and know the county of origin, check out the Library of Virginia.

Next week: Thomas H. Morris and who moved to Missouri…

[i] Marriage License of Gabriel Ison and Gillian Morris Ancestry.com. Missouri, Marriage Records, 1805-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007. Original data: Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm.
[ii] Census record of Peter P. Morris Year: 1870; Census Place: Township 55 Range 19, Chariton, Missouri; Roll: M593_768; Page: 362B; Image: 63785; Family History Library Film: 552267 Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
[iii] Peter Philander Morris Death Certificate #9537 (T.H. Morris and Malinda Salling parents)
[iv] Peter Salling/Rebecca Holms marriage bond 9 April 1787, Rockbridge County Marriage Bonds, 1778-1801, digitalized at http://www.usgwarchives.net/va/rockbridge/license.html
[v] Malinda H. Morris Find A Grave Memorial# 37019534, Brunswick City Cemetery, Brunswick Township, Chariton County, Missouri.
[vi] Burgert, Annette K. Eighteenth Century emigrants from the Northern Alsace to America. Camden, ME: Picton Press, 1992. Pg. 416; Ancestry. Com. U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index.
[vii] Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Land Warrants and Applications, 1733-1952 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.Original data: Warrant Applications, 1733-1952. Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania State Archives.
[viii] The Journal of John Peter Salling, transcribed by L.S. Workman from The Annals of an American Family by E. Wadell http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/augusta/misc/m-sal01.txt
[ix] Ancestry.com. Virginia, Land, Marriage, and Probate Records, 1639-1850. Orignial data: Chalkley, Lyman. Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, 1745-1800. Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1965. Originally published in 1912. NOTE: I did not find this record in the Library of Virginia Chancery Records.
[x] Index # 1818-104, Augusta Co. Henry Salling vs. Peter Salling. Library of Virginia Digital Collection: Chancery Record Index, pg. 68.
[xi] Ibid. pg 27.
[xii] Rockbridge County Marriage Bonds, 1778-1801. All found under “M”
[xiii] Index # 1840-028, Rockbridge Co. Peter A. Salling vs. heirs of Henry Salling. Library of Virginia Digital Collection: Chancery Record Index, pg. 3.
[xiv] Index # 1841-019, Rockbridge Co. John Salling vs. heirs of Peter Salling. Library of Virginia Digital Collection: Chancery Record Index.
[xv] Ibid pg 27

Using Civil War Pension Records to Trace Calvin Croy’s Wanderings

sarah-angeline-ison-smith-and-calvin-harrison-croy-about-1898-buck-ok

Calvin Harrison Croy and Sarah Angeline Smith Croy (My father labeled this Buck, about 1898. With the research sited below, more likely 1901.)

I’ve often emphasized  the singular importance of acquiring any Civil War Pension Records of your immediate ancestorswhen doing genealogical research. Well, while working on an article I’m writing—one requiring a careful look at the pension records of seven Croy brothers of Washington County, Ohio —I found one more reason those records are so important. By looking closely, you can track any moves they made over time.

If you look carefully at the address of the applicant on every application (and often there are many) and any doctor’s examination through the years, you can create a very detailed timeline of where your ancestor lived and moved. My great-grandfather, Calvin Croy, was the only brother who left Ohio. I’ve traced his movement through census records and the birthplaces of his children, but the information in his NARA pension records provides so much more detail—and raises a few questions as well.

The timeline below traces the movement of Calvin Croy from when he returns home from the Civil War until his death. Unless noted the information can be found in his pension papers housed at the National Archives.

  1. July 20, 1865-Discharged from Co. B 31st OVI at Louisville, Kentucky
  2. August 1865-1870: Dunbar/Veto, Fairfield Township, Washington County, Ohio
  3. 1872-1884: Coshocton, Coshocton County, Ohio Note: December 12, 1872, Calvin married Sarah Angeline Smith in Coshocton, Coshocton County, Ohio; in pension records Calvin gives, on to separate occasions, 1882 and 1884 as the date he headed west. Son William was born August 5, 1883 in Coshocton, Ohio, hence my estimate.
  4. June 10, 1885-August 1887: Humbolt, Speicer Precinct, Richardson County, Nebraska Note: 1885 Nebraska Census provides start of residency. #4 & 5 show a confusing discrepancy! Son Albert Lloyd born August 11 1887 in Nebraska on census records but Calvin applied for a pension in Taylor, Kansas May 1886 and is listed on the Kansas Grand Army of the Republic Report for January 1, 1887. The Nemaha County, Kansas is right below Richardson County, Nebraska so their home may have been on the border or…?
  5. May 1886-1889: Taylor, Seneca, Nemaha County, Kansas Note: Lists occupation as farmer. A further discrepancy lists Burlingame, Osage County, Kansas as an address in 1889 and son Lloyd’s WWI biography notes his education in Burlingame.
  6. 1890-1894: Pleasanton, Linn County, Ohio Note: 1892 in the Kansas Grand Army of the Republic Report is the first time he lists his occupation as miner and may account for the moves the family made #7-9.
  7. March 1895-September 1895: Fort Scott, Bourbon County, Kansas
  8. June 1896: Taylor, Seneca, Nemaha County, Kansas
  9. 1897-December 1900: Pleasanton, Linn County, Ohio Note: son Justus married Mary Elizabeth Ison December 24, 1900 then moved with family to Oklahoma.
  10. 1901-1905: Buck/Carbon/Krebs, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory (Oklahoma) Note: these towns, all listed as post offices on pension records during this time period are within 5-10 miles of each other.
  11. 1907- death on June 12, 1922: Henrietta, Okmulgee County, Oklahoma

While imperfect, the information provides a clear picture of a family in motion after leaving Ohio. Only after setting foot in Henrietta did Calvin find roots.

Next week I explore the fabulous SEARCHABLE Missouri County Plat Books and where my grandmother’s mother Gillie Morris[s] was born. But if Missouri is in your blood, go there now!

Why Apply to Lineage Societies? Five Good Reasons

Richard Croy marriage 1839

An outcome of applying to lineage societies was discovering what happened to Richard Croy and Rachel Crist after their marriage.

I completed my applications to two lineage societies of the Ohio Genealogy Society yesterday (well, almost). The Societies are the First Families of Ohio and the Families of the Old Northwest Territory. Last year I waded into this world by applying and being accepted into The Society of Civil War Families of Ohio. The process is rigorous, requires extensive documentation, costs money, and carries with it only the honor of membership, along with a pin and certificate. Now, I am neither a big joiner nor spendthrift. Nor do I collect pins, plaques, or certificates. So why bother? Let me count the ways.

  1. I am documenting, with certification of my work, an accurate history of family.
  2. The record is stored securely where it is available to all researchers to use for their specific current and future purposes.[i]
  3. The process hones my skills and the depth and accuracy of my propositions.
  4. I feel accomplished upon completion—a job well done (I hope).

And—bells chime and trumpet sounds…

  1. New discoveries present themselves. Doors, never seen before, open to sources yet untapped!

Here is an example from my recent venture.

I had never traced Richard Croy, son of Andrew Croy, beyond his appearance on an 1840 Federal Census for Rose Twp, Carroll Cty, OH[ii] with wife Rachel Crist[iii] and a male under 5. Then, while doing other research, I saw a family page with an interesting tree for Richard.

I delved into it and discovered a little treasure trove in Delaware County, Ohio. It seems Richard and family moved there after 1840, or Rachel traveled there after his death before 25 March 1847 when she remarried David Hodgden.[iv]

Why she only kept her daughter, Emily Jane Croy, then age 6,[v] and farmed out son John, then age 11,[vi] to the Hinkle family, and Mathias, then age 8,[vii] to the Bush family, both in Troy Township, Delaware County, we can never know. Perhaps Rachel had limited resources after Richard died, and the boys boarded as laborers for the families.

At any rate, their lives were hard and ended in the Civil War. Mathias, who served with Company F of the 96th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, died of chronic diarrhea in Louisiana on 12 June 1863.[viii] John died of scarlet fever on 9 August 1864 at Andersonville Prison. Emily Jane, who married a Wesley Overturf, lived on, and moved from Illinois, to Missouri, to Indian Territory (Oklahoma.)[ix]

Still a mystery: the exact time, place, and cause of Richard’s death. Some mysteries are never solved; but maybe when I least expect it.

[i] The Ohio Genealogical Society keeps these records on file and provides a searchable list of their names. The information is available upon request. You can even join a society by using the member # and provide documentation connecting you to any verified ancestor, thus entering your family’s documentation into the database.
[ii] Richard Croy; 1840; Census Place: Rose, Carroll, Ohio; Roll: 381; Page: 248; Image: 504; Family History Library Film: 0020160 Ancestry.com. 1840 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
[iii] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-17957-92159-97?cc=1614804 : 15 July 2014), Carroll > Marriage records 1833-1849 vol 1 > image 95 of 203; county courthouses, Ohio.
[iv] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-17962-52947-52?cc=1614804 : 15 July 2014), Delaware > Marriage records 1846-1858 vol 2 > image 33 of 316; county courthouses, Ohio.
[v] Emily Jane Croy and Rachel; 1850; Census Place: Brown, Delaware, Ohio; Roll: M432_675; Page: 300A; Image: 412 Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
[vi] John Croy; 1850; Census Place: Troy, Delaware, Ohio; Roll: M432_675; Page: 287; Image: 384 Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
[vii] Mathias Croy; 1850; Census Place: Troy, Delaware, Ohio; Roll: M432_675; Page: 286A; Image: 384 Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
[viii] Mathias Croy; U.S., Registers of Deaths of Volunteers, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.Registers of Deaths of Volunteers, compiled 1861–1865. ARC ID: 656639. Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s–1917. Record Group 94. National Archives at Washington, D.C.
[ix] based on 1870, 80, and 1900 Federal Census information

The Jolley, Russel, and Croy Families in Union County

It’s cleanup time for the family of Jacob and Mary Huston Croy.

Watkins Margaret Jolly

Picture by author: Mitchell Cemetery, Union County, Ohio, May 2016

First, the last of my cemetery visits while in Ohio. I enjoyed the trip and discovered so much. On my first morning there, I bravely set out to find three cemeteries. I was a novice at this but managed the first two, Union and Watkins, well enough, but by the time I found the last of them, Mitchell Cemetery, I was tired and feeling rushed, not a good combination for detective work. I sometimes wish I lived closer!

Mary (Croy) Roberts moved to Union County with George Roberts after their marriage in 1807.[i] George died some time between 1815 and 1819. [ii]Mary lived near her daughters Elizabeth Croy Russel (husband James Russel) and Eleanor Croy Marquis (husband John Marquis) in 1820 Darby Township. With Mary were two children; based on their ages they are likely Margaret Croy born 31 January 1805 and David H. Croy born 1 June 1801. [iii]

Margaret, the youngest of Mary Huston Croy (Roberts) and Jacob Croy’s children is buried in Mitchell cemetery, one of the oldest in Union County. A number of her descendants and her husband’s previous wife are buried there as well. I was able to find those gravesites, slowly dissolving under a lichen cover. Margaret married John Jolley (his second marriage) early in 1827-1830.[iv] (A fun fact: John Jolley indicated in his will that no more than $20 should be spent on his granite headstone.[v])

Watkins John Jolley

Picture by author: Mitchell Cemetery, Union County, OH, May 2016

At Watkins Cemetery, also dissolving under lichen, I found David H Croy and Sarah (Sally) Wasson Croy. They had married in Franklin County, OH on 14 December 1828.[vi]

9 David H Croy

Picture by author: Watkins Cemetery, Union Cty, OH

In the process of reviewing this information, I discovered more.

First regarding Elizabeth, whose life was a mystery to me after her husband died on 28 August 1828. [vii] I now know she married Christian Sager on 8 November 1835[viii] but divorced him before 1847 when Christian remarried. Knowing her new surname, I found the 1850 Federal Census Mortality Schedule showing she died March 1850 of an inflammation of the lungs, being ill seven days.[ix]

Next, I saw reference to a Union County History so went searching. It unveiled some information about the men these Croy women married. I’ve quoted the information here.[x]

“James Russel, from Loudoun County, Va., was a comparatively early settler on the J.S. Smith place near the southern line of the township. He continued his residence here to the time of his death. Amasa Payne owned and occupied the E.D. Smith place in the southeastern part of the township.” (An aside: Amasa Payne is the brother of Sephronia Payne, my great-great grandmother, however, I have discovered no other connections between these families.)

“John Jolly was a North Carolinian. His family was of the Quaker persuasion and he, imbued with the principles of that sect, left his native State from an abhorrence of the institution of slavery and sought a home in Ohio. In 1818, with his wife, Hannah (Cook), and three children, he settled upon a tract of wild land he had purchased in the southern part of Survey 7,218, now the home of Charles Nicol. Here he cleared the land and tilled the soil, engaging also, to some extent, in shoe-making. He was an earnest supporter of the Methodist Church. His children by his first marriage were Elias, who removed to Kansas; Michel, who married Fredrick Sager; Rachel; Joel; Mary, who married Adam Brown; John; Jeremiah, of Kansas; and Lewis, of Iowa. His second wife was Margaret Croy, who still lives with her daughter Eleanor, wife of A.J. Ferguson. By this marriage there were six children—Betsy, who married David and is now deceased; Eli, Eleanor, Margaret and two who died young. Mr. Jolly died July 31, 1860, at Unionville, aged seventy-eight years.” (Note: This and cemetery information gives Hannah as Lewis’ mother, however according to cemetery records, Hannah died in January of 1827 and Lewis was born in December of 1827, either indicating an error in dates or making Margaret his mother and 1827 the likely marriage date unless there is an error on the cemetery records.[xi])

On another note, I will limit my posts in complexity and quantity for a while because of a number of projects.

  1. I am attempting to document the family for the Ohio Genealogical Society beyond the Civil War brothers through their original entry into Ohio before 1830, including Alexander Huston’s entry while Ohio was still part of the Northwestern Territory.
  2. I hope to write my first genealogy article for a journal.
  3. I am working with my editor to take my first book from manuscript to print sometime next year.

Oh, one other thing: To all my readers, for your interest, information, and encouragement, THANK YOU!

[i] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” Database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18084-9656-32?cc=1614804 : accessed 22 June 2015), Columbiana > Marriage records 1803-1818 vol 1 > image 15 of 166; county courthouses, Ohio.
[ii] John Huston vs. Henry McGrath, Chancery Records; Records Center and Archives, Montgomery County Reibold Building 117 South Main Street, 6th floor, P.O. Box 972, Dayton, Ohio 45422-1110
1820 U.S. Census; Darby Township, Union, Ohio; Page: 208; NARA Roll: M33_94; Image:256. Ancestry.com. [database on-line accessed 16 April 2014]
[iii] Ibid
[iv] Lewis Jolley, Oakdale Cemetery, Adel, Dallas County, Iowa; Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com
Hannah Jolley, Mitchell Cemetery, Union County, Ohio.
[v] Will Records, 1852-1908; Probate Place: Union, Ohio Ancestry.com. Ohio, Wills and Probate Records, 1786-1998 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Ohio County, District and Probate Courts.[accessed 12 August]
[vi] Ancestry.com. Ohio Marriages, 1789-1898 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Smith, Marjorie, ed. Ohio Marriages. Extracted from The Old Northwest Genealogical Quarterly. 1977. Reprint, Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1986.
[vii] Bigelow Pioneer Cemetery, Madison County, OH; Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com
[viii] Copy of Marriage Certificate George Sager biographical sketch. Published by the Union County History Book Committee in “Family Heritage-Union County, Ohio; Ancestry.com 1985. From entry of 01 Jan 2011 Ancestry.com [accessed 16 Aug 2016]
[ix] National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Non-population Census Schedules for Ohio, 1850-1880; Archive Collection: T1159; Archive Roll Number: 15; Census Year: 1850; Census Place: Subdivision 146, Union, Ohio Ancestry.com. U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885 [database on-line accessed 16 August 2016]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
[x] Durant, Pliny, The History of Union County Ohio (Chicago: W.H. Beers & Co. 1883) Library of Congress: Open Library pg 227
[xi] see iv

From the “Rolls” of Washington County: The last two “Croy Boys”

Posted on
civil war induction by Hank Cradduck at tt

credit: Hank Craddock

The photo taken at the OGS Society of Civil War Families of Ohio induction ceremony arrived a couple months back. At the time, I was elbow deep in the buckets of information from my trip to Ohio, so just filed it away.

I met Deb Root Shell at this meeting, a serendipitous gift. She pointed me in the direction of the Washington County, Ohio Civil War Rolls tucked away in a manila folder at the Washington County Library Local History and Genealogy Archives. She is in the process of transcribing all of the records into a book. I have already posted transcriptions of five of the seven Croy brothers who served in the Civil War. Today I finish my Washington County posts with the rolls of the last two brothers.

William P. Croy, late of Coshocton County, first bought land in Washington County on 7 February 1853 from Alexander and Sarah Johnson.[i] There were two parcels, one 40 acre parcel, the west portion of section 32, T 6 R 11 and another 5 acres near Cutler, Ohio. His father, mother, and family joined him there before late 1860. He had married Rebecca Jane Huston in Coshocton County on 14 June 1855.[ii] A child, Anderson, was born 12 July 1856.[iii] He was their only child. The information from the “Rolls” is recorded below.

“William Croy, son of Jacob & Margaret Croy, was born in Carrol Co. Oct. 4th 1836. Went from Fairfield Aug. 9th 1862 in Co “G” 92nd O.V.I. Never sick in Hosp, nor wounded, nor captured. Was detached as wagon master during most of the time after May 10th 1864, & was therefore not with the Regt in its subsequent engagements, and did not see it again till he was mustered out with it near Washington D.C. June 10th 1865 Married, & his one child. m. REBECCA J (?) son Anderson (or Andrew) b. ca 1865”[iv]

The last “Croy boy,” (our family still calls them that) was my great-grandfather, Calvin Harrison Croy. I have written extensively in many posts regarding him and included a few pictures, as well. He didn’t marry until after the Civil War, spending time living with his brother Nathan helping with the farm.[v] He then went to Coshocton to work in his Uncle David’s sawmill where he met Sarah Angeline Smith (more on her and her family in my postings as well).[vi] They married in Coshocton on 12 December 1872.[vii] (An interesting aside: I found a scribbled out intent to marry between Calvin and a Rebecca Huston date 6 June 1866…Don’t you wonder?) Here is what was entered in the Rolls right after the war.

“Calvin Croy, son of Jacob & Margaret Croy, was born in Coshoton Co May 13th 1848. Went from Fairfield, (1st) in Co. “F” 148th O.V.I. Was off duty but a day or two through sickness: Come home & was discharged with the Co. at Marietta. Enlisted (2nd) Feb 17th ’65 in Co. “G” 92nd O.V.I., & was transferred at the discharge of that Regt to Co “B” 31st O.V.I. Was never sick during service, excepting seasickness on the passage from N. York to Beauford N.C. Discharged July 20th 1865, Louisville, Ky.”[viii]

Next week I move back in time to what I discovered about the daughters of Alexander and Susannah Croy, the aunts of the Civil War “Croy Boys.” See you then.

[i] Grantee, William Croy; Grantor Alexander/Sarah Johnson; Washington County Court House, Deed book V 46 Pg 332.
[ii] William Croy/Rebecca Huston Marriage Certificate, 14 July 1855; Court of Common Pleas, Coshocton County, Ohio; Certified Copy privately held by Donna Croy Wright, Tollhouse, California, July 2015.
[iii] Soldier’s Certificate No. 695593, William P. Croy, Corporal, Company G, 92nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry; Case Files of Approved Pension applications of Veterans Who Served in the Army and Navy Mainly in the Civil War and the War with Spain (Civil War and Later Survivors’ Certificates), 1861-1934; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, p 20 National Archives, Washington, DC
[iv] Handwritten Roll of Honor document, compiled by Charles Strong Perry, 1865, Washington County Public Library, History and Genealogical Archive, 418 Washington St., Marietta, OH. Pg 8.
[v] Year: 1870; Census Place: Fairfield, Washington, Ohio; Roll: M593_1278; Page: 116A; Image: 136035; Family History Library Film: 552777 [accessed thru Ancestry.com 27 September 2012]
[vi] Year: 1880; Census Place: Keene, Coshocton, Ohio; Roll: 1003; Family History Film: 1255003; Page: 115C; Enumeration District: 048; Image: 0234 [accessed thru Ancestry.com 27 September 2012]
[vii] Calvin Croy/Sarah A Smith Certified Copy of Marriage Record, 12 December 1872; privately held by DeBernardi family. Photo held by Donna Croy Wright, Tollhouse, California.
[viii] Handwritten Roll of Honor document, compiled by Charles Strong Perry, 1865, Washington County Public Library, History and Genealogical Archive, 418 Washington St., Marietta, OH. Pg 9.

Throwback Thursday: Emily Gassage Croy, wife of Robert Croy

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Emily Croy 2Most lives aren’t fairy tales; some less than others. Emily Gassage Croy was born in Jefferson County either in 1835 (death record)[i] or January 1838 (gravestone)[ii]. She married Robert Croy in Coshocton County, Ohio on the same day as her brother Samuel married Mary Croy, Robert’s sister, 27 March 1854. [iii]

Robert bought property in Coshocton County in 1853[iv] but by 1860[v] they moved to where his brother William lived near Cutler, Ohio in Washington County. Robert, a carpenter by trade, joined Union Army in 1862. Here is the information from the “Rolls” interview soon after the war.[vi]

“Robert Croy, son of Jacob & Margaret Croy was born in Carrol [sic] Co O March 25th 1832. Sent from Fairfield in Co “G” 92nd O.V.I. Aug. 5th 1862 Was never sick to be in Hosp. or wounded or prisoner–Took part in all the regimental actions. Was discharged with his Co near Washington D.C. June 10th 1865. Married & has four children. Stanton b. ca. 1856, Joanna b. ca 1858, Rhoda b. ca 1860 and ?”

More on his war history here.

Tragedy struck soon after the war. Robert, Emily’s husband, came home with severe hearing loss. Coping with his frustrations, while caring for four children, Stanton, Joanna, Rhoda, and Lorrain (born just before he left for duty), Emily took ill in 1870 as did her youngest daughter. Lorrain died 19 February 1870 at 7 years 7 months. Emily died 14 April 1870.[vii]

Robert’s life maintained its tragic trajectory. Robert married Mary Aikens Nelson on 23 March 1871[viii] less than a year after his wife’s death. They had a son, Arthur. It was a troubled, contentious marriage. Out of his deafness and obstinacy (as his wife reported), or because of her daughter’s loose behavior and dislike of him (as he reported), no one can know.[ix] But we do know his son Stanton drowned, likely in the Ohio River, in Belfre, Ohio on 16 July 1874. The boy was 18 years 5 months 12 days old.[x] Facing the death of three loved ones within four years (not including his father and brother), as well as living in a world of limited communication, might sour a man. He lived, moving through the years from his daughter’s home to his sister’s home, until he died 23 March 1908.[xi]

robert obit

[i] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 22 July 2015), Washington County, Death Records, 1867-1908, image 62 of 492; county courthouse, Ohio. [calculated]
[ii] Emily Croy, Decatur Presbyterian Cemetery, Veto Road, Washington County, Ohio [calculated]
[iii] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” Database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-22512-85444-76?cc=1614804 : accessed 24 June 2015), Coshocton > Marriage licenses 1837-1854 > image 17 of 71; county courthouses, Ohio.
[iv] Coshocton County Court House, 4 Oct 1853, Grantee: Jacob & Robert Croy; Grantor Andrew G. Woods Vol 30, pg 298
[v] 1860 US Census; Census Place: Rose, Washington County, Ohio;
[vi] Handwritten Roll of Honor document, compiled by Charles Strong Perry, 1865, Washington County Public Library, History and Genealogical Archive, 418 Washington St., Marietta, OH. Fairfield Township, pg 7.
[vii] See “i” above
[viii] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” Database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-22512-85444-76?cc=1614804 : accessed 24 June 2015), Coshocton > Marriage licenses 1837-1854 > image 17 of 71; county courthouses, Ohio.
[ix] Soldier’s Certificate No. 679496, Robert Croy, Corporal, Company G, 92nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry; Case Files of Approved Pension applications of Veternans Who Served in the Army and Navy Mainly in the Civil War and the War with Spain (Civil War and Later Survivors’ Certificates), 1861-1934; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Archives, Washington, DC
[x] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” Washington County, Death Records, 1867-1908, pg 104 #2266
[xi] Robert Croy Obituary; March 23, 1908 , Marietta Daily Times ,page 1, column 5; Washington Co. Public Library, Local History and Genealogy Dept, 418 Washington St., Marietta, OH.